Democrats & Liberals Archives

Obama's World

Senator Barack Obama made a major speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The speech was great. It was so good that both liberal Ezra Klein and conservative Andrew Sullivan praised it - as did many others. This speech, more than anything else I am aware of about Obama, clearly define’s Obama’s view of the world.

Obama feels the world is hungry for American leadership and that America must restore its world leadership in order to put ourselves and the world on a more secure, healthy and prosperous path. He states, "There are five ways America will begin to lead again when I’m President":

  1. Bring a responsible end to the Iraq War - In this regard I very much like the paragraph Ezra Klein placed in his article:

    In 2002, I stated my opposition to the war in Iraq, not only because it was an unnecessary diversion from the struggle against the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th, but also because it was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the threats that 9/11 brought to light. I believed then, and believe now, that it was based on old ideologies and outdated strategies – a determination to fight a 21st century struggle with a 20th century mindset.

  2. Build first truly 21st century military - Obama is not against the use of force. He calls for 65,000 more Army troops and 27,000 more Marines. However, he wants to be smart about improving our national security:

    In order to advance our national security and our common security, we must call on the full arsenal of American power and ingenuity. To constrain rogue nations, we must use effective diplomacy and muscular alliances. To penetrate terrorist networks, we need a nimble intelligence community – with strong leadership that forces agencies to share information, and invests in the tools, technologies and human intelligence that can get the job done. To maintain our influence in the world economy, we need to get our fiscal house in order. And to weaken the hand of hostile dictators, we must free ourselves from our oil addiction. None of these expressions of power can supplant the need for a strong military. Instead, they complement our military, and help ensure that the use of force is not our sole available option.

  3. Securing, destroying, and stopping the spread of WMD - One approach Obama would use to stop countries like Iran from developing WMD is an international fuel bank:

    Countries should not be able to build a weapons program under the auspices of developing peaceful nuclear power. That’s why we should create an international fuel bank to back up commercial fuel supplies so there’s an assured supply and no more excuses for nations like Iran to build their own enrichment plants. It’s encouraging that the Nuclear Threat Initiative, backed by Warren Buffett, has already offered funding for this fuel bank, if matched two to one. But on an issue of this importance, the United States should not leave the solution to private philanthropies. It should be a central component of our national security, and that’s why we should provide $50 million to get this fuel bank started and urge other nations, starting with Russia, to join us.

  4. Rebuild and construct alliances and partnerships - Working together with other nations may often be the best way to meet some security challenges and threats. Early in his speech, Obama says this:

    In today’s globalized world, the security of the American people is inextricably linked to the security of all people. When narco-trafficking and corruption threaten democracy in Latin America, it’s America’s problem too. When poor villagers in Indonesia have no choice but to send chickens to market infected with avian flu, it cannot be seen as a distant concern. When religious schools in Pakistan teach hatred to young children, our children are threatened as well.

    Alliances and partnerships are definitely needed for the biggest security problem looming over the horizon: global climate change.

  5. Invest in our common humanity - We must help poor and unfortunate countries much more than we have. Obama wants to double our foreign assistance funding by 2012. This little gem of Obama was quoted by Andrew Sullivan:

    We must [lead] not in the spirit of a patron, but the spirit of a partner – a partner that is mindful of its own imperfections. Extending an outstretched hand to these states must ultimately be more than just a matter of expedience or even charity. It must be about recognizing the inherent equality and worth of all people. And it’s about showing the world that America stands for something – that we can still lead...
These are his main points. But if you want to be swept away by Obama's eloquence read the whole thing.

Obama's world is a world of action for the benefit of America and for all peoples of the world.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 24, 2007 7:40 PM
Comments
Comment #218315

Obama is a very attractive candidate and a good speaker with absolutely no experience in doing any of the things he is talking about.

He may indeed make a good president. We just do not have any track record to judge.

We may never know. Hillary’s folks will begin the smear attack real soon and we will not be hearing many good things about the poor guy.

Posted by: Jack at April 24, 2007 8:28 PM
Comment #218331

If Obama’s speech “clearly defines” his view of the world, then his view of the world is an extremely simplistic one indeed.

An “international fuel bank,” the existence of which will give nobody an excuse for developing nuclear weapons on the pretext of generating civilian fuel? Oh, really?

Now, that’s just brilliant. Who administers such a thing? Where does the fuel come from? Who pays for this? Warren Buffet is going to supply one third of matching funds to pay for all the third world’s non-nuclear energy needs? Or just those who threaten to go to nuclear in order to reap this windfall? Once we start supplying the world with energy, Buffet’s fortune will last about a week, and the the US Treasury will collapse shortly thereafter.

If a nation has the resources to buy fuel, it can now. So what does this mean except supplying free energy to states that blackmail the world with threats of going nuclear? That’s what Clinton tried with North Korea.

And what does Obama suggest we do with a nation like Iran or North Korea who goes right ahead with their nuclear plans and won’t be bought off? Certainly he doesn’t mean that he would launch WAR against them, does he? I mean, that would endanger his promised robust security alliances, not to mention be a “distraction from the struggle against those who attacked us on 9-11.”

He will forge muscular security alliances? Really? With whom? Belgium? France? Mexico? I’d like to hear a great more about these nations who would be willing to modernize their military and intelligence resources and bear some of the brunt of playing world policeman… all on the say-so of Barack Obama because he made that promise in an election campaign.

Help foreign countries more than we have? DOUBLE our foreign aid? All at the the same time he plans to increase social spending in the United States, increase the size the military AND enter the United States into an arrangment where we supply the world with energy?

It’s very easy to promise the sun, the moon and the stars in a speech. Delivering on any of it is something else, and Obama’s weak grasp of reality suggest that he’d never actually be able to govern.

Also, Andrew Sullivan is a conservative? Give me a break.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 24, 2007 10:21 PM
Comment #218337

“To constrain rogue nations, we must use effective diplomacy and muscular alliances.”

Speaking of rogue nations, did Mr. Obama happen to mention how we protect the country from ourselves?

No, I thought not.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 24, 2007 10:51 PM
Comment #218351

Jack,

You can start your assessment by reading his ideas. That’s more than I ever got from Bush before he was put in office. Also, he did great things for Illinois. He was very innovative and very popular.

Loyal Opposition,

Any one of those suggestions would have a price tag in the hundreds of billions less than we’ve spent on the Iraq war. An international police force that shares knowledge would cost a pittance and be far, far, more effective than the Iraq war in fighting terrorism globally.

The energy bank? It’s an elegant idea. Iran can pay for energy and there’s no need for the nuclear proliferation that could easily lead to a nuclear World War III. Iran and N.Korea have money coming out of their ears for energy, and if they don’t, the bank can issue a loan. It’s capitalism world style - you gotta problem with that?

Investing in our humanity? Another good idea. We are only safe insofar as we are respected worldwide. Bush destroyed this respect. We’ll have to rebuild it. Consider this another security issue.

Most telling is that these are smart ideas that match our times. Also, it’s great to see a politician again that wants to try and rise above partisanship and dare to dream. This is the guy I am pulling for.

Posted by: Max at April 24, 2007 11:38 PM
Comment #218353
Any one of those suggestions would have a price tag in the hundreds of billions less than we’ve spent on the Iraq war.

You can’t be serious. Meeting the energy needs of everybody in the world would cost trillions of dollars and destroy our economy. If all anyone has to do is say “We’re going nuclear unless we get this hand-out,” EVERYBODY in the world is going to do it. Why not threaten to go nuclear if the policy is all carrot and no stick?

Or is it that you think that Europe would be so overjoyed to see Obama elected that they’d pitch in, cancel all of their beloved social spending and divert all of their resources to buying energy for everybody in the third world on the basis of promises to not go nuclear?

Iran can pay for energy and there’s no need for the nuclear proliferation that could easily lead to a nuclear World War III.

Iran already has massive amounts of oil and exports many times more than they use. You’re suggesting that they would buy oil, with, um, the money they get from selling oil? Does that make sense to you? If what they’re really interested in is energy, they have more than enough resources at their fingertips now. You and Obama have bought hook, line and sinker their lie that their nuclear energy programs are for civilian purposes rather than to become a military threat.

Investing in our humanity? Another good idea.

“Our humanity” does not have a bank account where we can deposit funds.

We already provide more foreign aid than all of the rest of the world, and even that is squandered, stolen, and wasted by the inept “international” agencies who scream for ever more handouts from the US taxpayer while condemning our every action out of the other side of their mouths.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 25, 2007 12:12 AM
Comment #218357

Jack and others who doubt his ability to accomplish some of these things seem to forget that he is intelligent enough to appoint/hire the right people. No president knows it all or has all the experience necessary. That’s why there is a cabinet and advisors.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 25, 2007 12:53 AM
Comment #218363

*OLD VERSION*:


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

************************************************************

*MODERN VERSION:*

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigos’s face is plastered on the front page of every newspaper and news bulletins interrupt daily programing for him to announce the injustices suffered by the grasshopper. He reports of this tragedy in English and then translates in Spanish for the foreign born immigrants that refuse to learn the language and adapt to the US culture.

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton stage a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing, “We shall overcome.” Jesse & Al then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake. Sharpton calls a press conference of his own and blames the “white interlopers” and “diamond traders” for all the grasshopper’s problems.

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Ant Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote!

Posted by: Rightie at April 25, 2007 4:08 AM
Comment #218364

Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama Sr. (black muslim) of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Siaya District, Kenya, and Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas. (white atheist ).

When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced and his father returned to Kenya. His mother married Lolo Soetoro — a Muslim — moving to Jakarta with Obama when he was six years old. Within six months he had learned to speak the Indonesian language. Obama spent “two years in a Muslim school, then two more in a Catholic school” in Jakarta. Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim while admitting that he was once a Muslim, mitigating that damning information by saying that, for two years, he also attended a Catholic school.

Obama’s father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was a radical Muslim who migrated from Kenya to Jakarta, Indonesia. He met Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham-a white atheist from Wichita, Kansas-at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama, Sr. and Dunham divorced when Barack, Jr. was two.

Obama’s spinmeisters are now attempting to make it appear that Obama’s introduction to Islam came from his father and that influence was temporary at best.

In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya immediately following the divorce and never again had any direct influence over his son’s education.

Dunham married another Muslim, Lolo Soetoro who educated his stepson as a good Muslim by enrolling him in one of Jakarta’s Wahabbi schools. Wahabbism is the radical teaching that created the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad on the industrialized world.

Since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when you are seeking political office in the United States, Obama joined the United Church of Christ to help purge any notion that he is still a Muslim.

Handsome … Charming … Winsome … Dangerous … Deceptive … Determined

Posted by: Osama,er,Obama at April 25, 2007 4:16 AM
Comment #218365

The previous post is pathetic.

Why would someone waste their time writing that?

Posted by: Bob at April 25, 2007 4:34 AM
Comment #218375

Womanmarine

I do not know and neither do you. He has no track record of executive acomplishment. You know that lots of really smart guys are very bad leaders or managers. One reason is that they are too smart and like to get involved in micromanagment. Think of Carter.

I manage a group of 45 people. Several have PhDs. I think most of them are smarter than I am and some are very articulate. But many just cannot run anything. That may be why university departments are so poorly run.

If you wanted the smartest and most articulate guy, you might want to put the intern in charge. But some experience in actually running something is useful.

Posted by: Jack at April 25, 2007 7:56 AM
Comment #218389

Jack,

So what you’re saying is that Bush’s crappy job of running an oil company into the ground, trading Sammy Sosa, and poorly running Texas was all the experience he needed to be President?

Hell, even I could do that.

Being President of the United States is mostly a learning on the job position.
I agree with womanmarine. Being President is an upper management position.
Being knowledgeable enough to hire the right people is more important than how smart you are going in.

Posted by: Rocky at April 25, 2007 9:53 AM
Comment #218392

LO,

You’re inserting so many things into the proposal that aren’t there I can’t keep track. Who said the bank would provide energy free on demand? No one.

This is the first sensible alternative I have heard to “Bomb Iran”, the Republican approach. Since I don’t like that idea, we’re going to have to disagree on this one.

Posted by: Max at April 25, 2007 10:43 AM
Comment #218394

“He has no track record of executive acomplishment.”

As Rocky has said, George falls into that category—lots of executive, no accomplishment.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 25, 2007 10:50 AM
Comment #218410

I think your point is valid Jack. After Bush I really didn’t think I would even consider another candidate who didn’t have proven experience and a track record. However, OBama is different from Bush in a couple key ways. I trust him, he was at the top of his class, he ran the law review, he taught law for many years, he did a great job in his short tenure as governor, and many of his ideas seem genuinely new and bipartisan approaches to our most pressing problems. Out of all the candidates, he’s the one that gives me hope that the next couple of years will not just be the same old same old, and that maybe, just maybe, we can we can all stop being at each others throats all the time.


Posted by: Max at April 25, 2007 1:23 PM
Comment #218412

Hey…dubya has managed to prove wrong the old theory that ignorance and stupidity are two different things……
It will be wonderful to have literacy and education back in the W.H. It seems that Obama has just what it might take to bring some stability and respect back to us. There is still much time to find out many more things about all the candidates, and we’ll see how he manages to persevere.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 25, 2007 1:37 PM
Comment #218417

“…and that maybe, just maybe, we can we can all stop being at each others throats all the time.”

Speaking as a card-carrying member of Jack’s Hysterical Left, what fun would that be? Part of my reason to exist is to be at Jack’s proverbial throat, and frankly, I think Jack appreciates the attention. Right, Jack? Jack…?

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 25, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #218460

So what you Bush bashing guys are saying is that Bush also did not have much experience so that makes it okay for Obama? Does not seem to be a very strong argument unless you think Bush did a good job.

Tim

Better to be noticed than ignored unless you are trying to avoid being seen or hiding in plain sight.

Posted by: Jack at April 25, 2007 8:27 PM
Comment #218464

Jack we know you well enough to know that you’re being coy. Bush had a great record, of screwing up everything he ever touched. Obama has a great record, of not screwing up everything he touches. See the difference?

Posted by: ray at April 25, 2007 8:58 PM
Comment #218484

Jack,

No offence pal, but you guys twice elected a guy that has the dubious distinction of not being able to find oil in Texas with two separate companies.

What gives the right any authority to tell anybody they don’t have enough experience to be President?

Posted by: Rocky at April 26, 2007 12:23 AM
Comment #218548

Surprise! It seems from this thread that Obama can write off the rascist vote.

Jack
We have had some pretty crummy presidents with plenty of experience. Vision and intelligence count for much in that spot.

Posted by: BillS at April 26, 2007 7:49 PM
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