July 24, 2008

Obama talks to Berlin "as a citizen — a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world."

Text.
... Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen -- a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world....

[O]n the twenty-fourth of June, 1948, the Communists chose to blockade the western part of the city. They cut off food and supplies to more than two million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in Berlin.

The size of our forces was no match for the much larger Soviet Army. And yet retreat would have allowed Communism to march across Europe. Where the last war had ended, another World War could have easily begun. All that stood in the way was Berlin.

And that's when the airlift began -- when the largest and most unlikely rescue in history brought food and hope to the people of this city.

The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold.

But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up.
I guess we're not supposed to think about how Obama wanted and still wants to give up on the Iraq war. Surely, if he'd been there in 1948, he would have said the Berlin airlift is hopeless. He thought the surge was hopeless.

I won't excerpt the rest of the speech. You can read it, but I'll summarize: Come on, people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another, right now.

196 comments:

David said...

"I guess we're not supposed to think about how Obama wanted and still wants to give up on the Iraq war."

Is that why Maliki, and the majority of the Iraqi people, support Obama's withdrawal plan?

Mark Daniels said...

I thought the whole thing amounted to silly, pointless, self-aggrandizing theater.

Methadras said...

Seriously, did this guy bust his arms trying to pat himself on the back as ode to his presumed greatness. That was one of the most nauseating, high-calorie, low-volume speeches I've had the displeasure of seeing and hearing. This notion that one is a world citizen is a farce and besmirches the intrinsic value of his American citizenship. I'm a United States Citizen, Senator Barely.

Eli Blake said...

Many of the people who listened to the speech and applauded remember the Berlin airlift. There is no evidence that he wouldn't have done it.

The difference is simple. The Berlin airlift was an action taken on behalf of an American ally. The Iraq war was a waste of time and resources that has diverted us from fighting our real enemies dragged on with no end and seems by now to be increasingly pointless to continue.

In fact, last week the President of Iraq was talking about us leaving on a timetable that is remarkably similar to Obama's. So far from "giving up on the Iraq war," Obama appears to have a plan for ending it that is consistent with what the Iraqis themselves want.

What was it that Bush said? "When they stand up, we stand down?"

Or are those who support staying in Iraq now suggesting that this is no longer sufficient cause to leave?

XWL said...

Actually Maliki supports a precipitous withdrawal by American Forces (or Al Ameriki), for the simple reason that they can't get down to the serious corruption as long as there is a major American presence.

With all the corruption going on with us there, it will be ten times worse when we leave, now that most of the Sunni bad guys have been taken care of, the Baath bad guys have fled, and the Shia bad guys have been mollified, Maliki feels secure and wants to get down to the heavy duty kleptocratic activities that will enrich him and his cronies.

Randy said...

Anyone know if the Berlin speech ended with this song?

Given the repeated references to "My Lord," maybe not. Then again....

Gerard said...

"Is that why Maliki, and the majority of the Iraqi people, support Obama's withdrawal plan?"

David, please insert brain before responding. Not the point and you should know that. Thank you.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And that's when the airlift began -- when the largest and most unlikely rescue in history brought food and hope to the people of this city.

The airlift began? All by itself? So who exactly began that airlift? I didn't listen to his sermon...er...speech but did he mention it was the evil USA that began that airlift?

Maguro said...

The difference is simple. The Berlin airlift was an action taken on behalf of an American ally.

Nope. West Germany was occupied territory during the airlift. The West Germany gov't didn't make its debut until the next year.

Interestingly, the US Commander in occupied Germany, Gen Clay, offered this reason for the undertaking Berlin airlift:

"There is no practicability in maintaining our position in Berlin and it must not be evaluated on that basis... We are convinced that our remaining in Berlin is essential to our prestige in Germany and in Europe. Whether for good or bad, it has become a symbol of the American intent."

Not so different from the present conflict in Iraq.

bearbee said...

So when did he get to the Ich Bin Ein Berliner part?

Oy.....

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Althouse wrote:

I guess we're not supposed to think about how Obama wanted and still wants to give up on the Iraq war. Surely, if he'd been there in 1948, he would have said the Berlin airlift is hopeless. He thought the surge was hopeless.

I'm sorry Professor Althouse, but your claim is hopelessly silly. There is no logical basis for speculating that Obama would not have supported the Berlin airlift. You can do better than this.

Roger J. said...

I did read the transcript of Obama's speech. I guess I have gone over to totally cynical but I found it really totally empty and over the top.

First in terms of policy goals--removing nucs and ending the mid east conflict--how and by what means--Iran, Pakistan, Israel, South Africa plan to give up their nuke because?..........by what policy? how to disarm the NORKS?

How is Obama going to bring peace in the mid east--what is his mid east policy--divided Jerusalem? how will he settle Hamas versus Fatah?

I could go on, but Obama chose a series of intractable problems and claimed he was the one to solve them.. Right

Of more significance is the chutzpah of making a savior of the planet speech in a foreign country rather than trying it out at home.
There isnt a single german who was there that is going to vote for him; so what was the purpose of the speech except to evoke--evoke mind you--some subliminal image of a world leader.

Obama is increasingly looking like a man who believes in his own charisma--this is one dangerous son of a kenyan.

Jay Paul said...

Barack Obama’s claim that Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed his timetable, is not true. John McCain responded to that bit of propaganda in his response to Obama’s essay in the New York Times who by the way, refused to print McCain’s rebuttal.

“The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.”

Senator Obama voted against the surge and never supported the troops already there in harms way. I question his judgment in this case. As president, he will inherit bad situations he did not create but will have to deal with them none the less. His opponent Senator John McCain took a chance in demanding more troops and resources in Iraq. Had the surge failed, McCain would have taken a huge political hit and it could have cost him dearly. Obama has not been affected by being wrong; in fact Couric has been one of the few people in the media to call him on it.

We need a Commander in Chief who will make the right choices even when those choices are not popular. McCain has shown he can do that while Obama does not seem to be able to grasp that concept, I hope he proves me wrong. Our enemies are not rational people who will do the right thing if we leave them alone. They have no regard for life or liberty and will attack us at all costs. We must be prepared to take them on wherever they choose to do battle. So the question remains, is Barack Obama up to the challenge?

knox said...

Actually Maliki supports a precipitous withdrawal by American Forces (or Al Ameriki), for the simple reason that they can't get down to the serious corruption as long as there is a major American presence.

Yeah, my first thought was, "what the hell is his reasoning for that?"

Yachira said...


Sightseeing or Wounded Soldiers? For Obama, an Easy Choice

Joshua said...

I guess Ann prefers "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."

P. Rich said...

Europeans, with the possible exception of the English - who don't consider themselves to be European anyway - do not like to have their noses rubbed in the fact that they have ever received anything from the US. It's a delusional national pride thing.

The Berlin airlift was a reconstruction effort necessary to momentarily thwart the frisky Soviets, an effort to feed the sorry remnants of a city we had collectively just smashed and a beaten starving people we had just decimated. So they want to be reminded of that? How stupid is stupid.

Palladian said...

You know, he wanted to give his little sermon at the Brandenburg Gate but was blocked by Angela Merkel?

"In July of 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was reported to have made plans for a keynote address on transatlantic relations at the Brandenburg Gate, during his visit to Germany on July 24th. After objections from German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the site should only be reserved for very special occasion addresses by politicians, and only by elected American presidents, the Obama campaign decided to hold the address at the Berlin Victory Column."

You know, the Brandenburg Gate is the perfect site for Obama's "Europeam Campaign" speech. Think of the history: site of Kennedy's 1963 speech, site of Reagan's 1987 "Tear down this Wall!" speech, the place where Helmut Kohl and Hans Modrow greeted each other after the 1989 Revolutions, the site of Barack Obama's Triumphal Entry into Jerusal... I mean Berlin in 2008! What an opportunity lost!

chuck b. said...

oh my fucking god that song and that video! Ughhhh. I feel sufficiently anesthetized for a root canal now. But what I need is a Silkwood scrubdown.

Waves... Gentle waves. Strong waves. Wavy waves. California waves. Duuude. Bro!

Dogwood said...

Or are those who support staying in Iraq now suggesting that this is no longer sufficient cause to leave?

We leave when they ask us to leave, could be two years from now, five years from now, or 50.

Also, don't forget that Maliki is playing to political allies in a bid to win votes in the coming Iraqi election, so take what he says now with a few grains of salt.

Get out in 16 months may sound good and win votes (ala Obama), but the reality on the ground may delay the 16-month countdown for a few years.

In short, we leave when we leave. No need to rush for the exits and no need to hang around longer than necessary.

Roger J,

I had a good laugh over Obama's claim that he will solve the Middle East conflict. Geez, the man's arrogance knows no bounds.

Thousands of years of conflict will be settled in his short 8 to 10 years in office. Puhleaze.

There will be peace in the Middle East when the Arabs and Persians choose to value life over death, and thus leave the Jews alone.

My guess is that won't happen until regime change comes to Iran and Syria.

EnigmatiCore said...

"There is no logical basis for speculating that Obama would not have supported the Berlin airlift."

It depends. If Obama had been challenging Truman for the Democratic nomination, then it is pretty obvious that he would have opposed the airlift (and would have claimed, after it succeeded, that he still would have opposed it but deserves credit for changing the discussion to where it could succeed).

I think you are likely right, though, that he would have supported it wholeheartedly if he wasn't challenging Truman, him being a fellow Democrat and all.

That said, I think Ann's cruel neutrality is struggling to survive. It might even be on life support.

Randy said...

As Maguro points out, the research done by Obama's staff and speechwriters was sloppy. I wonder how many people know the airlift lasted almost an entire year, and that one occupying ally, France, refused to participate, believing that Berlin was a "lost cause" and the effort unsustainable. Three months after the airlift began, the French got involved. Thus, the Berlin Airlift was almost entirely an Anglo-American effort. (Remind anyone of anything?)

The question for a modern-day American politician is: Would he allow one of his allies to veto his planned actions? Or would he go ahead and do it anyway, after making a public case for his actions?

Doyle said...

"There is no logical basis for speculating that Obama would not have supported the Berlin airlift."

Like that's gonna stop these clowns.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Is that why Maliki, and the majority of the Iraqi people, support Obama's withdrawal plan?"

Perhaps you can post some information that shows that Maliki supported Obama's withdrawl plan, which was for us to leave approximately a year or two ago.

Claiming he supports Obama's plan when, in fact, he seems to be saying that he thinks McCain's plan (that Obama opposed) worked so well that we might be able withdraw sooner rather than later, is incredibly disingenuous.

Randy said...

The McCain campaign response:

John McCain has dedicated his life to serving, improving and protecting America. Barack Obama spent an afternoon talking about it.

- Tucker Bounds, campaign spokesman

Doyle said...

That said, I think Ann's cruel neutrality is struggling to survive.

Gee who could have guessed that a Bush 2004-voting, Iraq War-loving older woman could possibly break McCain's way?

Ann Althouse said...

You're wrong! Everyone who actually knows me, knows I'm significantly more likely to vote for Obama than to vote for McCain. Chances are 70/30, as I told you before.

It's the total lack of underdoggishness that makes me want to criticize Obama. Plus, he's more interesting.

Roger J. said...

I don't think this crap is going to play all that well in Germany either--this is the equivalent of Dominique de Villepan going to San Fransisco to, perhaps, read his poetry. I only wish Obama would have make this speech in Nord Bayern, or Bayern, or perhaps in Leipzig. The audience there would have been entirely different.

But this was a photo op and not a serious speech.

Meade said...

"...knows I'm significantly more likely to vote for Obama than to vote for McCain."

...which explains the "cruel" part.

Doyle said...

I think being a black Democrat gives him at least a smidgin of underdogness. Also the fact that no one knew who he was 5 years ago.

P. Rich said...

Althouse. Come on. 70/30 still? How much unassailable evidence of Obama's utter incompetence and unsuitability for the office of President is it going to take to ovecome those nightly fantasies, that stimulating leg shiver?

Randy said...

C'mon everyone. Let's all hold hands and sing along with with Michael & Lionel! Altogether now: We are the..

Roger J. said...

Doyle: and no one knew who Huey Long was until he burst out of Louisiana on the national stage.
They dont teach history in NYC?

The Drill SGT said...

I could go on, but Obama chose a series of intractable problems and claimed he was the one to solve them.. Right

"I have a secret plan to end the war!"

RMN

Doyle said...

Roger -

If Huey Long was president then I really don't know my history, and if his becoming president proved that being obscure was a benefit, rather than a handicap, then I don't know my logic, either.

Doyle said...

P. Rich -

Don't hold all Obama supporters responsible for Chris Matthews. That's just not right.

Meade said...

"...no one knew who he was 5 years ago."

Sort of like no one knew who Jimmy Carter was in 1976. Unfortunately, we had to find out the hard way.

Salamandyr said...

You know, I don't really care if one agrees or not, but the sheer lack of graciousness displayed by some of the people here to our host is appalling.

Disagree, argue even. But if you can't at least act with a modicum of civility to the person who provides this space, go the fuck away.

The Drill SGT said...

What's with the Obama phrase "Tough Diplomacy"?

Does that mean you meet with the Iranians and "insist" they stop working on nukes? And when they say "NO", then what? You having taken all the useful options off the table already?

As for the Berlin airlift? I bet McCain would have done it.

Based on the general "hug the world" ethos of Obama and his three hundred advisors, I think we would have sat back, and done nothing "provocative" and entered into "tough diplomacy" while the Berliners froze and starved.

ricpic said...

BO informs Berliners that there was an airlift!

The Drill SGT said...

Doyle said...
Don't hold all Obama supporters responsible for Chris Matthews. That's just not right.


LOL, Doyle, that's one of your best yet. Totally agree :)

Salamandyr said...

There's a very simple way to find out if Obama would have supported the airlift. Check the dates.

Begun in 1948? Under a Democrat? Heroism!

rhhardin said...

Christian Schutze's ``Stencilled Speech for All Occasions'' seems to cover it. Orignally in German, too! excerpt

From an earlier time when complete crap was more popular.

P. Rich said...

Doyle said: Don't hold all Obama supporters responsible for Chris Matthews. That's just not right.

Couldn't agree more. I'm just searching for a plausible excuse or two for Althouse's attraction to Obama. Having ruled out policy, experience, religion, background and associates, I figure we are down to some basic physiological thang.

Kirby Olson said...

Perfect post. No comments.

rhhardin said...

Hey look somebody else noticed Christian Schutze here

nrn312 said...

You're wrong! Everyone who actually knows me, knows I'm significantly more likely to vote for Obama than to vote for McCain. Chances are 70/30, as I told you before.

I'll put down $30 on McCain, thanks.

Roger J. said...

Doyle: your lack of reading comprehension knows no bounds--did I write that Huey Long was president? if so where? Let me spell this out for you fool: huey long was a southern demagogue from Louisiana who burst on the national stage during the depression; you can complete the analogy.

You know doyle: I don't mind that you are an asshole--it goes with being a new yorker; but you are a discourteous asshole. Althouse banned you a while back, but you somehow seem to think you should just show up. Didnt your mother teach you anything about courtesy? a normal human being with some sense of social responsibility or fundamental notion of courtesy would have said Ok--I'm gone.

You however are a pathological dipshit who somehow thinks they are entitled by dint of wit or wisdom, neither of which you possess, to foist your crap on the rest of this group. So let me suggest in my basic best cavalry language: get the hell out of here. You are lowlife scum.

Doyle said...

Roger no likey?

Quayle said...

Man, to have 200,000 people in Europe cheering you on (and you didn't even bring the world cup home)....

...that must really be intoxicating.

nrn312 said...

But if you can't at least act with a modicum of civility to the person who provides this space, go the fuck away.

Very civil of you, but I was under the impression that this space is owned by Google and is also supported by advertising.

rhhardin said...

You're wrong! Everyone who actually knows me, knows I'm significantly more likely to vote for Obama than to vote for McCain. Chances are 70/30, as I told you before.

A new mind-reading game.

ricpic said...

Complete crap always has been and always will be the longest running show in town.

Salamandyr said...

Of course, a big reason Althouse is talking about Obama is because he's the one doing all the newsworthy stuff. McCain isn't doing much right now, and of course, when he does something (like send a letter to the New York Times) the media refuses to run it.

EnigmatiCore said...

"You're wrong! Everyone who actually knows me, knows I'm significantly more likely to vote for Obama than to vote for McCain. Chances are 70/30, as I told you before."

Aha! I didn't say that the cruel neutrality was on life support because you were going to back McCain. I just said it was on life support.

70/30 isn't exactly cruelly neutral.

gophermomeh said...

We're vetting him - that's what I thought's been happening.

Though "total lack of underdoggedness" I don't buy, but maybe that's because I spend too much time around here. Interesting - yes - thank goodness someone in this race is.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Most of you could have dreams of Obama dropping out of the race, endorsing McCain (or whoever you guys like), and finally admitting that his socialist tendencies coupled with his complete lack of experience make him the worst presidential candidate in the history of presidential candidates...

...and you'd still wake up pissed off, wanting to criticize him on althouse.blogspot.com.

AJ Lynch said...

Hey Sgt:

I have always believed Nixon said that and campaigned on that but read recently he did not?

Which is true - any idea ?

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

Zach P.S.

Actually, in my case that isn't true. First of all, I am not a fan of either party, and do not consider myself a member of any one of them.

At first, I was very interested in Obama, and thought that it was possible that I could vote for him.

As time has gone by, I've started to realize that the guy is all talk and no experience or accomplishment. I've run into too many of those in my years in the business world to be fooled anymore.

(I'm fooled by other things, perhaps, but just not that.)

Saying, "We've got to find a solution for X" is NOT the same thing as actually developing a viable, sustainable solution, or actually having the skill to implement the solution.

Saying there is a problem is NOT the same as solving the problem.

And Obama has never solved a lot of problems.

That's my approach and take here. (Embelished at times because it's fun to be snarky.)

Blue Moon said...

Quayle:

Nice -- Obama is Fernando Torres? No, he's Marcos Senna...

The Drill SGT said...

Roger J,

I too read the speech and found Obama rewriting some history, specifically:

1. Obama's father was a "scientific socialist", yet Obama, has him seeking America because: At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning - his dream - required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West.

2. Not sure what the rape and pillage of Berlin has to do with our common humanity, unless it's spreading the Tartar gene pool (The Russians used Asians as assault troops) in :Look at Berlin, where the bullet holes in the buildings and the somber stones and pillars near the Brandenburg Gate insist that we never forget our common humanity.

3. I note he didn't tell the Israeli's about hiswall phobia. They think their wall keeps them safe from terrorists: The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.


4. I don't know how you can reconcile hugging Russians in one paragraph and not acknowledge that the enablers of the tyrants in this para are those same Russians and Chinese :Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words "never again" in Darfur?

m00se said...

Obama is in Germany charging his batteries.

He's takens some hits on his pivots, and now needs to reinforce his "uniter" image. He can easily do this by visiting the countries that were most put off by BUsh and his lack of "Charisma".

Obama will go over well in Europe just the same way jazz and Jerry Lewis did. Europeans think they represent the "true spirt of America" - particularly those downtrodden folk that, to the Europeans eyes, Obama represents.

He'll roll around in this for a few weeks, will experience a bump in poll numbers, and then reality will re-set in and people will be once again questioning what exactly this guy has going for him that Edwards didn't have? Other than a painful lack of discretion and foresight.

Well, that too...

Richard Dolan said...

Now that they've won the Dem nomination, Team O seems to be repeating the Dewey approach in '48, when everyone knew he would beat Truman handily. All the pundits said so. Dewey went around giving vapid speeches, smiling and spouting platitudes, and doing what he imagined to be a good show of being "presidential." No doubt, Dewey had a great time playing president-elect. Until the returns came in, that is.

Team O has forgotten that they need to convince people, and not just the Dem netroots and the Dem media, why an inexperienced junior senator from Illinois with a thin (and very lefty) record should be elected. The more he offers empty blather, the more he just plays up the doubts people have about him. Remarkably, that's what he's offering, all while McCain and the Reps are hammering him for doubletalk on the surge, and energy independence, and oil drilling, gasoline prices, taxes and on and on. O's wonderful foreign adventure has done nothing to help him, and its insubstantial, stage-managed quality may end up hurting him.

Very strange from a campaign team that seemed much more impressive during the primary.

The Drill SGT said...

AJ you appear to be right. wiki has:
In the 1968 Presidential campaign, Richard Nixon stated that "new leadership will end the war" in Vietnam. He never used the phrase "secret plan", which originated with a reporter looking for a lead to a story summarizing the Republican candidate's (hazy) promise to end the war without losing. When pressed for details, Nixon retreated to the position that to tip his hand would interfere with the negotiations that had begun in Paris. Nixon never disavowed the term.

I guess I was his secret weapon.

dualdiagnosis said...

Good God, Maliki is not the government of Iraq. He is but one piece, and not the most important piece.

And anyway, I thought the lefty talking point on Maliki was that he was nothing but a puppet installed by the Bush administration.

The Drill SGT said...

Wow,

I guess Obama is an open open borders kind of guy:The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

Quayle said...

Blue Moon, I see Obama more as Ronaldinho playing midfield, a la Brazil in Germany 2006.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

You guys make me profoundly sad. Here's a guy who just got 200,000 Germans to applaud the line, "just as American bases built in the last century still help to defend the security of this continent, so does our country still sacrifice greatly for freedom around the globe." Basically, the Iraq war. He's single handedly restoring our allies' faith in us at a time when we need their aid (to save Afghanistan AND to save NATO). And you just piss and moan for the most part. YUCK. I am disgusted.

Original Mike said...

Hoosier Daddy said: The airlift began? All by itself? So who exactly began that airlift? I didn't listen to his sermon...er...speech but did he mention it was the evil USA that began that airlift?

I was also struck with the passive voice. Strange.

Original Mike said...

He's single handedly restoring our allies' faith in us ...

Wow. He is The One.

AJ Lynch said...

Sgt:

For years I viewed Nixon as a skunk for winning the 1968 election on that myth and then taking 5-6 years to end it. I was 16 in 1968 and guess I was not paying close attention or the media parroted the phrase enough I believed it.

Thanks

Sloanasaurus said...

An equally interesting question is whether FDR would have supported the Berlin Airlift. FDR was no anti-communist and in fact took a liking to Uncle Joe during the end of the war. Germany and the West was probably lucky that FDR died when he did.

It is doubtful that Obama would have supported the Berlin Airlift. Supporting it at the time required gravitas and extreme risk, the kind of gravitas that allowed Truman to fight back in Korea.

Obama is not a fighter like JFK or Truman or Johnson or Bush. Obama is more like Clinton - airstrikes only.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama's strategy seems to be to run out the clock. Is his lead that big he can afford to play it safe?

McCain may start landing some body blows while Obama is off sucking up to countries who never back us up when we need it.

Obama's pandering on foreign soil ain't going to get him more votes in Ohio and PA and MI.

Patm said...

I too thought the speech sounded like a pop song: a combination of "Imagine", "Ebony and Ivory" and "We are the World..."

Patm said...

Wait, now it's 200,000 Germans? I thought it was 100,000.

And they did get free beer and bratwurst and music for their attendance.

Blue Texan said...

I guess we're not supposed to think about how Obama wanted and still wants to give up on the Iraq war. Surely, if he'd been there in 1948, he would have said the Berlin airlift is hopeless. He thought the surge was hopeless.

Exactly. Obama should stay in Iraq until we win.

On the other hand, I thought you said we won -- just yesterday.

I can't keep up.

RJ said...

Jay Paul is 100% correct. Maybe we can't know whether Obama would have supported the air lift or not, but he's made one thing perfectly clear: the decision would be based on personal political ramifications, not the country's (or our ally's) best interests.

Michael_H said...

I hope that John McCain makes a campaign speech in Germany that consists of:

Screw the muslims. If they fuck with Germany, I'll see to it that the U.S. lights the fuse on a few big noisemakers. Have a few beers on me before you go home. Thanks for coming."

That'd draw a crowd of 200,000, easily.

Obama? Empty suit. Race baiter. Megalomaniac.

KevinHayden said...

Not so different from the present conflict in Iraq.

Stalin was a bastard that scaled well to Hitler, with world dominance goals.

Saddam was a tinpot dictator with lousy strategic military skills who could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in his sleep. And who had designs on leading a united Arab world but was not a direct threat to the west. In fact, for some years, he was our puppet.

I see plenty of differences between the two conflicts. So did my Dad, who took part in the Berlin airlift.

The threats were different, there wasn't a cabal of ideologues making shit up to justify the invasion, and the competence of the people in the White House was well above the current cast of characters. Which is why the airlift didn't take 6 or 7 years to achieve its goals.

Cedarford said...

Althouse wrote:
I guess we're not supposed to think about how Obama wanted and still wants to give up on the Iraq war. Surely, if he'd been there in 1948, he would have said the Berlin airlift is hopeless. He thought the surge was hopeless.

And poofy pinky responded:

I'm sorry Professor Althouse, but your claim is hopelessly silly. There is no logical basis for speculating that Obama would not have supported the Berlin airlift. You can do better than this.

Well, Pinky, lets get into one of Black Messiah's main operating principles - that anything that requires one to commence chewing gum on one issue while walking down another issue is a "distraction" that shouldn't be done. Just as matters inconvenient to Messiah - like Rezko, Rev Wright, his vote supporting partial birth abortion, 216 "present" votes are all - distractions - from - THE - REAL - ISSUES.

If we look at 1948, we have a dramatically downsized and overstretched military and the usual Jewish Communists and liberals screaming because we downsized so much that we had to restart the involuntary Draft, and opposing their special fellow travelling friend Stalin "wasn't worth it"..

What sort of "distractions" might have Obama faced in 1948 that might lead him to abandon a city surrounded by a vastly larger military force as an even "sillier" distraction from the "larger issues"??

Obamessiah would have had to prioritize about these 1948 problems:

1. China being lost to communism as the civil war had tipped away from Nationalists by early 1948.

2. Communist insurgencies and State of Emergency in Greece, Malaysia. A democratic Communist takeover pending in Italy. Europe was in major jeopardy of being lost entirely - and the emergency Marshall Plan was devised - something Truman wanted to maintain his focus on.

3. India and Partition War, millions being killed vs only a few thousand in Berlin truly threatened.

4. Israel and Palestine in their Partition War.

5. The Soviets moving in hardcore communist political exiles, ethnic Russians, and large numbers of reliable Jews to take over the central government and especially the security organs and police in the Baltics, Poland, E Germany. Tens of thousands of pro-Western, anti-fascist WWII veterans and notables were killed Czechoslovakia had its leaders killed by KGB.

6. Domestically with massive labor unrest. Knowledge that Jews and WASPs loyal to the Soviets had infiltrated the nuclear program, State, various media organs, the R&D complex and done tremendous damage and much of that Truman didn't want to become public knowledge. In 1947, Truman set up loyalty boards to investigate espionage among federal employees. Between 1947 and 1952, "about 20,000 government employees were investigated, some 2500 resigned 'voluntarily,' and 400 were fired.

7. Huge debate on the final form of W Germany, Korea, Japan. De-nazification limits, the massive war crimes trials of the Japanese pending.

8. Apartheid institutionalized.

9. Orders desegregating military, race riots in several towns. The rebellion of the Dixiecrats. Major popularity issues for Truman.

And you think that someone like Obama would not consider Berlin a "distraction" rather than what it was, like Iraq was - a test by the enemy of our Will???

K T Cat said...

I haven't seen the speech and I'm a McCain supporter, but...

this seems like the perfect thing for Obama to have done. He gave an apparently contentless speech on hope and change and togetherness and unicorns and fairies to a massive crowd of people. That's what he does very, very well. Give them man his due, he played to his strengths today.

Revenant said...

On the other hand, I thought you said we won -- just yesterday.

You were mistaken.

I can't keep up.

That much is obvious.

The surge has been a success, and it can certainly be said that we are winning. Optimistic folk might say that victory is inevitable at this point, at least in the sense that it was inevitable in, say, WW2 after the Bulge. But that isn't the same thing as saying that we've won, the war is over, and we can go home now.

rhhardin said...

John and Ken (KFI) say Obama is inhaling his own gas now.

Short and to the point review lede.

Revenant said...

What's with the Obama phrase "Tough Diplomacy"? Does that mean you meet with the Iranians and "insist" they stop working on nukes? And when they say "NO", then what?

It is kind of like when you strenuously object to something in court, instead of just objecting the regular way.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Revenant wrote:

The surge has been a success, and it can certainly be said that we are winning. Optimistic folk might say that victory is inevitable at this point, at least in the sense that it was inevitable in, say, WW2 after the Bulge. But that isn't the same thing as saying that we've won, the war is over, and we can go home now.

In other words, it's too early to declare that the surge has been a success.

nathan said...

Obama does not want to quit Iraq and lose the war. 200,000 Germans cheered wildly but you can do little but comment with child-like sniping.
Theater? all politics is theater. Gettysburg was theater...so what?
McCain's Town Hall talks are theater.

Snipe away, and when you have a chance, ask what value your house lost in the past 7 months, what employment figures are like, and, finally, what the national deficit now is...not enough? Ask how we are doing in Afghanistan.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Cedarford babbled:

If we look at 1948, we have a dramatically downsized and overstretched military and the usual Jewish Communists and liberals screaming because we downsized so much that we had to restart the involuntary Draft, and opposing their special fellow travelling friend Stalin "wasn't worth it"..

Another day, another Cedarford comment about Jews. Business as usual at the Althouse blog...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger J. wrote:

So let me suggest in my basic best cavalry language: get the hell out of here. You are lowlife scum.

Hey, when did Roger J. put himself in charge of security at Althouse?

Roger J., if you're going to command the "lowlife scum" to "get the hell out of here," how about chasing Cedarford?

Just a suggestion...

Chip Ahoy said...

Ok, let me get this straight, you're telling me Obama is in Germany?

M. Simon said...

The difference is simple. The Berlin airlift was an action taken on behalf of an American ally.

So the current Iraqi government is not allied with the USA?

You have a link?

Verso said...

*Come on, people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another, right now.*

What a horrific, nightmarish vision of the world, right Ann?

I have a better song: Bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran. Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran. Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran! A one, a two, a one two three!

Music to Ann's warmongering neocon ears.

Revenant said...

In other words, it's too early to declare that the surge has been a success.

If the point of the surge had been to win the war outright that would be true. As it wasn't, it isn't.

Bissage said...

Did ya see the NEWS, man?! Like, this astronaut dude, man, he’s all . . . like . . . like . . . he said little green men from outer space are, like, REAL, man!!! No joke! And it’s not like he’s a wacko kook or anything! Dude’s an astronaut, man! An astronaut! A real life FREAKIN’ ROCKET SCIENTIST!!!! Got a PhD and a pocket protector and everything!!!

And he’s all like . . . the government’s all covering it up, man . . . cause they don’t think you can handle it, like people’d be all, like, breakin’ store windows and stealing each other’s food and water and stuff.

That’s some heavy shit, man. Like, people’d totally freak!!! But this dude WALKED ON THE FREAKIN’ MOON, man!!! How totally AWESOME is that!!!

Revenant said...

200,000 Germans cheered wildly but you can do little but comment with child-like sniping.

I can't say I've noticed any particular correlation between "people the Germans cheer for wildly" and "people I'd want running my country".

paul a'barge said...

Obama:But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning

no, in the darkest hours the USA kept the planes flying in and out of Berlin so that the people of Berlin could keep the flame of their hope burning.

Typical of Obama to completely miss who actually showed courage during the Berlin Airlift.

And, it was the Berliners (East Berlin) who built the wall that ... gasp, gasp, wait for it ... didn't come down until Ronald Reagan demanded it down and until Ronald Reagan bankrupted the Commies.

So, Obama ... if you want to attribute courage you should at least have the mininal gonads to give credit for that courage where that credit is due:

to the USA.

Revenant said...

*Come on, people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another, right now.*

What a horrific, nightmarish vision of the world, right Ann?

It is a very pretty vision. I look forward to hearing his plans for health care ("don't get sick!") and economic growth ("everybody should have all the money they want!").

Here's a clue for the clueless: if your candidate's vision for the future of international relations is indistinguishable from that of your four year old nephew, it probably isn't something you should be taking seriously.

garage mahal said...

Clearly Obama speaking to 200,000 thousand people when McCain was wandering around a grocery store complaining is good news for Republicans.

MadisonMan said...

I'm not really following the news today, but I sure know what Obama did today. I have no idea what McCain did on the campaign trail today. How can McCain hope to compete if he never does anything newsworthy?

Team Obama is brilliant at getting Barack into the headlines. Team McCain? Not so much. The big problem is that McCain is yesterday's news. You can go all Phil Gramm on me and whine that this is because of MSM bias and it's not faaaaair. But that doesn't change the perception that McCain is doing nothing to get into the news and to promote his vision, whatever it is.

M. Simon said...

"just as American bases built in the last century still help to defend the security of this continent,...

I take it Iraq is in the wrong continent?

Andre said...

“David, please insert brain before responding. Not the point and you should know that.”

Yes David, please get with the program. We own Iraq, and we haven’t even finished building all our military bases there.

“Perhaps you can post some information that shows that Mal iki supported Obama's withdrawl plan, which was for us to leave approximately a year or two ago.”

So Obama got the idea from Malaki is that it? I guess you learn something every day.

“Claiming he supports Obama's plan when, in fact, he seems to be saying that he thinks McCain's plan (that Obama opposed) worked so well that we might be able withdraw sooner rather than later, is incredibly disingenuous.”

Actually it was McCain, who jumped on the badwagon and said US troops could be back in less than 16 months, after he heard Malaki’s endorsement. But hey, he’s McCain and he's so experienced right, so he must have meant something else.

“don't think this crap is going to play all that well in Germany either--this is the equivalent of Dominique de Villepan going to San Fransisco to, perhaps, read his poetry.”

Yeah, did you see the 200 thousand Germans who turned up all waiting with pies in their hands to throw at him?

“How much unassailable evidence of Obama's utter incompetence and unsuitability for the office of President is it oing to take to ovecome those nightly fantasies, that stimulating leg shiver?”

Gee I dunno. Do you think there’s enough time between now and the elections for Obama to make as many verbals gaffs as McCain has made? That's a tall order, but you can always hope.

“Having ruled out policy, experience, religion, background and associates, I figure we are down to some basic physiological thang.”

You hit the nail on the head. He didn’t support an an unnecessary war against someone who didn’t attack or threaten us. He didn’t get go after an endorsement from Hagee and he hasn’t even left his wife for a drug addict yet. Clearly he’s unsuitable to be president – at least a Republican one.

“McCain isn't doing much right now, and of course, when he does something (like send a letter to the New York Times) the media refuses to run it.”

Yeah, he’s had such a stirling week in the media hasn’t he? Surely he's saving the best for last.

“Obama is more like Clinton - airstrikes only.”

So McCain would invade Iran or bomb it from the air?

“McCain may start landing some body blows while Obama is off sucking up to countries who never back us up when we need it.”

He's left it a little late don't you think? In the mean time, he has to come up with a way to stop soiling himself during live interviews, learn that there is no border between Pakistan and Iraq and that Czechoslovakia no longer exists.

“The surge has been a success, and it can certainly be said that we are winning. Optimistic folk might say that victory is inevitable at this point, at least in the sense that it was inevitable in, say, WW2 after the Bulge. But that isn't the same thing as saying that we've won, the war is over, and we can go home now.”

That’s the beauty of never defining what victory means, because so long as it remains a figment of your imagination, it can be whatever you want it to mean on any given day. The surge (ie. escalation) is simple math. More troops equals less violence - that and bribing Sunnis to stop shooting at us. That’s the only part of the surge that worked. In fact, the surge has worked so well that we are preparing to attack Fallujah again and more than six years into the war, we’re still bombing a country we’re supposed to be rebuilding.

Heckuva job don’t you think?

MadisonMan said...

I looked it up. McCain held a press conference at a German Restaurant (How clever -- not! It just reminds people that Obama is in Germany!) in Ohio, in a Republican Congressional District. I presume the Republicans are playing defense there, given the sorry state of the Republican party in Ohio.

The more I look, the more I'm convinced that McCain's candidacy is run by idiots.

M. Simon said...

what employment figures are like,

From what I hear around 95% of Americans who want to work have jobs.

It is just like the Great Depression. Veterans selling pencils on street corners and soup kitchens everywhere.

We are doomed - unless we elect the Messiah who will raise taxes on business which will for sure create more jobs and who insists that buying our oil from unstable kleptocracies is a very good idea. Because American oil companies are evil.

I also love his plan for raising taxes on the rich. If we can drive the rich out of the country we can have the true equality we are all yearning for.

ricpic said...

What about $4 gas, Obama? Or are you too Europeanized to consider that a problem?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Revenant wrote:

If the point of the surge had been to win the war outright that would be true. As it wasn't, it isn't.

I suggest you refresh your memory regarding the stated goals of the surge. Have those goals been met yet? (The short answer is no.)

Until the goals of the surge have been met, it is premature and foolish to judge the surge a success.

Methadras said...

The Drill SGT said...

What's with the Obama phrase "Tough Diplomacy"?


And the duplicitous language of diplomacy continues to flourish.

Quayle said...

I'm starting to notice a recurring theme here.

Obama supporters that post here point to this social problem, or that flaw in McCain, or the other thing some other guy said that was stupid, or keep repeating how Obama is so very attractive and liked.

OK. So they make the case that we could use some real leadership. Maybe they even make the case that McCain isn't that guy.

So how come they never seem to affirmatively make the case that Obama is that guy?

That right there is the most telling. They never offer up much of anything pro-Obama.

But I can sympathize with them. Really, I can. The evidence is so thing, the case is very hard to make.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Madison Man said:
The more I look, the more I'm convinced that McCain's candidacy is run by idiots.

It's true.

His campaign has been one disaster after another.

The German restaurant thing, the canceled press conference on the oil rig in the path of Hurricane Dolly, the $300 million dollar giveaway to the inventor of a new car battery, that poster Ann linked to last night, the recent ad blaming Obama for high gas prices, the whining and complaining about media bias, and don't even get me started on the gaffes, all the countless gaffes and awkward, dead-in-the-water speeches, and don't forget the Viagra response. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

Stupidest campaign ever.

And yet, he's only a few points behind Obama in recent polls. Tells ya what 1/2 the voters know.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama's very smooth. It reminds me of the bout between Big John Tate and Mike Weaver. Tate jabbed and feinted for 14 and a half rounds and then in the last ten seconds decided to go toe to toe with Weaver.

Weaver threw a punch that landed Tate in another universe.

I think that McCain still has that ability in him. He's short but really tough, and at one point he's going to get Obama and then we'll finally find out if he's got a chin.

If he does, he's president.

I just don't think he does.

Maguro said...

Kevin Hayden,

Historical analogies don't have to *exactly* the same to be relevant. My point was that success begets success and Obama's plan of losing the war in Iraq in order to win the "real" war in Afghanistan was never remotely plausible. Napoleon expressed the same idea when he said "When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna."

Fletch said...

MadMan-

I presume the Republicans are playing defense there, given the sorry state of the Republican party in Ohio.

Ohio House 53-46 Repub
Ohio Senate 21-12 Repub

And, I'll also predict "partisan Democrat" Jennifer Bruuner loses her Sec of State election in 2008.

Fletch said...

PIMF!

... partisan Democrat Jennifer Brunner.

A.K.A.- The "nutroots Jr." woman who forced all 88 Ohio counties to spend millions printing "paper ballots" that don't prevent "ACORN" fraud, and were also ignored by 99% of the voting population.

Revenant said...

I suggest you refresh your memory regarding the stated goals of the surge.

To reduce the level of violence in Iraq so that civil society could begin to return to normal. To put Iraqi and US forces on a proactive, rather than reactive, footing with regard to terrorists and insurgents.

Have those goals been met yet?

Yes, some time ago.

Cedarford said...

Par for the course. Now Pinkerton is defending the Rosenbergs and other A-Bomb spies. Not to mention the people Stalin put in charge of secret police in E Europe who did his butchery in mass liquidations.

*************
The question was if Obama would have done the Airlift given his philosophy that the public and military can only focus on one "REAL ISSUE" overseas, and a limited set of domestic issues in areas where he thinks he has an advantage. Anything else is pronounced by Obamessiah from "THE REAL ISSUES".

I gave an historical taste of the massive challenges Truman had in 1948. Most far more important than an isolated city in a conquered nation. Yet he multitasked the military and restarted the Draft when it was clear things were overstretched. He had huge domestic issues, yet had the Will to involve the US in military and diplomatic work in almost a dozen crisis points.

All the evidence of Obama's conduct and assertions that we must only focus on ONE, GREAT foreign problem at a time suggests why Truman was a near-great President and why Obama would be another Jimmy Carter or worse. Obama would have never tied up half the logistics of the Army Air Corps for a "distracting city's problems." He would have dumped the Berliners or suggested that futile international diplomacy that did nothing but starve and freeze the Berliners, but cost him nothing and left him looking morally superior and committed to "reforming Stalin by his legendary Obamessiah persuasive powers would be the way to go.".

Michael_H said...

"Ok, let me get this straight, you're telling me Obama is in Germany?"

Yep. He went there to tell the Germans that their children should speak Spanish.

Plus, Rezko said he has a sweeeet deal on a schloss.

Germany is either the 55th or 56th state; I forget which one.

He told the Germans: I don't look like Reagan or Kennedy. The Germans thought: Nicht scheiss, Sherlock.

Revenant said...

the $300 million dollar giveaway to the inventor of a new car battery

By what stretch of the imagination is it a bad idea to offer prizes for the development of great new technologies? If the technology is developed then great; if not, you don't have to spend a dime.

and don't forget the Viagra response

Well, the accurate response would have been to call the reporter a lying son of a bitch (almost all private insurance covers birth control), but then he'd have been attacked for being a big meanie.

There is no chance of McCain getting good press, as the press is almost entirely composed of Obama supporters. All he can do, really, is keep describing his qualifications and hope that people eventually notice Obama hasn't got any.

garage mahal said...

To reduce the level of violence in Iraq so that civil society could begin to return to normal

Return to normal meaning pre-invasion Saddam?

ricpic said...

He was iggerant as hell but he didn't know it
'Cause all the perfessers told him he was swell.
An every time he opened up his trap he showed it
But due to his complexion no one would on it dwell.
Then the powers that be decided to allow it
That he would be their front man president(shell).
And the people in a fog voted for the fraud because what could they do about it?
And the rest is a tale too sad to tell.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

The prize money for the car battery (when there is already so much technology out there to invest in and explore) was gimmicky and lame to me. Is he a game show host?

The reporter was not lying. She was asking for his thoughts on Carly's (McCain's spokeswoman) earlier comments, when she expressed concern about viagra not being covered. So I guess Carly is the lying sonofabitch?

Revenant said...

Return to normal meaning pre-invasion Saddam?

Normal for a democratic society. Which, admittedly, would be distinctly abnormal for Iraq. :)

Eli Blake said...

One thing to note:

On his trip so far, Obama has been gaffe-free. This must be a disappointment to Ann.

vbspurs said...

Germans especially do not trust themselves anymore to like charisma in their politicians.

Instead, they look for charismatic leftist leaders around the world to admire.

If Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro decided to hold a similar rally in Berlin, they would be mobbed, and it would make the Love Parade look like a minor gathering.

Well do I remember Ronald Reagan in Germany, in the exact same place as President Kennedy, urging Gorbachev to tear down this wall.

The claps were numerous, but scattered and somewhat perfunctory.

(Despite it being of inestimable more importance to geopolitics than anything Obama said today)

Right-wing American presidents and candidates will never ever get the same treatment as left-wing candidates.

They are not citizens of the world. They are just Americans and proud of it.

Cheers,
Victoria

Eli Blake said...

Jay Paul: (3:17):

Try that again. From real clear politics,

A Maliki spokesman walked back the statement after his office got a phone call from officials at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the Post's Dan Eggen writes....

-- That the White House would get involved and ask Maliki to withdraw his statement only makes things better for Obama. Published in the German newspaper Der Spiegel, Maliki's office claims the remarks are taken out of context and mistranslated. But the newspaper is standing by their reporting...

But like all good press secretaries, Maliki's made and distributed a recording of the interview, and it's pretty hard to walk back comments like those the Prime Minister made. "Obama's remarks that -- if he takes office -- in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq,"


So what you are saying is that you are buying into the half-hearted clarification that came from the Iraqis only AFTER OUR ADMINISTRATION ASKED THEM TO take it back, and which is disputed by a tape recording that shows that Maliki said exactly what he was quoted as saying.

Dang, man. I bet if the GOP spinmeisters told you that we had to stay in Iraq because there were dragons, you'd swallow that line too.

MadisonMan said...

Fletch, I confess that the only thing I know about the Ohio Republican Party is that the past Governor, a Republican, was quite corrupt, and some scandal having to do with coins and a retirement fund. Perhaps the Legislature there is still mostly Republican -- it is here, too -- but I wonder about the trend.

P. Rich said...

According to Der Spiegel’s blog, Spiegel Online, The Obama cancelled planned Friday visits to two US military bases in Germmany. One, Landstuhl, receives wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. He did however find time and reason to go shopping and sightseeing in Berlin tonight. [Powerline]

Aspiring Commander in Chief, is he, this pretentious little "citizen of the world"?

VTH said...

Love that song. Seems to be what people are buying these days and Obama is more than happy to sell it to them. Why hasn't McCain made any such speeches? Surely he can hire someone as good as or better than Obama's speechwriters. Is it that we won't believe a speed steeped in idealism when it's delivered with all the passion that the old maverick can muster up. Even if McCain hit's his stride and starts really selling himself well, his "self" is not in very high demand this election cycle.

Quayle said...

Not only that, but the Der Seiegel headline on Obama's speech

"Völker der Welt, Schaut auf mich"

"People of the world, look at me"

Not exactly a flattering portrayal by the German press.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Asked whether the goals of the surge have been met, Revenant wrote:

Yes, some time ago.

Unfortunately, you haven't been paying attention. You should read the latest GAO report on the subject. Since it is unlikely you will make the effort to become even mildly informed on the subject, I'll include a bit of it here:

The security situation remains volatile and dangerous. DOD reports that the U.S. has not achieved its goal of defeating al-Qaida in Iraq, local security forces (such as Sons of Iraq) have not reconciled with the central government, and the cease-fire agreement with the Mahdi Army remains tenuous...

In the legislative area, Iraq has enacted key legislation to return some Ba’athists to government, grant amnesty to detained Iraqis, and define provincial powers. However, questions remain about how the laws will be implemented and whether the intended outcomes can be achieved. Additionally, Iraq has not yet passed legislation that will provide the legal framework for sharing oil revenues, disarming militias, and holding provincial elections.

The Iraqi government also faces logistical and security challenges in holding the scheduled 2008 provincial elections — a key element of reconciliation for Sunnis. Finally, the government has not completed its constitutional review to resolve issues such as the status of disputed territories and the balance of power between federal and regional governments.


In short, your claim that the goals of the surge were met "some time ago" is just plain wrong.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The more I look, the more I'm convinced that McCain's candidacy is run by idiots

MM I have to agree with you. Obama's handlers (don't you love that term, like they are zoo animals or something) have also made some bad missteps.

Wouldn't it be something if these candidates actually presented themselves as they really are instead of being professionally packaged and promoted, like a box of cereal or toilet paper..

ricpic said...

When Ronald Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" a roar went up from the crowd, Victoria, you worthless liar.

Peter Blogdanovich said...

Obama should just change his name to John Fitzgerald Kennedy and be done with it. No one will call him on it. That would be racist.

Revenant said...

One thing to note: On his trip so far, Obama has been gaffe-free.

Thus far on his trip, Obama has:

- Explained to the Jordanians that "Israel is a strong friend of Israel's" and will continue to be under an Obama administration.

- Informed the Israelis that "we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran". Obama isn't on the Senate Banking committee, nor is he on any of its subcommittees. Of course this isn't necessarily a gaffe; he might just have been lying.

- Said, in Afghanistan, "the objective of this trip was to have substantive discussions with people like President Karzai or Prime Minister Maliki or President Sarkozy or others who I expect to be dealing with over the next eight to 10 years". How Obama expects to be President from now until 2018 is anybody's guess.

Gaffe-free? No. Free from gaffes his fawning lickspittles could be bothered to report? Sure. I expect him to be free from THOSE gaffes for at least another four months. :)

Revenant said...

The security situation remains volatile and dangerous. DOD reports that the U.S. has not achieved its goal of defeating al-Qaida in Iraq, local security forces (such as Sons of Iraq) have not reconciled with the central government, and the cease-fire agreement with the Mahdi Army remains tenuous...

I'm pretty sure your problem here is dishonesty rather than lack of comprehension, but I'll explain why you're wrong anyway.

I cited two goals for the surge. First:

To reduce the level of violence in Iraq so that civil society could begin to return to normal.

Your argument that violence still exists and society has not *returned* to normal is non-responsive. The violence has been reduced; the return to normal society has begun. Thus, the first goal is accomplished.

Secondly:

To put Iraqi and US forces on a proactive, rather than reactive, footing with regard to terrorists and insurgents.

This, also, was accomplished. Obviously insurgents still exist, and if the goal of the surge had been "to eliminate all insurgents in Iraq" then it would indeed be too early to call it a success. But since the goal was to start pushing back instead of just responding to attacks, and since we've been doing that for months now, that goal of the surge can also be deemed a success.

The correct parallel would be to D-Day, which did not win the war in Europe but which made winning the war in Europe possible. By late 1944 it was apparent that D-Day had been a complete success -- even though fighting continued throughout Europe, and the outcome of the war remained in some doubt. Had a new President taken office in 1945 determined to yank all our troops out of the war it would still have been possible to lose, or at least to hand the victory over to another enemy (the Soviets then, the Iranians now) instead.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Cedarford babbles:

Par for the course. Now Pinkerton is defending the Rosenbergs and other A-Bomb spies.

You're delusional.

jim said...

Pwned on the 1st comment AGAIN?!

Damn, that's gotta hurt.

Looks like Bush & McCain're both leaning heavily toward "giving up on Iraq" too - following Obama's lead, before he even takes office.

Oh, & the person above saying the Berlin Airlift was a lot like Iraq: comedy gold! Hmm, foreign occupying army, populace bravely holding out in an effort to establish their independance ... methinks you really ought not go there, girl.

I know this is gonna really hurt, but - you weren't ever actually invited there, you had no legitimate reason to go there, & you've already been asked to GTFO, repeatedly. Not as a hint, as an overt request ... you'll do well to accept that there's no victory parade coming - not now, not soon, not EVER - & cut your losses. This is very likely as good as it's ever going to get. Deal.

Every new casualty you incur is another obscene sacrifice on behalf of a pointless occupation being waged by an illegitimate regime that's on its way out. I believe you'll soon discover that that blood doesn't come off your hands nearly as easily as it got on them - & that the price-tag for that bloodshed is much more than monetary. Best of luck with that.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Revenant wrote:

I cited two goals for the surge.

Unfortunately, the goals of the surge, as defined by the proponents of the surge, are not limited to the two you cite. Therefore, your insistence that the surge be judged on "your" two goals is nonsensical and dishonest.

It's simply incorrect to assert that the stated goals of the surge have been met. Again I suggest that you read the GAO report and acquaint yourself with the facts.

Revenant said...

So what you are saying is that you are buying into the half-hearted clarification that came from the Iraqis only AFTER OUR ADMINISTRATION ASKED THEM TO take it back

Oh my god, the administration asked an ally to clarify his remarks? It's a conspiracy! Someone arrest Condi Rice.

and which is disputed by a tape recording that shows that Maliki said exactly what he was quoted as saying.

But is Maliki saying that he wants the troops gone in around 16 months, or is he saying he thinks it will be feasible to withdraw the troops in around 16 months? Remember, McCain's plan is to bring most of the troops home once their mission is done, whether that is in 6 months, 16 months, or 16 years. Obama's plan is to start yanking the troops out on day one, complete it within 16 months, and if that turns out to be bad for Iraq then Iraq can go fuck itself. If Maliki thinks the war will be won in another year and a half, and thus American troops will no longer be needed by the Iraqi government, he's agreeing with McCain -- not Obama. He's only agreeing with Obama if he wants the troops gone, period, come hell or high water, regardless of the situation in his country.

Another interesting thing to consider is that Maliki thinks Obama was wrong to oppose the war and McCain was right to support it. How odd (Revenant said, sarcastically) that the media has not chosen to highlight that little point of disagreement between Maliki and the Obamessiah. I wonder why it is that we only hear about the opinions of our allies when they are in agreement with the Democratic Party's chosen one? :)

Randy said...

The response to Reagan's demand to "tear down this wall" can be found here

(About 2:00 minutes in)

A crowd of 20,000 heard his speech in person. Near the end, Reagan notes those protesting his presence in Berlin on that day. An estimated 25,000 protested his arrival, smashing windows and fighting with the police.

Randy said...

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner (quote):

"This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality."

Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall, for it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.


As evidenced by comments here today, most on the left remain horribly unhappy that it fell when it did, the reasons it fell, and the people who brought that about. They will go to any length to deny the truth (as we have seen and shall see anon) in a futile attempt to paper over their craven politics then and now.

Reagan's speech at the Berlin Wall can be found here.

Donna B. said...

I wonder if Obama has taken to heart what is to me the real message of the Berlin airlift -- that after years of warfare, the U.S., Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and France (eventually) joined together to feed the people they previously warred against.

Can he translate that to supporting the Iraqi people after U.S. troops are "withdrawn"?

What I most fear is that Obama has a superficial understanding of world events of the last 75 years -- perhaps more -- of world events.

I don't think he really gets the idea of a "power play" if it can't be done entirely in the media.

Cedarford said...

P. Rich said...
According to Der Spiegel’s blog, Spiegel Online, The Obama cancelled planned Friday visits to two US military bases in Germmany. One, Landstuhl, receives wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. He did however find time and reason to go shopping and sightseeing in Berlin tonight. [Powerline]

Aspiring Commander in Chief, is he, this pretentious little "citizen of the world"?


Cheap moral blackmail. Have you ever accused Bush of being a traitor or betraying the military by not making ceremonial visits to them the 1st priority of any international trip or State visit?

Going to Crawford and disgracefully refusing to spend days at bases listening to the "heroes" and ignoring all other constituencies? Visiting NOLA but failing to make a side trip to Houston to the wounded, burned soldiers at Brooks?

Ostensibly, we like to believe that Presidents will weigh all issues and concerns of the citizenry equally and not make every visit or meeting only a priority of hearing from and greeting a small part of the constituency ("Hero" 1st responders, "hero" soldiers, or on the other end "victim welfare mothers and gay marriage activists") at the expense of the larger citizenry.

Also, when a major elected official visits a foreign land, the obvious main reason is to meet the leaders and people of that land, not whatever expats are there or soldiers based there - that is secondary - unless it is a war zone the politician is "fact-finding in".

Time is limited. I'd rather he get a better understanding of Europe and perhaps even go with an agreement with the present Administration to point out areas that he as well thinks the Germans, EU, and NATO need to be more cooperative on than waste a day flying to the other side of Germany and back to do a ceremonial visit to the same soldier constituency he met over days in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And if foreign policy is a weak area of Obama's, similarly I'd like McCain to place a priority on State visits aimed at improving his understanding of the economy and it's major problems rather than expend another week of his time on his 77th through 81st days of his 2008 campaign "visiting the only people who count in my mind -soldiers and warriors like me".

MadisonMan said...

most on the left remain horribly unhappy that it fell when it did, the reasons it fell, and the people who brought that about.

Wow, that's not my recollection at all. So you're saying the majority of the Democratic Party -- and liberal Republicans -- I'll define that as 'the left' -- are unhappy the Berlin Wall fell?

That's crazy.

Der Hahn said...

Zachary Paul Sire quoted Madison Man: The more I look, the more I'm convinced that McCain's candidacy is run by idiots.

Then said :

Stupidest campaign ever.

And yet, he's only a few points behind Obama in recent polls. Tells ya what 1/2 the voters know.


Mostly it tells you that even though our economy is on life support, we're fighting a war alot of people wish we weren't, and the MSM are in the tank for him, Obama is such a poor candidate he can't close the deal.

Randy said...

Your interpretation of my comment provides an interesting but inaccurate definition, MadisonMan.

fcai said...

You wrote "alot". Heh heh...

chickenlittle said...

"They looked up at him as if he were a Messiah, their faces transformed into something positively inhuman. If he had remained in sight for more than a few moments, I think many of the women would have swooned from excitement."

from "Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent"
by William L. Shirer

Xanthippas said...

Can he translate that to supporting the Iraqi people after U.S. troops are "withdrawn"?

Talking about the Iraqis as if they were "one" people disqualifies one from serious discussion of Iraq (I'm looking at you, Althouse.) Strange that talk of "supporting" the Iraqis fails to take into account what their government actually wants. Maliki wants us there no longer than it takes us to affirm the supremacy of the Iranian-influenced, Shiite-dominated government. You do realize that if we stay, we're staying to protect the Sunnis, the people we kicked out of power, right? Does anybody wonder if that's worth a few hundred more dead American soldiers? Or dead Americans, killed by terrorists we failed to kill in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Mostly it tells you that even though our economy is on life support, we're fighting a war alot of people wish we weren't, and the MSM are in the tank for him, Obama is such a poor candidate he can't close the deal.

That's absurd. What is shows is that despite serious problems that face the nation, we remain largely evenly divided ideologically. Can you think of any Democratic or Republican candidate that can overcome this? Yeah, me neither.

"Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent"
by William L. Shirer


Yes, and the man he's talking about was busy talking about threats to the Fatherland by enemies within and without, and how Germany need only assert itself to take it's place as a world power again. Did ou hear any of that today? No?

chickenlittle said...

"Did ou hear any of that today? No?"

No but they used to talk that sort of shit down at the good 'ol Trinity United

Randy said...

You do realize that if we stay, we're staying to protect the Sunnis, the people we kicked out of power, right?

You sure about that? Seems to me far more likely that we're staying to protect the Kurds if anyone.

Palladian said...

In honor of The Obama's history-making speech given at the Berlin Victory Column today, the German government (with the approval of various EU agencies, of course) modified the sculpture of Victora which stands atop the structure.

Now that's a change we can believe in!

blake said...

But that doesn't change the perception that McCain is doing nothing to get into the news and to promote his vision, whatever it is.

I'm pretty sure that that's not the perception. I'm pretty sure the perception among half the people is that the media is in the tank for Obama.

But this could so easily backfire on O.

Middle Class Guy said...

This is nothing more than Obamarama. I respected him before this so called world tour to promote his so called foreign policy experience. My respect is going down. He has none. only Hillary the hillbilly has less.

He is not Kennedy. This is not the Sixties. The Commies are no longer in power in East germany. His whole speech is irrelevant.

If he had asked Germany, France, Italy, and Spain when they are going to stop appeasing terrorists and start rounding them up I may have taken him seriously. But like a good Democrat, he refuses to ask the hard questions.

1213076850s13434 said...

I think his song is more like, "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony...I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company."
The extent of this man's ego is astounding.

Revenant said...

I'm pretty sure that that's not the perception. I'm pretty sure the perception among half the people is that the media is in the tank for Obama.

McCain could single-handedly resolve the Israeli-Palestinian tomorrow and the headlines would read "Israeli/Palestinian Peace Accord Follows Obama Visit".

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

Hey everybody, guess what?

Obama was in Germany today! Und jeder hatte eine wundervolle zeit.

Randy said...

McCain could single-handedly resolve the Israeli-Palestinian tomorrow and the headlines would read "Israeli/Palestinian Peace Accord Follows Obama Visit".

ROFLMAO. So true.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Seriously though, what the eff is going on with Pamela Anderson?

vbspurs said...

I think this is what is called by men, "a third leg".

Who knew?

vbspurs said...

Palladian, you've been hat tipped over at my blog. Thanks for the pic!

Die Goldelse Bleibt in Berlin

That's what Beeleeners (to quote JFK) call Our Lady of Victory.

Cheers,
Victoria <-- Hey that's my name

Ernst Blofeld said...

I think it's pretty obvious that Obama would have been a Henry Wallace supporter in 1948. Odd religious beliefs for both of them, "progressive" politics, a fight with the established party leadership.

Plus the naivety.

jdeeripper said...

"He's a man with a global perspective because he comes from the world to us. He's sort of a gift from the world to us in so many ways. "

Now I'm beginning to understand the German love for David Hasselholf a little better.

Just a little.

MadisonMan said...

I think it's pretty obvious that Obama would have been a Henry Wallace supporter in 1948.

Henry Wallace walked around in my grandfather's corn field as he decided for/against the VP slot in '40. Hitherto unknown MadisonMan fact. I am therefore only 4 people removed from FDR: My Dad, his Dad (who died before I was born), Henry Wallace, FDR.

rhhardin said...

A soldier's account of the Obama visit to Afghanistan if true is more telling than ceremonial visits, here.

blake said...

You could probably make that link shorter by going through the draft board, MadMan.

MadisonMan said...

You think so? I wonder how close, chain-of-command-wise, a draft board person is to the President. Of course, had I joined the Armed Forces at a young age, I'd be advanced enough in rank now to maybe short circuit it.

It occurred to me that Dad or his sisters probably knew Wallace, so that makes it just 3 steps from MadisonMan to FDR :)

P. Rich said...

They were planned visits Obama cancelled, cedarford, you twit. Bush is evil! is not a response to anything and only demonstrates the lack of intellect and integrity in the swamp where you live. Saying it at length, again, is just stupid and boring.

Chris said...

"I believe people ought to be able to worship freely, or not worship at all, but you’re equally a citizen of the world. I believe that poverty and hopelessness in the spirit can be changed. I believe the United States has got an obligation to help others.

"…And so the purpose of my visit here to Vienna has been to work with my European Union counterparts to join in a common alliance for the good of mankind."

George W. Bush in 2006. If being a citizen of the world [which technically we all are] is such a bad thing, why does your leader like them so much?

Palladian said...

"If being a citizen of the world [which technically we all are]..."

No, 'technically' we aren't. We're inhabitants of the world. "Citizen" has a specific meaning: a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized. The "world" is not a state or commonwealth; there is no world government, at least the last time I checked. We're not "citizens of the world".


"...is such a bad thing, why does your leader like them so much?"

Did we say we like and agree with our "leader"? Some of us dislike him as much as we dislike Obama.

Fen said...

What's with the Obama phrase "Tough Diplomacy"?

Tough Diplomacy: no-fly zones, sanctions combined with oil for food scams, 14 UN resolutions over 12 years ["this is your Final Warning!, Ver 5.2, bartering your soul to the Devil for the promise of "future negotiations" re it.

Kirk Parker said...

MM,

You need a new definition of "the left".

Chris said...

Pal: My point was that some of you guys think it's unconscionable for Obama to speak metaphorically about being a "citizen of the world," but Bush and indeed Reagan [Remarks in New York City before the United Nations General Assembly Special Session Devoted to Disarmament, June 17th, 1982: “Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. President, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen: I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world.”] can without scrutiny.

And my other point was that, if Obama and Reagan can call themselves "citizens of the world", then we all can, can't we? At least figuratively?

I find ridiculous the way the right-wing blogosphere has glommed onto Obama's talking to the leaders and people of other nations as some sort of "self-aggrandizing theater." Was McCain's speech in Canada just weeks ago "theater" as well? Or did it not qualify as such because it wasn't received as enthusiastically?

Really, if you're suggesting that people shouldn't vote for Obama because he's more popular than McCain, you might want to check yourselves.

Revenant said...

I am therefore only 4 people removed from FDR: My Dad, his Dad (who died before I was born), Henry Wallace, FDR.

That would also make you five people removed from the KGB, considering how many of Wallace's associates were (unknown to him, presumably) Soviet agents. :)

Revenant said...

What makes Obama's "citizen of the world" remarks a bit annoying is that he, his friends, and his wife seem alternately embarrassed by and hostile to the idea of being citizens of the United States. Anyone wishing to be President should be an American first and foremost, and a "citizen of the world" a distant second.

vbspurs said...

No, 'technically' we aren't. We're inhabitants of the world. "Citizen" has a specific meaning

EXACTLY, Palladian.

The 2000s saw an nuclear increase in the amount of conspiracy theorists out there. One of their constant nattering points is that Bush was creating a New World Order, by disbanding national boundaries, and installing himself as President of the world.

When Obama says something which echoes this sentiment (a citizen of the world presumes a world government), no one blinks and cowers.

Where are the Troofers, Bilderburg watchers, and Cindy Sheehans now?

Cheers,
Victoria

Michael McNeil said...

AJ Lynch says:
For years I viewed Nixon as a skunk for winning the 1968 election on that myth and then taking 5-6 years to end it. I was 16 in 1968 and guess I was not paying close attention or the media parroted the phrase enough I believed it.

I've never been a fan at all of Richard Nixon, but regardless of the origin of “the phrase,” he did end the Vietnam War — leaving behind a South Vietnam that could defend itself, albeit with some support from its American ally.

Moreover, it didn't take “5-6 years” to do it. Nixon was elected in 1968, taking office at the end of February 1969. As Encyclop√¶dia Britannica points out in its article “Vietnam War”, “By the end of 1971 the South Vietnamese had accepted responsibility for all fighting on the ground, although they still depended on U.S. air support.”

Thus, the end of 1971 (a bit less than three years after Nixon took office) marks the real end of the ground war in Vietnam as far as American forces are concerned — though since the North Vietnamese regular army invaded the South in 1972, air support (bombing) was performed to assist the South driving them back.

In August 1974, the post-Watergate Congress forbade all U.S. military expenditures in southeast Asia, with the result that when the North invaded in force once again in 1975, none of the promised support from America was forthcoming for the defense of the South — which physical not to speak of morale blow led to the collapse of the Southern forces and victory by the North.

knox said...

Gee who could have guessed that a Bush 2004-voting, Iraq War-loving older woman could possibly break McCain's way?


What's with the snide "older woman" remark? You're such a turd.

knox said...

I'm just searching for a plausible excuse or two for Althouse's attraction to Obama. Having ruled out policy, experience, religion, background and associates, I figure we are down to some basic physiological thang.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Althouse has stated repeatedly that she is a liberal. She throws lots of red meat to conservatives, but that is not necessarily an indication of how she feels about any given issue. I am NOT trying to speak for Althouse here--I just don't know why people are shocked that she voices support for a democrat.

Revenant said...

who could have guessed that a Bush 2004-voting, Iraq War-loving older woman could possibly break McCain's way

Considering that the majority of voters both supported the invasion and voted for Bush in 2004, you'd better hope your assumption that they'll all break for McCain is wrong.

Chris said...

Rev: "Anyone wishing to be President should be an American first and foremost, and a "citizen of the world" a distant second."

Right, that's why Obama's exact quote, according to the article above you are assumed to have read, is "as a citizen — a [1] proud citizen of the United States, and a [2] fellow citizen of the world."

So, he says he's an American first, technically, and a COTW second.

And can you actually direct me to an example of Obama or his wife actually being hostile about being citizens of the U.S.? And I'm not talking about questioning the US government or expecting more from the US. Questioning your government [like y'all did in "Monica-gate"] is a critical component of patriotic citizenship. No, I'm talking about hate. And don't even try the guilty-by-association-to-Jeremiah Wright crap, because I can connect those dots on McCain just as easily.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

And don't even try the guilty-by-association-to-Jeremiah Wright crap, because I can connect those dots on McCain just as easily.

Really? Obama's religion, black liberation theology, "will only accept the love of a God that participates in the destruction of the White enemy" [Dr Cone]. McCain didn't worship at that racist "madrassa" for 20 years, Obama did.

Revenant said...

Right, that's why Obama's exact quote, according to the article above you are assumed to have read, is "as a citizen — a [1] proud citizen of the United States, and a [2] fellow citizen of the world."

Sure. The problem is that he's lying about [1]; that's why [2] grates.

And don't even try the guilty-by-association-to-Jeremiah Wright crap, because I can connect those dots on McCain just as easily.

If McCain had attended Klan rallies for twenty years and named David Duke as a personal friend, spiritual mentor, and near-family member, would it be "guilt by association" to question McCain's commitment to civil rights?

Obama himself said that he could no more disown Wright than he could disown his own grandmother. Sure, you can pull the usual lame stunt of saying that McCain accepted the endorsements of some mean Christian people on a few occasions, but not even a Kool-Aid drinking Obamoid is going to fall for that flimsy attempt at equivalence.

Obama hung out with America-hating racists for twenty years. He gave them money, he brought them into his campaign as advisers -- he even wrote a book inspired by a sermon. Dick Cheney has fewer ties to George Bush than Barack Obama has to Jeremiah Wright. :)

Fen said...

And don't even try the -

That Chris even attempted such a pre-emptive disqualifier says much. He knows the Trinity racism and anti-americanism is a problem for Obama, even though he looks away from it.

Maybe he can't handle the shame of supporting such a racist. Cognitive dissonance?

Fen said...

Every new casualty you incur is another obscene sacrifice on behalf of a pointless occupation -

Twenty years from now, after Liberty has cascaded from Iraq into the arab street, the Moonbats will claim the Middle East got better all by itself. Bush had nothing to do with it, just like Reagan had "nothing" to do with the fall of the Soviet Union.

Beth said...

Andrew Sullivan's blog has a post up (looks like it's from a reader, so I don't mean to attribute it to Sullivan) that points out the "citizen of the world" phrase has been used in international settings by JFK, Reagan and Bush I.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Twenty years from now, after Liberty has cascaded from Iraq into the arab street,

I have no idea if that will happen.

But even if it doesn't, the labeling of an attempt to replace a fascist dictatorship with a liberal democracy as "pointless" will remain as yet another data point refuting the notion that contemporary "liberalism" cares about things like human rights and freedom.

Fen said...

used in international settings by JFK, Reagan and Bush I.

True. But I think the difference is that they used the term to rally the world into joining us to do what was Right.

When Obama, or any other modern-day Dem goes there, its an appeal for us acquiesce to multinational frauds like the UN, the ICC, Kyoto, etc. In short, to surrender our role as hyperpower in exchange for popularity and "goodwill" from the world. Such "goodwill" has never been banked into anything tangible.

vbspurs said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Althouse has stated repeatedly that she is a liberal.

I don't get this. Ann is a liberal, she's just not a liberal who is engulfed in BDS syndrome, and feels protection of country is important.

I'm a Conservative. I have been since I was 4. Nothing is going to change that.

I don't recognise her as one of my own, just because she sometimes votes like I do.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Clarification: I am addressing the perception that Ann is a liberal, not to anyone in particular.

Also, the second part of my first sentence is awkwardly phrased. I'm sure folks understood though.

AJ Lynch said...

Michael McNeil:

I found a website that showed 300 killed in action in 1972 versus 2-3,000 in 1981. So you are probably essentially corect that that war ended late 1971 or thereabouts.

As a Dem and 20 years old in 1972, that sure seemed like a long way from a 1968 election promise.

Synova said...

"I looked it up. McCain held a press conference at a German Restaurant (How clever -- not!..."

I think it was very clever.

Granted, I'm one data point if that, but I doubt I'm the only one who had a strongly negative reaction to the idea of Obama giving campaign speeches to Europeans instead of Americans as if their approval is particularly important. To those people like me, going out for brats and slaw is a very clever poke at Obama... the Germans that matter are HERE, not over there. It also plays hugely on the perception of elitism on Obama's part. Brats and slaw is about as red-neck as it's possible to get without having brats with beer instead of cabbage while pandering to European sensibilities is the other direction. Granted, it wasn't FRANCE, but did it need to be?

As for whoever said that Obama accomplished something important by getting Germans to cheer for him as he talked about our military commitments... will those cheers send more German troops or support to Afghanistan? Is public acclaim *really* important if it results in not a d*mn thing?

Synova said...

To emphasize that point... people do not agree to send troops or support to war (and most of our allies who do send troops at all send them neutered) on the basis of liking someone who gives a nice speech. They decide to help or take action because *they* believe it is important and necessary to do so. How grossly insulting to think that good feelings will induce a nation to send it's soldiers into harms way and bad feelings will make them refuse to act in a cause they feel important out of spite.

Heck, looked at one way, maybe they were cheering because he was proclaiming that the US shoulders those burdens... letting them off the hook.

Fen said...

In short, being "popular" with the world has never been banked into anything tangible. Its simply a way for otherwise powerless nations to influence us into doing what they prefer.

I use to give my dates in high school the same line: hop in the back seat with me to earn my respect. Amazingly, a large percentage fell for that.

Of course, being viewed as hip & cool & sophisticated is very important to those on the Left. So we shouldn't be surprised that they pine away for the "goodwill" of Eurotrash.

Chris said...

vbspurs: I'm a Conservative. I have been since I was 4. Nothing is going to change that. Really? When you were four years old you decided that you were against big government and regulation? And for privatization, tax breaks, free markets, and a strong defense? And you decided you were for a more Christian morality for the nation, against welfare and immigration?

You must have been one hell of a four year old.

Me? I discovered I was a liberal Democrat when I was 18. After, you know, thinking about it.

Fen: Of course, being viewed as hip & cool & sophisticated is very important to those on the Left.

That's like saying that being viewed as xenophobic, intolerant and boorish is very important to those on the Right. So I guess we're both right.

Rev: the labeling of an attempt to replace a fascist dictatorship with a liberal democracy as "pointless" will remain as yet another data point refuting the notion that contemporary "liberalism" cares about things like human rights and freedom.

The only "freedom" we're bringing to the Middle East is Free Markets, which are funneling your tax dollars into the coffers of Halliburton, KBR, etc., by their shareholders in the administration. That tax-fearing conservatives don't see this — and yet allow themselves to be pursuaded that Obama is a covert America-hating Muslim — is nothing short of astonishing. And irrational.