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Monday, June 08, 2009


You set a high standard for patient, bone-dry, incrementally less and less plausible set-ups. Good stuff, John. Very nicely done.

You had me going there for a moment.

Substantively, he's thrown a few Thomas Friedman columns or NYT editorials into the pot and added some culturally sensitive sugarcoating to make it go down better (something that Tom Friedman has forgotten how to do, if he ever did know). And I suppose the open disagreement with an Israeli Administration is something we haven't seen much of lately. But so far it's all just words, and as you say, even there the main difference seems to be that Obama is speaking them rather than Bush.

OTOH, some Muslims and Arabs seem hopeful about him, so the appeal goes beyond the cult-like fan club he has with some American liberals. I don't know if that means anything or not.

My head was about ready to 'splode, but, fortunately, my own sense of scepticism kept my skull intact, forcing me to believe that what I was reading could not possibly be right.

Nicely done.

Bravo! This deserves a much wider readership (not that the readership here isn't fine, too). I'm sending it around to some of the lists I'm on. Please post over at ATR.

And you have my deepest sympathies for having waded through the Collected Oratory of George W. Bush - not much different, I imagine, than being strapped down to a slightly inclined board and having liquified bullshit poured into your ears.

Thanks, y'all. If I was able to snow you for at least a little while that's quite an achievement. And yep, Steve, I was planning to crosspost it on ATR (and just did), and I may submit it to Counterpunch as well. By all means, feel free to spread it far and wide. And I appreciate the sympathy, but don't feel too bad—it was actually unbelievably easy to find Bush quotes matching Obama's. It took maybe 10-15 minutes to collect all of these, tops, and I even ended up with extras I had to leave out.

Nomad, I'm glad to hear your head's still intact; as cool as it sounds at first, on the whole I'm pretty sure I'd rather not worry my writing might cause explosive decapitation. Then again, I suppose it depends on who's reading....

OTOH, some Muslims and Arabs seem hopeful about him, so the appeal goes beyond the cult-like fan club he has with some American liberals.

Yeah, I think we underestimate the extent to which people's opinions are driven by personalities—and Obama clearly has it all in that department. I don't think Muslims, Arabs, Europeans, or anyone else are immune to his charms. He may not convince the woman whose family was wiped out by a Predator attack, but short of that he's got the ability to neutralize opposition on a worldwide scale...which is exactly what I consider the most dangerous about him.

Count me as another who got snowed. "Has Caruso lost his mind?" I thought, "Bush said all that same exact shit." Oh, Bush did say exactly the same shit, Caruso hasn't gone over to the dark side. My Obama-supporting pops is getting a copy of this. Heh.

For the first time, I actually agree with Hamas on something. Really, I do. Hell, I pissed off a friend of mine by saying Hamas had a right to target Israel because they couldn't just sit there and take the government's killings. Of course, he banned me from posting on his blog.

You seem to suffer from a common intellectual conceit that "words are words no matter who says 'em." G.Dub always sounded like he was reading without comprehending, Obama reads like he wrote the stuff. It comes across very differently.

Not that Obama is going to DO any of those things, I completely agree with you politically. But are you a good public speaker?

It comes across very differently.

That's exactly my point.

But are you a good public speaker?

Are you hiring?

And what did GWB do from 2001 to 2009 to actualize any of his rhetoric?

Let's all check back here in 2017 to see how Obama did during his two terms and decide then who was the better President with regard to the middle east.

I think, Allan, that the point here is that pretty speeches mean nothing.

I don't know what John thinks, but I expect Obama to be better on the I/P conflict, not because of the speeches he gives, but because there's a fair number of people in the foreign policy elite who think a two state solution along the lines of the Clinton parameters would be good for US foreign policy goals and Obama is probably among their number. I'm not saying that they care about Palestinian human rights, but just that they know the Arab world does. Clinton put a lot of energy into the I/P issue--of course, when things didn't go according to plan, he put all the blame on the Palestinians.

Bush and Cheney, otoh, didn't place a high priority on solving this problem, perhaps feeling that the lip service they paid to the issue (which I doubt Cheney would have bothered to do) was all that was necessary.

Whether Obama will do more remains to be seen. The speech doesn't tell us much, but I expect him to be more like Clinton than Bush.

hey, Solar Hero:
"G.Dub always sounded like he was reading without comprehending, Obama reads like he wrote the stuff. It comes across very differently."

[none of that @your name here crap for me...]

Obama does sound like he wrote it, but methinks not in such a good way. All those interminable pauses, like he's giving you a moment for the insufferable cleverness to sink in, 'cause let's face it, you're probably too effing stupid to comprehend his meaning if he didn't give you a moment to catch up. And maybe say it a second time slightly rephrased, just in case.

Sorry, but they're both phonies, just like HRC. Now her husband, he could sell shit.

I think I might have been initially fooled but for the fact that I was referred here by the great Arthur Silber, a man whose only fault is his unwarranted optimism.

Well Done John, an elegant piece of writing.

I believed I was reading more from the Executive of Hope.
Good shot.
Refered here by latest posts at Mr. Floyd's site.
I am sorry to be so late, good stuff.

@Donald Johnson - the Obama fanclub is /everywhere/. Watch Rick Mercer (Canadian political comedy). I was in Australia back in January and I recall overhearing a conversation about the inauguration and how people stayed up to see it live (at something like 4 am Brisbane time). My parent has a bunch of friends in Asia and I know that he's quite popular in China and Thailand.

Like Bill Jones did, Mr. Caruso, I found your most excellent must-read via priceless thinker and author Arthur Silber - whose (now very dearly beloved) blog I discovered only recently. I posted the link to this piece and your blog at Nouriel Roubini's Global Economonitor forum and also in comments at Sam Smith's Progressive Review. Sam must have read and liked it as he promptly featured it more fully on his informative page 'The Undernews'. Thanks for saying you were happy to have us post it widely, and I hope both you and Arthur pick up new readers...LOTS of new readers! Talk about two talented voices who hit important nails right on the head...yiz two certainly do. Thanks so very much!

You're very welcome, and thanks for reading (and spreading the word).

There has always been a Quran in the White House Library. Bush had no reason to know it was there. There have been a number of Freemasons after Washington who have been President. On the 33rd Degree the title of the certificate quotes the Quran. So this was an empty statement. Any learned clergy has a copy of the Quran and other venerated scriptures such as Lotus Sutra, Bhagavad Gita in their libraries it does not mean they are Muslim or Hindu just that these are among the great books of civilisation no library is complete without. I am sure the Librarian First Lady Laura Bush helped the President find the Quran in the Library but it only showed the depth of arrogance and ignorance on the part of those elected to high office in the USA that there was no Quran in the Library until W. Bush.


By 2017 if we make it what Obama will have done is expand the Crusades to kill and maim more Arabs and Muslims beyond where Bush-Cheney dared not go. His adventures in Africa will lose any charge of racist-imperialism since much is made of his alleged Blackness and Kenyan absentee father. The USA will continue the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq while Pakistan closes towards internal collapse. Yemen will have full civil war as will Syria with either Sunni or Shia radicals waiting to replace the remaining Arab secular states. Egypt will prove hostile to Israel and more supportive to Palestine. Turkey will play a bigger role and more Muslims will come to the conclusion that the USA is waging a Crusade despite the Minstrel with the Kenyan-Arabic name doing White Christian Male Supremacy and Manifest Destiny in Black face. Oh well and more US citizens will be bankrupt, jobless and homeless due in large part to the destabilisation of OPEC member states and their regions including Nigeria and Venezuela.

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