President Obama has often used great speeches to define critical issues. Given the historical setting – dramatic changes taking place across the Arab world, the killing of Bin Laden, and the floundering Arab-Israeli peace process coming up against the September deadline the president once suggested for the establishment of a Palestinian state – the White House saw this as the appropriate time for another “great speech”.
For an American audience, it was an important speech. For Americans … it might be fair to say that the speech was challenging and uplifting. But if the intended audience was in the Arab world, then sadly, the speech fell flat.