My job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.
In other words, what do the [Israeli] candidates prefer - forming a united front with 22 Arab states against Iran and its agents, or forming a united front with the settlers against the entire world?
But, let’s take a cue from the great man honored by Van Sant’s film and be optimistic. “You gotta give em hope” One day in the distant future the majority of the populace will want to live in a Post Homophobe world. Notice the widespread jubilation at the mere idea/fantasy/hope that we’re entering a Post Racist world. It’ll just take more time, that’s all.
Had the United States been willing to trust in the professionalism of its superb military, it could have avoided one of the most shameful passages in its history.
But there’s a reason that this speech was austere, not pretty. Form followed content. Obama wasn’t just rebuking the outgoing administration. He was delicately but unmistakably calling out the rest of us who went along for the ride as America swerved into the dangerous place we find ourselves now.
I like the word “liberal” and am very comfortable with the word “classical” in front of it. Many American conservatives are liberals in the deepest sense - they back the free market, the First Amendment, the broad balance of the American constitution, a decent respect for the opinion of mankind. But what has emerged in recent years is a darker, more authoritarian strain of conservatism - rooted in the cultural and racial conservatism of the South, partial to a near-dictatorial war-presidency, believing in American exceptionalism to the extent that it exempts America from the moral norms of the rest of the world, and rooting the legitimacy of the American constitution in only one religious tradition (narrowly defined). These characters want to redefine conservatism around this theocratic, authoritarian, self-justifying ideology. I am more than happy to share the term liberalism with others. I am not going to have the word conservative coopted solely by these religious radicals.
The moral of this story is not the danger for Obama going forward with his Gitmo decommissioning, the moral is that when venal, shallow, small men are given unfettered power and authority, they do incompetent, stupid, and evil things.
I don’t understand why, after two decades of bubbling our way to phony prosperity through the dotcom chimera and the housing boom, it is somehow a “crisis” that our standard of living is falling. It is surely a good thing that the standard of living is falling. It means that reality is beginning to return. A hangover may be painful but its cure is not a bout of more binging.