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Direckshun
04-06-2009, 01:24 AM
It's been amusing watching Obama overseas for the past few days. A few thoughts so far:
Michelle Obama has absolutely taken this continent by storm. Every outlet has done nothing but document the effusive praise she's brought as a First Lady, overshadowing virtually everything else but Obama. As I watch her on this trip, I am convinced she will run for office someday herself. I do not know enough about her at this point to know whether she will have the juevos grandes to be another Hillary Clinton, but a Senate tenure is not out of the question. Multiple reports have surfaced that Obama has been sterling at the G20 summit, providing personal leadership as well as, in typical Obama fashion, pragmatic leadership. He reportedly bridged a point of debate between France and China, and later on enabled the Danish Prime Minister to become the next general of NATO by talking the issue out with the lone dissenter on the issue, Turkey's President. I absolutely cannot believe that Obama drew 20,000 in Prague. He has some sort of zen magnetic phenomenon that apparently isn't just powerful stateside. Huge crowd with a great reception. This is just a wonderful vision to see, a huge American flag over the Czech castle with an enthusiastic foreign crowd. The ipod-to-the-Queen stuff is overblown, but they've got to get waaaaay better with their gift giving. I am REALLY looking forward to the Q-and-A session coming up in Turkey. This could be absolute gold if Obama doesn't go overboard playing it safe. America needs moderate Muslims on its side, and this could be a significant step in the right direction.
More thoughts as they come. Yours are welcome as well.

Dylan
04-06-2009, 01:58 AM
In France of all places. ...

Telegraph UK

President Barack Obama: America has been 'arrogant and dismissive' towards Europe

By Toby Harnden in Strasbourg

President Barack Obama has declared that America has "failed to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world" and has "shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive" towards its allies.

His speech in Strasbourg went further than any United States president in history in criticising his own country's action while standing on foreign soil. But he sought to use the comments, which amount to a mea culpa for recent American foreign policy, as leverage to alter European views of America and secure more troops for the war in Afghanistan.

He declared that there had to be a fundamental shift on both sides of the Atlantic. "America is changing but it cannot be America alone that changes."

Addressing a crowd of some 2,000 mainly students from France and Germany, Mr Obama said: "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world.

"Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."

He then balanced this striking admission with a tough message to Europeans that blaming America and using its actions as an excuse to avoid tackling the global Islamist threat was unacceptable.

"But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual, but can also be insidious. Instead of recognising the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what is bad."

In a speech which his aides billed as a commitment to rebuild transatlantic relations by offering an olive branch directly to young Europeans, he offered himself as the figure who could bridge the gap that had grown over the eight years of President George W. Bush's administration.

"On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common," he said. "They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated.

"They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America."

During questions, Mr Obama, who was applauded frequently and had to choose between scores of young students clamouring to catch his eye, asked Americans to let French and Germans address him. "Do me a favour Americans," he said. "Wait till we get back home and I'll do a town hall there."

Although a central message was that he represented a clean break from his predecessor, Mr Obama in a rare use of his Muslim middle name - emphasised that some of the problems Mr Bush had faced would not miraculously disappear.

"I think it is important for Europe to understand that even though I am president and George Bush is not president, al-Qaeda is still a threat and that we cannot pretend somehow that because Barack Hussein Obama got elected as president, suddenly everything's going to be OK," he said.

"It is going to be a very difficult challenge. Al Qaeda is still bent on carrying out terrorist activity. It is - you know, don't fool yourselves because some people say, 'Well, you know, if we changed our policies with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or if we were more respectful to the Muslim world, suddenly these organisations would stop threatening us.' That's just not the case."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5101244/President-Barack-Obama-America-has-been-arrogant-and-dismissive-towards-Europe.html

Direckshun
04-06-2009, 11:03 AM
His speech in Turkey received lukewarm reception. Reportedly, the biggest applause was saved for promises Obama committed to Turkey. All his claims of togetherness, reconciliation, and partnership were met with minimal applause. I don't know if that's a culture thing, but I'm just guessing they were generally unmoved unless stuff that benefitted them was said.

I don't know if nuclear proliferation can ever happen. Ever.

BigRedChief
04-06-2009, 11:33 AM
His speech in Turkey received lukewarm reception. Reportedly, the biggest applause was saved for promises Obama committed to Turkey. All his claims of togetherness, reconciliation, and partnership were met with minimal applause. I don't know if that's a culture thing, but I'm just guessing they were generally unmoved unless stuff that benefitted them was said.

I don't know if nuclear proliferation can ever happen. Ever.
Could be a cultural thing with the applause. It's different in the middle east.

Just because getting rid of nukes and stopping the Iran's/North Koreas of the world from getting them may never happer but we my as well try.