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"The Speech"
Posted by: McQ on Friday, July 25, 2008

Buzz, buzz, buzz. You can't turn anywhere without Obama's speech in Berlin being discussed. The kool-aid drinkers are orgasmic. The opposition is in spin mode. But what about reaction elsewhere?

One of the more interesting articles I found was that by Gerhard Spörl in Speigel Online. In his lede, he pretty well sums it all up:
Anyone who saw Barack Obama at Berlin's Siegessäule on Thursday could recognize that this man will become the 44th president of the United States. He is more than ambitious — he wants to lay claim to become the president of the world.
Obviously there are those who will dispute whether or not he will become number 44, but there is little doubt, if you listened to the speech that Obama, as he always has, is again running for higher office. In fact, Spörl is right - the Berlin speech was his opening speech to become president of the world. If you haven't see it, do so. It is hard to dispute.

Take for instance his treatment of 9/11 and his attempt to make it a world tragedy, what was essentially a US tragedy.
The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.
As Byron York points out, FactCheck.org has previously dealt with this:
Specifically in New York, a little under 3,000 people died in the attack on the World Trade Center. A year after the incident, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 2,726 death certificates had been issued and estimated that another 93 deaths had occurred, bringing the total to 2,819 persons.

Of those issued death certificates, 1 percent (27 people) were foreign nationals from eight different countries. Also, about 21 percent (568 people) were born outside of the U.S.
So why the fabrication? Who was he speaking too? And what was his political intent?

Well, these few paragraphs again support Spörl's thesis that this is his world campaign tour:
Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words “never again” in Darfur?

Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don’t look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?

People of Berlin – people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time.
Who is "we"? Well its not just America. And, as the last paragraph suggests, having previously been used in US campaign speeches (obviously containing the state in which he was campaigning in instead of Berlin and "America" instead of "the world") it's hard to argue that this wasn't a campaign speech.

It is a very interesting speech, and it dazzled those it was intended to dazzle, Spörl being one of them. But it also seems to have left him uneasy.
However, he is also certain to demand the help of the Germans, Brits and French in Afghanistan and Iraq. He's not going to let NATO shirk its duty — and therein lie the perils of the engaging "we" and the catchy "Yes, we can." Otherwise all these hard-nosed Europeans will hope and pray that the future President Obama isn’t really all that serious about the saving the world of tomorrow, the polar caps, Darfur and the poppy harvest over in Afghanistan.
A phenomenally European paragraph, wouldn't you say? It goes to the heart of Europe's decadence. And it also points to the fact, that despite the love-fest with Obama at the moment, the primary reason for it isn't necessarily Obama, but the fact he isn't George Bush.

Europe, as Spörl indicates, has no real desire to "yes, we can" any of the topics Obama brought up in his bid to be president of the world. In fact, for the most part, they want nothing to do with his "will we's". They've demonstrated that with Bush and they're certainly unlikely to change significantly simply because it is Obama asking.

Spörl concludes:
George W. Bush is yesterday, the Texas version of the arrogant world power. Obama is all about today — the "everybody really just wants to be brothers and save the world" utopia. As for us, we who sometimes admire and sometimes curse this somewhat anemic, pragmatic democracy, we will have to quickly get used to Barack Obama, the new leader of a lofty democracy that loves those big nice words — words that warm our hearts and alarm our minds.
Yup, Europe is still chasing utopia and isn't any closer today to finding it than they've ever been - but they do love a dreamer and a dreamer's words, no matter how implausible or impractical. Impractical because Europe has no intention of bestirring itself to do anything toward gaining the Obama utopia - those are the words that "alarm their minds".
Let's allow ourselves to be warmed today, by this man at the Victory Column. Then we'll take a further look.
Ummm ... do that. My guess is that "yes, we can" will quickly become "yes, you can" when that is finally all said and done.
 
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A future President running around calling himself a ’citizen of the world’ in the same breathe as saying he’s a citizen of the US. Perhaps you can find other Presidents who said something similar as a pleasantry. But Obama means it.

And of course he’s equating the Berlin wall with wall efforts of Isreal and the US. Not even freakin’ close by any stretch there buddy.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I’d be happier if he just stuck with assuring them he was a pastry too.

Clearly the dems are once more going to rely on world pressure to make us do the right thing in this election.

The last 2 attempts worked so well, maybe there’s hope here that doesn’t actually come from the Hopey Changitude campaign.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I listened to the speech and watched some of it, moving back and forth from radio to TV.

It was a dog, absolutely awful, and the crowd in Berlin offered only light and mildly polite applause. It appeared that they were confused and bored by it. Or maybe they just had to wait until later to have the German media explain to them what their reaction should be.

Even MSNBC had to shut up about it for a few hours until some sort of spin could be concocted to come back later and declare it a history-changing event.

Everyone: start paying attention to this "citizen of the world" business.

That’s become some kind of code on the Left, a signal that you’ve "moved on" beyond being an American. You know, to bigger things.

Of course that concept — "citizen of the world" —- has been around for a long time, but a while back I came across it in the "vision statement" of the local school system here. I was surprised to learn that not just students, but everyone in the community was now a "citizen of the world." Naturally, no mention was made of the great country that everyone is actually a citizen of.

I believe "citizen of the world" has, though, become the higher category that Leftists now recognize as the new requirement for demonstrating enlightenment: "Do you consider yourself a citizen of the world?" will likely become a question asked of anyone attempting to advance in such locales as academia and the armies of social work.

Another statement from the school district here says that students must learn the importance of values to life in a "social democracy." When I pointed out to the school district poohbahs that "social democracy" is a name for soc*alism, they blinked and muttered something but never changed the statement, which is still on their website.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Obama is the one person that might get me to cast a vote for McCain.

The guy won’t survive a debate, even with McCain, unless its so structured it becomes a series of mini-monologues on issues by both candidates as opposed to an actual debate.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
The guy won’t survive a debate,
Rational argument and response doesn’t play that much of role in it.

Obama is something of a hypnotist. His manner of speaking briefly puts listeners under, and then they wake up applauding his tone of voice and the suggestion of circumspect intellect. (That perhaps explains why a German translator was ineffective at bringing that effect to the crowd in Berlin. Or why those present who understood English but were busy translating the speech into German in their heads were not susceptible to the trance.)

How and where he learned this technique will no doubt remain a mystery, but all of his methods are very carefully cultivated.

He is the next generation Bill Clinton with, remarkably, less conscience at work (which is a nearly unbelievable statement). Not even Clinton would expect to get away with things in his background like those that Obama has in his.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Yes, he’s running for President of the US and it’s like he thinks he’ll be the "leader of the free world" or something. What’s he smokin’?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
I have some really big news for Princess Obama:

While he has been away, John McCain is slowly creeping closer in the polls. Colorado has now moved out of the Obama column to toss-up, and Michigan and Minnesota are bound to follow.

Now, imagine if Obama was raising all this dough to make McCain fight for red states, when Obama needs to raise dough to fight for blue states.

BTW, I told my friends and family in January that McCain would be the next President. They all called me crazy. Now, they are seeing the polls and how bad ofa campaigner Obama is, and some are telling me I may have seen this 11 months in advance.

Prediction, July 25? McCain wins, 51-47-2. (The two split between Nader and Barr and others.)
 
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
What’s he smokin’?
Something even stronger than what you’re inhaling.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Prediction, July 25? McCain wins, 51-47-2. (The two split between Nader and Barr and others.)
A few months back I set my prediction at 55-45 McCain.

It should be 20 points.

In the event that it goes the other way, I think all hell will break loose. Obama is not a liberal, though he plays one in the Senate. He is a radical black nationalist, at least on the evidence of where he got his learning the past 20 years. And why should he get any benefit of the doubt about the explicit location of his interests?
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
What polls are you fellas looking at? Even if a seven point lead (in Colorado) could be considered a toss-up, who needs to worry about that when you’re ahead in Florida?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Now the world will watch and remember what we do here — what we do with this moment.

And then he proceeded to invoke the ghosts of past heroes, in the hope that some of that reflected glory will blind US voters to his own lack of acheivement, twist basic facts of history and current events, and spout enough mealy-mouthed platitudes to add a thousand verses to Lennon’s Imagine, all without making one concrete suggestion for how to accomplish his lofty goals or making even a single statement that required the courage needed to offer free ice-cream to a class of 5-year olds.

Hopefully the world did watch. Hopefully the US voters will remember in November.

 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
Note to self: Don’t listen to an Obama speech so soon after watching Triumph of the Will.
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
I think he’s running for anti-Christ.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
"The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil."

I understand your parsing of this, but its probably in our national interest to remind folks that not only Americans were killed on 9/11 and that the WOT is a global one.

It has been especially useful in getting some bad guys to cooperate to show them that Muslims died in the attacks...saying "oh sure, only a handful" doesn’t really help our cause.

Another example would be the Bali bombings where rather few Americans died. Are we going to object if the Aussie prime minister invoked our handful of dead in explaining how it was an attack on the world not just Aussies?

I wonder if any Americans died in Madrid or London? I sure wouldn’t consider those to be "unrelated" to 9/11 or the battle we are in.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
What polls are you fellas looking at?
I’m looking at the poll in November, when Americans usually wake up for the thirty seconds it takes them to cast their vote.

By then the classic American response to Obama should have settled into "f**k that guy," and he’ll be dispatched to Dukakisville, which is right down the road from Palookaville.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
I understand your parsing of this, but its probably in our national interest to remind folks that not only Americans were killed on 9/11 and that the WOT is a global one
.

But surely there is a way for a "brilliant orator" like Obama to state this accurately. The attack does have implications for the rest of the world, but those implications go far deeper than the mere fact that non-US nationals happened to be killed at the World Trade Center.
Another example would be the Bali bombings where rather few Americans died. Are we going to object if the Aussie prime minister invoked our handful of dead in explaining how it was an attack on the world not just Aussies?

I wonder if any Americans died in Madrid or London? I sure wouldn’t consider those to be "unrelated" to 9/11 or the battle we are in.
Actually, I think this feeds the point above. If the only reason we should be concerned with the Madrid, London, or Bali attacks are because there happened to be Americans there, then we could far more easily solve our problem in the short-term by withdrawing support (or even our presence) from countries that have attracted Al Qaeda’s ire. Which, in the end, is exactly the way that Al Qaeda wants us to react. The exact point of the Spanish and British attacks were to punish them for supporting the US.
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
Nevertheless, Obama had the demeanor of the skinny kid actor trying out for the role of a seasoned adult. He was pushing the leader’s tone a little too hard. He’ll get over that as he is tested over the years. Today, he was reciting Sheriff Andy Taylor’s lines but looking more like Opie.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
"The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil."

I understand your parsing of this, but its probably in our national interest to remind folks that not only Americans were killed on 9/11 and that the WOT is a global one.

It has been especially useful in getting some bad guys to cooperate to show them that Muslims died in the attacks...saying "oh sure, only a handful" doesn’t really help our cause.

Another example would be the Bali bombings where rather few Americans died. Are we going to object if the Aussie prime minister invoked our handful of dead in explaining how it was an attack on the world not just Aussies?

I wonder if any Americans died in Madrid or London? I sure wouldn’t consider those to be "unrelated" to 9/11 or the battle we are in.
I disliked the WoT being sold as a form of international morality. Because it leads to the next step that I’d imagine Obama would like us to take on, international law. We’ve seen the UN highjacked already to be a buffer to prevent action against petty dictators. There are instances of UN resources being used to aid Palestinians terrorists as well.

There is a common foe in this and that’s the only reason to unite in opposition against terrorists. Establishing some kind of international code or standard could end up leading to an international body tying our hands.

I mean turn the clock back 25 years. If there was a militant group that only targetted government/military facilities to help overthrow the Soviets in some obscure country, there’s a damn good chance we’d be supporting them. And there’s a damn good chance the Soviets would make the case they were terrorists. 1980’s Afgahnistan.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Neo quoting blogger Frank Warner about Obama:
Today, he was reciting Sheriff Andy Taylor’s lines but looking more like Opie.
As I watch Obama I’m seeing him more like one of Andy Griffith’s other roles, that of Lonesome Rhoads in A Face in the Crowd. Not as flamboyant, because the times demand cool, but with the same essence.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Not everyone is on board overseas. The fellows over at Slugger O’Toole point out that Obama’s reference to walls coming down in Nothern Ireland, particularly Belfast, is off the mark and is ignorant of the facts on the ground: Fine Words About Belfast Don’t Reflect Reality.
 
Written By: JamesT
URL: http://
"People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time."

It probably sounds better in German, sort of like ’Today America, Tomorrow the World’. ( I think scare quotes are appropriate here, and appropriately named).





"The guy won’t survive a debate"

Bush-Gore. It doesn’t seem necessary to even do well in a debate, much less win.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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