“It was not expected that Obama would criticize any of the U.S. allies, but he did so when he talked about Bahrain and called for a dialogue with the opposition while calling for the release of prisoners. Obama set a new approach toward the Middle East … opening a new chapter with the Arab world.”
— Hassan Sahili, student at the Lebanese University in Beirut
“Emotionally, President Obama’s rhetoric and eloquence appealed to the ears of his audience across the world. But Obama fell short of my expectations when he referred to Syrian and Bahrain authorities.
I expected him to be more serious and harsher in his criticisms of President Bashar Assad [of Syria] and Al Khalifah in Bahrain. Both these countries are run despotically and heavy handedly. Bahrain … is the U.S.A.’s ally, and Syria is not an ally of the U.S.
Both governments are fiercely and brutally suppressing their own people. I expected President Obama to … clearly put pressure on both governments to cave in to the demands of their own people.…