I watched the entirety of President Obama’s speech this morning, and I have to say I was impressed. I was a critic of our nation’s foreign policy under the Bush administration for nearly the entire two terms and I’ve been waiting to see a more even handed, neutral approach to matters in that part of the world, as well as a clear definition of our wars and America’s attitude toward the religion of Islam. Today, while not completely to my tastes, we got most of that. The speech was, I feel, fairly historic in nature, as long as we understand that one person talking for an hour isn’t going to change the world. (As the President aptly pointed out.)
Allowing respect for the individuality of all nations should be a cornerstone of American foreign policy, even when we disagree. Further, recognizing that both sides in every conflict have responsibilities if peace is to be achieved is equally important, whether we’re talking about Iran and the United States or Israel and the Palestinians. Today’s appearance wasn’t a fix for anything, but I do hope it opens the door for actors in good faith to take the next step in that part of the world. I’ve been quite unhappy with Obama’s handling of certain domestic issues thus far, particularly in terms of the economy, but this speech was one of the high points of his administration thus far for me.