Archive for July, 2009

Obama and the War on Terror Part 2 of 6.

americanflageagleThe conservative press and its commentators in the United States have been up in arms since the day Obama was made president. Well, the truth is they had been up in arms long before that, but for our purposes, they were pretty much frothing at the mouth, by the time he took office.

The European and world media, were, however almost sycophantic in the praise they lauded upon the United States. After two terms of the hugely unpopular Bush administration, Obama was hailed as a new chance, a change for the better. IT was all but a new dawn for humanity.

You, may, dear reader, have thought that the European press had abandoned its highbrow attitude to all things American, and eased its anti American sentiment. You would too, be very wrong. What the European’s like about Obama, is his universality, in a sense he is more palatable to European sentiment than McCain, or many preceding American presidents.

It is my humble opinion that, this is an incorrect perspective, however widely held. I think Obama is starting to look as American as apple pie, and the truth is that the racial component, and the ivy leagueness, with its resultant euro centricity is waning.

Regardless of style or race, Mr. Obama is shaping up to be a man of ideals and ideas. The simple truth here, dear reader, is, whether or not you agree with him, you have to admit, the man is an extraordinary intellect, a formidable opponent, a clearly defined human being and a consummate politician.

It’s great stuff all round.flag america

While Americans, still guilty, and reeling from the sort of isolation that was imposed, unconsciously on the red white and blue, by the world media and the European mouthpieces thereof, are feeling that the tide has turned and America is back in the good books of the world, I still fear that it is honeymoon stuff.

Already the rumblings of discontent are being heard at the G20 regarding Obama and his policies for the reconstruction of the Global economy. The olive branch is as it were, still in the hand of the US president. The deeply held dislike of the European press for America, may well be in recession, but I predict that it will show its ugly head, steeped as it is in historical and unjustifiable contempt for the American Dream.

Oh, yes, I think Obama is all about the American Dream. I can hear my European readers switching off their modems as I write this. I have previously considered this pinnacle point in anti-American sentiment before. I still hold that the European press looks upon anyone who trades in the currency of hope, with contempt.


Obama is full of hope. He speaks of hope, he speaks of the shortcomings of the system and he almost always does so in relation to his plan to turn that back around and forge the American Dream.

The American Dream, scourge of euro intellectuals and barmaids in down town Warsaw. The American Dream, not yet accomplished, much maligned and scoffed. The American Dream, now revitalized, and with a new face, and a new voice, in new circumstances, about to yet again, echo as a clarion call across the oceans.

Of course, the Europeans simply scorn the dream, the real haters of it wear dustbin bags and dishcloths, and emigrate there with the sole purpose of blowing it all to hell and gone.

This simple threat has motivated some in the conservative camp to claim that Obama is some kind of reincarnated Chamberlain waving his olive branch at the Nazi war machine.

Its easy to see how they might think that, but it is the premise of this piece that such a response ignores who the man really is, and further underestimates him intellectually and as an American, to the point of insult.american flag

An insult with impunity. Deeply undeserved, and dare I say it, dripping with spite and ignorance and quite frankly, sour grapes.

I read with interest the responses that Obama made to those who criticized his “Olive Branch” and called it appeasement.

“Senator Barack Obama responded sharply on Friday to attacks on his foreign policy, linking President Bush and Senator John McCain as partners in “the failed policies” of the past seven years and criticizing them for “hypocrisy, fear peddling, fear mongering.”

Confronting a major challenge to his world view, Mr. Obama tried to turn the tables on his critics, saying they were guilty of “bluster” and “dishonest, divisive” tactics. He cited a litany of what he called foreign policy blunders by the Bush administration and accused Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, of “doubling down” on them.” – New York Times

Of course here, he was responding to the extraordinary attack from McCain;

american-flag flag usa

And the belief that somehow communications and positions and willingness to sit down and have serious negotiations need to be done in a face to face fashion as Senator Obama wants to do, which then enhances the prestige of a nation that’s a sponsor of terrorists and is directly responsible for the deaths of brave young Americans, I think is an unacceptable position, and shows that Senator Obama does not have the knowledge, the experience, the background to make the kind of judgments that are necessary to preserve this nation’s security.”

But all this is, I think beside the point. I don’t think Obama is about appeasement. I don’t think either that there is any evidence that he is “soft” on terrorism. I don’t think that you can listen to the man, and walk out and say, “He doesn’t get it.”

It’s not really possible.

I find Mr. Obama, deeply American and more  deeply committed to American ideals than previous Presidents. I don’t think that this “olive branch” is anything more than that, a gesture of peace.


Just because Mr. Obama starts off by being magnanimous, rather than  confrontational, does not make him “Soft on Terror.”

I think, that, in line with his approach to torture, this is about gaining the moral high ground.  Read between the lines, the most powerful man in the world is offering an olive branch, he knows and appreciates the risks, and he probably knows too, that in many cases it will be rejected.

And when it is, he will hold all the moral currency he needs. He wants to build the American dream. He has the support, the means and the will.


He extends the hand of friendship.


Those who refuse it will learn, it is one thing to fight an aggressor, it is another thing entirely when you have spat in the face of friendship.


It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 6Oth anniversary of Israel’s independence to launch a false political attack. It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel.”

”Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power — including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy — to pressure countries like Iran and Syria. George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the President’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people” – President Obama

Can you read between the lines?

I certainly can.

Lets hope Osama can too.