Obama's line in the sand
You had to pinch yourself to remember that he IS an American president, I mean a president of the United States of America.
The world view Obama laid out in Cairo today was something it is almost impossible to imagine any other US leader ever attempting. I urge you to read it or watch it if you can possibly find the time.
It is a repositioning of America with the Islamic world, a grand departure from so much of what has gone before.
He lays it on the line to the Israelis – “It is time for these settlements to stop.” But he doesn’t spell out the consequences if it doesn’t happen.
He talks well of democracy but recognises that it is not America’s job to export or impose them.
It’s hard to exaggerate what this speech means. It is a phenomenal tribute to Obama that he can deliver it without bringing the house of Washington down about him – being so steeped in interfering in other people’s countries and processes.
I’d put the speech on a par with Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech delivered in America after the second world war and with Kennedy and Reagan at the Berlin wall. A watershed thus far… and next?