Obama speech live blog

Pres Obama

I’ve been live blogging pres Obama’s speech. It’s all done now, but we’re hear all day to receive your assessment of what he had to say. Here’s the live blog as it happened.

1206 On goes the standing ovation. The audience seem to love him. But it’s not just the few thousand there who matter. This speech was for global consumption. We’ll be taking your reaction all day at WHYS.

1205. It’s over. Finished with these lines – ‘The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God’s vision. Now, that must be our work here on Earth. Thank you. And may God’s peace be upon you.’ Well…. what did you think?

1204 I’d always wondered why Pres Obama always looks 45 degrees to the left or to the right. Then I realised that was where the autocues are.

1203 ‘There is also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.’ Do feel America lives up to this?

1202 He’s addressing young people now. Does it include me? sadly i fear i no longer qualify.

1200 Your response so far is glowing. Is no-one unconvinced? I know that normally Obama fans are keener to share their opinions than his detractors. If you’re a critic, are you grumbling quietly to yourselves, or is Pres Obama bringing you round?

1200: iKasperr again on twitter: I want someone to start an Obama chant at the Cairo speech. He really deserves it after this wonderful speech he’s giving. 🙂

1159 More enthusaism on twitter. Yet_for_you: Whoaaa! Assalam Allaikum.. Obama rocks! Isreali’s should leave Palestinian Settlements! (Obama i owe u dinner for speaking out at Cairo Univ)

1158 benandbarnet on twitter: Watching Obamas speech on Cairo. This is the man to bring the world closer together.

1157 I wonder how many of you have stayed with this speech from the start. It’s long by any standards (bar Messrs Chavez and Castro) – is he holding your attention?

1156 lots of applause for his big points on women. But the audience is so big it’s impossible to tell if half and the majority of the audience is clapping.

1153 Now it’s women’s rights. This is nothing if not wide-ranging. ‘ I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality.’

1152 Stephen in San Francisco: He is not a miracle-worker, and he will certainly not put the interests of Muslim countries above the interests of the US. It seems that many Muslims, and many others besides, expect him to drastically alter the way the US conducts its affairs, and that will not happen.

1151 This is confident. He’s telling Muslims what to do. ‘And fault lines must be closed among Muslims as well, as the divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in Iraq.’ But the crowd seem to be taking the advice without complaint.
1148 ‘Surpressing ideas doesn’t make them go away.’ I wonder who in the audience he has in mind.

1147 OK, you can watch speech here. No audio stream available from BBC at moment.

1143 Stefan’s emailed WHYS: Please broadcast the speech, leave the analysis for after!!! Shame on you! Obama was just getting to the meat of the speech!

1143 Couple of criticisms of BBC coverage just come in. Shell in Honolulu: why would the bbc interrupt the president’s live speech with commentary? Very disappointing.

1141 World Service has stopped carrying the speech. Not sure why. Will try and find another feed of speech for you to hear.

1140 Jonathan Marcus – it’s what we expected but seeing him doing it gives it a ‘gloss’ and an impact.

1138 Now the Palestinains turn. They must give up violence – it doesn’t work. Well, there’s several issues to debate there. ‘Violence is a dead end’. Always, I wonder?

1137 Two state solution is the answer Pres Obama says to another round of appluase. He’s says he’ll pursue this with ‘dedication’. I wonder what Israeli PM is thinking.

1136 Thiss is strong stuff. Too strong? Of the Palestians… ‘They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.’

1134 We will be ‘respectful; of sovereignty of nations’. AR (see comment below) – is that meet your demands? Or do you want more from Pres Obama?

1133 Big big round of appluase on reaffirmation that Gitmo will close.

1132 About Iraq – we’re a partner not a patron. Do those of you in America, feel that’s the true relationship? Are you supportive of the money and lives committed to Iraq.

1132 ‘Iraq’s sovereignty is its own.’ Do those of you in Iraq feel that American actions bear that out?

trisignia on Twitter: watching Barack Obama’s Cairo address. He’s making me proud to be an American in the Middle East.

1128 America is not at war with Islam and never will be. An explicit promise from Pres Obama. I know some of you feel that’s not the case, so is he convincing you?

1126 BBC’s diplomatic corr Jonathan Marcus says ‘it’s a speech with humility’ but he still has tough messages. Picks up on Pres Obama connecting his personal experience with wider issues of Middle East.

1125 Chrisstorms on Twitter: The “Holy Koran”? That’s strange for a Christian to say. When in Rome… I mean when in Cairo do as the Muslims do.

1122 Kamal in London again on our sister site Have Your Say: USA injustice can not be sweet-talked out so easily. Arabs want to see actions rather than fancy speeches. America should learn to apologise and compensate for the losses. Why is Obama shaking hands with Saudis and Egyptians while preaching democracy to Iran, Cuba and China, please get real!

1122 Here you go. ‘We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum: “Out of many, one.” ‘

1121 He’s just spoken in Latin. Don’t hear modern politicans doing that very often. One minute, I’ll check the transcript to see if I can find what he said.

1119 AR Shams in Pakistan hopes to hear ‘key points declaring that US would not, on its own accord, keep the intention to invade any country in future.’ We’ll see, but I’m not sure you’re going to hear that AR.

1118 if this isn’t enough for you, more coverage of President Obama’s Cairo speech here. There will be a full transcript as soon as it’s over.

1116 ‘I am a Christian.’ This speech may be aimed at the Muslim world, but that one was for some Americans as well I’d think.

1115 Roberto posts on WHYS: … it looks to me like Obama is busy leveraging his global status to address the middle east directly in an historical setting. Maybe something akin to the purpose JF Kennedy’s famous Berlin speech designed to soothe a jittery ally.’ Maybe this is why he’s trying to keep expectations down Roberto… that’s a big comparison.

1114 Pres Obama wants a new beginning. But ‘no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust’. A good point or just trying to dampen expectations?

1113 Bright blue ties seem to be everywhere. Gordon Brown and David Cameron both had them all yesterday. Clearly the colour of choice. Anyway I digress…

1112 Tensions between West and Muslim world have been partly caused by colonialism, he says. Is that fair?

1111: Rajendra in Dubai says: ‘Obama should continue strengthening the peace process with the Muslim world. This is important to ensure world peace, and resolve problem states like Pakistan.’ Let us know if he’s matched your expectations Rajendra.

1110 Plenty of thank yous and he’s off.

1109 Any moment now…

1108 Aravind in Bangalore posts at Have Your Say: Just by touring Obama cannot improve US relations with Islamic world. It looks like more of appeasement tour. Obama should really work on finding far reaching solution to Middle east problem.

1104 Moshe in Israel post on the Have Your Say pages: I am not waiting to hear what he is going to say but do. As he his a “feel-good” liberal he has no ideal how to deal with delicate situations like the Middle East. Will he be able to improve ties? that is always possible.

1101 BBC’s Christian Fraser says in a report that Pres Obama was up late tinkering with the speech. Well I guess he’s finished now as an embargoed copy of the text has just arrived in my email inbox. let’s see if what he says matches up to the email (I can’t publuish it without damaging relations between The White House and the BBC.)

1100 Our diplomatic corr Jonathan Marcus is live on air ready to give his response to the speech. He’s the man when it comes to these matters, so I’ll want to hear what he has to say.

1058 Adamu in Nigeria texts: We hope Obama’s visit to Saudi & other Arabs states brings peace not only to the Arabs world but to the entire muslim world.

1057 Ronald in New York texts: Do we want stability or an Islamist in power? What will happen to peace with Israel? Mubarak is our man!

1056 Now BBC World News tv saying we’ll have lift off at ten past.

1055 You can post your reaction to speech below, or email here.

1054 I feel like I’ve heard this speech already, and pres Obama hasn’t said a word. We’ve had days of speculation, with some passages leaked to the press. But the delivery will matter as well as the content.

1050: Announcement over that we’re expecting speech shortly.

18 Responses to “Obama speech live blog”

  1. 1 Shell
    June 4, 2009 at 11:32

    Why would the BBC interrupt the President’s live speech with commentary? Very disappointing. – Honolulu

  2. 2 Bogdan
    June 4, 2009 at 12:09

    I really do think that Obama has the ability to say nothing in a 40 minute speech. I think that his speech doesn`t have any new news in it. USA will not tolerate …..yes and? USA will not tolerate if starting a conflict or a cooperation with human right as reason is profitable.

    Human rights are not respected in Republic of Moldova of wich Obama hasn`t heared ….and will not hear because he doesn`t want to to speack about a poor country wich is in Putin`s back yard.


  3. 3 Yardeni
    June 4, 2009 at 12:22

    Why hasn’t the World service send out President Obama’s speech in full?? I now have to listen to comments of analists and presenters about something i haven’t been able to listen to? I would have been interested in the speech itself more than any comment following.

  4. 4 Anna Lowenstein
    June 4, 2009 at 12:24

    I had tears in my eyes listening to some parts of Obama’s speech. I feel that here at last is a politician (another one was Nelson Mandela) who is genuinely trying to address difficult issues, to recognize the viewpoint of both sides, and to search for ways in which people of opposing views can work together.
    Of course, if people are so convinced of their own rightness that they’re not prepared to open their minds to the other side’s viewpoint, then there’s nothing to be done and no way of persuading them. But I hope the majority of people will take Obama’s words to heart and look for ways of working together. That includes US, not only THEM!
    I was listening to the speech live, and I was disappointed that at 13.30 (Central European time) it was interrupted, first for comment, then for the news. It resumed after the news, but then it was interrupted again at 13.45 for an unrelated programme. I managed to find it again on the American government’s site and listen to the end, but by that time I’d missed quite a bit and lost the flow.

  5. 5 Meir Avrahami
    June 4, 2009 at 12:29

    Thunderous applause at his call for an end to Israeli settlement activity

    Silence at his call for the Palestinians to renounce violence – deadly silence might be an apt phrase

    In all events it says it all

  6. 6 James Bond
    June 4, 2009 at 12:30


    This is the first time in my life time (53 years old) that any American President has had the fortitude to hold both Israel and Palestine accountable for their wrong doing. Both have a right to exist and America must not turn a blind eye to the destructive tactics of either. For the billions America has invested in Israel we all should expect Israel to provide the same basic economic opportunities to Palestinians that America has afforded to them.

    James Bond/Atlanta, Georgia

  7. June 4, 2009 at 12:48

    Really Obama didn’t talk what as we muslims wanted to talk, such as how the americans (non- Muslim) can understand the culture of the Islam world. Most of the American people ( Non- Muslims) they believe that Islam is barbaric religion, they believe that islam spreads a war, but that is not true, what we wanted was to tell his people that Islam is not like that. His speech was too generall, also he mentioned democaracy that was good but he forgot to mention the regime in egypt and I can understand why? because Mubarak iy true friend to the Americans.

    In his speech he said ” America is not at war with Islam” accept that but I am asking the president why the FBI and security homeland investigate American- Muslims when they want to go out side america or when they are coming back.

  8. 9 John CARROLL
    June 4, 2009 at 13:30

    Why did the BBC World Service decide to interrupt the live speech with their own commentary and analysis? I was listening in the car in Brussels and at approx 12:27 local time, two of your correspondents interrupted with their comments. With due respect to these analysts, we could have waited for their opinions until later. Worse, you continued with the news headlines, thereby cutting out even more of the live speech. You need to use some common sense in the World Service: Yes, you should respect your schedules but in exceptional cases you should stay with live events. I think this was such a case.

    • 10 Jim Newman
      June 4, 2009 at 22:43

      Hello again
      And hello John and all the others. You should have watched the speech on Aljazeera Live Station. There was no interuption and you could have written your comments at the same time. There is something about the BBC that isn’t quite catholic to use a french expression.

  9. 11 Peter_sc
    June 4, 2009 at 14:09

    If you hear the way ASEAN leaders speak, well he sounded like them.

  10. 12 iman ahmed
    June 4, 2009 at 14:30

    I had grown to despise the US but Barack Obama reminded me why America is the greatest nation of the world!
    The muslim world should start questioning itself like America is doing today!
    Us, muslims should open our hearts and minds to tolerance, understanding and open-mindedness.There is so much to be gained in working for the benifit of peace.
    First step is to reject extremism, not to show the slightest sympathy for Al-Quaeda or any other terrorist group.
    Viva peace! Viva Obama!

  11. 13 Dennis Junior
    June 4, 2009 at 15:20

    Thanks, Ros for the excellent transcribing of the text from the President’s Speech…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  12. 14 Danieletta Richards
    June 4, 2009 at 17:20

    I know and feel that President Obama is on the right path of Peace in the middle East we need a president like Obama who will tell the leadres of both parties the truth,

  13. 15 bill
    June 4, 2009 at 17:28

    Where is the Apology !!

    1- He did not apologize for the unjustified INVASION of Iraq !! and subsequent unnecessary killing of over 1.5 million Iraqi’s !!!!
    2- He did not apologize for the abuses of Muslims in Abu Ghraib prison !!
    3- He did not apologize for the Crusade that Bush started against Muslims and Islam, but rather denied it had ever existed by claiming “America is not and will never be at war with Islam” !! He should qualify that by saying, under his rule or administration,
    4- He did not address the issues in the order of importance that shows he truly understands the root cause of all the Middle East Issues ( The Israeli – Palestinian Conflict). Furthermore he did not promise a date for the Palestinian State (in waiting since 2005 as per Bush’s broken promise) !!!
    5- He did not say when Israel will be Nuclear bomb free !! and stop threatening its neighbors (like bombing Iraq, and threatening Iran too) for simply trying to protect itself by having the same exact power that Israel has !!

    What a hypocrite …

    Seems like the Japanese of WWII we Muslims will need to wait for 50 years for the apology, and will only get it when we are a Super Power ourselves… not a moment before.

  14. 16 Kuske
    June 4, 2009 at 17:50

    Obama is a fresh departure from the previous administration. He understands, if you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive. We need to silence the radicals on both sides.

  15. June 6, 2009 at 12:14

    Why didn’t he say “Yes We Can!”? I love that line.

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