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Tilting at Windmills

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July 24, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

OBAMA AND TERRORISM....The Cornerites are in such an apoplectic frenzy over Barack Obama's Berlin speech that I'm almost afraid of being hit by a barrage of spittle flecked pixels if I head over there again before they've calmed down. In the meantime, though, how about this from Byron York?

It's a small passage from Obama's Berlin speech, but this formulation, common in some circles, grates on some ears, like mine:

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.

Yes, the victims were from all over the globe — places like Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and Manhattan, and Queens, and Staten Island, and New Jersey — all over. And most were Americans, weren't they?

This is crazy. Obama was in Berlin. He was trying to connect with a European crowd. He was trying to convince those Europeans that the fight against terrorism is their fight too. Isn't that a good thing? Isn't that a point that conservatives try to make all the time? What better way to make it?

Kevin Drum 2:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (96)

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Comments

I sometimes feel as if I get too much information from liberal blogs. After all, most of the ones I read daily are this one, The Carpetbagger Report, TAPPED, Matthew Yglesias', Ezra Klein's, and the ones featured in their blog rolls. Out of conservative blogs, I check out Marginal Revolution a lot, if for no other reason than it usually has many interesting posts that aren't always political, and then Marc Ambinder's, if you can classify him as a conservative. I feel like I should perhaps check out RedState or Powerline or The Corner, just so can I broaden my mind.

Then I see garbage like that. Perhaps you can judge a book by its cover.

Posted by: Brian on July 24, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

You don't even have to go that far. The State Department's webpage comemerating the victims of 911 reads as follows:

September 11 created a new generation of heroes for America and the world. They came from diverse cultures, and many from faraway lands, but on September 11 — whether they perished in the attacks or bore witness — all were victims and each was a hero. From Pakistan, India, China and Nigeria, their stories are remarkably the same.

Dumbasses - Redd Foreman

Posted by: Bubba on July 24, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

sheesh. I keep forgetting that only American lives are important.

Posted by: Tinuviel on July 24, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well, clearly a remote, isolated place like Manhattan never has foreign workers or visitors. Or something.

Posted by: jon on July 24, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Byron York...? Isn't he the guy who just used the National Enquirer as his source for a hit piece on John Edwards? He's like reading the walls in the truckstop toilets.

Posted by: Tinuviel on July 24, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

They called the buildings in New York the WORLD trade center, you stupid fuckhead York, for a reason. There were casualties from over 90 countries that day.

More proof that the entire right wing machine is scared shitless. They know they are going to lose big time in Nov, so they will just go down swinging every step of the way acting like third graders who got denied recess.

Posted by: Sunn O))) on July 24, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

And the flyers announcing the speech were in German!

Posted by: CJColucci on July 24, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's an obvious truth that it wasn't 3,000 Americans who died on 9/11 yet to even mention somehow raises the hackles of our ultra-nationalists. Obama's speech was pitch-perfect in its overture to the world in defining the necessity of cooperation in solving problems. But terrorism isn't so much a problem to our ultra-nationalists as it is an excuse to exploit xenophobia. The folks at the Corner know it's an Us vs Them world. Shame on Obama for dissing that fantasy.

Posted by: walt on July 24, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

What a bunch of idiots at the Corner. They're problem is McCain can't deliver so they're left to nit-picking which has nothing to do with the overall speech. The contrast between these two candidates cannot be more obvious.

Posted by: Scott N. on July 24, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's actually funny, watching the bizarre contortions the right-wing media is going through right now, trying desperately to find something, anything, to fling at Obama. It's pathetically hilarious.

Posted by: Darius on July 24, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

My favorite Corner comment so far is Amy Holmes at 2:29 EST:

"All of the hoopla leading up to this moment has been in the press — not in the polling. Obama has yet to see a Berlin bounce."

Priceless.

Posted by: jesse on July 24, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I remember 9/11. At the time there was a lot of talk that victims were not just New Yorkers, but many were Americans from other cities and states as well as visitors from all over the world.

Bryon York is disrespecting everyone who died in 9/11. York needs to get a grip.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 24, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

The venue, the speech. the crowd, the weather, the electricity--all were historic. Sour grapes make sour whines. I was especially proud of Obama today. He is the right man for the times. You'll note he also took on our penchant for torture and said it would end. It was a great speech. Funny to see the trolls spinning wildly. The man has a gift. Few Americans today could have approached his eloquence extemporaneously or otherwise. Maybe none.

Posted by: Sparko on July 24, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

You just don't f'in get it Kevin. If you even acknowledge anything other than the US, you are a traitor!!!

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on July 24, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Just noticed this comment from KLo

If Obama could go to Germany and give a speech in English and be not only understood but well-received, why does he say we all need to learn another language?

This boggles me.

Posted by: fresburger on July 24, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

The speech was a failure. Doesn't he understand that Americans want to see a leader who pisses of its friends? The terrorist have now won.

Posted by: Live Free or Die on July 24, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Via Paul O'Neill, Best of Both Worlds:
George Bush's 5th anniversary speech --

Nineteen men attacked us with a barbarity unequaled in our history. They murdered people of all colors, creeds, and nationalities -- and made war upon the entire free world.

Posted by: nadezhda on July 24, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

For anyone serious about fighting terrorism, marginalizing them while portraying it as everyone's problem/responsibility is the obvious good idea.

But, for someone like Byron York who's only interested in using terrorism as a political tool, it's pure heresy to claim that any of the blood on the bloody shirt isn't Murkan.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 24, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

What I have found particularly shameless in a lot of the right wing talk over the past couple of days is that we have seen some of the better-educated and more outward-looking conservatives striking poses as the most ignorant, jingoistic, chauvinistic and xenophobic sorts of louts, in a brazenly demagogic effort to fire up the ugliest part of their base. It's disgusting, and politically and morally irresponsible.

To put it bluntly, these people are betting on hatred. And they are going to lose, because Americans just are not as base and malevolent as they think they are. A man who hates all things foreign is a dangerous fool; but a man who pretends to hate all things foreign so as to appeal to the first man is both dangerous and vile.

Posted by: Dan Kervick on July 24, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

What better way to make it?

I dunno, maybe invading a small country that had nothing to do with it

Posted by: martin on July 24, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

That's York's job - take some positive news about [insert Democrat's name here] and spin it negatively. This is the best he could do? He isn't even trying any more. Just plain stupid.

It doesn't matter what Obama says - the wingnuts are going to try and spin it negatively.

Good god - Obama was disrespectful to the American victims of 9/11. Ok, then.

Posted by: Mike on July 24, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

from some NROidiotite

All of the hoopla leading up to this moment has been in the press — not in the polling. Obama has yet to see a Berlin bounce.

jesus christ...

Posted by: ack ack ack on July 24, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

The grammar was poor in that part of the speech but the comment by York is stupid because everyone knows that Obama was trying to say they killed thousands, including people from all over the globe.

Posted by: Me2d on July 24, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

McCain and the War on Terror: Afghanistan? What's that?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 24, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Fox News response (shorter version):

Barack Obama's speech was a complete failure; he didn't mention the magic of offshore drilling a single time.

Posted by: sven on July 24, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

spittle flecked pixels - band name!!

Or maybe not. But still a great turn of phrase.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on July 24, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

The one thing the "M'uricans furst!" crowd never want to consider is that, "OMG, there be feriners here!"
If Byron York ever went outside his front door he might encounter a few of them...that is unless he lives on a compound in Texas that has lots of prairie style dressed women with 1940'w hairdos running around doing "w'mens werk!"
As for the towers, yeah, a whole lot of foreign workers were killed there, Byron, a whole lot of them.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on July 24, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Then there's this:

The television feed of Obama's internationalist speech in Berlin frequently cut to Germans waving American flags. Perhaps it's just the cynic in me, but I noticed that they all appeared to be the exact same size and make. It was almost as if some outside entity (a presidential campaign, perhaps?) handed them out in order to deliver the best possible visual images during the speech. Video of anti-American Europeans once again embracing the stars and stripes in an organic display of hope and unity would certainly be powerful stuff. The question is whether the Obama campaign manufactured this image for political gain. If they did, the press bought it hook, line and sinker.
Whiners.

Posted by: has407 on July 24, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I think they're trying to put Obama in an no-win situation. If he talks about the international impact of 9/11 and calls himself a "citizen of the world," he's ignoring problems back home in the US and not being nationalistic enough. If he gives his standard campaign speech for domestic TV consumption, he's plainly just being opportunistic and using Berlin to further his own goals.

Whatever. The Republican premise is that having thousands of foreigners cheering for the US president would be a bad thing. I don't think the public really buys that, but if they're dumb enough to keep McCain within fraud distance and end up with him as President then we certainly won't have to worry about foreigners liking him too much.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 24, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Is this a presidential speech already? Or is this a celebrity meet-and-greet? Seems a little tasteless for Obama to be doing an "Ick bin ein Berliner" already. There are parallels with JFK, however. Like JFK, Obama is a triumph of image over substance.

Posted by: Luther on July 24, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps it's just the cynic in me, but I noticed that they all appeared to be the exact same size and make.

One of the big Berlin dailies had a pull-out section on the event, with a little American flag in it....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 24, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

One of the big Berlin dailies had a pull-out section on the event, with a little American flag in it....

And most Berliners needed a new American flag since they'd all burned their previous ones during Bush's last visit.

Posted by: ckelly on July 24, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

The foreigners over at Crooked Timber (hey--we invented the internet--what are they doing on it?) have noted that our Secretary for Homeland Security made a similar statement to a European audience a little over a year ago.

http://crookedtimber.org/2008/07/24/michael-chertoff-euroweenie/

I'm waiting for York to announce that he has a list of 56 Eurosymps in DHS and State. There's a meeting hall in Wheeling, West Virginia waiting to be booked.

Posted by: Henry (not the author) on July 24, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure they just mistranslated his speech.

Posted by: Speed on July 24, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Luther

Your flopsweat is palpable. Perhaps you need a new brand of anti-perspirant.

Posted by: DJ on July 24, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Byron York wrote for R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s godawful American Spectator back when they were funded by Richard Mellon-Scaife and devoted most of their column space to fictional scandals involving Vince Foster's corpse or Bill Clinton's murder victims or somesuch nonsencial hoo-hah.

Byron York is to journalism what Brittney Spears is to motherhood.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 24, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

To put it bluntly, these people are betting on hatred. And they are going to lose, because Americans just are not as base and malevolent as they think they are...

Which blogger -- alicublog? Billmon? -- used to have "I play the stock market of the spirit and I sell short" at the top of his page?

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 24, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Europeans have their fair share of terrorist problems, its just that they PROSECUTE THEM IN COURT. Obama wants them to sign on to a MILITARY solution instead, join the Great War On Terraist. (he does tell a sweet lie though, one must admit)

Posted by: Mike Meyer on July 24, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

"A man who hates all things foreign is a dangerous fool; but a man who pretends to hate all things foreign so as to appeal to the first man is both dangerous and vile."

Another great Dan Kervick post. Well said, man.

Posted by: on July 24, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK
The television feed of Obama's internationalist speech in Berlin frequently cut to Germans waving American flags. Perhaps it's just the cynic in me, but I noticed that they all appeared to be the exact same size and make. It was almost as if some outside entity (a presidential campaign, perhaps?) handed them out in order to deliver the best possible visual images during the speech.

And...so? Whoever handed them out, people would have just dropped them on the ground, lit them on fire, or otherwise not waved them, unless, you know, the speaker or the speech motivated them to feel like they should wave them.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 24, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

That 4:08 comment was mine. Forgot to sign it.

Posted by: Henderstock on July 24, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

It's kind of fun to see conservatives subject to the type of tribalism that liberals face everyday from the American public as well as the village. I don't think Obama's popularity in Europe will win him many new votes. It is fun though.

I'm actually in Brazil right now, and Obama is a rock star here too. There isn't really a policy reason as far as I can tell. He just does something for them that McCain doesn't. In fact, I'm pretty sure most people would have to dig into their thoughts to even name the Republican in the race.

Republicans have benefited unfairly from the public's perception of their party for a very long time. For some reason, B Movie kitsch has been drawing voters for a generation. Looks like that might change this year.

Posted by: enozinho on July 24, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Kevin:

In his interview with NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, which will air on NBC's Nightly News tonight, McCain questions whether Obama should have given a speech in Berlin before becoming president.

"I would rather speak at a rally or a political gathering any place outside of the country after I am president of the United States," McCain told O'Donnell. "But that's a judgment that Sen. Obama and the American people will make."

However, on June 20, McCain himself gave a speech in Canada -- to the Economic Club of Canada -- in which he applauded NAFTA's successes. An implicit message behind that speech was that Obama had been critical of the trade accord. Also, McCain's trip to Canada was paid for by the campaign.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 24, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

From Wikipedia:

Excluding the 19 hijackers, 2,974 people died in the attacks. Another 24 were missing and presumed dead. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals from over 90 different countries.

Poopyhead is too nice a term for Byron York.

Posted by: Barbara on July 24, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Specifically, 327 of the WTC dead were foreign nationals.

Posted by: has407 on July 24, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK
However, on June 20, McCain himself gave a speech in Canada -- to the Economic Club of Canada -- in which he applauded NAFTA's successes.

It could be hypocrisy, but it could just be McCain's demonstrated abysmal grasp of political geography. Maybe he's not aware that Canada is outside of the country.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 24, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

"If Obama could go to Germany and give a speech in English and be not only understood but well-received, why does he say we all need to learn another language?"

That is priceless. You know, maybe Obama wasn't really talking to the Berliners. Maybe there was another audience somewhere. An English-speaking one. He was trying to reach that audience. So, whether the campaign set up subtitling monitors or just relied on the high quality of the German educational system is not really the point, K-Lo.

Posted by: Brian C.B. on July 24, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Specifically, 327 of the WTC dead were foreign nationals.

Does that or does that not include the 19 terrorists? And how do we know that some of the other people with backgrounds from terrorist-like countries weren't actually involved? Liberals are always exaggerating to make a point.

Posted by: Byron York's Poopie Diaper on July 24, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Excluding the 19 hijackers, 2,974 people died in the attacks. Another 24 were missing and presumed dead. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals from over 90 different countries.

Needless to say, if a liberal had made a similar statement, we'd never hear the end of it.

To follow on with cmdicely's comment, the righties don't like that Obama inspires people to wave American flags rather than burn them.

Enjoy your time in the wilderness, Republicans. you've earned it.

Posted by: Gregory on July 24, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

McSame is such a disasterous lying old whore, I thing the October surprise will be The Bush Crime Family will have the CIA drop some plutonium in his Pepto Bismol, then rush Mittens in as a replacement.

Posted by: tommo on July 24, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama could go to Germany and give a speech in English and be not only understood but well-received, why did he have to print his posters in another language?

Fixed.

Posted by: Gregory on July 24, 2008 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Could it be that Americans don't like foreigners to like the President?

That would help explain 2004.

Posted by: RealCalGal on July 24, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

No, 327 does not include the 19 hijackers.

Posted by: has407 on July 24, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Apoplectic Frenzy? I'll take Reading Comprehension for $200, Alex.

Posted by: Tom Mathers on July 24, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

I knew a Russian man who was incinerated in the World Trade Center. I suppose I should just forget about him and be more like Byron York.

Posted by: DB on July 24, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Could it be that Americans don't like foreigners to like the President?

You don't remember coverage of Reagan's journeys, especially his Ireland trip, or Nixon's trip to Egypt.

Americans don't like foreigners to like Democrats.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 24, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I'm a liberal because I don't get the kind of thinking that requires us to be Americans first and human beings second. It strikes me as arrogant, short-sighted and selfish, as though it is driven by a need to feel morally superior. If you are morally superior, you never have to critically examine your own world view, and therefore never have to compromise on anything.

Posted by: Del Capslock on July 24, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Ick bin ein Berliner"

Proof right there of my supposition.

Ick, indeed.

Posted by: Cal Gal (aka RealCalGal) on July 24, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama was in Berlin. He was trying to connect with a European crowd. He was trying to convince those Europeans that the fight against terrorism is their fight too. Isn't that a good thing? Isn't that a point that conservatives try to make all the time? What better way to make it?"

Conservatives believe in American exceptionalism, which means that only the deaths of Americans on 9/11 matter. They quite literally don't care about any foreigners who died in the attacks.

Posted by: on July 24, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

However, on June 20, McCain himself gave a speech in Canada -- to the Economic Club of Canada -- in which he applauded NAFTA's successes. An implicit message behind that speech was that Obama had been critical of the trade accord. Also, McCain's trip to Canada was paid for by the campaign

Not to mention his trips to Colombia and Mexico.

Posted by: DJ on July 24, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

"I would rather speak at a rally or a political gathering any place outside of the country after I am president of the United States," McCain told O'Donnell.

He should rethink this and scratch any foreign-speech-giving itch he may have right now. 'Cause he ain't gonna be president of the United States. Ever.

Posted by: shortstop on July 24, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, your apparent perplexity about rightwing behavior in the jungle is pointless. They aren't looking for or sensing things that actually make sense, they want to see-for, they are looking for the bad way to experience whatever the "bad guy" does. I know that liberals aren't entirely objective, but for that sector of the Right objectivity is *totally* beside the point.

Posted by: Neil B. ♪ on July 24, 2008 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK
Yes, the victims were from all over the globe — places like Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and Manhattan, and Queens, and Staten Island, and New Jersey — all over. And most were Americans, weren't they?

Okay, well then the kids at Beslan were from all over Beslan, the people killed in the suicide bombing at the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan the other day where mostly Afghans and Indians waiting in line, remember those two downed passenger planes? They carried passengers from all over Russia, a lot of Australian tourists were killed om Bali, along with many locals, plenty of Europeans were killed in Madrid while the Bombay bombings killed mostly locals just like the ones in London. The attacks on Saudi buildings killed Saudis and Americans, french railway travelers tend to recall the Algerian bombing spree, I don`t remember where that hospital was that was stormed but plenty of Russians died and inhabitants of Moscow died during the theater siege. Lets just considder the violence in Iraq as sectarian violence and the ETA and Maltese separatists as a sideshow.

Tens of snippy comments latter the fact remains that terror hits everyone. In fact, thats often kind of the point, hitting randomly and intermittently to scare constantly and everywhere.

The fact that this decade non-American train travelers had a slightly bigger risk than American skyscraper dwellers does nothing to change that point.

Posted by: uy on July 24, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives like to use 9/11 as a rallying cry for American nationalism. That's why they're so threatened by the possibility that Americans could start to view the event as international in scope; it would undermine the nationalistic appeal.

Posted by: DanM on July 24, 2008 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

"One of the big Berlin dailies had a pull-out section on the event, with a little American flag in it....

And most Berliners needed a new American flag since they'd all burned their previous ones during Bush's last visit.
Posted by: ckelly on July 24, 2008 at 3:53 PM "

Most modern Germans are not that into flags. I happened to be in Berlin in October of 2001 and a young German colleague who showed me around the city explained that they don't even like to display their own flag that much. The whole Nazi thing put them right off the whole flag motif. So I expect they're just doing the little paper flags to be nice to Obama.

Posted by: Delia on July 24, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

I get it. The people who died on 9/11 who were not from America just don't count.

Posted by: Bub on July 24, 2008 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Obama was trying to re-evoke the fellow-feeling that produced this:

http://www.snopes.com/rumors/winston.asp

until Bush and Cheney decided to squander it all.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 24, 2008 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you assume good faith? Remember, the neo-cons believe that the US needs to throw a little country against the wall every few years to show the world how tough we are. If the "Euro-weenies" help in the fight against Al-Queda, that doesn't help show how tough we are.

They don't care about the US (or anyone else), they care about having a dick size contest.

Posted by: Dan on July 24, 2008 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Come on guys, Kevin says Obama was trying to convince Europeans that the fight against terrorism is their fight too? Does anyone think the true motivation for this speech (which the bit I saw was pretty good) is anything other than his candidacy for president?

Posted by: on July 24, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

I can't wait to come back here on November 5th, after Obama has lost 40 states, and the election, to see how all you educated and quite civilized folks react.

Posted by: Mark on July 24, 2008 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

Mark, I happen to think Obama is going to win, but I do admit there is a possibility that I am mistaken. However, if you think there is any chance in the world of McCain winning in a 40 state landslide, you must be taking some mighty fine drugs.

Posted by: tanstaafl on July 24, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

What a bunch of lying hypocrites. Truth is, in the case of a good fraction of the victims of 911, if the conservatives could have gotten their hands on them they would have thrown them in jail and then deported them. Aliens aren’t allowed to be American heroes in their scheme of things..

Posted by: fafner1 on July 25, 2008 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's pretty hilarious that Obama thinks he can talk Ahmadinejad down. It really shows some ignorance of there culture. I just read a really good article,Should The President of the United States Talk to Ahmadinejad? , that does a pretty good job explaining why this probably wouldn't have great results.

Posted by: Matt on July 25, 2008 at 4:02 AM | PERMALINK

It was almost as if some outside entity (a presidential campaign, perhaps?) handed [the flags] out in order to deliver the best possible visual images during the speech.

And then stationed thousands of armed guys throughout the crowd to make sure they held 'em up and waved 'em. Otherwise them Murka-hating krauts woulda just sat on the flags and later burned 'em.

Posted by: DrBB on July 25, 2008 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

Obama for President of Germany. After all, one good socialist country deserves a socialist President.

And if the Germans don't know that the fight against terrorism is their fight too there ain't nothing the chosen one can tell them to unite us. What silliness.

A socialist candidate who spent 20 years in an anti-white, racists church, who is arrogant, who dislikes the US, who cavorts with home-grown terrorists. And they like him in Europe! Yep, Europe should elect him (or crown him) their leader.

Posted by: Bob on July 25, 2008 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Bob: Ugga booga bugga bugga booh.

You guys are seriously off your game.

Posted by: enozinho on July 25, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Byron York should be faulted for being incompelte, but other conservative commentators can be used to fill in.

York: Yes, the victims were from all over the globe — places like Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and Manhattan, and Queens, and Staten Island, and New Jersey — all over. And most were Americans, weren’t they? I HAVE NEVER SEEN PEOPLE ENJOYING THEIR HUSBAND'S DEATHS SO MUCH."

Hats off to Ann Coulter for allowing the thought to be complete.

Posted by: Ricky on July 25, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Um, Bob? Do you even know what a socialist is? You're stuck in the 1950s and screaming "Commie, Commie" isn't going to work this time around. Get a new sthick or shut up.

Posted by: tomeck on July 25, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

There are parallels with JFK, however. Like JFK, Obama is a triumph of image over substance.
Posted by: Luther on July 24, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Unlike McCain who is so full of the wholesome conservative substace that has helped America so much these last 8 years. Yeah!

You need new eyes Luther. Probably a new soul too, methinks you are in the darkness.

PS Bob. I think you pronounce that Boob, right?

Posted by: Northern Observer on July 25, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

"He was trying to convince those Europeans that the fight against terrorism is their fight too. Isn't that a good thing?"

No, of course that's not a good thing. "Terrorism" is a racist myth developed by warmongers who want to keep selling weapons. There's no real security threat to either Europe or the US. And Obama knows this very well. He's just trying to sell weapons, like all Republicans and Democrats do.

Promoting war is not a GOOD thing. Lying to people is not a GOOD thing. Attacking and bombing civilians is not a GOOD thing. There's nothing good or decent about people who promote the fantasy of terrorism or who continually lie to promote arms sales. Terrorism isn't the danger. The danger is the Republican and Democrat parties.

Posted by: mike on July 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Darius: It's pathetically hilarious.

I don't know about that. I think it's closer to hilariously pathetic. :)

Bob: [... moronic winger nonsense ...]

Exactly. Perfect example. Keep repeating those narratives - it's all you have.

Posted by: DH Walker on July 25, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I skimmed a thread over at Free Republic for reactions to Obama's speech. Those guys simply don't know what to make of him. The lack of focus in McCain's attacks on Obama explodes into total incoherence over there.

He's a pacifist. He's a black militant. He's a secret Muslim. He's a socialist. He's a communist. He's a fascist. He's an elitist. He's an idiot. He has no principles. He's the most extreme of leftists evah. He's the tool of George Soros. He's the mastermind behind a strategy leading to the takeover of the U.S. by blacks/Muslims/the UN/liberals/all of the preceding. To them, it appears that he is a Rorschach blot.

I think it's fairly obvious that he's a very intelligent and charismatic politician, with a unique viewpoint gained by being bi-racial, having lived outside of areas dominated by Western culture for extended periods and having a father who was not an American citizen. Clearly he takes his personal responsibilities very seriously, enjoys the rewards available to high-achievers in our capitalistic society and yet wants to extend opportunities to the less fortunate even beyond the boundaries of the U.S.

There is no reason to believe he will do anything crazy, and yet the hardcore wingnuts are all but soiling themselves at the prospect of his presidency.

Posted by: cowalker on July 25, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Now I remember why I gave up reading liberal blogs. For all those who decided to skewer York for neglecting the foreigners who died at WTC, why don't you try clicking the link Drum provided and read all of what York wrote?

Then you can really impress by coming back and apologizing for your ignorant hateful words against him!

Posted by: gonk on July 25, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

The UK lost more civilians on 9/11 than at any time since the blitz.

Posted by: markg8 on July 25, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, to answer Drum's question

"He was trying to convince those Europeans that the fight against terrorism is their fight too. Isn't that a good thing? Isn't that a point that conservatives try to make all the time? What better way to make it?"

How about doing more than just a namecheck to London and Madrid? Granted, bombing other cities in Europe might be a bit of a touchy subject for a German audience...

Posted by: gonk on July 25, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I admit I had a similar reaction to York's, but after reading about it more, I felt differently. Kevin's point about, isn't this what conservatives are trying to do is well taken. I would not call myself a conservative, but I am probably "of the right" and can still tell he's speaking about people like me.

I've been involved in the postproduction on a film, Obsession: Radical Islam's War on the West, which itself tries to do what Kevin calls on -- internationalize the issue, so it's not just about American lives. The movie features prominent former jihadi types and the grown daughter of an Egyptian terrorist. We frankly need more voices like this.

Kevin's point is well-taken, and I am happy to hear the point expressed on the left.

Posted by: Will on July 25, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Gonk:

Um, I read it, and his point clearly is to diminish as insignificant the "non-American" victims of 9/11. Which is (a) pretty shitty, and (b) totally misses Obama's point in the first place.

Do you simply not possess any reading comprehension?

Posted by: DH Walker on July 25, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Obama: "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."

York: "This isn't to diminish the loss of anyone on September 11, but people come from all over the world to be Americans, and the great majority of people who died that day were Americans."

FactCheck: "Of those issued death certificates, 1 percent (27 people) were foreign nationals from eight different countries. Also, about 21 percent (568 people) were born outside of the U.S."

568+27 = thousands from around the globe? I'd have to say my reading comprehension is better than your math skills.

Oh, but I know... America is a land of immigrants and the parents or grandparents or great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents or great-great-great-grandparents is what The One was referring to.

As for Obama's point, well his next sentence was about the dangers of Boston cars! I say from now on everyone in Massachusetts should be required to ride a bike.

Posted by: gonk on July 25, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Gonk, you're absolutely right about the Massholes. None of them should be allowed to drive.

Reading comprehension? Not so much. "Thousands from around the globe" obviously includes those who were from the U.S. Which is, despite the Bush Administration's apparent delusions to the contrary, still part of the globe.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on July 25, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

gonk wrote: "... his next sentence was about the dangers of Boston cars!"

It is always hard to tell whether right-wingers are as stupid as they seem to be, or if they are just pretending to be that stupid, which would make them actually much stupider than they seem to be.

Obama was not talking about "the dangers of Boston cars". He was talking about anthropogenic global warming, caused principally by emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels such as oil (e.g. Boston cars) and coal (e.g. Chinese factories).

Unlike "terrorism" which is a relatively trivial matter (the 9/11/2001 attacks killed less than one-tenth the number of people killed in car accidents in the US every year), anthropogenic global warming is an existential threat to human civilization, and already kills more people every year than does "terrorism".

Obama's point -- which you are clearly too stupid and ignorant and deluded to comprehend -- was that global warming is a threat that can only be addressed through international cooperation.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 25, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

"568+27 = thousands from around the globe?"

No - all those killed at the WTC = thousands from around the globe. Last time I checked, the USA is still part of planet Earth.

If this kind of nitpicking, feckless critique is the most scathing thing the rightwing blowhards can come up with, then I guess Obama's speech went pretty well. Then again, with our right-leaning media like CNN, ABC etc., you never can be sure how it will be spun.

Posted by: Bob Loblaw on July 25, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Gonk: Oh, but I know... America is a land of immigrants ...

Oh, so you CAN read. Good for you - you're ahead of Byron York, at least. And as for my math skills, I at least know that 3 or more thousands counts as "thousands". But then I'm not a moronic winger trying to make a "point".

Posted by: DH Walker on July 25, 2008 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

This episode shows that McCain is willing to do anything to win this election...he learned the wrong things from his own '00 experience... http://www.enewsreference.com

Posted by: eNews Reference on July 26, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with your point entirely about bringing together those who will fight terrorism. I also agree that many Republicans make similar arguments, though far less effectively where the current administration is concerned. But, I have to say, these types of comments do leave Barrack open to this type of criticism. Unfortunate, but true, so far as I see it.
The larger picture, especially when included with the Berlin speech, shows an image of the U.S. still holding some strong potential allies. I think that one of McCain's largest drawbacks is the idea that he might scare them off. Obama, admittedly a bit presumptuous in his speeches, shows a huge potential to draw them in.

But then we better get back to the economy...

Posted by: Jeff on July 26, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

He was trying to convince those Europeans that the fight against terrorism is their fight too. Isn't that a good thing?


The only criticism that should be levelled at Obama is that his statement was perfectly gratuitous in an Europe that has had its share of terrorist acts and does not need any lectures from him. Obama's statement was aimed at convincing Americans that he is going to be tough on terrorists.

Posted by: bob h on July 27, 2008 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

Keep working ,great job!

Posted by: Dot Seeliger on March 26, 2011 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK
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