07/06/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Barack Obama Just Changed the World

The president's Cairo speech had three overt targets: Muslim extremists, Israel, and George Bush, not necessarily in that order.

He sought to undermine the moral authority of the extremists by radically departing from the language of Anglo colonials. Then he blew a chill into the intransigent heart of Israel by indicating a realignment of official attitudes, relationships, and diplomatic norms. As a topper, he pretty clearly made the case that the intellectual and cultural underpinning of the war on terror and America's geo-political strategy in the Middle East -- the rotten legacy of his predecessor -- have been dim and bigoted.

In the annals of speeches, you'd be hard pressed to find one as ambitious as this.

Each of his targets has got to be scrambling now.

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