Wednesday, November 11, 2009

He was there on video

Not much to boast about by way of politics and politicians on this side of the Pond, I know. There has to be something wrong if the most exciting thing, politically speaking, is the resignation of two Conservative MEPs from the non-existent front bench in the Toy Parliament. As to why they are non-existent, it is clear: there are no parties or opposition or debates in that institution. The legislation is discussed in committees, the plenary "debates" consist of two-minute random speeches by members in different languages and the voting is done in groups according to lists prepared by researchers some time after the "debate".

None of this matters in the long term (or, for that matter, the short term). The fact that the White House now has a particularly cack-handed inhabitant, on the other hand, matters to everyone.

Phyllis Chesler points out that President Obama's address at Fort Hood
did not pronounce the following words: “Jihad.” “Terrorism.” “Islamist terrorism” or “Islamic terrorism.” Early on, President Obama said that “this is a time of war,” (followed by many platitudes). Towards the end, he said something unscripted, something not contained in the speech transcript. Obama said that “these soldiers could not escape the horror of war even at home”– but he failed to name what that war might be and who might be fighting it.
We've come a long way from "Mr President, tear down that wall". And talking of that Wall, it seems that President Obama was there for the twentieth anniversary celebrations, after all. Well kind of. He sent a video of himself, that Secretary of State Clinton introduced. They were lucky. He could have sent an iPod with all his speeches.

As it is, there was only one speech. Powerhouse has the video and a link to Secretary Clinton's introduction. Surprise, surprise, both speeches were about .... no, not about the fall of Communism .... no, try again ..... yes, that's right, they were about Obama.
Both Secretary Clinton and President Obama emphasized Obama's world-historic story. Clinton likens Obama's election to the fall of the Wall. Obama draws the moral of the story. "Few would have foreseen ... that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it."

Obama's brief remarks are an exercise in bowdlerization, circumlocution, evasion. Omitted from the remarks, among other things, is any mention of the Soviet Union or Communism, Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher or Pope John Paul. Obama neither decries the villains nor salutes the heroes of the story. Rather, Obama celebrates himself. He is an agent of destiny. He is the fulfillment of history.
This is a good deal more disturbing than even the suggestion that Sir John Major is thinking of returning to "active" politics (not that he ever disappeared, being always ready to pronounce sapiently on many issues that he himself had failed on as Prime Minister). But then again, Barack Obama twice told the world that his uncle had helped to liberate Auschwitz.


  1. Perhaps we should start using his first name, President Hussain would not speak of such things, islamist terrorist indeed!

  2. Every week this president makes another major faux pas and never gets pilloried for it! If any of his mistakes had been made by George W. Bush the press would have crucified him. I am so embarrassed on how this administration communicates with the rest of the world. January 22 2012 cannot get here soon enough!