April 19, 2009

"Obama held his tongue when asked what he thought about Ortega's speech. 'It was 50 minutes long. That's what I thought.'"

"President Obama endured a 50-minute diatribe from socialist Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega that lashed out at a century of what he called terroristic U.S. aggression in Central America and included a rambling denunciation of the U.S.-imposed isolation of Cuba's Communist government. Obama sat mostly unmoved during the speech but at times jotted notes" [writes Major Garrett at FOXNews.com.]

Notes, eh?
America responsible for evils of world.

Ortega angry.

I'm bored.

Communism... good for Cuba? Wd b much more successful if not for U.S. evil.

Racism

expansionist policy of U.S.

Look serious. Pretend these are real notes. Listen thoughtfully.

Sandinistas... Contras... check info

Look thoughtful

He can't blame me. I was 3.

When is this idiot going to shut up?

Boooorrrrringggg
ADDED: Actually, Obama said "I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old." That rhetoric sounded familiar. Remember this?



IN THE COMMENTS: Maguro said:
Not sure why he needed to take notes since he listened to the same sermon at Trinity Church for 20 years. You'd think he'd have it memorized by now.

297 comments:

1 – 200 of 297   Newer›   Newest»
lacegrl130 said...

Who will stick up for us if the big guy won't? I feel like a kid without an older brother...

John Althouse Cohen said...

This has the tag "Obama stumbles." So what should he have done?

mrs whatsit said...

Well, John, a ringing defense of his country might have been nice, and would have been second nature to most of those who have inhabited his office before him. Instead, we get a lame joke suggesting that he thinks it was all about HIM.

EDH said...

"To move forward, we cannot let ourselves be prisoners of past disagreements. I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old."

Actually, the president misspoke on the sequence of events in Cuba. The invasion of CIA-trained rebels at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba occurred in April 1961. Obama was born August 4, 1961.
Or. maybe Obama believes life begins at conception or at least the second trimester?

For him anyway.

traditionalguy said...

Ortega's gang won't stop until they have taken Canada after they finish us off. Let's hope the Deranged Military Veterans with Guns are not disarmed and locked up before the new President's Open Door policy for Hispanic revolutionaries looking for love... I mean loot... has come in full force. If the Bank down the street decided to accept robberies, like we accept pirates off Africa's coast, than the only crime against the State's new one man Ruler will become "being a traditional American". Obama is acting out a Fifth columnist's role, not a Protector US President's role. Somebody needs to tell him that Nicaragua is not a play place for Harvard professors, but it's the real world where guns are the only rule. His spell over us will not stop the Ortega gang once it takes charge.

Peter V. Bella said...

"So what should he have done?"

Give a rousing statement defending and praising his own country? Make statements condemning Chavez, Ortega, and their ilk; yeah yeah, his spokesweasel said something negaitive; he did not.

Get up and leave the room. That would have probaby been the best thing he could have done. Just got up and walked out.

Who whould have blamed him? Not us? He is supposed to be our President and he is supposed to defend our interests. He is also not supposed to let some piss pot dictators insult his country.

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

So what should he have done?

Well, I’m not qualified to say what a President of the United States should or should not do in such circumstances.

But I know from personal experience that there are times when I have neither the eloquent words nor the moral courage to stand up and say what truly needs to be said.

This is why I carry a bottle of THIS with me at all times.

You may think of it as a crutch, of a sort.

AllenS said...

Obama should have defended this country's honor by opening a can of Whoop Ass.

Maguro said...

Not sure why he needed to take notes since he listened to the same sermon at Trinity Church for 20 years. You'd think he'd have it memorized by now.

jayne_cobb said...

Was he dismayed?

Michael Hasenstab said...

"So what should he have done?"He should not have attended this meeting of powerless tin-pot socialist dictators.

What did the administration expect would happen? That the path to the meeting room would be strewn with rose petals so the Annointed One's feet need not touch the dirty floor? That America would be showered with praise, adulation and good will by petty despots?

Obama did not object to Ortega's comments because he doesn't disagree with them. He views America pre 01/20/2009 as an evil place, just as Ortega does.

Obama was merely surprised that he wasn't welcomed as a buddy.

WWRHD. What Would Regan Have Done. He'd have walked out in protest.

lacegrl130 said...

"This is why I carry a bottle of THIS with me at all times."

YIKES!

Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter V. Bella said...

The bigger question is why did he go there to begin with? I guess the unnecessary distractions at home were too great for him.

Zokar said...

"I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old."

Obama is the President of the United States.

But when his county is insulted, his 1st (and 2nd and 3rd) impulse is not to defend the honor of his country, but accept the insult, divert it to what is to him a foreign entity - the United States - and then elevate himself above his own country.

Thanks a lot. Your country appreciates you, you shallow, narcissist jerk.

AllenS said...

John Althouse Cohen said...
This has the tag "Obama stumbles." So what should he have done?
What's up with this Althouse kid? Are our answers helping you figure this out yet?

Quayle said...

OK, I'm gonna surprise here and praise Obama for his reaction.

I think he did the right thing.

Ortega had a little tantrum, and Obama did the most constructive thing in such situations - he sat and did nothing.

He didn't react, he didn't enable, he let the little cloud blow over.

It's called looking bigger than the other guy. Orgeta huffed and puffed and now what does he have left to get attention?

Quayle said...

It is the "yeah, whatever!" approach.

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

Quayle said...
It is the "yeah, whatever!" approach.
No he didn't. Obama said "I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old."


He made an excuse for himself. Whatever my ass.

SMGalbraith said...

I'm thinking whether the President would have been silent in response to a fascist thug condemning America for its "decades long cultural decadence and promotion of homosexuality, radical feminism and perversion through Hollywood and its movies"?

Something tells me he would have responded.

AllenS said...

Blogger sucks.

John Althouse Cohen said...

"Well, John, a ringing defense of his country might have been nice, and would have been second nature to most of those who have inhabited his office before him."

Oh, I'm glad he didn't waste any more time dignifying this guy. If he had given a "ringing defense of his country," he wouldn't have gotten any credit for it by the commenters on this blog.

"Instead, we get a lame joke suggesting that he thinks it was all about HIM."

This has become a really tired cliche. "He thinks it was all about him." Huh? No he doesn't.

Paddy O. said...

"What should he have done?"

I'm joining the he did the right thing crowd. Absorb. Listen. This was their moment in the spotlight. That sort has gotten power again and a voice in these meetings. Making more of a scene, like the king of Spain did, would feel good but ultimately not do anything and might cause short term issues.

The bigger question is what will Obama now do? His campaign was built on talking and changing the direction of the Bush administration, mostly because in his career he talked with other senators and local community leaders. He is now getting a taste, an honest bad taste, of what it means to 'talk' with demagogues and caudillos, who run truly populist governments, have a lot of local power, and who help undermine their own nations--as a history of South America shows. Blame the other, consolidate power, abuse power, get overthrown in violent uprising, repeat. Meanwhile the poor get abused, ignored, thrashed, killed, while the rich take advantage.

No one wins except momentary pride by those who seek to exploit the poor for their own egos.

Obama cannot win that game, not in their own backyards.

But, he can adjust his foreign policies as a response. No big gesture that makes everyone smile. A lot of little ones that might isolate such people as Ortega and Chavez, and bring substantive change.

Obama needed this. This blast of reality that comes in hour long boring demagoguery.

rdkraus said...

Let's face it. Obama largely agrees with Ortega. This stuff is not so different from what he says about the US.

bearbee said...

Ortega had a little tantrum, and Obama did the most constructive thing in such situations - he sat and did nothing.It's probable that he doesn't have the necessary instincts, knowledge or adeptness to adequately or appropriately respond.

If so, than keep your mouth shut.

Roost on the Moon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
michael farris said...

About to say something outrageously unpopular here (and note, I'm not an Obama fan and did not vote for him).


Ortega had a point, he had two or three. The history of US involvement in the political processes of Latin America (especially central america) is pretty awful and not anything for the US to be proud of.

When you begin dialogues with someone your group has screwed over you're gonna get a few earfuls before you can get into more productive areas. The quickest way to get to possibly productive dialogue is to let the other side rant a long while, nod wisely, indicate gently that your patience is not in fact unending and forget about 'ringing defenses' of your side.

I'll reserve full judgement until I know more, but in the short versions of this I've come across Obama's reaction is about pitch perfect (and I repeat: I've never been an Obama fan and did not vote for him).

SMGalbraith said...

Obama could have responded indirectly to Ortega's screed and talked about the larger democratic values that Marxists like Ortega don't believe in.

Sure, the US has done some shameful things in Latin America but we've also done a great deal of good (or tried to) in the region.

And really, Marxists like Chavez and Ortega lecturing others about non-intervention into other countries affairs?

Revolutionary Marxists?

Jason (the commenter) said...

"This has the tag "Obama stumbles." So what should he have done?"

Possibilities:

1. Get up and walk out.

2. Laugh and smile and completely ignore what was said.

3. Laugh and smile and call Ortega "our little lap dog".

4. Laugh and smile and announce support for Colombia's Free Trade agreement without any restrictions.

5. Make a speech about the history of corruption in Latin America, mention Juan Vicente Gómez or a similar person and warn Latin Americans about caudillos.

He didn't have the backbone for 1, the magnanimity for 2, the chutzpah for 3, the bravery for 4, or the intelligence for 5.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Liberals have always been in awe of the Sandinistas-rabble and their anti-democratic pro-commie ideology.

John said...

Latin Americans are innocent, child-like creatures. They don't know any better, so they're not responsible for their own actions. As an advanced civilization, the US does know better and so must accept responsibility for everything that happens down there, including Ortega's (alleged!) molesting of little girls.

Roost on the Moon said...

It's been almost 3 months, and as far as I can tell, we don't even have any new enemies. Well, the pirates.

I guess.

But other than that, nothing. Where is the bluster? I bet there are tons of evil foreigners out there, getting a pass from this clown. "President". Yeah, right. We all know that the president's job is to publicly insult the "enemies of freedom". How's he ever going to get anything done if he doesn't make a list of 3 evil countries? It could be more, but at least give us three. An axis, you know?

Instead, he's up there, going to summits, not disrupting speeches, shaking hands with heads of state. That's no way to lead. No way to lead the FOX nation, anyway.

Well, our president might not be brave enough, but I am. So a hearty "up yours" to any foreign leader, democratically elected or not, that blames the USA for its imperial meddling. That stuff happened a long time ago.

And you're evil, so there.

SMGalbraith said...

Obama: "The United States too often, and as a deep lover of my country I am not happy saying this, supported oligarchies in Latin America against the interest and hopes of the Latin American people."

"We were deeply and tragically wrong."

"But it is equally deeply and tragically wrong to replace one set of rulers with another set of rulers. Substituting one oligarchy for another is a betrayal of the hopes of the peoples of America, North and South and so I am here to listen but also to talk about those principles of self-government that unite us all..."

Et cetera, et cetera...

He should have this boilerplate response in his head.

Not real hard if a knucklehead like me can come up with something in five minutes.

dbp said...

Ortega should be thanking us. If it hadn't been for our support of the Contras, he would have remained dictator all this time (Or been killed in a coup) and thus never had any legitimacy.

As it is, he lost that first election and was out of power for a while. But now he has been elected fair-and-reasonably-square. He has the U.S of A. to thank for that outcome.

He is a total ungrateful douche bag.

Jason (the commenter) said...

JAC: "This has become a really tired cliche. "He thinks it was all about him." Huh? No he doesn't."

His defense was his own biography:

"I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old."

Which he didn't even get right. But maybe he did, let's go check his birth certificate!

Stephen said...

Re the "I was only three" argument, the good news is that reparations are a dead issue under the Obama administration because NO ONE was around when slavery happened.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I like how Obama has the habit of changing his own biography to fit a narrative. Here he is falsely claiming to be born after the Bay of Pigs Invasion; in the past he has falsely said his father was brought here by Kennedy policies.

Makes you wonder if his two biographies should be in the fiction section.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse has it completely wrong about the notes. Obama was writing stuff down to include in his next speech to the American people.

buck smith said...

Ths has the tag "Obama stumbles." So what should he have done?I can think of a few responses. One would be to note that If Mr Ortega is looking for broad and long-term historical force which have held back the people of Latin America he should look at the traditions of the Catholic Church, Spanish colonialism rather than the CIA and multi-national corporations. All of the former Spanish colonies have had big problems getting capitalism to work effectively. The culture and traditions of Spanish government and the Catholic Church create tendencies toward corruption and authoritarianism whether the practitioners are right-wing or left-wing.
In central America there are other traditions that are not often recognized. When the Spanish arrive some 500 years ago, ritual human sacrifice was practiced by most of the native American cultures in Central America. Most of the central American countries have had long term problems with human rights abuses. Maybe old habits die slowly.
Of course for Obama to say any of this would be undiplomatic. Diplomacy is way over-rated.

TMink said...

JAC wrote: "If he had given a "ringing defense of his country," he wouldn't have gotten any credit for it by the commenters on this blog."

I disagree. Many of us gave him proper accolades for dealing with the pirates. For many of us, it is not the man, but his policies. When his policies are helpful and correct, we are happy with and for him.

I hold no ill will toward our President. I think his policies are harmful. I am not the wonly one who thinks this way.

And, at least some ODS is to be expected after 8 years of BDS. Sadly.

Trey

SMGalbraith said...

Acknowledge our sins but then put Chavez and Ortega and Castro on the defensive over their betrayal of democracy and human rights.

Make the debate about the future and not the past.

Obama didn't even try to do that.

We've replaced one President who couldn't articulate a defense of America with another who apparently won't articulate a defense.

As I said elsewhere, this isn't just about talking to Latin American elites. There are millions of Latin Americans listening and watching this.

Jason (the commenter) said...

JAC : "If he had given a "ringing defense of his country," he wouldn't have gotten any credit for it by the commenters on this blog."

Obama is supposed to be a master of image control, but this incident proves he isn't. He only has one narrative and he's going to keep at it until his life story becomes the next "weapons of mass destruction."

CarmelaMotto said...

He could have done what King Juan Carlos of Spain did with the diatribes Chavez and Ortega made against Spain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Kzbo7tNLg

Same diatribes, this time against Spain and the same clowns performing the diatribes.

Juan Carlos is man who stood down fascism and coups and he wasn't going to listen to his country and countrymen be insulted by the the likes of them.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

I thought Obama saying that he was glad that Ortega didn't blame him for stuff that happened when he was three mos. old was sarcasm.

I'm reserving judgment. If President Obama is like this throughout his presidency, I'll call him a weakling. But he may come back with a solid left hook at some point, and he's got plenty of time left to do that -- you know, make a show of being reasonable, let the other guy look like a douche, and then drop him with a good punch.

mrs whatsit said...

I said: "Instead, we get a lame joke suggesting that he thinks it was all about HIM."

John said: This has become a really tired cliche. "He thinks it was all about him." Huh? No he doesn't.

I say: Well, when his country is insulted, and his sole response refers to his own infancy, it looks as if he does.

Perhaps he meant to belittle Noriega's speech -- and I do agree with you that saying much about it would have given it more dignity than it deserved. However, the effect, in combination with the dignity he lent to Noriega's speech by sitting through it in respectful silence, was to belittle his country. I hope that's not what he intended. Time will tell.

Jason (the commenter) said...

If Conservatives are acting towards Obama just like Liberals did to Bush, where are the Conservatives who are hailing Ortega as a hero just like the Liberals did with Chavez?

CarmelaMotto said...

JAC - he would have received a lot credit from this blog and its commenters. Other than the trolls, this is a reasonable blog, no? Or do we only become unreasonable when we don't agree with you?

CarmelaMotto said...

The next time Obama starts in about some injustice in the past in the US (slavery, women's rights, whatever), I am going to say, "hey, don't look at me, my family didn't arrive in the US until 1930 and I wasn't even BORN!"

rhhardin said...

He didn't react to Rev. Wright either.

PatCA said...

"I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old."He wasn't blaming you, Barack, he was blaming America. That's still, to my knowledge, two different things.

SMGalbraith said...

He didn't react to Rev. Wright either.He does seem to be intellectually comfortable listening to such screeds. At least from the left.

Something tells me indictments of America from the fascist radical right - that we're run by decadent homosexuals or other such nonsense - would not go unchallenged.

Koblog said...

Obama sat and nodded because Axelrod had not yet written his response for the TOTUS to display to him.

Without Axelrod, the only thing Obama knows is his age, so he went with that.

EnigmatiCore said...

"So what should he have done?"

Defended his country?

Explained the deficiencies in this leftist's ideology?

Gave some indication that he doesn't agree?

Those are just three small ideas that came to mind in just a second's worth of thought.

EnigmatiCore said...

" I'm glad he didn't waste any more time dignifying this guy."

Actually, Obama has been all about dignifying guys like Chavez, and Ortega, and Ahmendijad, and Ayers.

"If he had given a "ringing defense of his country," he wouldn't have gotten any credit for it by the commenters on this blog."

Easy assertion for you to make, in that it will likely never be put to the test.

It is also an incorrect assertion, at least as far as this commenter is concerned.

But thanks for turning the "commenters" on your mother's blog into a strawman you could knock down. It is much appreciated.

Cedarford said...

Zokar said...
"I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old."

Obama is the President of the United States.

But when his county is insulted, his 1st (and 2nd and 3rd) impulse is not to defend the honor of his country, but accept the insult, divert it to what is to him a foreign entity - the United States - and then elevate himself above his own country.
.
Good post. Despite what JAC said, his response basically saying "Don't blame me!" does show he still thinks "It is All About Him."

He didn't get the WhiteHouse and the immense fleet of carbon dioxide spewing vehicles as a reward for the wonderful "Me!" Obama is. It comes from what voters and taxpayers and legislators said he needs to fulfill his Office, not himself.

He represents America. All of America. Not U of CHicago intellegensia, his wealthy patrons, his Hyde Park homeboys. All of us. He is Head of State. His mandate and his power are coomensurate with his support.

Zokar - Thanks a lot. Your country appreciates you, you shallow, narcissist jerk..
Obama does have a learning curve. He needs to get on it. When our country is assailed by various dictators and 2009 conventions and morality are retrocatively applied to 1920s US involvement in Latin America but not the Latin Leaders own odious conduct and firing squads at the time - our Head of State's 1st reaction should not be asserting he is personally pure and innocent...

Pogo said...

He should have done what Machiavelli would have done.

A man with intellect and quit wit would have anticipated this anti-American stemwinder and prepared a brief response that would sell in this country as well as send the appropriate message to Venezuala (and not just Ortega).

Quiet strength.
Our limited patience.
Inscrutability.
Humor with a hint of aggression.
The transience of murderous tinpot regimes.
All must come in hints, to be read as tea leaves.

He missed the opportunity, may not have even recognized it. He came close; his response was a tenth of what it could have been. If only he'd seen Bert Parks sing it. Better, if he'd only read Shakespeare rather than Alinsky.

But he's just Bert Convey, trying to keep his Gong Show guests in line.

Alex said...

Obama has already become 1980 Jimmy Carter in just 3 months. Good going Obama!

madawaskan said...

Oh hot damn-did you see what Ann added-the video?


Ooooh but she is good.

JAC don't be tanglin' with the one that learned ya.

madawaskan said...

Ben (The Tiger)

Listen you're young and kinda Canadian.
It ain't happening that left hook thing.

Not unless the target is Republican.

Oligonicella said...

John Althouse Cohen --

If he had given a "ringing defense of his country," he wouldn't have gotten any credit for it by the commenters on this blog.*All* of them? No. A number of them? Yes.

This has become a really tired cliche. "He thinks it was all about him." Huh? No he doesn't.His words speak louder than your words.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Pogo : He should have done what Machiavelli would have done.Invited them all to a big dinner at which they all would have been killed?

madawaskan said...

Central America is corrupt, corrupt, corrupt and I guess after how many debts have been forgiven America is to blame because we aren't as ruthless to our neighbors as other "empires" have been throughout history.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

For someone as smart as Althouse, it's kind of depressing that she consistently provides a forum for such idiocy. I can understand criticizing Obama for substantive, true "stumbles," but this? Where do you draw the line, Althouse? Are you a thoughtful blogger or a provider of cruel and disgusting comments sections?

madawaskan said...

Since we now have-

The World According to Obama Time-

at what age does he start taking responsibility?

Alex said...

Zachary Paul Sire - Obama failed to stand up for America. I call that a stumble. But I guess to you that's a good thing - failing to stand up for evil AmeriKKKa.

SMGalbraith said...

The President, in my view (and others here), failed to respond to the smears by this Marxist thug.

He could have indirectly responded and talked about the dangers of power being concentrated in a few hands. And how while the US has made mistakes that the path towards replacing old oligarchies with new ones is just as wrong.

It's clear, to me, that at least in South America there's a battle of ideas between the anti-US socialists like Chavez and the pro-US forces like Columbia. We need to help the latter. At least rhetorically.

But our President gave no defense of us or pro-west democracies.

That's, well, indefensible.

And on the issue of cruel comments directed at the President, McChimpy Bushhitler agrees.

madawaskan said...

And- in that same vein Obama has aided Ortega and other corrupt leaders in Central America by legitimizing their focus on blaming America and the past-

Ortega,Chavez et al are not held accountable they get to deflect -

Responsibility.

Do you young tykes even know how Chavez came to power?

How he intimidates the opposition? How you have to be his close friend or blood relative to make "it", in the military or anywhere else for that matter.

What he just did to the Mayor of a city in Venezuela because he was a member of the opposition party and managed to win anyways?

Chavez took the City Hall away from him, and took away the Mayor's authority over that city's transports and port among other things.

Or how about what Chavez did to the student protest movement just a couple of months ago.

If Bush did that to a Democrat you'd all be besides yourselves.

Instead Liberals here yesterday were DEFENDING Chavez as legitimate.

Attila said...

What would Nelson Rockefeller have done?

Pat said...

He's a total narcissist! That's the way he sees the whole world which explains why he ever helped his brother-in-the-hut or his immigration-challenged aunt or his other crazy brother we just learned about.

They can't benefit him, so screw 'em.

Jason (the commenter) said...

He was probably thinking, "this is NOT what Ayers told me it would be like."

Lem said...

There seems to be a competition btwg Morales, Ortega, Correa and Chavez to macho up each other over the new girl Obama.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Zachary : "Where do you draw the line, Althouse? Are you a thoughtful blogger or a provider of cruel and disgusting comments sections?"

The world is full of cruel and disgusting people. If Obama can't deal with them (as this incident shows) he has no business being President.

EnigmatiCore said...

From another story:

"At the start of the first plenary session at the Summit of the Americas later this morning, President Obama was asked what he thought of Chavez’s gift.

“You know, I thought it was one of Chavez’s books," Obama answered. "I was going to give him one of mine.”"

Why did he think the book Chavez gave was one of his? Because that's what he would have done. And of course he would want to give him one of his.

It may be cliche to say Obama thinks it is all about him.

Sometimes, cliches are true.

JAC, you are a Democrat. Don't let that blind you to the fact that Obama has real, legitimate flaws. They did not evaporate when he went from being your preferred candidate's foe to being your preferred party's candidate to being the President. He's still the same guy.

EnigmatiCore said...

Zachary Paul,

Maybe she thinks the coddling of, admiration of, or deference to leftist Latin American dictators is one of the less appealing aspects of the American left?

Just saying, that might be the case.

Or, it might not be.

Lem said...

Where do you draw the line, Althouse? Are you a thoughtful blogger or a provider of cruel and disgusting comments sections?............
If anything Sullivan proves that one can be cruel and disgusting without a comment section.

Palladian said...

Uh oh, you better watch out, Althouse! Zachary Paul"I Don't Live With My Mom Anymore!" Sire seems like he's getting awfully close to reporting you to Change.gov as a "provider of cruel and disgusting comments sections"! He'll do it too. There's a history of certain fags being enthusiastic supporters of government oppression. Look at Roy Cohn or J. Edgar Hoover.

Remember folks: criticism of the President has gone from being "the Highest Form of Patriotism" to "cruel and disgusting".

SMGalbraith said...

Remember folks: criticism of the President has gone from being "the Highest Form of Patriotism" to "cruel and disgusting".And McChimpy Bushhitler, stealer of two elections and creater of fascism (ask Olbermann he'll tell you) wants to know, "When did this rule come about?"

AlphaLiberal said...

Great. Kneejerk defensiveness and blindness to the facts. I don't know what Ortega said and am not endorsing that.

But I will stress the point that our US government has, over the last 100+ years in Latin America overthrown democratically elected governments and kept dictatorships in power.

This is a fact of history.

* The Dictator Augusto Pinochet Of Chile, put in power in Chile with CIA assistance, overthrowing democratically elected Salvador Allende. Pinochet carried out abductions, torture and murders on a mass scale.

* Anastasio Somoza was from a ruling power and ruled Nicaragua as a corrupt dictator. With US backing. That led to a radical revolution, surprise, surprise.

* In El Salvador, the US backed an oligarchy that ruled with a brutal, iron fist. The "White Hand" death squads received training and carried out campaigns of abduction, torture and murder.

In Guatemala, the US supported a brutal military dictatorship for decades. With weapons, training, advice, and other interventions in their domestic affairs.

Latin America could not develop their own political systems because their neighbor to the north wanted it their way.

This list goes on and on and on and dates to the 19th century. We need to stop pretending this clear history did not happen.

Obama handled it right. He let people state their case without demanding that they hew to a false history.

And, it is decidely NOT patriotic to pretend these things didn't happen.

jeff said...

I caught JPZ on another blog comment describing the typical Althouse commentator as inbred racist homophobic idiots. Not only inaccurate, but a total dick move. All based on the fact that sometimes people have a different opinion than him.

jeff said...

Sun came up in the East this morning and Alphaliberal totally misses the point as usual. All is right in the world.

AlphaLiberal said...

JAC:
This has the tag "Obama stumbles." So what should he have done?I suspect the cons think he should have huffed and puffed and stormed out of the room.

Then he "should have" held a press conference where he "should have" denied the US government ever did anything wrong in Latin America ever.

That, even though our nation's government has supported brutal and bloody dictatorships, we are always defenders of democracy.

That's the delusion they want him to advance.

Lem said...

But I will stress the point that our US government has, over the last 100+ years in Latin America overthrown democratically elected governments and kept dictatorships in power..............


President Obama said... That was eons ago.. what was I doing in 1994?

PatCA said...

"I don't know what Ortega said and am not endorsing that."

Why don't you find out then? That's what the post was about.

madawaskan said...

Alpha-
All that shit happened before Obama was even born.


Get a grip.

AlphaLiberal said...

Jeff, I did not miss a thing. I think Obama knows the romanticized and fictional popular history of the US role in Latin America is false.

And, he let the other democratically elected guy have his say. The right demands that Obama mimic Bush's belligerence and defend our support for dicators.

Ann Althouse thinks listening politely is all wrong, apparently, when she calls it a "stumble."

If you click on the "Obama stumbles" tag you'll see a long list of right-wing tropes against Obama and promoted by Ann Althouse.

John Stodder said...

Perhaps Barack Obama is given to "esprit d'escalier." He thought of a really good comeback after the meeting was over, but it was too late.

That "blaming me for things that happened when I was 3" business was a stumble. He should have said nothing.

Or, he could have said -- "Look™, the US made a lot of mistakes during the Cold War, but we also did an enormous amount of good, preventing many countries from falling into the orbit of the Soviet Union as, unfortunately, Cuba and Nicaragua did. To prevent the spread of communist totalitarianism in Europe, Asia and Latin America cost us hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars. You would have it that we undertook this fight for the sake of profits, but this is a cynical slander, as I was just saying the other day to Bill Ayers. We did it to fulfill the idealistic goals of freedom and self-determination of nations. We stand for a free economy, freedom of speech, religion and the press, equal rights and the freedom of the individual to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Communism as it was practiced in the 70 years after the Russian Revolution, refuted all of these things as bourgeois vanity, in the words of several of my professors at Columbia, but they were wrong. Certainly our tactics at times were wrong. Certainly in the pursuit of these ideals we made costly mistakes. Certainly, some of the people in whom we entrusted authority to carry out these policies acted with cruelty and corruptly. In fact, I'm currently working with my staff on an eloquent apology for all those dreadful errors. But look™, you've completely ignored the sustained efforts of our government and its people to improve the lives of millions throughout Latin America, an effort we will continue until long after you have put that dopey uniform in a casket along with the rest of your sorry communist bones."

madawaskan said...

Let's see Alpha so Castro, Chavez good and legitimate.

Bush McChimpHitler.

This is what you Liberal purveyors of "fair" have judged.

Gotch ya.

Jeremy said...

Typical whining from the right wing crowd here..but...

...have the wingnuts here already forgotten that 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists were Saudis?

And did that fact bother you at all...during the chummy meeting between President Bush and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in Crawford, Texas...the one with hand-holding?

Of course not.

Lem said...

Dont you see? All this bad stuff happened because Obama was not here!

AlphaLiberal said...

madawaskan ....
Alpha-
All that shit happened before Obama was even born.
....
.

No, it didn't. Everything I listed in the details happened during Obama's lifetime.

Somoza, Allende overthrow (and execution), the White Hand training and murder sprees in El Salvador, the bloody Guatemalen suppression, and more all happened during Obama's lifetime and much during his adult years.

This is a widely known history outside the USA.

Jeremy said...

Anybody remember the Reagans sharing a bottle of bubbly at the White House with our evil empire buddy; Mikhail Gorbachev and his lovely wife Raisa?

How could he do something like that?

AlphaLiberal said...

Madawaskan puts false and lying words in my mouth:
Let's see Alpha so Castro, Chavez good and legitimate.This is a real dishonest statement and cannot be supported by anything I said.

If I lived in Cuba or Venezuela, I'm the type of person who would be locked up by someone like Castro, and probably Chavez.

You've got such a simpleton's view of the world that you assume their are only 2 worldviews out there. One can't be critical of Castro as well as critical of the US history of support for murderous dictatorships throughout Latin America.

That's pretty dumb.

madawaskan said...

So Jeremy-

The Democrat Party was advocating bombing Saudi Arabia?

Jeremy said...

madawaskan said..."Let's see Alpha so Castro, Chavez good and legitimate."

You left out our good buddies in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, China, etc.

SMGalbraith said...

Then we have the typical reactionary liberal completely willing to criticize his own country's sins without acknowledging her contributions and missing the entire point.

Giving, along the way, the typical excuse that the peoples of Latin American were innocent victims of American acts and not really at all responsible for their own actions based on their own internal and historic grievances.

See, before the US came along, these people were living in peace and brotherhood. No internal divisions, no religious differences, no racial or ethnic differences.

Moron history.

And he thinks that liberalism has been given a bad name because of the smears of Limbaugh and conservatives.

No, you got a bad name the old-fashioned way: You earned it.

madawaskan said...

Alpha-

You and Eli Blake were the ones on a thread the other day describing Chavez as legitimate.And if you want to blame people for prejudice go see John Althouse Cohen's comment above.

Jeremy said...

madawaskan said..."So Jeremy-
The Democrat Party was advocating bombing Saudi Arabia?"

I'm merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the whining and bitching.

15 Saudis were involved in 9/11.

How many were associated with Chavez...and what exactly, other than badmouthing America, has Chavez done that is so horrible?

Jeremy said...

madawaskan - How do YOU figure Chavez is NOT "legitimate??"

Based on what?

Lem said...

And did that fact bother you at all...during the chummy meeting between President Bush and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in Crawford, Texas...the one with hand-holding?..... Yeap.. it's stuck in my craw that there was a Crown in Crawford.

AlphaLiberal said...

To prevent the spread of communist totalitarianism in Europe, Asia and Latin America cost us hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars.-

Yeah, nice of you to decide other peoples lives - not American by large - are disposable for your black and white world view.

That's the red herring used to justify support for the dictatorships and overthrowing democratically elected governments.

It's bullshit. Most local political movements in Latin America that threatened the oligarchies were described as moves by the Soviet Union. Usually, the Soviet Union has nothing to do with it.

So, for example, if poor people are drive out of the valleys and onto the hillsides so the rich can get all the best soil, those peasants were described as communists if they wanted land reform.

We missed huge chances to build respectful lasting relationships with the people of LA, and drove the politics to extremes in the process.

As we reaped, so have we sowed.

madawaskan said...

And actually it's not all about you.

It's about Obama giving credence to these miscreants by socializing with them-not pushing back and you by extension defending that.

Jeremy said...

Pat said..."He's a total narcissist!"

You go girl!!

Duh.

SMGalbraith said...

How many were associated with Chavez...and what exactly, other than badmouthing America, has Chavez done that is so horribleAs President Obama has stated (as a candidate) the Caracas government has provided support for Marxist terror groups operating in Colombia that are trying to overthrow the government and establish a Marxist dictatorship.

I guess one can argue that Chavez knows nothing about it, that it's all rogue elements in his government.

But I don't think so.

Joe said...

Latin America has long been a mess and the US has intervened sometimes with horrible results (like with Somalia in the early 90s, the original intervention was sometimes quite appropriate and/or justified, but then it morphed into something else.) On the other hand, the US has done a lot of good in the region.

Acting/being bored wasn't a bad strategy, but was a missed opportunity. Perhaps the best approach would have been to make some ambiguous statement about the past and then to make a rousing speech about the future. Rip off MLK and talk of a dream of seeing Latin America be truly free and prosperous.

This would have required, however, an actual strategy for Latin America. I don't think Obama has one. (To be fair, I don't think Bush or Clinton had much of one beyond free trade, but that's much better than nothing.)

This was also an opportunity to outline what would normalize relations with Cuba. Our strategy, if you can call it that, vis-a-vis Cuba has been a complete failure. It's time to move forward, but again, that would require actually paying more than token attention to the issue.

AlphaLiberal said...

John Stodder said:

In fact, I'm currently working with my staff on an eloquent apology for all those dreadful errors. Good for you. The time is long since past for the US to apologize. But if Obama or any Democrat did so he'd be torn apart.

No Republican would ever do it.

So, we'll have this stupid national dialogue, instead, where we pretend all that cruelty and US-supported bloodshed and violence never happened.

Really, I can't stand it.

Jeremy said...

TMink said..."Many of us gave him proper accolades for dealing with the pirates."

That's a crock.

90% of the comments here gave Obama almost no credit at all.

Almost all of the backhanded kudos were always attached to the "real" credit going to the military for carrying out the approved orders.

And keep in mind, that followed days of calling him soft before the snipers did their work.

montana urban legend said...

Far be it from irrelevant ranters on an irrelevant, ranting blog to understand how to consign the rants of a Nicaraguan politician to irrelevance.

You guys would inflate the significance of an ant if it would give you another hypothetical enemy to fight and feel self-important about. Pity you don't understand that it would do the same thing for the ant.

madawaskan said...

Alpha-

The main problem with Latin America is-

CORRUPTIONSorry if you can't blame that on America.

And by allowing these jackals to do exactly that blame everything on America you prolong their reign over the poor. The poor that you supposedly care about.

Chavez takes millions into his own personal coffers the poor have not been bettered one iota by the Chavez regime.

But-Hey! if you are for military coups and juntas keep on digging Alpha.

SMGalbraith said...

Imagine reading or reciting a history of our Civil War and only mentioning the actions by the North?

That'd be a ridiculous exercise.

But as we see here (again), the left's explanation of the history of Latin American consists solely and exclusively of US actions.

Some of those actions were, of course, indefensible. But many of those actions were in response to other actions by other players in Latin America.

It's a complex history (someone noted elsewhere Nietzsche's line about "truth being a woman") and to only look at US actions without also examining the precipitating events or the actions and history of others is silly.

Childish and silly.

But not unexpected given the people involved.

zedzded said...

I think it is all Bert Parks' fault.

Jeremy said...

SMGalbraith - I have no doubt Chavez has a hand in all kinds of bad things, but let's be realistic.

What exactly has he done that directly effects YOU?

And, oh...what exactly is going on in China, Pakistan, Turkey and any number of other countries we deal with every day?

Make the rounds of your house today and see how many of your possession were manufactured in China. Think any human rights violations occurring there right now?

Lem said...

I'm merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the whining and bitching.
15 Saudis were involved in 9/11.
.....................


So if 9/11 is this important pinnacle of our foreign policy why did we turned around and release top secret information to this 9/11 threat?

SMGalbraith said...

What exactly has he done that directly effects YOU?Well, the attacks on 9/11 didn't directly affect me either.

So by that measure we shouldn't have done anything.

Okay, granted that's a extreme response (best I can come up with on a Sunday) but I think to measure or determine public policy solely on the basis of whether it affects me directly today is a short-sighted one.

Anyway, the issue on the table is the President's response (or lack of one) on the issue of whether the future of Latin America is with socialism or democracy.

Over the long haul, that answer may affect me.

Yeah, over the long haul as Keynes said, we're all dead.

Shorter answer: I don't have one.

Jeremy said...

Lem - If you ever took the time to actualy read books and many of the articles that have appeared over the past 5 years or so you'd know that little if anything released was not already out there.

And considering the that criticism here is regarding Obama and Chavez, I have no idea what the release has to do with chumming up to the Saudis, knowing 15 of the 9/11 were citizens of that country.

Lem said...

You guys would inflate the significance of an ant if it would give you another hypothetical enemy to fight and feel self-important about. Pity you don't understand that it would do the same thing for the ant............................



Speaking for myself.. I have never been against any "hypothetical" enemies of the United States.

Jeremy said...

SMGalbraith said..."Well, the attacks on 9/11 didn't directly affect me either."

That's one hell of a statement to make.

It's hard to imagine why any American would say something like that.

And to compare a Chavez rant or even his actions in his own country, to what happened here on 9/11 tells me you're not the brightest bulb on the block.

montana urban legend said...

"Speaking for myself.. I have never been against any "hypothetical" enemies of the United States."

Except Ortega, apparently - assuming you find his words somehow damaging of the United States, an assumption understood by the perspective that they could be made all the more damaging by virtue of Obama's humbling reaction to them.

SMGalbraith said...

That's one hell of a statement to make.

It's hard to imagine why any American would say something like that.
Please read the rest of the post.

My point - as I'll explain to you -is that just because an event doesn't DIRECTLY affect you doesn't mean you shouldn't be concerned about it.

Try reading an entire post first and then responding?

Thanks.

William said...

Take Ireland, for example. Or, as Henny Youngman would say, take Ireland please. It can be fairly claimed that perfidious Albion caused many of the problems in that small nation. It can also be fairly claimed that with the exception of the plunder of Ireland, the Irish took their opportunities and participated whenever possible in the crimes of the British Empire. In this country, despite many years of mistreatment, they were quite capable of rising to the challenge and being just as overbearing as their WASP overlords. There is no excluded middle. One can be oppressed in some situations and an oppressor in others......From what we know of the Mayans, Toltecs, Incas, and Aztecs we can discern that the American natives were quite capable of constructing their own hideous regimes without Spanish tutelage. To say that Latin America has suffered five hundred years of European oppression is to beg the question. What flaw is contained in the people of Latin America that makes them unable to effectively resist five hundred years of oppression? Daniel Ortega, despite credible charges of child molestation, was elected President of Nicaragua. This is a greater disgrace to the people of Nicaragua than it is to even Ortega. A man who violates the boundaries of his family like Ortega did will inevitably violate other boundaries......My thanks to SM Galbraith and others for a series of thoughtful posts.

Jeremy said...

SMGalbraith said..."My point - as I'll explain to you -is that just because an event doesn't DIRECTLY affect you doesn't mean you shouldn't be concerned about it."

I did read your entire post and still cannot imagine an American saying 9/11 did not effect them "directly."

Why not just admit it was a foolish thing to say?

Lem said...

Lem - If you ever took the time to actually read books and many of the articles that have appeared over the past 5 years or so you'd know that little if anything released was not already out there...........................

That's because I'm not interested in reading classified in information.........................

The fact that "others" may have taking it upon themselves to declassify classified information negates the value of the keeping classified information?........................

Is that what you are saying?

John said...

SMGalbraith: But as we see here (again), the left's explanation of the history of Latin American consists solely and exclusively of US actions.Yes, this is the Noam Chomsky school of Latin American history. It infantililizes Latin Americans and absolves them of any responsibility for their own actions. It's a perfect lens for the Obama administration to view the region, because it's essentially narcissistic: it's all about US.

Lem said...

Except Ortega, apparently - assuming you find his words somehow damaging of the United States, an assumption understood by the perspective that they could be made all the more damaging by virtue of Obama's humbling reaction to them............................

Well put.

Jeremy said...

One of the reoccurring themes here every day is that America can do no wrong.

Everybody's out to get us, everybody's wrong and we're right.

Well, anybody who still believes that needs to educate themselves because the days of believing such tripe are long gone.

Right now we need all the friends we can get and diplomacy and negotiation is the right path.

Even if we're dealing with people with whom we do not agree.

montana urban legend said...

Thank you, Lem.

Free Ritalin and Zyprexa should be provided to every contributor of some of the paranoid and hyperbolic nonsense uttered here. Starting with the author of the original post.

Trooper York said...

Pogo, what's the matter with you man? You have never been more wrong in your life.

Chuck Barris was the host of the Gong Show. Bert Convey was the host of Tattletales and Win,Lose or Draw.

Get a grip man.

Jeremy said...

Lem - "That's because I'm not interested in reading classified in information."

Duh.

Peter V. Bella said...

Um, Alpha and Jeremy, these so called leaders are more brutal and more repressive than the leaders they overthrew. More people have been killed by their death squads, more people imprisoned and tortured, more people have disappeared; all because they are worse dictators and tyrants. In, effect, when they talk about atrocity, they are talking about themselves. You keep defending these people so one can only assume you both agree with their governance and methods. I guess by your thinking, there are good brutal dictators and bad brutal dictators. As long as they are leftist revolutionaries they are good. If they are right wing military types they are bad. Too bad if the people still have to suffer atrocities, crimes against humanity, and total iron fisted repression; these are the good guys doing it.

Fools, you people are really total utter hypocritical fools.

AlphaLiberal said...

Historical fictions are made with the assistance of many people. Like how Ann Althouse helped a murderer smear the person who fingered him.

And it's a parallel to the hidden history of abuses in Latin America.

Ann Althouse remains silent, with the rest of the right wing blogosphere, now that Scott Beauchamp's accuser has been convicted of murder.

I think Beauchamp probably fucked up some minor details but he was right on the core message.

Master Sergeant John Hatley, the person that Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard used heavily to attack Beauchamp, was found guilty last week of executing 4 blindfolded and bound Iraqis.

That Althouse will not correct the record is to her everlasting shame.

SMGalbraith said...

I did read your entire post and still cannot imagine an American saying 9/11 did not effect them "directly."

Why not just admit it was a foolish thing to say?
Because I would then be lying. The attack on 9/11 that day didn't affect me directly.

Oy, one of these word discussions.

Directly. You know what the word means?

Was I emotionally affected? Sure. Was I heartbroken seeeing the people jump off the buildings? Of course.

I guess we have a different understanding or use of the word "directly."

Indirectly my life was changed. But directly - since I wasn't in New York that day - it wasn't.

I also said, immediately after, that just because one's life isn't DIRECTLY affected by an event doesn't mean one should't be worried or be concerned about those events.

For example, I've donated to the Pentago Relief Fund for the victims of the attack.

Chip Ahoy said...

Now I ask you, why would I bother to view a video of Barak Hussein Obama posted anywhere online? Huh?

Remember the home experiment of a string suspended by a pencil in a glass of supersaturated salt water I presume we all did the third grade? The water is left to evaporate and the salt crystallizes on the string demonstrating to children saturation through evaporation. By way of analogy that's me -- the hapless suspended string encrusted with salt crystals.

I don't mind at all reading about what the man actually does, but I go lengths to control my life so that I do not see or hear that man one more nanosecond.

Jeremy said...

Peter V. Bella said..."Um, Alpha and Jeremy, these so called leaders are more brutal and more repressive than the leaders they overthrew."

Were they elected?

And are they "more brutal and more repressive" than our trading buddies throughout the world?

How about our primary source of loans - China?

You're comparing them to Pakistan (harbor terrorists), China (child labor, etc.), North Korea (Bush took them off the bad boy list), etc.

AlphaLiberal said...

Peter, do you have any factual resource to point to for that claim?

I don't think so. I think you have an opinion and worldview that you misinterpret as fact.

You probably know little about the
many killings carried out under Somoza and Pinochet, for example.

And to defend support for brutal dictatorships by claiming (with nothing to support your claim) they killed fewer people is sick moral relativism.

And I want to be very clear I also condemn Democratic Administrations, like LBJs, who had a hand in this.

montana urban legend said...

Does anyone here distinguish between policy and advocacy? Is that distinction even perceptible here? How about between wisdom and virtue? Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller?

Jeremy said...

The Chipper - "I don't mind at all reading about what the man actually does, but I go lengths to control my life so that I do not see or hear that man one more nanosecond."

He's out President.

If you find him to be so bothersome, why not move out of the country?

AlphaLiberal said...

Peter Bella, do tell us:

How many people did the democratically elected Salvador Allende of Chile kill?

Please provide some substantiation for you claim.

And, I think Chavez is a problem but killed more than Pinochet? Really? Could be. I would very much like to learn more about this. Please provide the news links.

zedzded said...

Now you are claiming that Obama is gay? Jeremy, have you no shame?

Lem said...

Thank you, Lem.Actually.. You may have misunderstood me. I agree that the words of Ortega were irrelevant.....................

but the words of Althousians is gold............................

Even when they are wrong ;)

SMGalbraith said...

I'm looking for the post or poster who said that America has never done any wrong in Latin America.

Can anyone find it?

Directly or even indirectly if you know the meanings of those words.

Sheesh.

Jeremy said...

montana urban legend said..."Does anyone here distinguish between policy and advocacy? Is that distinction even perceptible here? How about between wisdom and virtue? Anyone? Anyone?"

You're kidding, right?

Here?

"Distinguishing" between anything they can't pin on Obama as being bad...and actually considering the long term goals or strategy of the administration...or even if it would eventually be good for America?

Not-a-chance.

Jeremy said...

zedzded said..."Now you are claiming that Obama is gay? Jeremy, have you no shame?"

What?

John Stodder said...

Alpha, you missed the boat so completely on what I wrote, I can't even begin to untangle it.

But the point is, what you as a left-wing asshole can say in a meeting with someone talking smack about the the US is different from what the president of the US can say.

By accepting the presidency, Obama gave up his right to enjoy the pleasurable vanities of joining in the chorus of global America-hatred. We send him to overseas meetings like this to represent the entire nation, not just himself.

I really don't care how he feels about the Bay of Pigs or the overthrow of Allende, anymore than I care what you think about it or you should care what I think about it. As the chief spokesman for this country, however, he simply should not concede to one-sided criticisms of American history. He didn't have to contradict Ortega's rant, but he could have come back with something that reflected the pride Americans justly have in what we have also done to better the lives of Latin Americans.

The US has done a hell of a lot more good in that region than Daniel Ortega. It's a bit rich for a US president to feel the need to sit still for a lecture from him.

montana urban legend said...

"but the words of Althousians is gold............................

Even when they are wrong ;)"

They seem to love ignoring me. ;-)

Maybe I should become the leader of an irrelevant third-world country and then they will find me to be more important than I really I am as well.

Bissage said...

UNKNOWN COMIC: Hey, hey, I just crossed an elephant with a rhinoceros!

CHUCK BARRIS: What’d ya get?

UNKNOWN COMIC: Eleph-rhi-kno!!!

AlphaLiberal said...

It's also fucking hilarious that Althouse flags a story from FoxNews, the PRAVDA of the right wing.

And to Galbraith's point, I give you the Ann Althouse comment:
America responsible for evils of world.This is denial and seeking to thoughtlessly dismiss the record.

And, to repeat, Democrats have also been complicit in this record in Latin America, with Republicans.

Lem said...

Sorry I step away sometimes to watch the game when something is going on.

Peter V. Bella said...

Alpha,
I would provide the links. Unfortunately those utopian Democrat paradises have no free press. They kill, arrest, or shut down anyone who reports on their abuses. Even American reporters know better. They write travel pieces.

montana urban legend said...

John Stodder, for someone who seems so intelligent, I can never understand why you entertain such ridiculous ideas as these:

"By accepting the presidency, Obama gave up his right to enjoy the pleasurable vanities of joining in the chorus of global America-hatred."

Is it because you work in communications that you would say something like this? Do you really not understand that Obama belittled Ortega's rant, and that this act of belittling might have been effective, even thought-provoking? Do you really think that every grievance expressed against us - no matter how trivial, inarticulate, or irrelevant to the setting, represents some kind of irreparable harm to the U.S. unless we mount a Nixonian denunciation of it? Should we launch a verbal air-scale attack onto such a nobody? Come on. Get serious.

AlphaLiberal said...

John Stodder makes some shit up:

Obama gave up his right to enjoy the pleasurable vanities of joining in the chorus of global America-hatred. So by letting Ortega say his piece you are saying Obama was "America-hating?"

Maybe he should have interrupted Ortega and disclaimed any wrongdoing ever because we are the angels of history.

What sort of message do you think it sends if a US Presidents storms out meetings when the US is criticized? That we don't have to listen to anyone unless they're praising us.

Matt Eckert said...

What is the matter with you people?
He sat listening to tin pot dictators and communists insult his country. He voted present.

What more do want?

Chip Ahoy said...

What could he have done?

This is too easy. Visualize:

He could have pantomimed hanging himself by a rope, sticking out his tongue and making choking noises.

Or, pantomime brutally pounding himself on the side of his own head, rolling his eyes and extending his tongue, then drop face down on the surface in front of him as if he had been knocked out.

Or, grab his own throat by both hands and pantomime strangling himself, rattling his own head back and forth as if helpless in another's hands and as if being murdered, rolling back his eyes until only the whites showed, finishing with chocking gasps.

These three unofficial ASL signs that come immediately to an adolescent mind all clearly convey "enough already you, fucking obnoxious lunatic."

That's what.

Jeremy said...

John Stodder said..."By accepting the presidency, Obama gave up his right to enjoy the pleasurable vanities of joining in the chorus of global America-hatred."

What does that even mean?

Obama hates America?

Sometimes I really wonder what drugs or how much booze you people have taken in before posting.

Jeremy said...

The Chipper - "He could have pantomimed hanging himself by a rope, sticking out his tongue and making choking noises."

Sounds a lot like waterboarding.

Now who would do something like that?

AlphaLiberal said...

Jeremy, it means:

"no matter what Obama does, the right wing will accuse him of hating America."

David said...

This is actually a form of bow.

What in the world is the President of the United States doing listening to this?

You can read it any day on Daily Kos.

Time is precious, Barack. Go spend some with your children. Or with someone who has something good to say about our country.

I quote with approval Mrs. Whatsit:

"Well, John, a ringing defense of his country might have been nice, and would have been second nature to most of those who have inhabited his office before him. Instead, we get a lame joke suggesting that he thinks it was all about HIM."

Peter V. Bella said...

Hey Alpha,
If you hate this country so much and can't stand what was done, why not leave? Go live in one of those workers paradises. Then you can be a winess to the cruelty and barbarism of those people. You can write about it until they kill you or disappear you.

You keep leaving out one tiny detail on the Beauchamp nonsense; one of his relatives or friends; girl friend, wife, sister, was collecting and editing his stories. It was a real ethical flap that that outlet swept under the rug. And that's a fact jack.

madawaskan said...

Ya Stodder is making stuff up-got any links for that?

Consider Nicaragua, where Daniel Ortega, like his friend Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, is using the trappings of democracy to impose more and more authoritarian control.

Mr. Ortega's Soviet-backed regime ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990. His Sandinista Party failed in comeback tries in 1996 and 2001, but, at age 60, he gained success two years ago, winning with just 37 percent in a disputed vote. Then, last November, his party won municipal elections with the help of millions of dollars from Mr. Chavez and what the Wall Street Journal called the use of "violence [as] a key campaign tactic."Nicaragua is a basket case, with GDP per capita barely above $1,000. The economy is propped up by loans from the International Monetary Fund, budget support from Europeans, oil from Mr. Chavez, and, surprisingly enough, significant help from U.S. taxpayers through the federal Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), whose funds are supposed to go to countries "based on their performance in governing justly, investing in their citizens, and encouraging economic freedom."

Nicaragua, which Freedom House rates only "partly free" with a "downward trend arrow," would hardly seem to meet these criteria. After the fall election, even the MCC threw up its bureaucratic hands and suspended the remaining $64 million of its grants to Nicaragua.

The president of the Nicaraguan-American Chamber of Commerce called the MCC cutoff a "nuclear bomb on the economy," but Ortega shrugged it off, saying that he can get more aid from Russia and Venezuela, perhaps overlooking that both those countries rely heavily on a commodity whose price has dropped by three-fourths in a year.

Much of the world has lost patience with Ortega, with possibly dire consequences. Francisco Aguirre, president of the National Assembly's Economic and Budget Commission, says that 2009 "looms catastrophic for Nicaragua. Our ills are compounded by our severe governance problems. All of this political uncertainty is ... turning off the donor community that sees democracy, transparency, and rule of law as important to development."

Donors aren't alone. Nicaragua is also chasing away foreign investors, who could be the nation's salvation. The cost of doing business and committing capital in a country so lacking in the rule of law is an exposure many businesses see as too steep a price to pay.

A good example of the problem is explained in a new paper by Hal Scott, director of the Program on International Financial Systems at Harvard Law School. He showed how Nicaragua concocted Law 364 to the severe detriment of foreign businesses. It "establishes enormous advantages for local plaintiffs - such as an irrefutable presumption of causation based on minimal standards of proof - as well as disadvantages for the foreign defendants - such as requiring them to deposit large bonds with the court just to gain access to the proceedings."

The result is that these cases end up burdening U.S. courts, which is precisely what the Nicaraguan authorities seem to want. "In essence, the foreign operations of companies with U.S. parents are subject to U.S. legal standards that are very different from those governing the conduct of purely domestic foreign firms," writes Mr. Scott.

It's not just U.S. businesses that are targeted. In a sensational rape and murder case in Managua, a young American, Eric Volz, was imprisoned for a year in what the New York Times called "a political spectacle," then finally exonerated. "Nicaragua's justice system has found itself on trial," wrote Marc Lacey of the Times.

While rule of law may sound arcane or incidental to the outside observer, it is vital to the foreign businesses that will help Nicaragua ultimately prosper. And a prosperous Nicaragua - both as a trading partner and a stable democracy that doesn't play footsie with the likes of Venezuela - is, absolutely, in the best interest of the United States
.

[Washington Times]

AlphaLiberal said...

Matt Eckert, the US has insulted many countries, especially during the last 8 years of Bush.

It is a part of the international dialogue, with the precedent set by our previous government.

You may think we have special privileges not shared by other countries. Most fair-minded people don't think that way.

montana urban legend said...

"Or, grab his own throat by both hands and pantomime strangling himself, rattling his own head back and forth as if helpless in another's hands and as if being murdered, rolling back his eyes until only the whites showed, finishing with chocking gasps."

Sounds about as effective and conveys about as much gravitas as whipping out dildos and having Ortega and Obama beat each other about the body with them.

Do you ever think that constructions such as "tongue-lashing" are intentionally incongruous? A tongue is not the best implement for delivering a heavy blow, let alone a lashing. But oh, does it sate one's need for drama to think of it that way! The drama! The drama! I'm going to have an Obamagasm over the drama!

Jeremy said...

Matt - You're not real bright are you?

People say all kinds of things...you know, like Axis of Evil...then say, oh, forget it, you're not really evil. Or Mission Accomplished...then say, never mind.

Your suggestion for Obama would be what?

AlphaLiberal said...

Washington Times! Ha! A newspaper run and subsidized by the Rev Sun Myung Moon (remember the Moonies?) is used as an information source?

And you are comparing rules on an economy to death squads, torture, mass abductions and executions.

And you think that's worse, Madawaskan?

Wow!

Jeremy said...

Peter V. Bella said..."Hey Alpha,
If you hate this country so much and can't stand what was done, why not leave?"

Same thing I said to The Chipper.

I think if you and others here really believe President Obama is taking us down the wrong road, instead of bitching and whining about everything he says or does, you should get your asses out of the country.

Maybe you can get a group rate along with Texas.

Maguro said...

The US has done a hell of a lot more good in that region than Daniel Ortega.

Daniel Ortega's stepdaughter couldn't agree more.

AlphaLiberal said...

Peter, it is not hating America to own up to the mistakes of the past.

Beauchamp's accuser shot 4 bound and blindfolded Iraqi's in the back of the head. But you're more outraged by Beauchamp's editing practices?

Ugh.

Jeremy said...

David said..."This is actually a form of bow."

No, actually it's a form of diplomacy. Something we've seen little of over the past eight years.

What's your impression of Bush kissing and holding hands with the Saudi in Crawford?

AlphaLiberal said...

A great hidden story of our day is the right wing's embrace of the "Rev" Sun Myung Moon and his newspaper.

The guy's a fricken nutjob.

Lem said...

What could have Obama done?

Obama could have put on the Latin version of a Sister Souljah moment..............................

He could have taken something Ortega said and made an infrance "To hear Ortega tell it you would think I was the Queen Isabella." .........................

Isabella la Catolica.

David said...

"What's your impression of Bush kissing and holding hands with the Saudi in Crawford?"

Well, I didn't much like that either.

My guess is that you will not see Obama put himself in a position like this again. It's absolutely no win.

Obama's response "well, I thought it was 50 minutes long" is actually a form of slapdown. But it's way too cute and sophisticated. While I would have preferred a spirited (but brief) response, silence wasn't the worst reply.

The real error was being there to listen to it in the first place. He should have discovered some pressing business when Ortega was speaking.

S said...

"So what should he have done?"
We are all amateurs.. so I'm not sure we are the people to turn to for ideas (off the tops of our heads)... The point is, Obama is too... he could have made the effort to learn some diplomatic speak or taken a lesson on how to deal with foreign leaders on rants... but he chose not to.. and his instinct was to just sit and take it (my instinct would have been to step out for a coffee).

SMGalbraith said...

I'm beginning to think that when liberals, oops, progressives talk about multiculturalism and respect for diversity and different religions and ethnicities and cultures, they really don't mean it.

No, they don't.

They may quote and cite Marxists and other fellow travelers but don't you dare read the Washington Times.

Because reading the Times is endorsing - somehow - the religious views of the owner of the paper.

Yeah. Work that one out.

Anyway, the progressive slogan is: Diversity for me but not for thee.

Lem said...

I dont blame Obama per say......

The president needs to be prepared for these things.. thats what the presidents staff is for.......

They drooped the ball. Its still the second inning but the perception is that you are not up to the big leagues.

madawaskan said...

Alpha-

The article quotes The Wall Street Journal,Francisco Aguirre, president of the National Assembly's Economic and Budget Commission,Hal Scott, director of the Program on International Financial Systems at Harvard Law School, and takes statistics from Freedom House and the federal Millennium Challenge Corporation and it's all a pack of lies, they are all liars.

Meanwhile you call Stodder a liar with no supporting evidence and Althouse is forever impuned or some such nonsense because some guy-Beauchamp who has nothing to do with the subject at hand might have lied about the small stuff which means we should believe he is telling the truth about the big stuff.

madawaskan said...

Honestly Alpha don't you ever feel just a tad dizzy?

S said...

AlphaLiberal said...

"What sort of message do you think it sends if a US Presidents storms out meetings when the US is criticized? That we don't have to listen to anyone unless they're praising us."

This wasn't a college course or a debate forum on the US... it was a diplomatic meeting of heads of state... not the time or the place for these opinioned rants...

madawaskan said...

Meanwhile Ortega and Chavez are the bestest most nicest leaders in the hemisphere and everyone else- liars damn it liars!

Lem said...

oops - that should be dropped the ball.. not drooped.

Peter V. Bella said...

"People say all kinds of things...you know, like Axis of Evil...then say, oh, forget it, you're not really evil. Or Mission Accomplished...then say, never mind."

Harry Reid: "Roland Burris will never be seated in the US Senate."

Hellllllllllllllllo Senator Burris.

Lem said...

Althouse got me spoiled correcting my bad spelling ;)

Jeremy said...

Peter V. Bella said..."Harry Reid: "Roland Burris will never be seated in the US Senate."

I love your point of comparison: Burris to Axis of Evil and Mission Accomplished.

Yeah, pretty much the same impact.

S said...

John Althouse Cohen said...

"Oh, I'm glad he didn't waste any more time dignifying this guy. If he had given a "ringing defense of his country," he wouldn't have gotten any credit for it by the commenters on this blog."

Cheap shot and untrue... got anything else?

Jeremy said...

madawaskan said..."Meanwhile Ortega and Chavez are the bestest most nicest leaders in the hemisphere and everyone else- liars damn it liars!"

I haven't read anything that even remotely resembles those sentiments.

A little early for the juice isn't it?

Jeremy said...

Lem - "They drooped the ball. Its still the second inning but the perception is that you are not up to the big leagues."

If that's the case, why are you and many here in the minority of Americans who think that's so?

Obama gets very good reviews and polling from a majority of Americans.

S said...

Jeremy said...

"Yeah, pretty much the same impact."

As a sort of example of the killer of ones parents claiming to be a orphan... yeah, the impact looks different from your POV.

Those old Bush phrases are only a big deal to you... because you choose to spin them into one... Just as you choose to not care about the Reid quote...

madawaskan said...

President Daniel Ortega Saavedra beams from the billboards, promising “Citizens Power” as a solution to Nicaragua’s endemic poverty. “The world’s poor arise!” the signs say. But beneath the billboards, on walls and benches all over town, others have scrawled “No to CPC. No to dictatorship.”The graffiti alludes to Citizens Power Councils — or C.P.C.’s. In December, Mr. Ortega established the neighborhood committees, which are controlled by his left-wing Sandinista party and administer antipoverty programs, despite a vote against the plan by the National Assembly.Mr. Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla leader, maintains that the councils are meant only to let community leaders have a say in where and how government money is spent.

But opposition leaders say the councils are another step in what they call the Ortega administration’s drift toward an authoritarian and secretive government that does not have to answer to the legislature — mostly because the president controls tens of millions of dollars a year in aid from Venezuela.Some of the president’s opponents charge that the Citizens Power Councils are nothing more than patronage mills, channeling government largess to supporters of the party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front.

Mr. Ortega has made no attempt to hide his desire to make an end run around the National Assembly. He declared last fall that the legislature’s vote against the councils was intended “to deny the right of the people to exercise power” and “to keep ministers from governing directly with the people.”

“It is the people who have the final say on the system they want,” Mr. Ortega declared at a rally on Dec. 1.

Opposition leaders complain the councils smack of similar party-controlled organs in totalitarian governments like Cuba’s, where local committees of party loyalists not only influence who gets government benefits but also spy on political opponents.“It’s part of a vision that President Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, have to destroy the model of representative democracy and replace it with a direct democracy,” said José Pallais, a Liberal Party leader. “The C.P.C. serve as a fundamental element, a strategy, to control the society, to spy on the people.”
.

The New York Times

Jeremy said...

SMGalbraith said..."...don't you dare read the Washington Times."

Moon.

William said...

In Peru the Shining Path guerrillas killed more than 25,000 people. Pinochet killed 2000. And yet liberals are more disgusted by Pinochet than by Guzman. Ugh.

madawaskan said...

Hey you know I can understand why Obama might want to give-

The Good Liberal Seal of Approval on the methods of Hugo and Ortega.

It's all relative.

If we can't criticize those two socialists...

Lem said...

Jeremy.. I'm talking about the perception among his colleagues - the other presidents, that he can be talked down to like that and IF he responds it will be a weak response.

SMGalbraith said...

Moon.I also read the online version of Granma.

Cuban Communist Party publication.

That makes me a....?

Or Media Matters. Put out by the tax cheat, currency manipulator and leftwing George Soros.

That makes me a....?

I also read your posts. Very quickly.

That makes me....?

Unlike some people - not naming names, now - I don't just read ideas or publications whose editorial content agrees with my views.

Jeremy said...

SMGalbraith - Speaking of he Washington Times as a source:

It's owned by Sun Myung Moon believes the Holocaust was payback owed by the Jews, a consequence of Jewish leaders not supporting Jesus.

And here's one of his more interesting quotes, considering all the talk here about Obama the "Messiah":

"He [God] is living in me and I am the incarnation of Himself. ... The whole world is in my hand, and I will conquer and subjugate the world."

JSF said...

People like Jeremy and AL do not want any Dissent in The Age of Obama.

Leftists (I used to be one) believe America is the cause of all Evil -- especially when a Republican president is in charge (Has jeremy or AL ever defended Bush? No. They only love their country when a Democratic President is running it).

By winking and nodding at at ortega and Chavez, President Obama is saying that being Pro-democracy does not matter in the world. Realist Politics (or as I call it Nixonian Realims against Wilsonian Idealism which President Bush practiced) is about sacrifcing populations to maintain stability on the chess board.

And yet, after 90 days, people like jeremy and AL believe that President Obama should not be dissented against. I guess if President Obama says Jews should go the ovens and if the polls says it is good, Jeremy and AL will support it, since whatever is popular is also good.

Jeremy said...

Lem _ As I said before, people say all kinds of things at these meetings, primarily because they have a worldwide audience and take advantage.

That said, most of the time everybody has to hold back any over the top reponse (at least until they are in private) because of the political ramifications.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I guess we should all congratulate Obama for not starting to cry and screaming out "Why are you so mean to me!"

montana urban legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

See I believe they would have been less reticent to a mild rebuke from Obama than say any other American president in the history of American presidents..... do I have to spell the reasons?

If anything he missed an opportunity to test the significance of his rarity there in a place where it would have counted politically.

Jeremy said...

JSF - I seldom respond to your never ending right wing drivel, but when you say: "And yet, after 90 days, people like jeremy and AL believe that President Obama should not be dissented against."

You're lying through your teeth.

I have no problem with anybody criticizing Obama, I have problems with some of his actions myself, but here, 99% of the bitching and whining is not relevant to the situation at hand after about 90 days.

Obama embracing Chavez at the Latin American conference? Get real...Bush kissed and held hands with a Saudi Prince in Crawford. Did anybody here bitch about that?

Literally everything Obama says or does is taken to task, with much of what he says and does representing the very start of a four year term, with absolutely no evidence that his measures will fail...only some kind of bizarre hope that he does. It makes no sense, considering where the economy is right now.

No CEO of a major company, inheriting such an economic mess, would be put under such a microscope after such a short period of time.

You and others here just enjoy bitching and I find most of it nothing more than partisan bullshit.

Where where YOU when Bush ran the debt and deficit up? Only decided it was a problem after he left office?

montana urban legend said...

President of the United States - Job Description:

1. You must stroke America's ego in public at all times.

2. You must stroke America's ego even when doing so in no way advances any strategic goal of the United States, and may, in fact, be detrimental to those goals.

3. In case this isn't clear, the words of Fernando may come in handy, to wit: "Don't be a shnook. It's not how you feel, it's how you look." And America, Darling, you look mahvelous!

4. In case this still isn't clear, follow the advice of Christine McVie. Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies. America is about vanity, baby! Fuck reality! Full speed ahead!

5. Make sure you cater to the need of Right Wingers to feel that they care more about lives than the evil, lying libruls do. Even if the Righties do a shitty job of convincing anyone of that. In fact, their insecurity over the latter is what causes their need to proclaim the former.

Is this thread almost dead yet?

John Stodder said...

Do you really not understand that Obama belittled Ortega's rant, and that this act of belittling might have been effective, even thought-provoking?.

You saw it as "belittling?" Based on what? The 50-minute comment, maybe, was a tiny zinger. But the following comment was not belittling:

"I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old. Too often, an opportunity to build a fresh partnership of the Americas has been undermined by stale debates. We've all heard these arguments before."

I don't think it's unfair to interpret that comment as, a) Ortega's right. I have no disagreement with anything he said. b) However, don't forget, I had nothing to do with it, so don't go blaming Barack Obama. I replaced all the bastards who mistreated Latin America so badly. c) Can we focus on the future, please, since I can't do anything about our sordid past, and wasn't responsible for it?

To me, his comment quite clearly was an attempt to separate himself, but not his country, from the history being described and interpreted in Ortega's speech.

And to underscore something that shouldn't have to be said: There are numerous actions taken in our name as Americans in Latin America that we should be ashamed of. But that's just one side of the story. If I were a left-wing president of the US, the way I would have threaded that particular needle would be to say something like, "I'm not here to refute everything Mr. Ortega has said, and he might be surprised to know I agree with some of his criticisms. However, let's not forget the other side of the ledger," and then gone on to talk about, oh, the Peace Corps, or the billions in foreign and humanitarian aid the US government has provided, as well as the efforts of private entities like Doctors Without Borders and various religious organizations.

Do you really think that every grievance expressed against us - no matter how trivial, inarticulate, or irrelevant to the setting, represents some kind of irreparable harm to the U.S. unless we mount a Nixonian denunciation of it?.
No, and I didn't say that. And I don't think Obama needed to walk out or throw a fit.

But I do think you reach a point where doing nothing to counter anti-Americanism erodes our legitimacy. This matters not because I'm oversensitive to criticism of the US, but because of the unique role the US has and will continue to play promoting democracy, economic freedom and civil rights across the world. The UN is so corrupt and compromised that in effect there is no entity out there enforcing peace, freedom and the pursuit of prosperity as a norm. There's just the US and a few of its inconstant allies.

When we start apologizing for ourselves -- and I'm not saying Obama did that in this instance, exactly -- we put ourselves on the same level as international actors that have done far worse things, and that are never expected to apologize.

P.S. It's funny you cite Nixon as the example of an out-of-control jingoism. I don't think there has been a president in my lifetime who had a more subtle appreciation of the difference between what foreign leaders have to say for public consumption and what they say and do behind the scenes.

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