Has Obama already written the history books?

I haven’t seen the context in which Obama made the reported statement and, really, I don’t want to, because the AP report — which is a mere one sentence in length — seems to encapsulate everything we know about the man.  Here is the entire AP report:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Obama to Israeli leader: capitalize on “historic opportunity” to restart Mideast peace talks.

Without knowing more, you’ve just got to believe that Obama views himself as the “historic opportunity.”  After all, nothing has changed on the ground.  The only significant difference in the world (as opposed to merely “more of the same,” whether in Gaza or the West Bank, or even in Iran, Pakistan, Europe or Russia) is Obama’s election.

Relying on facts on the ground, without the benefit of an Obamian gloss, the above report means that Obama is advancing himself as the game changer.  His presence on the earth will make the lion lie down with the lamb.  No surprise, I guess.  He assured us all that “we [royal we?] are the change we’ve been waiting for.”  He promised us that rising waters would fall and that all sorts of other beautiful metaphysical things would take place upon his election.

Pragmatic egotism or insane delusion?  I guess history, the real history, rather than Obama’s anticipatory version, will tell.

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Comments

  1. says

    What has changed, Bookworm, is that now the majority of American people believe, “Yes, We can,” and the world now sees America as a country with a leader who is willing to try peace.

    Only a minority – a loud (obnoxious) minority who think they are smarter than we who want peace – still think we should “glorify (deify)” warriors. The rest of us think soldiers are just people who ought to be paid back for their service to our nation. The majority of Americans now think we need to look hard at ourselves before we judge the rest of the world.

    One has to be a friend to have a friend. And, as Maya Angelou once said, “friendship is possible only between equals.” That’s what’s different.

    If Obama is God (which he isn’t); then we are God, too. This is nonsense.

  2. SGT Dave says

    Helen,
    You’ve made a mistake; it is one that is common and pervasive.
    Nations do not have friends. They have interests.
    I’m sorry, the world will never be a friendly place. There will always be jealousy, greed, sloth, lust, pride, anger, and gluttony. Chamberlain said, “There will be peace in our time.” Y’know what – there was. After a war that killed millions, because NATIONS DO NOT HAVE FRIENDS. Russia was feeding Germany, sending wheat to the markets while troops rode the rails in the opposite direction to invade. NATIONS ONLY HAVE INTERESTS.

    Nation-states are not people and are not their leaders. When politicians forget this, wars happen. And men and women (like me) put on uniforms and go fix things because “other means” have failed.

    And they fail because people forget that simple, simple fact.
    NATIONS DO NOT HAVE FRIENDS.

    Enough ranting, back to work for me.

    SSG Dave
    “War is a continuation of politics by other methods. Do not forget that the converse is true as well.”

  3. Deana says

    SSG Dave –

    Excellent post.

    It is the most simple of concepts, one that would leap out to someone if he or she just took the time to read some history. And yet, we keep having to learn this concept over and over.

    Deana

  4. says

    majority of American people believe, “Yes, We can,”

    The majority of American people believe that putting their hopes in a Strong Man is a substitute for personal morality and virtues.

  5. says

    We fought a war to get rid of just such a Strong Man, Saddam. But some others amongst this geographic locale were against that. They claimed that it wasn’t because they liked Saddam, that they had material issues with the war. Well, that wasn’t entirely true, after all.

    a loud (obnoxious) minority who think they are smarter than we who want peace

    There’s that psychological defense mechanism called projection again. Just because you and your allies value intelligence as the be all and end all indicator of human progress, does not mean we do, Helen. When you are looking in the mirror, what you see reflected back is not Bush’s evil.

    And, as Maya Angelou once said, “friendship is possible only between equals.”

    That’s convenient, for Maya Angelou had no equals and wanted none therein.

    If Obama is God (which he isn’t); then we are God, too. This is nonsense.

    Exactly what I have been saying. Those that think electing a dictator in chief and that this somehow makes them virtuous because they pretend to the rest of us in claiming that this dictator is great and thus they are great for electing him, are the cannon fodder of which I have spoken and written of before.

    What kind of a person believes that if Obama has an attribute, then the rest of us (you) also have that attribute? What kind of a logic has been adopted by Helen here that thinks if Obama is God, then “we” are God too. It is only nonsense if you have accepted the logic that what Obama is, those that voted him in are also. But that’s not true and that is not logical, which means it is illogical and in this circumstance and given the evidence, also manifestly foolish, full of plagiarism and vice and corruption, as well as decadence and self-destructiveness.

    We who saw the light and did not vote for nor give any support to the Dictator in Chief, the Thug O Crat shaded in mirages and lies, do not favor self-destruction and American incest over fundamentally sound and healthy policies and philosophies.

  6. says

    David is right in that nations do not have friends, if only because friends are individuals and not conglomerates. You can trust a friend or a fiend if only because human nature is static and human personalities are very hard to change all of a sudden. You can trust that the personality, honor, or basic human flaws of a person will remain as they are or as they have been forged, which makes them either your friend or a fiend of an enemy: either are predictable.

    However, when you speak of nations and their relationships with other nations, we are not speaking of individuals. After all, America changes leaderships every half decade or so. There is no such continuity, unless the Senator for Life clique of the Democrat party are the ones pulling the strings for America’s foreign policies. Then there will be continuity.

    But until then, what we have is a group of people talking to another group of people, and while certain individuals in one group can be friends with certain individuals in the other group, this does not make the two groups “friends”.

  7. Gringo says

    Helen:
    What has changed, Bookworm, is that now the majority of American people believe, “Yes, We can,” and the world now sees America as a country with a leader who is willing to try peace.

    I tried peace back in the Vietnam War days and got Conscientious Objector status. My days as a pacifist were shattered by the GENOCIDE IN CAMBODIA while we stood on the sidelines with “clean hands.” We tried peace. It didn’t work. Period.

    Let me repeat this. We tried peace. It didn’t work. Period.

    If you are so willing to try peace, then go live with the Taliban. Go live with Al Queda. Put your money where your mouth is. I repeat: put your money where your mouth is.

    On the other hand, we now have peace with Saddam given that he is six feet under, no?

    One has to be a friend to have a friend.
    Friends, you say . Such as the Taliban, for example? Such as the Holocaust-denying Amahdinejad? Such as the KKK, for example? Go make friends with Markus Gunther. Here is access to an interesting video about friends of Christians. I am reminded of that old saying, tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are. Go make friends with those people. Be my guest.

  8. says

    On the subject of “we tried peace,” I suggest watching this Frontline video (“Children of the Taliban”) about peaceful villagers in the SWAT valley, men, women and children without arms or resources, who found themselves taken over by the Taliban. On the home front, Frontline was incredibly hostile to Bush, and it’s no friend of Israel, but I have to give it full credit for this video, nailing the horrors of life under the Taliban.

    Helen, people like the Taliban don’t do peace, at least not as we understand it. Their version of peace is more in the Roman style: “We make a desert and call it peace.” You don’t want to be on the receiving end of that definition.

    SSG Dave: You are absolutely right about nations having interests, not friends. Thank you for your clarity.

  9. says

    Helen–“The majority of Americans now think we need to look hard at ourselves before we judge the rest of the world”….numerous people in the late 1930s and early 1940s thought the way you do. Here are some comments by Amerian religious leaders during that time frame, taken from a Weekly Standard article:
    **
    German militarism, said one Methodist minister, “may be provoked by bitter belief..that there is no peaceful way of solving a desperate economic problem.” Condemnation of Hitler, according to a leader in the United Church of Christ, was a “short-circuited, adolescent hatred of individual leaders.” And a Unitarian minister in New York said that “If America goes into the war, it will not be for idealistic reasons but to serve her own imperialistic interests.” The it’s-all-our-fault line was echoes by a Reverend Holmes, who said that a German victory should be viewed as “the punishment for our transgressions.”
    **

    The irresponsible attitudinizing of these religious leaders, and others like them, contributed to the killing of about a hundred million people. After it was all over, I expect most of them still felt holy and righteous.

  10. says

    Thanks, Gringo.

    There was an amazing amount of this stuff in the 30s and even early 40s, despite the clear signals that Hitler had sent about his intentions.

    When Germany invaded Poland, U.S. Senator William Borah said:

    “Lord, if I could only have talked with Hitler, all this might have been avoided.”

    Also, read about the experiences of an American naval officer during the Disarmament Conference of 1921.

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