It has been described both as a distortion of history, genealogy, and geography.
On Memorial Day, Barack Obama said that his uncle participated in the liberation of Auschwitz.
“I had an uncle who was … part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps,” Obama said.
“And the story in our family was is that when he came home, he just went up into the attic and he didn’t leave the house for six months,” he said.
Well, it couldn’t have been Auschwitz that his uncle liberated, because the Soviet Red Army – not the U.S. Army – reached Auschwitz first, and the U.S. Army never got to Auschwitz. That’s the historical error.
And it couldn’t have been his uncle, because research proved none of Obama’s uncles were in the Army. That’s the geneological error. The Obama campaign later said that the “uncle” was actually a great uncle on his mother’s side.
And Auschwitz is some 500 miles from Ohrdruf, which was part of the Buchenwald camp system. That’s the geographical error.
Now, The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog has given Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama three Pinocchios (significant factual error and/or obvious contradiction).” Noel Sheppard actually takes Michael Dobbs to task for taking away one of the four “pinocchios” Dobbs had originally awarded, saying, “With all due respect, Mr. Dobbs, Ohrdruf had a population of 11,700 prisoners while the gas chambers of Auschwitz killed 1 million innocent people. Comparing the two is an insult to mankind.”
Certainly, we can argue that this is tantamount to the Bosnia sniper incident that Hillary Clinton alluded to. She described flying into Bosnia, and that part of the story was true. Every other thing she said about the event was false.
It would seem that Barack Obama changed the relationship of his relative to make the story more personal for him, and changed the location to Auschwitz to make the story more exciting and “historic.”
The Obama camp is simply chocking it up to a “mistaken reference.” But this is about the same Barack Obama who tore into John McCain for a verbal gaffe confusing the Sunnis and Shiites:
(CNN) — Barack Obama on Wednesday took aim at potential rival John McCain over the Arizona senator’s apparent misstep at a recent press conference in Jordan, the latest sign Democrats are looking to capitalize on the moment.
“Just yesterday, we heard Sen. McCain confuse Sunni and Shiite, Iran and Al Qaeda,” Obama said during a speech on Iraq Wednesday morning. “Maybe that is why he voted to go to war with a country that had no Al Qaeda ties. Maybe that is why he completely fails to understand that the war in Iraq has done more to embolden America’s enemies than any strategic choice that we have made in decades.
The gaffe in question occurred during a news conference in Jordan Tuesday, when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee repeatedly said Iran was supplying al Qaeda. Iran is predominately a Shiite country and is not aiding the Sunni dominated Al-Qaeda.
McCain ultimately corrected himself after Sen. Joe Lieberman whispered in his ear.
“I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al Qaeda. I am sorry,” the Arizona senator said.
And this is the same Barack Obama who said,
“It is wonderful to be back in Oregon,” Obama said. “Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it.”
You can hear this rather stunning gaffe in glowing color on Youtube if you’d like. Barack Obama could become the first president of the United States who had no idea how many states he was actually president of. Yet somehow Barack Obama deserves to be let off the hook for making a mistake most kindergarteners wouldn’t make, but John McCain deserved to twist in the wind for his slip of the tongue.
So when the Obama camp came out with this response the words “great big giant hypocrite” came to mind:
Obama campaign aides were indignant that Republicans had pounced on what they called an innocent mistake over such a grave subject. Tommy Vietor, an Obama spokesman, decried “using the Holocaust and concentration camps as a political football.”
When Jesus talked about the guy with the log in his own eye making a big deal of the speck another guy had in his eye (Matthew 7:1-5), he could have been talking about Barack Obama. For Obama to go after John McCain on his foreign policy expertise is kind of like Kobe Bryant’s five year old daughter telling him how to shoot jump shots.
But – in addition to Barack Obama’s rather galling hypocrisy – the thing I’d really like to address regarding the Obama “uncle” error is the underlying text and subtext Obama was addressing.
The text was mental health care for veterans. Obama was ostensibly saying that veterans have had to deal with traumatic experiences that continue to affect them long after the war is over. I agree fully, and so does every else. But Obama self-righteously wanted to claim the moral high ground OVER JOHN MCCAIN, WHO PERSONALLY SPENT FIVE YEARS ROTTING IN A NORTH VIETNAMESE HELLHOLE WITH SEVERE UNTREATED INJURIES!!! by claiming that he’d had a relative who suffered.
The subtext was the recent problems that Obama has been having with the Jewish community over the growing perception that he’d meet with terrorists and rogue dictators without preconditions amounted to weakness and a lack of support for Jews and for the state of Israel, which tends to be concerned about such things. This might be because the leadership of the most significant country in question – Iran – has repeatedly stated its sworn intention of “wiping Israel off the map.” Stuff like that raises hackles, particularly when Iran is daily defying the International Atomic Energy Agency on its uranium enrichment. Israel is saying, “How about a little less dialoging and a lot more preconditions?”
But come on, think about it: Obama didn’t even know what relation he was to this “uncle” of his. He had no idea what camp the man had helped liberate. You just don’t get the sense that this “story” deeply affected Barack Obama, or that he hung on every word.
This is just another politicians cynically taking advantage of every part of his life that he possibly can – no matter how irrelevant it was to him up until the moment it suddenly became useful – to use for the sake of personal political gain.
Hillary Clinton needed to pad her “battle-hardened leader” resume and dreamed up a sniper attack. Obama needed to placate the Jewish community and “discovered” a relative whose unit had liberated a camp.
Barack Obama has repeatedly proven that he is not the sweeping figure of hope and change that he cynically presents himself to be. He is just as willing to lie, pander, and demagogue (there are several other sites recording such as well; both of these are worthy of review) as any other Democratic candidate whose come down the pike in recent years. Barack Obama now has a well documented history of lying about his family to score cheap political points. That’s about as cynical as you can get.
I’ve got to come back (May 31) and add a new flare-up that has occurred over the past few days over troop levels relative to the surge strategy:
On Thursday, McCain said last year’s increase in the number of troops in Iraq was working. “I can look you in the eye and tell you it’s succeeding,” he said. “We have drawn down to pre-surge levels. Basra, Mosul and now Sadr city are quiet.”
Obama’s campaign was quick to say McCain was wrong.
“This is the guy who says I need more knowledge,” said Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois who has been criticized by McCain as too inexperienced — particularly on foreign issues — to be president.
“He’s wrong. That’s not true and anyone running for commander in chief should know better,” Obama said to a cheering crowd at a campaign rally. “As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own view, but not your own facts.
The United States has 155,000 troops in Iraq — about 20,000 more than before last year’s troop increase. The number would be cut to about 140,000 after current withdrawals are completed in July.
McCain’s campaign said it was just a question of tenses — saying “drawn down” as opposed to “drawing down.” A campaign official said Obama’s campaign was just “nit-picking”.
At the very least, this seems like yet another throwing of stones in a glass house. Yet the man who recently said his uncle liberated Auschwitz when he doesn’t even have an uncle and the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, and who recently told an Oregon audience that he had visited 57 states, with one yet to go, appears to passionately believe that McCain’s choice in verb tenses somehow renders him unfit to be president.