Posts Tagged ‘French’

Obama’s Casual Contempt For America Caught On Film

March 31, 2010

United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag; §8. Respect for flag:
The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.”

Those are just words, of course.  But those words have meant a great deal to patriots throughout American history.

One writer recounts his memories of an ancestor at the Battles of Chattanooga and Chicamauga while growing up:

I had heard the story often growing up. Men took the flag much more seriously during the Civil War era. To see one’s flag fall in battle was a demoralizing event, and therefore an act much desired by the opposing side. This resulted in many a Flag Bearer feeling as if he had a huge target painted on his chest. It was a dangerous occupation.

“He was in the war at Chattanooga, Chickamauga,” related my mother, “ … his flag bearer was running in front of him, and he got shot and he went down and the flag was falling … and in those days you would never let your flag touch the ground … and he grabbed the flag, pulled it off the [pole], and he shoved it in his tunic.” Charles then promptly got shot himself, and bayoneted, with the blades and musket balls ripping though the flag as well as the flesh.

This Civil War site records the words of William H. Carney, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the 54th Massachusetts Regiment’s legendary assault on Fort Wagner:

He was struck with one shot, but not being felled he continued, and then was struck with a second shot. On his struggle to cross the beach to the rear he met a member of the 100th New York Regiment who started to assist him, when Carney was struck with another shot in the head. The other soldier asked Carney to let him carrier the colors so he could more easily walk, but Carney refused, saying that no one other than a member of the 54th Massachusetts should carry the colors.

Finally, after an unlikely arrival alive at the rear guard hospital area, he saw his wounded and dying comrades who saw him carrying their colors and cheered him. He was able to tell them “Boys, the old flag never touched the ground.”

Now let me show you the casual contempt displayed toward the American flag by a man who is masquerading as the President of the United States of America:

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I would love to be there to see William Carney greet Barack Obama with a hard punch in the mouth for his indifferent disgrace to the American flag.

And I can imagine that Carney would have administered a second, even harder shot in the mouth to Obama after finding out that Obama was the first African-American president.

One day we will look back at Barack Obama and call him a national disgrace.

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International Scholar Ajami Explains How Obama Is Failing Re: Iran

June 23, 2009

There is no question that Barack Obama has been widely criticized for offering weak statements on a developing Iranian situation with demonstrators literally risking death to protest what they view as a

While women are being gunned down in the streets, Obama has said he doesn’t want to “meddle” in Iran.  While such women and hundreds of thousands of others are demonstrating and even dying for their vote of Mousavi to be counted against the man whom the Iranian mullahs put in power (Ahmadinejad), Obama has publicly claimed that there is no difference between the two.  And while the Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a progressively harsher and more lethal crackdown on his people, Barack Obama has taken the Ayatollah’s side, claiming:

President Barack Obama says he believes supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has deep concerns about the civil unrest that has followed the hotly contested presidential election there.

Obama repeated Tuesday at a news conference his “deep ir own, concerns” about the disputed balloting. He said he believes the ayatollah’s decision to order an investigation “indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns.”

The Iranian Ayatollah really isn’t that bad of a guy.  You heard it from Barack Hussein first.

It’s not a question as to whether Obama has been tepid in his response to the mass demonstrations in Iran; it is OBVIOUS he has been tepid.  To date, he has delivered three statements on Iran — having been forced to make the third, somewhat more strongly-worded statement, as a result of Congress’ display of unity in its resolve to stand with the Iranian people.  His first statement delivered on June 15 was simply pathetically weak.  Pure and simple.   And even the French and the Germans have shown more moral backbone and more moral indignation than Barack Obama.

When a French president displays moral outrage, while an American president displays political appeasement, it is more than a shame: it is an absolute abdication of leadership.  And, even worse, when an American president is behind Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in exhibiting moral courage, it is truly a sign of the last pathetic gasps of a fading republic.

No, the question isn’t whether Obama is being tepid; it’s merely a matter of asking why he is being so incredibly tepid.

The reason, from all accounts, is that Obama (cynically if realistically) expects the Iranian leadership to prevail in this current struggle, and he doesn’t want to antagonize the Iranian regime in a way that might undermine his subsequent efforts at the direct negotiations he campaigned on.  That, and he doesn’t want to be accused by the Iranians of “meddling” when that has already been proven absurd: the Iranians have ALREADY accused us of meddling whether we have been or not.

I would argue that Ronald Reagan’s “meddling” when he called the Soviet Union “an evil empire” and when he  said, “Mr. Gorbachev: tear down this wall!” are what is in order.  It isn’t “meddling” to call a spade a spade.  It is hardly “meddling” to decry in the strongest of terms the absence of liberty and freedom in support of a demonstrating people who clearly yearn for them.

We can never know what would have happened had we only done something that we were too timid to do.  It is right to stand with the Iranian people against an evil and unjust system; it is wrong to cynically play realpolitic in the faint hope of having that same evil and unjust system offer a diplomatic bone down the road.

But, getting back to the main point, are Obama’s concerns that he might undermine future negotiations with Iran valid?

I would argue that Obama’s whole project of attaining success through diplomacy with Iran was a fool’s project to begin with.  We are talking about a regime that has based itself for over 30 years on conflict with and opposition to “the Great Satan”, America.

At no time during the Obama presidency have they demonstrated any willingness to cease their efforts toward nuclear weapons.  They simply have no reason to do so.  And there is virtually no reason to believe that Barack Obama will be able to give them one.

By any realistic expectation, Obama’s policy of diplomacy and negotiation with Iran has ALREADY FAILED, as even the New York Times recognizes.  There is nothing left in terms of hopes of future negotiation breakthroughs to hope for.  If nothing else, how is Obama going to personally meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or the Ayatollah Khamenei, when the fundamental legitimacy of their government is in such open question?

An insightful article by one of the premier experts on Iran offers insights on precisely how and even why Barack Obama has failed on Iran:

JUNE 22, 2009

Obama’s Persian Tutorial: The president has to choose between the regime and the people in the streets.

By FOUAD AJAMI

President Barack Obama did not “lose” Iran. This is not a Jimmy Carter moment. But the foreign-policy education of America’s 44th president has just begun. Hitherto, he had been cavalier about other lands, he had trusted in his own biography as a bridge to distant peoples, he had believed he could talk rogues and ideologues out of deeply held beliefs. His predecessor had drawn lines in the sand. He would look past them.

Thus a man who had been uneasy with his middle name (Hussein) during the presidential campaign would descend on Ankara and Cairo, inserting himself in a raging civil war over Islam itself. An Iranian theocratic regime had launched a bid for dominion in its region; Mr. Obama offered it an olive branch and waited for it to “unclench” its fist.

It was an odd, deeply conflicted message from Mr. Obama. He was at once a herald of change yet a practitioner of realpolitik. He would entice the crowds, yet assure the autocrats that the “diplomacy of freedom” that unsettled them during the presidency of George W. Bush is dead and buried. Grant the rulers in Tehran and Damascus their due: They were quick to take the measure of the new steward of American power. He had come to “engage” them. Gone was the hope of transforming these regimes or making them pay for their transgressions. The theocracy was said to be waiting on an American opening, and this new president would put an end to three decades of estrangement between the United States and Iran.

But in truth Iran had never wanted an opening to the U.S. For the length of three decades, the custodians of the theocracy have had precisely the level of enmity toward the U.S. they have wanted — just enough to be an ideological glue for the regime but not enough to be a threat to their power. Iran’s rulers have made their way in the world with relative ease. No White Army gathered to restore the dominion of the Pahlavis. The Cold War and oil bailed them out. So did the false hope that the revolution would mellow and make its peace with the world.

Mr. Obama may believe that his offer to Iran is a break with a hard-line American policy. But nothing could be further from the truth. In 1989, in his inaugural, George H.W. Bush extended an offer to Iran: “Good will begets good will,” he said. A decade later, in a typically Clintonian spirit of penance and contrition, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright came forth with a full apology for America’s role in the 1953 coup that ousted nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.

Iran’s rulers scoffed. They had inherited a world, and they were in no need of opening it to outsiders. They were able to fly under the radar. Selective, targeted deeds of terror, and oil income, enabled them to hold their regime intact. There is a Persian pride and a Persian solitude, and the impact of three decades of zeal and indoctrination. The drama of Barack Obama’s election was not an affair of Iran. They had an election of their own to stage. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — a son of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolutionary order, a man from the brigades of the regime, austere and indifferent to outsiders, an Iranian Everyman with badly fitting clothes and white socks — was up for re-election.

The upper orders of his country loathed him and bristled under the system of controls that the mullahs and the military and the revolutionary brigades had put in place, but he had the power and the money and the organs of the state arrayed on his side. There was a discernible fault line in Iran. There were Iranians yearning for liberty, but we should not underestimate the power and the determination of those moved by the yearning for piety. Ahmadinejad’s message of populism at home and defiance abroad, his assertion that the country’s nuclear quest is a “closed file,” settled and beyond discussion, have a resonance on Iranian soil. His challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, a generation older, could not compete with him on that terrain.

On the ruins of the ancien régime, the Iranian revolutionaries, it has to be conceded, have built a formidable state. The men who emerged out of a cruel and bloody struggle over their country’s identity and spoils are a tenacious, merciless breed. Their capacity for repression is fearsome. We must rein in the modernist conceit that the bloggers, and the force of Twitter and Facebook, could win in the streets against the squads of the regime. That fight would be an Iranian drama, all outsiders mere spectators.

That ambivalence at the heart of the Obama diplomacy about freedom has not served American policy well in this crisis. We had tried to “cheat” — an opening to the regime with an obligatory wink to those who took to the streets appalled by their rulers’ cynicism and utter disregard for their people’s intelligence and common sense — and we were caught at it. Mr. Obama’s statement that “the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as had been advertised” put on cruel display the administration’s incoherence. For once, there was an acknowledgment by this young president of history’s burden: “Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons.” No Wilsonianism on offer here.

Mr. Obama will have to acknowledge the “foreignness” of foreign lands. His breezy self-assurance has been put on notice. The Obama administration believed its own rhetoric that the pro-Western March 14 coalition in Lebanon had ridden Mr. Obama’s coattails to an electoral victory. (It had given every indication that it expected similar vindication in Iran.)

But the claim about Lebanon was hollow and reflected little understanding of the forces at play in Lebanon’s politics. That contest was settled by Lebanese rules, and by the push and pull of Saudi and Syrian and Iranian interests in Lebanon.

Mr. Obama’s June 4 speech in Cairo did not reshape the Islamic landscape. I was in Saudi Arabia when Mr. Obama traveled to Riyadh and Cairo. The earth did not move, life went on as usual. There were countless people puzzled by the presumption of the entire exercise, an outsider walking into sacred matters of their faith. In Saudi Arabia, and in the Arabic commentaries of other lands, there was unease that so complicated an ideological and cultural terrain could be approached with such ease and haste.

Days into his presidency, it should be recalled, Mr. Obama had spoken of his desire to restore to America’s relation with the Muslim world the respect and mutual interest that had existed 30 or 20 years earlier. It so happened that he was speaking, almost to the day, on the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution — and that the time span he was referring to, his golden age, covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the American standoff with Libya, the fall of Beirut to the forces of terror, and the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Liberal opinion would have howled had this history been offered by George W. Bush, but Barack Obama was granted a waiver.

Little more than three decades ago, Jimmy Carter, another American president convinced that what had come before him could be annulled and wished away, called on the nation to shed its “inordinate fear of communism,” and to put aside its concern with “traditional issues of war and peace” in favor of “new global issues of justice, equity and human rights.” We had betrayed our principles in the course of the Cold War, he said, “fought fire with fire, never thinking that fire is quenched with water.” The Soviet answer to that brave, new world was the invasion of Afghanistan in December of 1979.

Mr. Carter would try an atonement in the last year of his presidency. He would pose as a born-again hawk. It was too late in the hour for such redemption. It would take another standard-bearer, Ronald Reagan, to see that great struggle to victory.

Iran’s ordeal and its ways shattered the Carter presidency. President Obama’s Persian tutorial has just begun.

Mr. Ajami, a professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is the author of “The Foreigner’s Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq (Free Press, 2007).

It is more than fitting that, in an article that is ostensibly about Barack Obama’s poor handling of the Iranian election opportunity, Dr. Ajami should begin and end with Jimmy Carter.  Because we truly have seen much of Barack Obama’s native and failed policies before in the person of Jimmy Carter.

The biggest problem facing Barack Obama is that he is viewed – and I believe very rightly – as weak.

Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” – and he defeated it without even having to fire a shot simply by forceful and continuous confrontation.  George W. Bush called Iraq, Iran, and North Korea “the axis of evil” – and he defeated one of its members and replaced it with a stable democracy (over Barack Obama’s opposition, by the way).

Barack Obama is viewed by rogue regimes as being unwilling to go to war to stand up for American policy or American values.  He will pursue negotiation and diplomacy come what may – and in so doing allow tyrants to take advantage of the United States.

That is why “North Korea’s Kim Jong Il has challenged President Obama more in four months than he did President George W. Bush in eight years.”

Bottom line: with a Reagan, or with either Bush, dictators knew that there was a point beyond which they dared not go, lest the U.S. unleash its might upon them.  They have no such fear about Barack Obama, and for good reason.

Obama’s ‘English’ Comment Yet Another Proof of His Elitism

July 14, 2008

Barack Obama, campaigning in Georgia, offered the following pearl of wisdom regarding America’s lack of foreign language proficiency:

“It’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German,” he had said. “And then we go over to Europe and all we can say is ‘Merci beaucoup.’

I can’t help but remember one of his other critical lectures regarding the ignorance of Americans:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

I guess you can add “the English language” to that list of things that Barack Obama thinks Americans are bitterly clinging to.

Barack Obama came under a lot of fire for little “bitter” remark. I myself was actually much more upset by the incipient Marxism that Barack Obama revealed in his thinking, but the criticism that stuck was that Barack Obama was arrogant, and an elitist. He went to some bunch-of-money per plate pinky-in-the-air fund raising event in San Francisco, and proceeded to tell a bunch of fellow arrogant elitists what he really thought about those idiot hicks over in Pennsylvania.

The charge of “elitism” has continued to resonate with the voters:

(CNN) — Sen. Barack Obama is saddled with a potentially toxic image problem: that he has an elitist attitude.

Well, I really don’t want to give the Obama campaign any useful advice, but one thing I’d tell their guy if I were inclined to help him is: “Hey, Barack, if you really truly want to dispel the impression that you’re a condescending elitist jerk, please, PLEASE, don’t tell us simple-minded Americans we’re not as smart as those sophisticated Europeans and then throw out something in French.”

Jesse Jackson was completely unfair in claiming that Barack Obama was “talking down to black people.”

He talks down to white people too (excepting European white people, of course).

You can say that our first metrosexual candidate for President is an equal-opportunity condescending elitist jerk. He looks down on pretty much everybody.

Obama’s right in a narrow sense, of course: Americans for the most part haven’t bothered to learn a bunch of other languages. Instead, Americans have occupied themselves with building such a great, such a wealthy, such a powerful, such an influential country, that everybody else in the world found it necessary to learn to speak English.

Unlike Barack Obama, I like the American way better.

On a sheer practical level, one must understand the sheer size of the United States relative to Europe, and the absence of the influence of foreign languages upon American culture.

In terms of size, if you overlay the United States over Europe, the U.S. literally either covers or overlaps Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herze-govina, Serbia and Montenegro, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Turkey, Russia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sweden, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria. We don’t have anywhere NEAR the constant “international contact” with languages that Europeans routinely have due to the small size of the countries, and we’re isolated by two oceans to boot. It’s simply ridiculous to expect us to have the same grasp of other languages that people living in countries you can drive through in a few hours have.

In terms of influence, our only foreign language-speaking neighbor – Mexico – is frankly insignificant to the overwhelming majority of Americans. Mexico’s economy has been in a perennial state of shambles for over a century now. Apart from being polite, why should Americans learn to speak Spanish?

And related to that last point, just what language should Americans learn? French? (Seriously, WHY!?!?) Chinese? Russian? Maybe we should learn Arabic, so we can better beg them for oil if – heaven forbid – Barack Obama gets elected and cuts off all our domestic oil production?

The simple fact of the matter is that Americans haven’t learned foreign languages because we haven’t needed to. And if Barack Obama is somehow ashamed of us for that, that’s really just his problem, isn’t it?

There’s another thing about Obama’s “English” remark that underscores his arrogance and elitism: he frankly thinks he knows better than an overwhelming majority of Americans on the issue of just what language Americans ought to be speaking in this country.

According to Rasmussen Reports:

Eighty-five percent (85%) of Americans believe that English should be the official language of the United States. The latest Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults found that only 11% disagree and 4% are not sure.

You know who issued Executive Order 13166 into law requiring multilingualism in federal documents? The last Democrat president we elected. He smuggled this unpopular edict into law in the waning days of his presidency.

That’s just the kind of exposure to foreign languages that Americans don’t need. And it’s just the kind of stuff that Barack Obama – “I know better than you, merci beaucoup” – is going to give us if he’s elected President.

The real danger for Obama is that his arrogance and elitism could – and frankly should – become a unifying narrative, where absolutely everything he says or does becomes interpreted through the prism of “elitism.”

Charles Krauthammer recently did a rather masterful job of connecting Obama’s dismissals regarding his rampant pattern of recent flip flopping with his personal arrogance, for example:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: What impresses me is his audacity. Everybody moves to the center after securing the nomination. There’s nothing new under the sun there.

He did it in a particularly spectacular way with the flips that you talked about. There are a couple of others on NAFTA and flag pins, and he does it all within about three weeks. It’s sort of unprecedented.

But he goes way beyond that. On each of these he pretends that he has never changed. He says, yes, I said the gun bill was constitutional and I supported it. And now he supports the Supreme Court decision that rules it unconstitutional, and pretends it is the same decision.

But then he goes beyond that, reaching an almost acrobatic level of cynicism here, in which he says, as you indicated, Fred, anybody who believes otherwise, anybody who believes he is not actually a flipper and he hasn’t actually changed, is himself cynical, or, as he puts it, “steeped in the old politics,” and so cynical that they can’t even believe that a politician like him would act on principle.

What non-political no-self-interested reason explains his change on campaign finance other than the fact that he has a lot of money and he would lose it otherwise if he had stuck to his principles?

What non-self-interested reason explains his flip on guns, on FISA, on the flag pins, on everything? But he thinks he–what impresses me is his intellectual arrogance. He thinks everyone is either a fool who would believe all this, or a knave who is somehow distorting his words.

So Barack Obama is pretty much “talking down” to the American people as a matter of routine.

Sadly, too many Americans might just prove to be too dumb to recognize it, which is why Krauthammer ends his above analysis by saying, “I think he will get away with it.”

The only thing worse than being “talked down to” is being dumb enough to allow the tactic to succeed.

Tell you what: come November, I hope the American people overwhelmingly vote to say “good bye” to Barack Obama. They can use as many languages to say it as they want: Adios. Au Revoir. Auf wiedersehen. Ciao. Sayonara. Ma’a salaamah. Namasté. Zai jian. And please don’t let the door hit your rear end on the way out.