Citizens Of The World

In response to Byron York's peeve at an Obama phrasing ("The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil"), Meteor Blades writes:

York's take on this not only begrudges other countries their loss, but also renders that loss a provincial, American loss. Obama is attempting, years after the fact, to remind the world of the opposite, of the universal horror of that day and the way that people from every corner of the globe - from France to Iran - stood in solidarity with New York and Washington on September 11. And, of course, by implication, how attitudes like York's within the administration squandered that sense of solidarity.

Meteor Blades and Obama speak for me here. More . .

Obama was invoking this type of thinking from the front page of Le Monde on September 12, 2001:

We Are All Americans

Jean-Marie Colombani, Le Monde (liberal), Paris, France, Sept. 12, 2001.

In this tragic moment, when words seem so inadequate to express the shock people feel, the first thing that comes to mind is this: We are all Americans! We are all New Yorkers, just as surely as John F. Kennedy declared himself to be a Berliner in 1962 when he visited Berlin. Indeed, just as in the gravest moments of our own history, how can we not feel profound solidarity with those people, that country, the United States, to whom we are so close and to whom we owe our freedom, and therefore our solidarity? How can we not be struck at the same time by this observation: The new century has come a long way.

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    If York's numbers are accurate (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 06:55:10 PM EST
    then fewer than 1,000 people died in 9/11 who were from countries other than the U.S. That makes his statement that the terrorists killed "thousands from all over the globe on American soil" factually incorrect.

    Maybe he meant to say what you and Meteor Blades think he did, but that's not what he did say. If that was in the prepared remarks, someone got it wrong.

    Is the US not on the Globe now? (5.00 / 8) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:00:58 PM EST
    Sorry, the mistake belongs to you and York.

    And York's point is indeed  incredibly provincial and PRECISELY the type of thinking that has harmed the US for the past 7 years.

    When NATO offered to help the US in Afghanistan, invoking the clause that made the attack on the US and attack on fellow NATO members, the bush Administration rejected the idea that we were in it together.

    I think we know what York meant and indeed we have seen the York attitude - in the Bush Administration.

    Obama got it exactly right and York, taking the Bush line, gets it exactly wrong.


    Well, on 9/11 the U.S. was targeted (none / 0) (#39)
    by Roz on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:38:16 AM EST
    not the global community. Perhaps that's York's point.

    I don't read York's stuff, so I can't place this in some larger context as you do. Otherwise I think you are reading too much into his comment.

    It sounds like York doesn't like Obama's formulation because it tends to understate the extent to which terrorists are a specific threat to the United States. That's not necessarily provincial. It could be a sense of realism. I remember much talk after 9/11 about how terrorism was no longer something that happened "over there," and how Americans were no longer invulnerable now that terrorism had struck our own shores. This gets into debates on how to deal with that threat. Minds like York want everyone to acknowledge the paradigm shift.


    Well (5.00 / 6) (#40)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:52:24 AM EST
    when you're in Europe, trying to encourage European cooperation in the fight against terrorism, it strikes me that it's probably the wrong time to emphasize the extent to which terrorism is a specific threat to America as opposed to a threat to the free world as a whole.

    York is just trying to score a cheap partisan point here.  There is plainly not one soul in America who will suddenly start feeling like it's less urgent to battle terrorism because Barack Obama brought up the fact that some non-Americans were killed on 9/11.  Everyone knows 9/11 happened here.  We don't need to deny the existence of the non-Americans who were killed in order to drive the point home.


    specific threat to the US? (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:14:19 AM EST
    The terrorists are a lot closer to Europe.  In fact many of them live in Europe.  I'm guessing that folks in Madrid or London don't think terrorists are  focused on just the US.  It's the entire "West" they are angry at.  And that includes Europe.

    Prior to 9/11 (none / 0) (#60)
    by Roz on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:40:02 AM EST
    Americans tended to think terrorism happened "over there" (i.e. Europe and Israel), and as a result I think we became complacent about taking it seriously, despite plenty of warning signs.

    My point is that York's taking issue with Obama's formulation may not be a reflection of his personal provincialism as much as it is a reflection of his irritiation that Americans don't take the threat of terrorism as seriously as he would like or that they quickly forget the enormity of what happened on 9/11. My guess is that he thinks Obama's formulation downplays the the threat of terrorism to the U.S. and the impact 9/11 had on Americans.

    I don't have an issue with what Obama said, but I also don't begrudge people who want to point out that the United States was attacked on 9/11/01.


    well, THAT's a problem--seriously (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by kempis on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:03:44 PM EST
    If there are any statements in that speech that can be pounced on as factual inaccuracies, then Obama and his staff are not as smart as I thought. (I also wondered about the version of his father's biography that he told: a goat-herder who wanted to go to college in America so he wrote letters until he was accepted? Did it really happen like that?)

    Yeh, about the goat herder thang again (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Cream City on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:05:18 AM EST
    it's really getting hard to track.  Today, Obama said it was his father who herded goats.  But sometimes the goat herder is Obama's grandfather.  Today, he said gramps was a cook and servant.  However, Obama's book says that his grandfather was a wealthy farmer -- one who would have others do the herding -- and his son, Obama's father, grew up in privilege, was a student in Kenya until coming here as a student, etc.

    With the confusion earlier about his uncle, too -- I gotta wonder what is going on with the speechwriters.  If Obama can't keep it all straight, okay.  It happens, with all the fantabulous tales told in families.  But the speechwriters are paid to keep it straight and script it correctly.  Then again, Obama pores over his speeches in prep, we're told.  So. . . .

    Anyway, other than the facts, ma'am, looks like it was a good show.  He's got the German vote, if he wants to run there. :-)


    Of course he comes from a wealthy (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by MarkL on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:09:27 AM EST
    family. No poor Kenyan would have been going to schools in the West in the 50s and 60s.

    More Obama mystery? (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by Grace on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:06:24 AM EST
    Where does it end?  

    Please let him run there!!! (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Shainzona on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:28:49 AM EST
    All is made clear in a New Times Testament (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by andrys on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:29:54 AM EST
    Not to be missed!

    I'll say that his appearance in Berlin was audacious and they did manage to pull it off well, but it all really teeters on the edge.


    Made my day -- such fun wordsmithing (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Cream City on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:47:34 AM EST
    as only a Brit can do with the language and Judeo-Christian culture, not to mention pop culture.

    Would an American journalist dare to do this?  They might be smote down by the Tribe of Media!


    Captured these 'historical' moments perfectly (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:09:18 AM EST
    Just hilarious.

    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. [...]

    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.

    No mention in article of the Obama Pestilence (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01:02:47 PM EST
    But it's overrunning Talk Left

    True that one can be both but it (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:28:44 AM EST
    doesn't address the fact that Obama has contradicted himself by saying in his book that his father grew up privileged in Kenya, and then later asserting otherwise in ampaign speeches.

    Of course. But that's not the point (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Cream City on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01:19:19 PM EST
    about the contradictory accounts.  Frankly, my dear, I don't give a dam (:-) about goats.  I do wonder about people who can't get their own stories straight -- especially when they have admitted that their "autobiographies" were fictionalized.

    But nice try at deflecting from the point.  Cheer on!  Rah rah!


    Whether his Father (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 12:22:06 PM EST
    really was a goat herder. Exactly what this threads about. His Father also was a real man of the people who liked to go 'ashootin' with his Uncle, slam down brewskis in blue collar bars and even ducked sniper fire to bring comfort to those in war zones. Cuz whatever these people tell us is the gospel or,if not, "misspeaking". Isnt that how it works?

    I noticed the statement (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by BernieO on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 07:10:01 AM EST
    and it seemed off to me. It clearly implies that thousands of non-Americans were killed on 9-11. I understand why he would want to include that but there were better, more accurate ways of saying it. How about something like "among the thousands killed were hundreds of citizens from nations around the world" or some such thing? It is not like  he made the statement off the cuff, it was part of a carefully prepared speech. (Of course his head speechwriter, Jon Favreau, is only 26 years old.....)Why open yourself up like that? It's not like the Germans don't know better. Many of them know more about our politics, history, etc. than we do, so they are not as easily fooled as so many Americans are.

    Obama repeatedly tailors his speeches to target audiences by using misleading statements (or as in the case of his supposed opposition to FISA, false ones.) Apparently Obama's statement to AIPAC that "Jerusalem should remain the capital of Israel" was also not a slip of the tongue even though he told Fareed Zakaria:
     "You know, the truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech.." (7/12).Note the "we".
    However, he has used this formulations before when responding to a questionnaire from the American Jewish Committee:
    "Jerusalem will remain Israel's capital, and no one should want or expect it to be re-divided."

    Obama has bobbed and weaved on this several times. He tells Jewish groups that Jerusalem is the capital and should remain undivided, which is not only factually inaccurate, but also undercuts  the US negotiating position, as well as Clinton's position which was that the Arab part of Jerusalem should be the Palestinian capital.  When pressed, he tells Katie Couric(who, btw, did a hard-hitting interview)that he has not backtracked, it was just that his speech to AIPAC was poorly phrased and continued:

    "But my policy hasn't changed, and it's been very consistent.  It's the same policy that Bill Clinton has put forward, and that says that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, that we shouldn't divide it by barbed wire, but that, ultimately that is ... a final status issue that has to be resolved between the Palestinians and the Israelis."

    Same as Bill Clinton's, but no mention of the Arab half being the Palestinian position, although he seems to implie it.

    He told Zakaria that by "undivided" he means that Jerusalem should not have a barbed wire running through it.

    Folks, that is some serious - and dangerous - bamboozling. And it shows that Obama and his campaign clearly believe he can get away with saying one thing to a target audience and something different to the rest of us. Sadly, so far they are right. But how can he be an honest broker when he has already shown that you cannot take what he says at face value?


    We are OT here (none / 0) (#53)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:34:10 AM EST
    but the US recognizes Jersualem as the capital of Israel.  It is not some kind of pandering, extremist statement to say so.

    The US recognizes Jerusalem (none / 0) (#86)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:03:49 AM EST
    as Israel's capital because AIPAC managed to squeeze   Congress hard enough to get the recognition. The official US policy on Jerusalem is that its status is to be determined by final negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. It has been the US policy for decades. An "undivided Jerusalem" is in fact a further shameless pander to AIPAC.

    Yes (none / 0) (#115)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:10:38 PM EST
    "Undivided" is basically a pander.  Calling Jerusalem the capital is not.  

    There is no error (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:05:48 PM EST
    unless you posit that the United States is not part of the world.

    I just re-read York's statement (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kempis on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:10:13 PM EST
    and I tend to agree with you. It's nit-picking. Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say that "among the thousands killed in the WTC were people from all over the globe" or something like that. But I don't think this is a huge factual error, just an idea worded in such a way that someone like York can stick his toe in the door and distract some from the message.

    I disagree in this sense (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:12:53 PM EST
    It is a reflection of American provincialism that is completely the hallmark of the Bush Administration. It was a revealing moment, about Obama's vision of the War on Terror and York's Bushist view of it.

    I chose to write about it not because of the nitpick - but because what the nitpick represents and how it highlights the difference between the Bush/GOP view of these issues and the Obama/Dem view of them.

    York's nitpick is incredibly revealing.


    Provincialism or Chauvinism? (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by santarita on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 08:24:21 PM EST
    I agree that Obama was trying to convey the approach of "we're all in this together, so we need to work together" as opposed to what Bush has been conveying.  I think chauvinism may be a better word that provincialism.  Not only is there narrow mindedness and tunnel vision that comes from too little understanding of history and of other cultures (which I think of when I think of provincialism) but there is also a chauvinism in that Bush and his colleagues  have acted  as if the US is the center of the world and that every event in the world must be seen primarily and often only in the context of how it affects the US.  

    Obama will have his work cut out for him if he really does want to change the Bush approach.  Reminding Germans of what the US did for the Berliners with the Berlin airlift is good and it was equally good that he acknowledged that the Germans did what they could as well.  


    Rhetorical provincialism ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 09:47:00 PM EST
    in reality Bush and company are lovey-dovey with all manner of foreign elites, Saudi royal family being the most obvious example.

    York's Point (none / 0) (#71)
    by kaleidescope on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:15:40 AM EST
    Is just part of a time honored Republican campaign tactic of "death by a thousand cuts", which means you just keep throwing little negatives out there -- true or not, justified or not -- just to blunt any advantage Obama might get from the trip.  To force him to clarify or complicate his message.

    York is part of the Republican noise machine, he is just designed to appeal to a more elite market than Rush Limbaugh.

    But Limbaugh was also toiling in the thousand cuts vinyard yesterday.  Witness his blather about  "criticizing the U.S. while on foreign soil" because Obama said that the U.S. hasn't always lived up to its ideals.  This was then picked up and broadcast at length on Dan Abrams MSGOP shriekfest.

    You have to admire how disciplined and organized the Republicans are in executing this tactic.  They really have it down.

    This tactic isn't as available to Democrats, since the courtier media doesn't relay Democratic talking points the way it does Republican talking points.  To see how effective the Republicans are, check out Digby's piece on how suddenly all the media courtiers have learned a new word: "presumptuous."


    They killed thousands. (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:59:01 PM EST
    Those thousands came from all over the globe.  Including Americans, some of whom were native born and some of whom, no doubt, were not.

    And I agree with BTD, Obama, and Meteor Blades (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by kempis on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:00:34 PM EST
    Obama is attempting, years after the fact, to remind the world of the opposite, of the universal horror of that day and the way that people from every corner of the globe - from France to Iran - stood in solidarity with New York and Washington on September 11. And, of course, by implication, how attitudes like York's within the administration squandered that sense of solidarity.

    Absolutely. That was one of the strongest parts of Obama's speech--and a sentiment that's needed to be expressed for a long time. To heck with Byron York and the rightwingers. Why on earth would anyone listen to them anymore? That "us against the world" mentality, which they admired so much in Bush and Cheney, indeed squandered the enormous goodwill extended to us by most of the rest of the world. They are ideological idiots.

    Agreed. And we were all New Yorkers (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 11:50:19 PM EST
    as it also was too often not noted that those who died there came from all over this country, too -- at least four that I can recall even now from my state alone.

    But it really was striking to read, at the time, the lists of those lost and their countries.  It is an international city, it was an international site -- there are many reasons that the terrorists picked the towers.


    Agreed. As somebody else noted . . . (none / 0) (#50)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:15:59 AM EST
     . . . it wasn't called the US Trade Center!

    Although the 9/11 terrorists (none / 0) (#64)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:56:27 AM EST
    also hit the Pentagon, which no one seems to remember, and, had they been successful, would have hit the WH.

    I think who died and where they were from is not the criteria upon which 9/11 can be characterized as either against the U.S. or the West generally or the world.

    I don't even think the name of the towers, 'World' rather than 'US' matters -- heck, I could set up a hut near the Canadian border selling chewing gum and call it a World trade center -- what matters is how the terrorists and the world view the targets.

    The Pentagon is, on the one hand, a uniquely American building (with the whole 5 sides thing going on) and is the nerve center of our entire military.  On the other hand, it could also fairly represent militarism and military oppression of the entire West/NATO etc etc, since it drove both the first and second gulf wars.

    Imagine, by some fluke, that only U.S. citizens were killed on 9/11.  That would not make the WTC any less a symbol of international capitalism.


    Apparently it's out moment (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by catfish on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:08:19 PM EST
    I thought his speech was a composite of Reagan and Kennedy and basically said Kumbaya and little else. Once again, it was so ambiguous that everybody is projecting their own wishes onto the speech.

    But some could say he said globalization should not stop at trade, it should extend to culture and law. And let's accelerate it.

    Suppose he did say that (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:09:30 PM EST
    I would comepletely agree.

    My post is about the one point made by Meteor Blades and Obama


    No prob. I suffer ODS. (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by catfish on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:20:31 PM EST
    Shouldn't have ruined your party.

    Good on you! (4.33 / 6) (#14)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:56:22 PM EST
    Acknowledging the problem is the first step to getting help.

    within the context of what happened on 9/11/01 (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Nettle on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:08:20 PM EST
    there was a "we're all in this together" feel to it until that was blown.

    In a larger context the World Bank, IMF and WTO policies systemically kill far more people all over the globe than did 9/11 (no, I'm not aching to open up the car accident argument again).

    So instead of further exploiting that day by more fear (Obama says energy security, bioterrorism, ,, are queued up) and more moola for the profiteers why not take up what weapons WTO policies are?  

    That ain't gonna happen.  I bet his German crowd would have loved it.

    Well (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:10:24 PM EST
    You won;t like me as a I believe in the WTO.

    kind of caught that on the globalization comment (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Nettle on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 07:23:15 PM EST
    but still like you.  

    Cultural hegemony is no fun for anyone and neither is benevolent hegemony.  

    So I'm liking you for free.  


    If he truly follows up (none / 0) (#25)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 10:17:50 PM EST
    on the idea of the benefits of free trade being spread more equitably that's something I can get behind, and believe me, I've been no fan of these free trade agreements so far.

    This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all.

    He said in the primaries that he wanted to renegotiate NAFTA, for instance, to ensure labor and environmental protections and was excoriated for supposedly undercutting that with private behind the scenes assurances of not rocking the boat. I took the private reassurances to refer only to not pursuing renegotiation unilaterally, but that those adjustments would happen because both parties would now be committed to that result. This speech supports that idea and takes it further.

    Opening up global trade shouldn't be evil. I'm glad to hear the vision for it that he sets out here, identifying the broad problems with the current FTAs and saying they must be fixed to be sustainable, that they must provide real opportunities for development as opposed to the exploitation of cheap labor. Interesting in that regard to hear him talking about rewarding work as opposed to the more usual paeans to 'investment'.


    I dunno (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 08:05:07 PM EST
    since it was spoken as a candidate, Obama's promises that we will work together with Europe still lead to little for me.  I don't see what he has to lose here - what political capital he has to spend in playing nice with Europe - and I am sure he'll continue the great American foreign policy tradition of having it both ways.

    I know Obama will bring a better foreign policy approach than Bush.  But having read his FISA letter, I now doubt the value of his articulations and promises.  He's willing to lie to your face.

    Are you the site police? (4.00 / 3) (#121)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:18:11 PM EST
    I don't understand why you would claim it's impermissible to call Obama a liar because he lied on FISA.

    You strike me as someone who was most likely banned for violating the site rules, and now you're looking to extract a childlike sort of revenge by accusing everyone else of violating the rules wherever you can.


    Who was our Latin named poster (none / 0) (#137)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:00:27 PM EST
    who always got banned after a few days and would then come back in a few days in his new  incarnation?

    I didn't call him a liar. (none / 0) (#141)
    by lilburro on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:58:15 PM EST
    I want him to win.  But the FISA letter was dishonest.  

    Every year (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 08:31:02 PM EST
    when I visit Ground Zero on the anniversary, the resemblances have a distinctly international flavor.

    Interspersed among the American flags on the fence at the WTC site you'll see flags from any number of countries.

    You'll see signs in memory of a group of Canadian nationals who were killed that day.  Or people from the Ukraine, or wherever.  It's poignant.  You can't help but notice.

    I'm guessing Byron York has never taken the time to pay his respects at the WTC site on the anniversary, if he wants to claim it as a uniquely American wound.

    What IS uniquely American is the ability to get angry and provincial over something like this.  Good God, it wasn't called the USA Trade Center, you know.

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 09:09:28 PM EST
    I had to run at that point in the speech, but I knew exactly what Obama was talking about. Remember when Rudy was knighted by the Queen of England?

    Were they really from ALL over the globe? (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by ruffian on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 09:52:38 PM EST
    (subject is snark.)  York is really grasping for disgruntlement there. He doesn't seem to have elevated it to outrage yet - that will be left for others.

    To echo others, I have never understood the Right's wish to pull back and keep 9-11 all to ourselves.  It is almost like they resent the world's compassion.  I suppose accepting compassion is a sign of weakness in their worldview.  Also hoarding the victim status lets them justify all of their outrageous responses to the tragedy.

    Were we all Indians... (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 10:14:01 PM EST
    ...when Bhopal happened?  Were we all Rwandans during that genocide?  All Iraqis while they were being bombed into chaose?  Are we all Sudanese with Darfur?  Nope.

    There is still this undercurrent of "westerners count more" to the entire issue that strikes me as oddly oblivious.

    No kidding. This is one reason I loathe (4.20 / 5) (#30)
    by MarkL on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 11:15:56 PM EST
    Brzezinski, and do not trust him at all.
    For Dr. B. , it was just wonderful to stir up trouble in Afghanistan, leading to millions of deaths (and later to OBL and 9/11) because that freed millions of Eastern Europeans who were NOT being slaughtered. Horrendous, racist morality (IMO, obviously).

    Reagan told the UN he was a citizen of the world (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 10:57:39 PM EST
    JFK said it; so did Reagan.

    ... and so did Bush-41 (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 11:05:20 PM EST
    And, heck, even Thomas Paine used it!

    But, according to the RW, it's only bad when Obama says it.


    that's because (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by kimsaw on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 07:44:14 AM EST
    Obama has a problem with his words. He fails to back up words with action and he fails on substantive issues to do the right thing. FISA anyone? He's a politician that demonstrates an "anything to win" attitude while hypocritically saying he's won't, but offers be wary that his opponents will. His flowery rhetoric does little to promote trust, and offers only ambiguity.   I'm not offering other politicians have been different in their posturing, but perhaps the others sighted offered more substance through their history of service. Obama's limited and questionable history  in biography and service leaves the door open to speculation about his political character. Obama's track record of ambiguity leaves this independent voter questioning if any of his positions are authentic or just situational posturing for political advantage.

    Double Standards (3.66 / 3) (#87)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:04:07 AM EST
    It's okay if other people say it; but when Obama does, it's not okay.

    One of these things isn't like the others ... (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:31:42 AM EST
    This is a gross distortion of reality and people's criticisms of Obama's pretend-president tour. It's the height of idiocy to pretend that criticizing this tour is "derangement".

    JFK, Reagan, Bush ! and II were representing the US as PRESIDENTS and heads of state.

    Obama isn't president. He doesn't represent the US abroad, as head of state. He doesn't even represent the Democratic Party to RUN for president yet.

    Do you get it yet?


    You would have a point IF (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:38:58 AM EST
    Obama wasn't literally harrassed into making an overseas trip by McCain. I'm not even an Obama cheerleader but my goodness, the hysteria surrounding this man is getting beyond ridiculous.

    I thought Obama was running to LEAD a nation (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:56:24 AM EST
    If he's that susceptible to being "forced" to take this tour merely to avoid criticism -- from a mere rival in an election -- it pretty much obliterates Obama's abilities to make hard decisions.

    It doesn't bode well for him being able to negotioate substantial treaties.

    Remember, Obama has touted his innate "leadership" abilities in lieu of his experience.


    You want Dukakis instead? (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:06:28 AM EST
    I think it is a good thing that Obama can do well with a crowd and campaign events....McCain is peeved with envy--if you can't have it, tear it down.

    Dukakis isn't running, OBAMA is running (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:16:14 AM EST
    If you can't defend Obama's actions on their own without deflecting to what others did or didn't do, then the ONLY argument for accepting Obama as a uniquely TALENTED (if not credntialed) candidate flies out the window.

    This isn't about Dukakis.
    It's not about Hillary Clinton AKA The Clintons.
    It's not about JFK, Reagan, Bush I or Bush II.

    It's about Obama, and he hasn't shown any ability other than to prance for cameras.


    Comparisons are made all the time (none / 0) (#106)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:48:04 AM EST
    Obama is being attacked by many for his speaking abilities and ability to do big campaign events.....It really is sour grapes by Republicans....

    I remember Reagan--he was attacked on the same basis--but he won.....

    If Democrats want a winner, they need someone who can campaign well.


    No, Reagan was attacked (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01:50:08 PM EST
    because he had an ability to impress a lot of people with his speaking style, but his policies and beliefs stunk to high heaven. The warning and criticism of Reagan was that having supposed impressive speaking skills does not a great President make. Why is that so hard for some people to understand this point, whether its made about Reagan or Obama?

     Yes, it doesn't hurt, but it also doesn't hurt a candidate if s/he is good looking, a millionaire and worshipped by the MSM but I'll be d@mned if I would ever consider any of those traits important for a being good at governance.

     I see just two prongs to the oft-repeated arguments for voting for Obama. One, "he's a lesser evil, take our word for it". Two, "he gives impressive speeches and is teh cool". Neither one of those arguments is really a strong rational reason for voting for him in my book.  


    Persuasion is part of governance (none / 0) (#140)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:49:34 PM EST
    --also absolutely essential to getting elected.

    But persuasion is much much (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:49:14 PM EST
    more than making a speech about vague platitudes. So far I have seen Obama put his speechmaking powers to any concrete action other than get elected. "Now what do we do?" -Bob McKay, "The Candidate", 1972.

    It isn't enough to vote for someone just because you think they seem to have the ability to get elected. Would you be OK with voting for Reagan if he were running today? I doubt it. So again, its a nice skill set but it isn't what's important.


    Talk about missing the point entirely. (5.00 / 0) (#97)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:20:11 AM EST
    Lets face it, Ellie (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 12:10:11 PM EST
    At this point, Obama cant publicly blow his nose without you and the other McPumas waxing indignant about his disdainful, self-absorbed blowing technique and his questionable ties to the handerkerchief industry.

    The puerile all-drones-protect-the queen schtick is just plain boring at this point.


    Oh c'mon (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:02:08 AM EST
    Obama was harassed into holding a rock concert in front of the Brandenburg in Germany by McCain?  (yes, I know he had to move to a new spot, but that was the original deal).

    That's just silly.


    If Obama was "literally (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by zfran on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:08:36 AM EST
    harrassed" into making this trip by McCain, what does that say about Obama? Is he that easily influenced by na na boo boo remarks. That's kid stuff. His "words" proclaim that he is already elected, sworn in and taken residence at the w.h.
    At least, wait until you are the "official" nominee of the party and get your coronation fix at that time. Seeing the troops on his own, without press or pics would have been a good move, a genuine move on his part. He chose not to do this citing didn't want to use campaign funds and "use" the troops type of stuff. He could have just walked in by himself and said hello. He chose, we saw, and we don't think it's "ridiculous" or "hysterical."

    Actually he DID see the (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:16:09 AM EST
    wounded troops in Iraq and Afganistan but no cameras/media were allowed. The campaign also claims today that O was blocked from meeting with the troops by the milttary because it would have not been a congressional delegation.

    This story was about (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by zfran on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:37:13 AM EST
    visiting the wounded in Germany, which if he really wanted to see them, he would have accepted whatever terms were offered to do so as an american/presidential candidate/citizen of the world. He spoke to some on the telephone. He chose not to see them and now the campaign has to deal with the story of why? It just would have been a nice gesture on his part.

    What Obama Did Not Do On His Trip (3.00 / 2) (#77)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:45:34 AM EST
    Character assassination based on not visiting wounded solders, orphanages, nazi death camps, leper colonies, homeless shelters, nursing homes, museums, Stuttgart, baroque cathedrals, the berlin synagogue are typical GOP/Rove smear tactics. Thanks for bringing them to TL so we can see what red state and other wingnut blogs are talking about.

    Got anything else to show how much Obama hates humanity, culture and is a dirty rotten scoundrel?


    Again, Squeaky, disrespect, anger (3.25 / 4) (#81)
    by zfran on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:54:22 AM EST
    and childish rantings. When you act like an adult, I will be more than willing to interact with you and your comments. Until then...

    Nice Dodge (3.66 / 3) (#83)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:58:08 AM EST
    if namecalling is all you can come up with as a response it suggests that my comment was spot on.

    And here's today's lesson in (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:36:02 AM EST
    the pot ranting about the kettle. Stay tuned for a repeat of the same lesson tomorrow (and everyday after) from the same channel.

    Please direct your rantings (4.00 / 3) (#85)
    by zfran on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:00:44 AM EST
    elsewhere...oh, and the next time you feel you know what I'm thinking or posturing about, please look into your mirror...it will tell you all you need to know.

    lol (3.00 / 2) (#88)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:04:34 AM EST
    I await your next Rove talking point. We used to depend on the GOP trolls for that, but now we have commenters like you who are neither fish nor fowl, but serve the same function.

    Yeah sorry I forgot to add (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:42:32 AM EST
    that he was blocked from the troops in Germany by the military. It was reported that the campaign was furious because no cameras/media were going on that stop either. Some are suggesting political motives behind the military's rejection.

    IF its true that his campaign (none / 0) (#80)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:52:50 AM EST
    was furious because of the no camera, media rule, then its obvious that the visit was planned as a campaign event,  and not a true expression of concern for the wounded troops. The Pentagon was right then in restricting the visit. There are rules against campaigning on government property with government assistance.

    Sorry tree, I that sentence was worded (5.00 / 0) (#84)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:59:22 AM EST
    badly. It meant that because no cameras/media were going to be there, the O campaign was furious that they were STILL denined access.

    Ok, thanks. (5.00 / 0) (#99)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:23:39 AM EST
    Then I retract my statement.

    Here's the latest (none / 0) (#108)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:52:57 AM EST
    Greg Sargent of TPM has the most detail so far on this.  Bottom line:  They wouldn't allow Reggie Love, sans camera, to accompany Obama....They wanted him solo by his lonesome--no staff except Senate staff--which had already gone home.....

    McCain Campaign Disinfo EchoChamber (none / 0) (#146)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 11:59:07 AM EST
    I've just gotten clarification from the Pentagon on what really happened with regard to Barack Obama's canceled visit to an Army base in Germany, something the McCain campaign has been using to hit Obama since yesterday.

    A Pentagon spokesperson confirms to me that because of longstanding Department of Defense regulations, Pentagon officials told Obama aides that he couldn't visit the base with campaign staff. This left Obama with little choice but to cancel the trip, since the plan to visit with campaign aides had been in the works for weeks.

    Greg Seargent


    First he wasn't harassed by McCain, his lack of (5.00 / 0) (#90)
    by kimsaw on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:07:22 AM EST
    a record on foreign policy forced his trip. Secondly, if he had a foreign policy record other than living in Indonesia at the age of ten he wouldn't have had to make the world tour.

    I agree the hysteria around this man is ridiculous in fact it borders on an entire nation needing therapy because we're buying into a new political messiah reaching far beyond the compassionate conservative of the last 8 yrs. Obama is the metamorphic choice of the media, he's  JFK, MLK, Reagan, Malcolm X, RFK, Lincoln all rolled into one being. Should we add Jesus too, or is that blaspheme?  He is none of the above and to compare him to their greatness is like the theft of "just words". The only thing great about Obama his ability to sell himself to those willing to buy and the return on their investment remains questionable. Obama continuously states the obvious with reconstructed rhetoric from the past and the media offers it's leg tingling. There are  questions yet to be answered. Who is Barack Obama  and what does he stand for?


    So He's Just An Ordinary Guy (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:44:54 AM EST
    traveling around the world meeting leaders and U.S. military personnel and stopping every so often to make a speech that hundreds of thousands wander over to listen to.

    Nobody special, but people are paying lavish attention anyway.

    Okay. I can accept that.


    Everyone can and should (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:51:57 AM EST
    "accept that" unless someone can prove to me that Obama is somehow manufacturing the crowds and attention artificially. People should just chill a little, focus on the minor/major flaws in his policies. This whole Obama is the savior/devil crap is grating on me. I'm I alone in this? :(

    Policy-driven discussion (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:12:26 AM EST
    has to be pushed by the campaign.  That is not what they are pushing.  The Rainbow tour was never about policy, it was about amassing huge crowds for the cameras.  The dominant strategy here is a series of political rallies, at which policy takes a distant 10th, 11th, or maybe 100th place to whipping up a frenzy among the crowds and projecting a level of popularity Obama does not actually have.

    All political campaigns have rally-type events as a part of their repetoire, there's nothing inherently wrong with that.  However, this campaign appears to be nothing but.

    Personally, I would love it if the discussion turned to actual policies and issues.  Goodness knows there are enough scary and troubling issues facing the next president in the U.S.


    I share your point Valhalla. (5.00 / 0) (#74)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:21:06 AM EST
    That's what I'm saying: we should denounce this crap being pushed by the MSM, and that includes the ridiculous York-like criticisms as well as the C. Matthews' perpertual fawning.

    His "crowd" in Germany was (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by zfran on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:12:35 AM EST
    approx. 200,000 (not bad). Heard he was expecting much greater crowds (about 1 million) and was upset they weren't there. He's not the "devil" but is flawed, imo. and not right for this country, imo and some here have been focusing on his "major/minor flawed policies." Perhaps, you just haven't been listening.

    Rasmussen polling shows majority liked the speech (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:43:42 AM EST
    Rasmussen shows the speech was viewed as excellent or good by 55%, and fair or poor by 41%--of U.S. voters who saw some coverage of it.

    Also, Obama is experiencing a bounce of sorts.  He now leads McCain by 5 points:  49-44.

    Don't let the Republican narrative take hold--that is how Kerry was swiftboated.


    No, Obama never said (3.66 / 3) (#93)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:11:22 AM EST
    he was expecting 1 million.  Nor was there any disappointment by the Obama campaign.  The German authorities said something about expecting a large crowd which could theoretically be 1 million but they were expecting many fewer.

    But, here is the no-win for Obama:  smaller than expected crowd, he's a flop; larger crowd, he is arrogant.  Nice narrative...


    GOP/Rove Talking Points (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:19:14 AM EST
    Obama could give a million to an orphanage and zfran would point out that is was a terrorist orphanage, and that he only gave one million and is cheap, all pointing to his poor judgement and lack of experience.

    Gallup today shows a bounce too (none / 0) (#114)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:08:59 PM EST
    Today Gallup shows a 47-41 race.  McCain is stagnating in lower 40s.  Obama is back up to mid-to-high 40s.

    Both tracking polls show a bounce....


    That is pretty unlikely (none / 0) (#136)
    by Detlef on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01:55:10 PM EST
    since the media here in Germany days before the speech threw out estimates reaching from 10,000 to a million.
    You probably "heard" the absolutely improbable high estimate somewhere?

    100,000 or more for hearing a speech of a foreign politician happens pretty seldom here in Germany.


    Random Question (none / 0) (#139)
    by CST on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:24:28 PM EST
    You wouldn't happen to be a teacher at the Odenwaldschule would you?

    I know Detlef is a fairly common name. Just thought I'd ask though.


    Some in Germany say the crowd was (none / 0) (#144)
    by laurie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:21:19 PM EST
    closer to 20,000

    No (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by CCinNC on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    You aren't alone in that.  Thank goodness.

    We may be On Different Sides (none / 0) (#138)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:11:12 PM EST
    of the Obama fence, but on this we can agree.

    Neither savior, nor devil to me either.


    Obama can't have it both ways; either he's The One (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:58:38 AM EST
    ... like he promised, or he's an ordinary guy who shouldn't be running for president.

    It's not that you "lose" this debate but that we all lose if t his empty suit is elected to replace another empty suit.


    When pray tell did Obama (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:08:33 AM EST
    "promise" he was the one.

    This is over the top.


    Degree (none / 0) (#150)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 12:49:50 PM EST
    of emptiness -- of suit, or even pantsuit, as it were.

    As if, in this corporatacracy-rigged-game there has evr been much choice other than the hard-right and the center-right.

    An "empty", overly-consulted, scripted, choreographed, polled and re-polled (and you know how much that can hurt) player with a residual conscience and latent intellectual capacities is the best we're gonna get until it costs significantly less than 300 mil to run for president.


    a bit over the top? (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:29:16 PM EST
    Perhaps he -- like HRC -- is better than "ordinary" but less than a completely perfect person?

    No, you silly goose (5.00 / 0) (#119)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:16:11 PM EST
    The problem was no one cared that McCain went to Canada to campaign....

    McCain reminds me of Rumpelstiltskin:  jumping up and down saying "but the surge worked, but the surge worked;  Obama is a traitor; Maliki did not say we should leave--no, he didn't."  

    He is sinking into his own peevish bile.


    Yup (2.00 / 0) (#29)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 11:08:17 PM EST
    The press still loves McCain--and they are giving Obama all kinds of backhanded, backbiting broadcasts during the trip.

    Andrea Mtichell called him  "cocky" delighting the Kwai bridge builders.


    I liked his speech very much (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:36:30 AM EST
    and especially this part. It struck me while listening to the speech that Obama thinks like an ecologist - he often emphasizes the inextricable links between events in the world and the interactions between everything. That's ecology.  With 9/11 - he talked about terrorists trained in one country, funded in another, attacking in another, the effects felt all over, all inextricably linked. He talks about the environment that way too - pollution made one place affects people in another place, etc. And poverty - oppressed poor people in one part of the world will end up having effects elsewhere.

    It's a constant theme running through his talks. And it is refreshing to hear someone who could be our next President talk in an intelligent manner to the world.

    Yes and he is an educator (none / 0) (#110)
    by MichaelGale on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:01:21 PM EST
    While he can connect the dots, and I am sure most of us can on this thread, it appears, to me, that he is including the whole world in the matrix. I am not sure this is the present reality.

    At this point, I am very tired of trying to convince terrorists and radical religions about how things work.  I am leaning to becoming an isolationist, prehaps returning to the idea after a little rest.


    re Byron York's take: (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by ding7777 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 07:47:35 AM EST
    perhaps the World Trade Center should have been named the New York 5 boroughs Trading Centers.

    You are not fully informed. (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by tree on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:15:51 AM EST
    Its hard to be so in the US unless you read outside the MSM. Using the words "undivided Jerusalem" is a dog-whistle. It is one that AIPAC and the Likudniks in Israel and the US understand full well.

     There are two choices to make when someone uses that term. Number one, they are signaling, whether truthfully or not, that they are supporting the Likud position on Jerusalem(which is permanent and total Israeli control of Jerusalem with its continuing plan to expropriate Palestinian homes and expel Palestinians)or number two, they are incredibly ignorant of the dispute and do not understand the significance that others who are not ignorant place on the term.

     I find it hard to believe that Obama, with his myriad advisers, including Dennis Ross, does not understand the import of uttering the phrase "undivided Jerusalem", especially when it is uttered in front of an AIPAC audience. You may chose to believe he is that ignorant, but if he's not then he was clearly lying and trying to have it both ways. It does not speak well of having any faith in what he claime to stand for.

    Quite Mainstream And The Only Choice (none / 0) (#107)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:50:20 AM EST
    A contender for POTUS can make:
    On July 18, the Senate unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution "condemning Hamas and Hezbollah and their state sponsors and supporting Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense." After House majority leader John Boehner removed language from the bill urging "all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure," the House version passed by a landslide, 410 to 8.
    AIPAC not only lobbied for the resolution; it had written it. "They [Congress] were given a resolution by AIPAC," said former Carter Administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who addressed the House Democratic Caucus on July 19. "They didn't prepare one."


    There are a few internationalist Republicans in the Senate and progressive Democrats in the House who occasionally dissent.

    Ari Berman, The Nation

    Sad state of affairs, imo.


    Brzezinski is proud of actions which (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by MarkL on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:11:26 PM EST
    led to millions of deaths, besides being essential precursors to 9/11. He should be as proud of that as Nixon was of bombing Cambodia.

    The other point, which you seem to (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by MarkL on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:12:30 PM EST
    be obvious to, is that Brzezinski EXPLICITLY sacrificed Afghani lives to free Eastern Europeans. THAT is the racist attitude I object to.

    Thanks (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:16:21 PM EST
    for the latest installment of "if you understood this issue as deeply as tben, you'd see that Obama isn't pandering."  This episode isn't as enjoyable as the time you claimed to understand Social Security more deeply than Paul Krugman, but it's up there.

    "Undivided Jerusalem" is most certainly a pander.  The fact that the elites have some secret interpretation of the phrase which differs from the conventional understanding of voters does not make it something under than a pander.  In fact, it's the most classic sort of pander there is.

    Your right, it is not complicated. (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by MarkL on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:30:59 PM EST
    Racism was at the core of Brzenski's reasoning> THAT is the objectionable attitude.
    It is your opinion that B.'s decisions led to the collapse of the Soviet Union---an opinion at odds with the facts about the Soviet Union's economy at the time.
    It is a FACT that B's decision led to millions of deaths, for the purpose of freeing Eastern Europeans (his own words).
    Look, if you  like Aghanistan, you really must have loved Vietnam.
    Making other peoples pawns in global power games has a price. The current state of affairs in Afghanisan is certainly in some part Dr. B's responsibility.
    Oh, by the way, you can't comment in BTD"s threads.

    There were some lovely ... (4.22 / 9) (#23)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 10:13:17 PM EST
    rhetorical flourishes in the speech, but too many of them were both rhetorically and factually dishonest.

    Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen - a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.

    Nice sentiment.  But of course it's a lie.  He is coming as a Presidential candidate.

    And despite its gauzy language how is the following any different from Bush's attitude:

    This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it. If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York. If we could win a battle of ideas against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope.

    And this sentiment was buttressed by the long section on the Berlin airlift, sending the clear message:  America likes Europe best when you support our Foreign policy objectives.

    Despite the occasional bursts of internationalist language, there was little in the speech that reached out to unique European concerns.

    I guess this type of political sleight of hand makes naive political bloggers weak in the knees.    But anyone who can read or hear, and is a progressive, would find this speech supremely disappointing.

    seems pretty simple to me (5.00 / 6) (#27)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 11:01:56 PM EST
    He was saying that terrorism is a problem for all of us, not just the US, and that we need to work together to stop it.

    If you need to ask "how is this different from Bush", let me suggest you focus on the words "work together."  (Or, in his words, "global partnership")

    Really now -- can you think of anything that is more different than Bush's go-it-alone cowboy diplomacy?


    Europe has had an abundance of experience ... (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:37:19 AM EST
    ... with terrorism. It's astonishing to see how blinkered even Americans who should know better, ie, in media, set the terrorism awareness mark at 9/11.

    But ask anyone in the UK, Spain, Italy, France ... heck, almost anywhere in Europe, and you'd realize that they don't need Obama bounding in to say that terrorism is a very very bad thing.



    Yes, but what they don't know (none / 0) (#126)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:32:31 PM EST
    ... or at least, haven't seen much of lately, is the US asking for Europe to work together on combating the terrorism.

    So, yes, they do need to hear someone who might be president say, essentially: the US Cowboy-go-it-alone foreign policy is going to stop, and we need to work together.

    This is a difference between Obama and the current occupant of the WH (and, probably, John "bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran" McCain)


    Hmm (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:38:54 PM EST
    Actually, this doesn't strike me as true in the least.  We've brought about NATO involvement in Afghanistan, we've solicited coalition troops for Iraq.  We've asked for European help on matters like secret prisons and rendition, we've worked with them on investigating bank records to locate terrorist funding.

    While I don't agree, naturally, with much of what Bush has done, it seems to me that "Cowboy-go-it-alone foreign policy" is mostly just a talking point.  For at least the last several years, we've been mostly past the "anyone who doesn't like our foreign policy can kiss off" mode of operation.  The rhetoric still crops up, but the reality is something different.


    funny how it was 3000 Americans before this trip (4.00 / 3) (#48)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:04:26 AM EST
    and all during the campaign, and now they're magically not all Americans. I have to say, when I hear anyone say 3000 Americans it grates on my ears since at least 1000 were international, and admitting that actually is helpful to our cause. And I've heard Obama say 3000 Americans numerous times. Glad he's changed that during this trip. Let's see if he sticks to that when he's campaigning in PA or NY or DC. Any bets.

    the numbers... (none / 0) (#20)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 09:44:22 PM EST
    not that I consider FactCheck.org authoritative, but we've got two different sets of numbers here.

    York/FactCheck -- 27 "foreign nationals", 568 "people born outside the US"

    MeteorBlades -- 327 "foreign nationals"..."some of whom were dual citizens"

    In terms of 9-11 being an "international" tragedy, my guess is that the York numbers are a closer reflection of reality -- the numbers that MeteorBlades cites look less reliable to me (his link does not include the "327" number, and the "fact sheet" link at that link goes nowhere), because it was/in the Bush administration's interest to internationalize the attacks as much as possible to get international support for his 'war on terror' policies.  

    But I really don't know which numbers are a better reflection of how "international" 9-11 was -- and I'm skeptical of both sides on this (and just about everything else).

    Of course there (none / 0) (#51)
    by ding7777 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:18:05 AM EST
    would be more Americans who died at the WTC (building maintence, police, waiters, firemen, janitors, dishwashers, security, busboys, tour guides, security, etc who lived in the NY/NJ area) but how many foreign nationals worked at the WTC?

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:41:32 AM EST
    it is totally impossible to come up with a concrete number for the non-Americans who were killed on 9/11.  Consider, for example, a hypothetical shoeshine guy who isn't in the country legally.  Even if they found his remains, which they probably wouldn't, they'd have no database to identify him with.  There is no one keeping track of these people, no one to confirm which of the shoeshine guys made it out safely.  Undocumented means it's hard to keep a head count.

    There's been some news coverage over the years about families from Latin America who have tried to get death certificates for a family member who they presume was killed on 9/11, but they can't because there are no official records at all.  What a tragedy, to have no way of knowing for certain what happened to one of your loved ones.


    yes, agreed. (none / 0) (#31)
    by jpete on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 11:42:11 PM EST
    Can't improve on BTD's analysis.  Particularly after seeing him quoted/paraphrased in the New  Yorker (supposing memory serves me correctly this late  at night).

    Bush used 9/11 (none / 0) (#35)
    by sancho on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:07:59 AM EST
    to scare us into Iraq. Many years after the fact Obama--following the lead of Dr.B.--may be using 9/11 to lead us into Afghanistan for a proxy war with Dr. B. 's nemesis, Russia. A pol is a pol, as they say.

    That is an interesting analysis. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by MarkL on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:08:35 AM EST
    Huh? (none / 0) (#38)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:16:23 AM EST
    What's Russia got to do with Afghanistan these days?  

    A very very minor issue... (none / 0) (#41)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:03:04 AM EST
    York is making a mountain out of a molehill.

    Having said that, the point of the attacks was to kill Americans.

    The larger motive (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:04:29 AM EST
    behind the attack was to provoke America.

    They succeeded brilliantly, thanks to the neocons and their kind rising to the bait.


    Intent? (none / 0) (#67)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:02:53 AM EST
    Good question. Who benefited the most al Qaida or BushCo?

    Please (none / 0) (#130)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:57:08 PM EST
    "undivided Jerusalem" is not "precise language."  It is typical political code that means one thing to the masses, while allowing the elites to hide behind a more subtle, nuanced meaning and thus retain plausible deniability.

    When a politician uses a specific, well-known phrase with voters, what he cares about is what voters take the phrase to mean, not what a relatively small handful of people who "actually deal with the issue" might take it to mean.  Really, you just make yourself a punchline when you continue to offer these absurd defenses of Obama on every issue.

    As for Krugman, please don't insult the man by suggesting he believes the same thing as you with regard to the long-term prospects of SS, when he most certainly does not.

    Tben....read the rules and figure it out.... (none / 0) (#133)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01:12:33 PM EST
    It's NOT hard...

    And you are a better political (none / 0) (#142)
    by MarkL on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:41:13 PM EST
    analyst than Krugman??
    Please. Krugman was right about Bush on ALL counts.
    Where is your track record?

    yes but (none / 0) (#145)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:49:26 PM EST
    He was saying that terrorism is a problem for all of us, not just the US, and that we need to work together to stop it.

    Yes, but, another thing is that not only have other countries been dealing with terrorism for a long time, they've also had an entirely different brand of terrorist to deal with--many of them homegrown.

    Of course we always forget our own homegrown terrorist, Jim McVeigh.

    Apparently you are completely ignorant, (none / 0) (#149)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 12:36:11 PM EST
    as usual. Brzenzinski is on record saying that the Afghani lives lost were worth it, because they freed the Eastern Europeans. If you don't see the racism in that valuation, there is no hope for you (which I already suspect). What is the exact number?
    Hundreds of thousands dead in the 1980's in the war. I believe it is over 1 million, but if I am wrong, does that make the price correct, or justify B's odious morality?

    War crimes were in the air (none / 0) (#151)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 12:57:44 PM EST
    The Carter admin was also training torturers and terrorists at the School of the Americas in order to combat the "red menace" in Central America, around that same time. With the same (albeit even less justified) ends justify the vile means reasoning at work.