FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Some are calling it the "Cairo effect"... they're referring to indications that President Obama's speech last week has already resonated with the Muslim world. In it, the president made clear that countries that don't back extremists are more likely to win the favor of the West - and avoid isolation.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is running for a second term against three challengers in a June 12 election.
The first test came last weekend during Lebanon's elections, where an American-backed coalition defeated the Hezbollah-backed group. Most analysts had predicted that the Hezbollah-led coalition would win...
But The New York Times reports that while there are many domestic reasons why the pro-west coalition won, many also point to Mr. Obama's campaign of outreach to the Muslim world: "For the first time in a long time, being aligned with the United States did not lead to defeat in the Middle East."
Analysts highlight steps the new administration has already taken to ease tensions with Muslims. For example, they are proposing talks with Iran and Syria - rather than confrontation - which makes it harder for Hezbollah and other extremists to demonize the U.S.
The next test comes on Friday, when Iran's hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is up for re-election against a moderate challenger. Although Ahmadinejad is unpopular at home for many reasons, including the economy, some believe that President Obama's speech could help lead to his defeat.
The last time moderates had a real chance of winning in Iran was in 2002, right after former President Bush included Iran in the so-called axis of evil - and we all know how that turned out.
Here’s my question to you: Can Pres. Obama's speech to the Muslim world help defeat Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in tomorrow's election?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
J.W. from Atlanta writes:
I believe this Mahmoud dude's goose is smoked already and an Obama speech only spins it a little. The Iranians seem to be plugged in a bit better than what this creep represents, and with the population of Iran both young and somewhat aware, I think Iran is on the cusp of coming to its collective senses.
Jack, The speech may help. After all, it was a rehashing of ideas that Arabs and Muslims LOVE so much; they do not seem to want much substance. That may explain why the more Muslim a society is, the more it stagnates. No new ideas enter the Muslim world. What will defeat Iran's crazy president is the realization by Iranians that they are getting poorer and poorer with every year that crazy man is in charge. Pres. Obama's speech will do little.
Ben from Iowa writes:
It can't hurt, but we in the U.S. and the media must be careful. Islamic countries resent any notion that the U.S. has interfered in their domestic politics, especially in Iran with the history of the Shah. If Ahmadinejad is unseated we can breathe easier, but must still deal with the true power in Iran, the Ayatollahs.
As an Iranian student studying in U.S., when I cast my vote tomorrow, I certainly will have Obama's speech in mind about the possibility of having better relations between the two countries. However, I think the most prominent reason for many Iranians to be against Ahmadinejad is his mismanagement of the economy. Like in the U.S., it'll be all about economy.
Don from West Palm Beach, Florida writes:
It can't hurt. Look at what happened in the recent elections in Lebanon. You cannot hope to change attitudes unless you talk with people and try to find common ground. I think President Obama has shown great courage in reaching out to nations that have not been friendly to us in recent decades.
It’s a start, nothing more. The rest is up to the Iranian public.
Who knows. It could help. We just have to wait and see.
Honestly who know's. Anyone that would blow themselves and innocent bystanders up , probably aren't easily influenced by ' The Enemy ".. However; Obama has a way of making you see thing's in a different light; He has a way of bringing people to together in a way that I've not seen before. Families are tired of seeing the fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, and friends die for no reason. His speech wasn't demeaning, it was a common sense. So if you have common sense after this election Ahmadinejad should be gone.
Johnny from SC
It could be a factor. Moderate Iranians are looking and hoping for a chance to make political gains against Ahmadinejad so maybe it is about to happen anyway. Let's hope. And as an added bonus, maybe we'll get someone whose name we can pronounce and spell!
Yes, Jack, President Obama's speech could even provide a slim margin of victory for Ahmadinejad's opponent. At least we can hope so.
My stance on this topic is cautious optimism. There are definitely changes happening, but I would be very surprised if Ahmadinejad loses on Friday. I'd be surprised if it's even close. The March 14 Aliance's victory was more of a Lebanese rejection of Syria than an acceptance of the US. And it wasn't so much a victory as it was a "non-defeat". They still hold 2 less seats in Parliament than they did in 2005.
I think so, the Iranian's are one of the more educated nations and they are not in love with that dictator.
I dont think President Obama speech will play the big part that the media is making it out to be but I think that most Iranians are tired of the same ole same ole and ready for a real change. The Iranian people are looking for change in so many areas that they welcome a chance to have a better economy and to put aside the riffed that has been built up for the last few decades. Peace in the Middle East is needed and I think they would really like to be at the forefront of that start.
Pandering to terrorist harboring nations does not help in any way to defeat extremists who share their beliefs.
Why is this so hard to understand.
I don't think that Obama's speech and overtures to the Muslim world will have any effect whatsoever on the Muslim extremists. However, I doubt that his speech was directed to them anyway. I think he may be successful in changing the Arab world's opinion of the United States, which may give the extremists trouble down the road. He made so much sense that intelligent people, including the average Muslim had to be impressed and heartened by it. If Obama can turn the average Muslim against the extremists and terrorists, it will be a major victory and help us in the long run.
It is amazing what a little bit of respect can do. We have been too arrogant , too pushy and too condesending for too long. This attitude only provokes aggression. It's about time we have a leader that understands you can catch more flys with honey than with vinegar.
Time will tell.
I think Obama's speech about palestinian rights helped muslim feelings somewhat change about the U.S. And as long as he continues to have a stance on equal rights on the palestinian/Israeli issue he will most likely be favored by the majority of muslims around the world .
Yes. Obama is proving that a little respect goes a long wsy. His words seem to be more powerful than bombs.
Oh yes, Jack! Obama's speech hit the nail on the head. The whole world (us included) needs to move on. If we don't we may as well start walking again on all fours. I think that speech planted this seed and it will make a difference in the upcoming election in Iran.
I hope and think it will.Obama is such a great and charming leader,
People see US with a different perspective.Also, the Iranian president is unpopular and people of Iran desperately want a change.
I love your show and watch it everyday.
I'm not so sure with Iran but with other muslim countries we will see some change many people on the street were terrified with the Bush regime. They worried about their families here in the states, even though we would reassure them their families were safe. Iran is another story. There are muslim countries free to go and travel visit/ study and the others which are not so free and know little more than the propaganda fed them.
There's no doubt that the Obama administration will take credit if Ahmadinajad is defeated. If he wins reelection, Obama will say the election is rigged. It's a win either way.
Obama can't solve or resolve anything. The people of the United States can take lessons about shaking off the oppressive rule of a would be dictator like Obama.
No, too much credit is being given to Obama's speech. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election bid does not rest on the words of the President of the United States. If he loses, many more reasons are suspect than a speech by an outsider.
According to a report on CNN today, I think the Iranian president is defeating himself. Young people just want us all to get along, whether here or over there. Of course our popular President doesn’t hurt the cause.
Ahmadinejad is in the process of defeating himself with no help from Obama. His insanity cannot help but hurt him in the long run.
Certainly won't hurt. However, I believe Ahmadinejad lost support of his people on his own. His harsh stance against the U.S. and his turning a deaf ear to Iranians needs and wants will cause him to lose the election with or without Obama's speech. Gotta listen to the people eventually.
When an al qaeda member says that Barack Obama is "a wise enemy", you know that they know that al qaeda has serious problems. They're scared of Obama, because he has strategically outflanked them. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will lose the election Friday. You heard it here first.
Just sign me Roger in Palm Desert, CA
I think it can, but leave it up to those radicals-Limbaugh, Hannity, and Gingrich-to accuse Obama of being an appeaser, a terrorist-or as a terrorist who sympathizes with and appeases the terrorists, when in fact, President Obama has extended his human (diplomatic) arms instead of arms that only fire bullets. But we must remember that President Obama is giving a green light to bomb the Taliban in Pakistan, so he isn’t just an idle, pacifist pansy. In general, the rancor, bad PR, and bellicosity of Bush have been modified and mollified under President Obama. Let us hope for the sake of America and the world that Obama's words and acts bear good fruit.
From Mad Plato of El Paso
Yes, the younger folks seem to not be as hateful as the older generation. We saw that in the presidential election here in America in 2008. I would bet two Rush Limbaughs that Ahmadinejhad will be defeated.
I guess it can, but I wouldn't overestimate the effect of his speech in Iran. I doubt if the election there will be greatly influenced by his speech.
Ahmadinejad is unpopular in his country – he is hard-line, radical. and anti- Western. The mostly young population of Iraq sees his victory as more of the same. However, in President Obama, they see the possibilities he offers their part of the world and they like what they hear. They see Obama as the future of the Middle East, they are inclined to trust him and want to give hear what he has to say and to give his ideas a chance.
Honestly Jack I do not think it will cause a defeat since my guess is the elections are rigged to go in the favor of reelection. It is very much like what we have in many countries where the eventual outcome is generally know in advance. The United States is the exception to that type of situation. For example who would have guessed that Bush was going to win over Gore. That was the biggest surprise of the 21st century.
Jack, I think Obama is being given too much credit. Maybe his speech made an impact, which is fine. However, it could be that Obama's speech at Cairo University may have coinsided with a change of attitude in the Middle East. Time will tell.
It is hard for me to believe that his speech can actually help anything in Iran however I would imagine it didn't hurt. If being called a moderate somehome connects you to the West in anyway, for once I think that will not bury a canidate before they even get there feet off the ground. If it doesn't help them win it may just help level the playing field.
Can Pres. Obama’s speech to the Muslim world help defeat Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Friday’s election?
Not really...it could help alleviate invective against America among the Iranian people and perhaps the leadership in the short term, but whether Obama's speech can induce voters in Iran not to vote for the Iranian President is stretching the expectation and/or reach of the administration in world affairs...
We all may not like Ahmadinejad but the other guy is anti American so would he be better for us or WORSE. We don't know. At least we know how Ahmadinejad ticks..
Barak's speech is what the majority of Americans think aswell as his own thoughts and feelings. I am hopeful the Iranian people are looking for peace and prosperity as we all are. Lets hope beyond hope for the future of our world.
Jack, I sure hope it helps get him defeated. I think the Iranian people are no different than us. They want the same freedoms we have and are entitled to. I think Jay Leno has it right, Ahmadinejad is a nut job. I pray they don't get someone worse though.
It's possible, but he still has a lot of supporters. We'll just have to wait and see.
I don't see how. Obama's speech was broadcast in English to the Iranian public. How many people in Iran speak American English? The report said busiess went on as usual in the local communities. So, why give credit to Obama. The people are fed up with their leader and have democratically campaigned to oust him.
It can't hurt. Look at what happened in the recent elections in Lebanon. You cannot hope to change attitudes unless you talk with people and try to find common ground. I think President Obama has shown great courage in reaching out to nations that have not been friendly to us in recent decades. We cannot continue down the same path of everything in the world being black and white as the Republicans see it. They believe you are either with them or you are against them. As in most things, there are often shades of gray and even though we may disagree with some policies of a nation, we still may be able to work together for common good.
I think it's way to early to claim victory or condemnation of Obama's administration. I will say that if moderates gain control in Iran Obama will likely benefit..This would cast a darker shadow on the Sticks and Stones diplomacy of Bush/Cheney
Yes, especially if the last rounds of surveys taken by the Iranian people are true, that being that the people of Iran want to be more of a democracy like the US and want to see more trade with the US.
Once we get rid of the extremist thugs that get in the way of good relations between The US and the Muslim world, I think Obama can make great strides in making this planet a more peaceful place to live.
Defeating Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not the issue. Defeating the bile and ignorance he represents is the issue. And if we face the truth, it appears ignorance and hate is going to be perrenial.
If the Iranians are allowed to vote their beliefs without retribution, then yes, Mr. Obama speech will certainly have an impact on the election. On the other hand, Mr. Khamenei, the true leader of Iran and his council must approve of the president's doings or else he wouldn't hold the position of president.
Yes, it can. In fact, it already is. Look at what has happened since his speech. Ahmedinajaad is in deep trouble, the pro-West, reformist candidate has gained momentum and, Rafsanjani, former President and reformist, has come out against the rants of Ahmedinajaad. Yes, Obama has already made a difference.
I believe Pres. Obama's speach clearly showed his openess to reach out to other cultures and countries in this world, not just muslims. During the Bush adminstration and just after september 11 attacks, the United States isolated itself from coming together with muslims around the world to overcome the ideogical differnces between u.s. and the muslim world. Obama has an outstreched hand to come together with muslims all over the world to defeat evil in the form of Bin Laden. Do we all remeber WW2 and the major difference in ideas between Gen Montgomery and Gen Patton, they were able to put aside that and come together to end WW2.
No one person can do this and Obama is not trying to do this alone ( the GOP want everyone to think ). Obama wants help from everyone in the region to fix this issue......We can't afford (financially or anyother way) to go at this alone like we've done in resent past.What Obama is trying to do is to keep an open line of communication with him and trying to build support for NATO's respounce. Like the old saying goes.... keep your friends close,but keep your enemies closer.
Jack, I doubt it very much. There may be some reaction to to the speech, however, the outcome of the Iranian "election" is pre-determined by the religious leader, The Ayatollah. If Ahmadinejad loses the election, it will be because the religious leaders have decided he no longer reflects the face they want to present to the world.
Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca
It would be a great thing if one speech could help to bring about more moderate leadership in Iran. If Obama's speech helps to do so, it will be a better alternative than using military force.
Jack I am not sure whether you can or will be able to measure the effect of Obama's speech that clearly, but I do know this: Words Matter. Words that affirm hatred are like little seeds that allow hatred to turn to violence. Words that affirm cooperation, respect, and shared purpose and values make these things more visable. After what happened today at the Holocaust Museum, we should be reminded of that fact - we need to be more mindful of the words we use and how those words can be heard by others who are closer to the fringe than we ourselves are.
Tim in Texas
I think we all need to remember that regardless of who the president of Iran is the supreme leader is the Ayatollah Khomeini. The rhetoric that surrounds Iran being a threat to the US is simply false. Iran sent a letter in 2003 to sec. of state condi rice saying that they wanted to normalize relations. Not only did they want to normalize relations they offered to put their nuclear program on the table and recognize Israels right to exist if we would agree to lift the embargo and recognize Iran's right to exist and no longer attempt regime change in Iran. I will cite the coup of 1953 as evidence of the US pursuing regime change. I bet you don't mention that on air.
Kyle Dickerson – Statesboro, GA
As a teacher of several Iranian immigrants to Canada, my students are telling me that President Obama is having a very positive effect on young people and women in their country. In him they see a person who understands their culture, does not stereotype their people and believes in working for peace. Why else would they have nicknamed the major opposition the "Iranian Michelle Obama".
I don't know, but I'll bet it does more good than torturing Muslims.
Mountain Home ID
Possibly, politics in that neck of the woods is notoriously hard to predict. While the responses among young Muslim's I read in the NY Times appeared mostly positive, some of them had reservations about the veracity of Obama's affirmation of the WWII holocaust - a very Ahmadinejadi type reaction.
Of course it will help. President Obama is bring 'hope and change' to Iran. If he can inspire women and young voters to have that belief of hope and change Iran will have a new president.
His speech has already made a difference evidenced by the voting in Lebanon. We don't have to like or agree with everything the rest of the world says and does, but we can still show respect, which is what the previous administration never did. Their thinking was, "our way or the highway."
Assuming that Iran's election system is fair and impartial, I would say yes.
Not a chance. There is no way to negotiate or have talks with muslims. History proves that, It is like talking to a brick wall. Even current negotiations with muslims have not been successful With Iran, it is unfortunate that we are in a confrontational situation with them. Everybody remembers when Jimmy Carter (Democrat) threw the Shah of iran who was pro west under the bus. He also allowed the terrorist government to hold Americans hostage for 444 days. Had Carter supported the Shah we woudln't be talking about this issue.
All of the pundits proclaimed that the elections in Lebanon would not go our way, but what a surprise to see that they did. Ahmadinejad does not have a very good standing with the people in Iran at this point. Strange things happen in the world of politics and Obama's speech just may have been the eye opener for the people in Iran to do the right thing and rid themselves of this monster. A far cry from thre Bush era.
Maybe. One thing for sure is that Hezbollah didn't win control of the Lebanese government. Anything is possible. But in the meantime, we got to stop meddling with the people and their governments and learn to respect them whether we like them or not. Because quite frankly it's not our business.
Clearly, President Obama's speech has dramatically improved the way Moslems around the world view the USA.
Whether that's enough to cost Ahmadinejad the election or not, we'll know soon. I suspect it will make the Iranian election extremely close which sends the cleric a message that change is needed in their country.
After all, its the cleric with the real control, not Ahmadinejad
Jack, as Ive always told others , as in any other Country–there are those in the civilian population that have no quarrel with the U.S. , However the problem is unfortunately these "Moderate" civilians are usually not the ones in power. To truly abolish our Mid – East "headache" , we must first reach more toward the moderate civilian base , and then seek to completely eliminate the Radicls in Leadership. Irans people for a long time havent really hated the U.S. –Much like Iraqis, But under that dictators leadership , and threats of arrest and torture by Secret Religious Police--you bet theyll chant anti- U.S. slogans and burn flags. Mr. O bama , to win you must reach out to civilians and THEIR needs, and to hell with pleasing that terrorist Mr. Ahmadinejad!!!
YES...as stated before on CNN more and more people in Iran are under the age of 35. Most look at the actions of Iran an anti-productive to the betterment of their country. A poll done by another country by phone showed that a large majority of people who felt comfortable answering felt that they President Obama was clearly separating himself from the Cowboy Politics of Bush. And these individuals look forward to a renewed association with the US based on respect.
I sincerely hope so. It would be a good indication that President Obama CAN sway the hearts and minds of Muslims, which could only bode well for future negotiations.
I think it helped everywhere in the Muslim world. Now if Dick Cheney will just shut up, it would do a lot more good. His reminders of the past are detrimental to any peace efforts anywhere.
I certainly hope so, Jack. Alot will depend on how honest and fair the election is.
President Obama has made great strives in eleviating the hate anger, and distrust the world has felt for us. Was particularly optomistic about the warm reception he received from the young Muslims. For the benefit of the world and the Iranians, this evil dictator needs to be voted out.
President Obama's smooth rhetoric has impressed over half of this country, but his speach will not change anything with the radicals. Thus far, all we have seen with Obama is speaches...we need some sort of action instead of nice talk. Speaking calmly to North Korea, Iran and Hugo hasn't worked and will not in the future. I don't believe we can suck up to tyrants. However, if it works that will be great for the world.
I believe this Mahmoud dude's goose is smoked already and an Obama speech only spins it a little. The Iranians seem to me to be plugged in a bit better than this creep represents, and with the population of Iran both young and somewhat aware, I think Iran is on the cusp of coming to it's collective senses. It's a shame that one guy can stink up the whole country, but then we had our Bush, didn't we?
His speech might well facilitate the downfall of the leader of Iran. Seeing that the possibility exist is incredible. Iran possibly coming back to the world to rejoin the world of nations as a part of the "responsible nations", for a better and safer world. What a concept? One year ago, before Obama's election, did it even seem possible? In a word, No!
It is clear the US has to be more even-handed in its dealings with the Muslim world and Isreal. Recent press coverage has shown the Iranian appear to have had enough of being "the scourage" of the world
I don't think President Obama will be any more of a factor in deciding the outcome of the Iranian election on Friday than Ahmadinejad was in determining the winner in last fall's U.S. presidential election. All four candidates appear to so busy slinging mud at each other and back-biting that Obama and his speech are outside the fray.
Yes. President Obama has been gifted to actually breech the gap between USA & other countries just by speaking with genuine common sense. A little respect & a lot of kindness goes a long way. For once in a VERY LONG TIME, our Commander-in-Chief is leading by example!
No. Not at all. What will defeat Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if anything will be the religious elders of that country not Obama, not Bush, not the next 20 U.S. presidents.
Embracing the Muslim people is a very nice gesture but the west is very different then those of the middle east. They both have different values and neither likes the others. Religion and beliefs are a very powerful thing in the middle east. That is what will dictate who leads Iran not a 4 year term American president.
Its a start, nothing more. The rest is up to the Iranian public.
God knows, it can't hurt!
It can't hurt... unlike previous positions.
Jack, Obama's speech for the first time since the Bush administration gives Muslims a viable option to discuss their differences in a peaceful manner and thereby allow them to see that a partnership with the U.S. will be much more beneficial than what has been going on. The negative effective of confrontational politics, wars and invasions as part of the previous foreign policy just may be abated in favor of mutual co-operation. Some form of stability is now more likely.
I think his speech can have an affect on the vote there but just to be sure check with me later today.
Doub it. The Muslem world knows that Obama was lying. He's a politician, which means he's a professional liar. They all know that AIPAC/Israel controls all aspects of Murika's foreign and domestic policy and nothing will change.
At the very least, Mr. Obama has made the effort to reach out to our Muslim neighbors. Depending on the percentage of young people in the region, I think this goes a long way to repairing the damage done by Mr. Bush. Time will tell.
I think the erudite people of Iran are embarrassed by the ineptitude and lack of sophistication exhibited by Ahmadinejadi. Sounds like our last administration, doesn't it? I really feel that Obama's overtures are the catalyst for change all over the Arab world.
Now if the Iranian people could only elect the ruling mullahs who always stand in the way of progress.
It most certainly will help. I suppose we will have to wait and see just how much actual power the people of Iran possess. It is certain that the people of the Middle East see possibilities in Obama. It has the possibility of motivating the Muslim world to fight their extremists from within.
Why doesn't anyone question exactly why right wingers (our religious extremists) think it is a good idea to ignore our mistakes, and give our perceived enemies the silent treatment? What we need to recognize, is the fact that all this got us was three new nuclear threats in the world.
The obvious fact is that Christian extremists WANT war. They wish to bring about Armageddon. If they do not do so, their religion is doomed to fade into history. Everything they believe is contingent upon the end of the world actually coming to pass. We must fight our own threat from within. They are even more dangerous than Al Qaeda.
Jack, hate fills the bellies of those that mean to do us harm. When you starve the hate out of your enemy, you can create friends. President Obama is trying this tactic and the Cairo effect is real and tangible. You don’t spread democracy with cluster bombs but with dialogue. The GOP never understood this and probably never will. When Ahmadinejad is defeated, you will have to tip your hat at the Obama gambit...guess what, it works!
It depends if the speech didn't fall on deaf ears like some other country's electorate who elected a loser twice for eight years.
It should be a big help. It shows that we have replaced our idiot, macho, warmongering leader with a sensible leader. It is time for them to do the same! The world would be better off for both actions!
Yes, Jack, I think President Obama's speach to the Musilm world can almost assure the defeat of Iran President Ahmadinejad. I'll let you know for sure in a few more days.
Yes, I think it can Jack, but remember the Devil you don't know, is worse than the Devil you do! Give the new guy a few years and he will hate us just as much.
It depends doesn't it? We have to remember this is a long lived hate of America. We did a lot to these people, the assassination of their elected leader, & our installing the Shah, his torture of the people. We've got a lot to answer for.
NOT necessarily, but it certainly won’t hurt. I believe that he has opened up a dialog, which will move through Muslim countries in a positive fashion. The average, moderate Iranian individual is not anti-American; nor are they pro-American. But, just like most Americans; are tired of the bickering and standoffishness between both countries.
Unfortunately, because of the strained relations, any speeches by U.S. officials tend to be portrayed negatively in Iran. But, that doesn't make it a BAD speech.
Jack – I hope that President Obama’s speech is not the reason that Ahmadinejad loses in tomorrow’s election. The rejection of rogue leaders like the Iranian president should come from the people of Iran. The United States will not always have a president with the same philosophy as Mr. Obama. The rejection of Ahmadinejad and others with similar ideologies including the real leaders of Iran, the clerics, must be solely driven by the recognition of the Iranian citizens that they have an obligation to take their rightful place and responsibilities among the community of nations. Mr. Obama’s speech does help by assuring that the voice of the people of Iran and the rest of the Muslim world will be heard in global affairs.
It already has.......look at the LARGE turn out of women and young people who want to have a good realtionship with America.....and they are voting for the "other" guy...........
Jack,How can Obama say it is OK for Iran to have Nuclear Enery but not America?..Oh My ! Has God spoken and I missed it?Obama's koolaid drinkers think words will convince our enemies to play nice? How naive of them.
Hope so, Jack! One of the best ways to strike at your enemies is through speaking to them, through diplomacy. President Obama's speech in Cairo, spoke clearly to the Muslim people.
That's why Al-Qaeda issued two press releases, Obama threatens their chokehold on the Middle East.
We must win the hearts and minds of the Muslim people, or face decades or more of war!
Yes it can! Look what happened in Lebanon's elections!
Maybe Achmadinajad will defeat himself, as (he is spewing the same hate that the Republicans are doing in this Country). A big part of the Iranians are running scared and will vote how they are told to. If anyone can change their way of thinking, I think President Obama will do it.
I'm certain Obama's speech will help to some degree but it would be folly to think a speech can overcome the hate friends and family of the victims of the past 8 years.
Probably Obama's speech may sway some of the younger Islamists who haven't been directly affected by the wars, the torture and the imprisonments.
Other than that it will likely take generations to overcome the harm the village idiot created since 2000 in all the Islamic Countries.
Jack, I'm a republican and I may disagree with everything Obama has done on the domestic level, I am delighted to see that he is trying to talk with other world leaders. Military action isn't always the answer and I hope my conservative colleges will realize that you cant expect to have big government both at home and abroad.
Diane from Alabama
I definitely think and hope that our great president's speech will help defeat Iran's leader.
I think it very well could. It's just another thing to show the Iranian's that if we pull together, we can work peace out. Most Iranian's don't agree with the extremist view he shows, and that will most likely show tomorrow.
It's nice to see diplomacy back on the US table.
Jack, it probably will but I really hope that it would help here in the United States so that we would stop killing each other.
His speech was a new direction, of thought process for the Muslim/arab world and for America. Change will come slow. However peace, understanding, and tolerance are powerful. Worth fighting for, and invaluable. I hope Ahmadinejad loses the elections, but I'm not sure if the whole thing is fixed in the first place.
I think it can and hope it will. We can not have rulers hell bent on distruction. But they must be defeated by their people not our military.
I certainly hope so; although it may ultimately be more a case of Bush having hurt the moderates chances, then of the US position directly helping. Either way, any step toward reasonable talks and possible solutions in that area of the world are welcome.
I sure hope so. Let's hope that his speech has a positive cascade effect.
Iran is not ruled by Ahmadinejad. Iran remains a country ruled by its religious leader, the Ayatollah.
Ahmadinejad or anyone else elected will still have to answer to him. We've still got the same problems with Iran that we had with the hostages.
They still remember how we meddled with them with the Shah.
Since Israel could 'blow them off the face of the map' with its armed and ready arsenal of nuclear weapons, , they're only defending themselves against a real threat.
If it worked in Lebanon, why can't it work in Iran? President Obama is bringing out a new moderate generation of people who are ready for change as well. These are the first steps towards progress for ALL Countries to start TALKING and working together.
Jack, I think that pres. Obama's speech will have a significant impact in the upcoming Iranian elections. More importantly, however, i think that Obama's speech will have a positive effect regardless of who gets elected because of his willingness to negotiate with the Iranians. Discussion should always be the first step in foreign policy and i think that Obama has done a good job in cleaning up the mess that the previous administration has made.
Jack, the speech may help... after all it was a re-hash of ideas that Arabs and Muslims LOVE so much. Arabs and Muslims do not seem to want much substance. That may explain that the more Muslim a society the more stagnating it is. No new ideas enter the Muslim world. What will defeat Iran's crazy President is the realization by Iranians that they are getting poorer and poorer with every year that crazy man is in charge. Pres. Obama's speech will do little.
It seems to me with the incident at the Washington Museum that the US Constitution protects home grown extremists. Perhaps hate can be turned down a notch. An extremist is an extremist is an extremist no matter where.
I think that as long as Obama stays on the track of doing exactly opposite of what the previous disasterous President did, it will work.
It can't hurt, but we in the United States and the media must be careful. Islamic countries resent any notion that the United States has interfered in their domestic politics, especially in Iran with the history of the Shah. If Ahmadinejad is unseated we can breathe easier, but must still deal with the true power in Iran, the Ayatollahs.
I think your question demonstrate the hubris of the United States
We think we are so important that we can affect the election of another nation. Obama's speech was a powerful one but I think the Iranian's can elect their politicians without our help
Well if the Muslims are listening with open minds President Obama makes a lot more sense than Ahmadinejad. For eight years there has been no common sense coming from a leader of the U.S. Let's face it the world is smitten with our president, maybe that will sway Arabic and Muslims alike. Keep your fingers crossed Jack.
Ahmadinejad is just the face of the evil that want to destroy the U.S. and Israel.....He has no power...he is just a voice for the people who really control Iran......so NO...nothing will change....
It may help a little but had Eric Holder appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the torture and abuse under the Bush crime family it would have went a lot farther towards cooling down the hatred and disgust the world has for America.
Everyone knows actions speak louder than words and saying we won't break the law again just doesn't have the same ring to as saying we are going to prosecute those who broke the law.
Why would you think that we would have any baring on what happens in Iran, Iranian people will decide the outcome of the elections, that is the problem with Americans, we think we have puppet strings attached to other nations on this planet. we need to accept that other country will control their own destiny, so stop trying to control the world U.S.
I sure hope that Obama's comments will help get rid of that cook in Iran. Hopefully, the new President will maybe have half the brains that Obama has and perhaps get Iran back on track to a peaceful way of life and dealing with the rest of the world.
He won't be defeated unless he wants to be defeated.
I think this is a good opportunity to witness the power of positive foreign policy. President Obama's speech will definitely hearten the Middle Eastern Muslim community that there is room for everyone on this planet. If nothing else, this will the first occasion in nearly a decade when comments from the US President have a chance of at least not doing harm to Middle Eastern-Western relations.
If Love begets Love and Hate begets Hate then its true... Obama's peace seeking will produce a peaceful world... The Right Wing and its Hate-Talk produces the Von Bronns of the world.
I do not think Obama's speech is a game changer during Iranian elections. People will vote based on their current economic conditions than pay attention to external factors like relations with the United States. Look no further – American elections were eventually dictated by the economy than Bush's war on terror.
Yes! The good people in the Muslim world and the US are hungry for peace. We don't want to hate anybody. We wish the same things for our families and friends. Yet, we all allowed evil to check into this relationship and that lead to violence. ENOUGH is the theme being heard throughout the world.
Yes, I believe that Obama’s speech can help defeat Ahmedinejad. America’s influence is still much stronger than people realize as something as seemingly benign as a single Presidential speech can have deep reaching ramifications. President’s Bush’s ill advised speech put him into power so hopefully an intelligent well-thought speech can help remove him.
San Jose, CA
Yes, I feel that the respect that President Obama has shown to other nations goes a long way in gaining respect for our country. I think they trust him and are willing to give him a chance by voting in someone who will work with the president.
Thanks Jack!!!!!!!!!! You gave me a good belly laugh. No matter who gets elected in Iran, the drive towards nuclear arms will continue simply because Iran's president isn't the one who makes policy. The Ayatollah makes policy and grants permission for candidates to run for president. 2. CNN seems to believe that a speech can change the world. Give me a break.
It does not really matter does it? The Iranian President is nothing more than a diplomat that represent the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Unless the Iranians have another revolution and replace him like they did in 1979, there will be no change.
As an Iranian student,studying in U.S., when I cast my vote tomorrow I certainly have Obama's speech about the possibility of having a better relation between two countries in mind. However, I think the most prominent reason for many Iranians, especially those reside in Iran to be against Ahmadinejad is his mismanagement of the economy. Like U.S. it'll be all about Economy.
Jack Eiffel If is more of a help ,then to call then part of an axis Of evil and Threats . I think most people in the world would be more open to having a less confrontational government, We made A change I think the Iranians are ready for one too.
San Antonio TX
We got rid of our tyrant, GW Bush.
Iran has a right to get rid of theirs....
Yes, it will help defeat Ahmediajad. I think it will be a close call but the "Cario effect" is having a big impact on Muslim nations. The power of words and diplomacy will prevail and Obama is an outstanding orator. His words and deep understanding of religious and ethnic differences has definitely made the difference.
As has been said above, we'll have that answer in several hours. But, like chicken soup for a cold, President's Obama's remarks may not help, but they couldn't hurt.
In fact, they will undoubtedly help. Even if Mr. Ahmadinejad is returned to office, it will certainly be with no larger a "mandate" than Bush received in 2004, and whatever the outcome, it will due in no small part to having a head of state who treats others as human beings, as people who have their own cultures, lives, values, and yes, feelings – and with whom common ground can – and must – be sought.
No one likes a bully. And especially, no one likes a bully with whom you've tried to reach out with compassion – only to get spit in your face, followed by a broken jaw. Compared to the last eight years, irrespective of his political acumen, Mr. Obama is a class – and decent – act.
One can certainly hope. Under their current leadership, the Iranian people are on the international stage, isolated pariahs–much like America in the Bush years. "Change we can believe in" is a slogan that could work in Iran, too.
Absolutely Jack, President Barack Obama will do it again as in Lebanon. Isn't the "pen being mightier than the sword"? You can bet on it. President Mahmoud's lead is now slipping away, right at this moment. Iran is a very educated country.
He has explained his position as POTUS and citizen of the world. It is now up to the Arab/Muslim world to respond in kind. It will take time but it is worth the extended dialogue and patience. We are all human beings and each life should be honored and respected.
Jeff in Glen Carbon IL June 10th, 2009 3:44 pm ET
I think so, the Iranian’s are one of the more educated nations and they are not in love with that dictator.
You're talking about the country with the least amount of women's rights in the world...
Jack are you suggesting that if/when the moderates defeat Ahmadinejad in tomorrow's election then the credit should go to President Obama? Then the answer is No. Credit should go to the Iranian people. This election is mostly based on domestic issues such as economy, (mis)management of country, corruption in government, etc.
Moderate Muslims have been waiting for a diplomatic approach based upon mutual respect. They have endured eights years of Bush/Cheney "Marlboro Man" shoot first and verify later foreign policy and are ready to try some peace as an alternative. Given the opportunity most human beings want to live in peace. It is only the religious fanatics along with the greed and power driven nuts who cannot wait to sacrifice their young to attain their selfish goals. The only downside to a positive result from President Obama's speech and diplomatic overtures will be never being able to hear the Republican plan for peace. There is one, isn't there?
It depends from individual's point of view. How thorough the masses understanding and awareness of politics – I don't know. So, we all wish the future of the world Muslim or others would be in a peaceful direction.
I would say the President, are doing A good Job period Jack.and yes he will have A effect on Isreal.
President Obama represents a different perspective on America just by virtue of the fact that he was elected. He speaks on behalf of those who elected him and makes us proud that we live in a democracy. That isn't lost on those he is speaking to. That could help put America back on the path of leading by example rather than by force.
I sure hope so. While it seems unlikely that sweeping changes in Iran/US relations will come about as a result of this one election, progress is progress. Even if there is no actual "Cairo effect" on Sunday's elections in Iran, the image of it happening is powerful nonetheless. Politics is about impressions, and Obama is making sweeping changes to the US's impression in the Muslim world. Don't you just love living through history?
Our country is now placing it's face in the positive light. All of which seems to look like a meticulous plan going exactly as is written. Our government is lowering it's fingers in key locations all around to world to ease the pain of all struggling nations. He is the face of all new nations wanting to be lifted from years of war, death, and destruction. Our president is the new face of this planet.
iranians are educated and pragmatic people who will choose the leader that will lead them out of obselete thoughts
Hi Jack, I think so, many say they dont think that obama speech had any effect on exterimest but dont forget its important to have effect on iranian not Iranian goverment. I am an iranian I have never seen anything like this happening in iran since revelosion. iranian are fed up realy bad except bad economy, women freedem, unemployment rate and so on prestige & reputaion in the word is one the most important issue for iranian so defeding Ahmadinejad mean ease all this thing a little bite.
Even if Ahmadinejad does win tomorrow, he and other radicals are facing a growing moderate opposition fed up with the hardline fundamentalism that flourished under the Bush Administration. If Ahmadinejad does lose tomorrow, expect the phrase "Cairo Effect" to be enshrined in the history books alongside "Tear Down this Wall" and "Ich Bin Ein Berliner."
No way. People forget he's really helped the poor of his nation funnelling
oil money into programs to help the poor who got him elected. The poor know nothing of his rantings,they only see him helping. They don't care if he's nuts. Obama speech help,the poor didn't even see it. The poor hold the balance of power and unfortunatly he will be re-elected.
Just imagine if a real leader was ever elected in the US and instead of paying lobbyists and pork projects the money went to the poor directly.
Do you think they'd care about rantings?
Obama, in his Cairo speech , noted as a point of tension how the US helped to overthrow a democratically elected government in Iran to install the Shah. This type of unprecedented, courageous honesty by an American president will help to regain Iranians respect and moderate the distrust between our two cultures.
This clown is crazy and he cannot be trusted. Even though the President is trying make peace around the world and his speech was great, this idiot cannot be trusted no matter what.
Jack,i think the speech was extremely helpful. may not be enough to oust ahnadinejad,but the speech re-assured the Iraninian people that there is a genuine gesture by an American president to unite the people of the two countries towards mutual respect. only under those circumstances people like Ahmadinejad will not have the platform to spread their hateful rhetorics.
That's leadership. Instead of issuing ultimatums, this President should the so-called bully pulpit on an international level and it paying huge dividends already. The hope is that this may lead to peace or at least deescalation of war, acrimony, and hatred.
I doubt that Obama's speech in Cairo would effect Iran's presidential election in any sense. Iranians don't care about what Americans say, or anybody else at this point. What they want is to move forward with their nuclear proliferation goals ignoring the hypocritical international efforts to stop them. Iran was out of the international stage for decades, now it's back on! As scary as this might sound, they ain't going way! Things will get "nuclearly" dirty!
Jack, Pres Obama's speech in Cairo was based totally in fact in terms of addressing REAL problems and proposing REAL solutions.
It struck common ground...the REAL objective....in order to begin REAL progress toward peace.
Extremeists like Iran's President clearly want no part of this objective because they only want turmoil to justify their being and are totally self-serving while under the guise of service to the people. In the case of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, his psych makeup earns him the nickname-"Ahmedi–nutjob".
Thanks for asking Jack, "Can Pres. Obama’s speech to the Muslim world help defeat Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in tomorrow’s election?"
I do believe that President Obama's speech most definitely does have an influence. I guess we'll all find out tomorrow how influential Our president is. I voted for the right guy. I'm extremely happy with his progress thus far. Hugs 'n' Smootches Jack~! Dean-O from Modesto
Obama's speach will only effect people who want change. If they believe terrorism will oust american imperilism from the Muslim world then they will wait or die trying to take out capitalism and american imperilism.
Perhaps it's the right time in histroy were a president finally speaks up and tries to bring people together in peace. Here lately with the anti-obama rhetoric sounding much like anti-american rhetoric from extremes in the middle east sound much the same he is changeing peoples mind here all so.
I am certain that the good and decent people of the Islamic Republic of Iran will give Ahmadinejad yet another chance to further isolate them from the international community with his incendiary language and fear mongering. After all, Obama's Cairo speech was not even carried by any Iranian TV stations. So it once again hail to the Chief, Ahmadinejad!
Middle Easterners are all about respect....and that's exactly what President Obama is showing them. Its goes back to the old saying...
"you get a lot futher with sugar then you do with salt".
This is only the beginning especially if Iran elects a new President that isnt as radical as the current one.
just read Ed Rollins commentary and I waited til I was 25 years old before having a child in order for me to not repeat family history and be able to provide security, food, shelter and emotional well being since once I was told by my own unstable mother that I was going to repeat her mistakes i.e. having children at 15. So, we waited as well because I wanted to clean my garbage that was given to me and had no intention of becoming heritary. Then, pregnant in 1991 I still recall the fear during my only successful pregnancy because of being at war! I never imagine in my own life, for my own generation that I would experience fear while giving life because of outside decisions. So, even if you waited longer, we have to realize that everyone's actions had tremendous impact in all our lives. If we translate this to what you refer to the dream speech in the campaign and in Cairo; I ask you after all the steps already taken to reduce economic disaster worlwide, to set up new steps to reduce healthcare cost and energy costs...how do you think that we as a family of our very one dear daughter to us must have felt for the last eight years about how can we assure her and her own generation a better and more secure future...now translate that to people abroad how they must have felt parents, kids and families about their own future of peace and security! We have forgotten that change starts with words; words that engages all people to change and this include all of us : individuals, communities, schools, all industries, all big corporations, all government to bring back a healthy debate for being proactive in finding solutions for all since the way the world looks right now for the past few decades and how our world and lives depend according to that existing world view it has been always only for the few that kept getting fewer for all of us and this my dear might include my daughter and your daughter. If constructive words cannot bring constructive changes and positive actions nothing else will! I do beleive in these words to take roots in all our lives! I beleive in planting the right seeds for growth and for a quality of life!
God Bless you!
sorry make that Friday's elections...
I understand that these comments will fall on closed ears and minds. You want to make assumptions as to cause and effect if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad loses. If those assumptions can be proclaimed, then we should be able to draw conclusions if he wins. Could it be that the majority of Iranians are extremists who hate Israel and by proxy, the U.S.? No matter what their economic condition, they would return to a government of hate. Or shall we continue, in the name of Obama and tolerance, refuse to see the truth? I say we continue acting as naive children and pretend until we are attacked again. Agreed?
Tip O'Neill saud that all politics is local. The Iranian people will not vote based on what our president said, although laudable. They will vote on the core issues important to them.
I think most Iranians will wait to see what follows after the speech. Action is more convincing than words.
Jack, President Obama's speech will one day rank higher in history than Churchill's "Iron Curtain" or Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech. It has ignited the Muslim world to throw off the chains of extremist religious fanaticism and return to a balanced way of thinking which will result in a better world for everyone!!
Ha, I doubt it very much! I am a Obama supporter don't get me wrong but, if Ahman- whatever his name is going to be defeated the Irainian's must do that. The speech that (Obama) was given to the muslim world was to show that we mean no harm to these people we just want to help them get back on thier feet. Iran must get rid of Ahmadinejad! NOW! They are the holders of the future of this election and thier nation. lets hope they make the right choice!
We can only hope that it will.
I do not think it matters whether Ahmadinejah is re-elected or not. Iran is ultimately controlled by its radical Mullahs. The President is only a colorful puppet; the Mullahs hold the strings. They are the true power behind the office.
If the election isn't rigged, it might. I am cynical because the powers that be in Iran are very conservative. The President of Iran seems to have some power and responsibilities, but I fear that in the long run a President is elected through the will of the powers that be, and that of the people.
Oh yes it will help! As someone living in a foreign country, I think that I can now probably voice a difference of opinion without the fear having my country invaded! Just thinking about Iraq makes me shudder.
Your question shows that you do not know Iran even a bit. People do not care about Mr. Obama's speech when theie motives to vote are totally different than what Mr. Obama and USA. has to offer them.
We want freedom, the kind of freedom that they gain by changing and getting better internally, not the imported one, "Iraq style" if you will.
We want a better economy, would Mr. Obama's extended sanction against Iran give it to them?
We will not change our idea about the USA. by Mr. Obama's speech, we might however, with change in his foreign policies towards the worls and Iran.
Mr. Obama's speech will not change a single vote in Iran, neither it did change a sinle vote in Lebonan, there were so many other domestic issues were involved in Lebonan's election.
President Ahmadinejad might loose this election, dont try giving the credit to Mr. Obama and his speech because that would not be the case.
I dont think President Obama's speech would do anything for Iran's election, but President Obama's attitude and respect for I.R.IRAN government, which is abig change from Ex US President George.W.Bush definitely would help IRAN'S leader to ease up on iranian people and IRAN'S foriegn policy, and that is ahuge help for reformist,and people that GEORGE.W.AHMEDINEJAD(neo con)is not Us president any more.lets hope this ahmedinejad is out tommorrow, and refomist win.
If the election isn’t rigged, it might. I am cynical because the powers that be in Iran are very conservative. The President of Iran seems to have some power and responsibilities, but I fear that in the long run a President is elected through the will of the powers that be, and not a true reflection of the will of the people.
Sure it can, if you believe the Iranians are stupid and you have a way of evaluating their stupidity. Obama's words moved millions of anthropoid americans to vote for him so why shouldn't his words move a few million Iranians to vote against Iran's dictator.
Its basic common sense.
It will always help and remember Iran people live like us and know they have an evil dictator and their radicals also..they too are instilled with fear mongering all the time....
Jack: Yes. President Obama is a transformational figure in the world. His potential has barely been tapped. What an exciting time in history.
I do believe Obama's speech has heavy impact on voters, however, in that kind of country the result of election can be man-made like our election in 2000
It probably did more than anything Bush and Cheney did in their 8 years of trying.
Can Pres. Obama’s speech to the Muslim world help defeat Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in tomorrow’s election?
Not really...Obama's speech can conceivably help alleviate the invective directed against America by the Tehran Govt at least in the short term, but is unlikely to induce voters not to vote for the Iranian President in the upcoming election...
Words have tremendous power! You bet his Cairo speech has made a difference.
65% of Iran's population is under 30! These young people want change and don't have the old hatreds. Bush's policies and words tended to radicalize and alienate them, increase anti-Americanism and make it difficult for moderates who could be devestatingly targeted as pro-American. Pres. Obama speaks to people with respect and as adults who have some brains, unlike his predecessor. His words, presence, sincerity and humility touch people and open them up to this new face of America. His very DNA ,not to mention his intelligence and warmth. is a tremendous assest to America's foreign relations.
A negative vote to Ahmadinejad (or Hezbollah) is NOT a possitive vote to US.
The ambassadorial tone of the President's speech in Cairo went a long way to neuter the most vicious Anti-American rhetoric in the Muslim world. It has probably been leveraged by Iran's youth protesters and Ahmadinejad's opponents to give their ranks the boost they need to effectively counter his re-election pursuits. It certainly did a lot more to win their "hearts and minds" than the previous U.S. administration whose approach hardened Muslims against America and gave terrorists great propaganda for their cause.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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