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Author Topic: The Obama Phenomena  (Read 96243 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #200 on: July 15, 2008, 11:41:44 PM »


Barack Obama purges Web site critique of surge in Iraq

BY JAMES GORDON MEEK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
Monday, July 14th 2008, 8:10 PM
WASHINGTON - Barack Obama's campaign scrubbed his presidential Web site over the weekend to remove criticism of the U.S. troop "surge" in Iraq, the Daily News has learned.
The presumed Democratic nominee replaced his Iraq issue Web page, which had described the surge as a "problem" that had barely reduced violence.
"The surge is not working," Obama's old plan stated, citing a lack of Iraqi political cooperation but crediting Sunni sheiks - not U.S. military muscle - for quelling violence in Anbar Province.
The News reported Sunday that insurgent attacks have fallen to the fewest since March 2004.
Obama's campaign posted a new Iraq plan Sunday night, which cites an "improved security situation" paid for with the blood of U.S. troops since the surge began in February 2007.
It praises G.I.s' "hard work, improved counterinsurgency tactics and enormous sacrifice."
Campaign aide Wendy Morigi said Obama is "not softening his criticism of the surge. We regularly update the Web site to reflect changes in current events."
GOP rival John McCain zinged Obama as a flip-flopper. "The major point here is that Sen. Obama refuses to acknowledge that he was wrong," said McCain, adding that Obama "refuses to acknowledge that it [the surge] is succeeding."jmeek@nydailynews.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #201 on: July 18, 2008, 08:31:18 AM »

Obama's 'Judgment'
July 18, 2008
Barack Obama departs for Iraq as early as this weekend, with a media entourage as large as some of his rallies. He'll no doubt learn a lot, in addition to getting a good photo op. What we'll be waiting to hear is whether the would-be Commander in Chief absorbs enough to admit he was wrong about the troop surge in Iraq.

Mr. Obama has made a central basis of his candidacy the "judgment" he showed in opposing the Iraq war in 2002, even if it was a risk-free position to take as an Illinois state senator. The claim helped him win the Democratic primaries. But the 2007 surge debate is the single most important strategic judgment he has had to make on the more serious stage as a Presidential candidate. He vocally opposed the surge, and events have since vindicated Mr. Bush. Without the surge and a new counterinsurgency strategy, the U.S. would have suffered a humiliating defeat in Iraq.

Yet Mr. Obama now wants to ignore that judgment, and earlier this week his campaign erased from its Web site all traces of his surge opposition. Lest media amnesia set in, here is what the Obama site previously said:

"The problem – the Surge: The goal of the surge was to create space for Iraq's political leaders to reach an agreement to end Iraq's civil war. At great cost, our troops have helped reduce violence in some areas of Iraq, but even those reductions do not get us below the unsustainable levels of violence of mid-2006. Moreover, Iraq's political leaders have made no progress in resolving the political differences at the heart of their civil war."

Mr. Obama's site now puts a considerably brighter gloss on the surge. Yet the candidate himself shows no signs of rethinking. In a foreign-policy address Tuesday, the Senator described the surge, in effect, as a waste of $200 billion, an intolerable strain on military resources and a distraction from what he sees as a more important battle in Afghanistan. He faulted Iraq's leaders for failing to make "the political progress that was the purpose of the surge." And his 16-month timetable for near-total withdrawal apparently remains firm.

It would be nice if Mr. Obama could at least get his facts straight. Earlier this month, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad reported that the Iraqi government had met 15 of the 18 political benchmarks set for it in 2006. The Sunni bloc in Iraq's parliament is returning to the government after a year's absence. Levels of sectarian violence have held steady for months – at zero. (In January 2007, Mr. Obama had predicted on MSNBC that the surge would not only fail to curb sectarian violence, but would "do the reverse.") If this isn't sufficient evidence of "genuine political accommodation," we'd like to know what, in his judgment, is.

The freshman Senator also declared that "true success will take place when we leave Iraq to a government that is taking responsibility for its future – a government that prevents sectarian conflict, and ensures that the al Qaeda threat which has been beaten back by our troops does not re-emerge."

Yet the reason Iraq is finally getting that kind of government is precisely because of the surge, which neutralized al Qaeda and gave Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki the running room to confront Moqtada al-Sadr's Shiite Mahdi Army. And the reason the U.S. can now contemplate more troop withdrawals is because the surge has created the conditions that mean the U.S. would not be leaving a security vacuum. On Wednesday, Mr. Maliki's government assumed security responsibility in yet another province, meaning a majority of provinces are now under full Iraqi control.

Mr. Obama acknowledges none of this. Instead, his rigid timetable for withdrawal offers Iraq's various groups every reason to seek their security in local militias such as the Mahdi Army or even al Qaeda, thereby risking a return to the desperate situation it confronted in late 2006.

The Washington Post has criticized this as obstinate, and Democratic foreign policy analyst Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution reacted this way: "To say you're going to get out on a certain schedule – regardless of what the Iraqis do, regardless of what our enemies do, regardless of what is happening on the ground – is the height of absurdity."

Mr. Obama does promise to "consult with commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government" in implementing his plans. But he would have shown more sincerity on this score had he postponed Tuesday's address until after he visited Iraq and had a chance to speak with those generals and Iraqis. The timing of his speech made it appear not that he is open to what General David Petraeus tells him, but that he wants to limit the General's military options.

Mr. Bush has often been criticized for refusing to admit his Iraq mistakes, but he proved that wrong in ordering the surge that reversed his policy and is finally winning the war. The next President will now take office with the U.S. in a far better security position than 18 months ago. Mr. Obama could help his own claim to be Commander in Chief, and ease doubts about his judgment, if he admits that Mr. Bush was right.
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ccp
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« Reply #202 on: July 18, 2008, 09:16:24 AM »

****Mr. Obama could help his own claim to be Commander in Chief, and ease doubts about his judgment, if he admits that Mr. Bush was right****

Sure he is going to do that.  rolleyes

Well we all know that won't happen and BO has already taken his "out" position with statements to the effect that the surge only proves him right in that Iraqis "need" to take responsibility, and we then "need" to remove troops and pull out, and we "must" focus on the true problem by sending in the NYC police to capture Bin Laden in Afghanistan, blah blah blah.

And the war has cost lives, too much money that could have been spent sending every child to Harvard, give every homeless person a good job and a condo, get everyone off drugs, "free" health care for everyone, blah blah blah.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #203 on: July 18, 2008, 09:20:44 AM »

It appears Jesse Jackson called BO a "nigger".

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/07/17/jackson-also-used-n-word-in-taped-conversation-critical-of-obama/

Oy vey.
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G M
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« Reply #204 on: July 18, 2008, 09:24:02 AM »

Yeah, I'm already sick hearing all the defenders justifying the Rev-uh-rund, with the "It's ok for black people...." double standard.  rolleyes
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G M
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« Reply #205 on: July 18, 2008, 09:34:37 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/18/gaffemaster-alert-the-pearl-harbor-bomb/

Gaffemaster Alert: The Pearl Harbor Bomb
POSTED AT 10:10 AM ON JULY 18, 2008 BY ED MORRISSEY   


Barack Obama must have gone off script again in West Lafayette, Indiana on Wednesday.  When addressing the crowd on national security, Obama mangled the attack on Pearl Harbor.  For a Hawaii native, this tops the Young Gaffer list of historical fumbles (via Dean Barnett):

But it is wonderful to be back in Indiana. In a few moments, we’ll open up the discussion. But I want to offer a few comments about some of the emerging threats that we face in the 21st century and offer some ideas about how we can face those threats.

Throughout our history, America’s confronted constantly evolving danger, from the oppression of an empire, to the lawlessness of the frontier, from the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor, to the threat of nuclear annihilation. Americans have adapted to the threats posed by an ever-changing world.

Just to clarify: a whole lot of bombs fell on Pearl Harbor.  And the threat wasn’t the bomb, it was the empire that send massive waves of planes to drop them on our Pacific Fleet.  Those bombs fell because we didn’t adapt to the threat, and in fact we kept telling ourselves that we could talk the Japanese out of their policy of aggression and empire.  We came within a few aircraft carriers of losing the Pacific out of our willful blindness to the nature of the Japanese.

The same can be said for the “nuclear annihilation” Obama also mentions.  The threat wasn’t nuclear annihilation as such; that was part of the threat, not the entire threat itself.  The real threat came from another kind of empire, one that wanted to conquer from within as well as without — and the American Left after 1969 spent most of its time arguing that they threat didn’t really exist, that Soviet Communism wanted peaceful coexistence, and that socialism and Communism was the achievement of Utopia.  After Jimmy Carter’s disastrous cheek-kissing with Leonid Brezhnev and the invasion of Afghanistan that followed, America woke up and put adults in charge - and within a decade, the Soviet Union collapsed of its own contradictions and rot.

This gaffe goes beyond placing Auschwitz and Treblinka in western Germany or putting American troops in Poland during World War II.  It speaks to a fundamental superficiality of Obama, a man who seizes tropes and themes with little understanding of their significance or their details.   Obama reveals himself as a man who doesn’t understand threats at all, and whose instinctive responses would make them far worse.
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ccp
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« Reply #206 on: July 19, 2008, 10:18:35 AM »

"and played a little basketball during the visit"

with the troops in Afghanistan.

Well thank God for that.  What a laugh. wink
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JDN
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« Reply #207 on: July 19, 2008, 11:30:12 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/18/gaffemaster-alert-the-pearl-harbor-bomb/

Gaffemaster Alert: The Pearl Harbor Bomb
POSTED AT 10:10 AM ON JULY 18, 2008 BY ED MORRISSEY   


Barack Obama must have gone off script again in West Lafayette, Indiana on Wednesday.  When addressing the crowd on national security, Obama mangled the attack on Pearl Harbor.  For a Hawaii native, this tops the Young Gaffer list of historical fumbles (via Dean Barnett):

But it is wonderful to be back in Indiana. In a few moments, we’ll open up the discussion. But I want to offer a few comments about some of the emerging threats that we face in the 21st century and offer some ideas about how we can face those threats.

Throughout our history, America’s confronted constantly evolving danger, from the oppression of an empire, to the lawlessness of the frontier, from the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor, to the threat of nuclear annihilation. Americans have adapted to the threats posed by an ever-changing world.

Just to clarify: a whole lot of bombs fell on Pearl Harbor.  And the threat wasn’t the bomb, it was the empire that send massive waves of planes to drop them on our Pacific Fleet.  Those bombs fell because we didn’t adapt to the threat, and in fact we kept telling ourselves that we could talk the Japanese out of their policy of aggression and empire.  We came within a few aircraft carriers of losing the Pacific out of our willful blindness to the nature of the Japanese.

The same can be said for the “nuclear annihilation” Obama also mentions.  The threat wasn’t nuclear annihilation as such; that was part of the threat, not the entire threat itself.  The real threat came from another kind of empire, one that wanted to conquer from within as well as without — and the American Left after 1969 spent most of its time arguing that they threat didn’t really exist, that Soviet Communism wanted peaceful coexistence, and that socialism and Communism was the achievement of Utopia.  After Jimmy Carter’s disastrous cheek-kissing with Leonid Brezhnev and the invasion of Afghanistan that followed, America woke up and put adults in charge - and within a decade, the Soviet Union collapsed of its own contradictions and rot.

This gaffe goes beyond placing Auschwitz and Treblinka in western Germany or putting American troops in Poland during World War II.  It speaks to a fundamental superficiality of Obama, a man who seizes tropes and themes with little understanding of their significance or their details.   Obama reveals himself as a man who doesn’t understand threats at all, and whose instinctive responses would make them far worse.

I am not sure about this idea that I must always agree or support "America, right or wrong".  Somehow, we always justify our actions because "we are the good guys" and never even look at the opposite side's perspective. 

You said, take Japan for example.  "...we couldn't talk the Japanese out of their policy of aggression and empire."  Mind you, England had an empire, France had an "empire"; frankly, what were we doing in the Philippines?  But we never objected to their/our empires.  A little racism maybe???  Or was it a money issue like it usually is in America?  Or like a kid in the sandbox who was there first and wants to keep all the good toys...

But my real Japan question/point is that in July 1941 we placed a tight embargo on Japan's oil.  Now for example let's say someone did that to us today.  And remember, Japan has no natural resources to speak of - it is a small island dependend upon trade.  Now if someone did that to us today, how long would it last before we came out shooting?  And I bet we would justify it based upon those $%^#$% other guys placing an embargo upon our oil.   We would bomb the heck out of them and say they are the bad guys and that they started it; somehow we would justify our actions.  But fairness should work two ways.

Or we sabre rattle and vehemently criticize various Arab states for providing guns and resources to our enemies in Iraq, but wasn't it our guns and supplies that helped the Afghanistan's defeat the Russians.  Now it's OK if we provide weapons, supplies and money, against the Russians, but it's not OK if someone does the same thing against us???  Isn't there some hypocrisy there?  Now I'm not saying we shouldn't object and stop them, just don't do it on moral grounds and act like we are innocent.

I think one should try to be a little objective rather than always assume our way is the only way and always the best way.  I always hated the expressions, "America, right or wrong", or "America, love it or leave it".  Sometimes we are wrong and sometimes things need to change.  And sometimes, just because we are the biggest kid on the block, it doesn't make it right to always use force.
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ccp
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« Reply #208 on: July 19, 2008, 01:57:38 PM »

JDN,

BO said this?Huh
Are you kidding?Huh
He is clearly a leftist American hating liberal.
How can a guy who thinks like this even be on a major party ticket?Huh

This is nuts - Of course other countries will love him.  He wants to give it all away to them.

Maybe Republicans should over play this hand too soon and then let the crats spin it all around.

Let BO continue his big mouth and then let all see him for what he is in September.  Maybe it is better not to show the cards anyway because you know the crats will go back to their little "war rooms" and prepare new talking points and then hit the airwaves with the same jerks as always neutralizing and BS the truth away.

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G M
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« Reply #209 on: July 19, 2008, 03:52:49 PM »

JDN,

Before you defend Imperial Japan, you might want to read up on the "Rape of Nanjing/Nanking".
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ccp
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« Reply #210 on: July 19, 2008, 04:17:21 PM »

Strike my previous post.  I thought JDN's comments were BO's.  Notwithstanding I don't agree with JDN's comments and to some extent is comparing apples to oranges.
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ccp
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« Reply #211 on: July 19, 2008, 05:46:33 PM »

And I thought the Clintons are narcisissitic.  huh
And Krauthammer has a good point.  What in tarnation is a guy who has never done anything on the international stage doing giving a speech in Germany as though he is the savior of the world?  I don't recall, have we ever had this kind of show from someone who is *running for* but never been President?  I suppose we'll have a snapshot of the Pope kissing his opulent hand if he swings through Europe while on what has become the savior of the world tour.  The Clintons must be pissed - he is hogging their show.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/17/AR2008071701839.html
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JDN
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« Reply #212 on: July 20, 2008, 12:23:55 AM »

JDN,

Before you defend Imperial Japan, you might want to read up on the "Rape of Nanjing/Nanking".

You are right.

But, if you want to bring the subject up, Pearl Harbor was an attack on a Naval Base...a military
operation against military personnel.

But what was My Lai...etc..............And from what I heard from my slightly older friends,
who did serve in Vietnam, we didn't follow the Geneva Convention....And do you really
think Naplam discriminated between troops and woman and children???

And the fire bombing of Tokyo??? 250,000 mostly women and children dead???
Were pretty good at killling woman and children.  But maybe that's just war?

And the atomic bombs, again 500,000 dead, again mostly woman and children???
There were few if any troops in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.  There was no industrial complex there.........
Just families.

Please don't act so noble.  We do what it takes to win, but we are no better than anyone
else.

Not to mention putting in prison American Citizens by the thousands whose only "crime"
was that they were of Japanese ancestry.  Odd, my Grandfather (a doctor) was a German
living in Wisconsin but he never go arrested.  Nor did my Mother.  A little bit of racism again???
America likes to blame the "other guy" especially if they are Black or Asian or Islamic or Mexican.

America likes to to take the high road, but usually (WWII Europe was different) we have
a monetary self interest, not idealism at heart.  We just like to "justify" our wars, paint the
other guy as the "bad guy" rather than calling a spade a spade.  It's more politically correct.
And it sure sells better.

As for Obama, I am not saying he is a panacea.  But McCain?  Too old, that is a big deal to me,
and frankly, if his daddy wasn't an high ranking admiral, McCain would be a nobody.  He is
an opportunist.  He dumps his wife for a younger and more important, richer (and smart) woman. 
All his life he has succeeded through using people.  Yes, he has experience, and frankly,
he is not a bad guy, but.....couldn't the Republicans do better???

But back to America.  Nothing wrong, we simply do what we need to do that being what's good for
America.  But please don't cloak it behind righteousness, goodness, and democracy.  We do it
because it benefits America.  Period.  As does everyone else; we just happen to be the biggest
and baddest kid on the block.  That doesn't always make us right.

As for CCP I take full credit; don't blame OR give credit to Obama   smiley

Again, as for CCP I agree, I don't know what in the world Obama is doing giving a major speech in Germany.
I agree, maybe he should win the election first???  By no means a given - I think it will be close.

Again, as for CCP, you got to love it; Obama as President, Hilary as the Vice President, and
Bill (Mr. President) as the VP's wife.  Would you want to be President???   rolleyes



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ccp
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« Reply #213 on: July 20, 2008, 08:41:53 AM »

***Again, as for CCP, you got to love it; Obama as President, Hilary as the Vice President, and
Bill (Mr. President) as the VP's wife.  Would you want to be President???***

It will certainly keep Rush Limbaugh rolling in dough.

I would like to have the qualities to be President.  But I don't.  First and foremost I like my sleep. 

I have a feeling BO is going to choose Colin Powell as his running mate.  I think Powell would do it from what I read.   

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G M
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« Reply #214 on: July 20, 2008, 09:53:15 AM »

JDN,

Before you defend Imperial Japan, you might want to read up on the "Rape of Nanjing/Nanking".

You are right.

But, if you want to bring the subject up, Pearl Harbor was an attack on a Naval Base...a military
operation against military personnel.

**So what? Ask the people of any place occupied by the Japanese during WWII how they were treated. See how the Japanese treated western POWs.**

But what was My Lai...etc..............And from what I heard from my slightly older friends,
who did serve in Vietnam, we didn't follow the Geneva Convention....And do you really
think Naplam discriminated between troops and woman and children???

**It's funny how the left gets so excited about innocents killed by the US in combat, yet is so deliberately ignorant of masses of people murdered by communists. Once the democrats forced the abandonment of the S. Vietnamese and the communists took over, the "peace movement" gave a collective shrug. Masses of brown people in mass graves don't bother the left, unless it can be used as a propaganda weapon against America.**

And the fire bombing of Tokyo??? 250,000 mostly women and children dead???
Were pretty good at killling woman and children.  But maybe that's just war?

**Maybe it is. War is brutal and horrible. Do you have a better option?**

And the atomic bombs, again 500,000 dead, again mostly woman and children???
There were few if any troops in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.  There was no industrial complex there.........
Just families.

**If I have to choose between dead enemy civilians and dead US troops, i'd choose for dead enemies. I make no apologies if that's the only choice.**

Please don't act so noble.  We do what it takes to win, but we are no better than anyone
else.

**Doing what it takes to win doesn't mean we are like everyone else. We rebuilt Germany and Japan and western europe and protected them from the soviets as well.**

Not to mention putting in prison American Citizens by the thousands whose only "crime"
was that they were of Japanese ancestry.  Odd, my Grandfather (a doctor) was a German
living in Wisconsin but he never go arrested.  Nor did my Mother.  A little bit of racism again???
America likes to blame the "other guy" especially if they are Black or Asian or Islamic or Mexican.

**You'll note that this was done by that liberal icon FDR, over the objections of J. Edgar Hoover. Are you asserting that only America has racism?**

America likes to to take the high road, but usually (WWII Europe was different) we have
a monetary self interest, not idealism at heart.  We just like to "justify" our wars, paint the
other guy as the "bad guy" rather than calling a spade a spade.  It's more politically correct.
And it sure sells better.

**WWII, pacific theater wasn't justified? What other wars do you not find justified?**

As for Obama, I am not saying he is a panacea.  But McCain?  Too old, that is a big deal to me,
and frankly, if his daddy wasn't an high ranking admiral, McCain would be a nobody. 

**McCain could have done anything, including a safe career in the navy without flying dangerous missions over N. Vietnam. He could have been released early from NVA captivity, but chose to stay with his men. His son chose to enlist with the Marines and has seen combat in Iraq, yet McCain has never discussed this in public. Too old? That sounds like blatant ageism to me.**

 He is
an opportunist.  He dumps his wife for a younger and more important, richer (and smart) woman. 
All his life he has succeeded through using people.  Yes, he has experience, and frankly,
he is not a bad guy, but.....couldn't the Republicans do better???

**Yeah, let's not examine Obama's opportunism. The grandmother that raised him after his father abandoned him was "just a typical white person", right? His pastor and spiritual mentor "God damn America" Wright fit neatly under his bus when he found too much political liability. Does Tony Rezko's creative financing of Obama's home bother you at all?**

But back to America.  Nothing wrong, we simply do what we need to do that being what's good for
America.  But please don't cloak it behind righteousness, goodness, and democracy.  We do it
because it benefits America.  Period.  As does everyone else; we just happen to be the biggest
and baddest kid on the block.  That doesn't always make us right.

**We have done, and do many things for the cause of freedom. Many people across the world have a better life because of America. No nation in human history has had more power and has used it more justly than this nation. If there is a better country, why aren't you living there?**

As for CCP I take full credit; don't blame OR give credit to Obama   smiley

Again, as for CCP I agree, I don't know what in the world Obama is doing giving a major speech in Germany.
I agree, maybe he should win the election first???  By no means a given - I think it will be close.

Again, as for CCP, you got to love it; Obama as President, Hilary as the Vice President, and
Bill (Mr. President) as the VP's wife.  Would you want to be President???   rolleyes




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JDN
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« Reply #215 on: July 20, 2008, 09:53:59 AM »

***Again, as for CCP, you got to love it; Obama as President, Hilary as the Vice President, and
Bill (Mr. President) as the VP's wife.  Would you want to be President???***

It will certainly keep Rush Limbaugh rolling in dough.

I would like to have the qualities to be President.  But I don't.  First and foremost I like my sleep. 

I have a feeling BO is going to choose Colin Powell as his running mate.  I think Powell would do it from what I read.  



Actually CCP I didn't mean it personally.  What I meant was I don't think anyone would want to be President with Hilary as VP and worse, her husband being a former President, lurking around in the background and stealing the show.

As for Colin Powell, I think he is an outstanding individual, but I would be very surprised if Obama chose a black running mate.  Our country is not there yet; a black President and a black VP would never win.  But Powell is great, heck, if McCain chose Powell for VP that is a good reason to vote for McCain.
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G M
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« Reply #216 on: July 20, 2008, 10:06:40 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/20/obama-flunks-history-again/

Obama uber alles.
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JDN
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« Reply #217 on: July 20, 2008, 10:51:21 AM »

Ahhh GM, this is getting fun.

Taking in order:

1.  Don't get your first point regarding treatment of GI's (it was bad) in relationship to my point about targeting a military target.  My point was that the Japanese didn't target civilians like the USA did.

2. "Masses of brown people" (I haven't heard that in a while) "in mass graves don't bother the left..."  actually it does, but at that point, the war was over - we had our butts kicked.  As for "mass graves" what do you think Napalm does?  Or fire bombing?  Or nuclear war?  It leaves mass graves of civilians.

3. Yep, war is brutal; no disagreement there.  A better option?  Find someone smarter than me.  But I think it was/is wrong to focus on killing civilians like America did through fire bombing and nuclear.  Why not stick to the military targets?  It's a little more humane.

4. "choose between dead enemy civilians and dead US Troops, I'd choose for dead enemy civilians.   I make no apologies if that's the only choice."  I guess this is the main difference between you and I.  I mean why not kill the woman and children in Iraq on sight if it saved a few American soldiers?  Heck, by your definition if it helps the war effort, maybe we should target woman and children if it saves a American lives.  Do anything to win, huh?  If we lost WWII who do you think would have been on trial as war criminals.  We are lucky, we either win and act noble, or we lose (Vietnam) and run fast.

5. We rebuilt German and Japan and western Europe...  Hmmm, and you think we did that only out of love and kindness???  Please... We, the USA needed the deterrence against Russia.  Also, we needed trading partners; who was left?  And we needed military bases to protect the US.  We never gave a hoot about Japan's defense; it was mostly for our benefit to stop Communism.  I mean look at Japan; if it wasn't for our demanding (spoils of war?) huge property worth billions of dollars in Japan for our military bases right after WWII we would have been kicked out a long time ago.  Would you believe it; Japan even pays us billions of dollars to keep our troops there - we are sort of like mercenaries.  And this was all done from agreements enforced upon them after the war 50+ years ago.  And our troops still can't keep their pants on off base.  If the Japanese people voted today, we would be sent packing. 

   As for my "noble" comment, what would America do?  Would WE allow a foreign power to station troops on our property?  Ha, we don't even allow them in our hemisphere.  We like two sets of rules, one for us and one for everyone else.  Russia is recently upset we are planning a missile system in their backyard, but we say, "don't worry...." but if they tried to do that in Mexico we would send troops to stop them if necessary.  Again, two sets of "convenient" rules.  Again, a benefit of being the biggest kid in the sandbox, but that doesn't make it right.

6. Japanese American Citizens in Prison camps.  Actually, a lot of Democrats and Republicans supported putting the Japanese in prison camps.   But the German's were safe in America despite all their atrocities during the war.  Now that's true racism.  And yes, other countries have racism too, they just don't deny it or ignore it like we do and act noble about it.  It's the hypocrisy I hate.

7.  "Too old" That sounds like blatant ageism to me".  I love old people, but Yep, I think he is too old to be our President.  And yep, it is blatant ageism.  IBM wouldn't hire him to be their president; he's too old.   Microsoft wouldn't hire him to be their president, he's told old....... Heck, no major USA or International Company or Consulting firm would hire him to be their president because he is too old.  Simply put, he's past his prime for the job.  And I can't think of a job that is more important.  We need someone at their best.  So why would America hire him to be our President?


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« Reply #218 on: July 20, 2008, 01:08:45 PM »

Ahhh GM, this is getting fun.

Taking in order:

1.  Don't get your first point regarding treatment of GI's (it was bad) in relationship to my point about targeting a military target.  My point was that the Japanese didn't target civilians like the USA did.

**Really? WWII started with Pearl Harbor? That's a very ethnocentric position to take. Let me help you out. Most scholars point out the start of the 2nd Sino-Japanese war on 7/7/1937, which would eventually expand throughout asia and the pacific. America entered the war after Pearl Harbor. You might want to read up on Japan's targeting and treatment of the peoples it conquered long before the US fired a single shot in the war. It won't exactly fit your "It's all America's fault" paradigm, but it would serve you to learn more than the typical leftist talking points if you wish to make your case.**

2. "Masses of brown people" (I haven't heard that in a while) "in mass graves don't bother the left..."  actually it does, but at that point, the war was over - we had our butts kicked.  As for "mass graves" what do you think Napalm does?  Or fire bombing?  Or nuclear war?  It leaves mass graves of civilians.

**Again, more missing history. Where were the anti-war protesters when the communists murdered roughly 2.5 million innocents after the democrats in congress cut off funding to the South Vietnamese and Cambodia's Lon Nol governments? Ever hear Jane Fonda or any other leftist luminary weep for the innocents they helped murder and oppress? Where was the concerned then? Why don't you know about the Japanese atrocities in asia? The racism you wish to project on others?

The US won every military engagement in Vietnam. The left in America was all the NVA had going for them. At the worst, we could have had a partitioned Vietnam like we have a partitioned Korea, with at least half of the nation free. Not good enough for the "peace movement". Where is the remorse? Where is the regret?**


3. Yep, war is brutal; no disagreement there.  A better option?  Find someone smarter than me.  But I think it was/is wrong to focus on killing civilians like America did through fire bombing and nuclear.  Why not stick to the military targets?  It's a little more humane.

**The US fights it's wars with the resources and technology it has. No other nation in history has gone to the lengths the US has in modern times to try to spare, feed and treat innocents while engaging in war. Don't agree? Who, when and where?**

4. "choose between dead enemy civilians and dead US Troops, I'd choose for dead enemy civilians.   I make no apologies if that's the only choice."  I guess this is the main difference between you and I.  I mean why not kill the woman and children in Iraq on sight if it saved a few American soldiers?  Heck, by your definition if it helps the war effort, maybe we should target woman and children if it saves a American lives.  Do anything to win, huh?  If we lost WWII who do you think would have been on trial as war criminals.  We are lucky, we either win and act noble, or we lose (Vietnam) and run fast.

**Exactly my point. It would have been easier to subdue Iraqi villages by using Saddam's playbook of cutting off food, water, electricity and then mass killings until resistance ended. No Iraqis need be alive to pump oil. Yet instead we build schools, infastructure and treat the sick and wounded and created a semi-decent government instead of tyranny. Why go to such trouble if America is just a machivellian brute?

The US military didn't lose Vietnam. The left undercut the war and the Vietnamese paid dearly. Not that it seems to bother you.**


5. We rebuilt German and Japan and western Europe...  Hmmm, and you think we did that only out of love and kindness???  Please... We, the USA needed the deterrence against Russia. 

**In 1945, the US was in full wartime economy mode. US forces spanned the world. Only America had the bomb. Patton had wanted to move to finish off the shattered soviets, yet instead we de-militarized to such a degree that by 1950 we were barely able to deal with the Korean war. Not exactly what an empire would do, right?**

Also, we needed trading partners; who was left?  And we needed military bases to protect the US.  We never gave a hoot about Japan's defense; it was mostly for our benefit to stop Communism.  I mean look at Japan; if it wasn't for our demanding (spoils of war?) huge property worth billions of dollars in Japan for our military bases right after WWII we would have been kicked out a long time ago.  Would you believe it; Japan even pays us billions of dollars to keep our troops there - we are sort of like mercenaries.  And this was all done from agreements enforced upon them after the war 50+ years ago.  And our troops still can't keep their pants on off base.  If the Japanese people voted today, we would be sent packing. 

**The Japanese DO vote today. Do you know anything about asia at all? You seem very comfortable smearing our troops. Let's examine the facts:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/nn20080716a5.html

High crime rate a 'misperception': U.S. commander

By REIJI YOSHIDA

Staff writer
The rate of off-base crimes committed by members of the United States military in Japan is much lower than the rate for Japanese in general, but a "misperception" that the opposite is true still persists, the commander of U.S. Forces Japan said Tuesday.

 
Meet the general: Lt. Gen. Edward Rice, commander of U.S. Forces Japan, gives a group interview in Tokyo on Tuesday. REIJI YOSHIDA PHOTO
"We are able to keep the off-base serious crime rate for U.S. service members to approximately half that of the overall Japanese population," Lt. Gen. Edward Rice told reporters in a group interview in Tokyo.

Rice emphasized that "a balanced view" is needed to discuss crimes involving U.S. service members in Japan.

The U.S. Air Force later released a statement saying the crime rate among U.S. forces personnel in Japan is in fact less than one-third of the overall rate in the country. The figures for the U.S. military personnel cover crimes committed outside the bases.

During the interview, Rice also stressed that U.S. forces have been implementing a number of programs to ensure correct behavior by U.S. military personnel since the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl in Okinawa by a marine in February.

U.S. forces have been coming under particularly strong criticism from the opposition parties in the Diet, which now control the House of Councilors. In April, the upper chamber made a decision to reject a budget bill for host-nation support, the first time it had ever done so. The budget eventually went into effect in May because it had already been approved by the more powerful Lower House, whose decisions on foreign treaties prevail under the Constitution.

Rice declined to make any direct comments on the political situation in Japan but said he believes spending for the U.S. military here is "a good investment" for Japan's security and that of the region.

"It would cost many times more . . . to be able to provide the equivalent level of security for Japan and Japanese people," Rice said. "I think it becomes clear that at the end of the day this is really a bargain for the Japanese people."

According to a 2004 report compiled by the U.S. Department of Defense, Japan contributed direct financial support worth $3.23 billion and indirect support worth $1.18 billion to the U.S. military in fiscal 2002.

The Japan Times: Wednesday, July 16, 2008


   As for my "noble" comment, what would America do?  Would WE allow a foreign power to station troops on our property?  Ha, we don't even allow them in our hemisphere. 

**Really? Which hemisphere would you find Cuba in?**

We like two sets of rules, one for us and one for everyone else.  Russia is recently upset we are planning a missile system in their backyard, but we say, "don't worry...." but if they tried to do that in Mexico we would send troops to stop them if necessary.  Again, two sets of "convenient" rules.  Again, a benefit of being the biggest kid in the sandbox, but that doesn't make it right.

6. Japanese American Citizens in Prison camps.  Actually, a lot of Democrats and Republicans supported putting the Japanese in prison camps. 

**Yes, but FDR authorized and signed Executive Order 9066.**


 But the German's were safe in America despite all their atrocities during the war.  Now that's true racism. 

** http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/immigration/enemy-aliens-overview.html You must have missed this part of WWII history as well.**

 And yes, other countries have racism too, they just don't deny it or ignore it like we do and act noble about it. 

**Really? Please give some examples of countries you admire and would cite as examples of your point.**

 It's the hypocrisy I hate.

**You mean hypocrisy, like someone who enjoys the wealth and freedoms of America while bashing the military and the nation?**

7.  "Too old" That sounds like blatant ageism to me".  I love old people, but Yep, I think he is too old to be our President.  And yep, it is blatant ageism.  IBM wouldn't hire him to be their president; he's too old.   Microsoft wouldn't hire him to be their president, he's told old....... Heck, no major USA or International Company or Consulting firm would hire him to be their president because he is too old.  Simply put, he's past his prime for the job.  And I can't think of a job that is more important.  We need someone at their best.  So why would America hire him to be our President?




Funny, my wife's asian culture, and my Native American culture teach respecting our elders. You wish to use the modern corporate culture as your yardstick. Interesting.
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« Reply #219 on: July 20, 2008, 03:13:26 PM »

Higher Folly
Diplomas won’t make jihadis go away.

By Michelle Malkin

In all the brouhaha over the New Yorker’s satirical cover cartoon of Barack and Michelle Obama, a truly “tasteless and offensive” passage in the magazine’s feature article got lost. The magazine piece quotes Obama’s recommendations for how to stop jihad, which he had previously published in a local Chicago newspaper eight days after 9/11. It’s a self-parody of blind, deaf, and dumb Kumbaya liberalism:

We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

Is this man for real? Osama bin Laden’s murderous legions are plenty able to “imagine” the “suffering of others.” Go watch an al-Qaeda beheading snuff video. Just Google it or surf YouTube. Imagining the suffering of infidels is covered amply in basic Jihadi Training 101.

You’ll note, too, that Obama’s fresh instinct in the week after the 9/11 attack was to diagnose it as a “tragedy” stemming from lack of “empathy” and “understanding” — instead of as the deliberate, carefully planned evil act of the long-waged Islamic war on the West that it was.

As for Obama’s continued delusion about the “climate of poverty and ignorance” that supposedly breeds Muslim terrorists, can American politicians ever rid themselves of this unreality-based trope? This belief is part and parcel of the same idiocy that led the State Department to embrace “spa days” for Muslims to “build bridges” with the Arab world and President Bush to open up our aviation schools to more Saudi students to “improve understanding.”

John McCain also alluded to education-as-cure for Islamic terrorism at the L.A. World Affairs Council in March, when he declared, “In this struggle, scholarships will be far more important than smart bombs.” Just what we need: more student visas for the jihadi-infested nation that sent us the bulk of the 9/11 hijackers.



Author and National Review Online blogger Mark Steyn’s sharp rejoinder to McCain then applies to Obama now: “There’s plenty of evidence out there that the most extreme ‘extremists’ are those who’ve been most exposed to the west — and western education: from Osama bin Laden (summer school at Oxford, punting on the Thames) and Mohammed Atta (Hamburg University urban planning student) to the London School of Economics graduate responsible for the beheading of Daniel Pearl. The idea that handing out college scholarships to young Saudi males and getting them hooked on Starbucks and car-chase movies will make this stuff go away is ridiculous — and unworthy of a serious presidential candidate.”

Ayman al-Zawahiri didn’t need more education or wealth to steer him away from Islamic imperialism and working toward a worldwide caliphate. He has a medical degree. So does former Hamas biggie Abdel al-Rantissi. Seven upper-middle-class jihadi doctors were implicated in the 2007 London/Glasgow bombings. Suspected al-Qaeda scientist Aafia Siddiqui, still wanted by the FBI for questioning, is a Pakistani who studied microbiology at MIT and did graduate work in neurology at Brandeis.

And as I’ve reported before and must reiterate for the hard of hearing in Washington, lowering academic standards at American colleges helped al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed further the jihadi cause. In the early 1980s, he enrolled at tiny Chowan College in Murfreesboro, N.C., which had dropped its English requirements to attract — ahem — wealthy Middle Easterners.

At Chowan, Mohammed bonded with other Arab Muslim foreign students known as the “Mullahs” for their religious zeal. Mohammed then transferred to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he earned his degree in mechanical engineering along with 30 other Muslims.

Mohammed applied his Western learning to oversee the 1993 World Trade Center bombing plot (six Americans dead), the U.S.S. Cole attack (17 American soldiers dead) and the 9/11 attacks (3,000 dead). He has also been linked to the 1998 African-embassy bombings (212 dead, including 12 Americans), the plot to kill the pope, the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl and the Bali nightclub blast that killed nearly 200 tourists, including two more Americans.

Perhaps bleeding-heart Obama thinks a master’s degree in social work would have convinced poverty-stricken, helpless, ignorant, despairing Mohammed to change his mind?

© 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZDM4MWE4NDA1NjRiYTY5MjFkM2RiOGQ5MDdjY2IzYmE=
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« Reply #220 on: July 20, 2008, 03:26:20 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/18/AR2008071802612_pf.html

Snubbed by Obama
By Christoph von Marschall
Sunday, July 20, 2008; B07

Barack Obama is on his way to Europe, where an adoring public awaits. But I wonder if the reception would be quite so enthusiastic if Obama's fans across the Atlantic knew a dirty little secret of his remarkable presidential campaign: Although Obama portrays himself as the best candidate to engage the rest of the world and restore America's image abroad, and many Americans support him for that reason, so far he has almost completely refused to answer questions from foreign journalists. When the press plane leaves tonight for his trip, there will be, as far as I know, no foreign media aboard. The Obama campaign has refused multiple requests from international reporters to travel with the candidate.

As a German correspondent in Washington, I am accustomed to the fact that American politicians spare little of their limited time for reporters from abroad. This is understandable: Our readers, viewers and listeners cannot vote in U.S. elections. Even so, Obama's opponents have managed to make at least a small amount of time for international journalists. John McCain has given many interviews. Hillary Clinton gave a few. President Bush regularly holds round-table interviews with media from the countries to which he travels. Only Obama dismisses us so consistently.

This spring Obama allowed at least one foreign reporter on trips to Ohio and Texas. But as the campaign has progressed, access has become more difficult for foreign correspondents. E-mail inquiries get no reply, phone calls are not returned. My colleagues and I know: We are last in line. We don't matter.

In September 2007, I gave a lecture in Iowa titled "The U.S. in the World: How They See Us." People in the audience asked me about the working conditions of foreign journalists and were surprised to learn how little access Obama had given us. Several Iowans wrote to his campaign to protest. In contrast to me, they did hear back: In a letter dated Nov. 24, the campaign assured one of these people that Obama cares about the foreign media and wants to increase openness. The letter even said that my contact information had been forwarded to the campaign's communications department.

There was no follow-up.

Since I followed the Obama campaign in its early stages and published a sympathetic (and widely read) book in German about the Illinois senator, I probably have more access than most. I know the Obama "policy advisers" in Washington think tanks and the like; sometimes I manage a fleeting encounter with the senator's press staff at campaign events. Yet I can only dream of an interview with the candidate. To my knowledge, no foreign journalist has had one. A reported interview in France's Politique Internationale last summer turned out to be a fake. In February, Obama gave Israel's Yediot Ahronot written answers to written questions about his views on Israel and the Middle East.

Perhaps Obama considers members of the foreign media a risk rather than an opportunity. His campaign learned the hard way how comments to foreigners can resonate at home -- recall adviser Austan Goolsbee's hints to a Canadian diplomat that Obama's critique of NAFTA was just campaign rhetoric, or former aide Samantha Power's "monster" remark about Hillary Clinton to the Scotsman. Or perhaps we're witnessing the arrogance that comes from being so close to power. One of his campaign advisers told me recently: "Why should we take the time for foreign media, since there is Obamania around the world?"

Obama is indeed popular in my country and elsewhere in Europe. But Europeans have the same questions about his experience and character that Americans do. Unlike U.S. citizens, we can't vote in the election; its results, though, will affect our lives, much as it will affect theirs. Surely a man who has said he would talk with U.S. adversaries such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can spend a few moments with journalists from friendlier countries.

The writer is Washington bureau chief of Der Tagesspiegel, a Berlin-based daily newspaper.
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« Reply #221 on: July 20, 2008, 05:12:50 PM »

Assuming we entered the Iraq war to free the Iraqi people from a dictatorship and establish democracy
for the people of Iraq, then I guess we all agree Obama's foreign policy plan.  It also is the will
of the Iraqi people.

I am sure we all read this weekend how Nouri Maliki "praised the Democratic presidential candidate's
plan for withdrawing U.S. troops over a 16 month period."  Embracing Obama's plan, he said, "that,
we think, would the right time frame for a withdrawal."  Further, he said that the best time
for withdrawal would be, "as soon as possible".   He further said, "...the people and the government
are in general agreement: The tenure of the colalition troops in Iraq should be limited."

Quite clear; even the Iraqi's want us out ASAP.  And even the Iraqi's want us out in 16 months or
less.  We've overstayed our welcome.  It's like having guests; I love to have guests; I tell them please stay for
a week or two, but after a month or so I am looking for a way to kick them out.  They are no longer welcome.

Now it's odd, McCain believes "our withdrawal must be conditioned on the opinion of the U.S. commander's
on the ground as to when they think it is the right time".  Frankly, I don't get it.  We came, we ousted the dictator,
and we established elections.  The freely elected government now wants us out - period, regardless
of what the U.S. commander's on the ground want.  Iraq wants us to leave; is that clear enough?  And who cares
what the U.S. commander's on the ground want?  The country and the decisions belong to the Iraqi's not the U.S.

It's 100% the Iraqi's choice right?  Even if they want us 100% out, ASAP, no remaining bases, etc. it's THEIR 100% choice, right?   Frankly, while we can advise, we don't get a vote on the matter.  It's their country.  Not ours - we are guests.  And our welcome is over.  It's really quite simple; it is time to get out and as to whether we are ready or not doesn't matter.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #222 on: July 20, 2008, 06:18:36 PM »

See posts 514 and 515 in the "2008 Presidential Campaign" thread.
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G M
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« Reply #223 on: July 20, 2008, 10:46:13 PM »

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/30709_Just_Another_Blatantly_Antisemitic_Post_at_the_Obama_Blog_Site_Thats_All

Progressive! Glad to see Obama's webmasters are so dilligent.  rolleyes
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« Reply #224 on: July 23, 2008, 08:21:46 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/23/obama-a-nuclear-iran-would-be-a-game-changing-situation/

So, what's his position?
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« Reply #225 on: July 23, 2008, 09:00:35 PM »

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/print/021066.php

JULY 23, 2008
THE FINE LINE BETWEEN PANDERING AND LYING

Barack Obama held a press conference in Sderot, Israel today. I wouldn't have blamed him if he had stuck to a reasonable degree of pandering, but check out this question and answer from the press conference:

QUESTION: Senator Obama, you said in AIPAC convention that the (INAUDIBLE) Jerusalem could continue to be the capital city. Then you changed it and clarified later on in the -- (INAUDIBLE) wonder.
How could you be sure if your other statesmen, that you are going to be committed to the security and safety of Israel and you're not going to change it even when you're the President of the United States?

OBAMA: First of all, I didn't change my statement.

I continued to say that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel. And I have said that before and I will say it again. And I also have said that it is important that we don't simply slice the city in half. But I've also said that that's a final status issue. That's an issue that has to be dealt with with the parties involved, the Palestinians and the Israelis. And it's not the job of the United States to dictate the form in which that will take, but rather to support the efforts that are being made right now to resolve these very difficult issues that have a long history.


Let's pause here. Characteristically, Obama claims that he "didn't change [his] statement." But this is a fantasy. At the AIPAC convention, Obama made the ringing declaration that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." "Must." Within 24 hours, however, his advisers scurried to take back Obama's commitment to an undivided Jerusalem, saying that he meant only that Jerusalem shouldn't "be divided by barbed wire and checkpoints as it was in 1948-1967," and that, in fact, Obama was open to Jerusalem also being the capital of the Palestinian state.

In Sderot today, Obama didn't say anything about Jerusalem being the Palestinian capital, but he essentially repeated, not his original call for a Jerusalem that "must" be "undivided," but his mushier fall-back position. In doing so, he not only failed to acknowledge, but specifically denied, that this was a change from his AIPAC call for a Jerusalem that "must remain undivided."

Obama continued:

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon.

But Obama is not a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Obama just made that up so he could count the committee's action as one of "my deeds."

If committed by a Republican, this would be a gaffe of historic proportions. Even a Senator as inattentive to his duties as Obama certainly knows what committees he serves on. For him to fabricate the claim, out of whole cloth, that the Senate Banking Committee is "[his] committee," strikes me as another sign of Obama's megalomania. That, plus more evidence that he is totally at sea without a teleprompter.
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« Reply #226 on: July 24, 2008, 10:00:26 AM »

The mind boggles , , ,

One small ray of hope on the horizon:  Apparently the spread in the daily polls between McC and BO remains rather unchanged at about 3-4 points to BO's favor-- despite all the media favoratism.
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« Reply #227 on: July 24, 2008, 03:11:58 PM »

despite all the media favoratism

You ain't kidding.

 cry
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« Reply #228 on: July 24, 2008, 06:44:06 PM »

A Brit from the chattering class gets it right:

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=602
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« Reply #229 on: July 24, 2008, 09:02:14 PM »

***He disavowed his long-time mentor, pastor Jeremiah Wright, only when his extreme views could no longer be ignored — despite the fact that Wright is a supporter of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the black power Nation of Islam.***

Yes indeed.  And Jewish voters will vote for  him anyway - despite his close association with people who despise Jews.

Did you see him lay the wreath at the Holocaust memorial wearing a yamukah.  He appeared to hate doing it but went through the motions.  Placate the [stupid] Jews - wear their yami, lay the wreath, pretend he cares, proclaim Israel a miracle, and get this over with.  That was what I saw.

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« Reply #230 on: July 25, 2008, 12:53:49 AM »

My prediction:  He's going to lose. 

He realizes what won him the primaries will lose him the election and as he jettisons previously held positions while denying having done so, he loses credibility.  His speech yesterday sounded in part like "Bush Lite".  When he gets specific (e.g. Germans, you should send more troops to Afg.) it falls flat.

Here's an example from this morning's chattering class at the NY Times:

Marc
=======================================

Playing Innocent Abroad
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By DAVID BROOKS
Published: July 25, 2008
Radical optimism is America’s contribution to the world. The early settlers thought America’s founding would bring God’s kingdom to earth. John Adams thought America would emancipate “the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.” Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush preached their own gospels of world democracy.

Skip to next paragraph
 
David Brooks

Go to Columnist Page »

The Conversation
Times columnists David Brooks and Gail Collins discuss the 2008 presidential race.

All Conversations » Barack Obama is certainly a true American. In the first major foreign policy speech of his campaign, delivered in Chicago last year, he vowed a comprehensive initiative to “ensure that every child, everywhere, is taught to build and not to destroy.” America, he said, must promote dignity across the world, not just democracy. It must “lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good.”

In Berlin on Thursday, it was more of the same. Speaking before a vast throng (and a surprising number of Yankees hats), he vowed to help “remake the world.” He offered hope that a history-drenched European continent could “choose its own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday.” He envisioned “a new dawn in the Middle East.”

Obama’s tone was serious. But he pulled out his “this is our moment” rhetoric and offered visions of a world transformed. Obama speeches almost always have the same narrative arc. Some problem threatens. The odds are against the forces of righteousness. But then people of good faith unite and walls come tumbling down. Obama used the word “walls” 16 times in the Berlin speech, and in 11 of those cases, he was talking about walls coming down.

The Berlin blockade was thwarted because people came together. Apartheid ended because people came together and walls tumbled. Winning the cold war was the same: “People of the world,” Obama declared, “look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together and history proved there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.”

When I first heard this sort of radically optimistic speech in Iowa, I have to confess my American soul was stirred. It seemed like the overture for a new yet quintessentially American campaign.

But now it is more than half a year on, and the post-partisanship of Iowa has given way to the post-nationalism of Berlin, and it turns out that the vague overture is the entire symphony. The golden rhetoric impresses less, the evasion of hard choices strikes one more.

When John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan went to Berlin, their rhetoric soared, but their optimism was grounded in the reality of politics, conflict and hard choices. Kennedy didn’t dream of the universal brotherhood of man. He drew lines that reflected hard realities: “There are some who say, in Europe and elsewhere, we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin.” Reagan didn’t call for a kumbaya moment. He cited tough policies that sparked harsh political disagreements — the deployment of U.S. missiles in response to the Soviet SS-20s — but still worked.

In Berlin, Obama made exactly one point with which it was possible to disagree. In the best paragraph of the speech, Obama called on Germans to send more troops to Afghanistan.

The argument will probably fall on deaf ears. The vast majority of Germans oppose that policy. But at least Obama made an argument.

Much of the rest of the speech fed the illusion that we could solve our problems if only people mystically come together. We should help Israelis and Palestinians unite. We should unite to prevent genocide in Darfur. We should unite so the Iranians won’t develop nukes. Or as Obama put it: “The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.”

The great illusion of the 1990s was that we were entering an era of global convergence in which politics and power didn’t matter. What Obama offered in Berlin flowed right out of this mind-set. This was the end of history on acid.

Since then, autocracies have arisen, the competition for resources has grown fiercer, Russia has clamped down, Iran is on the march. It will take politics and power to address these challenges, the two factors that dare not speak their name in Obama’s lofty peroration.

The odd thing is that Obama doesn’t really think this way. When he gets down to specific cases, he can be hard-headed. Last year, he spoke about his affinity for Reinhold Niebuhr, and their shared awareness that history is tragic and ironic and every political choice is tainted in some way.

But he has grown accustomed to putting on this sort of saccharine show for the rock concert masses, and in Berlin his act jumped the shark. His words drift far from reality, and not only when talking about the Senate Banking Committee. His Berlin Victory Column treacle would have made Niebuhr sick to his stomach.

Obama has benefited from a week of good images. But substantively, optimism without reality isn’t eloquence. It’s just Disney.

Paul Krugman is off today.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 07:22:38 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #231 on: July 26, 2008, 12:52:07 AM »

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/gerard_baker/article4392846.ece
July 25, 2008

He ventured forth to bring light to the world
The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers
Gerard Baker
And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.

Background
Obama fears the Blair effect as tour continues
The Europhiles are not the future, Mr Obama
The Bugle - Barack Obama is coming to Europe!
Our leaders go after some Obama magic
And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world.

He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the

Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.

And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.

From there he went forth to Mesopotamia where he was received by the great ruler al-Maliki, and al-Maliki spake unto him and blessed his Sixteen Month Troop Withdrawal Plan even as the imperial warrior Petraeus tried to destroy it.

And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child's very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.

And the Persians, who saw all this and were greatly fearful, longed to speak with the Child and saw that the Child was the bringer of peace. At the mention of his name they quickly laid aside their intrigues and beat their uranium swords into civil nuclear energy ploughshares.

From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.

In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.

As word spread throughout the land about the Child's wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.

And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child's journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.

The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.

And there were other wonderful signs. In the city of the Street at the Wall, spreads on interbank interest rates dropped like manna from Heaven and rates on credit default swaps fell to the ground as dead birds from the almond tree, and the people who had lived in foreclosure were able to borrow again.

Black gold gushed from the ground at prices well below $140 per barrel. In hospitals across the land the sick were cured even though they were uninsured. And all because the Child had pronounced it.

And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.

Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length.

But when he had finished speaking his disciples told him the crowd was hungry, for they had had nothing to eat all the hours they had waited for him.

And so the Child told his disciples to fetch some food but all they had was five loaves and a couple of frankfurters. So he took the bread and the frankfurters and blessed them and told his disciples to feed the multitudes. And when all had eaten their fill, the scraps filled twelve baskets.

Thence he travelled west to Mount Sarkozy. Even the beauteous Princess Carla of the tribe of the Bruni was struck by awe and she was great in love with the Child, but he was tempted not.

On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.

And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”
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« Reply #232 on: July 27, 2008, 10:43:29 AM »





July 25, 2008, 7:45 a.m.

It’s America, Obama
A modest dissent to the citizen of the world.

By Victor Davis Hanson

What disturbed me about Barack Obama's Berlin speech were some reoccurring utopian assumptions about cause and effect — namely, that bad things happen almost as if by accident, and are to be addressed by faceless, universal forces of good will.

Unlike Obama, I would not speak to anyone as “a fellow citizen of the world,” but only as an ordinary American who wishes to do his best for the world, but with a much-appreciated American identity, and rather less with a commonality indistinguishable from those poor souls trapped in the Sudan, North Korea, Cuba, or Iran. Take away all particular national identity and we are empty shells mouthing mere platitudes, who believe in little and commit to even less. In this regard, postmodern, post-national Europe is not quite the ideal, but a warning of how good intentions can run amuck. Ask the dead of Srebrenica, or the ostracized Danish cartoonists, or the archbishop of Canterbury with his supposed concern for transcendent universal human rights.

With all due respect, I also don't believe the world did anything to save Berlin, just as it did nothing to save the Rwandans or the Iraqis under Saddam — or will do anything for those of Darfur; it was only the U.S. Air Force that risked war to feed the helpless of Berlin as it saved the Muslims of the Balkans. And I don't think we have much to do in America with creating a world in which “famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.” Bad, often evil, autocratic governments abroad cause hunger, often despite rich natural landscapes; and nature, in tragic fashion, not “the carbon we send into atmosphere,” causes “terrible storms,” just as it has and will for millennia.

Perhaps conflict-resolution theory posits there are no villains, only misunderstandings; but I think military history suggests that culpability exists — and is not merely hopelessly relative or just in the eye of the beholder. So despite Obama’s soaring moral rhetoric, I am troubled by his historical revisionism that, “The two superpowers that faced each other across the wall of this city came too close too often to destroying all we have built and all that we love.”

I would beg to differ again, and suggest instead that a mass-murdering Soviet tyranny came close to destroying the European continent (as it had, in fact, wiped out millions of its own people) and much beyond as well — and was checked only by an often lone and caricatured US superpower and its nuclear deterrence. When the Soviet Union collapsed, there was no danger to the world from American nuclear weapons “destroying all we have built” — while the inverse would not have been true, had nuclear and totalitarian communism prevailed. We sleep too lightly tonight not because democratic Israel has obtained nuclear weapons, but because a frightening Iran just might.

When Obama shouts,

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?
it is the world, not the U.S., that needs to listen most. In this regard I would have preferred Sen. Obama of mixed ancestry to have begun with “In the recent tradition of African-American Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice,” rather than the less factual, “I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city.”

I want also to shout back that the United States does stand for the rule of law, as even the killers of Guantanamo realize with their present redress of grievances, access to complex jurisprudence, and humane treatment — all in a measure beyond what such terrorists would receive anywhere else. It is the United States that takes in more immigrants than does any country in the world, and thus is the prime destination of those who flee the miseries of this often wretched globe.

American immigration policies are humane, not only in easy comparison to the savagery shown the “other” in Africa or the Middle East, but fair and compassionate in comparison to what we see presently accorded aliens in Mexico, France, and, yes, Germany. Again, in all this fuzziness — this sermonizing in condescending fashion reminiscent at times of the Pennsylvania remonstration — there is the whiff of American culpability, but certainly not much of a nod to American exceptionalism. Politicians characteristically say to applauding audiences abroad what they wish to hear. True statesmen often do not.

In terms of foreign affairs, I think Americans will finally come to vote for a candidate, who with goodwill, a lot of humility, and a little grace, can persuade the world that universal moral progress, freedom, and material prosperity best advance under the aegis of free markets, constitutional government, and individual freedom, rather than for someone who seems to think, in naïve fashion, that these are necessarily shared and natural human practices, or are presently in force outside the West — or will arise due to dialogue or international good intentions.

 — Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTAzZWIwOWYzMTg1YzkyOTllODM2YmU0OTdjZGVhNjg=
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« Reply #233 on: July 29, 2008, 06:02:05 AM »

World Citizen Obama   
By Frank J Gaffney Jr.
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s single most illuminating statement in the course of a just-completed overseas tour was his self-description during the stop in Berlin as a “citizen of the world.”  Widely interpreted as nothing more than an innocuous expression of solidarity with his adoring, post-nationalist hosts, this declaration is actually just the latest indication that Senator Obama embraces a vision of his own country and its role in the world that should be exceedingly worrisome to America’s citizenry.
The appellation “Citizen” has a checkered past.  French revolutionaries used it  first to distinguish the common man from the reviled aristocracy, then to enforce their reign of terror on both.  Orson Welles entitled his classic film modeled on the life of William Randolph Hearst Citizen Kane – depicting an unscrupulous demagogue who, despite his privileged background, nearly obtained high elective office on a populist platform.

Now Citizen Obama uses a turn of phrase with no less troubling overtones.  The notion of world citizenship has become a staple of transnationalists who seek to subordinate national sovereignty and constitutional arrangements to a higher power.  They are working to replace, for example, our directly elected representatives operating in a carefully constructed system of checks-and-balances, with rule by unaccountable elites in the form of international bureaucracies, judiciaries and even so-called “norms.”

Citizens of the world can have their rights circumscribed or even eliminated without their consent.  For instance, in March the Organization of the Islamic Conference – what amounts to a Muslim mafia organization – demanded that the UN Human Rights Council (dominated by the OIC’s members) amend the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The effect was to alter the foundational freedom of expression so as to prohibit speech that offends adherents to Islam.

World citizens embrace the idea that the United Nations and other multinational organizations are imbued with a moral authority not found in nation-states like ours.  When he was the Democratic Party standard-bearer, Senator John Kerry famously described American foreign and defense policy as only being legitimate when it passed a “global test” – in other words, approval by the international community.

Today, the Democrats’ incipient nominee subscribes to the view that, as he put it in Berlin, “The burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together.”  Global citizenship amounts to code for subordinating American interests to our putative responsibilities as a member of the international community.  The former can be pursued only to the extent our fellow global citizens – or, more precisely, their unelected, unaccountable spokesmen in Turtle Bay, Geneva, The Hague or other seats of “world government” – approve.

To further such a subordination of American power, the transnationalists have long sought to enmesh the United States in a web of treaties and institutions.  These include: the World Trade Organization (which now routinely rules against U.S. companies and economic interests while giving a pass to Communist China’s); the International Criminal Court (which has just established an ominous precedent for U.S. officials by indicting the sitting – albeit opprobrious – president of Sudan); and the Law of the Sea Treaty (described by its admirers as a “constitution of the oceans,” it assigns unprecedented responsibilities for control of the oceans and even activities ashore to international organs).

Of course, the notion that there truly is such a thing as an “international community” is a conceit of the transnationalists.  In practice, decisions are made by majorities usually dominated by the world’s authoritarians – Russia, China, the so-called “non-aligned” of the developing world and, increasingly, the Islamist states.  The subordination of U.S. freedom of action, let alone national security, to such a world citizenry is a formula for disaster.

A riveting insight into this reality was provided a few months back when the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre addressed a meeting in New Orleans, the scene following Hurricane Katrina of the forceful disarmament of law-abiding U.S. citizens.  Mr. LaPierre showed a video which included a chilling statement from a senior UN official to the effect that, while she understood Americans were reluctant to part with their firearms, they had better get used to being “citizens of the world” just like everybody else.

For many in Sen. Obama’s audiences, references to “global citizenship” must sound about as benign as his mantra about promoting “change we can believe in.”  It all has a sort of Rodney King-like quality to it:  “Can’t we all just get along?”

In fact, the terminology Citizen Obama uses reveals an attachment to a radical transformation of not just our foreign policy but of the nature of our country itself.  The “change” he has in mind could prove fatal to our sovereignty and constitutional form of government.

Questions about the appropriate role of America in the world and how it conducts its relationships with foreign powers are, of course, essential topics in any presidential campaign.  That is particularly true at a moment when the United States finds itself engaged in a global war with a totalitarian ideology, Islamofascism, that has embedded itself in many allied countries and enjoys strong support from most of our foes.

It falls most immediately to Senator John McCain to highlight Citizen Obama’s radical answers to these questions and ultimately to U.S. voters to determine whether they want a global citizen in the White House or a president of, by and for the American people.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is the founder, president, and CEO of The Center for Security Policy. During the Reagan administration, Gaffney was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy, and a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Senator John Tower (R-Texas). He is a columnist for The Washington Times, Jewish World Review, and Townhall.com and has also contributed to The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, and Newsday.
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« Reply #234 on: July 29, 2008, 06:04:31 AM »

http://www.redstate.com/diaries/brianfaughnan/2008/jul/24/enthusiasm-for-obama-on-the-wane-2/

Sept/Oct is really when the polls start to matter.
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« Reply #235 on: July 29, 2008, 10:22:30 AM »

http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/07292008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/os_tour_de_farce_122049.htm

O'S TOUR DE FARCE
By AMIR TAHERI

July 29, 2008 --
TERMED a "learning" trip, Sen. Barack Obama's eight- day tour of eight nations in the Middle East and Europe turned out to be little more than a series of photo ops to enhance his international credentials.

"He looked like a man in a hurry," a source close to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said last week. "He was not interested in what we had to say."

Still, many Iraqis liked Obama's claim that the improved situation in Iraq owed to Iraqi efforts rather than the Gen. David Petraeus-led surge. In public and private comments, Obama tried to give the impression that the Iraqis would've achieved the same results even without the greater resources America has poured into the country since 2007.

In private, though, Iraqi officials admit that Obama's analysis is "way off the mark." Without the surge, the Sunni tribes wouldn't have switched sides to help flush out al Qaeda. And the strong US military presence enabled the new Iraqi army to defeat Iran-backed Shiite militias in Basra and Baghdad.

Nevertheless, in public at least, no Iraqi politician wants to appear more appreciative of American sacrifices than the man who may become the next US president.

Iraqis were most surprised by Obama's apparent readiness to throw away all the gains made in Iraq simply to prove that he'd been right in opposing the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein. "He gave us the impression that the last thing he wanted was for Iraq to look anything like a success for the United States," a senior Iraqi official told me. "As far as he is concerned, this is Bush's war and must end in lack of success, if not actual defeat."

Even so, Obama knows that most Americans believe they're still at war with an enemy prepared to use terror against them. So he can't do what his antiwar base wants - declare an end to the War on Terror and the start of a period of love and peace in which "citizens of the world" build bridges between civilizations.

That's why Obama is trying to adopt Afghanistan as "his" war. He claims that Bush's focus on Iraq has left Afghanistan an orphan in need of love and attention. Even though US military strategy is to enable America to fight two major wars simultaneously, Obama seems to believe that only one war is possible at a time.

But what does that mean practically?

Obama says he wants to shift two brigades (some of his advisers say two battalions) from Iraq to Afghanistan. But where did that magical figure come from? From NATO, which has been calling on its members to provide more troops since 2006.

NATO wants the added troops mainly to improve the position of its reserves in Afghanistan. The alliance doesn't face an actual shortage of combat units - it's merely facing a rotation schedule that obliges some units to stay in the field for up to six weeks longer than is normal for NATO armies.

Overall, NATO hopes that its members will have no difficulty providing the 5,000 more troops it needs for a "surge." So there's no need for the US to abandon Iraq in order to help Afghanistan.

The immediate effect of Obama's plan to abandon Iraq and send more troops to Afghanistan is to ease pressure on other NATO members to make a greater contribution. Even in Paris, some critics think that President Nicolas Sarkozy should postpone sending more troops until after the US presidential election. "If President Obama can provide all the manpower needed in Afghanistan, there is no need for us to commit more troops," said a Sarkozy security adviser.

Obama's move would suit Sarkozy fine because he's reducing the size of the French army and closing more than 80 garrisons. Other Europeans would also be pleased. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will soon face a difficult general election in which her main rivals will be calling for an end to "the Afghan adventure."

Today, with the sole exception of Spain (where the mildly anti-American Socialist Party is in power), pro-US parties govern Europe. These parties feel pressure from the Bush administration to translate their pro-American claims into actual support for the Afghanistan war effort. By promising to shoulder the burden, Obama is letting the European allies off the hook.

Obama doesn't seem to have noticed the European scene's subtleties. Despite his claim that he came to listen, he seems to have heard nothing of interest during his 10,000-mile trip.

Having announced his strategy before embarking on his "listening tour," he couldn't be expected to change his mind simply because facts on the ground offered a different picture.

In Paris, a friendly reporter asked the Illinois senator if there was anything that he'd heard or seen during his visit that might persuade him to alter any aspect of his polices. Obama's answer was clear: no.

Amir Taheri's next book, "The Persian Night: Iran Under the Khomeinist Revolution," is due out this fall.
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« Reply #236 on: July 29, 2008, 01:15:02 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-bolton26-2008jul26,0,4549608.story

One world? Obama's on a different planet
The senator's Berlin speech was radical and naive.
By John R. Bolton
July 26, 2008

SEN. BARACK OBAMA said in an interview the day after his Berlin speech that it "allowed me to send a message to the American people that the judgments I have made and the judgments I will make are ones that are going to result in them being safer."

If that is what the senator thought he was doing, he still has a lot to learn about both foreign policy and the views of the American people. Although well received in the Tiergarten, the Obama speech actually reveals an even more naive view of the world than we had previously been treated to in the United States. In addition, although most of the speech was
substantively as content-free as his other campaign pronouncements, when substance did slip in, it was truly radical, from an American perspective.

These troubling comments were not widely reported in the generally adulatory media coverage given the speech, but they nonetheless deserve intense scrutiny. It remains to be seen whether these glimpses into Obama's thinking will have any impact on the presidential campaign, but clearly they were not casual remarks. This speech, intended to generate the enormous publicity it in fact received, reflects his campaign's carefully calibrated political thinking. Accordingly, there should be no evading the implications of his statements. Consider just the following two examples.

First, urging greater U.S.-European cooperation, Obama said, "The burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together." Having earlier proclaimed himself "a fellow citizen of the world" with his German hosts, Obama explained that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Europe proved "that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."

Perhaps Obama needs a remedial course in Cold War history, but the Berlin Wall most certainly did not come down because "the world stood as one." The wall fell because of a decades-long, existential struggle against one of the greatest totalitarian ideologies mankind has ever faced. It was a struggle in which strong and determined U.S. leadership was constantly questioned, both in Europe and by substantial segments of the senator's own Democratic Party. In Germany in the later years of the Cold War, Ostpolitik -- "eastern politics," a policy of rapprochement rather than resistance -- continuously risked a split in the Western alliance and might have allowed communism to survive. The U.S. president who made the final successful assault on communism, Ronald Reagan, was derided by many in Europe as not very bright, too unilateralist and too provocative.

But there are larger implications to Obama's rediscovery of the "one world" concept, first announced in the U.S. by Wendell Willkie, the failed Republican 1940 presidential nominee, and subsequently buried by the Cold War's realities.

The successes Obama refers to in his speech -- the defeat of Nazism, the Berlin airlift and the collapse of communism -- were all gained by strong alliances defeating determined opponents of freedom, not by "one-worldism." Although the senator was trying to distinguish himself from perceptions of Bush administration policy within the Atlantic Alliance, he was in fact sketching out a post-alliance policy, perhaps one that would unfold in global organizations such as the United Nations. This is far-reaching indeed.

Second, Obama used the Berlin Wall metaphor to describe his foreign policy priorities as president: "The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down."

This is a confused, nearly incoherent compilation, to say the least, amalgamating tensions in the Atlantic Alliance with ancient historical conflicts. One hopes even Obama, inexperienced as he is, doesn't see all these "walls" as essentially the same in size and scope. But beyond the incoherence, there is a deeper problem, namely that "walls" exist not simply because of a lack of understanding about who is on the other side but because there are true differences in values and interests that lead to human conflict. The Berlin Wall itself was not built because of a failure of communication but because of the implacable hostility of communism toward freedom. The wall was a reflection of that reality, not an unfortunate mistake.

Tearing down the Berlin Wall was possible because one side -- our side -- defeated the other. Differences in levels of economic development, or the treatment of racial, immigration or religious questions, are not susceptible to the same analysis or solution. Even more basically, challenges to our very civilization, as the Cold War surely was, are not overcome by naively "tearing down walls" with our adversaries.

Throughout the Berlin speech, there were numerous policy pronouncements, all of them hazy and nonspecific, none of them new or different than what Obama has already said during the long American campaign. But the Berlin framework in which he wrapped these ideas for the first time is truly radical for a prospective American president. That he picked a foreign audience is perhaps not surprising, because they could be expected to welcome a less-assertive American view of its role in the world, at least at first glance. Even anti-American Europeans, however, are likely to regret a United States that sees itself as just one more nation in a "united" world.

The best we can hope for is that Obama's rhetoric was simply that, pandering to the audience before him, as politicians so often do. We shall see if this rhetoric follows him back to America, either because he continues to use it or because Sen. John McCain asks voters if this is really what they want from their next president.

John R. Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of "Surrender Is Not an Option."
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« Reply #237 on: July 30, 2008, 09:56:47 AM »

“Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.” —Benjamin Franklin
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« Reply #238 on: July 31, 2008, 11:43:45 AM »

Obama Takes His Own Law Exams. How did he do?
By Emily Bazelon
Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2008, at 7:02 PM ET
www.slate.com

Could this guy really be running for president? I asked myself this question about Barack Obama after reading his, at turns, quite angry memoir Dreams From My Father. I'm asking it again today after reading through the exams he gave when he was a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago—and in particular the model answers he wrote up for his own questions.

It's not that the book or the class materials scream fomenting liberal or fomenting anything. If they did, you'd have heard about it already. These writings are tempered and thoughtful and sophisticated and nuanced, as the law professors asked to comment on the exams point out on the Web site of the New York Times, which posted the exams. Obama either kept sharp or out-there views out of the classroom because he had an eye on his political future or because he wanted to make sure his students felt comfortable expressing opposing ideas. (For what it's worth, most of the professors I took classes from in law school did the same, at least in front of the lectern.)

But even more than his memoir, Obama's exam answers offer complex ruminations on some of the most contentious social and legal questions out there. Can a state pass a law barring doctors from treating unmarried couples for infertility, with a special slap at gay couples embedded in the statute? Can a city in which black students are failing open a special career academy for black boys?

Can a presidential candidate really afford to sail into these roiling waters, however skillfully? Obama gets away with it—if he does, come November—primarily because … law exams are hard! The questions are long fact patterns that branch out in all directions. The answers rely on tracking the facts through a series of doctrinal moves and countermoves—this Supreme Court case sends me north, but then this other one turns east, or is that ruling heading upside down? You can write a lot that's descriptive rather than proscriptive. As in, "The courts have never recognized unmarried persons as a 'suspect class.' "

At one point, Obama asks his students to sound off about their own policy views. But after asking whether the hypothetical "Ujamaa School" for black boys is "good public policy," he doesn't write out his own potentially enlightening model answer. Instead he retreats to finding it "interesting" that a slim majority of students came down on Ujamaa's side, "based on a justifiable skepticism in the prospect of truly integrated schools and an equally justified concern over the desperate condition of many inner city schools." Isn't it lucky that cagey politics is consistent with respectfully deferring to students' views?

More revealing, however, are passages in Obama's 1996 discussion about whether a lesbian couple could successfully challenge the constitutionality of his made-up "Preservation of Family Values Act," which would block the women from conceiving via in vitro fertilization. Obama writes of a "troubling" issue: "the Court's tendency, in cases since Roe, to embrace notions of 'tradition' as a means of curtailing the potential expansiveness of rights recognized under the Due Process Clause." Then he starts duking it out with Justice Antonin Scalia. As Chapman University law professor John Eastman points out in the NYT discussion, Obama calls Scalia's approach to defining the scope of substantive due process rights "cramped." And then he parries. Scalia would argue, he thinks, that the right to procreate applies only in the context of a "monogamous, heterosexual marriage." But how do you square that with the court's abortion jurisprudence and with Eiesenstadt v. Baird, the 1972 case that gave unmarried couples the right to have contraception? Scalia isn't just cramped; when Obama reads the justice against his colleagues, he also finds him to be wrong.

This mano a mano repeats in Obama's answer to a 1997 exam question about whether a state ban on cloning violates the constitutional rights of parents who want to clone their daughter, who is in a vegetative state, after turning off her life support. Obama channels Scalia here by pointing out that the justice might argue that cloning isn't even "procreation," according to the dictionary definition of that term. He goes on, "In the absence of any deeply rooted tradition, Scalia would argue," the Supreme Court should mind its own business and let the state ban stand. But whether a majority of the court would "embrace such a cramped reading"—that word of distaste again—Obama says, "is not entirely clear." In some ways, the argument for upholding the cloning law is stronger than the one for upholding the fertility-treatment ban in the earlier exam, because the science behind cloning is so much less certain than for in vitro and because there's no anti-gay impulse at issue. But Obama doesn't give Scalia an inch. The justice gets his due, and then he gets stuffed into the box for judges who talk loudly but don't carry a majority.

And then there's this flourish in Obama's model answer to his 1996 question: He picks up on a suggestion from some of his students "that courts do not use the tools of Equal Protection or substantive Due Process doctrine … to guide their analysis, but rather, use these labels to justify, after the fact, what are inescapably decisions based on policy calculation, ethical and political considerations, and the idiosyncratic values of particular justices." Here's another similar sentiment, "What is safe to say is that the views of particular justices on the desirability of rearing in [sic] children in homosexual households would play a big part in the decision."

Whoa. So here are the roots of Obama's statements that he will pick judges who have "heart" and "empathy" because he thinks that in a small but key set of cases, a judge must fall back on "his or her own perspectives, his ethics, his or her moral bearings." Obama is not a man, or a lawyer, who believes that at least in these hellishly difficult matters of constitutional interpretation, judges are truly guided by legal precedent, or abstract reasoning, or anything other than their gut and the outcome they prefer. This is not the way most politicians talk about the court. Certainly not John McCain. And it's not clear that Obama's candor about the role of the judicial gut is a political winner. "These are tricky questions," Obama confides to his law students at another point in his exam answers. No kidding.
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« Reply #239 on: July 31, 2008, 02:54:45 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/31/hope-and-change-obama-loses-eight-points-in-four-days/

**This gives me HOPE the polls will continue to CHANGE!**  evil
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« Reply #240 on: August 04, 2008, 08:53:52 AM »

What Is a 'Windfall' Profit?
August 4, 2008
The "windfall profits" tax is back, with Barack Obama stumping again to apply it to a handful of big oil companies. Which raises a few questions: What is a "windfall" profit anyway? How does it differ from your everyday, run of the mill profit? Is it some absolute number, a matter of return on equity or sales -- or does it merely depend on who earns it?

Enquiring entrepreneurs want to know. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama's "emergency" plan, announced on Friday, doesn't offer any clarity. To pay for "stimulus" checks of $1,000 for families and $500 for individuals, the Senator says government would take "a reasonable share" of oil company profits.

 
Mr. Obama didn't bother to define "reasonable," and neither did Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, when he recently declared that "The oil companies need to know that there is a limit on how much profit they can take in this economy." Really? This extraordinary redefinition of free-market success could use some parsing.

Take Exxon Mobil, which on Thursday reported the highest quarterly profit ever and is the main target of any "windfall" tax surcharge. Yet if its profits are at record highs, its tax bills are already at record highs too. Between 2003 and 2007, Exxon paid $64.7 billion in U.S. taxes, exceeding its after-tax U.S. earnings by more than $19 billion. That sounds like a government windfall to us, but perhaps we're missing some Obama-Durbin business subtlety.

Maybe they have in mind profit margins as a percentage of sales. Yet by that standard Exxon's profits don't seem so large. Exxon's profit margin stood at 10% for 2007, which is hardly out of line with the oil and gas industry average of 8.3%, or the 8.9% for U.S. manufacturing (excluding the sputtering auto makers).

If that's what constitutes windfall profits, most of corporate America would qualify. Take aerospace or machinery -- both 8.2% in 2007. Chemicals had an average margin of 12.7%. Computers: 13.7%. Electronics and appliances: 14.5%. Pharmaceuticals (18.4%) and beverages and tobacco (19.1%) round out the Census Bureau's industry rankings. The latter two double the returns of Big Oil, though of course government has already became a tacit shareholder in Big Tobacco through the various legal settlements that guarantee a revenue stream for years to come.

In a tax bill on oil earlier this summer, no fewer than 51 Senators voted to impose a 25% windfall tax on a U.S.-based oil company whose profits grew by more than 10% in a single year and wasn't investing enough in "renewable" energy. This suggests that a windfall is defined by profits growing too fast. No one knows where that 10% came from, besides political convenience. But if 10% is the new standard, the tech industry is going to have to rethink its growth arc. So will LG, the electronics company, which saw its profits grow by 505% in 2007. Abbott Laboratories hit 110%.

If Senator Obama is as exercised about "outrageous" profits as he says he is, he might also have to turn on a few liberal darlings. Oh, say, Berkshire Hathaway. Warren Buffett's outfit pulled in $11 billion last year, up 29% from 2006. Its profit margin -- if that's the relevant figure -- was 11.47%, which beats out the American oil majors.

Or consider Google, which earned a mere $4.2 billion but at a whopping 25.3% margin. Google earns far more from each of its sales dollars than does Exxon, but why doesn't Mr. Obama consider its advertising-search windfall worthy of special taxation?

The fun part about this game is anyone can play. Jim Johnson, formerly of Fannie Mae and formerly a political fixer for Mr. Obama, reaped a windfall before Fannie's multibillion-dollar accounting scandal. Bill Clinton took down as much as $15 million working as a rainmaker for billionaire financier Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Companies. This may be the very definition of "windfall."

General Electric profits by investing in the alternative energy technology that Mr. Obama says Congress should subsidize even more heavily than it already does. GE's profit margin in 2007 was 10.3%, about the same as profiteering Exxon's. Private-equity shops like Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, which recently hired Al Gore, also invest in alternative energy start-ups, though they keep their margins to themselves. We can safely assume their profits are lofty, much like those of George Soros's investment funds.

The point isn't that these folks (other than Mr. Clinton) have something to apologize for, or that these firms are somehow more "deserving" of windfall tax extortion than Big Oil. The point is that what constitutes an abnormal profit is entirely arbitrary. It is in the eye of the political beholder, who is usually looking to soak some unpopular business. In other words, a windfall is nothing more than a profit earned by a business that some politician dislikes. And a tax on that profit is merely a form of politically motivated expropriation.

It's what politicians do in Venezuela, not in a free country.

See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary
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« Reply #241 on: August 04, 2008, 10:52:56 PM »

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/08/04/oops-democrat-on-vp-shortlist-underscores-obamas-inexperience/

Self-inflicted wounds are the best!  evil
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« Reply #242 on: August 06, 2008, 09:54:52 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/08/06/obama-really-doesnt-like-a-debate/

Don't dare question his imperiousness.
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« Reply #243 on: August 07, 2008, 12:28:38 AM »

Obama's Muslim-Outreach Adviser Resigns

By GLENN R. SIMPSON and AMY CHOZICK

August 6, 2008; Page A4

The Muslim-outreach coordinator to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama has resigned amid questions about his involvement in an Islamic investment fund and various Islamic groups.

Mr. Asbahi said he did not want to distract Obama's campaign.
Chicago lawyer Mazen Asbahi, who was appointed volunteer national coordinator for Muslim American affairs by the Obama campaign on July 26, stepped down Monday after an Internet newsletter wrote about his brief stint on the fund's board, which also included a fundamentalist imam.
"Mr. Asbahi has informed the campaign that he no longer wishes to serve in his volunteer position, and we are in the process of searching for a new national Arab American and Muslim American outreach coordinator," spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.
A corporate lawyer at the firm of Schiff Hardin LLP, Mr. Asbahi tendered his resignation after he and the Obama campaign received emailed inquiries about his background from The Wall Street Journal. He did not respond to the email or a message left at his law office; the campaign released a letter in which Mr. Asbahi said he did not want to be a distraction.
The Obama campaign is trying to strike a balance between courting Muslim American voters and dispelling rumors intended by some to link the candidate to radical Islam. Sen. Obama is a Christian.
Until Mr. Asbahi joined the campaign, Sen. Obama did not have a Muslim-outreach coordinator and had relied on the Democratic National Committee's efforts. The campaign has long had its own outreach efforts to Catholic, evangelical Christian and Jewish voters. Some Muslim voters have complained about the disparity. An Obama aide says Mr. Asbahi was brought on in part to bridge that perceived gap and to reach out to Muslim communities in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, states seen as among the most competitive this fall.
"We need Muslim Americans to get excited about the Campaign, and there's a lot to get excited about!" Mr. Asbahi wrote in a statement posted on a blog when he was appointed. "Sure, there have been mis-steps," he added.
In 2000, Mr. Asbahi briefly served on the board of Allied Assets Advisors Fund, a Delaware-registered trust. Its other board members at the time included Jamal Said, the imam at a fundamentalist-controlled mosque in Illinois.

"I served on that board for only a few weeks before resigning as soon as I became aware of public allegations against another member of the board," Mr. Asbahi said in his resignation letter. "Since concerns have been raised about that brief time, I am stepping down...to avoid distracting from Barack Obama's message of change."
The eight-year-old connection between Mr. Asbahi and Mr. Said was raised last week by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, which is published by a Washington think tank and chronicles the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, a world-wide fundamentalist group based in Egypt. Other Web sites, some pro-Republican and others critical of fundamentalist Islam, also have reported on the background of Mr. Asbahi. He is a frequent speaker before several groups in the U.S. that scholars have associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Justice Department named Mr. Said an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fund-raisers, which ended in a mistrial. He has also been identified as a leading member of the group in news reports going back to 1993.
Mr. Said is the imam at the Bridgeview Mosque in Bridge-view, Ill., outside Chicago. He left the board of the Islamic fund in 2005, Securities and Exchange Commission filings state. A message left for Mr. Said at the mosque was not returned.

Allied Asset Advisors is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust. The trust, which is supported financially by the government of Saudi Arabia, holds title to many mosques in the U.S. and promotes a conservative brand of Islam compatible with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and also akin to the fundamentalist style predominant in Saudi Arabia. Allied executives did not respond to inquiries.
http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB121797906741214995.html?mod=special_page_campaig n2008_leftbox



Allied Asset Advisors is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust. The trust, which is supported financially by the government of Saudi Arabia, holds title to many mosques in the U.S. and promotes a conservative brand of Islam compatible with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and also akin to the fundamentalist style predominant in Saudi Arabia.



This is a big problem.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #244 on: August 15, 2008, 12:56:51 PM »

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's choice of the word "change" as his campaign's central slogan is not the product of focus-group studies, or the brainstorming sessions of his political consultants.

One of Obama's main inspirations was a man dedicated to revolutionary change that he was convinced "must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, nonchallenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future."

Saul Alinsky, circa 1946: Like Obama, he wanted "change."
Sen. Obama was trained by Chicago's Industrial Areas Foundation, founded in 1940 by the radical organizer Saul Alinsky. In the 1980s, Obama spent years as director of the Developing Communities Project, which operated using Alinsky's strategies, and was involved with two other Alinsky-oriented entities, Acorn and Project Vote.

On the Obama campaign Web site can be found a photo of him teaching in a University of Chicago classroom with "Power Analysis" and "Relationships Built on Self Interest" written on the blackboard — key terms utilized in the Alinsky method.

The far-left Alinsky had no time for liberalism or liberals, declaring that "a liberal is (someone) who puts his foot down firmly on thin air." He wanted nothing less than transformational radicalism. "America was begun by its radicals," he wrote. "America was built by its radicals. The hope and future of America lies with its radicals." And so, "This is the job for today's radical — to fan the embers of hopelessness into a flame to fight. To say, '. . . let us change it together!' "

Alinsky students ranged "from militant Indians to Chicanos to Puerto Ricans to blacks from all parts of the black power spectrum, from Panthers to radical philosophers, from a variety of campus activists, S.D.S. and others, to a priest who was joining a revolutionary party in South America."

Capitalism always was considered the enemy. "America's corporations are a spiritual slum," he wrote, "and their arrogance is the major threat to our future as a free society." Is it surprising that an Alinsky disciple such as Obama can promise so blithely to increase taxes on CEOs?

Obama calls his years as an Alinskyesque community organizer in Chicago "the best education I ever had, and where I learned the true meaning of my Christian faith." But as radicalism expert Richard Lawrence Poe has noted, "Camouflage is key to Alinsky-style organizing. In organizing coalitions of black churches in Chicago, Obama caught flak for not attending church himself. He became an instant churchgoer."

Indeed, Alinsky believed in sacrificing ethics and morals for the great cause. "Ethical standards must be elastic to stretch with the times," Alinsky wrote in his last book, "Rules for Radicals," adding that "all values are relative in a world of political relativity."

Published a year before Alinsky's death in 1972, "Rules for Radicals" includes a dedication in which he gives "an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical . . . who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer."

Alinsky's writings even explain what often seems like Obama's oversized ego. In New Hampshire in January, for example, the senator told an audience that "a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany . . . and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama."

It was a bizarre spectacle, but consider that Alinsky believed that "anyone who is working against the haves is always facing odds, and in many cases heavy odds. If he or she does not have that complete self-confidence (or call it ego) that he can win, then the battle is lost before it is even begun."

According to Alinsky, "Ego must be so all-pervading that the personality of the organizer is contagious, that it converts the people from despair to defiance, creating a mass ego."

Alinsky also readily admitted that he didn't trust the people themselves. "It is the schizophrenia of a free society that we outwardly espouse faith in the people but inwardly have strong doubts whether the people can be trusted," he wrote. "Seeking some meaning in life," the middle class, according to Alinsky, "turn to an extreme chauvinism and become defenders of the 'American' faith."

This is evocative of Obama's remark during the primaries that small-town Americans are "bitter" and "cling to guns or religion."

Obama is also following Alinsky's instructions to the hard left for attaining power in America. In the last chapter of "Rules for Radicals," titled "The Way Ahead," is found this declaration: "Activists and radicals, on and off our college campuses — people who are committed to change — must make a complete turnabout."

Alinsky noted that "our rebels have contemptuously rejected the values and way of life of the middle class. They have stigmatized it as materialistic, decadent, bourgeois, degenerate, imperialistic, war-mongering, brutalized and corrupt."

According to Alinsky, "They are right," but he cautioned his comrades that "the power and the people are in the big middle-class majority." Therefore, an effective radical activist "discards the rhetoric that always says 'pig' " in reference to police officers, plus other forms of disguise, "to radicalize parts of the middle class."

Obama's rhetorical window-dressing is easily recognizable as Alinskyesque camouflage. New annual spending of more than $340 billion, as estimated by the National Taxpayers Union, is merely a wish to "recast" the safety net woven by FDR and LBJ, as Obama describes it in his writings. The free market is disparaged as a "winner-take-all" economy. Big tax increases masquerade as "restoring fairness to the economy."

Barack Obama's "Change We Can Believe In" is simply socialism — imposed by stratagem because Americans have never believed in Marxist economics. Saul Alinsky understood this, and his ghost is alive and well — and threatening to haunt the White House.
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« Reply #245 on: August 20, 2008, 09:11:09 AM »

Talk About Audacity!
By JAMES TARANTO
August 19, 2008

Speaking before the Veterans of Foreign Wars this morning, Barack Obama delivered an amazing show of chutzpah. John McCain had addressed the VFW yesterday, and as the Associated Press reports, he was predictably critical of Obama:

McCain . . . said Obama "tried to legislate failure" in the Iraq war and had put his ambition to be president above the interests of the United States. He said the Illinois senator did this by pushing for a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq and by voting in the Senate against a major appropriations bill to help fund the troop increase.
Here is Obama's reply:

"One of the things that we have to change in this country is the idea that people can't disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism. I have never suggested that Sen. McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition. I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America's national interest. Now, it's time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same. . . ."
Of course, if Obama were to accuse McCain of picking his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition, everyone would laugh, because it obviously is not true. By contrast, there is quite a bit of evidence that Obama has placed political expediency above national security (for an excellent example, see our item yesterday on his shifting explanations for his original opposition to the liberation of Iraq).

In politics one often hears the charge of hypocrisy: My opponent criticizes me for X, but he has done Y, which is just as bad or worse. Obama's argument here, though, is roughly opposite in form. He concedes that McCain is above reproach on this particular subject and therefore demands that McCain treat him as if he were beyond reproach. Obama's acknowledgment of a McCain virtue is well and good, but it does not mitigate or excuse his own shortcoming.
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« Reply #246 on: August 26, 2008, 07:33:31 AM »


Barack Obama through Muslim Eyes
by Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com
August 25, 2008

How do Muslims see Barack Hussein Obama? They have three choices: either as he presents himself – someone who has "never been a Muslim" and has "always been a Christian"; or as a fellow Muslim; or as an apostate from Islam.

Reports suggests that while Americans generally view the Democratic candidate having had no religion before converting at Reverend Jeremiah Wrights's hands at age 27, Muslims the world over rarely see him as Christian but usually as either Muslim or ex-Muslim.

Lee Smith of the Hudson Institute explains why: "Barack Obama's father was Muslim and therefore, according to Islamic law, so is the candidate. In spite of the Quranic verses explaining that there is no compulsion in religion, a Muslim child takes the religion of his or her father. … for Muslims around the world, non-American Muslims at any rate, they can only ever see Barack Hussein Obama as a Muslim." In addition, his school record from Indonesia lists him as a Muslim

Thus, an Egyptian newspaper, Al-Masri al-Youm, refers to his "Muslim origins." Libyan ruler Mu‘ammar al-Qaddafi referred to Obama as "a Muslim" and a person with an "African and Islamic identity." One Al-Jazeera analysis calls him a "non-Christian man," a second refers to his "Muslim Kenyan" father, and a third, by Naseem Jamali, notes that "Obama may not want to be counted as a Muslim but Muslims are eager to count him as one of their own."
A conversation in Beirut, quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, captures the puzzlement. "He has to be good for Arabs because he is a Muslim," observed a grocer. "He's not a Muslim, he's a Christian," replied a customer. Retorted the grocer: "He can't be a Christian. His middle name is Hussein." Arabic discussions of Obama sometimes mention his middle name as a code, with no further comment needed.


"The symbolism of a major American presidential candidate with the middle name of Hussein, who went to elementary school in Indonesia," reports Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Brookings Institution from a U.S.-Muslim conference in Qatar, "that certainly speaks to Muslims abroad." Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times found that Egyptians "don't really understand Obama's family tree, but what they do know is that if America — despite being attacked by Muslim militants on 9/11 — were to elect as its president some guy with the middle name ‘Hussein,' it would mark a sea change in America-Muslim world relations."

Some American Muslim leaders also perceive Obama as Muslim. The president of the Islamic Society of North America, Sayyid M. Syeed, told Muslims at a conference in Houston that whether Obama wins or loses, his candidacy will reinforce that Muslim children can "become the presidents of this country." The Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan called Obama "the hope of the entire world" and compared him to his religion's founder, Fard Muhammad.

But this excitement also has a dark side – suspicions that Obama is a traitor to his birth religion, an apostate (murtadd) from Islam. Al-Qaeda has prominently featured Obama's stating "I am not a Muslim" and one analyst, Shireen K. Burki of the University of Mary Washington, sees Obama as "bin Laden's dream candidate." Should he become U.S. commander in chief, she believes, Al-Qaeda would likely "exploit his background to argue that an apostate is leading the global war on terror … to galvanize sympathizers into action."

Mainstream Muslims tend to tiptoe around this topic. An Egyptian supporter of Obama, Yasser Khalil, reports that many Muslims react "with bewilderment and curiosity" when Obama is described as a Muslim apostate; Josie Delap and Robert Lane Greene of the Economist even claim that the Obama-as-apostate theme "has been notably absent" among Arabic-language columnists and editorialists.

That latter claim is inaccurate, for the topic is indeed discussed. At least one Arabic-language newspaper published Burki's article. Kuwait's Al-Watan referred to Obama as "a born Muslim, an apostate, a convert to Christianity." Writing in the Arab Times, Syrian liberal Nidal Na‘isa repeatedly called Obama an "apostate Muslim."

In sum, Muslims puzzle over Obama's present religious status. They resist his self-identification as a Christian while they assume a baby born to a Muslim father and named "Hussein" began life a Muslim. Should Obama become president, differences in Muslim and American views of religious affiliation will create problems.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aug. 25, 2008 update: This is the fourth in a series of articles I have published on Barack Obama's ties to Islam. The prior three:

"Was Barack Obama a Muslim?" FrontPageMag.com, December 24, 2007. Raises questions about Obama's childhood religion and considers some implications.

"Confirmed: Barack Obama Practiced Islam." FrontPageMag.com, January 7, 2008. Replies to a critique of the prevous article by "Media Matters for America."

"Barack Obama's Muslim Childhood." Jerusalem Post, May 1, 2008. Pulls together existing information on Obama's childhood religion.

http://www.danielpipes.org/article_p...5&v=1151079121
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« Reply #247 on: August 26, 2008, 09:06:19 AM »

I notice that often on this forum "Front Page Magazine" is quoted (cut and pasted).  Albeit interesting, it is hardly the pinnacle of the sources available in the search for impartial and unbiased truth.  Rather it is an extreme right wing biased magazine who definitely seems to only have a radical conservative agenda. 

As for the issue of faith, IF Obama was or is Muslim, why is that, by itself, good or bad?  IF Obama was or is a Jew, why is that good or bad?  IF Obama was or is a Christian, why is that good or bad?  Fine men and women, peace seeking men and women exist in all of these faiths.  Evil exists in all faiths.  As does good.  Our country was founded on the principle of freedom of religion.  We are not a "Christian" Nation, but a free nation - you can choose your religion without worry.  That is the cornerstone of our country.  We preach tolerance; why promote articles of religious hate?

I have read many inflammatory and seemingly hateful articles on Obama being possibly Muslim.  Does that seem right?  If he was a Jew would such articles be tolerated?  I hope not.  Yet Romney is being criticized for being Mormon.  Again, is that right?  I mean if you don't like the man, fine, yet I know many fine Mormons, Jews, Muslims, et al.  What's the problem?  Kennedy had to go through this because he was Catholic - I had hoped/thought America was finally past such obvious bigotry.  IF you think Obama is/was a Muslim so what?  IF you like him, like what he says and the direction he suggests, vote for him.  IF not, don't, vote for McCain, another person, or simply abstain.  But if a Buddist or Hindu was running, and you liked them, you should vote for them.  Don't base your decision on the color of their skin or their own belief in their God.  That is not the American way.

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SB_Mig
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« Reply #248 on: August 26, 2008, 11:08:26 AM »

Quote
Don't base your decision on the color of their skin or their own belief in their God.  That is not the American way.

I'd love to believe that, but I don't think we're quite there yet.

Remember this gem?

http://freakgirl.com/blog/ive-had-enough-of-hussein/10741
« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 11:15:43 AM by SB_Mig » Logged
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« Reply #249 on: August 26, 2008, 07:26:11 PM »

I notice that often on this forum "Front Page Magazine" is quoted (cut and pasted).  Albeit interesting, it is hardly the pinnacle of the sources available in the search for impartial and unbiased truth.  Rather it is an extreme right wing biased magazine who definitely seems to only have a radical conservative agenda. 

**Do me a favor and define what "radical conservatism" is to you.**

As for the issue of faith, IF Obama was or is Muslim, why is that, by itself, good or bad?  IF Obama was or is a Jew, why is that good or bad?  IF Obama was or is a Christian, why is that good or bad?  Fine men and women, peace seeking men and women exist in all of these faiths.  Evil exists in all faiths.  As does good. 

**Were you this upset when Mitt Romney's mormonism was getting skewered from the left? You'll note that christianity's core theology allowed for the evolution of secular government and freedom of religion as a right, concepts not found in islam.**



Our country was founded on the principle of freedom of religion.  We are not a "Christian" Nation, but a free nation - you can choose your religion without worry.  That is the cornerstone of our country.  We preach tolerance; why promote articles of religious hate?

**Where in the article do you see religious hate? It's an examination of the muslim perception of Obama's "muslim" identity.**

I have read many inflammatory and seemingly hateful articles on Obama being possibly Muslim.  Does that seem right? 

**Post-9/11, the US population has taken a hard look at islam and amazingly, it's not very popular.  rolleyes
In addition, I doubt very much that Obama is a practicing muslim, he's been less than honest in addressing the topic. I personally find Obama's adult choice in a racist version of christianity much more disturbing than any exposure to islam he may have as a child.**


 If he was a Jew would such articles be tolerated? 

**What's the current count on Americans murdered by jews motivated by a vision of the world dominated by Judaism ?**

I hope not.  Yet Romney is being criticized for being Mormon.  Again, is that right?  I mean if you don't like the man, fine, yet I know many fine Mormons, Jews, Muslims, et al.  What's the problem?  Kennedy had to go through this because he was Catholic - I had hoped/thought America was finally past such obvious bigotry.  IF you think Obama is/was a Muslim so what? 

**My objection is Obama's lack of candor on the subject. As a child, no one gets to choose their religion.**


IF you like him, like what he says and the direction he suggests, vote for him.  IF not, don't, vote for McCain, another person, or simply abstain.  But if a Buddist or Hindu was running, and you liked them, you should vote for them.  Don't base your decision on the color of their skin or their own belief in their God.  That is not the American way.


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