Supposedly, Obama wants to give_a_speech in an Islamic capital during his first 100 days:
See? It’s got to be Cairo. Egypt is perfect. It’s certainly Muslim enough, populous enough and relevant enough. It’s an American ally, but there are enough tensions in the relationship that the choice will feel bold. The country has plenty of democracy problems, so Mr. Obama can speak directly to the need for a better democratic model there. It has got the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that has been embraced by a wide spectrum of the Islamic world, including the disenfranchised and the disaffected.
1) I agree that if the idea is to repair US-Muslim relations than the speech has to be in a city that is seen as having some Islamic relevance but also matters politically. Cairo is one of the few that fits that requirement.
2) On the other hand, its unclear whether, politically, Egyptians, from both the regime and the opposition would actually want the US President to visit. US-Egypt relations is very sensitive and I suspect, though few would say it explicitly, most parties would rather avoid having the US President visit. There is a reason the US President hasn’t visited Cairo since….. when? Did Clinton ever actually visit Cairo? Was Jimmy Carter the last? And no visiting the isolated conference center at Sharm Al-Shaikh doesn’t count as visiting Egypt.
Filed under: Uncategorized