Obama’s Speech Draws Mixed Reactions

Written By: Garry Cooper

Reaction to President Obama’s speech today to students at Cairo University ranged from mild disappointment to adulation.

“I was hoping he would say something about eliminating final examinations,” said one disappointed student. “This speech hardly spoke to the young people at all.”

Around the world, reaction was also mixed. “There was nothing in this speech at all for us,” said Heath N. Power, president of the International Secular Humanist Society, “Everything was about Muslims, Christians and Jews. He treated us like god, as if we don’t exist.”

The Vatican applauded the speech but also expressed some reservations. “We believe in humility,” said a spokesperson for Pope Benedict, “But every time he mentioned the only three religions worth noting, he put us second.”

Others, however, responded with more enthusiasm. “I like very much when he says that every religion believes that one should treat others as one would wish to be treated,” said Abdul el Abu, a Shi’ite Muslim, “That was true and very good. Women wish ardently to procreate and give their husbands pleasure, and this is what we wish for them too.”

Meanwhile Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out that the speech implicitly endorsed Israeli policies. “He wishes a better life for the Palestinians, and so do we,” he said, “This is why we have walled them off, to protect them from radical elements among us who would like to do them harm.”

Asked whether he agreed with the President’s assessment that Palestinians’ lives were “intolerable,” the Prime Minister replied, “Absolutely. Their lives are intolerable to us too.”

In response to the President’s call for the Israelis to abandon their settlements, the Prime Minister was less certain. “That’s easier said than done,” he said, “By the time it takes us to abandon one settlement, fourteen more spring up. It is like trying to stop an Orthodox Jew from davening or a Muslim from killing.”

Reaction in the United States centered around the President’s plans for building cultural bridges between Muslims and Americans. “I suppose we could let more of them in here to study,” said MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan, “It could certainly be done, as long as we implanted microchips in them so we could keep track of their every movement, and the microchips were programmed to detonate two weeks after they earn their degrees if they’re still in our country.”

While some economists questioned where the money would come from to fund the several programs in Muslim countries that the President proposed, others were confident the money could be found.

“We could start by harvesting the organs from the millions of street urchins around the world,” said Sigmund Hiel, from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative economic think tank, “We have members and relatives who would pay big money for those organs, if not for use for themselves, then as middle men to turn an honest profit.” Others proposed letting Madonna buy more children.

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