Who Does Obama Think he Is?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by hapaboy, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Friday, July 18, 2008

    Who Does He Think He Is?

    by Charles Krauthammer

    WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama wants to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. He figures it would be a nice backdrop. The supporting cast -- a cheering audience and a few fainting frauleins -- would be a picturesque way to bolster his foreign policy credentials.

    What Obama does not seem to understand is that the Brandenburg Gate is something you earn. President Reagan earned the right to speak there because his relentless pressure had brought the Soviet empire to its knees and he was demanding its final "tear down this wall" liquidation. When President Kennedy visited the Brandenburg Gate on the day of his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, he was representing a country that was prepared to go to the brink of nuclear war to defend West Berlin.

    Who is Obama representing? And what exactly has he done in his lifetime to merit appropriating the Brandenburg Gate as a campaign prop? What was his role in the fight against communism, the liberation of Eastern Europe, the creation of what George Bush 41 -- who presided over the fall of the Berlin Wall but modestly declined to go there for a victory lap -- called "a Europe whole and free"?

    Does Obama not see the incongruity? It's as if a German pol took a campaign trip to America and demanded the Statue of Liberty as a venue for a campaign speech. (The Germans have now gently nudged Obama into looking at other venues.)

    Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself. There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?

    Obama is a three-year senator without a single important legislative achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted "present" nearly 130 times. As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of scholarship? Written a single memorable article? His most memorable work is a biography of his favorite subject: himself.

    It is a subject upon which he can dilate effortlessly. In his victory speech upon winning the nomination, Obama declared it a great turning point in history -- "generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment" -- when, among other wonders, "the rise of the oceans began to slow." As economist Irwin Stelzer noted in his London Daily Telegraph column, "Moses made the waters recede, but he had help." Obama apparently works alone.

    Obama may think he's King Canute, but the good king ordered the tides to halt precisely to refute sycophantic aides who suggested that he had such power. Obama has no such modesty.

    After all, in the words of his own slogan, "we are the ones we've been waiting for," which, translating the royal "we," means: "I am the one we've been waiting for." Amazingly, he had a quasi-presidential seal with its own Latin inscription affixed to his podium, until general ridicule -- it was pointed out that he was not yet president -- induced him to take it down

    He lectures us that instead of worrying about immigrants learning English, "you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish" -- a language Obama does not speak. He further admonishes us on how "embarrassing" it is that Europeans are multilingual but "we go over to Europe, and all we can say is, 'merci beaucoup.'" Obama speaks no French.

    His fluent English does, however, feature many such admonitions, instructions and improvements. His wife assures us that President Obama will be a stern taskmaster: "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism ... that you come out of your isolation. ... Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

    For the first few months of the campaign, the question about Obama was: Who is he? The question now is: Who does he think he is?

    We are getting to know. Redeemer of our uninvolved, uninformed lives. Lord of the seas. And more. As he said on victory night, his rise marks the moment when "our planet began to heal." As I recall -- I'm no expert on this -- Jesus practiced his healing just on the sick. Obama operates on a larger canvas.
     
  2. But the "change"......what about the change?:)
     
  3. Does anyone think, his current presence in Baghdad will actually give him any credibility in this race? (oops, i said race)

    Iraqis aren't voting for him regardless, the troops aren't exactly a massive voting block, maybe he figures his being half black will somehow placate the jihadis, for no apparent reason?

    Why the hell would a presidential hopeful do this, it just reeks of foto-opportunism, nearly as bad as bush on the aircraft carrier, in uniform, mission accomplished.



    What a load of baloney.

    Maybe he could convince condi (and i'll bet he could) to team up on the piano for a nice cabaret number, that will suddenly solve everything.
     
  4. This guy is so fake.

    Look at the pictures from Afghan / Iraq. All you see are black soliders in the background. It makes him look like he just like them, a solider. When he really has no balls for war.

    Only 16% of recuits are blacks, And most of deaths have been white
     
  5. I am quickly coming to the conclusion that all there has ever been to Barack Obama is symbolism and grandiloquent speeches. There is the symbolism of him as the (potential) first black president. And there is his ability to give portentous speeches in high-flown Harvard rhetoric, perfectly pitched to sound thoughtful to college-educated liberals--without actually saying anything.

    And here we go again, with another one of Obama's patented Big Speeches, this time on Iraq. It is pitched to sound sincere and intellectual, and to sell us on his allegedly superior foreign-policy judgment--so long as we drift through it and don't start asking any questions.



    The speech has two purposes. One is to artfully evade Obama's massive misjudgment of the "surge," which he unequivocally opposed. Thus, while he half-acknowledges the enormous turnaround in Iraq, here is how he describes its cause:

    As I have said many times, our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence. General Petraeus has used new tactics to protect the Iraqi population. We have talked directly to Sunni tribes that used to be hostile to America, and supported their fight against al Qaeda. Shiite militias have generally respected a cease-fire. Those are the facts, and all Americans welcome them.
    Here's a tip. When Obama begins a sentence with "As I have said many times," this means that he is about to announce a totally new position that contradicts everything he has said before. For a little reminder of what Obama has actually said about the surge "many times," check out this video clip helpfully posted to YouTube by the Republican National Committee.

    The rest of that passage shows a total, willful ignorance about what the surge actually consisted of and what it has done. He says that we "talked directly to Sunni tribes that used to be hostile to America." Well, we did a little more than talk. We backed up the Sunni "Awakening" movement with some serious military action--which is precisely what the extra "surge" troops were needed for.

    But the most ridiculous line is that "Shiite militias have generally respected a cease-fire." This Spring saw pitched fighting between Iraqi troops and the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army militia--fighting that ended because the Mahdi Army lost. Does Obama not even watch the news?

    But that is not what is most interesting about the speech. What is most interesting is its main purpose, which is to make it sound as if Obama is offering a whole new strategic direction for the War on Terrorism--while he declares that he would implement precisely the policies that are already being followed by the Bush administration.

    He says that "True success" in Iraq--note that he has even borrowed Bush's habit of saying "success" in place of "victory"--"will take place when we leave Iraq to a government that is taking responsibility for its future--a government that prevents sectarian conflict, and ensures that the al Qaeda threat which has been beaten back by our troops does not reemerge." But that is precisely what is already happening. Sectarian killings in Iraq, for example, have dropped to zero for about ten weeks running.

    And how does Obama propose to ensure that we keep on enjoying this "true success" in Iraq? "We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010--one year after Iraqi Security Forces will be prepared to stand up; two years from now, and more than seven years after the war began. After this redeployment, we'll keep a residual force to perform specific missions in Iraq: targeting any remnants of al Qaeda; protecting our service members and diplomats; and training and supporting Iraq's Security Forces."

    Note the part about the "residual" combat force, whose size Obama never specifies, which will target the remnants of al Qaeda and train and support Iraqi forces--which is precisely the end result envisioned by the Bush administration if the current progress in Iraq continues.

    But maybe the big difference is that Obama will stick to his 16-month timetable no matter what, while Bush and McCain want to make withdrawal dependent on conditions on the ground. Well no, Obama would "make tactical adjustments" after consulting with "commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government."

    That final flip-flop that the left has been dreading, when Obama throws out his commitment to a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq? It just happened. I wonder how long it will take them to notice.

    Obama's policies for Afghanistan and Pakistan also read like a giant "me-too" to the current administration. His "new strategy" is to do more of what we're already doing: increase troops, increase economic aid, and try jawboning the Pakistani government into fighting the militants.

    But the biggest piece of misdirection in the whole speech is about Iran. One of the centerpieces of Obama's strategy is a plan to "secur[e] all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states." So that means shutting down Iran's nuclear weapons program. How does he propose to do that?

    Preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a vital national security interest of the United States.... I commend the work of our European allies on this important matter, and we should be full partners in that effort.... We will...present a clear choice. If you abandon your nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives. If you refuse, then we will ratchet up the pressure, with stronger unilateral sanctions; stronger multilateral sanctions in the Security Council, and sustained action outside the UN to isolate the Iranian regime. That's the diplomacy we need
    So he'll cooperate closely with our European allies to offer the Iranians incentives to stop their nuclear program and threaten them with sanctions and diplomatic "isolation" if they refuse. In other words: precisely the policy the Bush administration has followed for the past six years, and especially since the summer of 2006--all with no results.

    So on these issues, there is nothing to Obama's speech. It is a whole bunch of pompous clichés--stuff like "it falls to us to act with the same sense of purpose and pragmatism as an earlier generation, to join with friends and partners to lead the world anew"--wrapped around the conventional wisdom.

    And that's all there ever has been to Barack Obama: symbolism and grandiloquent speeches.
     
  6. maybe so but the republicans deserve to lose. here we have a failed president who has the lowest approval ratings and what do the republicans do? they put up a candidate that is a clone to bush. they couldnt find one republican that would run against bush policies?
     
  7. repubs are in the cycle to lose. very difficult to get 3 different admins in a row regardless of popularity. Mac is one non inspiring guy as well, but probably the only "republican" that could win since he is left leaning on some issues. The environment actually being a big one this time around (never was before).

    that said, the dems again picked the worst person possible, but may actually win this time. Going to be a nail biter.
     
  8. So he wants to speak in front of a wall. Is this a big deal? Why the hell should we care? Why should his opponents raise a hissy fit over it? No idea. You have to earn the right to speak in front of a wall? Germany should feel privileged that a man who may become the most powerful man in the world thinks them important enough visit on his first major foreign policy trip. Or is the office of President of the United States such a diminished position these days that aspirants to it no longer command any respect?
     
  9. What Obama does not seem to understand is that the Brandenburg Gate is something you earn. President Reagan earned the right to speak there because his relentless pressure had brought the Soviet empire to its knees and he was demanding its final "tear down this wall" liquidation. When President Kennedy visited the Brandenburg Gate on the day of his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, he was representing a country that was prepared to go to the brink of nuclear war to defend West Berlin.

    Who is Obama representing? And what exactly has he done in his lifetime to merit appropriating the Brandenburg Gate as a campaign prop? What was his role in the fight against communism, the liberation of Eastern Europe, the creation of what George Bush 41 -- who presided over the fall of the Berlin Wall but modestly declined to go there for a victory lap -- called "a Europe whole and free"?

    Does Obama not see the incongruity? It's as if a German pol took a campaign trip to America and demanded the Statue of Liberty as a venue for a campaign speech. (The Germans have now gently nudged Obama into looking at other venues.)

    -------------------------------

    Apparently the Germans feel the same way. BO has done NOTHING to deserve the Brandenburg Gate as his backdrop. Come to think of it, what has BO done to deserve anything?
     
    #10     Jul 21, 2008