Confession: Whenever the president delivers a big speech, I get pathetically nervous. I’m afraid that he’ll stumble, they he’ll forget a line, that his tongue will slip. I get so nervous, I usually need a second round to actually listen and not just hear what he said. Same thing happened today, and just like in every other time – All my worries were for nothing.
President Obama’s Middle East speech contained a surprising amount of specificity — and in that, some real steel. Not just U.S. adversaries, such as Syria and Iran, but friends, such as Bahrain and Israel, were singled out for presidential pointers that will leave their leaders smarting
n all, Obama’s speech contained plenty of his trademark soaring rhetoric about human rights and dignity and a broad U.S. commitment to support democractic transition in Arab states, economic development, and an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. But in most of the region’s capitals today, officials will be talking about those specific zingers.