Obama’s Big Speech: Is Anyone in the Middle East Listening?

As the president prepared to deliver his remarks on American policy in the wake of the “Arab Spring,” the lead headline on the NYTimes.com home page read, “Obama Speech on Mideast Is Also Aimed at U.S. Audience.” But if some of the observations coming in from the Middle East are on target, the various domestic constituencies noted in Michael Shear’s article—American Jews, liberals, Congress, and Obama’s 2012 rivals—may turn out to be the primary, not secondary, audience.

Blake Hounshell, the managing editor of Foreign Policy, has been re-tweeting messages from observers in the region on his (highly recommended) Twitter feed today. The common thread? The “Arab street” is not exactly waiting with bated breath to hear what America’s president has to say. For example, from Egypt:

From Saudi Arabia:

From Egypt again:

From Iran:

And from Israel and Palestine:

There’s much more in this vein on Hounshell’s feed, plus real-time commentary on the speech itself. It’s all anecdotal, of course, but something to keep in mind when you’re reading the U.S. press parse Obama’s comments later today.

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Greg Marx is an associate editor at CJR. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx. Tags: , , , , ,