Real News: Obama sells Europeans on Afghan war

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August 4, 2008 – 6 min 27 sec – Obama sells Europeans on Afghan war

European public hails Obama as the anti-Bush, but politicians cool to idea of more troops in Afghanistan

The Guardian headline said “Obama gets rock star welcome” One Berliner called it “an Anti-Bush rally”, and the Financial Times Deutshland called it an “ad for the war on terror “. In a speech laden with cold war rhetoric, Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama stood before more than 200,000 people in Berlin on thursday and summoned Europeans and Americans to work together on many issues, from Iraq and Afghanistan to the “War on Terror” and climate change. Andreas Zumach of Die Tageszietung: European politicians are somewhat glad about the general statements Obama made on the need for improving the Euro-Atlantic alliance again. They have read about what he said on more cooperation on global issues like climate change, on the US in the future more obeying international law. They are very wary, especially the ones in Germany, France, and the other big European countries, about the clear message he sent on Afghanistan, where he very clearly and undiplomatically said, “We need more of your troops in Afghanistan,” which means more war fighting done by the Europeans in a war that’s bound to be lost.

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    • Edger on August 4, 2008 at 2:37 pm
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    • Edger on August 4, 2008 at 6:25 pm
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    Thanks for the FP!

    • banger on August 4, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Let’s assume Obama is a “good guy”. Would he act any differently? Would you act any differently? To be in his position you have to know the lay of the political land.

    Obama has to kowtow to Israel and to the GWOT etc. in order to get what he wants whatever that is. If I was running I would do the same things he is doing more or less, it would depend on political calculations.

    I would know that I was running to be the chief of state of a country that is in love with violence and simple answers and is dominated by an intellectual class that is promoted on the basis of its acceptance of American Exceptionalism. What the hell is he supposed to do? What would you do? Be Dennis Kucinich? Dennis is my guy but look how many votes he got.

    You guys, the majority of people in America are not only incapable of thinking clearly and logically they don’t want to. Note the popularity of comic book stories on the screen.

    Obama or anyone running will never cater to the left because the left has refused to play the political game. We refuse to accept the political landscape as it is–we prefer to condemn politics as it is (you may as well argue against rain clouds)–but the fact is that is the only game in town. Futhermore there are things we can do and the existence of the blogosphere is the tip of the iceberg as to what is possible.

  1. I am enroute back to Los Angeles for a while after spending the last 2 months in Italy. I am scratching my head and perplexed by both the report I just listened too as well as the reaction to it.

    Perhaps Italians see things differentlty. I can only tell you what I heard over and over again by people of vastly different ages and economic levels:

    Obama is not liked because he is anti-Bush

    He is perceived as a breath of fresh air, a very clear change from the BUSH and CLINTON dynasties (their words not mine)

    Obama is perceived as smart enough to maybe make a dent in the global economic meltdown currently growing without a hint of turning around.

    No One expects him or his cabinet to solve the problem. Everyone thinks McCain does not have either the inclination or the smarts to stem the rising tide of inflation engulfing Europe

    Obama is perceived as a man of peace – by all age groups. The Taliban is perceived as a real and legitimate threat to global security.

    Obama is perceived as a man who can negotiate with Iran and not fall on his kness to kiss the skirts of Isreali politicians even though it is widely accepted that he has positioned himself as strongly pro-Isreal if only to win an election. These people are very smart. They see through the fact that all politicians are just that.

    I could go on but I won’t. let me just end with a personal sadness I feel having just left a country with so much hope in their hearts for America. I am starting to dread returning- which I do in 2 days. I feel I am coming baxck to the land of ‘not possible’ when I still dare to dream

  2. Remeber how the world stood by us willing to offer a hand while we watched that opportunity squandered, shot down, crushed and dismantled by the current ruling party?

    That opportunity (although vastly diminished )is upon us again for what may be the last time for the next 10 some say 20 years.

    How do you intend to use that opportunity? I can only speak for myself.

    The Democratic Party is completely imperfect. I am a registered Independent and wish there was a candidate running that mirrored my vision for America, but there is not.

    The closet one is Obama and he needs a lot of help to be sure.

    Rather than allowing McCain to gain access to the Oval office, which in my opinion equals the death of any global support for an economic turn around which in turn will lead more to fascist politics than a new progressive party, I prefer to accapt the limitations of this man and work with him.

    For 2 months I was constantly asked a question I could not answer: “why do Americans not vote when what America does so gravely affects the world?”

    I know in the end we will get the President we deserve, we always do.

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