But, because he is likely (based on present evidence) to be the next President of the US, I feel compelled to say something occasionally. Now that he's made a tour of Europe and the Middle East, pretending to be President already, it seemed like a good time.
Fortunately, the unpleasant burden of commenting on his speech of empty platitudes in Berlin has been carried for me. I offer two very good examples.
From Helen Cadogan at American Thinker:
Obama gave his long awaited speech in Berlin today. It was much ado about nothing...
The walls that must come down, according to Obama, are racial and religious walls.
Had Obama made that speech in Gaza, Jordan, or Saudi Arabia, then his speech would have been courageous and there would have been some merit to it. For, the Islamic countries of the mid-East are hotbeds of racial and religious intolerance, hellholes in which torture is par for the course, in which Jews are as cattle for slaughter and blacks are "abd." [sic]
To the Islamic hellholes in the mid-East, Obama uttered mere platitudes. No condemnation, no exhortation to permit freedom of worship, no demand for civil rights for blacks. He issued no call for Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran to stop funding terrorism and religious intolerance around the world, no words of support for the oppressed women—burqa-clad and subject to honor killings, no requirement for Muslim men to exercise self- control and stop blaming women for being raped.
And, from Victor Davis Hanson, a consistently intelligent observer and someone who actually knows what he talking about:
Given the size of the audience in Berlin Thursday, the enthusiastic response, and the standard lines about how we-were-, -are-, and -will-be-friends boilerplate, one wonders whether all it took to win the Euro-hearts and minds was to have a charismatic, multiracial American spice up a standard George W. Bush speech about helping the world, addressing AIDs, more troops in Afghanistan, etc.?
So supposedly sophisticated Europeans, who constantly dissect American politics and culture, seem suddenly to like us now, because a younger, more mellifluous figure repackaged the standard American trans-Atlantic rah-rah speech, dressed up with a little Obama messianic sermonizing: “People of Berlin — people of the world — this is our moment. This is our time!” along with some throwaway lines about global warming and Darfur?
That’s all it took?
A few minutes of Obama’s Elvis-like hope and change? And now the Europeans will pour troops into Afghanistan, match our AIDs-relief dollars, stand up to Iran, be balanced in the Middle East, get off our backs about Iraq, and stiffen their spines with the Russians, because the days of Bushitler are by fiat over with?
Besides the usual rock-star stuff that he excels at, Obama still does not do history well. He started, as in now usual, almost immediately by mentioning his race (“I know that I don’t look like the Americans who’ve previously spoken in this great city.”) But that simply was not true, given the fact that for the last seven years both American Secretaries of State — who have been the faces of American foreign policy in Europe — were African-American.
His reference to why Berlin did not starve in 1948 (“But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up. And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city’s mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom.”) seems somewhat misleading: the city was kept alive not by “the world” or even the courage of the hungry Berliners, but by skill and courage of the U.S. Air Force.
This last is particularly interesting because it shows once again that either (a) Obama is ignorant of history, or (b) lying again to suit his purposes. I vote for (c) all of the above.
By the way, about that "likely" prediction above: Man, do I hope I'm wrong.