June 4th, 2009
09:53 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 06/04/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Did you see Pres. Obama's speech to Muslims today? We'll play parts of it for you tonight. And we have reaction to his message from around the world.

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. Niwat, Chicago

    @ Erica Hill, Prez Obama's choice of words has been exquisite. For the past 8 years, we all have heard too oftenly about terrorism - the term coined after the 9/11 attack - which rather appropriated at that time..

    Now that the he likes to advance the new begining with Muslim world and end the " violent extremism"– Hopefully, the new vocab defines refreshingly peaceful embarking that Obama's Americanism has to offer.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  2. Minou, New York City

    @ Esma: Freedom Fries! lol. I've forgotten about those!

    June 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  3. Caitlin - NY


    As President Obama stated, "If we hold on to the events of our past, we cannot rebuild our future." Nothing can be forgotten, but if we don't move past the hurt and pain, we are in major trouble. Every religion and country feels hurt and violated at some point. We need to let go of the hate, anger and distrust or this cycle of violence will continue, I guarrentee it.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  4. Tony

    David on your panel is a man of great wisdom. I wish the rest of the world could see the true meaning of the President's speech. He has presented the greatest speech ever.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  5. Miss J

    Wasn't the situation really that President Obama didn't use the word "terrorist" when delivering a global address to the Muslim world and NOT the he was avoiding calling terrorists "terrorists."

    Those seem like 2 different concepts to me.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  6. gayle

    It was an excellent speech.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  7. Dulcie - Denver

    I don't buy that this was an 'apology' speech at all. I think it's important to acknowledge that we've done some things as a nation that were harmful. This is why the US must not torture. It makes us hypocrits. We need to hold ourselves to our own standard first before we can demand other nations do the same.

    I saw it as acknowledgement, nothing more, and then a desire to move forward.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  8. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    I didn't realize that so many Muslims were so young! To me that means that there is hope for true change.Not enough years lived to become set in their 'ways' yet,perhaps.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  9. Rebekah

    I love what David Gergen said RE: changing the phrasing of "war on terror".
    this does seem to be dead-end-ish so i'm very happy to hear that Obama is looking at it from a new angle.... it's kind of like turning the board in chess to see new moves with a new perspective you might not have realized existed if you hadn't have taken the time to try other ways of looking at the problem. i hope Obama can find a way to check-mate these extremists with his new perspective 🙂 especially now that we have a greater chance of getting help from Arab and Muslim countries so these wars can just be OVER

    June 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  10. Stephen Wilkerson (Drew) MD


    I think extreemism isn't unique in the Middle east. We certainly have it here too in the US.


    June 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  11. Michelle in L.A

    Republicans are a huge part of the reason why Obama needs to smooth things over.

    When anyone with sense is trying to diffuse a situation, they always speak with kindness. Of course his words are not those that provoke hatered. Guess Anderson is playing "Devil's Advocate". LOL

    @ Anderson, Oprah/Angelina news is so yesterday...

    June 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  12. Marian

    The President did not blame America in any way. Finally we have a leader who uses some judgment in how he works for a more peaceful world rather than just anger and antogonize the Muslim world.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  13. Patrick, Rockville, MD

    I believe the Presidents calculation is that once you resolve the Palestinian- Israeli issue, everything else naturally follows. Voiding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will shift the focus of the international community back to the domestic issues in these Islamic nations.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  14. Cessy, Chicago

    Pres. Obama is only 100 days old in office. Does anyone really think that he'll use the word "terror". Of course not.

    I agree with Christi Amanpour..lot of good things were said, but we want action.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  15. Alice

    Isreal will always be a close friend of the US. We have proven to Isreal many times how we will stand behind her. It is time for Isreal
    to show America that she is also serious about our aaliance. We have gone to war and have lost many Americans because so many believe that the U.S. is blinded by Isreal. Israel should know that we will protect and stand behind her if after allowing the Palestian to develop a homeland and it threnghtens Isreal.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  16. Ahmed Amr

    From Cairo:
    The speech was to the Muslim world, not about the Muslim world, thats why he didn't use the word terrorism.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  17. Michelle

    Obama does not need to say what the critics think he
    should say. His words matter not the pundits.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  18. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Very much enjoying listening to David and Christiane. I always love and so respect their opinions. David always has a way of saying things so they make sense as does Christiane. Thanks for having them on tonight to discuss the speech.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  19. Krasi, Houston, TX

    Wow, David Gergen amazes again with his knowledge about psychological techniques 🙂 I completely agree with you, a good way to see a problem from a different perspective and reach a different outcome is to change one's way of thinking about it, of talking about it. We can't do the same thing over and over but expect different results.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  20. Esma

    @ Erica–By Obama not using the term "terror", it shows the ability of the Untied State to grow up and make amends, even if it means simply omitting a misused word. And thank God we don't use "Freedom Fries" anymore too.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  21. Steve - NC

    David has a great point - the lens through which we have been looking has been very cloudy. Obama's words go a long way in clearing our view.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  22. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    The conservative position of non-acknowledgement is both childish and idiotic. If America has done something wrong, it should be held accountable. Kudos to the President for being (hu)man enough to admit it.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  23. Minou, New York City

    He has to remember that Actions speak louder than Words.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  24. Jihed

    The President was great today as usual. I think his speech was balanced and showed the two sides of the conflict. I think it is a historic event and a good opportunity to everybody to help the president reach the peace we were dreaming about for decades. I think that it is a time for the Arab people and the Arab leaders to accept Israel and it is time for Israel to accept Palestine as Free State.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  25. Mary

    Acknowledging our involvement in the middle east is different from admitting fault. By changing the emphasis leads a better chance for diplomacy, but will we be exploited because of it?

    June 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  26. ahmed

    it is also very intresting to seee how president is not hesitating to use his middle name in middle east ....good move to reach out ....

    June 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  27. Chris W

    Obama's Speech. Wow. The most resoundingly selfless yet diplomatically firm speech I have ever heard. As an American and world citizen, I can't say that I have ever been more proud of an elected official than when I heard the words of my president. I believe the substance of his speech will be tested on the Israeli/Palastinian issue and how successful he is in helping Muslims to carve a secure and successful state out of that area in the Mediterranean, as well as the support and oversight offered to Muslim majority countries that seek nuclear energy for peacefull purposes. We'll see, but I am hopefull.............................................For the first time in a long time.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  28. Margaret Kleinfeld

    I was so proud of my country and my president today. As I listened to Pres. Obama speak tears came to my eyes and not for the first time during one of his speeches. He has such an inspiring vision of the world as it could be. A world where all human beings can fulfil their full potential. To say that aspiring to such things is a sign of weakness or is apologizing for America is just so wrong, such a perversion.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  29. Christine

    As I do not fall at the feet of Obama this will not get in, but here I go again. The speech was not all that great. I do not like a president saying "my" country he should have said the United States. Maybe nitpicking but my opinion. I also do not care for his tone when he speaks. He always sounds like he talks down on everyone. Not a speech to go down in history. He will not change the world and he and all of you need to remember he is not president of the world.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  30. Henry from Aurora

    This was a great speech. The critics should be fair! Americans do not want to be identified or perceived by the brutal violent acts of the cross burning, Ku Klux Klan. Why do they want to paint all Muslims as terrorist? President Obama is trying to destroy the negative stereotypes, and this speech is just a beginning. The conservatives want to maintain the status quo, based in xenophobia and entitled superiority but a change finally has come!

    Henry – Chicago

    June 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  31. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Excellent point Anderson. It IS terrorism.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  32. Miss J

    it’s something I really admire about our president. I like to think that he is leading by example — that by raising the bar for himself — he encourages us to raise the bar individually.

    The President pretty much puts most of us to shame.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  33. Susan, Toronto Canada

    Hi Anderson,

    Great panel. Love their insight.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  34. Paula in WPB

    It's so wonderful to have such an intellectual as our President. We are truly blessed and I feel hopeful once again about the future of our Country.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  35. ericacnn

    interesting point mohsin just brought up about this being a speech to middle eastern muslim interests

    June 4, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  36. Lori from IL

    David Gergen — I really liked your comment about President Obama “raising the standard for himself” and “forcing his own administration to engage” — it’s something I really admire about our president. I like to think that he is leading by example — that by raising the bar for himself — he encourages us to raise the bar individually.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  37. Anna W.

    I entirely agree with Mr. Gergen's assessment. His views are always appreciated.

    I think a clear measure of the potential of Pres. Obama's approach in the war against Al Qaeda is the fact that Osama Bin Laden seemed very eager to blunt the President's message. I would dare say he hasn't been so intimidated since Tora Bora.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  38. Doug

    i find it great to hear from our president saying that we don't have the right to impose anything on anyone. thats fantastic.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  39. Tony

    It was the most powerful and brilliant speech I have ever heard in my 50+ years as an academic and retired US military. Peace in the region can only begin with dialogue among so-called enemies. Actually, peace begins with you and me. A great Saint once said, "War is in the minds of men, and it is in the minds of men we must resolve war." The President is opening room for future dialogue and commonsense resolution to the issues that has plagued the region. The Saint also declared that, "Our enemies are a reflection of ourselves." Personally, I see his speech as the "dawn of the golden age." that we all aspire for. Brothers and sisters, if we are ever to achieve peace in this world, we must dialogue. If not, let's begin to look in the mirror and search our souls for the true enemy.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  40. Lori from IL

    @ Mike in Syracuse - not all Muslims are terrorists any more than you are a terrorist because you are of the same race/culture of the man who killed the abortion doctor (who you seem to be calling a terrorist). Words must be chosen carefully and the actions of a few in a race/culture should not define an entire race/cultre.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  41. Martina Ilstad Germany

    What really change,to see Hitler in coulor.In black pictures,he was and will be for ever a verry bad killer,i say,that,as a German

    June 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  42. Chris

    It's great to see our president representing what the U.S. is all about.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  43. Ahmed Amr

    It was his choice not to do so, look we all understand that the war on terror is the same as war on extremism, whats the cause of terror in the first place, having extremist ideas, right? so we all understand over here that the two words have the same implication, president Obama is articulate, and not saying the word terror is not going to make terrorism disappear, com'on.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  44. Sharon S

    I know they were all creepy enough in B&W!!

    June 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  45. ahmed

    @ Erica hills question ...

    yes not using terror word but yet showing a strong stance against extremists is a positive way of dealing the issue

    June 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  46. marylou tompkins

    president obama did not mention terrorists because he was not speaking to them. he was addressing muslims not extremists.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  47. khodor zaidan

    Hi Anderson,
    Historical speech, hopefully will lead to a world peace

    June 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  48. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Oprah is going "Whatever!"

    June 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  49. Cynthia, NC

    Toxic chemicals coming from rubber? Trust me, you don't even want to know the materials that go into making tires, rubber hoses, etc. Children shouldn't be exposed to it.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  50. Mahmudul Haque

    i think i as a muslim i agree with David G and Chritiana A..atleast our president is trying to reach across the muslim world not using the Terrorist word..as i said i am muslim but i gave myself an american name just to cover up my muslim name..because everybody looks at you with a wired look that you are muslim in USA..thnaks to our Ex-President..

    June 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
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