May 23, 2013

"As frustratingly late as it was — Mr. Obama could and should have said years ago much of what he said today..."

"... there is no underestimating the importance of that statement."

So say the editors of The New York Times.

No underestimating?! What?

So if I say Obama's speech is the least significant thing ever said in the history of mankind, I'm still not underestimating it?

The editorial ends:
There have been times when we wished we could hear the right words from Mr. Obama on issues like these, and times we heard the words but wondered about his commitment. Today was not either of those moments.
There have been times when I have read the Times and wondered why the Times was putting things in those words and times when I have read the words out loud in an effort to hear whether these words were the right words. Today was both of those moments.

ADDED: Language Log has a post "Overestimating, underestimating, whatever."
It started when a friend, in conversation, said something like "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. [pause] Or overestimating. Whatever."

94 comments:

JAL said...

Words. Words. Just words.

wyo sis said...

Everything today is meta.

YoungHegelian said...

I hope somebody tells the Islamoids that the war is over, and that he sends the message with a read-receipt.

Because, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that they'll claim they never got the memo. 'Cause they're just like that. You wait & see!

David-2 said...

“Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.”

Like, hmm. Kosovo? Libya?

T J Sawyer said...

I think you mis-underestimated the importance of the NYT's words.

MayBee said...

Did Obama mention Ft Hood?

harrogate said...

"While there are some, particularly the more hawkish Congressional Republicans, who say this state of war should essentially last forever, Mr. Obama told the world that the United States must return to a state in which counterterrorism is handled, as it always was before 2001, primarily by law enforcement and the intelligence agencies. "

Exactly right.

chrisnavin.com said...

There are times when the Times is good for fishwrap, other times for parakeet poop.

I'm still awaiting to arise one morning, and find myself staring at an eight-page mixed-media piece on Karl Marx instead of all this juvenile, white liberal, self-flagellating and postmodern pussyfooting around.



cold pizza said...

Spin! It's not lacking content, it's content-free! -CP

Lem said...

There have been times...

As long as is not 'in this day and age'.

Crunchy Frog said...

There have been times when I have read the Times and wondered why the Times was putting things in those words and times when I have read the words out loud in an effort to hear whether these words were the right words. Today was both of those moments.

You want to try that again in English?

bagoh20 said...

Wait, did I write that? Because if I did, I know what I meant to say, and it was really good.

Christy said...

I listened today, thought it was an Apple pie speech designed to remind us what a great guy he is. I wasn't buying, were you?

MayBee said...

Today I was not especially interested in hearing the right words from President Obama. And my interests were satisfied.

Bob_R said...

Jeeze, I'm glad the smart guys are in charge.

Lem said...

“Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue,” Mr. Obama said in the speech at the National Defense University. “But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. It’s what our democracy demands.”

We have to end it before we can continue it.

traditionalguy said...

The Obama claque is getting very confused. They seem to be in Post Obamatic Stress Syndrome.

SteveR said...

Lee Rigby was unavailable for comment.

They were at war with us before we fought back and they will be at war with us if we quit.

MayBee said...

What do people think will change, now that Obama has made this speech?

Indefinite detention of former gitmo guys in US prisons? What else?

Lem said...

We have to fight them... just not in Gitmo.

We have to fight them... just not using drones.

We have to fight them... just prosecute them like before 9/11... it will work this time.

Trust me.

rhhardin said...

It's in their style book.

St. George said...

Editorial reads like it was written by someone in a deep sleep. Tedious. Lifeless. Lacks vig-ah!

chrisnavin.com said...

Law enforcement and intelligence play a crucial part, but so does a foreign policy where we don't defer every decision to international bodies that suck and don't constitute proper alliances. The universal secular humanist institutions have severe flaws, and the American Left under Obama want to use those same flawed ideals to direct everything.

Radical Islam, handling Asia, handling the rise many nations while keeping ourselves rooted in tradition, bound by the laws, safe, open, free, and projecting our power wisely and making useful alliances won't be happening under Obama.

Be gone useful idiots and impossible secular idealists. You shouldn't be pulling the sled if this is all you can come up with.

Quaestor said...

“But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. It’s what our democracy demands.”

The war just ended. America lost. Obama is asking for terms.

cold pizza said...

Derrida was unavailable for comment. -CP

Mumpsimus said...

Over an hour, and they still haven't fixed it.

Ambrose said...

The war is over! Did he say who won?

wholelottasplainin' said...

The Times editorial writers should have begun their piece with,

"As any fool can plainly see.."

chrisnavin.com said...

I misunderestimated the Times.

Lem said...

As frustratingly late as it was... our 4 year old president finally spoke the words we have been waiting to hear.

War... what is it good for?

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

As frustratingly late as it was... Obama finally says Mission Accomplished.

John Gout said...

He read some words, probably off of a teleprompter. la de da de da.

Big whup-de-doo. I'm *so* impressed. NOT.

JG

Cedarford said...

Unfortunately for the puffed-up little cocksucker who agrees with his base he is the Black Messiah...there is that little problem that America did not start the "eternal war".

The Islamoids did. And will continue the eternal war with or without "America".
America, which in the creed of liberals and progressive Jews - "is creating the radical Islamists by fighting them instead of apologizing as we and the evil white Christian West should".

Those perverted "Influencers and Pupetteers of the American masses" fail big time when trying to explain Muslims running amok in "wiser France, wiser Sweden".

This is not "senseless tragedy" caused by "violent extremists (be they Muslims, Tea Party Members, or worse - the Right Wing Militias in Obamathought) . This is what Islamoids do.

Conquest and doing things you believe will get you right into Paradise are not "senseless", nor criminal in the eyes of the Jihadi Islamoids..they are strategies that reward the successful.

When caught, the Islamoids are as unapologetic and guilt-free as Nathan Hale was when he was bagged by the British for being an unlawful enemy combatant. They have scorn for Rule of Law, much as Nathan Hale did.
That is true of other movement people driven to violence..some are our heroes like Nathan Hale..others are monsters like Che Geuvera, Mohammed Atta.

Quaestor said...

Althouse can be maddeningly equivocal at times. I'm not sure whether she likes or dislikes Obama's speech, or the policy changes it portends. All I'm reasonable sure of is she doesn't like the rhetorical style of the NYT, at least in this instance.

wildswan said...

Looking up the phrase "There’s no underestimating the importance" on Google to see who else uses it because language is made by users.

"There's no underestimating the importance of good ATV tires"
and several other quotes on buying tires, inflating tires etc.

So the statement would be somewhat appropriate in an online discussion of tires since it occurs fairly frequently there.

"Never underestimate the power of the State to act out its own massive fantasies." This has a different meaning from the statement about tires but it maybe the actual meaning the writer intended.

Quaestor said...

Obama is going to ask Congress to designate a place within the U.S. where the Gitmo terrorists can be located. I suggest somewhere in between Manassas and Leesburg where Obama's buddies can deal with them as neighbors. Or, better yet, Martha's Vineyard.

Hagar said...

Oh my!
And in the New York Times!!!

Kelly said...

What I HATE about Obama is how he states his position as the right one because of reason and morality, the other guys position is only about "politics". He stated in his speech that there was no case for keeping gitmo open except a political one.

Really Mr. President??? There is no other reason, whether you agree with it or not, for keeping it open? No security reasons? It's all about you, you, you, you, and how they can score points by keeping Gitmo open? Putz.

JohnJ said...

We occasionally need reminding about how lucky we are to have Obama in …err… charge.

Another service provided by a freshly energized MSM is a newfound critique of Presidential leadership (see “aloof,” detached,” “sheltered” and so on), which strikes me as being nearly indistinguishable from the practice of copping a plea to a lesser charge.

(Psst: Obama knew his IRS was targeting the right.)

edutcher said...

Just like the Civil War should have ended at Antietam and WWII in the Pacific should have ended at Midway.

Or Leyte Gulf.

This is the one time there is an exception to Limbaugh's Law, "Everything Barack Obama says has an expiration date".

This moron intends to just walk away and, because he says so, thinks that will end it.

MayBee said...

Did Obama mention Ft Hood?

Yes, the moronic, narcissistic asshole called it "violent jihad".

harrogate said...

"While there are some, particularly the more hawkish Congressional Republicans, who say this state of war should essentially last forever, Mr. Obama told the world that the United States must return to a state in which counterterrorism is handled, as it always was before 2001, primarily by law enforcement and the intelligence agencies. "

Exactly right.


When some Moslem crazy hacks harro to death, his last words will be, "But it's over. We aren't at war with Islam anymore".

Quaestor said...

"Before any strike is taken," he said, "there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured -- the highest standard we can set."

Perfect. The jihadis will now gather in their thousands to train and plan, with a few token scattered civies here and there as anti-drone security. Saddam Hussein was widely condemned for using human shields, now Obama encourages it.

I don't know how to appreciate Obama. He's either a first-class moron, or he's a fucking terrorist himself bent on our destruction. I don't see any middle ground. If someone here could explain today's speech in less stark terms I'd like that person to explain it to me.

Cedarford said...

MayBee said...
Did Obama mention Ft Hood?

====================
Where is your patience!! Remember, your highest duty as a citizen is to proclaim your Love of the Sacred Parchment as 5 of 9 lawyers "divine it's intent...and gratefully kow-tow to Rule of Law(yers)

It isn't even 4 years yet since the "tragedy"!!

Way too soon for Obama and other lawyers to stop calling it "senseless, tragic workplace violence". Way to to soon to stop paying the "presumed innocent soldier" the 278,000 in pay, 330,000 in medical care, and the 2.5 million in free lawyers he has received since he "allegedly" harmed others.

Modern Law, in writing the Fed Tax Code for favored clients, ending swift and sure justice, and eroding our freedoms bit by bit with eacj new law or reg the lawyers devise and vote on - gives lynching a better reputation each year, IMO. Especially if you start with the lawyers.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I believe it is peace for our time.

Bob Ellison said...

I wish it would rain.

dbp said...

Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue,” Mr. Obama said in the speech at the National Defense University. “But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. It’s what our democracy demands.”

Wow! I am in awe. It is simultaneously vacuous, dishonest and self-contradictory. Bravo, Mr. President!

Methadras said...

The request is clearly to have the most perfectly worded speech to come from the mouth of the black jesus. That is what is they want, they yearn for it, and they aren't getting it.

Methadras said...

chrisnavin.com said...

There are times when the Times is good for fishwrap, other times for parakeet poop.

I'm still awaiting to arise one morning, and find myself staring at an eight-page mixed-media piece on Karl Marx instead of all this juvenile, white liberal, self-flagellating and postmodern pussyfooting around.


Honestly there is no reason anymore for the NYT to even be called that. Just change the name to Das Kapital and call it a day. Fuck, why even bother even creating any more newspaper, just publish the book and hand it out.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Looks like Obama is going soft on terrorism.

Seeing Red said...

Ahhh, so that's why Barry gave Hill the OK over the CIA to give the missiles to AQ, so he could end it!

Danegeld.

This will end well.

NOT!

dreams said...

I've never been impressed with the NY Times or Obama.

Seeing Red said...

Sux to be a youngster in the USA!

Mogget said...

In determining whether or not war has ended, Mr. Obama may have forgotten that the enemy has a vote. The same enemy that killed an ambassador with impunity only a few months ago.

kcom said...

"But this war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises. It's what our democracy demands."

I believe it's also what FDR and Harry Truman demanded. Well, actually, they didn't demand that it ended. They demanded that it be won.

"Hey, Japan, we're gonna need your unconditional surrender. Just sayin'."

Then, when it was over, it really was over. As Democracy demanded. It wasn't a fake or pyrrhic victory. It was the real thing.

Mark said...

And the squirrel du jour is the wind-down of the War on Terror.

Lem said...

Looks like Obama is going soft on terrorism.

Weiner should be asked where he stands.

Mark said...

And the squirrel du jour is the wind-down of the War on Terror.

Big Mike said...

The way to end a conflict is by destroying your enemy's ability to continue the conflict. How does Mr. Obama propose to do that? If he doesn't do that, then the conflict between the United States and radical Islam will certainly continue. Those are the cold, hard equations.

And a president who flouted the War Powers Act has no standing to discuss discipline with respect to armed conflicts.

Cedarford said...

Mogget said...
In determining whether or not war has ended, Mr. Obama may have forgotten that the enemy has a vote. The same enemy that killed an ambassador with impunity only a few months ago.

-----------------------
And which did a bloody bombing in Boston, and a hack to death attack on a serving soldier in London in broad daylight.

And which has been burning cars and suburbs for the last 4 days in asylum-friendly Sweden...which the NT Times always calls the moral exemplar to what America may one day be wise enough to become.

One arrogant cocksucker. And stupid.
If JFK had given a speech in 1962 that the Cold War troubled him and impacted his highest love of Rule of Civilian law and enemy rights....therefore it was over? Would the Soviet Union have gone - "Well..if JFK himself says it is over guess we have to pull the Red Army out of Europe and start making the tanks and missiles scrapped into luxury apartments for the billionaires that will soon control our country!"

Not!!!!

Seeing Red said...

Via Insty, somewhat related:

2012 study in The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B noted that the “anthropological record indicates that approximately 85 percent of human societies have permitted men to have more than one wife.” Yet in modern times normative monogamy has become dominant around the globe, increasing social peace by reducing competition among men. The researchers further noted, “Compared to monogamous societies, polygamous cultures see more rape, kidnapping, murder, assault, robbery, fraud, child neglect and child abuse.”

It is not too far of a stretch to think that although societies practicing marital monogamy are historically fewer in number, their comparatively stronger social solidarity has helped them out-grow and out-compete polygamous competitors. And the spread of monogamy has plausibly contributed to the lower levels of violence in the modern societies.

Amartel said...

No modern day hipster ever burned out any neurons trying to understand quotes from old-school hipsters. Something about how Americans are, yannow, like, stupid. Ha ha. I think Mencken said it. Possibly Einstein, or some other Jew. Someone smart.

Matthew Sablan said...

He couldn't have apologized for accidentally killing three Americans with drones years ago, could he?

... Or was that not what we were talking about?

edutcher said...

It's four Americans.

He's killed more Americans than Dubya waterboarded terrorists.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Looks like Obama is going soft on terrorism.

when was he hard on it?

dreams said...

When millions of Americans are killed in a terrorist attack, it might occur to the liberals that they're not that smart.

Matthew Sablan said...

One of them wasn't an accident though.

Michael K said...

"the United States must return to a state in which counterterrorism is handled, as it always was before 2001, primarily by law enforcement and the intelligence agencies. ""

That certainly worked well. Until it didn't.

JAL said...

... the United States must return to a state in which counterterrorism is handled, as it always was before 2001, primarily by law enforcement and the intelligence agencies... "

and that, President Idiot, is exactly why 9/11 occurred.

How about transferring Jamie Gorelick back to DOJ? Then we'll all be happy and pre 9/11 again.

Wheeee....!!

JAL said...

Snap, Michael K!

Michael K said...

"Jane Madison" could not be reached for comment. Whatever.

gbarto said...

I wonder what Trotsky would say.

Chef Mojo said...

Trotsky?

Probably would have said, "Don't pick on him!"

Marshal said...

Are we not supposed to notice that Obama's supporters are praising him for criticizing his own policies? Has there ever been a moment that more clearly showed the left cares only about rhetoric?

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Historically when the traditional military properly resists being used for political purposes, autocrats respond by creating a new military or para-military organization.

These - the Praetorian Guard, Janissaries, Gestapo, etc. - have closer personal ties to the autocrat and fewer scruples about political use.

Our President tells us that the military, whose charter is to counter threats outside our borders, is not the proper instrument against terrorism.

The instruments our President chooses are those of law enforcement, such as Homeland Security, whose charter is to act within our borders (and which are organizationally closer to the Executive Office.

Should we be concerned?

edutcher said...

Are they his Civilian Defense Corpse?

If so, worry.

William said...

For the amount of money we have spent on this so called war on terror we could have audited every evangelical Christian in America five years running. It's time America started allocating its resources towards saner and more honorable goals.

William said...

For the amount of money we have spent on this so called war on terror we could have audited every evangelical Christian in America five years running. It's time America started allocating its resources towards saner and more honorable goals.

SukieTawdry said...

Yea, the war is over. Who won?

JAL said...

From the speech: BHO "If dealt with smartly and proportionally, these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11"

We saw what threats on the eve of 9/11?

"...the United States must return to a state in which counterterrorism is handled, as it always was before 2001, primarily by law enforcement and the intelligence agencies... "

The whole speech appears to be like that.

Anyone else have whiplash?

EMD said...

more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.”

I.e., the past.

Steve Koch said...

Pretty funny. I expect very little from the NYT but at least they should be able to write clearly. I guess with the budget cuts there are fewer editors.

MayBee said...

I like it that Madea Benjamin is worth listening to because Gitmo is a tough issue, but Republicans only oppose closing Gitmo because of politics.

Bryann mcgrew said...

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Gary Rosen said...

C-fudd's rant against "Islamoids" is pretty rich from someone who praises the "heart and courage" of Hezbollah.

el polacko said...

isn't just a wee bit odd that nobody questioned medea benjamin's presence (how did she get in in the first place?) and that she was allowed to make an entire speech while security "tried" to remove her ? could it be that letting her say things that obama totally agrees with while in the guise of a 'heckler' makes obama look like the reasonable moderate in the room while never actually being challenged by views in conflict with his own ? this honest and transparent administration would never plant a questioner/heckler though....would it ?

tim in vermont said...

The way we handled counter terrorism before Sept 11, 2001 worked out great, didn't it?

Curious George said...

"While there are some, particularly the more hawkish Congressional Republicans, who say this state of war should essentially last forever, Mr. Obama told the world that the United States must return to a state in which counterterrorism is handled, as it always was before 2001, primarily by law enforcement and the intelligence agencies. "

Maybe next time the terrorists will do us a favor and fly jets into the Times building.

Matthew Sablan said...

"While there are some, particularly the more hawkish Congressional Republicans, who say this state of war should essentially last forever,"

-- Do they actually -quote- any one for that? Or is this the journalistic some meaning "We just made this crap up?"

Matthew Sablan said...

"We wish Mr. Obama had pledged an accounting for the civilian deaths caused by drone strikes, and some form of reparations, but he did not. He should do so."

-- Why would he do that? Their chance to hold him accountable was a year ago when news leaked about the administration's carelessness and crassly considering people in blast radius of known terrorists to also be terrorists, despite evidence, age or proof. The media dropped the ball, and I doubt they'll get what they want now.

Matthew Sablan said...

On the heckler, the NYT writes it like so: "“Given my administration’s relentless pursuit of Al Qaeda’s leadership, there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should have never been opened,” said Mr. Obama, who was briefly stopped by a heckler from outlining the very closure plans that she demanded."

Didn't the IRS recently plant a question/comment to make them look good? Gee willickers, that sucks that the IRS has injured what could have been great P.R.

Matthew Sablan said...

But he said: “A free press is also essential for our democracy. That’s who we are. And I’m troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.”

-- I call B.S. If he really thought that, he'd fire Holder for signing off on chilling that journalism without consulting with Obama.

EMD said...

-- Do they actually -quote- any one for that? Or is this the journalistic some meaning "We just made this crap up?"

It's an Op-Ed, which = Magic Unicorn Time!

kcom said...

"Yea, the war is over. Who won?"

If you have to ask...

roesch/voltaire said...

The reality is that Al Qaeda has been splintered and now encourages a free-lance terrorism as we have seen in Boston or London. Iraq and broken down into secular war again, and Afghanistan, riff with our billions of dollars. has once again proved history right-- the West can not build empires there. Clearly The wars of occupation in the Middle East have diminishing returns and the US must take a different focus.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The reality is that Al Qaeda has been splintered and now encourages a free-lance terrorism as we have seen in Boston or London."

-- The fact that you did not know this is how Al Qaeda always operated makes me question your conclusions.