The Cairo Effect

@iriscot (1290)
United States
June 9, 2009 10:11am CST
First Read, NBC News: The Cairo Effect? For a moment, forget about the political back-and-forth over the stimulus, the latest drama surrounding Sarah Palin, the Supreme Court's stay of Chrysler's sale to Fiat, or today's Democratic gubernatorial primary in Virginia. The most important event over the past couple of days may very well have been Sunday's parliamentary elections in Lebanon, where the American-backed coalition bested Hezbollah's coalition. As the New Yourk Times front-pages today, analysts are attributing the upset results, in part, to President Obama's big Cairo speech last week. "it is hard to draw firm conclusions from one election. But for the first time in a long time, being aligned with the United States did not lead to defeat in the Middle East," the paper says. The biggest test, however, comes on Friday, when Iran's Ahmadinejad is running for re-election against a much more moderate candidate, Hussein Moussavi. "I think the speech of Obama in Cairo more likely played a role in neutralizing anti-Americanism," Khalil al-Dakhil, a sociologist from Saudi Arabia told the Times. "It was a positive message. It was a conciliatory message." Is a trend occuring in the Middle East? We'll find out later this week.
1 person likes this
3 responses
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
9 Jun 09
I'm not giving Obama credit for election results in Lebanon or Iran any more than I'd give Germans credit for Obama getting elected here. I'm glad Hezbollah lost and I pray that Iranians have enough sense to not re-elect Ahmadinejad. I just don't think Obama himself or his speech is really a big factor in either election.
@iriscot (1290)
• United States
9 Jun 09
Does this mean you wouldn't even give Obama any credit for trying to soften tensions between the U.S. and the Middle East? How can you be so hard-line, do you think the situation will improve by taking the hard-line that the Bush adminstration has take for the 8 years they were in office. Who are you and I to judge whether it helped or not?
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
9 Jun 09
I'm not refusing to give him credit for softening tensions. There's certainly no doubt that he's more popular with the Arab nations than Bush. He's actually saying pretty much the same things Bush said, only they're believing it now. I don't see why I can't judge whether it influenced the elections or not. Had I claimed that it did positively influence elections I'm sure you wouldn't be making that same statement.
@iriscot (1290)
• United States
9 Jun 09
You and I are not judges, so we don't have the right to judge. We can state our opinions and that is what I am doing with this post.
@xfahctor (14131)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
9 Jun 09
I would more atribute it to the "sick of hezbolah" effect. Since their comming to power as a political force, lebenon has seen ruin, a signifigant war and economic hardship. I think the people of Lebenon have realized what a mistake they made in selling out to Hezbolah and are shifting back to the more moderate end. Despite the hype, we don't really enjoy any warmth from the arab world and the more extreme states certainly hate us as much and terror groups already view Obama the same as they did Bush and Clinton. Not much has changed at all either in the world, or in the white house.
@iriscot (1290)
• United States
9 Jun 09
I hope they are more moderate and have learned from past experiences. I was in Beirut for a few days when I was in the service and it was a beautiful place on a bluff overlooking the sea. It was heart wrenching when I saw on TV all of the destruction. I traveled over all of Saudi and some of Africa when I was in the service and the people were very receptive towards us Americans. This was back in the early 1950s. Does anyone here have an idea why things changed so?
1 person likes this
@xfahctor (14131)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
9 Jun 09
Well, in the arab world, "moderate" is a reletive term. As to what changed, the growing anti-isreali issues among neighbors, the emergence of extremist groups like Hezbolah, a thousand other things. It's a shame.
• United States
10 Jun 09
My belief is that Iran was on a swing of change before Obama took office, But I also believe that Obama is more convinced that both nations can find some peace with one another and agree on certain things together. I am sorry I believe Bush was in the mind set of do what I say or else. He was very quick to react in a very negative way. He was in the mind set of I am right and no matter what you say you are wrong.( instead of listening and understanding where they were coming from) You may not agree with me and that is fine. Do you think your typical Iranian (civilian) wants to take a chance of war with us? They just want their freedoms and they have realized that their freedoms can come more if they vote for a more moderate person. Friday will tell.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
10 Jun 09
Obviously those who don't like President Obama will totally belittle anyone who attempts to make any connection between his speech or anything he's said and done and this surprising election in Lebanon. There's no way for us to know for sure but I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility that there really was a "Cairo Effect". It's quite interesting that the polls only a few days before Obama's speech showed the Hezbollah coalition leading. Also interesting is the report that there has been a turn in the polls in Iran in recent days. Ahmadinejad was leading a few days ago and now he's trailing by around 15 points. Whatever is the cause of the possible trend, I hope it continues. Annie