Streams

Obama's World Tour

Friday, July 25, 2008

As Barack Obama’s trip to Afghanistan, the Middle East and Europe winds down, Josef Joffe, editor and publisher of Die Zeit, a weekly German newspaper, a fellow at the Hoover Institute and the author of Uberpower: The Imperial Temptation of America, then Rami Khouri, editor-at-large at The Daily Star in Lebanon, then Karen Tumulty, Time national poltical correspondent, discuss the trip.

Guests:

Josef Joffe, Rami Khouri and Karen Tumulty

Comments [143]

Mike from NYC

hjs condescends: "mike first take another hit
2nd a was making fun of people, not u, who would use a word like demagogue, usually held back for people like hitler, refering to BHO.
sorry if i hurt u by mistake"

hjs: Maybe you've taken one hit too many and probably of LSD. See your post #129. You quote me and make no comment. Was my remark so brilliant that is was satisfying to simply repeat it? Or did you mean to add a comment and simply spaced out?

Jul. 25 2008 07:34 PM
hjs from 11211

eva
anytime. i think i heard about it on NPR this morning

Jul. 25 2008 02:58 PM
eva

hjs,
that's an interesting link, thank you for sending it. I started reading it. Maybe you're right to be skeptical about their motives, but it sounds like their goals are reasonable. I will have to follow it more closely. Thanks for clue-ing me in!

Jul. 25 2008 02:37 PM
hjs from 11211

eva
i 100 % agree but can't see it.

what do you think of http://www.accountabilitynowpac.com/

are they just trying talking votes from BHO

Jul. 25 2008 01:32 PM
eva

hjs,
I really half-think it can be done. I know it is crazy, but even if we don't get the money back, we need to set a precedent of prosecuting this. Otherwise the only precedent is that it's okay.

Jul. 25 2008 01:22 PM
hjs from 11211

come come. do u think that's going to happen or is it just on the wish list?
to get the money back just tax dividends like other income. or stop hiring mercenary contractors to do the military's job.

Jul. 25 2008 01:11 PM
eva

the only reason we might do it differently this time is because we need the money back so desperately.

Jul. 25 2008 01:04 PM
hjs from 11211

eva

which politicians are looking? well I would say if BHO wins there will be investigations and changes to policies but what your talking about is 'not the american way' when one administration ends we won't look back as a nation, it's too painful. we move forward to make the same or similar mistakes in 20 years or so (if we have 20 years left)

Jul. 25 2008 01:02 PM
eva

conversation over here yesterday was about whether or not any of the money paid out to military contractors can be recovered.
question for wnyc listeners today:
which politicians are looking at hearings on this enormous ripoff?
Shouldn't there be an audit? or was there already an audit and nothing came of it?

Jul. 25 2008 12:53 PM
eva

Whatever anyone thinks of Obama, it's such a relief to have a presidential candidate who can form complete sentences, and who can speak without some bizarre accent. I've said it before, but recently Bush's accent has morphed to something between T. Boone Pickens and James Brown.
I think the reason Obama is so popular in Europe is, yes, people desperately "need" to see a change in the guard so they can like their ally again, but it's also because it's demoralizing for Europeans to have to see an American President who can't speak English as well as they do.
I'm not trashing Bush, his lack of articulation is the LEAST of his faults, but... btw, we should all stop worrying about this little thing or that little thing and start demanding prosecution for Halliburton and the other military contractors who've helped bleed us dry.

Jul. 25 2008 12:49 PM
hjs from 11211

mike
first take another hit
2nd a was making fun of people, not u, who would use a word like demagogue, usually held back for people like hitler, refering to BHO.

sorry if i hurt u by mistake

Jul. 25 2008 12:49 PM
Mike from Inwood

Jesse Califano [#94]: Few people question John McCain's character. I certainly don't; I'm a Republican who voted for him in the primary. However, they do question his judgment going forward, especially his contention that the surge has worked. Sure the US military adjusted their tactics and violence is down, but the point of the surge was to allow peace so that the Iraqi government could agree on hon autonomous each region would be as opposed to how strong the central government should be and how to divide the oil revenues among the different regions. The different factions within the Iraqi government have not budged an inch to come to an agreement. Nor will they until we leave. That's why I'm voting for Obama. The problems in Iraq are not military and the US army cannot solve them, even if they stay for 100 years.

Jul. 25 2008 12:42 PM
Mike from Inwood

hjs: You quote me but fail to comment. Yes, words can be defined so broadly that they mean nothing. Think of the word 'racist'. Almost everyone can be called racist for some reason or another, real or imagined, by someone. But if the definition becomes too broad and applies to everyone, then to be called a racist does not distinguish one from another and the word essentially means nothing. The Mirror Man uses 'demagogue' this way. Did you have something to say?

Jul. 25 2008 12:34 PM
hjs from 11211

besides BL reads my posts!

Jul. 25 2008 12:29 PM
hjs from 11211

mike
mikes says " Think of it this way: If how you define demagogue is absolutely correct, any politican who has ever uttered a statement whose truth could be debated is a demagogue. Everyone who has ever run for office would qualify."

Jul. 25 2008 12:12 PM
Mike from Inwood

Mirror Man: To continue #123, Is this why all of your posts end with "willfully blind to the truth"?

Jul. 25 2008 12:11 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

@ #125 - Check and Mate!

today i can finally just sit back listen and read along.

Jul. 25 2008 12:09 PM
Mike from Inwood

hjs comments: "mike mine says 'obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.' Mccain has no passion (except for hot 2nd model wives) so he can't be a demagogue"

OK. Who said McCain was a demagogue?

Jul. 25 2008 12:07 PM
Mike from Inwood

Mirror Man: Wikopedia only qualifies as a starting point and so does the dictionary. Any literate person knows that words have to be taken in context. Wikopedia and 'the dictionary' are things that the illiterate hide behind to avoid substance.

Jul. 25 2008 12:06 PM
hjs from 11211

mike

mine says 'obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.'

mcain has no passion (except for hot 2nd model wives)

so he can't be a demagogue

Jul. 25 2008 12:05 PM
Mike from Inwood

Mirror Man: It's interesting how the dictionary will claim there are synonyms, or words that have the same meanings, yet when you look up synonyms the 23-volume Oxford English Dictionary, each word has a different nuance and very few (if any) identical meanings. Think of it this way: If how you define demagogue is absolutely correct, any politican who has ever uttered a statement whose truth could be debated is a demagogue. Everyone who has ever run for office would qualify. You have changed to meaning of the word so that it signifies nothing. Try to wrap your mind around it.

Jul. 25 2008 12:00 PM
hjs from 11211

*WILLFULLY BLIND TO THE TRUTH*

YOU look in the mirror

Jul. 25 2008 11:58 AM
Look in the Mirror from Manhattan

All of this wonderfully tame banter brings to mind a shrewd comment by one of my favorite authors:

"Asses are made to bear, and so are you"

Jul. 25 2008 11:58 AM
Look in the Mirror from Manhattan

Mike,
'Candidates who gain power by appealing to people's opinions, whether they're based in fact or fiction, in order to winning an election are not demagogues.'

It's interesting how Merriam-Webster says one thing, yet you believe another.

It's interesting how Senator Obama says one thing, yet you believe another.

*WILLFULLY BLIND TO THE TRUTH*

Jul. 25 2008 11:53 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Silly Susan

Jul. 25 2008 11:51 AM
Mike from Inwood

Mirror Man continues: "In literary circles Oriental means 'Eastern'. Occidental means 'Western'. You race baiters please type in "oriental" into wikipedia and see where it takes you. But what do I know, I'm just a 'typical white person'."

I'm not sure what white has to do with it, but you are not literate. "Orient" does mean "Eastern". But what is "Eastern"? That is east of what? As more of the world became more known and less mysterious, east of what was known continually moved. Again, read Edward Said's "Orientalism". Certainly not a book without flaws, but a book with something to say. Then you will start to be literate. And no; wikopedia does not qualify as anything except a starting point.

Jul. 25 2008 11:48 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Slick candidate! Slick tour.

Jul. 25 2008 11:46 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

good job mike - educate

Jul. 25 2008 11:41 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

HJS,

me too, i am actually working in between too and from here forward, no more caps or punctuation!

Jul. 25 2008 11:40 AM
Mike from Inwood

Mirror Man:

Demagogue

Noun

1 : a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and FALSE claims and promises IN ORDER TO GAIN POWER.

Consult multiple sources and see how the word is used before you simply blindly apply it. Candidates who gain power by appealing to people's opinions, whether they're based in fact or fiction, in order to winning an election are not demagogues. People who incite a crowd by appealing to emotions to sieze power (think Hitler's failed Putsch, his brown shirts and Crystal Night, the burning of the Reichstag and the blaming the Jews for Germany's economic woes) that is demagogery. Manipulating the Tawana Brawley affair, making false claims about the events of 911 and appealing to false images of falling dominoes, that is borderline demagogy. Appealing to people to move beyond race is, if anything, anti-demagogy.

Jul. 25 2008 11:39 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

"definetly not typical, definetly definetly not typical" This works better if you mutter if over and over like rainman..lolll

Jul. 25 2008 11:39 AM
hjs from 11211

truth
i'm friday relaxed........

Jul. 25 2008 11:38 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Now that's funny HJS!!!

Jul. 25 2008 11:38 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Look in the mirror,

Me, Mike, HJS..are you calling us race baiters you "typical white person"? Why because we are coming at you for this Oriental thing?

Before anyone writes me refer to post #104

Jul. 25 2008 11:37 AM
hjs from 11211

is mccain up for sainthood as well??

didn't even know he was catholic

ask his first wife please

Jul. 25 2008 11:37 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

HJS, is that why you just told me you were being saracastic, relax, I am not the enemy! here is a LOL so you know I am amused!!

Jul. 25 2008 11:35 AM
hjs from 11211

typical ?

i would say, NO you're NOT typlical

Jul. 25 2008 11:32 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

@ post#94 - I recognize the first person as your description of Senator Obama and is wife.

Who is this second person you describe?

Jul. 25 2008 11:31 AM
hjs from 11211

truth
i too was sarcastic as i knew u were
(sarcasm is funnier if u don't tell people.)

Jul. 25 2008 11:30 AM
Look in the Mirror from Manhattan

In literary circles Oriental means 'Eastern'.

Occidental means 'Western'.

You race baiters please type in "oriental" into wikipedia and see where it takes you.

But what do I know, I'm just a 'typical white person'.

Jul. 25 2008 11:29 AM
hjs from 11211

orient meant east of europe

so someone in japan could say you are oriental as you are east of japan.

Jul. 25 2008 11:29 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

HJS, of course i know that, it was supposed to be sarcastic!! you forget how brilliant I am

how do you show sarcasm on this thing!!

Jul. 25 2008 11:28 AM
hjs from 11211

mirror
invade - to enter by force in order to conquer or pillage.

Jul. 25 2008 11:25 AM
Mike from Inwood

hjs asks: "Mike east of whom??"

The astern part of Asia, which is itself a European construct. After all, why should the Ural Mountains separate Europe from 'Asia' other than they're 'not like us'. Oriental was originally a vague term that meant little more than 'largely unknown' and 'exotic' so it could be transferred to wherever the Western imagination desired.

Jul. 25 2008 11:25 AM
Look in the Mirror from Manhattan

#87 hjs

'attacking groups hiding in pakistan not the same as invading'

Please take a moment and really think about what you just said.

Then, think about this phrase:

'Territorial Sovereignty'

Websters defines DEMAGOGUE as:

Demagogue
Noun
1 : a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and FALSE claims and promises IN ORDER TO GAIN POWER.

"Willfully blind to the truth"

Jul. 25 2008 11:22 AM
hjs from 11211

Mike
east of whom??

Jul. 25 2008 11:19 AM
Liv from Manhattan

Jesse

Wouldn't you agree the country is not governed by 1 person but rather a collective of people who inform, back, educate, counsel, and shape our governing body.

McCain had my admiration back in 2000 when he honestly and openly traveled around the US prompting folks to ask him questions. He was screwed by Rove and Co in one of the Carolina's during the primary and then allied himself later with Bush after they helped to get him out of the race. It's been a long 8 years.

Jul. 25 2008 11:15 AM
hjs from 11211

karen
like to watch?

Jul. 25 2008 11:14 AM
Mike from Inwood

the truth asks: "Look in the mirror, so you are against peace? and is Oriental correct? or is it Asian?"

Just an aside: I think oriental originally referred to people from Asia Minor; Turkey, the Middle East and the western Asian subcontinent. (See Said's ground breaking book "Orientalism") Then Oriental referred to eastern Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians); 'Asian' became the polite word for 'Oriental'. However, with so many people now immigrating from the Asian subcontinent, the former Asians are now East Asians as opposed to south Asians (people from India, Pakistan & Bangladesh).

Jul. 25 2008 11:13 AM
Jesse Califano from NYC/ TPA/

Jesse Califano- 'The unspoken word- written.'

Let's see- on the one hand, we have a freshman U.S. Senator who was a local 'community organizer' in Chicago- with only about 1-1/2 years existence in the Senate and absolutely NO experience in ANYTHING ELSE- But who can deliver a terrific speech (albeit, read from a TelePrompTer-), who is a good looking guy with a degree 'charisma', and who can deliver a 'fist-bump' with his terminally irascible wife. . .

And on the other hand- we have a honest and sincere U.S. Senator who has served the American people for over 25 years- and NEVER wrote an ear-mark expenditure in his term- A serious, thinking man leader with a proven record of leadership in the U.S. Military. . .

So let's see- will America vote in a young charismatic, fist-bumping self-absorbed rock-star to be President. . .
OR Senator John McCain, a man of integrity and with experience in governmental service and leadership-

If O-Ba-Ma wins- I suggest that future elections for high government office be conducted by the producers of- AMERICAN IDOL. . . and may the best 'Idol' win!

Jul. 25 2008 11:10 AM
karen from Village

hjs & Chris O & BORED - nice circle jerks!

no I'm not crying -- just sad that "people like you" smear the horrific humanitarian crisis in Sudan and elsewhere as "hating Muslims"

but, hey, dismissing it gets you off the hook for actually having to do anything about the killing and rape - good for you,,,

go back to your lives of american luxury...
after all it's only Muslims killing Muslims --
no bush or obamam or mccain-bashing involved, no Israel bashing -- so who cares!!! be BORED.

Jul. 25 2008 11:10 AM
hjs from 11211

truth
most people say asians unless they are some archie bunker type...

Jul. 25 2008 11:09 AM
Ayanna from Brooklyn, NY

Hi Look in the Mirror,

To whom are you referring when you say "Orientals"? I thought that word, used to describe people, went out with shag rugs and lava lamps!

In one sentence you claim Obama threatened to unilaterally invade Pakistan (something he NEVER did), then in the next you claim others (but not you apparently) are being willfully blind to the truth.

Please add something substantive to the conversation. The childish insistence on using Obama's middle name does nothing for your argument... which is what, exactly?

Jul. 25 2008 11:06 AM
Liv from Manhattan

AT last...good convo soooo late in the week.

Jul. 25 2008 11:06 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Look in the mirror, so you are against peace? and is Oriental correct? or is it Asian?

Jul. 25 2008 11:05 AM
hjs from 11211

chris o
saturday morning cartoons. nevermind

Jul. 25 2008 11:05 AM
hjs from 11211

Mirror
attacking groups hiding in pakistan not the same as invading

Jul. 25 2008 11:03 AM
Mike from Inwood

BORED replies: "@ mike How long our people treated as second classs citizens until they get fed up and fight back."

Until they're all dead, from the looks of it. But I don't blame the Israelis for continuing to fight, either.

There's a lot of blame to go around in the Middle East. The Jews stole a lot of land in 1948. The Europeans felt guilty about the holocaust and did not protest on moral grounds. The Arabs were always abusive toward those not like themselves, even if they happened to live there for thousands of years and their actions after 1948 have left the Israelis little choice for how to continue.

Jul. 25 2008 11:02 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

#71 - agreed, the latter, to move beyond race.

Jul. 25 2008 11:01 AM
J.C. from Minneapolis

Funny thing about those who think that McCain doesn't get asked any questions about his policy is that one of the suggestions the New York Times gave McCain if he wanted to have space on the op-ed page was that he should start defining what he means by "victory" in Iraq. So there you have it, McCain. The NYT has (indirectly, in this case) asked you a question about policy. I don't want to hear any complaints about the media not asking you anything (unless, of course, your complaint is that you just don't want to answer tough questions anyway).

Jul. 25 2008 11:01 AM
chris o from New York City

hjs,
not sure your reference but i did grow up (sort of) in the 70s, maybe late 70s early 80s.

Jul. 25 2008 10:59 AM
BORED

Karen stop crying we know you hate muslims so just admit that you hate muslims and move on.

Jul. 25 2008 10:59 AM
hjs from 11211

chris o
you go boy!

Jul. 25 2008 10:58 AM
Liv from Manhattan

I do understand the concern that prompts comments like the one Juanna made about Obama being 'fluff'. Obama is a 'blank slate'. Juanna is right. We can't know what will happen once he is elected (and i believe he will be) BUT, if he were a stammering idiot, unable to string thoughts and opinions together and blatantly had no views or convictions, it would be obvious. He's young, but he has such confidence in his eyes. I trust this man.

Jul. 25 2008 10:58 AM
Look in the Mirror from Manhattan

It's amusing to me that the Europeans and Orientals are simply IN LOVE with all things Obama.

RAH RAH DOWN WITH THE WAR MONGERING BUSH RAH RAH! UP WITH THE PEACE LOVING OBAMA! CHEER CHEER!

Did they miss B. Hussein Obama's recent threats to unilaterally invade Pakistan (something even BUSH hasn't done)?

Or are they (like most Americans) willfully blind to the truth.

Jul. 25 2008 10:57 AM
chris o from New York City

Right back at you Mike.

Jul. 25 2008 10:57 AM
karen from Village

lol Chris O - your foot is going deeper and deeper in you large mouth
Please show me the Arab racism?

OR does pointing out Sudanese humanitarian crisis = racism?

Define racism?

Is criticizing an Arab regime that is slaughtering and raping thousands of innocent women and children - "racism"?

I suppose criticizing Israel or anyone else is ok, but when the target is an Arab tyranny - then somehow in your book it's racism...

That's quite typical of one-note agenda types...and very transparent---thanks for sharing!

Jul. 25 2008 10:56 AM
BORED

@ mike How long our people treated as second classs citizens until they get fed up and fight back.

Jul. 25 2008 10:55 AM
hjs from 11211

chris o
guess u didn't grow up in the 1970's

Jul. 25 2008 10:54 AM
Mike from Inwood

chris o states: "It is funny. One person says, "Don't forget the Israeli walls." That is all they wrote - kind of vague, certainly not hateful."

Chirs: You have to read from the beginning and keep track of who said what. It's called conversation.

Jul. 25 2008 10:54 AM
chris o from New York City

hjs,
i saw a portion of that click and clack. quite bizarre. at first, it was like watching a car crash, but it seemed to get better.

Jul. 25 2008 10:53 AM
Juanna from NYC

Ok, I will take your advice and try to listen harder. Thanks.

Jul. 25 2008 10:52 AM
Mike from Inwood

Steve Mark states: "How extraordinary a sight: An African American standing at or near the very spot where another demagogue once stood in front of hundreds of thousands of people."

A demagogue is an orator who manipulates the emotion of a crowd to incite action, particularly violent & illegal action. Neither Kennedy nor Obama was or is a demagogue. The label applies applies to Sharpton, Reagan and Bush, but not to Kennedy (inciting people to join the Peace Corp?) or Obama (inciting people to move beyond race?)

Jul. 25 2008 10:52 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

invisible.

Jul. 25 2008 10:52 AM
Ayanna from Brooklyn, NY

Apparently it is easy to falsely shame the media into favoring one candidate or anotehr. Let's not forget that when Hillary's camp started in with the same "media bias" theme, the result was the unending Reverend Wright coverage to create balance... Except that I have never seen anything so unbalanced and absurd as the media obsession with Reverend Wright for weeks on end.

I suppose McCain is hoping for a similar tipping of the scales in his favor. Perhaps this whole "Obama cannot admit that the SURGE IS WORKING!" theme will take him into Labor day, while the press ignores his scandalous dearth of knowledge about Shia, Sunnis, Mideast geography, non-existent Eastern European countries, the timeline of the surge and the Anbar Awakening, etc., etc. Maybe McCain is counting on the networks to cover up his nonsensical answers in interviews.

Stranger things have happened.

Jul. 25 2008 10:51 AM
hjs from 11211

any nerds see that click and clack ?

Jul. 25 2008 10:51 AM
hjs from 11211

karen
Megan was an one isssue like u. a lot like u

Jul. 25 2008 10:50 AM
chris o from New York City

It is funny. One person says, "Don't forget the Israeli walls." That is all they wrote - kind of vague, certainly not hateful.

Then some jihadist using the nom de guerre of Karen appears, spouting all kinds of anti-Arab racist sentiments, blasting all the anti-Israeli people (of which there was only the one comment above). Yet there is nothing there, no Israeli bashing whatsover, just anti-Arab hate coming from Karen. Kind of a nice encapsulation of Israel's behavior in their community, she learned from her master.

Jul. 25 2008 10:49 AM
karen from Village

Dear Chris O

Speaking of hate, nice rant! lol

I don't know who the heck Megan is - perhaps the little voice in your head - but I was responding to Robert who. like you, used this segment to bash Israel.

Feel free to ask your partner in hate what Obama has to with Israel.

And while you're at it, don't forget the brutal theft of America from the Indians when you and your ancestors stole the land form the Indians. Shame on you Chris O -- you hypocritical phony!

Jul. 25 2008 10:49 AM
hjs from 11211

Diego
FYI their conservatives are like a mod democrat here

Jul. 25 2008 10:48 AM
Mike from Inwood

allegedly BORED replies to Karen: "Israel is a human rights abuser. We can spend all day arguing who and what is more evil but at the end of the day even people like you know what the truth is."

Perhaps, but ask yourself how long people in this country tolerate random acts of violence before they responded in a manner that could easily be characterized as abusive?

Jul. 25 2008 10:46 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Change is good! Thanks to the "bushes" we are currently hated all over the globe!!

Jul. 25 2008 10:46 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Obama is fluff?? Are you kidding me?? I have already had enough of the "comic styings" of mccain.

Stop yawning and open ya ears Juanna!

Jul. 25 2008 10:46 AM
hjs from 11211

karen
so you're saying everyone's rights after mine?

Jul. 25 2008 10:45 AM
Mike from Inwood

dave robert asks: "So, it is ok for Germans to be "let out" but not Mexicans."

I never said that I agreed with building any wall, but qualitatively the examples you cite are very different and if you cannot see that, you are simply blinded by your own ideology.

Jul. 25 2008 10:43 AM
Diego

It is funny to see how crazy Europeans are for Obama and yet they all elect VERY conservative leaders for their own countries!

Jul. 25 2008 10:43 AM
carmen from brooklyn

obama is running for 'entertainer of the world'. he behaves like he is in a rock group or a circus, and not like a serious man running for POTUS, ready to address the very serious issues this country, with two wars and a terrible economy, healthcare problems, environmental concerns, and the devastation around the world including dafur.
But for 'entertainer of the world', he is the best candidate, no one else is best SPEAKING FROM BOTH SIDES OF HIS MOUTH!
In just recent months, he has shifted drastically his positions on the same issue numerous times, and on Iraq even called two press conferences to layout two different positions within minutes! The speech he gave at AIPAC was a disgrace on his part, changing his stance several times w/in 24-48 hrs!
By the way, more troops and more importance in the war in Afghanistan-was not first emphasized by obama! This has been discussed by numerous experts for years. And yet, the guy who was to oversee in the congress, hearings to improve the conditions, was no other than obama! His response for not holding not one single oversight hearing is that he felt it was more important to run for potus

Jul. 25 2008 10:42 AM
chris o from New York City

Hi Megan I mean Karen (I recognize the hate),
Don't forget the racist, hateful and greedy Israelis that stole the land by force and built their nation upon deserted Arab towns and villages. And rely on billions of dollars of US $$ to thrive and have no problem getting it since the US Congress is Israeli-controlled territory.

But what does this have to do with Obama - maybe that he is running to be Prime Minister of Israel is you listen to his remarks.

Jul. 25 2008 10:42 AM
BORED

Karen Israel is a human rights abuser. We can spend all day arguing who and what is more evil but at the end of the day even people like you know what the truth is.

Jul. 25 2008 10:41 AM
John from Brooklyn

By any reasonable measure, Obama has had a brilliant week, demonstrating -- while under the most intense international scrutiny of his campaign -- a level of engagement and composure that one can only call presidential.

Of course, traditional American media are not reporting this, preferring instead to tell us over and over how "presumptuous" and "arrogant" Obama is.

Why? Because what passes for "balance" in traditional American media is not to call good "good" and bad "bad," but rather to present Americans with a forced equity between liberal and conservative, regardless of the actual record.

This has dictated muted coverage of Obama's week, while the media has essentially ignored the fact that McCain has been a daily gaffe machine.

If Obama had made all the unforced errors this week that McCain has, we'd be hearing about it for weeks.

Jul. 25 2008 10:38 AM
J. Lauter

Khouri(sic) from the Daily Star has it wrong regard Dennis Ross. He's thoughtful and brilliant and has earned his stripes in two admin(Bush I and Clinton). He is like a brilliant physician-if the patient refuses the prescription, they either don't want the help or want to cause trouble. Arafat(aided by Malley)refused the help;perhaps what is really needed are new Arab leaders who are courageous enough to face the Arab street.

Jul. 25 2008 10:37 AM
chris o from New York City

#45 writes "If I want newz-lite on the presidential horse race I can turn on CNN, etc."

THEN PLEASE DO.

Jul. 25 2008 10:37 AM
hjs from 11211

please cover mccain

remember when he confused iran and kayda?

s & L
left his first sickly wife for hoter model

Jul. 25 2008 10:37 AM
Liv from Manhattan

TRUTH
Comment 17

I am loathed to agree with you, but I do. I have sensed myself during the early run up to the demo. race a possible doubt on the part of the presenter about Obama's experience. As Obama himself said, in paraphrase, : where did all the 'experience' his peers supposedly had get us as a nation?

I was going to use the example of the Beatles myself. When was the last time the European community admired one of our prospective presidents?

Jul. 25 2008 10:37 AM
Juanna from NYC

Obama is fluff, that is why he sounds like fluff. And I agree with many points made here -esp. how everyone is projecting their hopes on this blank slate.
I personally do not have the patience to listen to him speak; I find myself instantly tuning out and yawning. Fluff, indeed.

Jul. 25 2008 10:37 AM
karen from Village

Don't forget the racist greedy walls in the minds of Muslim Arabs in Sudan who are slaughtering thousands of Muslim Blacks

Don't forget the racist hateful walls in the minds of the 22 country members of the Arab League who can't seem to find any reason to stop the killing in Sudan.

Don't forget the racist agenda-driven walls of those who exaggerate the Arab terror war on Israel as the greatest "humanitarian crisis" in the world, while the conveniently ignore all the Muslim killing in the world -- because hey, remember the Danish cartoons -- it's a lot easier to criticize Israel.

Jul. 25 2008 10:35 AM
hjs from 11211

both kettles and pots are black

Jul. 25 2008 10:35 AM
BORED

@ Ayanna I agree. What I think is missing is that the media does McCAin a favor by not covering him.They only ask him questions about Obama and not about his own ideas.

Jul. 25 2008 10:35 AM
Telegram Sam from Staten Island

Enough already! A half hour on this cynical media stunt of a campaign trip? I thought Brian Lehrer that. If I want newz-lite on the presidential horse race I can turn on CNN, etc. Go deeper on this, find a unique angle, or just leave it alone.

Jul. 25 2008 10:35 AM
Look in the Mirror from Manhattan

Obama really has the German and Jordanian vote sewn up. That's really gonna tip the election in his favor.

Jul. 25 2008 10:34 AM
chris o from New York City

#31 - EGB,
Well said.

Jul. 25 2008 10:34 AM
chris o from New York City

#33 - Elisa,
He is not stumping worldwide. Allegedly, this was a fact finding trip and the campaign is on hold (I said allegedly). Meanwhile, everyone doubts his experience and foreign policy credentials etc. so this trip will go along way toward addressing that.

As for his 300 million constituents, is not he spending time with them? All we would be doing is watching him on television anyway, whether he is in Baghdad or Boise.

Jul. 25 2008 10:33 AM
anonyme from midtown manhattan

mccain gets plenty of coverage - and when he travels, we heard about his gaffes. He is pretty funny, though.

Jul. 25 2008 10:33 AM
dave robert from whitestone

So, it is ok for Germans to be "let out" but not Mexicans.

Jul. 25 2008 10:32 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

They can have OBAMA if they want him that bad.

They can also have OBAMA's Patriot Act, FISA and death penalty.

Jul. 25 2008 10:31 AM
Ayanna from Brooklyn, NY

To BORED,

How funny that your screen name ties in so perfectly with your comment! Is anyone more BORING than John McCain? Did you see him standing in the cheese aisle of the grocery store, taking ten minutes to say "It depends on what you mean when you say 'surge'." In the meantime, Obama's attracting a crowd of 200,000 in Berlin.

Interesting that McCain has, for months, been badgering Obama to visit Iraq, and now that he has done so, but apparently not in the manner that McCain wished, he is supposedly being "presumptuous." Does anyone ever call McCain presumptuous for traveling overseas? It's ridiculous.

Jul. 25 2008 10:31 AM
Mike from Inwood

Robert [#23 & #28]: Don't forget the walls in your mind!

Jul. 25 2008 10:30 AM
karen from Village

Yes, Robert...Don't forget the Israeli security fence that prevents Palestinian terrorists from butchering Israeli men, women and children....

No wonder so many people Israel-bashers complain about the security fence -- it takes leverage away from the terrorists.

Israel-bashers are foaming mad that Israeli lives are being saved.

Jul. 25 2008 10:30 AM
Parker from Brooklyn

I think Obama's tour is embarassing. (and he represents my party) He hasn't accomplished anything to merit this tour and his speech in Berlin sounded naive. The world and our country need honest answers and plausible solutions for incredibly complicated problems, the flourishing language is empty and insulting. The truth is, we need so much more, we need substance and depth and answers and laid out solutions.

Jul. 25 2008 10:29 AM
Jenn from Brooklyn.

I thnk GTA[26] has it about right. I for one am growing tired of the vagueness of Obama's speeches and positions. I think there is an anyone but bush reaction in the rest of the world, so even a cauliflower would be a welcome change.

Jul. 25 2008 10:29 AM
Elisa from White Plains, NY

Is anyone else confused about why a candidate is stumping worldwide and not with his constituents?

Jul. 25 2008 10:28 AM
Mike from Inwood

Robert adds: "Don't forget the Israeli walls!"

Another was to prevent people from coming.

Jul. 25 2008 10:28 AM
EGB from Brooklyn, New York

This manufactured issue of the disparate coverage between the candidates is so annoying. First, the media needs to get over itself. As badly as it might want to be, its not the story. And if McCain can't capture our interest through the strength of his policies or personality, so be it. Basic coverage is necessary, extraordinary coverage is earned.

Jul. 25 2008 10:28 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Could you please find a word other than "gaffe" to describe when a candidate says something at odds with someone's take on the "facts." If every slight deviation is marked as a gaffe the whole exercise will become meaningless. This goes for any candidate -- McCain or Obama or anyone. It's quickly becoming so overused no one will pay attention when a candidate says something really significant. Could you please parse the meaning behind the sentences not just the oddity here and there. If the campaign coverage devolves into four months of "gotcha" we, the citizens, will not be well-served.

Jul. 25 2008 10:27 AM
karen from Village

There are larger walls on the Long Island Expressway to keep the noise out - than in many of the countries Obama mentioned.

but it does make for good sound bites...

Jul. 25 2008 10:27 AM
Robert from NYC

Don't forget the Israeli walls!

Jul. 25 2008 10:26 AM
Mike from Inwood

dave robert asks: "I have two words that will make the comment: MEXICO & WALLS. What does O'Bama compare European walls and Mexican walls?"

Let me guess: The Berlin Wall kept people from leaving and a wall with Mexico would prevent them from coming?

Jul. 25 2008 10:26 AM
GTA Bath from brooklyn

I think Obama's reception had less to do with his own (rather vague) qualities, and more to do with how little people thought of Bush; most Europeans found him distasteful as very best, most found him ridiculous and deeply malign.

(i'm a european).

Jul. 25 2008 10:26 AM
hjs from 11211

BORED
does he have one?

Jul. 25 2008 10:25 AM
Steve Mark from NYC

That Europe is gaga over Obama unnerves me. I almost expected him to say, Ich bin ein Beginner. At least that would have been honest. There are people in life who will do or say anything to be popular. Hmmmm.

Jul. 25 2008 10:25 AM
dave robert from whitestone

I have two words that will make the comment:
MEXICO & WALLS. What does O'Bama compare European walls and Mexican walls?

Jul. 25 2008 10:24 AM
Peter from Brooklyn

I think Obama looked good on a world stage, but when you overlay his trip with McCains foreign policy flub (fubar) week, he looked like the only capable option in the race.

Jul. 25 2008 10:24 AM
karen from Village

Here we go again -- Rami Khouri bloviating on the Middle East.

Here's a summary of what he always says:

America-bad
Israel-bad
Arabs-faultless
Palestinians-blameless

Why even bother....

Jul. 25 2008 10:23 AM
ian from berlin

perhaps it is passing, once he is put into practice the hard prospects of his high ideal will take off the sweet candy shell. in the end everyone here hates bush so the response to the anti bush come to speak to them is fair to liken as a mania

Jul. 25 2008 10:23 AM
BORED

what about john Mccain's vision for the future??? Can someone please cover him and his surge on the economy.

Jul. 25 2008 10:22 AM
Mike from Inwood

the truth states: ""mania" sounds like a fad, a passing fancy, temporary if you will and this is not that at all."

It might not be a 'mania' as you describe in the US, but it may be a 'mania' in Europe. As the European said, Obama is something of a blank slate onto which the Europeans can project everything they'd like to see in a US President.

Jul. 25 2008 10:22 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

"steep learning curve ahead of him" Who ever entered the white house 100% "learned" if you will? I am not feeling very positive about Brian's comments this morning.

Jul. 25 2008 10:21 AM
chris o from New York City

There is Obamamania, period. Especially as seen on this world tour. There is something a little irrational about it and Obama would agree.

Think Beatlemania and you might not consider it a bad thing. That was no fad, 45 years later the Beatles are still the real deal. But there was mad mania.

Jul. 25 2008 10:20 AM
Lauren from Paris

Brian,

I am a NYer living in Paris and to the French I know and in the Media, there is only Obama. I know many people who believed that the race was between Hilary and Obama. The coverage of McCain here is dwarfed by the coverage of the man who is a symbol here of a change of the guard and a turn from an administration that is overwhelmingly unpopular. I have observed that he has the power to alter our currently dismal impression on the rest of the world. I know this is not a newsflash, but I am constantly witnessing the strong opinion here that it is essential for Obama to win.

Jul. 25 2008 10:20 AM
JJ from WaHI

Obama looks good on his World Tour.

Bottomline: He's a Democrat - fairly standard Democrat - I'm glad that he like's the 50-state plan (DNC-Dean), and he is a nice symbolic change.

Jul. 25 2008 10:19 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

"mania" sounds like a fad, a passing fancy, temporary if you will and this is not that at all.

Jul. 25 2008 10:18 AM
chris o from New York City

Brilliant imagery and execution. This guy is a good politician, making the right moves. Meeting world leaders, Petraeus, the masses, looking very much like the center of attention, the luminous star in the room.

Meanwhile on the home front, all McCain can do is attack Obama incessantly - angry and old and bitter. Not good. They were crying about all the media attention Obama's trip got before it even started. He makes gaffe after gaffe, seemingly hanging his old campaign on the alleged success of the surge - lots of luck with that.

Jul. 25 2008 10:17 AM
Mike from Inwood

The European basically wants a US that will supply Europe with an army that they can use but not pay for and that will consist of soldiers whose deaths won't be mourned in Europe.

Jul. 25 2008 10:16 AM
ian from berlin

I live in berlin my self and i must say that mania is a fair statment. i saw the speech and while the speech was more broad i find that the interesting part was the crowd that was willing to accept all of the parts of the speech that could be taken poorly (i.e. the afganistan section) they love him here and in there eyes there is no one else running.

Jul. 25 2008 10:16 AM
hjs from 11211

nova camelot will need a press core

Jul. 25 2008 10:15 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Can't wait to see the comments after mccain meets with the Dali Lama today.

Jul. 25 2008 10:14 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

"Demagogue" another interesting description...did anyone actually here the words that were coming out of his mouth?

Jul. 25 2008 10:12 AM
Jess from White Plains, NY

I am so proud of Obama; just about everything he does (including speaking in Berlin) makes him look like the only real candidate in the election (especially when McCain can't respond without sounding like an old coot).

By the way, the title of the newspaper is pronounced "Dee tsayt"...

Jul. 25 2008 10:12 AM
hjs from 11211

obama being elected would show the world we get it. the bush years were our greatest mistake and we see a better way forward.

Jul. 25 2008 10:11 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

"Obamamania"? Really? Not sure how I feel about that description Brian.

Jul. 25 2008 10:10 AM
hjs from 11211

Steve
yes, how far we have come indeed.

Jul. 25 2008 10:09 AM
Steve Mark from NYC

How extraordinary a sight: An African American standing at or near the very spot where another demagogue once stood in front of hundreds of thousands of people. I hope Obama's rhetoric isn't more demagogery. He certainly has no problem "borrowing" from other great speeches.

Jul. 25 2008 10:03 AM
John Bide from Ho Ho Kus, NJ

One or two well placed jokes will turn this media slow news summer feast into what it obviously is: the "Let's Play President" world tour. I think it's hilarious that McCain is doing a press conference a day from a French Restaurant, an English restaurant, an Italian restaurant, to mirror the "LPP" tour.

Jul. 25 2008 09:47 AM

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