Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama on Iraq

Barack Obama described his plan for Iraq in a New York Times editorial. Obama anchored is piece on "the call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq". Obama wrote, "we should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States." The BBC had access to Maliki's actual press conference and wrote this (emphasis mine):
US presidential contender Barack Obama has repeatedly seized on statements attributed to Iraqi leaders to support his call for a troop withdrawal deadline. The key statement cited by Mr Obama and others was made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki last Monday in his address to Arab ambassadors in the United Arab Emirates. .. It was widely circulated by the news media, and caught much attention, including that of Mr Obama.

There is only one problem. It is not what Mr Maliki actually said.

In an audio recording of his remarks, heard by the BBC, the prime minister did not use the word "withdrawal". What he actually said was: "The direction is towards either a memorandum of understanding on their evacuation, or a memorandum of understanding on programming their presence."

Intrigued by the difference between the press release version and Maliki's actual remarks, the BBC dug further and found that Iraq's position was somewhat nebulous. The Status of Forces negotiations are still underway between the US and Iraq and it would have been natural for Maliki to remain vague about a matter that is still under negotiation. The BBC tracked the subsequent changes and found the Iraqi position to suggest both meanings as one would have expected on a matter on which is still under discussion.
Mr Maliki's own office had inserted the word "withdrawal" in the written version, replacing the word "presence". Contacted by the BBC, the prime minister's office had no explanation for the apparent contradiction. An official suggested the written version remained the authoritative one, although it is not what Mr Maliki said.

The impression of a hardening Iraqi government line was reinforced the following day by comments from the National Security Adviser, Muwaffaq al-Rubaie. He was quoted as saying that Iraq would not accept any agreement which did not specify a deadline for a full withdrawal of US troops. Significantly, Mr Rubaie was speaking immediately after a meeting with the senior Shiite clerical eminence, Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

But in subsequent remarks, Mr Rubaie rode back from a straightforward demand for a withdrawal deadline. He said the talks were focused on agreeing on "timeline horizons, not specific dates", and said that withdrawal timings would depend on the readiness of the Iraqi security forces.

But Barack Obama has taken one point under negotiation and assumed an outcome even though it is an actually still under discussion. He went on to write at the NYT about the "will of the Iraqi people" which he presumably knows in advance:
They call any timetable for the removal of American troops "surrender," even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government. But this is not a strategy for success - it is a strategy for staying that runs contrary to the will of the Iraqi people, the American people and the security interests of the United States. That is why, on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war.

What happens if the "timeline horizons" that the Iraqi government negotiates with the US are longer than Obama's plan for withdrawal? The Iraqis could hardly force the US to stay. So a President Obama's policy would be determinative. If that policy happened to coincide with the "will of the Iraqi people" it would be just ducky. But for the moment Obama hasn't asked them.


Obama: I Have A Plan

More political nonsense, than an actual plan, Obama offers up his foggy vision of what to do about Iraq. He leaves himself so many outs, it amounts to nothing. And the would be Commander-In-Chief fails to take into account America's long-term strategic interests. No doubt the troops left behind longer in hot zones will take great comfort in knowing their supporting elements are bailing out just as the enemy is likely to pour on the heat as Obama retreats.

And as for permanent bases in Iraq, only a fool would not attempt to establish same. It will take decades, at least, to make America's infrastructure capable of supporting alternative energy. In the meantime, we are locked to events in the Middle East. Iraq presents the perfect location to project power there when need be.

Obama would surrender the Middle-East, still a hot bed of terrorism, with Iran, Syria and Lebanon as tinder ... and with the safety of Israel always in question. Ultimately, he would be turning the region back to the control of whatever anti-American despots want to seize control of this or that nation or region and leave America with a bigger war to fight because Obama cut and ran.

I wouldn't want this clown watching my back in a Chicago street fight, let alone in the struggle against Mid-East generated terrorism. I suspect he did his community organizing during the day, or in the safety of some social worker-like office. Come to think of it, I bet the social workers took more risks than Obama did. His plan is really nothing but talk and talk is cheap. I suspect everything about this guys is, except his suits ... his expansive house ... and whatever luxury items he managed to buy himself through his shady Chicago-politics past.


When is Obama Not Lying?

Barack the messiah has fallen from grace. Here he was, a "racial healer," a hip Hypester straight from Change & Hope, hypnotizing millions of worshippers, a modern William Jennings Bryant dazzling the mobs with the image of an America crucified on a Cross of Gold. Well, recently Obama is just another shifty-eyed, moondancin' pol from the Chicago Machine, playing the race card like Jesse Jackson, even according to The New Yorker. He makes outright deals with corruptocrat Tony Rezko to get his home cheap, and with the Teamsters to buy their election troops in exchange for Federal oversight leniency. He's been lolling in bed with the wild-eyed zealots of ACORN for ten years or more.

The liberal media are down on him today -- but of course they're counting on the Braindead Vote to forget all about that in November when they lift him up again, just in time for the election. They're stuck with O'Bumbler, and he knows it.

So Obama has been lying his head off. Can we count the ways? On Iraq, he's was agin' it before, but he's for it now. On Iran, he's was for it before, and agin' it now. On FISA terrorist surveillance, he just voted for what the hysterical Left has convinced itself to be a Nazi attack on civil rights. On Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he's danced about that one half a dozen times, always ending up on a different side. But liberal Jews will still vote for him, because they hate George W. Bush more than they love reality.

Obama is going to attack John McCain from the right, believe it or not, figuring that the Sucker Vote will fall for it. And he might be right.

So when is Obama not lying? When you catch him unawares. He wasn't lying in his San Francisco sneers for the white voters of Pennsylvania. He wasn't lying when he said everybody (except Obama) should learn Spanish. He wasn't lying when he was riffing about a jazz-based Black identity curriculum to fix all the education problems of the inner city. He wasn't lying when he said that Iran is just a "tiny country" (it isn't) that poses no threat to the US (it does). He was just riffin' free like a rock guitar player in all those cases, just out of the inspiration of the moment, but he wasn't lying.

You have to remember, though, that he's a quick study, and he'll fix all the dumb mistakes in no time. Obama is a rookie who's learning to act like a pro fast -- but he has no depth of knowledge about anything that matters. He's a pure creature of the dogmatic Left -- during his adolescence with Frank Marshall Davis, in his education at Occidental, Columbia and Harvard Law, in his alliance with ACORN and Bill Ayers, in his two autobiographies, in his Alinsky period as a community agitator -- excuse me, "organizer" -- when he clung to such as Rev. Jeremiah Wright because it served his vast ambitions. Obama is the slickest empty suit the Democrats have had since the early Clintons. That's what they wanted, and that's what they got.

The biggest question is still why Barack Obama is so sure, deep in his heart, that he's qualified to lead this country of 300 million human souls at a time of war and crisis? Why is a rookie Illinois legislator who constantly played footsie with the Chicago Machine, with Black "Liberation" Theology -- the new psychic slavery for inner city Black folks -- and with corruptos like Tony Rezko -- why is this slick street hustler so profoundly convinced that he, and only he, can save this country and the Planet?

That question belongs somewhere in the depths of human pathology. It has something to do with being abandoned by his father and mother in Hawaii and Indonesia, and leaning on old mentor Frank to imagine a messianic future for him. But it's no qualification to wildly overestimate your own experience and abilities so that you are just living in your own rockstar fantasy life. That was the way of Bill and Hillary, the Arkansas country slicksters, who also had liberals by the millions suckered to the gills.

So when is Obama not lying? When he blurts out his real opinions in private. Fortunately he is so undisciplined and overconfident that he'll do that often enough. And Obama's wife Michelle is a genuine PC Commissar, straight from the Russian steppes, who just cannot think outside of the racial resentment box. This is Hillary & Bill, Version 2.0; a trendier paint job but the same old putt-putt under the hood.

Well, the Dems and the media sold us eight years of the Clintons in 1992, culminating in the 9/11 disaster in New York City and the Pentagon. This time the liberal powers are going to try again with a couple of Black slicksters. They will lie and lie and lie and still be covered up by the media. Get ready. And if you want to save your country, go all out for the only choice we have. You don't have to like John McCain --- all you have to do is contemplate the alternative. And pray for your country. Your country will need it.


Obama: Enforcing Immigration Laws is Terrorism

Post below recycled from STACLU. See the original for links and video

Another clear example of stupidity from this idiot, as he speaks to the racist organization "La Raza".
When communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids, when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel, when all that is happening, the system just isn't working, and we need to change it.

First, is the obvious.he doesn't know the difference between ICE and Al Qaeda. When people break the law they should expect consequences, and sometimes that includes raids with probable cause and arrest. This is not terrorism. Second, if he thinks this should be changed, why does he have three years in the Senate and never changed it?

AJ Strata:
Is anyone being beaten or bombed? Is anyone being oppressed because they broke the law? Hell no. And to insult those who are doing what they can to stem the tide of illegals by equating them with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas and others who really do `terrorize' people just shows what a panderer Obama is. I cannot also help but note how much these comments echo those of the Weather Underground from the 60's, who decided to use violence against America. Obama is clearly having a "Bill Ayers moment" here. Stick a fork in this fool - he is toast.

Obama's Glaring Contradictions on Immigration

Barack Obama, speaking Powder Springs, Georgia, Tuesday:
"I agree that immigrants should learn English. But instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English - they'll learn English - you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish.

Obama, speaking before the National Council of La Raza, Sunday:
We have to finally bring those 12 million people out of the shadows. Yes, they broke the law. And we should not excuse that. We should require them to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for citizenship - behind those who came here legally. But we cannot - and should not - deport 12 million people. That would turn American into something we're not; something we don't want to be.

Wait. I thought we shouldn't worry about whether immigrants can learn English, because "they'll learn English." Now Obama wants the government to require it for them to stay in the country? Also in Obama's speech to NCLR:
We walked together in those marches for immigration reform.

Odd. That doesn't seem to jibe with this statement in his book, The Audacity of Hope, on page 266:
And, if I'm honest with myself, I must admit that I'm not entirely immune to such nativist sentiments. When I see Mexican flags waved at proimmigration* demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment. When I'm forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.

Was Obama experiencing those "nativist sentiments" and "flushes of patriotic resentment" while he was marching with La Raza for immigration reform?


Obama, Shaman

In the patois of punditry, "charismatic" has come to mean little more than "like a rock star." But the striking thing about the charismatic leader is the extent to which his followers regard him as a healer of wounds, an alleviator of pain. In this sense, surely, Senator Barack Obama is charismatic. The carefully knotted ties and the dark, conservatively tailored suits only accentuate the exoticness of his shamanism; he has entered the American psyche not as a hero but as a healer.

The country, or much of it, has longed for such a figure, a man from the once-oppressed race whose rise to power will atone for the sins of slavery and racial stigmatization. But Obama's rhetoric encompasses more than a promise of racial healing. He is not the first politician to argue that politics can redeem us, but in posing as the Adonis who will turn winter into spring, he revives one of the more pernicious political swindles: the belief that a charismatic leader can ordain a civic happy hour and give a people a sense of community that will make them feel less bad.....

Unlike the English Whigs and the American Founders, the modern liberal regards suffering not as an unavoidable element of life but as an aberration to be corrected by up-to-date political, economic, and hygienic arrangements. Rather than acknowledge the limitations of our condition, the liberal continually contrives panaceas that will enable us to transcend it.

Barack Obama, in taking up the part of regenerative healer, is the latest panacea. As a society, Obama says, we are hurting. Our schools are "crumbling." There are "lines in the emergency rooms" of the hospitals, and our corporate culture is "rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed." He points to the millions of Americans who, in struggling with life's difficulties ("high gas bills, insufficient health insurance, and a pension that some bankruptcy court somewhere has rendered unenforceable"), have become bitter and unhappy. Obama finds a scapegoat for the present discontents in politics--a politics, he argues, that breeds "division, and conflict, and cynicism" and that has become a "dead zone" in which "narrow interests vie for advantage and ideological minorities seek to impose their own versions of absolute truth."

The solution, he says, lies in a political reformation. Unless we "begin the process of changing politics and our civic life," we will bequeath to our children "a weaker and more fractured America" than the one we inherited. Hence his mantra, "Change we can believe in." Like the Nicene Creed, Obama's doctrine begins in belief. Credo. Once we believe in the possibility of a transformative politics, "the perfection begins." The selfish politics of the present yields to the selfless politics of the future. We discover that "this nation is more than the sum of its parts--that out of many, we are truly one." So believing, we can replace a politics that breeds division, conflict, and cynicism with a politics that fosters unity and peace. In Obama's "project of national renewal," government can become an expression of "our communal values, our sense of mutual responsibility and social solidarity."

Even as Obama suggests that a new communitarianism can heal America's pain and change American lives, radically and for the better, he is careful to anticipate the charge of utopian delusion. Government, he tells people, cannot "solve all their problems." But presumably it can solve most of them.

The danger of Obama's charismatic healer-redeemer fable lies in the hubris it encourages, the belief that gifted politicians can engender a selfless communitarian solidarity. Such a renovation of our national life would require not only a change in constitutional structure--the current system having been geared to conflict by the Founders, who believed that the clash of private interests helps preserve liberty--but also a change in human nature. Obama's conviction that it is possible to create a beautiful politics, one in which Americans will selflessly pursue a shared vision of the common good, recalls the belief that Dostoyevsky attributed to the nineteenth-century Russian revolutionists: that, come the revolution, "all men will become righteous in one instant." The perfection would begin.

In rejecting the Anglo-American politics of limits, Obama revives a political tradition that derives ultimately from Niccolo Machiavelli. In the Discourses on Livy and The Art of War, Machiavelli argued that it is possible to create a communitarian republic like the one whose outlines he glimpsed in Livy's (highly romanticized) version of Roman history--a polity in which citizens, forsaking their own swinish pursuits, would become happy in the pursuit of a common good. Wise laws, he maintained, would "make citizens love one another." The virtuous res publica of the Romans could be conjured anew..... The "Machiavellian vocabulary," the historian J. G. A. Pocock argued in The Machiavellian Moment, became the "vehicle of a basically hostile perception of early modern capitalism." Machiavelli rejected the commercial ethos (predicated on the pursuit of private interest) that the leading Anglo-American statesmen sought to encourage.

In doing so, he anticipated modernity's childish dream of an anodyne world. His communitarian state is the prototype of the workers' paradises of Marx and Lenin and the Nordic Valhallas of Hitler and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. His influence is evident in both the enlightened despot celebrated by the Continental philosophes and the socialist wizard admired by intellectuals like Edmund Wilson, who hailed Marx as a mix of "Prometheus and Lucifer," a heroically diabolic figure who could redeem the waste land of modern capitalism, the forerunner of Lenin and Stalin, Castro and Mao. The Machiavellian ideal of a communitarian paradise haunts, too, the welfare-state philosophy that Bismarck (for his own cynical reasons) promoted when he established the world's first Wohlfahrtsstaat, a model for socialists in Germany and welfare-state liberals in England and the United States.

In breathing fresh life into Machiavelli's communitarian daydream, Obama revives a style of charismatic leadership that fell out of favor in the United States after the death of FDR. Of the three presidents since 1945 most often regarded as possessing charismatic qualities, the first, Kennedy, was a tax cutter who questioned liberal utopianism when he said that "life is not fair," and the second, Reagan, sought to curb the hubris of New Deal etatisme. The third, Clinton, said that he could feel our pain but retreated from his pledge to heal it when he scrapped a plan to nationalize medicine. Obama, by contrast, is faithful to the old-style charismatics, whose slogans ("social solidarity," for example) he has taken out of cold storage.

Of course, he would not have gotten far had he simply defrosted the ideas of Henry Wallace and George McGovern. Obama's charisma is tuned to the mood of the moment. The charisma of American political leaders has typically rested on images of unflinching strength and masculine authority: Teddy Roosevelt in the North Dakota Badlands; Kennedy, the naval hero whose sexual prowess was acknowledged even in his Secret Service code name ("Lancer"); Reagan, the man on horseback whom the Secret Service called "Rawhide." Obama's charisma, by contrast, is closer to what critic Camille Paglia has identified with today's television talk-show culture, in which admissions of weakness are offered as proof of empathetic qualities. Talk-show culture is occupied with the question of why we feel so bad, when it is our right under the liberal dispensation to feel eternally good. The man who would succeed in such a culture must appear to sympathize with these obscure hurts; he must take pains, ! Paglia writes in Sexual Personae, to appear an "androgyne, the nurturant male or male mother."

Obama, in gaming this culture, has figured out a new way to bottle old wine. He knows that experience has taught Americans to suspect the masculine healer-redeemer who bears collectivist gifts; no one wants to revive the caudillos of the thirties. Studiously avoiding the tough-hombre style of earlier charismatic figures, he phrases his vision in the tranquilizing accents of Oprah-land. His charisma is grounded in empathy rather than authority, confessional candor rather than muscular strength, metrosexual mildness rather than masculine testosterone. His power of sympathetic insight is said to be uncanny: "Everybody who's dealt with him," columnist David Brooks says, "has a story about a time when they felt Obama profoundly listened to them and understood them." His two books are written in the empathetic-confessional mode that his most prominent benefactress, Oprah, favors; he is her political healer in roughly the same way that Dr. Phil was once her pop-psychology one. The collectivist dream, Obama instinctively understands, is less scary, more sympathetic, when served up by mama (or by mama in drag)...

Yet if Obama has made redemptive communitarianism attractive in an age of sagging sperm counts, he has done nothing to correct the underlying flaw of the collectivist ideal: its incompatibility with the older morality of limits. The politics of consensus that Obama favors is incompatible with the Founders' adversarial system, which permits those whom he disparages as "ideological minorities" to take stands on principle that, at times, frustrate the national consensus. Obama makes it clear that there is no place, in the politics he advocates, for those "absolutists" who would defy the community. The "ideological core of today's GOP," he writes, is "absolutism, not conservatism," an absolutism driven by those who prize "absolute truth" over "communal values." This commitment to absolute truth, he argues, stands in the way of a politics that can solve our problems and change our lives....

Obama has revived a cruel mirage, but the good news is that the country has defenses against his brand of redemptive politics. Some of these defenses are constitutional, others cultural. The very strength of America's religious ideal of redemption has restrained, though it has not entirely forestalled, the development of alternative secular ideals of redemption. A religiously inspired belief in original sin has made Americans wary of succumbing to the Pelagian notion that a mere mortal, however charismatic, can build the New Jerusalem out of purely secular materials. The country's constitutional system, itself founded on the theory of original sin, has created a perpetual conflict of factions and interests that so far has prevented any single party from imposing a monolithic unity from above, such as Europe's collectivists were able to do....

Meanwhile, the very images of frailty that undermine the masculine leader's pose of strength help the practitioner of the new post-masculine charisma, whose object is to appear human--all too human. Softness has become an asset for candidates who have molded themselves on the exhibitionist model of the Oprah matriarchy.

Hence Obama's spectacular rise. But Obama-mania is bound in the end to disappoint. Not only does it teach us to despise our political system's wise recognition of human imperfection and the pursuit of private happiness; it encourages us to seek for perfection where we will not find it, in politics, in the hero worship of a charismatic shaman, in the speciousness of a secular millennium. Lacking the moral parables that made our ancestors wary of those delusions in which overweening pride is apt to involve us, we pursue false gods and turn away from traditions that really can help us make sense of our condition.

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