January 27, 2009

Did Obama strike "a conciliatory tone" that "signaled a shift — in style and manner at least — from the Bush administration"?

That's the NYT's characterization. But reading the article, I have trouble seeing the big difference from George Bush:
[Obama] spoke at length about America’s future relationship with the Muslim world, saying his “job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives.”
George Bush said exactly that innumerable times. When Bush said it, did they simply not believe it? Did they find it patronizing? Did it sound naive and insufficiently appreciative of multiculturalism?
“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task....”
There, we see Obama gratuitously saying that we've been disrespecting the Muslim world. That does seem to distinguish him from Bush. He's saying I won't be like Bush, but the way he can say it is only by portraying Bush as having behaved badly. I don't like to see this empty claim of discontinuity, this attack on Bush.
He drew a distinction between “extremist organizations” committed to violence and “people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop.”

“We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down,” he said. “But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship.”
Again, when did Bush ever take a contrary position?
He also said it was “important for us to be willing to talk to Iran, to express very clearly where our differences are, but where there are potential avenues for progress.”
Presumably, there is something different here. "Willing to talk" — he's been saying that for a while, but he's no longer saying "without preconditions," as he did once, caught off guard, in a debate.
He echoed his inaugural address last week when he said, “If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.”

He was not asked whether he would continue the policy of former President George Bush in refusing to exclude military action in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Good thing no one asked him a hard question.

144 comments:

Balfegor said...

I don't like to see this empty claim of discontinuity, this attack on Bush.

Well, it's dishonest. But if people in the Arab world (or in the US) are dumb enough to fall for it, why shouldn't he try this approach? You don't win points in diplomacy for honesty -- the point is to get people to act the way you want them to.

PatCA said...

What happened "20 or 30 years ago"? Oh yeah, radical Islam established their first modern theocracy by attacking the US embassy in Tehran and holding the Great Satan hostage for a year. All tanks to O's predecessor, the different in "style and manner" Jimmy Carter.

Locomotive Breath said...

PatCA beat me to it. Is BO too young to know any history or just barely educated? Those Ivy League degrees aren't what they used to be.

Bissage said...

President Obama is the good cop.

BJK said...

I think Ann should start up a "Questions NOT asked to Obama" tag for the blog. I daresay she'd end up using it quite frequently.

Smilin' Jack said...

the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.

Yeah, the respect and partnership we had with Saddam and the Taliban--that worked out so well, we really need to get back to that. It's not like anything significant has happened since then.

Balfegor said...

He was not asked whether he would continue the policy of former President George Bush in refusing to exclude military action in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

This is not entirely accurate. I'm pretty sure that when the interviewer asked:

AL ARABIYA: Will the United States ever live with a nuclear Iran? And if not, how far are you going in the direction of preventing it?


the "how far" part of the question was meant to be "would you use military force?" The President's answer just dodges the question, though.

Paul Zrimsek said...

extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives

Curious expression. Usually in political speeches it's the ordinary people who simply want to do that.

Original George said...

Folks, he lived in Indonesia between the ages of about six and 10 and had a Muslim father between those years. And went to a Catholic School for three of those four school years.

Since that time, has he lived in any Arab or Muslim nation? Studied any of its languages or history?

The culture of Indonesia and the practice of Islam there is very different from the Middle East, which has its own variations.

Guys sitting in tea shops in Cairo and Riyadh see through this bullshit just as we do.

I foresee kinder, gentler Predator missile strikes and a culturally sensitive troop build-up.

(I also notice he has made 2-3 references in recent days to America being a nation of Christians, Muslims, Jew, etc....and non-believers....References to America being a godless land is not helpful in Saudi Arabia. Is the atheist vote really that important?)

madawaskan said...

Cripes -the same quote that Smilin' Jack grabbed is the one that leapt out at me-


Obama:My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.

See PAtCA and Locomotive Breath-

Twenty or thirty years ago Jimmy Carter was groveling with Iranian "students" and crashing helicopters in the desert because the military had been so thoroughly gutted...

Just imagine if President Bush had said something so completely off the mark?

Where the hell was Obama living thirty years ago?

Overseas?

The Iranian Hostage Crisis escaped him? All 444 days of it?

LarsPorsena said...

...and in other news, 3000 troops previously slated for duty in Iraq, will now be deployed to Afghanistan.
The war winds down in Iraq and ratchets up in Afghanistan.

Let BO make nice chin-chin happy face talk as long as he wields the big stick.

Balfegor said...

Since that time, has he lived in any Arab or Muslim nation? Studied any of its languages or history?

I think he visited a friend's family in Pakistan once when he was in college. And I think his father's family are Muslim -- he visited them briefly once or twice too.

(I also notice he has made 2-3 references in recent days to America being a nation of Christians, Muslims, Jew, etc....and non-believers....References to America being a godless land is not helpful in Saudi Arabia.

True enough. But I would have thought including the "Jews" in that list would be the real problem in Saudi Arabia, no?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well Al Queda's #2 man in his best Harry Belafonte impersonation referred to Obama as a House Negro in his latest video tirade.

I guess The One's aura isn't as healing as we were led to believe. Next thing you know we'll find out the oceans are still rising.

Original Mike said...

George Bush said exactly that innumerable times. When Bush said it, did they simply not believe it?

They simply chose to lie about it. They were counting on the majority of people not paying close attention, which is a pretty safe (and pretty sleazy) strategy.

That said, I agree with Balfegor's first comment. What matters is what happens going forward.

madawaskan said...

Well Obama told Al Arabyia that he would make good on his promise to speak to the Muslim world from a Muslim capitol-hopefully not Detroit.

The way the American media fawns all over him he thinks the Arab world will be doing this after he speaks-

I Jizzed in my Pants

garage mahal said...

I thought we killed Al Qaeda's #2 man like 15 times.

Quayle said...

I think Obama is taking a brilliant line.

He can be the anti-Bush and peel a lot of Muslims away from the radicals.

And that will make lots of people feel better on the surface. Maybe it will even ease tensions.

But before we get all giddy, let’s remember that America isn’t a local government of the Middle-East and can’t unilaterally bring about prosperity and security for the citizens. That will take local leaders, and history has shown that leading middle-easterner, with their factions and families, is spectacularly difficult.

So we have to see what moderate local leader is going to cast his lot with the new Obama administration. Anyone that steps forward to be America’s new partner must know that they’ll become a target of the radical Muslims, and that, anyway, America is a fickle partner and unreliable that can leave you high and dry upon a change of administration or change of wind in US politics.

Not to mention the incongruity of the Muslim world being complete won over by a president of the party of anything-goes moral-social policies.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just imagine if President Bush had said something so completely off the mark?

Obama's grasp of history is about as sharp as Freder's who in an earlier thread espoused that both world wars were the result of 'unbridled capitalism.'

Considering he holds Lincoln as his personal hero tells me he's never read much on Lincoln.

downtownlad said...

Ann has obviously never heard of Abu Ghraib. Or Guantanamo. Or Torture.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I thought we killed Al Qaeda's #2 man like 15 times.

No garage, that's Osama who is numero uno. He's dead; probably a brown stain on some cave wall in Tora Bora. That's why #2 is still doing those high quality video tapes and they have to resort to using Mohammed bin Little to impersonate Osama.

jdeeripper said...

Althouse - George Bush said exactly that innumerable times. When Bush said it, did they simply not believe it?

Not only did Bush say it, he said it immediately after 911 in mosques all over America. Remember how much big bag cowboy Bush was pandering to Muslim America right after 911. That seems to have fallen down the memory hole.

PatCA, I think we all saw that one and so did "the Muslim world".

Add to that Suharto in Indonesia, etc.

The US policy toward the Muslim world has been pretty consistent - we need your oil in our gas tanks and your petrodollars in our banks and stock market.

And don't mess with our little friend Israel. All US policy toward the Muslim world functions to serve those interests regardless of the rhetoric or the diplomacy.

Obama (PBUH) - "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power,

America was born a colonial power breaking away from a bigger colonial power.

..and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.

THAT'S the partnership 99% of the Muslim world wants to break. The partnership of capitalist/"Zionist" America and the corrupt elites who rule these Muslim countries.

And that I think is going to be an important task...."

The task is to mask the base intentions. SWPL White liberals think a putting a brown face on it will work. The Muslim world will not buy it. Not that that matters.

downtownlad said...

Again, when did Bush ever take a contrary position? - Ann Althouse

Oh - Perhaps when the Bush Administration started flushing Korans down the toilet.

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2005/05/25/389/19560

Hoosier Daddy said...

downtownlad must not realize they hang gays in Muslim land.

But then again that's not as bad as keeping them from getting married.

madawaskan said...

Hoosier-

Ya when I posted that-

I Jizzed in my Pants video up above I'll admit it-I had freder in mind.

Christ I still have headache from that thread between him and The Great Canadian investor...

wow.

OK hell maybe Chris Matthews and Andy Sullivan come more to mind when I watch that video anyhoo...

David Walser said...

So, we should talk with radical Muslims and shun Rush Limbaugh?

Hoosier Daddy said...

The irony of the Left getting thier panties in a bunch for disrespecting a death cult while they gleefully mock Christians and Jews is simply too much to behold.

They hang gays in Iran and stone women for having sex outside of marriage and you guys gasp in horror when Obama has some Christain preacher from a megachurch say a prayer at his inauguration.

PatCA said...

"extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives"

Well, except for the million or so who don't want their kids to grow up at all, but want them to strap on a suicide belt and kill Jews.

I hope that O is only this naive on the surface. I was heartened by his missile attack on the wedding party...I mean terrorist camp in Pakistan. Let's see another one, Mr. President, one strike for every naive utterance.

downtownlad said...

I love it when conservative morons like Hoosier Daddy, who favors putting gay people in jail, convince themselves that they are the protector of gay rights.

They didn't used to kill gays under Saddam Hussein. Under the current regime, they do.

dbp said...

Not to mention that the Koran flushing story turned out to be false.

downtownlad said...

Hmmm. What was the Bush Administrations response when Iran hanged two gay teenagers?

Answer: Silence

Hoosier Daddy said...

DTL quit being a tool. I have never advocated gays being lock up in prison.

Oh wait, you just make shit up. Never mind. Carry on.

downtownlad said...

Sorry - but you favor the repeal of Lawrence v. Texas.

That means you want gays imprisoned.

Try again.

downtownlad said...

Three soldiers were sent to prison for 3 months last year, solely because they had consensual sex with other men.

Quayle said...

The gays and feminists must also have a subconscious death wish, given that they virulently opposed and denigrated the one president who openly and directly warred with extreme anti-gay, anti-feminist ideologues.

All the upper west side lefty New York Jews vomit at the mention of Bush but invite one of the most public and vocal Jew haters to "have a dialogue" at Columbia University.

It shows again how the rise of the Islamic world is fracturing the world view of the left.

The left naturally wants to like these newly empowered America haters, but has to work hard to ignore their "regressive" social-moral views.

It must be exhausting to be on the left these days – what with all the jury-rigging to keep the political ideology seeming even remotely coherent.

downtownlad said...

Even the US military concedes that the Koran was desecrated at least 5 times.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Three soldiers were sent to prison for 3 months last year, solely because they had consensual sex with other men.

Adultery is a crime under the UCMJ. Hetero sex is punished the same way if it's adultery. Take it up with the Congress if you want it changed.

Franco said...

This is a multi-level charade.

Fundamentally the muslims who can be swayed toward peace with Israel and towards tolerance of other religions and ideas by Obama's rhetoric or demeanor are few in numbers and have little or no influence in the Muslim world.

Fly around and talk to elites all you want Barry. It is either self-delusion or theatre.

JohnAnnArbor said...

I didn't know DTL was Muslim. A book can be "desecrated"?

AJ Lynch said...

Can "yada yada yada " be translated into the Arabic language? If so, that will be their response to Obama.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sorry - but you favor the repeal of Lawrence v. Texas.

You have me confused with someone who actually gives a shit where you stick your member.

downtownlad said...

Quayle favors imprisoning gay people as well.

Doufus Quayle - You DON'T speak for gays and you NEVER will.

Spare me the false sympathy. The UN tried to pass a resolution condemning violence against gays and the Bush Administration voted with Iran. And I can guarantee that you agreed with that bigoted vote.

downtownlad said...

So excited to admit I was wrong and hear that Hoosier Daddy agrees with Souter on Lawrence V. Texas, that he favors allowing gays in the military, supports the rights of gays to adopt, and supports full marriage rights for gays and lesbians to marry people of the same sex.

Quayle said...

Sorry - but you favor the repeal of Lawrence v. Texas.

That means you want gays imprisoned.


Not necessarily. His views on Lawrence v. Texas could mean that he favors Federalism. It could mean that he favors the legislatures making the laws, and not the courts.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Obama's under the illusion that various parts of the world that hate us--not just in the Middle East, but in Europe, even--will change their attitude based on policy. They will not.

Consider Bosnia. When we did nothing, we were "ignoring the problem." When we suggested and conducted diplomacy, we "weren't forceful enough." When we bombed various Serbian targets, we were "killing civilians for sport." In short, it did not matter what our policy was--it was always wrong, because it was American.

downtownlad said...

Oh Right - and please name me one conservative who has called for the repeal of the anti-sodomy laws in Texas.

Just one.

Those laws are still on the books in over 10 states, and they would be enforced immediately if they were repealed. And as I mentioned earlier, they were enforced as recently as last year - as the anti-sodomy laws still apply in the military.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Paul beat me to this.

"the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives."

What in hell is extraordinary about that?

And I too remember Bush ticking off a number of people by insisting that Islam is a religion of peace. I know what he was doing - he was trying to call out, bolster, and highlight those Muslims that we can co-exist with, and marginalize the others into irrelevance.

I ran across this yesterday. I won't link to the thing Isaac links to b/c it's just too horrifying.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So excited to admit I was wrong and hear that Hoosier Daddy agrees with Souter on Lawrence V. Texas, that he favors allowing gays in the military, supports the rights of gays to adopt, and supports full marriage rights for gays and lesbians to marry people of the same sex.


You betcha.

downtownlad said...

If that's the case Hoosier Daddy, I stand (happily) corrected.

Quayle said...

Quayle favors imprisoning gay people as well.

Doufus Quayle - You DON'T speak for gays and you NEVER will.


Downtownlad, you are wrong. I will speak out and I will fight to keep gays from being murdered by radical extremists, and nothing you say or do would stop me from so doing.

Not even your misplaced and misguided hate.

Hoosier Daddy said...

In short, it did not matter what our policy was--it was always wrong, because it was American.

That pretty much sums it up. I'm sure that within a year even Obama will realize it too.

John Burgess said...

I've posted the full text of the interview on Crossroads Arabia, if anyone's interested in what he said, rather than the NYT's interpretation of what he said.

Garage mahal: the concept of 'promotions' is, I guess, beyond your ken? Somebody in a position gets killed. Some guy lower in the ranks gets moved up. It's not like there's a fixed supply of #2s in the world.

JAL said...

the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.

Sheesh. This guy (President Obama) was an elementary school kid in the 70s.He needs some history lessons. (On the job training anyone?)

He has Muslim family members, and I understand he could have issues in this regard.

But the evidence is clear that Islamic terrorism was alive and well 40 years ago, and the US, Israel, Europe and Japan(!) were in the cross hairs.

I was flying home from Bombay in 1973. When we stopped in Frankfort the airport was nearly empty -- it was Christmas Day -- except for heavily armed soldiers patroling the Frankfort airport.

Why were there heavily armed soldiers in the airport in 1973? Wonder if President Obama knows?

Of course 1972 was Munich, and airports and airplanes were very attractive back then ....

In 1985 the Rome and Vienna airports were shot up -- almost 20 people killed, over 100 injured ....

The 9/11 bunch didn't invent airplane hijacking.

The State Dept. has an inclusive list of "significant" terrorist attacks President Obama could review --
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/pubs/fs/5902.htm

A somwehat more partisan, but historically interesting list can be found at:
http://prophetofdoom.net/Islamic_Terrorism_Timeline_1000-Year_Crusade.Islam

It is going to be a long 4 years.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

PatCA: If Carter is to blame for the hostage crisis and the Iranian Revolution, then Bush is DEFINITELY responsible for 9/11.

Before the Iranian revolution, and even some time after, the U.S. was perceived as a fair broker in the middle east. All Obama is saying is that we can get back to that.

There's nothing controversial or hard to understand in this interview. I understand the need to oppose Obama, but can any of you do so the least bit intelligently? Anne, nice try, but essentially your argument is Obama is a hypocrite if he says the same stuff Bush said? Guess what, no one believed Bush in the Muslim world and he is universally reviled. So maybe it's a moot point. Meanwhile, people seem to really like Obama. Maybe that's not fair, but we would be fools not to take advantage of it.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Garage mahal: the concept of 'promotions' is, I guess, beyond your ken? Somebody in a position gets killed. Some guy lower in the ranks gets moved up. It's not like there's a fixed supply of #2s in the world.

Actually, I think #3s are the ones we've killed on a semi-regular basis. There've been jokes that al-Qaeda should leave the position vacant.

downtownlad said...

Sorry - but it is condescending to be told by people with a radical anti-gay agenda, that they know what is better for gay people than gay people themselves.

I don't need to be lectured that the Iranian government kills gay people. Gay blogs broke that story, and right-wing bogs only picked it up because it suited their pro-war agenda. They couldn't give a shit about gay rights. Which is why anti-gay activities when they are perpetrated by Christian, pro-American allies, are ignored by the right-wing.

Freeman Hunt said...

Even the US military concedes that the Koran was desecrated at least 5 times.

And I stay awake nights crying for them over this. You can see why someone might be driven to saw off a head when helpless books are out there being hurt.

Quayle said...

Sorry - but you favor the repeal of Lawrence v. Texas.

That means you want gays imprisoned.


downtownlad, I think the facts don’t support your claims.

The Texas statute that was struck down by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas was Tex. Penal Code § 21.06(a) (2003) which made homosexual sex a class C misdemeanor.

The penalty for a class C misdemeanor in Texas is a fine no greater than $500.

So, one could very honestly and correct think Lawrence v. Texas was wrongly decided and still be against gays being sent to prison.

Original Mike said...

Anne, nice try, but essentially your argument is Obama is a hypocrite if he says the same stuff Bush said?

Nice try, Monty, but in this case the hypocrites reside at the NYT.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Before the Iranian revolution, and even some time after, the U.S. was perceived as a fair broker in the middle east.

Looks like someone else is taking history lessons from Professor Frederson.

This nation stopped being viewed as a fair broker in the ME, if one even accepts the premise for starters, when we fully swung our support to Israel.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And I stay awake nights crying for them over this. You can see why someone might be driven to saw off a head when helpless books are out there being hurt.

I remember when Mrs. Hoosier-to-be threw out my entire collection of Playboys and Penthouse Letters and repalced them with Lawn and Garden and Reader's Digest. I was pissed.

Of course all I did was kick the cat.

traditionalguy said...

Pres. Obama is speaking softly to Muslims. He believes that he can negotiate better by a non-threatening approach. Then Muslims will love him and all shout out in glee, it's Obambi, the Red from Alinski, he'll go down in history. Sorry, the Middle Eastern leaders are not Christians wanting a re-conciliation and mutual forgiveness for everyones sins. They just want the weapons bought with their oil supply to finish off every last Jew Hitler missed, and then come for evey last christian next.In the meantime they have used extraordinary patience awaiting for the Strong Horse Bush to be replaced with a Weak Horse. A Horse who will not fight is a weak horse. Which horse will Pres.Obama turn out to be ?

Original George said...

Here's an amusing bit from the interview:

"THE PRESIDENT: Well, here’s what I think is important. Look at the proposal that was put forth by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia —
Q: Right.

THE PRESIDENT: I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage...to put forward something that is as significant as that. I think that there are ideas across the region of how we might pursue peace."

Here is the leader of a nation that has so much money it has built gigantic cities out of nothing--Jubail, Yanbu, a nation whose countless princes skim tens of millions off the top of the government's coffers....maybe the king of that tribal theocratic monarchy could voluntarily flick his little finger and create a giant city for Palestinians within his borders, maybe the same way the US found a place for those pesky Mormons.

That would be courageous.

But it will never happen, because those outsiders aren't family. They could never have any rights in Saudi Arabia. They'd be a threat to the family business.

Then Obama says, "What we want to do is to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there’s a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs."

Translation: He's going to push the noodle and probably hug Abdullah and Mubarak in the process, as you'll notice there's no talk about human rights or democracy in his answers.

Jim said...

Quayle,

"So, one could very honestly and correct think Lawrence v. Texas was wrongly decided..."

How was it wrongly decided? Small-government Conservatives should welcome a decision that gets the government out of the private sex lives of two consenting adults, shouldn't they?

former law student said...

There, we see Obama gratuitously saying that we've been disrespecting the Muslim world. That does seem to distinguish him from Bush. He's saying I won't be like Bush, but the way he can say it is only by portraying Bush as having behaved badly. I don't like to see this empty claim of discontinuity, this attack on Bush.

Talk is cheap, look at what Bush did. For a start, in the wake of 9/11, Bush picked up some 1200 Muslims, mostly unremarkable husbands and fathers, cabdrivers, shopowners, and detained them indefinitely. Muslims were snatched up all over the world using such means as "extraordinary rendition," and left to cool their heels indefinitely in Guantanamo Bay, where they were treated as if none of the Geneva Conventions applied to them. And does anybody really believe that the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was devised solely by some PFCs, out of sight and sound of their officers?

paul a'barge said...

I want to be very, very clear about this.

Look. The Muslim world is not populated by a vast majority of good people who are basically harmless and who have got a bad rap because of actions taken by extremists in their name.

1) The Muslim religion is a cruel and barbaric religion.

Need proof?

Look at their women, wrapped in blankets so that no one can see them. Need more proof? Look at the recent pictures of Muslims driving a car over the arm of a child of age about 10 caught stealing bread. Need more proof? Look at the pictures of the daughters murdered in honor killings. Need more proof? Female circumcision.

2) It is one thing to claim as evangelical Christians do that Jesus of Nazareth the Christ is "the way to G-d". It is quite another for the Muslim world to engage in Jihad. Not just their extremists but if you can get an honest statement from a Muslim you are going to hear their support for Jihad.

3) Count the noses of Muslims willing to stand publicly against their extremists and rebuke Islamism. On the fingers of one hand.

4) Witness the pathetic cult-speak across the Muslim world bashing Israel. When Iran has nuclear weapons, Israel's time on Earth is on a count down.

I for one do not want my President to take a conciliatory tone with the Muslim world.

I for one condemned GWB for taking such a conciliatory tone.

I for one rebuke Obama for his Dhimmitude.

These people are moral barbarians and nothing short of a 360-degree reformation can remake the Muslim world into one compatible with civilized cultures. And such a reformation is not going to be launched with conciliatory gestures.

These people view a conciliatory gesture as weakness and incitement for more aggression.

Stop it now.

trogdor said...

Two important distinctions. First, there's a huge difference between "Bush" and "the Bush administration." And don't they seem to be referring to more than differences in words alone? Bush was perceived as someone who apparently didn't listen to most of the Islamic world--certainly not before the invasion of Iraq, at least--even if he did go on Arab television once in a while to say that the U.S. doesn't consider Islam to be the enemy. Doesn't the fact that Obama explicitly embraced Muslims in his inaugural address, and the fact that he went on Al Arabiya during his first week in office to emphasize our willingness to listen, signal a shift in the style and manner of our foreign policy?

Henry said...

The New York Times reporters are seeing shifts everywhere. They're like 10-year-old boys with x-ray glasses.

Some of Obama's shifts are abrupt, even reversals. Some are stylistic. Often he strikes "a powerful new tone" other times he just "surprises."

Hoosier Daddy said...

where they were treated as if none of the Geneva Conventions applied to them

Probably because they didn't apply.

You know I'm certain, beyond a doubt that if FDR hadn't interrned those Japanese-Americans, Imperial Japan would have looked on us with greater affection.

former law student said...

The Muslim world is not populated by a vast majority of good people who are basically harmless and who have got a bad rap because of actions taken by extremists in their name.

If paul's correct, how can he get into a taxicab? Odds would be there's a Jihadi at the wheel.

Der Hahn said...

Good thing no one asked him a hard question.

Wouldn't want to waste it.

JAL said...

And does anybody really believe that the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was devised solely by some PFCs, out of sight and sound of their officers?

Well, yeah, pretty much. There were some non-coms involved, (Lyndy's boyfriend?) but I don't remeber the whole cast of characters.

I heard Frances Townsend this morning. She seems to know something (cough) about terrorism and is former Assistant to the resident for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

Bio: http://tinyurl.com/FranTownsend

Abu Ghraib was not the policy of the Bush administration. It was criminal activity which was prosecuted.

Stop spreading that stupidity.

Original Mike said...

And does anybody really believe that the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was devised solely by some PFCs, out of sight and sound of their officers?

Yes.

Balfegor said...

Re: Montagne Montaigne

PatCA: If Carter is to blame for the hostage crisis and the Iranian Revolution, then Bush is DEFINITELY responsible for 9/11.

I don't think this analogy works at all. 9/11 happened right at the start of Bush's presidency. I think he might have taken a few steps towards ending racial profiling of Arab plane travellers -- something like that was in his Arab-American pander in 2000 election, if I recall correctly (he won the Arab-American vote outright in 2000) -- but no significant policy steps at all, let alone something that would motivate 9/11. If it was "blowback" for US policy, it was blowback for the policies pursued under Clinton.

Carter is very different. The revolution and the hostage crisis came at the end of his Presidency, after he'd had a number of years changing the direction of US policy. In fairness to Carter, the Persian monarchy was quite unpopular at the time he took office, so it's not like he had a huge reservoir of goodwill to work with. But it's not unreasonable to blame him for the way things fell off a cliff in the course of his presidency.

Freeman Hunt said...

If paul's correct, how can he get into a taxicab? Odds would be there's a Jihadi at the wheel.

Paul isn't talking about race, he's talking about culture. A Muslim who chose to move here left the culture of the Muslim world. He isn't part of it.

EDH said...

DTL said...

Sorry - but you favor the repeal of Lawrence v. Texas. That means you want gays imprisoned.


No it doesn't. One can oppose a local anti-sodomy statute on the merits (i.e., be against a law criminalizing homosexual conduct in the home), but stil believe there is no federal constitutional prohibition against such a statute.

Similarly, you may support the legalization of pot and be against the imprisonment of pot smokers. But that doesn't mean you must support a decision of the Supreme Court that says it's unconstitutional to have such a prohibition.

Ditto same-sex marriage.

Balfegor said...

the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.

I think people in the thread are also missing something big when they respond to Obama's comment here. Up until Clinton, our policy vis-a-vis Israel and Palestinian terrorists probably was pretty even handed. Under Bush I, after all, we had James Baker III, who famously did not care for Israel ("@#$* the Jews," he is supposed to have said). Under Clinton, that changed significantly, and both policy and public opinion inclined more towards our ally, Israel. Under Bush II, I think we tilted even more towards the Israel side of the ledger. Shots of Palestinians celebrating 9/11 with wild glee were probably not entirely irrelevant to that shift. They reap what they sow.

Obama may well be promising a return to the attitude we had 20 years ago. I don't think public opinion is going to go back there with him, though.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Hey everybody, look at paul a'barge. An authentic troglodyte. A madman. An unreconstructed white supremacist. Clearly this man lacks a certain amount of education and worldly experience. He has not had much contact with the world's 1 billion muslims. He can discern patterns of action among that diverse throng. He has never broken bread with a muslim family in Bangladesh. He has never strolled the streets of Tehran and made eyes with a quite uncovered persian lovely. He has never been to a Turkish beach resort.

He is a barbarian, and luckily people like him have been torn away from the levers of power in this country.

mberenis said...

I hope I'm the first person to break the news to you, that way you'll remember me the rest of your life.Obama did it for us!There is three new grants that we all qualify for you cannot miss.

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dannyboy said...

Hey everybody, look at paul a'barge. An authentic troglodyte.

Dude, these guys don't allow a mate to drink alcohol or shag some hottie and her friend.

That's fucked up. No wonder they're so pissed off all the time.

reader_iam said...

Sheesh. This guy (President Obama) was an elementary school kid in the 70s.He needs some history lessons.

I have to wonder if this was either an example of misspeaking or that Obama had something specific in mind but didn't elucidate it. For the majority of the '70s, President Obama would have been middle school/junior high and high school, not elementary school. (We are just 5 months apart in age.)

Perhaps he's stuck on September 1978 (the start of his senior year in high school) and is just sorting overlooking all the stuff before and (even just) after.

It does strike me as odd.

dannyboy said...

You know if we could just get these guys to sit down with us and have a couple of beers and hit a few titty bars we wouldn't have these problems.

Who the hell wants to behead someone when you have a Scotch in hand and a pair of firm Ds squished in your face?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

hey dannyboy, but they do allow a mate to smoke a nice spliff. they invented hashish. have you ever been to a wedding in the arab world? have you been to a club in dubai?

get yer head out of yer arse! :)

reader_iam said...

You know, I wonder if what he had in mind regarding "serious partnership" was, as I alluded to in my previous comment, the Camp David Peace Accords, in which Anwar Sadat stepped up. But I don't recall him being lauded for that in his own region. In fact, IIRC (don't have time to look it up), didn't Egypt end up getting kicked out of the Arab League, or some organization like that?

And, well ... we all remember what happened to Sadat, don't we, and by whose hand?

reader_iam said...

I wonder if there isn't some conflation going between Europeans' (or at least parts of Europe's) view of us as strong partners in the ME back then, as opposed to how the actual, various, numerous states and entities in the Middle East viewed us then, let alone how more hardline elements within those societies viewed us.

Anyway you slice it, there does seem to be disconnect somewhere or other.

dannyboy said...

hey dannyboy, but they do allow a mate to smoke a nice spliff. they invented hashish. have you ever been to a wedding in the arab world? have you been to a club in dubai?

Uh no, I don't get to Araby much these days. The whole beheading thing kinda scares me.

Plus if I can't drink at a wedding I don't go. Nothing worse than watching some poor bastard walking the plank when you're sober.

get yer head out of yer arse! :)

Hey watch it or you'll be pulling my size 12 out of yours.

paul a'barge said...

but they do allow a mate to smoke a nice spliff. they invented hashish. have you ever been to a wedding in the arab world? have you been to a club in dubai?

Why in the world would it be necessary to smoke dope with a barbaric culture dedicated to annihilating our culture before being allowed to be critical of the barbarism of that culture?

Are you seriously telling us that after you toked on a spliff with these people you managed to find the nuance inherent in their cutting off the clitorises of their women? Or the fact that as a culture they turn virtually mute when one of them murders their own daughters for wanting to marry a person of their own choice?

What kind of braying mutt would make such drug-addled points?

dannyboy said...

Just to clarify, that size 12 is my shoe size. Not sure the way you swing and don't want you to think I was being a tease.

reader_iam said...

I don't doubt that President Obama might well have been inspired by those times, especially given the whole coming of age thing. The events of the late '70s were, after all, in part, what inspired me to choose my original college major when I was a senior in high school: International Relations (I had some notion of getting a degree in international law or maritime law and going into diplomacy. Yeah, I know: LMAO now, too). Lots of young people then were inspired by what THEN seemed like a turning point, though indeed it was very, very short-lived.

I guess the latter--the short-lived part--is where the disconnect comes in for me, and the oddity of some of President Obama's statements.

Oh, well: Enough of that, and of thread drift (on my part).

fcai said...

I see muslims all the time. They mostly rant about wanting to kill all the Jews in the world. That is offputting. So, hang with them if you care to, but they can keep killing their pre-bagged women all they want - saves ammo in the long run.

ricpic said...

What's Obama's first talk about our "difficulties" with muslims gonna sound like?

"Above all, you Americans, don't offend my Islamic brethren. Don't overreact when your next city goes up in smoke. Now go and sin no more. Allah Akbar!"

J Riordan said...

Oh, come on, Ann, you know what this is about. Everything changed years ago with Abu Ghraib. The pictures of naked men in a pile being tormented by an American soldier with a dog-- that's what Obama is speaking about, because that's what the Muslim world thinks of when they think of Bush. Also hooded prisoners, rendition, torture, waterboarding, Presidential stupidity, etc... A picture is worth a thousand words and it's also worth a thousand emotions. There might not actually be any substantive change in policy, but this is about ideas and image, not policy. And Obama has inherited problems of ideas and images that are just as significant as any problems about policy.

Korla said...

Gee, I forget... Who voted for this bozo? I know it wasn't me...

Hoosier Daddy said...

The pictures of naked men in a pile being tormented by an American soldier with a dog-- that's what Obama is speaking about, because that's what the Muslim world thinks of when they think of Bush. Also hooded prisoners, rendition, torture, waterboarding, Presidential stupidity, etc... A picture is worth a thousand words and it's also worth a thousand emotions.

But make no mistake, when Muslims post a snuff video of some poor bastard having his head sawed off while they cheer in the background, we're not supposed to, you know, paint a broad picture of all Muslims.

Or when they hang homosexuals, stone women for showing a bit too much ankle or having sex outside of marriage, or ...gasp...an affair while married...that's just all part of their rich cultural heritage that needs to be celebrated, not condemned.

ASmith said...

Jeffrey Pelt: Listen, I'm a politician which means I'm a cheat and a liar, and when I'm not kissing babies I'm stealing their lollipops. But it also means I keep my options open. -- Hunt for Red October

Yeah, Obama is lying and stealing Bush's lollipop simultaneously.

MayBee said...

The pictures of naked men in a pile being tormented by an American soldier with a dog

The difficulty for Obama is he has no way to keep similar pictures from leaking out on his watch.
He can't control everyone's behavior any more than Bush could.

Patm said...

"Hmmm. What was the Bush Administrations response when Iran hanged two gay teenagers?"

Silence.

Ummmm...what was ANY AMERICAN DEMOCRATS response when Iran Hanged two gay teenagers?

Silence.

But more than a few righty blogs made a fuss about it.

Barlycorn, John said...

Well, the Nancy boys got the keys to the kindom now. We shall see how their policies work out.

As near as I can figure, the more effective Obama is at winning over portions of the "Arab Street", the greater the imperative that these creeps pull off an attack and force Obama to show some teeth. Maybe Obama is smart to pre-emptively anger them in Waziristan?

Anthony said...

Obama just made it up about things being "better" 20 or 30 years ago and knows that no one in the press will bother to ask him about it. He can make up whatever he wants and knows that no one in the press will ask him about it.

All he has to do is say something about how it was "better back then" -- any random, unspecified time frame will do -- and the press will lap it up with nary a critical question.

It's really come to this.

Patm said...

"The difficulty for Obama is he has no way to keep similar pictures from leaking out on his watch.
He can't control everyone's behavior any more than Bush could."

A major difference: If someone DID leak such pictures during Obama's administration...the press WOULD NOT PRINT THEM OR REPORT ON THEM.

Quite different. HUGE difference. The difference that can make or break a presidency.

00chemist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barlycorn, John said...

"stealing Bush's lollipop "

Uh, Bush is out of the game. He has gone home to Texas. Gone home. Punch bowl gone from that party. Are you still obsessing? Nobody cares anymore. R's hate him for his attempt to legalize millions of illegal aliens, his quick trigger spending of hundreds of billions of dollars on the bailout. I could go on.

former law student said...

Abu Ghraib was not the policy of the Bush administration. It was criminal activity which was prosecuted.

Stop spreading that stupidity.


Bush signed an Executive Order that authorized US personnel to strip prisoners. They were also allowed to use sleep deprivation, military working dogs, stress positions such as half squats, environmental manipulation such as bright lights and loud music, and sensory deprivation. In May 2004 the policy was changed, and such techniques required "high-level authority.":

http://www.aclu.org/torturefoia/released/FBI.121504.4940_4941.pdf

There are other interesting FBI memos on that web page:

""From what cnn reports, gen karpinsky at abu ghraib said that gen miller came to the prison several months ago and told her they wanted to 'gitmoize' abu ghraib. I am not sure what this means. However if this refers to intell gathering as I suspect, it suggests he has continued to support interrogation strategies we not only advised against, but questioned in terms of effectiveness.""


Heavily redacted FBI email from http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/19913leg20050712.html

Patm said...

I missed the part where the Bush Administration told the guards to pile naked men upon each other and smear them with fake menstrual blood, etc.

And boy, sleep deprivation...that's just awful. What a war crime.

Who do we see about our guys being murdered and mutilated by the enemy?

former law student said...

what was ANY AMERICAN DEMOCRATS response when Iran Hanged two gay teenagers?

Silence.

But more than a few righty blogs made a fuss about it.


Very tolerant of them, considering that Mahmoud Asgari, 16,and Ayaz Marhoni, 18, were convicted of raping a 13 year old boy. I remember many right-wing blogs criticizing the Supreme Court for overtuning Florida's death penalty for raping a child, so this apparent double standard perplexes me.

paul a'barge said...

In May 2004 the policy was changed, and such techniques required "high-level authority.":

http://www.aclu.org/....

blah blah blah


If you are going to start trying to support your arguments by citing ACLU website links, you're seriously deranged.

This stuff is crap and you know it. I repeat, you know it.

You know full well that Abu Grhaib was not Bush policy, was disowned and was investigated and punished.

Quit arguing like a moron.

hdhouse said...

It's called "saying and doing" that is the big difference. Bush said. Obama does....

oh, and one says it better than the other too....

Crimso said...

"For a start, in the wake of 9/11, Bush picked up some 1200 Muslims, mostly unremarkable husbands and fathers, cabdrivers, shopowners, and detained them indefinitely."

So what's your point? That Bush was a piker compared to FDR? Or that at least he wasn't as bad as FDR (by orders of magnitude)?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Paul a'barge: You are scum. That is all.

Patm said...

"It's called "saying and doing" that is the big difference. Bush said. Obama does...."

Ah, yes. Remember that when we find ourselves digging more of our citizens out of rubble because Obama "said" he would keep Americans safe, while Bush actually DID it.

You want to play that game? I say don't go there, pal.

Michael McNeil said...

Even the US military concedes that the Koran was desecrated at least 5 times.

“Desecrated” meaning some non-Muslim picked up a Koran without wearing white gloves.

garage mahal said...

Ah, yes. Remember that when we find ourselves digging more of our citizens out of rubble because Obama "said" he would keep Americans safe, while Bush actually DID it.

Bush DID keep us safe except for 9/11 and the anthrax attacks you mean?

Revenant said...

Bush signed an Executive Order that authorized US personnel to strip prisoners. They were also allowed to use sleep deprivation, military working dogs, stress positions such as half squats, environmental manipulation such as bright lights and loud music, and sensory deprivation. In May 2004 the policy was changed, and such techniques required "high-level authority.":

And if that's all that had happened at Abu Ghraib, there wouldn't have been any cause for prosecution or consternation.

Revenant said...

He can be the anti-Bush and peel a lot of Muslims away from the radicals.

That's doubtful. Mainstream Muslims hated Carter, Reagan, both Bushes, and Clinton, all of whom talked about how they had nothing against mainstream Muslims wanted to be friends. Obama might get a slight bounce until mainstream Muslims realize that, no, we still hate terrorists and still like Israel and democracy and freedom and such. Then they'll hate Obama too.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Revenant. The U.S. has admitted to torture. That debate is over. It's over. It was official policy. Now it's not.

"We tortured Qahtani," said Susan Crawford, a retired judge who was appointed convening authority of military commissions in February 2007, in an interview with The Washington Post's Bob Woodward.

Duscany said...

Obama: "I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians . . ."

I have two draft-age sons. If for some reason they end up serving in the military, I can't think of any reason why their lives would be any less valuable than any civilians. We have to get over this notion that it's okay for young soldiers to be killed but not for young women or children. No life is any more valuable than any other. It's not any more horrible for a young woman to die sitting at home at her computer than a young man to die sitting in the back of a helicopter.

Crimso said...

"The U.S. has admitted to torture."

Susan Crawford was empowered to speak on behalf of the U.S.? Or was this her personal opinion?

Patm said...

"Bush DID keep us safe except for 9/11 and the anthrax attacks you mean?"

If we get hit 8 months into Obama's presidency, as was true with Bush, whose fault is it going to be?

Tell the truth. You'll blame Bush.

I never blamed Clinton or Bush for 9/11. The terrorist organized, saw we would not retaliate and made a plan. Our intelligence was not so wonderful that we could know exactly what that plan was (you have only to look at our WMD intel to see that). We were hit. ONCE.

Not again.

You're playing games and being extremely petty about a very large truth you simply don't like to ponder.

Just blame Bush. That's easier.

Revenant said...

Revenant. The U.S. has admitted to torture. That debate is over. It's over. It was official policy. Now it's not.

Obama "admitted" that the previous administration used torture, if that's what you mean.

As for the debate being over, I'm afraid that's just wishful thinking on your part. Yes, your lot are a bunch of pussies. Yes, your guy is in charge for the next four years. It does not follow that the debate over treatment of our enemies is over. Its just that folks like you and Obama are refusing to listen to anyone who disagrees with you. :)

Crimso said...

"I have two draft-age sons. If for some reason they end up serving in the military, I can't think of any reason why their lives would be any less valuable than any civilians."

One suspects that in your mind "some reason" would be that they were drafted. As Sgt. Hulka said "Son, there ain't no draft no more."

"We have to get over this notion that it's okay for young soldiers to be killed but not for young women or children."

And once we can get past that quaint notion then we'll be well on our way to having that segment of the population step up for some good old-fashioned suicide bombing.

"It's not any more horrible for a young woman to die sitting at home at her computer than a young man to die sitting in the back of a helicopter."

Volunteering to sit in a helicopter where you know you might die isn't exactly the same thing as sitting at home. Or do you sit in your home with the nagging thought in the back of your mind that you just might be murdered?

Balfegor said...

Re: Crawford's characterisation of the treatment of al-Qahtani, I'm pretty sure the government of the US disputes that characterisation. After the charges were dismissed (without prejudice) by Crawford in May 2008, the government decided to come back and file charges against him again. See also here, reporting (along with Crawford's comments) that the Pentagon says a dozen earlier investigations had concluded the interrogations were lawful, i.e. did not constitute torture.

In the interim, of course, Obama has suspended detainees' right to trial, until his administration decides how they should be tried. So we don't really know what the position of the government is now.

Barlycorn, John said...

The only thing that was tortured was the definition of "torture"

Balfegor said...

As a side note, though, there's something deeply wrong with the military tribunal system if the senior authority in the tribunal system can go public making the kinds of statements she did:

“There’s no doubt in my mind he would’ve been on one of those planes had he gained access to the country in August 2001,” Ms. Crawford said in the interview. “He’s a muscle hijacker.”

She added: “He’s a very dangerous man. What do you do with him now if you don’t charge him and try him? I would be hesitant to say, ‘Let him go.’ ”

Having reviewed some of the evidence in his case, it's not surprising that she might think that, but they haven't even finished adjudicating his case -- should she really be blabbing that kind of thing to press? What if the decision then has to be reviewed? Isn't she the one who would be reviewing it, having already said she would be "hesitant" to let him go?

Barlycorn, John said...

My favorite part of the "torture" finding is where she says 20 hr a day question of a person who tried to get into the country and be the twentieth hi-jacker, whose capture left the PA hijackers short a man and may have allowed the passengers to prevent the plane from hitting the WH or Capitol Building was "uncalled for."

Look in the article, that is what the judge says. I say keep piling this stuff up and we will peel another 10 points of Obama's ratings to go with the 15 he has already lost.

Why did Obama cave on FISA? Because if there is an attack, the 30% of the population that opposes wiretapping of terrorist suspects on international calls can't get him re-elected.

AST said...

“We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.” How is that different from Bush?

It's largely the media spinning it this way, except when Obama says of his interview with Arab television, "What I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating," Are our State Dept. people really that crude?

And when Hillary says There is a great exhalation of breath going on in the world as people express their appreciation for the new direction that's being set and the team that is put together by the president.. . . We have a lot of damage to repair."

They can't let go of their hate and disdain long enough to see that the far left charges are bogus.

They both sound like babes in the woods, and the wolves are licking their chops.

veni vidi vici said...

We went to war in large part (even from the beginnings of the debate, nestled among the WMD discussion) based on the constantly-drummed-into-our-heads-by-the-administration idea that most Muslims -- including the slobs quavering under Saddam's boot -- were just Joes like us seeking to get by and live ordinary lives. The ungraciousness with which Obama is treating Bush may seem fair enough because in many ways Bush allowed himself to be made an easy target, but he insults us all by denigrating the noble aims of a policy that was implemented after substantial debate and the reaching of national consensus.

Somewhere over the last weekend I read an article or blog about the unnecessarily "ungracious" tone/words towards Bush by Obama since the inauguration speech forward. I predict this general tendency of his (ungraciousness, not necessarily confined to how he addresses Bush administration legacies/policies) will become the meme that defines him by the 2010 election season if the economy hasn't taken a big step out of the crapper by then. If that transpires, he'll be seen as ineffective, and that's clearly a story the media loves to cover about our leaders.

Also, say what you will about what the "Arab world" thinks about Obama or Bush, but in an honor/macho culture, one can at least say that they respect Bush for not backing down when provoked. We'll see what they think of Obama if he does the chin-wag thing without backing it up when necessary.

veni vidi vici said...

"What I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating"

This is Obama to Mitchell about the Palestine/Israel process, and practically in the same paragraph he denigrates the Bush policy of having the two sides come with proposals and ideas that they can live with (rather than being dictated to by the US), since they'll ultimately have to live with them!

Forgive me for finding it difficult to take this fellow seriously. He needs to get a better grip on standing policy, as well as history, if he expects not to be eaten for lunch out there. Hillary, too. "Ready to lead on day one". What hooey (and no, I don't think McCain was any better an alternative in this regard, either).

Nice words, though.

And can we just come out and sya it already: the Muslim capitol in which he should speak is Baghdad. Announce the handover/drawdown/victory/whatever from the heart of it all, cradle of civilization, etc. Take the credit for winning the war; I'm sure Bush won't mind.

I think he's afraid to do Baghdad that way: imagine he does so (which is really probably where he'd be best received in Araby anyway), but over the rest of the course of his administration as we draw down, the whole enterprise in Iraq goes to pot and erases all the gains. His having spoken there within these first 100 days would set a marker of the level of security and "normalcy" in Iraq that facilitates a visit and public speech by a US president, achieved by the departed administration (no one would reasonably believe this was his victory after 100 days in), so he would then undeniably own any loss of security in Iraq.

It's tough to be the boss.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That's doubtful. Mainstream Muslims hated Carter, Reagan, both Bushes, and Clinton, all of whom talked about how they had nothing against mainstream Muslims wanted to be friends.

Well if Obama really wanted to make friends with the Muslim world he could do that tomorrow and just nuke Tel Aviv.

Hell even the French would like us again.

Bruce Hayden said...

And does anybody really believe that the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was devised solely by some PFCs, out of sight and sound of their officers?

Actually, I think that it went up to a lower level Sargent. However, the demotions and forced retirements for poor supervision and leadership went up to the brigadier general, who, being a woman, was automatically considered a victim. Notably though, after multiple investigations, there was no evidence found of any illegal act by or order from any of the officers involved.

As Rush pointed out at the time, kids will be kids. It is just amazing that much more of this sort of stuff hasn't happened, given the ages of the military personnel involved and what their counterparts back in the States were doing at the time. Think of what typically goes on on an average college campus, or, worse, over Spring Break. That there was not a lot more questionable behavior is a testament to the high level of discipline and moral of our troops.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that Obama did strike a conciliatory tone. The problem is that it isn't going to do us any good. The only benefit is that he and some of his supporters will feel better about the U.S.

But I remain unconvinced that the best security for us against Islamic terrorism is fear - fear of what the Great Satan will do to the perps when they attack us. Bush (43) spent 7 1/3 years putting the fear of Allah into Islamic terrorists, and Obama seems bound and determined to squander that within the first month of his presidency.

Kevin said...

OK, Obama's the good cop.

Who, then, is the bad cop? George Mitchell, who took $9.5 million to lobby for spiking a lawsuit against Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Makhtoum for kidnapping young boys?

Mitchell explained in a press conference in Abu Dhabi that the sheik didn't kidnap and enslave anybody, he just "rescued underage camel jockeys." From their families in other lands... now that's some serious concern for young boys.

One more camel jockey and he gets his own parish.

Mitchell now says he had nothing to do with the case. He must have been talking about some other camel-jockey-lover than his burnoose-topped patron.

Oh yes, the case was thrown out. After Mitchell's palm was greased, the State Department somehow discovered that their intervention was needed to make the world safe for the sport of (Arab) kings and the slaves that conduct it.

But yeah, Obama wants to break free of lobbyists in government. I guess, unless it's the lobbyist who can give you a good line on a camel in the sixth at Aqueduct. See, he knows the owner... not the camel's, the jockey's.

Revenant said...

And does anybody really believe that the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was devised solely by some PFCs, out of sight and sound of their officers?

The treatment of prisoners at Aby Ghraib sounds like EXACTLY the sort of thing low-ranking guards get up to when they're not being supervised. These are people of poor training and low status who suddenly have a lot of even lower-status people in their power. That is exactly the kind of scenario where abuse of prisoners most commonly happens. That's why proper supervision of guards is nearly as important a part of prison life as proper supervision of prisoners.

Let me flip it around for you: do you honestly think for even one second that anyone in authority ordered a couple of dipshit reservists to pull stunts like this and this and photograph the event for posterity? If you're the sort of mindless leftie moonbat who thinks the Bush Administration ordered tough interrogations just for the sheer glee of watching Arabs suffer then you could maybe think someone in power ordered England to force prisoners to masturbate -- but even then, taking photographs makes no sense. The only person who could think this kind of think was ordered or sanctioned by Bush is the sort of BDS sufferer who thinks the man was simply pure evil incarnate and did things for that reason alone.

Waterboarding will get someone to talk. Sleep deprivation will get someone to talk. Making a guy masturbate will not get him to talk, I don't care how religious he is. That's why things like "forced masturbation" and "naked human pyramids" were never on any list of approved interrogation techniques authored by Bush. Or anyone under Bush. Or probably anyone ever, outside of the European porn industry maybe.

newscaper said...

Quayle said
So we have to see what moderate local leader is going to cast his lot with the new Obama administration. Anyone that steps forward to be America’s new partner must know that they’ll become a target of the radical Muslims, and that, anyway, America is a fickle partner and unreliable that can leave you high and dry upon a change of administration or change of wind in US politics.

And just how would Obama's overwhelming urge to 'bring all the boys home' no matter the larger strategic picture encourages these hypothetical moderates how?

eatspitanddie said...

at 11:05 downtownlad writes "Even the US military concedes that the Koran was desecrated at least 5 times."

Here's the problem. A person cannot desecrate the Koran. It is not holy. It is not from God. It is the raving babble of a false prophet.

That the United States has a policy which disallows military personnel serving at Guantanamo from even touching the koran that belongs to a prisoner is shameful.

Ken said...

Obama knows better, but his followers will never accept that Bush did anything right. The Times would rather close up shop and go bankrupt than suggest the One resembled Bush in any way.

Michael said...

Anybody who can't distinguish a difference in tone or otherwise, between Bush and Obama is a fucking moron.

And this is the ultimate gathering ground.

Michael said...

Ken - When you refer to Obama as "the One" you're exposing yourself as an ignorant piece of shit.

He won the election, he's our President and using such a term is unAmerican and you should be ashamed.

Michael said...

eatspitanddie said..."A person cannot desecrate the Koran. It is not holy. It is not from God. It is the raving babble of a false prophet."

Are you really this ignorant? Do you really think your beliefs are the ONLY beliefs?

The Koran (Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. (One out of every six people on the planet.)

And you wonder why people like you are considered to be illiterate fools?

Jason said...

Calling Obama "TheOne" is "unAmerican?"

Michael, michael michael... how can I explain this so that even you can understand?

When conservatives refer to Obama as "theOne," we're not ridiculing Obama himself. We're ridiculing his dumbass supporters.

In other words, we're not laughing WITH you. We're laughing AT you.

We'll call Obama whatever we like... and the more libtards it pisses off, the better.

And after eight years of constant America bashing from your ilk, pardon me if I tell you to take your accusation of "unAmericanism," and shove it.

Original Mike said...

He won the election, he's our President and using such a term is unAmerican and you should be ashamed.

I just choked on my coffee.

Korla said...

>And after eight years of constant America bashing from your ilk, pardon me if I tell you to take your accusation of "unAmericanism," and shove it.

Just make sure you don't follow the Democratic habit of multiple comparisons between Bush and a chimp. You would then be called a racist. Even though, Bush was only half chimp.

eatspitanddie said...

Hey Michael, I think Islam is an evil creed undeserving of tolerance even though it has many adherents. You seem to be tolerant of Islam and intolerant of Christians. I suppose you were referring to Christians when you called me an illiterate fool. Never mind the supposing are you intolerant of Christians? Or are you only intolerant of Christians who disagree with you about something important to you? Is Islam important to you?

By the way how old are you Michael?

MathMom said...

madawaskan @ 10:25 am

Where the hell was Obama living thirty years ago? Overseas? The Iranian Hostage Crisis escaped him? All 444 days of it?

I believe BarryO was still stoned out of his mind thirty years ago. So, yes, he probably missed the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

I was living overseas, and believe me, I didn't miss it.

MathMom said...

madawaskan @ 10:25 am

Where the hell was Obama living thirty years ago? Overseas? The Iranian Hostage Crisis escaped him? All 444 days of it?

I believe BarryO was still stoned out of his mind thirty years ago. So, yes, he probably missed the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

Bryan Lovely said...

I think when Obama says "20 or 30 years ago" he doesn't mean any specific year or historical period; he just means "a really long time ago before I was a grownup." The actual facts on the ground in that year or year are completely irrelevant.

Sort of like that comment he made during the campaign of being President "for five or ten years" -- he didn't literally mean 5-10 years; he meant "for quite a while into the future."

For someone with a law degree, Obama is amazingly imprecise about language. I'm not sure if this is deliberate, or if he realizes that people around the world are going to parse his every phrase far more intently than they did when he was a Senator.