November 7, 2008

What Berlusconi and Ahmadinejad said about the Obama victory.

The L.A. Times reports:
Berlusconi, who has a history of controversial remarks, said the relative youth of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, 43, and Obama, 47, should make it easier for Moscow and Washington to work together.

Then, smiling, he said through an interpreter, "I told the president that [Obama] has everything needed in order to reach deals with him: He's young, handsome and even tanned."...

Berlusconi, 72, later defended the remark, calling it "a great compliment. . . . If they have the vice of not having a sense of humor, worse for them"....

Berlusconi said the remark was meant to be "cute" and he lashed out at those who disagreed, calling them "imbeciles, of which there are too many."
Berlusconi is getting a lot of criticism in Italy. He's embarrassing. In America, do we care about "tan" jokes? I note that the WaPo fashion columnist Robin Givhan wrote, about Michelle Obama: "[T]he implied message is unmistakable: I am neither subversive nor threatening. I am not some scary 'other.' I am Camelot with a tan." Givhan is herself African American, which gives her more leeway, and she's imagining someone else's implied statement.

Stepping back from the focus on calling a black person "tanned," we should see that Berlusconi was making a sexual joke. To say Obama can make deals because "He's young, handsome and even tanned" is to say that he can be seductive, and Berlusconi was picturing a "deal" between Obama and Medvedev. Medvedev, who was standing right there -- and not reacting -- looks like this:



So, you get the picture of what Berlusconi thinks is "cute." (How do you say "cute" in Italian?)

As for Ahmadinejad, who is decidedly not cute:
“I congratulate you for attracting the majority of votes in the election,” Mr. Ahmadinejad wrote in his message, an Iranian news agency, ISNA, reported. “As you know, opportunities that are bestowed upon humans are short lived,” he wrote, adding that he hoped Mr. Obama would make the most of the opportunity....

“People in the world expect war-oriented policies, occupation, bullying, deception and intimidation of nations and imposing discriminatory policies on them and international affairs, which have evoked hatred toward American leaders, to be replaced by ones advocating justice, respect for human rights, friendship and noninterference in other countries’ affairs"...
Short lived, eh?

ADDED: Italy is in a tizzy:
Many Italian newspapers gave the comment nearly as much front-page attention as Mr. Obama’s victory itself. The journalist Curzio Maltese wrote in the center-left La Repubblica that “bookmakers wouldn’t even take bets” on how long it would take for Mr. Berlusconi to let slip another of his famous gaffes. “Mr. Berlusconi never fails to live up to our worst expectations.”

Mr. Maltese added that just when Mr. Obama’s victory was “inspiring billions of people” to consider “democracy, the most extraordinary triumph of humanity after centuries of bloodshed and intolerance,” Mr. Berlusconi instead contributed “a miserable, vulgar and racist remark, for which he didn’t even have the courage to take responsibility or the dignity to apologize.”

A billionaire populist, Mr. Berlusconi excels at deflating such lofty talk. He said that his remark had been “a compliment” and that his critics lacked irony. “If you want to get a degree in idiocy, I won’t stop you,” La Repubblica quoted him as saying. “I say whatever I think.”

41 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

to be replaced by ones advocating justice, respect for human rights, friendship and noninterference in other countries’ affairs"...

Heh, coming from a man whose nation publicly hangs homosexuals and women who have sex outside of marriage and refers to Israel as a parasite.

That's rich. I mean really rich and this is the man Obama wants to have a kaffe klatch with.

MadisonMan said...

So Ahmadinejad is all better now? Too bad.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well Chavez said he was looking forward to meeting the black man.

Probably as soon as they get that sulphur smell out of the White House.

Bissage said...

So now it's offensive to joke about a light-skinned black man having a tan?

Dammit!

Looks like I'm going to have to throw out all these watermelon jokes I've been working on.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually Berlusconi should be taken to task for not saying that Obama was also clean and articulate.

Lawgiver said...

Almost 50% of the world's population live on less than $2.60 per day. To them, regardless of who our leadership is, the US must be the land of milk and honey not the bullying, war-oriented ogre that Ahmadinejad describes. I wonder how many of them actually give a flip who our President is?

Kevin said...

But once Dmitry has Barack, will he go back?

Meade said...

"Barack is brack. I want my baby back"

Ron said...

Chili's would have done their "Barackaback Ribs" already, if Dr. Evil had not put the kabosh on it!

AllenS said...

Barackback Mountain:

A political movie where everyone gets screwed.

Pogo said...

Of course!
War-oriented policies, occupation, bullying, deception and intimidation of nations are tasks better left to nations like Iran and Russia, which know far better how to make decisive use of them.

America must advocate justice, respect for human rights, friendship and noninterference with Iran and Russia, nations busy with the important work of war, occupation, bullying, deception and intimidation of both their subjects and neighbors.

Yes, America, return to being the all-purpose milquetoast scapegoat, the source of all evils in the world, and in constant apology. Bow and scrape, America! You have not yet begun to retreat!

Yes, America, get back to doing bullshit and bending over backwards to comply with every petty demand from every tinopot communist or theofascist that comes along.

AllenS said...

Let me also add:

I'm glad the election is over and we can get back to some seriously funny stuff.

al said...

Barackback Mountain:

A political movie where everyone gets screwed.


Now that's funny.

john said...

I was going to make some snarky comment about Ahmadinejad being much more fashionable than either Obama or Medvedev, but all I could find was this picture of him as a school crossing guard.

Meade said...

I'm hoping Barack has a sex change and runs for reelection as a white woman with a really even tan. Talk about historic! The first transgendered president formerly known as a white male. That would shake things up, wouldn't it? He could truly be all things to all people. He could write a sequel to his autobiography and title it Daydreams of My Mother, Myself.

Crimso said...

"respect for human rights, friendship and noninterference in other countries’ affairs"

That's a real scream coming from an individual who seized an embassy.

garage mahal said...

Peace sucks!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Peace sucks!

Peace through superior firepower.

Palladian said...

"Peace sucks!"

Iran or Russia's kind of "peace" certainly does.

garage mahal said...

Just because Obama will be Pres doesn't mean those boogeyman can't still keep you guys up at night.

Palladian said...

"Just because Obama will be Pres doesn't mean those boogeyman can't still keep you guys up at night."

Yes! There's absolutely no intelligent reason to fear Russia or Iran, is there?

And I think it's because Obama will be President that those "bogeymen" will keep some of us up at night, depending upon what happens in the next couple of years.

Obama won, garage honey. You can stop lying now.

ricpic said...

Berlusconi embarrasses you? He gives me hope that freedom hasn't yet been wiped out totally by the beautiful people with perfect thoughts.

garage mahal said...

So what do you fear Palladian? That Obama won't call Ahmadinejad names from thousands of miles away? That he won't call us names back? What is it you fear.

Pogo said...

"What is it you fear[?]"

For one, the fact that you do not know the answer to this question already.

Palladian said...

"So what do you fear Palladian? ... What is it you fear."

That I'll have to continue reading your semi-literate comments.

mccullough said...

Iran's got high unemployment and staggering inflation. Ahmadinejad won't be there much longer.

Medvedev is a puppet. Let's see what Putin does.

Italy's a nice country.

Michael said...

Hoosier: "...and this is the man Obama wants to have a kaffe klatch with."

No. What he actually wants to do is engage him in some form of realistic negotiations that could lead to a safer world. Something we haven't seen for the past 8 years or so.

And it's also something ever great leader has done for centuries.

You can't be this dense.

Defenseman Emeritus said...

The fact that you and Obama think it's *possible* to "engage him in some form of realistic negotiations" tells us all we need to know about your grasp of foreign policy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

No. What he actually wants to do is engage him in some form of realistic negotiations that could lead to a safer world.

You can't be this dense.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just because Obama will be Pres doesn't mean those boogeyman can't still keep you guys up at night.

Are you referring to the boogeymen who crashed planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon or the Bush Gestapo agents who were breaking down doors at 2am asking to see our papers?

Only liberals create monsters while ignoring the real ones.

Oligonicella said...

micheal --

"And it's also something ever great leader has done for centuries."

Like Chamberlain?

Cedarford said...

In the end, there will be jokes and criticism about Obama that takes in his physical characteristics. Including his light skin color....and being a half white man, with 100% slavery-free ancestor background, and nothing but advantage and privilege gained in his life by fact of his African ancestry component in school, politics.

***********
I agree with mccoullough that Ahmadinejad is on his way out as a boogey man, due to Iran's internal problems and the clerics getting tired of him and his damaging antics.
It is shaping up to be a good time coming to talk with - vs. bomb - Iran.
In a more rational atmosphere than after 9/11 and the Neocons. Iran has legitimate security needs, surrounded by longtime historical enemies, many with nukes.
The US has a compelling interest in not seeing Iran go nuclear and accelerate the regional WMD race started by the Israeli WMD monopoly that became challengeable when Muslim nations became technologically advanced enough to begin their own nuke & missile programs if they wanted to. But the US also has a compelling national interest in not plunging it's citizens and the world into Depression from a severe Recession by starting a unilateral war by sneak attack that shuts off Gulf Oil for several months. If the US does that, we may face repercussions from nations other than Iran that we screwed in the process.

Only if Iran doesn't budge on security issues in talks, and Obama gets allies back the Bush and the Neocons lost - should we consider an attack as the last resort...

Palladian said...

"Only if Iran doesn't budge on security issues in talks, and Obama gets allies back the Bush and the Neocons lost"

Wow, Obama's going to need a big freakin' bus to throw the entire population of Israel under it!

Chip Ahoy said...

(How do you say "cute" in Italian?)

carino/a
or
bellino/a
or
adorabile
or
prezioso/a

That Ahmadinejad, what a guy. He manages to congratulate, pontificate, criticize and threaten all in a single simple statement.

* showers *

Berlusconi was just being good natured and complimentary, that's all.

Methadras said...

How foolish of Americans to think that Europeans, East-Asianers, and Southern Americans are not bigoted nor prejudiced. Northern Italians call Southern Italians, Niggers. Southern Americans view blacks as the bottom of the socio-economic barrel, nothing more than chattle. Middle-Eastern and East-Asainers view blacks, especially Arab Blacks and African Blacks with disdain and ridicule. Berlusconi and Ahmadinawhackjob's comments were right in line with how they think.

I guess the rat-faced leader of Iran really needs to brush up on his human rights shtick when his insular totalitarian theocratic crap hole of a country hangs homosexuals in the streets whenever they catch them.

walter neff said...

Obama will abandon Israel to its own devices and fulfill the promises behind the rhetorical flourishes to be found on the tape that the LA Times suppressed. The change he brings is a change in the security relationship the United States has with its only reliable ally in the Middle East.

Any minute now Michael and Alphaliberal will come along and tell us that this is not true.

The Jews will be joining the gays under the bus very shortly. Enjoy your hope and change suckers.

AlphaLiberal said...

Obama will abandon IsraeL.... blah fricken blah...

Uh huh. I'm sure Rahm Emanuel Will get right on that. With the full support of the, what was it again, 82% of the Jewish vote?

AlphaLiberal said...

I'm sorry. That's "Rahm Israel Emanuel." Seriously. It is. Dude's middle name is Israel!

You can look it up.

And, find:
Emanuel was a civilian volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, serving in one of Israel's northern bases.

OK, now don't you think that "Obama hates Israel" line is dead already?

walter neff said...

No. I expect Obama to be true to his own inclinations and his minions to fall in line or be abandoned. You know, whats that saying, oh yeah "thrown under the bus."

Watch and see.

walter neff said...

You see Obama is Satan and Rahm is just one of the lesser demons.

All hail our Satanic Majesty!

Synova said...

"Short lived" is certainly a very poorly translated "fleeting."

Poor Ahmadinejad... does he think that liberals are into non-interference?