Only Obama and perhaps the people close to him know if his change of tone is a result of political expediency or inner conviction. I do not see myself as a cynic, however, my gut feeling is that the real Obama is the one we saw and heard at the Cairo speech. The spectre of seeing a Democrat get a damn good whacking in New York’s ninth congressional district probably played a role in the change in rhetoric.What's certain is that a lot has happened in the last four years. Obama won this election, barely. Gone is the messianic fervor that we saw the last time around. The man who won a Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing at all has been quietly and not so quietly ordering the "targetted killing" of those who he perceives as being enemies of the United States. The economy is still a wreck. One cannot help but get the feeling that the American electorate was more afraid of Mitt Romney's Mormon underwear than it was excited about Barack Obama.
Since he took office, Mr. Obama has been repeatedly humiliated by the Arabs. His friendly overtures towards the Muslim world were seen as a sign of weakness throughout the Middle East, and produced absolutely no flexibility on the part of the Arabs. Instead, they hardenned their positions, thinking that they have a friend and sympathizer in the White House. Not only that, Arab mobs attacked United States Embassies in their countries with impunity. One has to hope that the murder of an ambassador and three other Americans in Lybia, the "Arab Spring" and the turmoil in Syria have taught the President a thing or two about the Middle East, Islam and Arabs. Call it a wake up call from the muezzin.
Soon we will see the real Obama. After all, he does not have to worry about reelection anymore. Will it be the man who sat in Reverend Wright's church for twenty years and rubbed shoulders with the filthy liar Edward Said? Or will it be an older and wiser Obama a man that learned something in the past four years?
Time will tell.
Update: Yaak is such a genius!