June 4th, 2009
11:05 AM ET

Morning Buzz: An Olive Branch to Islam

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/04/art.vert.obama.trip.necklace.jpg caption="US President Barack Obama holds the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit after it was presented to him by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud." width=292 height=320]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

President Obama delivered a speech to the Muslim world today. Our favorite analyst David Gergen called it “the Mt Everest of speeches”. The purpose: to ‘reset Middle East relations.”

The President said, "I know there are many-Muslim and non-Muslims-who question whether we can forge this new beginning," emphasizing that "it is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share."

For those of you who were up last night watching Anderson’s impromptu birthday party in the show and therefore missed the speech early this morning: never fear we will bring you the most important highlights tonight and hash it out with our top panel of guests. We will also show you pictures of the President visiting the Pyramids. Will he/won't he jump on a camel? That would be super fun.

Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are on trial in North Korea. They've been detained in the country after being accused of illegally entering North Korea and acting as spies. Will they be free or spend years in prison? We’ll be watching, and hoping for the best.

Many of you are still writing to us on the blogs and viewer comments about the killing of late-term abortion doctor George Tiller. See, we really do listen to you! We are talking about adding a segment on this story again tonight- as a hot-button issue in this country, there are so many angles to tackle abortion and the murder of this doctor.

A fun tidbit: Did you know President Obama’s royal welcome in Saudi Arabia the other day included a gigantic gold necklace so big and splashy that White House aides joked it could solve America’s debt problem if turned into a pawn shop? The necklace is officially called the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the kingdom's highest honor. It's so massive that when the President draped it over his neck, it nearly reached down to his waist. Good times. I would like one of those.

See u tonight!!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Sandy

    This was not a solution speech. This was not an apology speech. Our President was reaching out, yes an olive branch. Something new for the GOP, & I am sure it is a very difficult concept for them to wrap their brains around. This is one of many reasons why I voted for this man. I hope he keeps it going forward for the future of this Nation I hold so dear & for my children. God Bless our president!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  2. c,ca

    Although I hope Lee and Ling will be released quickly and unharmed, we really don't know why they were there or what they were doing.

    I think a lot of journalists still have some "Woodward and Bernstein" ambition to be the only ones to meet with secret informants and crack open some huge story. Whether it's true or an exaggeration, viewers are always being told that so-and-so reporter.... "went behind the scenes"....... "gained exclusive access"......... or got "never-before-seen footage" of something.

    National Geographic has a TV show called 'Locked Up Abroad'. I watched it once or twice and found that the people who had been jailed admitted to smuggling drugs through the airport or breaking the country's laws in one way or another.

    I'm not taking N. Korea's side in this but I think we should know the facts before we assume that N. Korea arrested these two people for no reason.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  3. Lampe

    Honestly, do you all really believe that all Muslim Countries, are just going to stop hating us simply because Obama gave a speech? I am sure that they all know that he is real good at that, I would think they would be more interested in his actions.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  4. Charlotte

    I'm starting to hear that Pres. Obama's speech lacked solutions. What do they expect? This is only a first step and a huge one. How could anyone solve the multiple problems that have existed for hundreds if not thousands of years in one olive branch speech. It is going to take multiple groups initiating what he has started to even make a dent in all the problems. The ball is now in everyone's court and it remains to see who picks it up and starts to play the peace game.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  5. Margaret in OH

    I read President Obama's speech and thought it was a great step towards a new beginning between the US and Muslim world- I think that this had to happen before anything else can be considered. I am so thankful that we have a knowledgable President who sees the intricacies of complicated issues. I think there are some Americans who do not understand the way we have been percieved abroad for the past 8 years-

    June 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  6. Helen- California

    It is about time we had a president that through his voice is trying to bring peace to the world.

    Those who are against abortion, should also be against war....is that not far worse killing grown up people with families who are waiting for them to come home. I do not believe in abortion but I do believe in a womans right to choose!

    June 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  7. Ilana Sacks

    Why is a 2 state solution any different from what we have today. The palestinians have territory and they voted Democratically for Hamas. How would it be any different? By calling the regions States? Israel has given land and in return they got more hate. Will it ever change? Why dont the Arab nations that have power and money help the Palestinians? Why is it the US and Israels job? Take care of your own people.

    June 4, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  8. Ritz

    I think President Obama is trying to appease those who hate us and the Western World and seek to undermine our right to freedom and progress. We are allowing the Islamists to take over the world we live in via terrorism and their alarming birthrate as well as other means. The message Obama sends now is that we are bow down to the evil strengh of the Islamic world. Mike has rightly said that "silence and inaction permitted the Nazi’s to unleash years of war and destruction that took 50 million lives. Moderate Muslims are in the same position today". But let's define a moderate Muslim – one who is silently watching but not condemning the terrorist face of Islam because that would be considered being a "kaafir". The moderate Muslim inherently believes and promotes intolerance for other religions in their heart and perhaps even openly, the huge birthrate and is anti-West even if they reside in the West. The real issue is that we have a massive Islamic population in the West who is anti freedom and anti democracy. I say this despite being a secular individual but have lived in the Middle East (where there is no such thing as human rights) and have seen the reality of Islam there as well as here in the US.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  9. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Obama missed a great opportunity to tell the so called moderate Muslim majority that they have an obligation to step up and confront the extremists in their midst. Today's Muslim world is like Germany in the 19030's. The vast majority of 'good' Germans never joined the Nazi Party. However by their silence and inaction they permitted the Nazi's to unleash years of war and destruction that took 50 million lives. Moderate Muslims are in the same position today. Will they go the way of the Germans and allow their religion to be hijacked for evil? It's up to them to step up, and step up soon.

    Regarding the murder of Dr. Tiller, I find it sad that CNN devotes so much coverage to the killing of a killer, while virtually none to the murder of the Army recruiter by a home grown Islamic terrorist. Perhaps you can add some coverage to this issue. The recruiter was killed for serving his country, the doctor for killing thousands of innocents. Where is the balance? Tiller was no hero.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  10. susan

    recall: that medallion, etc. actually belong to the United States of America. It will be longed. Obama may use it any time HE wants, but it now belongs to us.

    Recall the Blackberry bit? How much has Blackberry benefited from that bit of notoriety? ..... Priceless. (didnt NYT suggested 25-50$million if a commercial endorsement)

    June 4, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  11. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ontario

    Good Morning Penny

    I didn't see Presiedent Obama's speech but please show the highlights and all sides of the issues.I hope that this will help reduce tensions in the Muslim world and bring hope for the future. I hope Laura Ling and Euna Lee are released soon and back home with thier families it's so sad and i pray for them .

    Michelle D.

    June 4, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  12. Tasneem

    I love Obama. May God give him the strength to fix the problems of this world. He is true , honest, Just and I love him because finally a US president is telling israel to stop the illegal settlements and stop occupation. I loved his speech.

    Love you Obama....

    June 4, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  13. jim

    the world is only a microcosm of a family..if you don't communicate
    you will never succed as a family unit. communication is not only verbal, it is gestures , listening, being there, empathising,sharing,
    OBAMA was sent to the world family at this time in history to show
    us what family means

    June 4, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  14. Terry, TX

    Regarding George Tiller...heinous murder....the murderer should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law....Mr. Tiller will meet his maker and his crimes will be judged. End of the story....don't need to beat this dead horse.

    June 4, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  15. earle,florida

    Mr. Gergen is way off in his assesment of "Reset What? & Mt Rushmore What?" ! He might be your favorite,but respectfully not this guys. This geographically is a visit to Mt Sinai, and Mt Herman ,with absolutely no "reset",but ,sadly chuck-full of rhetoric. Very disappointed with the sound-bites from the speech.

    June 4, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  16. Terry, TX

    Well I set the alarm and heard the entire speech....7 points I believe it was ....right from the pulpit. He threw Israel under the bus....Hamas got elevated... Bottom line I believe ...the pundits were right ....we elected a Muslim President and a rock star....not an American president. It was creepy to hear what he was going to do for American Muslims regarding finance....smells of Sharia Law. This administration is getting creepy.

    June 4, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  17. sally jordan

    You need to do a story about Duke University's Divinity School. They are having a Summer Institute about reconciliation. Most of the people right now are talking about international reconciliation – between nations that have hated each other for years. And it was intrumental in Kenya's intra national problems recently. Contact Allegra Young at the Divinity School. It is fantastic the creative ways they are using. We could do the same thing in our country.

    June 4, 2009 at 9:18 am |

    The gold necklace mean peace and good will.Freedom from war.I would like one of those it could pay for my home......Jennie..FL.

    June 4, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  19. Joel Leonard

    Oops noticed I did not add the add a critical word – NOT= Should be

    We are praying that when Obama climbs Mt Everest that others will follow and he is left alone.

    June 4, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  20. Joel Leonard

    Thanks for the insight! We are praying that when Obama climbs Mt Everest that others will follow and he is left alone.

    As someone once said a leader walks 10 feet ahead of his group, a martyr walks 20. Hope that America and the rest of the world take his lead and move forward as we have so many deferred issues to address.

    Joel Leonard

    June 4, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  21. Cindy

    So...Obama got a little bling while over in the Middle East huh!? Well I can't wait to see that pic. I'm sure that's a look for sure! LOL

    I didn't catch Obama's speech but I knew you all would cover it tonight. But hopefully you all won't go too long on this thing..please!! It may be an important speech to some but in reality those who hate us will always hate us no matter what we or Obama says.

    Maybe we will get some news soon on Ling and Lee and what their fates are. Hopefully they'll be released but seeing where they are I wouldn't hold my breath on that one!


    June 4, 2009 at 8:51 am |