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President Obama and Europe

David Vickrey, editor of Dialog International and a volunteer for Senator Obama's presidential campaign, discusses in the following guest blog post the likely development of transatlantic relations in an Obama presidency:

Recently Stern Magazine polled German readers concerning who they supported in the US primaries in the race for president.   Barack Obama was the clear preference.  You could say that Obamamania has gripped Europe just as it has much of America.  Many Germans share the view of Elmar Brok - a German member of the European Parliament- that "Obama's candidacy is romantic".

But would an Obama administration meet the expectations of his European fans?  Or is this a case of "be careful what you wish for" and the reality of a President Obama will disappoint? 

Obama has said very little about his views on Europe and transatlantic relations.  The focus of his campaign has understandably been on his plans to end the war in Iraq and his policies for addressing the economic meltdown in the US.  But he has written and spoken enough about foreign policy to provide some clues on his approach to Europe:

Stephen Szabo of the German Marshall Fund  was recently interviewed in Der Spiegel and spoke about what an Obama presidency would mean for Germany and Europe.  Szabo points out both the positives and negatives:

The Democrats will do all the things the Europeans have long been demanding. They will say: "We are more like you. We are multilateral. We believe in international law. And we are going to close Guantanamo." In return, they are going to expect a reaction from Europe -- with the expectation that Europe take on more responsibility in Kosovo and, especially, in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan issue is the one that concerns me most.

Indeed, Obama has been consistent in contrasting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, viewing Afghanistan as a necessary conflict and criticizing the NATO partners for not doing more.  This could be huge source of friction between Germany and the US in an Obama administration. Still, Szabo feels that Obama would be a net plus for Europe, since he shares a post-Cold War mentality and is open to engaging with adversaries - including Iran and Cuba.  This is much more in tune with the European Weltanschauung.

Julianne Smith, Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C., also speculates on how Europe would fare under an Obama presidency in a piece on the Atlantic Community Web site.  She comes to many of the same conclusions as Stephen Szabo. But she stresses Obama's commitment to the rule of law, which will allow Europe to make a clean break with the US-German relations of the past 7 years:

On rule-of-law issues, Obama has committed to closing Guantanamo prison and prohibiting the use of torture as an interrogation technique. Europeans may also be interested in knowing that Obama would like to limit the use of extraordinary rendition - an issue that has created considerable tension in the transatlantic relationship in recent years. Obama hopes that these measures would allow Europeans and Americans to return to a shared counter terrorism agenda based on trust and an unwavering commitment to the rule of law.

Undoubtedly there will be some frictions, since US and European interests can never be 100% aligned. But going forward the transatlantic alliance will be based on shared values, and that will lead to a new era of closer cooperation.

 

Related posts in the Atlantic Review:

Obama the Catalyst

US Presidential Candidates: Who's Good for Europe?

NYT: Obama is Supported by the Vast Majority Democratic Foreign Policy Advisors

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Merkel-4 on :

Obama may not be the next president of US. Obama and Hillary are at neck and neck heat. They are indulging in mud-throwing each other. While both Democratic leaders' election assistants are using more dirty and more sarcastic words against their rivals. McCain is another unconquerable stone for Obama . I can not imagine Obama dare to challenge Republican conservative. Given that Obama can beat Hillary in Democratic nomination, He will be described as an racist and terrorism -connected. The US media was also motivated , although they procliam they are no-partisan . People can clearly find their position . If US media can take side and baselessly lash out fire on their disfavorite candidate .What can you expect them? I recently visit a website WWW.ANTI-CNN.COM ,it make me laugh out lot ! The Site provides so many amusing things here. I don't wanna judge the whole things happend in Lhasa ,PRC half month ago. But the western medias like RTL , CNN , Reuter seems bankrupt its credits again there. If they cook data ,crop picture to distort the truth in China, how can the islamic world and African once colonial states bank their trusts on Western powers. What make the whole things ridiculous is not CNN 's so unconvincing yet so ludicrous explanation, CNN' stealthly picture-change activity make it a culprit in action. Nothing can clarify CNN's cleaness. CNN plunge into another credits problems after its Iraq distorting reports. Shame on CNN, CNN had better make appolgies as Deutch TV broadcaster RTL , It's meaningless and pointless to argue about its mistakes.Does anybody hear about CNN's appolgies for its misinformation upon IRAQ ,None! So I keep an acute eye and sarcastic on CNN .

merkel-2 on :

Pat Patterson - #16.1 - 2008-03-28 05:09 - (Reply) [CNN, flawed as it might be, is in competition with many other sources of information and can be checked and criticized, while a badly done website from China leaves much to be desired in terms of reliability. Plus except just a few days ago all western news media were banished and then barred from returning to Tibet. Complain to the chinese government for badly sourced news not a few tourist and hippies with cameras and cell phones. Or did I miss the part were Baidu and Google are not censoring the web in China any more? Or that Xinhua News Agency and China News Service are going to accept their Pulitzer Prizes next year for truthful reporting of the news? ] Comment: I have no interesting to compare CNN and China News Service which one is reliable. I personally disbelieve Bejing offical news many time . When doubt exits , I check other sources for confirmation. In Tibet case, I check canadian visitors' videotape and their description about Tibet riots against Han Chinese civilian. I also check the video clip on Tibet riots from Chinese government. I think there is no question who is tell the truth. So many Western media made the same mistakes. What should we doubt ? Western media's profession skill & spirits, or their consciousness? Disgusting the PRC's human rights is one thing , Cooking data ,cropping picture make them looks more like a liars. CNN can not excuse itself by saying ".Chinese government block journalists inside Tibet area", because CNN 's false and confusing reports published before China actually block outsiders entering into violent Tibet area. When violence happened and may expanded, Some special measures need to be taken. as far as i known, several Japenese visitors in Lhasa escape violence after convincing the rioters that they are not Han Chinese. Nowadays , when the violence is under control ,Media like VOA, Finacial Times(Britain) was approved to visit Tibet. Paterson , Can we reach mutual consensus on this : Chinese government's state meida Like CCTV is far from reliable source, and all those tailor facts 's western media also deserved condemnation.

Pat Patterson on :

Better chance of a reponse if comment placed on proper thread.

Joe Noory on :

If the press insist on calling him "President Obama" and not candidate Obama or possible president Obama, then perhaps these divine, all-wise, lesson-giving Europeans can elect Barack Obama for themselves. Even Merkel has it wrong. At present, McCain wins against both democratic front-runners. No doubt that will narrow when they have chose a candidate, but the delta is such that even if McCain keeps a third of the dissapointed Obama supporters who prefer McCain to Clinton, or a third of the dissapointed Clinton supporters who prefer McCain to Obama, he would still appear to be the winner. In fact I think you need to stop and look at your own world-view for even concidering to take a state-run media operation like CCTV seriously. So the presumptions to the thesis are questionable and diversionary, much like believing that David's own monologue of opinions can plausibly be renamed "dialogue" to soften any potential criticism.

David on :

"At present, McCain wins against both democratic front-runners." Actually, the NBC/Wall St. Journal Poll that came out yesterday shows Obama with a narrow lead over McCain, while McCain narrowly beats Hillary. The current "catastrophic success" of the McCain Troop Surge in Iraq will undoubtedly erode McCain's support over the next months.

Joe Noory on :

Ancient man looked for any parenthetical sign, no matter how unrelated to the object of his concern to guide him. Their decendants manage to combine any slag with they can call failed (they would have made it work, no doubt), with the fate of whoever would challenge their candidate. I understand that he just inherited the executive capacity to order a troop surge, which may now be identified a failure by a subculture that has been so reflexively opposed to the military that they had to read up over the past years on what rank names were for officers and enlisted, etc. Obama is going into this seeking the support of people who heavily lean toward protectionism, except for leaning toward a vaguely cultural and naive form of internationalism. I ask again: what role do non-Americans even have in this discussion? Would the opposite not provoke outright outrage and be concidered meddling, and not be treated with the concideration that Americans have given them so far? We know full well that this patience wouldn't be requited for even a moment.

Reid of America on :

The current controversy surrounding Obama's pastor is the tip of the iceberg. Obama has a very radical past and lots of it has been documented in both print and video. Clinton is slowly releasing this material. By convention time in August Obama will be an unelectable political mess and the Republicans won't be the ones doing the "swiftboating". Opinion polls are meaningless at this point in the election cycle. Four months ago the opinion polls said Rudy and Hillary had their nominations wrapped up. One thing I know that the Democrats are in a state of denial about is the American people will not elect Obama president. It has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his radical affiliations. Fifty state loser!

Pamela on :

"The current controversy surrounding Obama's pastor is the tip of the iceberg." Boy, ain't that the truth. Check this out. ----------------------- Out of the blue, the talk shows and blogs have brought the name of Rashid Khalidi into view. He’s the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia, and a well-known propagandist of Arab nationalism. At one point towards the end of the 1970s he was director of WAFA, a Palestinian news agency serving the purposes of Yasser Arafat and the PLO. A book of his, Under Siege, in 1986 was a panegyric to the courage and endurance of the PLO as the Israeli army forced it out of Beirut, parts of which the Palestinians had occupied by force of arms, with no legitimacy at all. And now Khalidi pops up in some sort of relationship with Senator Barack Obama, as a fundraiser and supporter, possibly an advisor. [snip] As part of a book tour at the time of publication, I found myself in Chicago appearing on the Milt Rosenberg talk show. And in the studio there was a guest, lo and behold Rashid Khalidi, transformed into an academic at Chicago University. Lack of democracy, I said, was blocking Arab development. He said furiously that the Arabs were democratic in their fashion, citing Kuwait of all examples, which at that moment was just standing down its vestigial parliament. I said that Arab nationalism had only served to extend despotism. He became even angrier at that, and accused me of writing a hatchet job. Apparently I was a purveyor of essentialism. This is a doctrine, as I understand it, that ascribes fixed characteristics to people, as though they couldn’t change. You talk to me about philosophical terms, I heard myself saying, but I am talking to you about murder and war. Rashid Khalidi comes from a very well known Palestinian family, and someone in his position commands respect in that society. He is of course safe in the United States, but the Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza have to bear the consequences of what the social and intellectual elite to which he belongs are doing and saying. Nationalism of his kind, its deceptions and self-deceptions, conditions the repeated mistake of favouring war over reason. In the first place, he is letting his people down, but then the wider world has to suffer the consequences. If Senator Obama really has friends like this, he – and all of us too - had better beware. ------------------ David Pryce-Jones on Rashid Khalidi http://pryce-jones.nationalreview.com/post/?q=N2UyZTIxNzRiNDYxZGRlOTcyZWI4Njg5NGI4Yjg1MDk

John in Michigan, USA on :

While Obama's current coalition includes secular (mostly rich, liberal) voters, we are now seeing how, historically, Obama's main base of support includes a religious community that makes Romney's Mormonism, or Bush's born-again theology look mainstream. Have his European supporters fully processed that? Maybe they see Obama in the Christian Socialist tradition? But my impression is that Christian Socialists in Europe tend to be somewhat conservative. Does Christian Socialism have anything in common with Obama's liberation theology? Or, perhaps his EuroFans consider Obama's religion to be "[url=http://www2.nysun.com/article/73218]crazy stuff[/url]"? This explanation is cynical, but it is the best explanation so far as to why European secular types (and American seculars, for that matter) haven't rejected Obama wholesale. [url=http://www.slate.com/id/2187277/]Some seculars, like Christopher Hitchens, apparently didn't get the memo[/url]. What do you think? P.S. I sincerely admire Hitchens. He hasn't lost sight of the realism that was [url=http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110002911]required by Marx's scientific (i.e. realist) socialism[/url]. If only more socialists were willing to tell it like it is instead of spewing the old "we've always been at war with Eastasia." drivel that [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four]Orwell's 1984[/url] spoofed so well. P.P.S. Obama's liberation theology seems to me to settle the question of whether Obama is a socialist. Philosophically, he clearly is. Politically he may be a typical socialist, or, he may be trying to articulate a sort of neo-socialism. Campaign rhetoric is so thick right now, and Obama's record is so thin, it is probably impossible to tell, at least until after the Democratic convention. The convention is where candidates of both parties tend to re-invent, re-package, and re-introduce themselves to the American public, the vast majority of whom won't pay any serious attention to the campaigns until [i]after[/i] this summer.

Álvaro Degives-Más on :

The "enthusiasm" over Senator Obama's campaign that exists in Europe is, as is the case with those of Senators Clinton and McCain, subject to the same disclaimer of involvement and relevance as its inverse corollary, say: the average US citizen's interest and "enthusiasm" over (e.g.) Zapatero's reelection in Spain. It's a reflection of an extremely superficial, shallow and hearsay-based impression, which bears about as much weight as a page of [i]Stern.[/i] I honestly have no idea whatever interest or significance there is in such attempts to gauge a wider projection of hypothetical wins of hardly known candidates, beyond filling space in the foreign affairs section and feathering the candidate in question's nest (as the candidate can now point to "foreign media" which use "enthusiasm" in reference to the prospect of that candidate's potential presidency). It's hard to imagine a more circular and self-serving example of a feedback cycle applied to divining a hypothesized response to a hypothesized presidency by people abroad who, naturally, have no clue whatsoever of that candidate's profile, beyond superficial impressions from superficial reports. If this sounds cynical, I offer two considerations: one, as I said, simply imagine an inverse projection; and two, I have a collection of enthusiastic European media endorsements of John Kerry back in 2004.

bashy on :

polls and polls and more polls. who cares. in the general election you have to win electorial votes. of course the msm will keep putting out so called polls that obama is winning. hoping that americans that are for mccain will think there is no chance for him and stay home on election day. plus we haven't even had a debate yet between mccain and the democrat. sit back and grab some popcorn and watch clinton and obama fight it out!

David on :

"Obama's Radical Past" You mean the Harvard Law Review? The Democrats won the 2006 election by 11 million votes. I predict a much larger margin for 2008 as the Bush recession deepens. Americans really want change, not a third Bush term.

Reid of America on :

David, Here are people who agree with you. http://obamamessiah.blogspot.com/

Pat Patterson on :

Actually considering the type of people, such as Louis Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes, then the comparison strikes me as a pygmy among giants. Sen. Obabma was considered by the editors and the subsequent editors to have been a weak leader responsible for a lowering of scholarship that was felt necessary to seperate the HLR from other university law reviews. His volume #104 from 1990-1991 is in the last twenty years of the publication the least cited and the least cited by a huge margin. While Obama was popular he wrote not one article when it was normal for someone in his position to write at least one and the average was between two and three. I guess to paraphrase Pres. Clinton by leaving no paper trail one does not damage your future viability. Also that one of the candidates, David Ellen, for editor-in-chief that was rejected as being too confrontational and too demanding of serious work the year Sen. Obama was selected. The editors hoped that the new president would bring the standards of writing back to where it had been before the Senator took over.

Pat Patterson on :

That last paragraphy is somewhat confusing. David Ellen was passed over the year Sen. Obama won that post but he was encouraged to run the next year and won convincingly. He was brought in, he already had extensive editing experience, to reshape the content and the scholarship of the HLR which was seen to have slipped badly under the affable but dilletatnish future senator from Illinois.

John in Michigan, USA on :

David, that's a good point about Harvard Law Review. We should investigate Obama's time at the law school and see if he was part of the radical [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_legal_studies]Critical Legal Studies [/url](CLS or "the Crits") movement. He may also have been interested in [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory]critical race theory[/url] (CRT). CLS and CRT are different than Wright's [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_theology]Black Liberation theology[/url], but they have many elements in common. In my view both CLS, CRT, and liberation theology are (failed) attempts to rescue classical Marxism from the ashbin of history; however, CLS and CRT also have a deconstructionist heritage that may not be explicitly present in liberation theology. Obama got his law degree from Harvard in 1991. The peak of the Crit movement was in the 1980's, it faded out in the 1990's. So Obama might have graduated right at the cusp or turning point. I wonder which way he leaned? If it turns out he was a "Crit", it will provide the Clinton campaign and the media with a whole new area to explore, once the business with Rev. Wright finally settles down. So thanks for the tip! It's a good thing we have a Harvard alum posting on this thread!

Pat Patterson on :

I didn't find anything suggesting that Obama was anything other than what he appears to be, lucky and disingenuous. However he was head of the Black Law Students Association at a time when the school was embroiled in a bitter dispute over the hiring and granting of tenure to black professors. Derrick Bell resigned because he felt there was not enough action to hire more blacks Since it seemed obvious to other students that Obama wanted to return to Chicago to enter politics and to follow his future wife there, it is doubtful that he saw any need to entangle himself with the self-limiting field of Critical Legal Studies. He wanted to be a Saul Alinsky clone not one of the deck hands of the Good Ship Crit that had a Titanic-sized gap in its theory and had already lost the debate at the university level.

Bill L on :

The more you find out about all 3 candidates, the more you fear to see any of them with that much power. Really search Google for their past and what others in their Party think of them. Read about the strange behavior. The pathological (weird) lying. Using temper tantrums to control the people around them. Shock tactics. Shallowness and vacillating political flip-flopping. Extreme manipulativeness as effective as that of psychopaths. And narcissism. Very common among the political elite of the west. I'm beginning to think that we should require a psychiatric examination of anyone who wants their name on the ballot. As an example of danger: Many years ago, Clinton had Osama bin Laden located in Afghanistan. According to his orders, preparations were made to kill or capture him. What did Clinton do? He cared more about his (phony) grandiose image than anything else. In fact, narcissists never even consider anything else. Europeans would have pointed the accusing finger at him and called him a bad person for having OBL killed, so he renegged and let OBL live. Result? 9/11 and 3,000 American dead. Those dead were betrayed to death by Clinton, whose duty was to protect THEM, not his false image. This is the risk with McCain and Hillary Clinton, but like Bill, there is no reason to think they wish harm to this country. Like Bill, they are smart and would do it well, so long as their personal grandiosity doesn't conflict with the best interests of the American people (or the rest of the world for that matter). In fact, they are cunning and cagey, so they would probably give Europe a dose of its own medicine. In a way, it's great to have dirty-dealers like that on your side. Europe will be displeased with any of these people as President. They see right through Euopean tactics. They are just as good as your European leaders at playing games. The only reason they EVER say anything about getting better relations with Europe is for the votes that remark will suck. The Democrats do this a lot just to bash the Republican in the White House, not because they mean it. For example, check out how Hillary actually does talk to European harpies when she is in Europe with other senators. Not to interested in appeasing you all is she. Actually, I think a double-dealing president is just what we need to teach Europe a lesson. But the impulsiveness of these three crooked candidates would be a risk though, for they are likely to go off at any perceived insult like a furious five-year-old with a gun would. (If you thought Bush "reactionary," you ain't seen nothing yet). Obama is the most dangerous. That's because he hides his true colors. Why? His talk doesn't match his walk at all - in fact his talk is exactly the opposite of his walk. He is a socialist hiding that. His membership and 20-year close connections with a racist anti-American preacher of hate is the exact opposite of the racial uniter he pretends to be. Ominous deceit. Not love of this country or goodwill to it, either. He babbles on constantly without saying anything of substance, stubbornly refusing to say what he'd DO if elected. Why? What is he hiding? He disses NAFTA out of one side of his mouth while telling the Canadian government not to worry, because he doesn't mean it. He solicits donations from Jews out of one side of his mouth while telling his Palestinian friends out of the other that he will be "more up front" about his support of them after the votes are counted. Don't take my word for it. Seek the truth and you will find it - just go somewhere besides the sources that feed you the brand of propaganda you like. Political ideologs don't care about the character of their leaders. All they care about is their political agenda. But that is foolish. I am sure Europeans think, "So what?" since their own leaders are often 2-faced cynics. But here in the US we are are down to a choice of the least of three evils. Personally, I guess that's McCain. But - and I never thought I'd say this - Clinton would have to be the second choice. Obama is very scary. Don't try to figure his politics out. He has none. he's shallow as a puddle and believes in nothing. He will be a socialist so long as that's politically expedient. But he can turn nazi tommorrow if the wind shifts. Because all he's in it for is his own personal glory. Nothing else is even a consideration.

Reid of America on :

"Don't try to figure his politics out. He has none." Obama is the Manchurian Muslim.

Reid of America on :

Make the Muslim Manchurian candidate.

David on :

This kind of ignorant bigotry is what the Obama campaign seeks to overcome. We'll see what kind of a nation the America really is and whether any progress has been made in the last 40 years.

Pat Patterson on :

By the way, did the EMP Elmar Brock mean romantic in a hugs and kisses reference, which is somewhat confusing and really off-putting? Or romantic in the sense of Henry V, "Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more...Then imitate the action of the tiger: Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood"? 5.3.44-51.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Surely Brok intended both meanings of romantic...and surely out of respect for all the Germans here, you could have referenced Wagner (perhaps Parsifal?) instead of Shakespeare? Obama seems more the type to lead us towards [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsifal]Parsifal[/url]'s holy grail of "healing America" rather than "imitate the action of the tiger" which would imply staying and fighting in Iraq. And of course, the ladies love Obama. [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKsoXHYICqU]One of them made a video[/url]. --- I've criticized Obama a lot on this forum, but I have to admit, he is far more interesting to talk about than Clinton or McCain.

Pat Patterson on :

But wasn't Shakespeare a German. To paraphrase, "Ah, you haven't read Shakespeare unless you've read him in the original Klingon."

David on :

Poor George W. Bush. [url=http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/30/bush-booed-nationals/]Everyone hates him.[/url] Well,[url=http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/X/e/1/mccain_bush_brokeback.jpg]almost everyone.[/url]

John in Michigan, USA on :

Well, thanks for the video. I for one want to salute the new David, who actually provides evidence for his statements. I hope we'll be seeing a lot more of this new David. As to the quality of this evidence: [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booing]booing[/url] indicates disapproval, not hate. On TV, the amount of perceived booing depends a great deal on which microphones are selected by the studio. In the video, some of those boos sounded like individual voices or small groups. Or maybe they were just yelling "Buuuuuush!" :-) Granted, polls do show that Bush remains unpopular, but there have been no dramatic changes lately. [url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls/archive/?poll_id=19#data]He was been stuck on about 1/3 approval for months[/url]. Meanwhile, [url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls/archive/?poll_id=18#data]Congressional approval is stuck even lower[/url]. No wonder Obama has a fetish for "change". David continues to have a real problem with that word, "hate". It is a word he uses far too easily. Such behavior is a sure sign of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Derangement_Syndrome]BDS[/url]. I bet if Obama were asked, "Do you hate Bush?", he would answer with an emphatic and sincere "No". David, you could learn something from your candidate.7

Pat Patterson on :

But that perfectly sensible advice might cause the what I suspect to be symptomatic of many of Sen. Obama's fans, bradycardia, to return!

John in Michigan, USA on :

I didn't see until now that David posted a link to "Boos for Bush" By Dan Froomkin, under "Tips for our Readers". The Froomkin article links to multiple sources that document that there was significant booing. Other personal (i.e. non-studio) videos on YouTube [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEBUbYaUw0Q&feature=related]show virtually no booing[/url], but they are outnumbered by videos that show significant booing. All videos show that there was significant cheering as well. It would be interesting to have a microphone in the center of the stadium (perhaps near second base) so that all parts of the crowd were heard equally. It would be interesting to hear what the President heard. Finally, I'll bet if you reviewed footage of past Presidents at various sporting events, you would find almost every President gets booed at one time or another. It's a free country. Still, my complements on the additional research.

joe on :

Reid, David presents the Left's position on any discussion about his guy. David is doing this bit to defend America by being part of the Obama vanguard. There really are two sets of questions concerning BHO. The first is can the US survive his presidency and the second is can the US survive his defeat. Either of the outcomes is going to be very difficult for those of us who have spent a life time playing by the rules and have a set of values which David and his fellow travelers reject out of hand.

John in Michigan, USA on :

What on earth is he thinking? Obama gives Rev. Wright a verbal slap on the wrist (he remains a formal member of the Obama campaign) but kicks Ms. Ramirez-Sliwinski off the campaign? The Obama campaign just made a MAJOR mistake. This story will put Rev. Wright right back in the news and alienate many, particularly Hispanics. [url=http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/883120,CST-NWS-trustee08.article]Suburban Obama delegate asked to resign over 'monkeys' remark[/url] In an ideal world she would have had the presence of mind to pick a word other than "monkeys". However, her remark in context was clearly innocent of any racist intent; at the very worst she is unconsciously perpetuating an archaic stereotype. It is hard to imagine a national conversation on race when such a mild impropriety means you are no longer welcome. Meanwhile your interlocutor can occasionally spew the most vile hate and be forgiven (and if I guess right, embraced before all is said and done...time will tell). How long will it be before McCain is brought up on charges for telling (for the umpteenth time) how he flew over the [b]jungles[/b] of Vietnam? Anyone who has experienced the racial sensitivity thought-police will recognize the pattern: the national conversation on race is actually a lecture. No questions will be taken from the audience, but attendance is mandatory and your enthusiasm will be carefully monitored.

Mrs. Logic on :

"Julianne Smith, Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C.... She comes to many of the same conclusions as Stephen Szabo. But she stresses Obama's commitment to the rule of law...." Hey, if that's the case then I'm for Obama. Perhaps, all of the European Union along with the United Nations will apply the rule of law. Perhaps, in this case all contracts and treaties formalized by European states and other nations and recognized by the United Nations will be enforced accordingly to the letter of the law. Perhaps then the European states and the United Nations under the precept of the rule of law will have the moral, rational, logical, guiltless right to repatriate en masse all the illegal 'temporary guest workers' in Europe who breached or broke the contracts/treaties between the European host nations and their country of origin. Collectively, European states or the Union and the United Nations would have the moral, logical, guiltless universal right to repatriate all the temporary guest workers who did not uphold the rule of law as clearly stipulated in the internationally recognized treaties/contracts between the contracting powers under U.N. recognition. If Obama is committed to the rule of law, then Europe, India, America, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, etc., and I are for him! Common sense, right? But then again, in the West I've noticed common sense isn't common anymore. -Mrs. Logic

Álvaro Degives-Más on :

I count two instances of "if" and three "perhaps" there, Mrs Logic. Unless you're offering to produce a solution matrix covering all possible outcomes of all pertinent variables with their probabilities factored in, I'm not sure how you can get one outcome as a "logical" conclusion, let alone how that is an indication of "common sense". After all, "common sense" is one of those touchy-feely, culturally sensitive buzz words that are contextually determined, and mathematics and anthropology don't mix very well - certainly not in an international context.

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