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New lingo for you: BRICS Development Bank

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 2:56 am - March 16, 2014.
Filed under: Anti-Americanism Abroad,Economy,National Security

Did you know that since 2009, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) have had a summit each year where, basically, they plot a new world financial system with a greatly reduced role for the West, and the U.S. dollar?

This will be a long explanation. I’ll keep it as neutral as I can (not expressing outrage in any direction).

The dollar is (or has been) the chief currency of international trade and finance. The international oil trade, for example, is settled almost entirely in dollars. This is part of why America has gotten away with decades of trade deficits.

A trade deficit means, among other things, that other countries want to give us real goods (produced by their workers) in exchange for our paper money. That’s intuitively unfair; it gives us extra goods from other countries’ production. Why would other countries do it? Because, up to now, they’ve liked getting the dollars. They have wanted to have dollars in their back pocket (say for buying oil, etc.).

And that’s part of the reason (just one part!) why U.S. inflation statistics have stayed moderate, in the face of the Federal Reserve’s policy of massive “QE” or money-printing. Other countries have absorbed some of our excess dollars. To the extent that such a country wants to keep its currency’s value in line with the (declining) dollar, it must create more of its own money, sort of matching its dollar inflows. That inflicts inflation on its people. In effect, the U.S. has been able to export inflation to other countries.

It’s a cushy arrangement for the parts of the U.S. that live off the Fed’s money-creating machine (or get effectively bailed out by it). In other words: cushy for the U.S. Big Government – Big Banking complex.

Those Americans who know about it, often take it for granted. They’ll say things like “Oh, of course we can get away with it. The dollar is too entrenched for other countries to get rid of it. Of course other countries want our dollar, and they will keep wanting it, no matter if we keep over-printing it.”

But history shows that no country stays at the center of world trade and finance (enjoying exorbitant privileges) for more than 50-80 years. This post is about the fact that America is, in historical terms, nearing the end of its run.

The first BRIC summit was in 2009. As The Guardian puts it:

…Brazil, Russia, India and China expressed mounting dissatisfaction with the inertia in [current world financial] institutions (the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) and agreed to “advance the reform of international financial institutions, so as to reflect changes in the global economy.” Russia’s president, Dmitri Medvedev, said the main point of the meeting was to show that “the Bric should create conditions for a more just world order.”

“A more just world order.” Get it?

It’s code for knocking down Western influence, including the U.S. dollar. Thus ending the privileges just described; the privilege of the U.S. endlessly bailing itself out by creating new money and then exporting the inflation (or some of it) to other countries via trade deficits, which give Americans cheap foreign goods. Or the privilege (for Europe) of an IMF that bails out profligate European countries, such as Greece, and helps buy Ukrainian revolutions on Russia’s doorstep.

The BRICS countries know they can’t change things overnight. But each year, they move the ball forward a little. Last year’s summit (2013) saw an announcement that they would create a BRICS Development Bank, designed to duplicate the functions of the IMF and World Bank on the BRICS’ terms. The 2014 summit should see the announcement of some progress. For example, in September, they agreed on how the bank should be capitalized at $100 billion.

Some Westerners think the duplication-of-effort is stupid (for example, see Laurson and Pieler, at Forbes). Or they scratch their head over why it’s happening and whether the 5 BRICS countries will keep it together. Such criticisms miss the point.

The point is that the IMF and World Bank serve Western interests; and the BRICS countries, who are the up-and-coming powers, are tired of it. They will create duplicate institutions in some form, so as to be able to leave the Western-oriented ones or at least bypass them. Not surprisingly, non-Western observers get it.

We are moving to a world which increasingly rejects Western influence, especially American financial and political influence. For example, last October, Chinese media openly called for a “de-Americanized world”.

I blame 20 years of bad U.S. policies which have debauched the dollar, abandoned freedom, and given America a phony economy of endless deficits and debts, welfare, bubbles and bailouts. Policies which President Obama has obstinately made much worse. But however that might be, the “de-Americanized world” is coming. It is no surprise to see India and China tilting Russian in the Ukraine crisis.

In the bigger picture, it will mean foreigners needing a lot fewer U.S. dollars. When that happens, America’s inflationary chickens will come home to roost. As foreigners return their dollars to America in contempt, we won’t be able to run trade deficits anymore, and the dollar’s international buying power will go down. The cost of imported goods will skyrocket, and U.S. inflation with them. America will face some tough times.

What ARE the aims of Obama’s foreign policy?

Victor Davis Hanson published a memorable piece in the National Review last week entitled “America as Pill Bug.”  The pill bug or the roly-poly bug is one that turns itself into a ball when it feels threatened.  Hanson writes:

That roly-poly bug can serve as a fair symbol of present-day U.S. foreign policy, especially in our understandable weariness over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the scandals that are overwhelming the Obama administration.

On August 4, U.S. embassies across the Middle East simply closed on the basis of intelligence reports of planned al-Qaeda violence. The shutdown of 21 diplomatic facilities was the most extensive in recent American history.

Yet we still have over a month to go before the twelfth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, an iconic date for radical Islamists.

Such preemptive measures are no doubt sober and judicious. Yet if we shut down our entire public profile in the Middle East on the threat of terrorism, what will we do when more anti-American violence arises? Should we close more embassies for more days, or return home altogether?

Hanson makes an excellent point about the way the Obama administration’s closure of embassies is likely to be viewed in the Arab world and around the globe.  Although, as Jeff pointed out in a post last week, the administration may have ulterior motives–by trying to create a distraction–by closing the embassies in this manner, the reality is that the interpretation of the administration’s actions by our international foes is likely to proceed in a manner similar to that Hanson envisions in his article.

Hanson looks at the example of Libya and Syria to illustrate that the administration’s “lead from behind” strategy is not working, and that it appears to be counterproductive:

Instead, the terrorists are getting their second wind, as they interpret our loud magnanimity as weakness — or, more likely, simple confusion. They increasingly do not seem to fear U.S. retaliation for any planned assaults. Instead, al-Qaeda franchises expect Americans to adopt their new pill-bug mode of curling up until danger passes.

Our enemies have grounds for such cockiness. President Obama promised swift punishment for those who attacked U.S. installations in Benghazi and killed four Americans. So far the killers roam free. Rumors abound that they have been seen publicly in Libya.

Instead of blaming radical Islamist killers for that attack, the Obama reelection campaign team fobbed the assault off as the reaction to a supposedly right-wing, Islamophobic videomaker. That yarn was untrue and was greeted as politically correct appeasement in the Middle East.

All these Libyan developments took place against a backdrop of “lead from behind.” Was it wise for American officials to brag that the world’s largest military had taken a subordinate role in removing Moammar Qaddafi — in a military operation contingent on approval from the United Nations and the Arab League but not the U.S. Congress?

No one knows what to do about the mess in Syria. But when you do not know what to do, it is imprudent to periodically lay down “red lines.” Yet the administration has done just that to the Bashar al-Assad regime over the last two years.

Hanson sees the Obama administration’s foreign policy as a disastrous replay of the Carter doctrine, once again illustrating Glenn Reynolds’ frequent observation that a replay of Jimmy Carter is simply the “best-case scenario” for Obama.

While I believe Hanson is right in his characterization of the big picture and the likely consequences of Obama foreign policy, I’d differ from him in seeing Obama as being as feckless and weak as Carter.  I’d maintain that Carter’s foreign policy was guided by a number of naive precepts about the nature of the world.  At least during the years of his presidency, I’d contend that Carter “meant well” in the way the phrase is commonly used to describe a hopelessly incompetent bumbler who seems incapable of recognizing his own shortcomings.  Likewise, early in the Obama administration, Tammy Bruce started referring to Obama as Urkel, the nerdy, awkward, inept kid from the TV show “Family Matters” who had an uncanny ability to mess up almost everything he touched.  That certainly is one narrative for what Obama is doing in the world of foreign policy, but I’m not sure it is the right one.

As I contemplate Obama foreign policy, though, particularly in the Middle East, I find myself thinking more and more that although incompetence might be the simplest explanation, it might not be the best or the right one.  I see no good intentions in the administration’s domestic policy, so why should its foreign policy be exempt from charges that it is motivated more by malevolence to the United States and its role in history than by a supposed set of “liberal” ideals?

This is an administration that seems bent on alienating all of our historical allies as quickly as possible, while taking it easy on our geopolitical foes.  Obama seems to want our allies to view us as unreliable and untrustworthy while making sure our enemies view us as weak, indecisive, and either unable or unwilling to use force to protect our interests or to enforce our stated policy goals.  If there is a better explanation of the administration’s ultimate foreign policy goals, I’d sure like to know what it might be.

 

Egyptians…not loving Obama so much?

In case you haven’t seen this already on The Gateway Pundit:

YouTube Preview Image

Egyptian street protestors against Obama?

Click here (or equivalently, here) for “15 Photos From the Tahrir Square Protests You’ll Never See In Legacy Media.”

They’re 15 anti-Obama signs/banners, that seem to be placed prominently among the protestors. Now, I don’t know what that means for the protestors’ (or the Egyptians’) overall feelings about Obama. But if you can find a countervailing link – say, 15 pro-Obama banners from the protestors, or current Egyptian poll results where they love him – please post it in the comments.

UPDATE: From Cairo’s Tora prison, Ousted Mubarak says Mursi should resign to ‘save lives’.

UPDATE: Obama against Egyptian street protestors? The key phrases in his otherwise flowery statement about his love of Egyptian democracy:

I now call on the Egyptian military…to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the government of Egypt.

In other words: Obama may cut off aid to Egypt if the Egyptian military dares to crack down on the Islamo-fascists within their midst, the Muslim Brotherhood. From Wiki’s description of them:

The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for …ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community … and state.”The movement is known for engaging in political violence, claiming responsibility for the installment of Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist organization…Muslim Brotherhood members are suspected to have assassinated political opponents like Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha…

But, not to fear: Obama left himself room to wriggle in the other direction. He can still say that he only wanted to avoid “arbitrary” arrests (as opposed to, say, arrests necessary to prevent a civil war) and that he only called for a “review” of U.S. aid.

UPDATE: Did you know that Obama was getting ready to deploy U.S. troops to support Morsi against the Egyptian street protestors? (KCEN-TV report, via The New American.) I had missed it.

Perhaps that is part of what precipitated the Egyptian military’s move against Morsi. That, and Morsi’s plans to intervene in Syria for “the rebels”, the Syrian al Qaeda bunch that Obama also supports.

UPDATE: CNN acknowledges that the Egyptian protests were anti-Obama. (Via Zero Hedge.) So, we cynics were wrong on that point: the U.S. official media has indeed admitted it.

Hugo Chavez is dead. NPR hardest hit.

Those of us who listen to NPR largely to monitor the bias in the publicly-funded network’s news programming were treated to a whole series of stories about Hugo Chavez and Venezuela this week in advance of that country’s election on Sunday.   While it is easy for NPR to downplay the bias in its reporting on North Korea since few on the American left are foolish enough to openly praise Kim Jong-un, reporting on Chavez and Venezuela poses a large number of challenges for the network, as it tries to appear “balanced” while still advancing its agenda.

When I woke up on Wednesday morning, for instance, I heard part of this interview and couldn’t believe what I was listening to, as NPR’s Steve Inskeep interviewed Rory Carroll, a correspondent for The Guardian who has written a book about Chavez.  The interview began with Carroll making an observation about Chavez’s strong support among poor Venezuelans:

I would say about a third of Venezuelans adored him right through everything. From the beginning, right until the end. And, it’s impressive. I mean, for a guy who’s in power for 14 years? And you would tramp up the barrios — these hillside slums were his bedrock of support — and these people felt that down below in the palace, in Miraflores, there was a guy who was on their side — that he was their champion. He looked like them, he spoke like them. He was them. And that was an incredibly powerful connection that Chavez was able to maintain all through his 14 years in power.

In a subsequent exchange, Carroll related the story of a “clash” he once had with Chavez on television where Chavez responded to the question in part by deploying the rhetoric of race and class which is so popular on the left.  Summing up the encounter, Carroll made it clear he thought Chavez had made a valuable point: “I was a perfect fall guy or rhetorical punch bag, in the sense that, yes, I’m Irish, freckly and blond, or ginger, if you like — I was in that sense a perfect foil as a stand-in agent of imperialism.”

As the interview continued, though, Carroll acknowledged that the longer Chavez remained in power, the less enthusiastic he and the staff at The Guardian felt about Chavez’s reign.  Carroll talked about economic stagnation in Venezuela, the rising crime rate, and the fact that the failure of many of Chavez’s policies disproportionately affected the poor.  Carroll answered a question about his declining enthusiasm for Chavez as follows:

Well, it’s a good question. Yes, at the beginning — and I think most liberals and right-thinking people would have been, in his first couple of years in power. There was plenty of reason to give him any benefit of the doubt. Now, over time, when he became a bit more oppressive, shutting down television stations, and when the wheels were kind of beginning to come off the economy in some ways, I, in my own reporting, became very critical, just reflecting what I saw on the ground. And this prompted quite a debate, internal debate, in my newspaper, because a lot of editors then and to this day feel and felt that we should have supported Hugo Chavez because he was a standard-bearer for the left. Whereas I, very close up, I thought, well, no, actually. Because sadly, he’s running the country into the ground and we have to report that.

In other words, even a reporter for The Guardian feels compelled to actually practice journalism once in a while.  And it was at this point when this interview–and other stories like it during the week–started to get very challenging for NPR and its listeners.

My reaction to the interview–and other stories like it during the week–was rather like Tim Graham’s take at Newsbusters: “Thatcher, Schmatcher. NPR is still obsessing over its loss of leftist Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.”  But when I actually looked up the interview on the NPR website, I saw something else completely.  Even when normally far-left NPR decides to air a mostly positive story about Chavez, it is still not positive enough for its left-wing listeners.

Many listeners were voicing their anger at NPR for daring to mention any of the negative realities of life under Chavez.  One listener wrote:

The tone of this article is most disappointing. Where do I start and is it worth it, given that NPR has become a mouthpiece for North American pursuit of control over everyone, starting from its docile citizens? Or are they simply immoral and prefer to ignore military intervention so they can continue to shop and charge everything on (more…)

The nature of Hugo Chávez’s appeal on the American left?

Does Rich Lowry get it?

Chávez got his first political break in a failed military coup and never lost his taste for militarizing politics. Fidel Castro was his mentor, and he propped up the Castro regime with Venezuela’s ample oil. He funded guerrillas warring against the democratically elected government of Colombia. He praised every heinous dictator around the planet as a brother-in-arms. He was hell on the plutocrats, and also on the Jews. “Don’t let yourselves be poisoned by those wandering Jews,” he warned his countrymen, in a sentiment worthy of the 15th century.

All of this should make Chávez an unsympathetic figure for everyone in America. Not so, sadly. For some, all is forgiven if you hate the rich with a white-hot passion and talk the language of populist redistribution, while wrapping your program in a bow of rancid, paranoid anti-Americanism. Then, every allowance will be made for your thuggery. Everyone will obsess about your colorful and charming personality. And praise you when you’re gone.

Emphasis added.  Via Powerline Picks.

Carney clueless about Islamofascist anti-Americanism

Somebody needs update White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the anti-American nature of Islamicist movements. In his press briefing earlier today, he claimed that those protesting in the Middle East are not angry at the United States or its policies, but because of a video released on the Internets.

Via the Blaze, also National Review.

The video was only a pretext.  The protesters were planing to protest.  This mentality is akin to that of the statement the Romney campaign criticized — and which the State Department later retracted.

Oh, and, when Mitt Romney initially criticized that statement, it still stood as the only one of three administration reactions to the attacks on our embassies. The embassy statement stood for nearly fourteen hours until the Obama administration claimed it had not been “cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government”. [NB: Tweaked this paragraph by adding in the italicized words and striking the "struck" words when I learned that Secretary of State Clinton condemned the Benghazi violence before Romney released his statement.]

UPDATE:  A reminder to Mr. Carney:  The attack was pre-planned:  ”According to U.S. intel, the attack on the Benghazi consulate was pre-planned and unrelated to the protest over the movie outside the building, except to the extent that it used the latter as a diversion for security.”

Why do leaders like Havel not win more accolades*?

Don’t expect the media to make a big deal of it,” writes Rand Simberg about the passing of an artist who devoted much of  theatrical career to challenging Communism.

Although Vaclev Havel stood up for artistic freedom and defended the political systems which allowed for freedom of expression, he never achieved the accolades as did many with fewer accomplishments and a smaller vision.  He was, as Simberg put it,

. . . the wrong kind of dissenter, being too American for Europe. The fact that he never won a Peace Prize, while Yasser Arafat and Barack Obama did, says something very fundamental about the corruption and uselessness of that once-honorable achievement.

(Via Insapundit.)  Why do so many on the left so often champion those voices dissenting not just the systems which oppressed them, but also the Western ideals which promote the very idea of dissent?

Bruce Bawer thinks we need more leaders like Havel.   More on this great man, anon.  Much more.

*from Western intellectuals.

Gallic Karma (C’est une chienne)

Remember back in the early years of this century how many on the left — and in the Democratic Party– faulted then-President George W. Bush for going it alone on foreign policy. Despite the fact that this good man had developed strong relationships with the leaders of a great variety of nations, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain (until 2004), Australia, Poland and Denmark to name but a few, his critics all focused on the opposition generated by the then-President of France.

That man, a Monsieur J. Chirac famously rebuked European nations working with Bush on liberating Iraq for losing a “good opportunity to keep quiet”.  The problem was not that Bush did not forge strong relationships with our allies, but that Chirac (and members of his government) actively sought to frustrate them.

Seems like the Frenchman has gotten his comeuppance. According to Glenn Reynolds, the immediate past president of the Fifth Republic has been

CONVICTED OF CORRUPTION CHARGES. “Jacques Chirac, mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995, is the first former French head of state to be convicted since Marshal Philippe Petain, the leader of the wartime Vichy regime, was found guilty in 1945 of collaborating with the Nazis.”

George W Bush could not be reached for comment.

What “European Patriotism” & American Democrats (of the early 21st century) Have in Common

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:05 am - October 27, 2011.
Filed under: Anti-Americanism Abroad,Bush-hatred

To the extent that there is any European patriotism beyond the expensively furnished lairs of the upscale”, Andrew Stuttaford writes in the Weekly Standard, “it finds its most powerful expression in, significantly, something negative—distaste for the United States.”

Kind of sounds a lot like Democrats prior to the advent of the savior who would halt the rise of the oceans and being the healing of the planet.  They found their most powerful expression in, significantly something negative—distaste for George W. Bush.

(Stuttaford’s is a good piece, especially with his references to “an elite unimpressed by its homeland”.)

Jamie Kirchick’s window into (the reactionary nature of) contemporary liberalism

On Monday, realizing that nearly 500 e-mails had accumulated in my blog and personal e-mail accounts, I started wading through them, going through nearly 200 e-mails.  I did catch a few personal ones I missed, but most (fortunately!) were just links to (or summaries of) news and opinion pieces which I mostly skimmed over.

A number caught my eye, including this one from the globe-trotting Jamie Kirchick:

The subtitle struck me even more than the title, “The political legacy of opposition to apartheid has devolved into hostility toward the West — and sympathy for anyone else engaged in ‘anti-imperial struggle’”. It’s almost as if that statement defines many facets of American liberalism — and other left-wing ideologies — particularly since the Civil Rights movement.

All too many on the left saw segregation not as an ugly stain on a noble experiment, but instead as a defining aspect of America. In opposing that heinous system, many became hostile toward the United States and, by extension, the West. Their animosity is often furthered by the way the legacy of the Civil Rights’ movement is taught on college campi. Western civilization, our teachers tell us, is fundamentally hostile to “the other.”

No wonder some left-wing outfits show support for the ostensible representatives of other oppressed groups, even when those representatives are themselves hostile to those supposedly represented by the groups themselves. Witness Codepink. Or “Queers for Palestine.

All too few (alas!) recognize that Dr. King drew on the very best of the Western tradition in crafting his (successful) movement to end segregation, frequently citing, in his speeches, our country’s founding documents and national hymns and regularly referencing Scripture and lessons drawn from his education in Christian theology.

Somewhere in Texas, someone is smiling today

Former French President Chirac to stand trial.  This is why this news brings such cheer to so many:

The former president, a bugaboo for George W. Bush during his rush to war in Iraq, on Monday becomes France’s first former head of state to go on trial since its Nazi-era leader was exiled.

Together with his sidekick, former German Chanceller Gerhard Schröder, Chirac raised such a ruckus opposing Bush’s efforts to enforce multiple United Nations’ resolutions in the early 2000s as Iraq repeatedly flouted them.   The American and European media used this opposition to peddle the (false) narrative that W had developed a go-it-alone foreign policy, acting without consulting our allies.  It was Chirac’s petulance that caused a rift among Western nations.

Yet, Chirac defied the United States not on the merits of the arguments, but for the sake of defiance.  And to try to preserve France’s stature on the world stage.

Now, to be sure, the trial does not address Chirac’s self-important posturing while President of France.  But, it is sweet to see such a man in legal jeopardy.  I believe the term is schadenfreude.

Obama’s New Foreign Policy

I had a flash of brilliance over the weekend. I know how to make Obama pay attention to terrorists and dictators threatening America.

Let’s put golf courses in Iran, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq & Venezuela.

He might just be interested in threats against our nation if that were the case!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Pardon my schadenfreude while another weasel goes on trial*

This is just too delicious to ignore.  Recall the conventional wisdom of the better part of the last decade about then-President George W. Bush’s supposedly go-it-alone foreign policy and how that man antagonized our allies.  This silly notion was all based on the failure of two of our allies, France and Germany, to support that good man’s commitment to enforcing numerous United Nations resolutions which Iraq had violated.

Well, when Jacques Chirac, the man who served as President of France for the better part of W’s tenure in the White House stepped down in 2007, our relations with the Gallic nation quickly improved.  The problem was not the American President, but the French one.

Now, that perfidious Parisian has been ordered to stand trial for corruption.  Pardon my schadenfreude.

*NB, I flipped the order of the clauses in the title as, upon further reflection, I realized this version just plain sounded better.

FROM THE COMMENTS: Sean A offers an important reminder:

And just to be clear, during the Bush Presidency, when liberals were constantly bemoaning America’s “standing in the world community,” and shrieking about “the rest of the world laughing at us,” Chirac is one of the paragons of integrity whose approval they judged as indispensable.

Does Obama Share Jimmy Carter’s Naiveté about the World?

Given the parallels between the various world and economic crises in the late 1970s and today as well as the world views of the Democratic Presidents then and now, some are wondering if it’s 1979 all over again.  Back then, we saw unrest in Iran, with mass demonstrations in the streets.  Government spending was skyrocketing with inflation looming.  Gas prices were on the uptick, with the President urging us to drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars.  Chrysler, tin cup in hand, came to Washington begging for a federal bailout.

And the President of the United States, then as now, was blaming American policies for creating unrest among the Iranian people:

The fantasy that “moderates” within the mullah regime can be coaxed into a “grand bargain” has taken in better men than Barack Obama, but Obama doesn’t even have the excuse of not being aware of that prior history. The level of self-loathing an American has to possess to believe that the Khomeinists are a brutal, terror-supporting regime entirely because the US hasn’t been nice enough to them is pretty staggering.

Khoemeini and his heirs were and are brutal fanatics. Period, dot. They have subjugated and terrorized their own people and done their level best to kill ours for thirty years because that’s what they are and that’s what they do. The devil didn’t make them do it. There’s nothing you or I or Jimmy Carter or George W. Bush or Barack Obama ever could have said that would have changed them

Read the whole thing where Will Collier, its author, puts forward Ronald Reagan (rather than his predecessor) as an example of how an American President should react to power-hungry regimes which oppress their people.  And he’s not the only one.

So, I’m wondering, given the similarities between Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter if the one Democrat shares the other’s naiveté about the ways of the world?

I think there’s something more than naiveté at play here. I think we’re seeing instead the influence of leftist academic theories, particularly those of Edward Said, and the President’s left-wing associations before he leapt onto the national stage.

Here (via Gateway) is Obama with Said:

obamasaid

Jimmy Carter was just plain naive and blind to the realities of the world.  I fear that Barack Obama really believes the hooey peddled on so many university campuses that repression abroad is just a natural reaction to American “aggression/imperialism.”

By that logic, increasing gay activism since Stonewall has fueled anti-gay bigotry and is thus responsible for hate crimes against homosexuals.

It’s time that President Obama woke up and recognize the brutal reality of some of our nation’s adversaries.

David Axelrod to President Obama: You’re A Dud

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 6:44 pm - April 20, 2009.
Filed under: Anti-Americanism Abroad

Is David Axelrod on the outs with President Barack Obama? Witness a Washington Post article this afternoon that quotes the White House advisor as saying:

What’s happened is anti-Americanism isn’t cool anymore.

Really? Maybe someone should tell the president. After all, he’s the one on the Badmouth America World Tour.

- Nick (ColoradoPatriot) from HQ

Obama and Ortega’s Anti-American Tirade

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:18 pm - April 19, 2009.
Filed under: Anti-Americanism Abroad,Leadership,Obama Watch

Something struck me as incredibly self-serving, narcissistic even, when I read than in response to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s lengthy and angry tirade against the United States at the Summit of the Americas, the President of the United States responded, “You can’t blame the U.S. for every problem in this hemisphere. . . . I am very grateful that President Ortega didn’t blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.a’  (Emphasis added.)

Well, Law Professor William Jacobson, referencing the times the President attempted to use his youth to excuse the behavior of a terrorist associate, helped me find the words to express why Obama’s response to Ortega was so off-putting:

There is something truly bizarre about this reasoning. If something happened when Obama was not of a certain age (we know it is at least eight years old, although we don’t know where the line is drawn) then he accepts no responsibility. That is fine if one is talking about personal responsibility only. Obama is no more responsible on a personal level for what others did, be it yesterday or 30 years ago, than anyone else.

But Obama no longer is “anyone else.” Obama is the President and bears the burden of dealing with accusations and attacks on this country related to events which did not take place on his watch.

Exactly.  Obama is no longer “anyone else.”  He speaks for the nation, for all of us.  Not just himself.

Is It 1979 All Over Again?

Someone please help me answer this:  If Obama cannot stand up to Somali pirates who capture a US vessel and kidnap its captain… how confident am I that he will protect the USA from much more serious enemies who have already declared war on America and Western values and who want to murder Americans by the thousands?

Answer: Scared to death.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

The Strong Points in Obama’s Strasbourg Speech

In writing about the president’s remarks in Strasbourg, most conservative bloggers have (with good reason) faulted him for labeling American “arrogant” and for apologizing for the liberation of Iraq. ( I too had fun with the first comment.) It’s clear he was taking shots at his predecessor, borrowing from the standard arsenal of liberal rhetoric and ideas to do so.

Indeed, it seemed there were a number of such cheap shots shattered throughout the speech, particularly his reference to emerging “from an era marked by irresponsibility.”*

Let’s hope his successor shows him greater deference four years hence.

Despite the pettiness of parts of his speech, there were some moments when he seemed to be using his popularity abroad to good effect.  He took on European anti-Americanism:

But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what’s bad.

I wish the president has built on this, addressing some of the points Jean-François Revel made in his book Anti-Americanism.  European anti-Americanism is a serious problem and it precedes George W. Bush.  (I lived there before he took office and experienced it firsthand.)

Still, it’s important that he said it.  Let’s hope Europeans take his words to heart and examine their attitudes.

It wasn’t just in addressing European anti-Americanism where the president made some strong points.  He underscored the importance of the war in Afghanistan:

I understand that there is doubt about this war in Europe. There’s doubt at times even in the United States. But know this: The United States of America did not choose to fight a war in Afghanistan. We were attacked by an al Qaeda network that killed thousands on American soil, including French and Germans. Along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, those terrorists are still plotting today. And they’re — if there is another al Qaeda attack, it is just as likely, if not more, that it will be here in Europe in a European city.

The American President thus reminded his European audience of something many of them would rather forget: they face an ever increasing risk of a terror attack.

Despite the potshots at his predecessor, President Obama, in Strasbourg, did say some things which needed to be said to our European allies.  Let’s hope they listen.

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NBC: Nothing But Communism

Wow.  Not only does our big-screen HDTV (sure to be outlawed by the Obama Regime) show the awesome color and detail of the Bejing Olympics — it also clearly highlights the collaborative language being used constantly NBC commentators toward the Communist Chinese regime.

Have they forgotten Tianamen Square Massacre?  This the same regime, remember.  The biggest violator?  NBC’s “China Expert” from Friday night’s Opening Ceremonies coverage:  Joshua Ramo.

The most jarring moment for NBC?  When the athletes from USA and Iraq got nearly as much applause as China’s team.  Wait!  I thought the world hated us?   Matt Lauer stuttered at the rousing USA welcome Friday night — obviously not knowing what to say.

Still, the praising of today’s China by NBC since Friday night is becoming embarrassing.  They are openly rooting for Chinese athletes against all others — including our USA Olympians.

Quite disgusting, but more and more typical and expected for the Peacock Channel.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)