In his major address on the Middle East last week, did President Obama quote from the centerpiece of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky’s defining work?

While hailing the Arab uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, Obama laid out his foreign policy using terminology strikingly similar to Alinsky’s mantra.

“There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity,” Obama stated. “Yes, there will be perils that accompany this moment of promise. But after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be.”

One of Alinsky’s major themes was contrasting how the world “is” and how “it should be.”

In his defining work, “Rules for Radicals,” which he dedicated to “the first rebel,” Lucifer, Alinsky used those words to lay out his main agenda – that radical change must be brought about by working within a system instead of attacking a system from the outside.

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