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June 6th, 2009
07:00 AM ET

Obama's trip to strengthen ties?

By Fredricka Whitfield

On this 65th anniversary of D-Day, our country and our allied nations pay tribute to those who made supreme sacrifices.

This comes following a tremendous week of the U.S. maintaining, mending and brokering International relations.

Today at 4p eastern we focus on Americans’ Appeal Abroad on the heels of President Barack Obama travels to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. So, did Mr. Obama and his messages catch your attention? We want to hear from you.

The president covered a lot of ground over the last five days with remarks about two states for Israelis and Palestinians, women’s rights among Muslims, nuclear weapons and during an emotional journey to a former concentration camp in Germany, the president had a message for non believers of the Holocaust.

Take the poll and leave us a comment below.

Do you think President Obama's trip will improve U.S.-International Relations?

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. susan

    The Speech was the keynote but continues with the comments from the G20 and Turkey trip earlier.

    A page has been turned in the United States of America.
    (I almost used the misnomer "in America" as if US is all of America. It is precisely this misperception that Obama is trying to correct.US is not the World, and not even America. We are but a part. Just as a parent is but a part of a family. A family must take note of all members of the family and act accordingly. And, like a family, sometimes our efforts are more directed by/at the more immature members of the family. And, sometimes it can be a bit of a tussle amongst the mother, father, grandparents, uncles and aunts as to who chooses the direction. – I'd say that right now, Papa is taken by Uncle Sam; Angela Merkel might be Mama, The Arabs and Israelis are either uncles/aunts or cousins who just dont like each other and keep trying to use Mama and Papa as the go-betweens in the arguments and long-standing feud.
    The Chinese just married into the family. And we are starting to recognize our long lost cousins in South America. Iceland is Bubba who had a great deal going but is on hard times trying to get himself back on his financial feet. Obama's trips and speeches help the others to recognize that Uncle Sam/Papa may have seemed asleep at the wheel/on auto-pilot or maybe with the beginnings of dementia, but Obama is helping the others recognize that the US is not a dottering old fool yet. )

    June 5, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  2. Charlie Erickson

    In a word................Yep !...............Absolutely !

    Charlie.

    June 5, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  3. Lavonne Currie

    I am very proud to be an american.I applaud President Barack Obama for keeping his promise to visit the" middle east"in order to try and cleanup the mess that the past White House Administration created.It's sad that the people of the United States don't realize that ,the same people who President Obama was speaking to about bringing peace to both nations,are the same people who "Jesus Christ" spoke to thousands of years ago.A President who is trying to bring "Peace" to all mankind.What is the problem.?

    June 5, 2009 at 8:14 pm |
  4. olawuyi - adewuyi sobayo

    i think president obama is doing this right thing that a good leader should do.because a good leader should be consider as a leader of the all world,and i think very very soon we going to see a big change.

    June 5, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  5. Ptagne

    ldont get it .when a husband negociate with wife and kids it doesn't meant he is weak!

    June 6, 2009 at 2:20 am |
  6. Allen in Hartwell GA

    After the last eight years of "you're either with us or against us", the idea that we can work together has to help the USA in the world view.

    June 6, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  7. nick saras

    Hello Cnn.
    D Day is yes a day we can not forget but thank every year who died there .
    I was only 1 year old when my Dad was takin prissinor by the japanese empire and send to Burma to build the bridge and died there with hiz brother and Americans, British, Aussies and i wonder if those who died there, have they ever been put in our mind ?? like D day?? here in the US.
    I hope they are not forgotten.
    JN Saras born in Bogor Indonesia 1940.
    Thanks

    June 6, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  8. henry Saiontz

    where is the link to the d-day videos

    June 6, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  9. Margaret . Scott

    If PresidentObama's speech did not do it,nothingelse will -improve internationalrelations, that is. A real tearjerker for me....

    June 6, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  10. Mike Makoni

    It is time we all realized USA has a great President. Let's support him as he leads us. Positive criticism is fine as we are in this together. Criticism based on party lines is nothing short of stupidity. A spade is a spade! One world one people!

    Mike Makoni

    June 6, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  11. Iman Elbanna

    I think that President Obama's visits show that he is making the effort to improve our relations, and that is something that we didn't see in the previous 8 years before President Obama. He has good ideas for peace and that's the most important thing because the Middle East has been a constant war zone. Countries can't help but to see President Obama as a strong leader and one for change, which is crucial at this point.

    June 6, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  12. michael pfannenstiel

    My father and 5 of his brothers served in WWII along with a two brother in laws and my father in law. One was captured as a POW during the battle of the bulge and my father helped liberate the Dora concentration camp near Nordhausen rocket facility. The other uncles and father in law who served also performed with courage. I am proud to have served in Viet Nam and in the US government for 40 years.

    June 6, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  13. vince G

    What the president is doing in terms of foreign relations is just what is needed at this time. We have suffered through eight years of unilateral action in a global context where that doesn't work. We have to lead- and listen to the rest of the world because the global crisis we face cannot be solved by one country dictating to the rest of the world- the crisis of climate change, over population, the present economic crisis, nuclear proliferation- none of these can be solved by the US either sticking its head in the sand and ignoring problems (Kyoto and climate change) or acting alone and breaking relationships to persue an illegal, immoral war. So yes, Obama is rebuilding the credibility of the presidency in terms of moral authority and that is critical because in this world when things go nuts it is the American president who must be able to get other leaders to the table and talk them down from the edge. I am proud of our president and the efforts he is making. My only criticism would be his handling of Afghanistan we must end the war, not expand it to Pakistan

    June 6, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  14. ElephantGurl

    Definitely, yes. But, each person has the responsibility to strengthen ties between the US and the Muslim world. While we should continue to have military action against the extremists, it is very necessary to address the Muslims moderates with sentiments of mutual respect, solidarity against violence, and human love. Encouraging our fellow humans to demonstrate actions of love in the name of religion will help counter all those acts of hatred and violence also done in the name of religion. The world cannot afford to buy into the extremists' rhetoric of resolving problems through hatred, ignorance, and violence. We need to concurrently address their problem militarily, and also demonstrate a new, peaceful, and brotherly-sisterly way to treat each other. And that's what I feel Obama is encouraging the world to do. Also, when people criticize Obama for not using the word "terrorists" in his speech, they are not understanding that more name-calling won't get us anywhere in our goal for peace.

    June 6, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  15. Dawn in PA

    In the eyes of the world, we have not been viewed to well, you hear that he is on an apology tour. What do you do when for the last 8 years we were actually alienated from the rest of the world.

    June 6, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  16. Ben Jacoby

    Yes. Any little ol thing Mr. O can do to stop those guys in the Middle East from hating us and Israel so much will help.

    June 6, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  17. LouieG

    I am really pleased that president is showing the depth of the beauty in our nation to the world. Our strength doesn't require words; we take action when necessary. His family is showing their pride in their country as well. I am so very proud to be an American.

    June 6, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  18. OhioPatriotGirl70

    NO.......are you kidding me. BHO is causing more divide and hatered for America.

    June 6, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  19. Diplomacy

    Was going very well earlier in the week, but ended on a sour note!

    Had one look at the stage & it said it all. 5 men on stage & "squeezed" out the only WOMAN, a Veteran of WWII, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, now 83 years-old. No invitation & no speaking role for the Commander-in-Chief, Britain. Her Majesty the Queen who is the reigning Monarch of the Commonwealth of Nations. Queen to have of the nations represented on stage, that being Britain & Canada, who joined the War Effort to "FREE" France from German "OCCUPATION".

    (MAJOR ) GRAND FAUX PAS!

    There is NO nation on earth who sacrificed more than Great Britain. And, the ROYAL FAMILY played a MAJOR part in keeping "spirits" up in its DARKEST DAYS. during the "BLITZ". And, long before Americans joined in the WAR EFFORT in 1941, after American soil was attacked at Pearl Harbour. Before that, the USA "profited" from the WAR EFFORT, TRADED with BOTH sides & extended the length of the WAR.

    Nice try on re-writing HISTORY! So, we have President Obama's uncle there, but where is Queen Elizabeth II?

    It's not about fashion & First Ladies of France & the USA. It's about VETERANS! And, their contribution.

    I was very impressed with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at least he had the sense to keep his wife out of the "picture" and so did Prince Charles. The last thing we needed as mentioned on CNN did Carla & Michelle coordinate dresses? Thank the Lord Camilla & Mrs. Harper weren't there, so we could have the "FASHIONISTA" debate.

    TACKY! And, Sarkozy was way out of line!!! You can be friends without flaunting it, and there were many Nations who are so-called "Friends" of France. How soon you forget.

    June 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  20. Rami Saffarini

    Obama’s speech was a far cry from Bush’s “you’re either with us or against us” speeches. But he is not even-handed on the Palestine/ Israel issue. While he described the horrors of Palestinan rockets falling on Israel (which killed one Israeli in the Dec-08 war), he did not even mention the 1,400 Palestinians who were killed during that war, or the Israeli bombing of southern Lebanon in 2006, in which more than a thousand lebenese civilians were killed.

    June 6, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  21. Mosa

    I'm an international student from saudi arabia who is now studying here in US and I really believe that President Obama is a real leader who can not only chang the muslims' aspirations but to fill again the gap that was expanded by the extremists from both sides.

    In the end, I really believe that america is a great country and I hope for the humanity sake that it continues to lead the world to better future and better relashionships between all countries and people who share this planet and hope to live in peace and justice.

    June 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  22. Ev

    I think the two bookend speeches of this trip by President Obama will do much to strengthen ties with the rest of the world. In his Cairo speech the President reached out to 1.5 billion people in the world that have felt disrespected and demonized by the rhetoric of the last eight years. In his moving narrative of a speech today, the President reminded the world of what made America such a respected nation in the world until recently.

    June 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  23. Rob

    Barack Obama is VERY naive to think that by him kissing up to a bunch thugs who rule the middle east with an iron fist that it will cause them to all of a sudden change their ways. In my humble, opinion he looks weak and they will still not listen to him. It troubles me alot that he didn't once mention that US has done more than any other country in the world to defend muslims with our own blood. 3 examples of this are Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia. It also troubles me that he has such a negative opinion of our country and feels the need to go around apologizing to everyone for us being who we are. Simply ridiculous!

    June 6, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  24. nancy

    the fact that the british monarch was not included had nothing to with obama. that was a huge error on frances' part. and how in the world could they forget britain

    as for this trip, yes, obama is improving the world's opinion about us. he is doing what needs to be done, in other words, LISTENING. he is not going and TELLING the world what they want. a vast improvement from the last 8 years.

    June 6, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  25. Catherine

    Finally!! A president with intellect, eloquence, compassion and a common touch. President Obama is a diplomat and wise person in the mold of Mandella. How rare is that?

    I used to hold my breath when the last President held a press conference or made a speech for fear that he would embarrass us or himself. Now, I am beaming with pride when our President speaks. Sometimes, like during the Cairo speech I actually jumped up and started clapping. Bravo and Kudos to Pres.Obama!! Yes, you can!!

    June 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  26. Carl Lewis

    YES! To have a smart, open-minded, honest broker again – how could the world not see us differently – just like we are seeing ourselves in a different way: the America of all our aspirations, not of our worst fears......

    June 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  27. Patrick Robert

    Im American and love my country. However I think a prime example american arrogance is when we say "Americans" won WW2. We should be ashamed. Lets not forget the Brits and Canadians were on those beaches before us. We did not do it alone. I think our tone needs to change.

    June 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  28. bobby

    Absolutely. President Obama is likely one of the most intelligent, poised, pragmatic and charismatic presidents that we've ever had. Most importantly, he understands and is aware of not just American history, but international history AND culture, as well as our role in shaping it, especially over the past 100 years. His honest, introspective and practical approach is exactly what is needed in this dynamic and everchanging world. Fundamentalists around the world – fringe right wingers here in our home as well as muslim fundamentalists have one thing in common – a fear of what Obama stands for, as well as the fact that his enlightened and forward-thinking views will change the conversation, will change the reference points of traditional international policy, of traditional western hegemony. He is not an apologist. He is brutally honest, and that requires courage. His approach neutralizes the fire that is the fundamental building block of terrorism and anti-US sentiment – and will leave people like Bin Laden and his lot scramble. Finally, it is my hope that more is done in our country to educate our citizens not just about our own heritage and history, but to also educate ourselves about international history and culture, as well as our role in the foreign theater. To be clicheic, those who don't study history are condemned to repeat the past. Bravo to our president, as well as to your network for providing a truly fair and balanced approach to history in the making!

    June 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  29. Don Stecker

    I often recall Colin Powell's remark that Barak Obama would be a "transformational figure". I cannot think of a better example than his speech in Cairo. Its' magnificence was its' evenhandedness of the nature of the issues that separate the Jews and the Palestinians.While there will be a difficult road ahead, I believe he has paved the road with bricks of humanity and justice for Jews and Palestinians alike.

    June 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  30. Susan

    I am extremely impressed with the sincere and forcefullnes of President Obama's speech in Cairo. He stated honestly "we don't understand you, but you don't understand us" bringing to the forefront the basic reason for our differences. Regarding responses from the Midleast on what Obama is going to do about the middle east issues, I say what are they going to do about it. Enough of the blame game – its time the Muslim world take resposability for their own problems and find an interanl resolution.

    Susan
    San Francisco

    June 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  31. Rany Ibrahim

    I followed President Obama’s speech in Cairo with a great interest. I believe his speech was full of hope that will change public presumption of the Arab world towards the US. It was a long speech indeed for 50 minutes but i as well as many were glued to our seats valuing every word that been crafted carefully in his speech. Obama is spreading the message of hope that got him to office in the US around the world starting with the 1.5 billion Muslim world wide. However, i was disappointed that it was more of a generic speech that did not touch as much on the human rights and freedoms in Muslim countries. He did not give an indications or a guidelines to how in the future the American policy will act around these issues while they are supporting regimes that not allowing democracy to realize. The double standards in US foreign policy that always confused Arabs and Muslims and created this love and hate relationship has to come to a clearer common sense politics now!

    June 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  32. TomBari

    There is nothing more America needs at a time like this than having Barack Obama as the President of the United States. His styles, composure, self-confidence and the overall mannerism in handling issues that matter to Americans and the world community are just remarkably outstanding.

    Unfortunately, his critics are mere detractors or lack knowledge of the issues they fumble about. We, as Americans should understand that United States will be like any other ordinary country, but for the selfless sacrifices and worthy efforts of many great Americans that have stimulated respect and support from other nations around the world, because we destroy ourselves before others do. Worse still those opposing President Obama's policies and publicly making negative comments even wish the President fails like Rush Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney [who made humongous public speeches and appearances in less than 30 days than in 2,922 days] in attempts to inject, promote and instigate both political and racial hatred or aliente other peoples of the world are mostly those who will not bear arms for the country if need be or contribute positively to this great country. We should stop the stereotype thinking that United States is the Alpha and the Omega of the world while other peoples of the world are worthless. Please, can the media stop bringing up such offensive and ignorant comments for public debates. If no public attention is drawn to their ill-conceived thoughts it will be like rain drops in the desert.

    Finaly, I absolutely agree with David Gergen, CNN's Senior Political Analyst that President Obama's speech in Cairo, Egypt is the "most important statement ever made by any American President to the Islamic community...........". Let's give President Obama support to do the jobs we elected him to do.

    June 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  33. warren

    he took his family on a vacation at our expense i have never been less proud to be a american

    June 7, 2009 at 3:10 am |
  34. Ken in NC

    The world has a dim view of the US and the speech by President Obama is a step in the right direction for making right the wrongs done by this nation over the last 8 years. His speech alone cannot and will not make changes but it is a start. Now we and the rest of the world must work together to build a better place for all of us to live. I think he made a good start. I think he is pointing us in the right direction. The problem I see is not the rest of the world. The Problem I see is that there are so many haters that want to see him and his ideas to fail. These people do not realize that we must work as a nation to make for a better nation. I pray that we will prevail.

    June 7, 2009 at 4:56 pm |

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