President Obama is walking into one of the "trickiest" moments of his young presidency, said USA Today in an editorial. On Thursday, Obama will make a speech in Cairo aiming to "reboot soured U.S. relations with the Islamic world." To pull it off, he'll have to "condemn human-rights abuses without grievously offending his host, repressive Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, or the Saudi royal family."
Obama has "avoided forceful talk about the failures of contemporary Islam" for too long, said Joseph Loconte in The Weekly Standard. "No honest conversation with Muslim leaders" can ignore the "cancerous growth of radical Islam." And no address in Cairo can sidestep the "bald truth" that "Egypt, the recipient of $2 billion in U.S. aid each year, offers a case study in the repressive consequences of an Islamic state."
Of course Obama should remind Eypt's leaders that repression is wrong, said former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright in The New York Times. But he also has to directly address complaints his audience has about the perceived hostility of America to Islam, the deaths of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the plight of the Palestinians. The more frank Obama is, "the more likely it is that Muslims will think objectively about his words."