Tag Archive | "Obama"

Fall Of The White Man


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The guy who wants to give stuff to people

From David Anthony Hohol…

With a decisive November victory, Barack Hussein Obama will be the President of the United States for four more years. So many members of the GOP, despite the incredibly tight polls prior to the election, actually appeared to believe an easy victory for Romney woud be the result. After the initial shock, Republicans quickly began to offer up reasons why the unthinkable happened. Below is a quote from megalomaniac Bill O’Reilly:

“The white establishment is now the minority. And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama… overwhelming Black vote for Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, will give it to them? The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore.”

As he spoke, a sort of manic depression oozed through his quiet and pockmarked voice. Probably because while so much of what O’Reilly has to say can usually be described as steaming piles of bullshit, once you get past his perverse stereotyping of minorities and woman as being stalwart welfare recipients or perennially unemployed, what he is saying here is actually true – and he knew it. Less than the White Man and more the Old, Upper Middle Class or Higher, Christian White Man is fast becoming, if he isn’t already, the minorty in the United States of America. In 2011, for the first time in American History, minority births made up more than half of all births in the country.  Projections suggest that within as little as 10 years, the Black, Hispanic and Asian Vote, when combined, will actually make up the majority of the electorate in the United States.

Poor White Man Bill O’Reilly

O’Reilly’s comment is representative of why Romney lost the election. He is a man who symbolizes a party fast becoming out-of-touch with the reality of their own country. The common perception of so many Republicans is that huge masses of mongrelized  immigrants and welfare cases voted for Obama because they want government handouts – that and single, irresponsible women, who have sex out of wed-lock and want abortions. I mean, they actually believe this to be true and such thinking represents why they lost the election. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What happened on election night?  Obama, hands-down, won the electorate of the soon-to-be future and was victorious, while Romney, although easily winning the electorate of the past,  still lost the election by a very large margin. The GOP has one choice here – embrace the changes of the American Demographic or become irrelevant. It’s that simple.

 

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In Decline


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From American Corespondent Gibbs Burke…

While the debate rages over whether or not America should remove the, “under god” from The Pledge of Allegiance, I have a substitution that would fit perfectly, “under government.” Don’t get me wrong I am totally against the removal of, “under god” from The Pledge of Allegiance for two main reasons: I am a traditionalist, and that such actions destroy our Nations History by turning a blind eye to the beliefs that got us to where we are today. If you’re trying to make an omelet without breaking any eggs, then you are just going to end up with a hot pan.

In regards to being under government, however, is no laughing matter. Since the recessions beginnings the private sector has expanded a mere 1%, while our beloved government has expanded a whopping 17%. In addition it is unlikely that those of you, which are 20% of employees in the United States, will ever lose your beloved government job. Why is that you ask? It’s simple, because you are more likely to die then lose your government job.

Recently Obama went on tour promoting his “common sense” job plan looking to gain support for this $477 billion plan. So let the liberal propaganda begin and polluting the American public with how they are the party of hope. Remember they have had nearly four years to turn the economy around. Holding steady with a 9~10% unemployment, and the last recovery act they promised that would bring us out of this spiral worked so well. I seem to remember something like 2.5-3.5 million jobs to be created by this new bill, however even there own statistics have to be skewed to show merely 550,000 jobs. How are they skewed? They include any job that uses money from the bill, not just new jobs created.

So we spend more money, while we create a net loss in jobs. Our credit rating goes down, and our debt goes up. Our job creation is zero, and our unemployment is high. Government employment rises, private sector falls. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. This repeat of a failed bill seems like insanity to me, but then again thats a Liberal’s plan for you.

So while the Liberals continue with their self patronization and their beliefs that Obama is somehow the messiah of Presidents, the reality is that not only is the Liberal agenda running America into the ground, but Obama is the one leading the charge under the guise of bi-partisanship. But if you would like to find your heads I will even give you the roll you will need to find it, however if you think this bill will work just like the last one you will need a whole case.      

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This is Post-Racial America?


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From Larry Wohlgemuth…

Republicans have been declaring for more than a decade that we now live in post-racial (and by implication prejudicial) America. Actually it should be stated as post-racial/prejudicial, because that insinuates that we have moved past all petty prejudices to a point of frank, open and honest discussion on issues that affect us all. That means we’ve moved past bigotry based on nationality, gender, religion or any of the myriad of preferences which identify us as individuals. It implies that no one any longer looks down his or her nose at anyone else.

I would like to believe it to be true, but the racial/prejudicial period ended too easily for me to accept it on its face. When something has been as institutionalize as have our prejudices, it generally ends with thrashing about and gnashing of teeth rather than a whimper. Yet the Republicans have declared it, so it must be so, right? It begs the question, who did the Republicans think they could convince that we had entered this utopist and idyllic post-racial/prejudicial world?

I wondered if they are talking about 30-year-old Anthony Hill of Winnsboro, SC, or possibly James Byrd, Jr. of Jasper, Texas when they refer to this as a post-racial society. Hill was dragged to death behind a pickup truck driven by 19-year-old Gregory Collins of Newberry, and Byrd was dragged to death in 1998 behind a pickup truck by three men, Shawn Allen Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer and John William King. I’m sure that the fact these two murders took place in what were considered as highly racist states in pre-post-racial/prejudicial times is merely a coincidence, just as was the fact that the victims were black and the perpetrators were white. This is just how things play out in a post-racial/prejudicial society.

Then there’s Dr. George Tiller, gunned down in his church for having the audacity to perform abortions, a procedure that is legal in the United States. However we can be sure in this post-racial/prejudicial society that a mentally deficient man like Scott Roeder would never have considered Dr. Tiller’s vocational activities when he walked into that church with a loaded gun and shot the doctor dead in front of the congregation. Once again, we can be sure that this didn’t happen because of prejudice, because the Republicans have assured us that we are now a post-racial/prejudicial society.


And we have the good Dr. Laura, who although she’s white felt entitled to use the N-word 11 times in a five-minute span on her radio program because black comedians on HBO and Showtime do it. You see, in a post-racial/prejudicial society we’re all free to use any words we choose, because we couldn’t possibly be making a racist innuendo. No, we’re simply exercising our First Amendment rights, and besides, we know this wasn’t a racist remark because Dr. Laura told us so several times right after she said it. If you can’t trust Dr. Laura in these post-racial/prejudicial times, then who can you trust?

Finally there are the cases of Lawrence King, Matthew Shepard, Danny Overstreet, Philip Walsted, Sakia Gunn, Glenn Kopitske, Scotty Joe Weaver, Daniel Fetty, Jason Gage, Ryan Keith Skipper, Roberto Duncanson, Sean William Kennedy, Steven Parrish, Lateisha Green and Seaman August Provost, among many others, who were killed, but not for being gay. It seems that their attackers admitted that the victims’ homosexuality was the impetus for the attack, but in a post-racial/prejudicial society we have to take their admissions with a grain of salt. After all, they can’t possibly be aware of the post-racial/prejudicial dynamics that are taking place around them, making their attacks of the non-racial/prejudicial type. I mean, even the case of Ronnie Antonio Paris Jr., a three-year-old boy killed by his father because he was afraid his son might be gay, that’s just the way straights and gays interact in the post-racial/prejudicial era.


Okay, it’s pretty clear that we are not in a post-racial/prejudicial time based on what’s happening around us. So what’s going on? I mean, why are the Republicans working so hard to convince us that something exists when it obviously does not?

In this country there are only 5%, maybe 10%, of the people that are actually Republicans, and the rest are posers although they don’t realize it. To be a Republican means being a capitalist, and only a tiny fraction of people fit the description. The problem is, part of being a Republican is being able to look down your nose at other people, and the vast majority of the Republican Party are just working assholes like you and me, so there was some work that had to be done. It was necessary to create a significant enough underclass so that the idiot who makes $10 per hour working on an assembly line and watches Glen Beck can actually feel superior to somebody, and therefore a member of the Republican club. Minorities fill that bill nicely, thank you very much, but as the line of separation blurs so does the ability of the moronic masses in the Republican Party to look down on someone. Feeling superior is a crucial tenet to making the pseudo-Republicans believe they really are part of the club.


So how do they make this work? They behave even more racist and prejudiced than in the past, and then repeat over and over again that this is how things are in a post-racial/prejudicial world. They know if they say it long and loudly enough, and nobody objects, there’s a chance people will start to believe it. The problem is that genie is out of the bottle and they can’t regain control, try as they might. If the illusion of superiority ever leaves the working class schlemiels of the Republican Party they might quit participating, or even worse become Democrats. It’s a lot of work making a guy who earns $10 an hour believe he’s in some way superior to a brown person with a PhD.

So the Republicans will continue lest 70% of their party come to the realization that they are superior to no one. It would be a devastating blow for them. As a result we can expect to see more blatant racism followed by still more disingenuous, wide-eyed denials that racism was the intent. Without it their party shatters into 1 million pieces.


The one good thing is that the Republican demographic is dying, literally, and I have to be honest about the fact that it bothers me little. There are some people that just don’t deserve to waste our oxygen.

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Rise Of The New Right


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The Rise of the New Right is an hour long documentary recently aired on MSNBC and hosted by Hardball’s Chris Matthews. The documentary looks at the rise of the Tea Party movement and a number of other right-wing organizations and militias that have formed since Barack Obama was elected President of the United States in 2008. Matthews said the wide range of individuals and groups profiled in the piece all seemingly share a fear of the current American government.

“There’s a similar message. This government’s a tyranny and it has to be, if not overthrown, then something like it. They treat the American government like a foreign occupying force,” say Matthews.

 

“He’s going to destroy this country,” Allan Keyes, the Republicans last-ditch effort to stop Obama’s inevitable election to the US senate in 2004 at one point says, “We are either going to stop him, or the United States of America is going to cease to exist.”

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, the documentary will stir people up… which is the whole point.

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I Hate To Say I Told You So…


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From United States Corespondent Gibbs Burke…

Almost two months after the signing of the health care reform plan the economic repercussions have already started to surface. We were told all these wonderful facts about how the bill would reduce the deficit, cost less, and cover more Americans. This facade was just a hypocritical ploy to convince Americans the bill would benefit them. Like most legislation however, the backlash seems to be harming more Americans then the bill is helping. 

The corporate healthcare plans that have dominated American coverage since World War II are in jeopardy of becoming extinct. Immediately after the bill was passed, major US corporations declared large losses. In retaliation, the Democrats threatened the CEO’s by summoning them to Washington to grill them on their actions. It was also demanded they turn over all internal documents regarding the new health care bill. AT&Tand Verizon were among these corporations that declared as much as a one billion dollar loss due to the new health care bill.

After reviewing the documents and understanding that these corporations were only following the letter of the law (a corporation must make public to its share holders profits and expenses), the Democratic committee revoked its threat, and quietly walked away from the situation. It has now resurfaced stronger and more powerful then ever.

Recent documents turned over to the Democratic committee from AT&T reveal the ultimate consequences of the bill. AT&T by denying coverage to its employees can post a profit of 4.1 billion dollars. AT&T is not the only corporation thinking about denying health care coverage. Many corporations will be considering the cost to profit ratio, and come September do not be surprised if you find yourself shopping for health care.

So while the Democrats admit that the projected numbers were wrong, our phone bills are doubling we’re shopping for health insurance. Who will take the responsibility for it? I’m sure it won’t be Obama, because things just slip off him like a Louisiana Oil Spill. Just remember… I told you so.

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A Contemptuous Defiance of All: Israeli Audacity at its Finest


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American Vice President Joe Biden

American Vice President Joe Biden

Plans for a settlement of 1,600 new homes for Jews only in disputed east Jerusalem were announced this past Tuesday, while Vice President Joe Biden was in Israel attempting to restart peace talks between Palestine and Tel Aviv. The plans were unveiled just as Biden was concluding a series of meetings with Israeli leaders. In an immediate response, Biden issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem. The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel. We must build an atmosphere to support negotiations, not complicate them. This announcement underscores the need to get negotiations under way that can resolve all the outstanding issues of the conflict. The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians and for Jews, Muslims and Christians. We believe that through good faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem and safeguards its status for people around the world. Unilateral action taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations on permanent status issues. As George Mitchell said in announcing the proximity talks, “we encourage the parties and all concerned to refrain from any statements or actions which may inflame tensions or prejudice the outcome of these talks.”

Relations between the Obama administration and Israel have been cold at best almost entirely because of the settlement issue. Biden’s comment may very well be an unprecedented American condemnation of Israeli actions in Palestine.

The United States and the International community as a whole believes Israeli settlements built on lands claimed by Palestinians drastically reduce any prospects of peace. Obama has been more outspoken on the settlement issue than any other President in American history.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ignored White House calls to stop all settlement activity. Saeb Erekat, Palestine’s chief negotiator, said the move was destroying chances of going forward at a meet set to take place under the mediation of U.S. envoy George Mitchell.

“With such an announcement, how can you build trust? This is destroying our efforts to work with Mr. Mitchell. It’s a really disastrous situation. I hope that this will be an eye-opener for all in the international community about the need to have the Israeli government stop such futile exercises,” Erekat said.

American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in on the issue this past Thursday.  She openly berated Israel when she declared,  ” The two state solution requires confidence in both sides. The announcement of these settlements the very day Vice President Biden was there (in Israel) was no less than insulting. It was a very difficult moment. I deeply regret this occurred.”

To make this announcement while the American Vice President is right in Israel shows the blatantly contemptuous nature of the Israeli government, humiliating Biden in the process. Once again, Israel is taking the eff the world approach to the settlement issue. Once again, it becomes clear Israel is not interested in peace and even less interested in Palestine ever having a state of its own. To the Israeli government, the Palestinians are worthy of little more than concentration camps, road blocks, and checkpoints, all under the absolute power of a dominating occupation that grants zero rights to those occupied.

Despite any statements from Tel Aviv to the contrary, this is Israel’s policy on Palestine – plain and simple.

From David Anthony Hohol…

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The Tragic Comedy of Bloody Tea Bags


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Do you ever wonder why Americans can’t pass a healthcare reform bill? Do you ever wonder how in the world George W. Bush, after lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and showing four years of overall boobery, was actually re-elected for a second term? There are plenty of intelligent people living in the United States of America but unfortunately, they’re are also a lot of uninformed and easily manipulated toy soldiers. This clip shows how debate on healthcare degenerated into religious, racial, xenophobic nonsense that includes the IRS, global warming, the end of America, abortion and more. Groups of people who called themselves “Tea Baggers” passionately united against Obama’s plans in protests across the country – problem is none of them really knew why they were there. They were only told they had to be. If there was ever a downside to democracy, undoubtedly the best form of government ever invented, this is it.

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MSNBC: Robertson and Limbaugh Not Fit For Hell


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The now  infamous rant about the White House and its handling of Haiti from Rush Limbaugh is perhaps the most vicious and dark form of partisanship of its kind, as is Pat Robertson’s vile and digusting use of religion to explain the Haitian earthquake.  Estimates of over 100,00 dead and 300,00 homeless in the tiny island nation, and Limbaugh chooses to attack Obama for how he is helping  them, even accusing him of doing so to benefit himself. American people as a whole are fuming over Limbaugh’s hate-filled words. Unbelievably, sponsors still stand behind his show and they’re are still a few members of the American in congress who sympathize with his cause. Pat Robertson show rolls on as well.  MSNBC anchor Keith Olberman, however, speaks the truth.  Here he calls Limbaughand Pat Robertson for what they are, pulling no punches in the process. RELATIVITY OnLine gives two big thumbs up and calls on more people to do the same.

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Gentleman Obama


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iftarThese days it’s rare to get an even handed account of American politics and its geopolitical interests, both domestic and foreign. The American media, more than ever before, is slanted to one side or the other. Perhaps, more than any other branch of the media, FOX news is simply laughable in its daily attempts at slandering President Obama. Liberal pundits have retaliated with over the top character assassinations of their own. Simple diplomacy and respect in American Politics is at an all time low.

Only a few days ago, in an unprecedented incident, republican Joe Wilson yelled out “You lie” at Obama in front of the entire congress, as his president delivered a speech on Health Care to the nation. Others are likening him to Hitler and the Nazis. I mean really, what’s happening to the dignity of American politics?

Obama’s presidency sits at the core this volatile atmosphere, as there are those that simply despise the fact he is the American President. Obama is cut from a cloth so far outside what has always been “presidential” many Americans feel a sense of near agony at the very site of him in the oval office. Black, of mixed race, the son of a Muslim from Africa, blue bloods across the country are boiling over. Since he’s taken office he’s been “accused” of being a Muslim in disguise, of being born outside the states and of even being a “secret” terrorist.

Fox News recently called him a racist, a man who hates white people and white “culture.” His health care reform has been linked to senior citizen extermination, a speech asking kids to stay in school out of patriotic duty was called brainwashing, and the list goes on from here. Believe me, there are people in America who wake up each day seething over the fact that Obama is the President. It eats at them in way that feels as though they are slowly dying, in effect, because they are.

The simple fact the Barrack Hussein Obama is President of the United State speaks volumes about how the out-dated and simplistic mindset of 1950s America is slowly fading away. But make no mistake, the remnants of segregation and racial superiority still linger and is crying out from its deathbed.

It was only in 1960 when black people were finally granted the right to vote. Before that they were considered less than American, and for some less than human. The leftovers of this toxic generation still remain. Some, albeit the minority, have successfully transplanted their poison onto the next generation.    

By extension, the media, easily manipulated and blindly consumed by so many, is running rough-shot over truth. Simply put, the media landscape is cluttered with the stench of lies and manipulation and like a hardening cancer is metastasizing across the planet.

Through it all, Obama’s respectful and diplomatic approach has been stalwart. From the onset of his presidency, he has taken special care to eradicate the international stereotypes of the Arab World.  Since 9/11 the Arab community has become a magnet for stereotypes and misconception and as a result, often feels America doesn’t like them, doesn’t understand them, or worse still, doesn’t respect them.

George W. Bush did more to alienate the Arab world than any President in American history. Many Arabs will tell you this had less to do with the invasion of Iraq and more to do with Bush’s ignorance of the region and disrespectful demeanor. His cocky mannerisms and his self-involved, black-and-white kindergarten mindset is best exemplified in his now infamous statement, “You’re either with us, or with the terrorists.”

 When the latest president of the United States took his oath of Office, Barack Hussein Obama, the son of a Muslim of African decent, the Arab world held its collective breath. Who would have thought only a few shorts years after 9/11 a man bearing the name Hussein would become the American Commander-in-Chief? Arabs, as they often do, waited to see just how the latest president would conduct himself in terms of the Middle East, but this time with an air of hope and anticipation. Surely, no matter what he does, he won’t be as bad as the Bush was the common consensus. This far, for the most part, Arabs have been satisfied.

Obama, if nothing else, has been respectful. Further still, he’s shown both knowledge and tact. In other words, good old fashioned manners go a lot further than people think. His first visit to a Muslim country was Turkey. One of the most significant moments of President Obama’s trip to Istanbul was his visit to Ataturk’s Mausoleum. Declaring his wish to strengthen relations between the USA and Turkey, Barack Obama said he supported “Ataturk’s vision of Turkey as a modern and prosperous democracy giving hope to its people and providing ‘peace at home, peace in the world.” All Bush did in Turkey was ignorantly insult the entire country by calling it an “Islamic Republic.” Turkey is not and never has been an Islamic republic. As highlighted by RELATIVITY OnLine’s Turkey correspondent Serife Turkoglu in her article “An American President in Istanbul, the second article of the Turkish Constitution clarifies this by stating, “The Turkish Republic is a nationalistic, democratic, secular and social state, governed by the rule of law, and based on human rights.”

Obama took things a step further when, in his first visit to an Arab country, he opened his speech in Egypt with the traditional Islamic greeting “Assalamu Alaikum.”

I’m not sure if any American president ever addressed a room full of Arab Muslims in such a manner before. The reaction was boisterous and immediate. This seemingly simple gesture brought many in the audience to their feet and the room broke into spontaneous applause. Later, on the first day of this year’s Ramadan, the equivalent of the Easter for Christians or Hanukah for Jews, Obama sent out a web address saying “to Muslims in America and all around the world, Ramadan Kareem.”  

On September 2nd Obama hosted an Iftar dinner at the White House. The name for the meal used to break the daily fasting throughout the month of Ramadan, many in the Arab world were touched at the thought of seeing one of their most special rituals hosted at the home of the American President.  During Obama’s speech, he referred to the Muslim community as part of the very fabric of America and special part of the country. Could anyone out there even begin to imagine George W. Bush doing the same?

Respect and acknowledgment, that’s all there really is to it. It’s funny how all those things our mothers told us when we were just kids continue to ring true… even in the vast and complicated world of geopolitics.  

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An American President in Istanbul


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TURKEY-US-ERDOGAN-OBAMA

From Serife Turkoglu…

 

American President Barack Obama’s visit to Turkey was in the news for weeks before his arrival.  Newspapers, magazines and TV channels all speculated on the strategic, political and economic importance of this visit for both sides. Now, many weeks later, we’re still talking about it.  When I first heard Obama, an African-American, was set to run for president, I thought the USA was injecting some much-needed fresh blood into their government. Considering the fact that he is an African-American candidate, whose father was a Muslim from Kenya, people thought an Obama presidency would prove to be a challenge; both he and America were up for it.

 

         Under Barack Obama’s presidency, the USA will undergo a big change. Barack Obama means hope for many people because he is young, idealistic, self-confident, and the first African-American president. This has captured the world’s attention and made us all very interested in what he will do. He’s very aware of this and he seems to be genuine man. I’ve always admired people like Barack Obama, who frankly reflects his ideals and sticks to them.

 

             Above all else, Turkey is impressed by Obama’s peace policy. With that said, his strong opposition to terrorism, his diplomatic approach to Islamic countries, and his aim to mend relations with Turkey are only some aspects of President Obama’s policies that make him popular among Turks. In George Bush’s presidency, Turkey maintained a generally negative attitude towards America. Like many others around the world, Turkish people found President Bush to be overbearing and egocentric. I remember nothing positive about his presidency; nothing at all. Most everyone around me feels the same way. Even when my grandmother saw him on TV, she switched the channel, lest she might hear some other bad news due to President Bush.

 

Turkey was pleased to welcome Barack Obama’s presidency, despite the fact Obama’s views on Armenian-Turkish relations do not correspond with Turkish assertions. Whereas the Turkish government asserts the Armenian genocide allegations have been falsified by historical documents, Obama has frequently declared that America acknowledges the allegations, supporting Armenia in the process. I believe Barack Obama’s position on this very sensitive issue has created disappointment in the Turkish people. I’ve heard people around me saying, “Obama seems to be an honest idealist, but he’ll stab Turkey in the back, and side with Armenia… when its suits his needs.”

 

 Nevertheless, we have to accept the fact that the USA has its own global policies, just like every country. Obama’s diplomatic and for lack of better term, old-fashioned politeness inspires us to understand this; something the previous administration seemingly never took into account. Turkey needs to maintain a flexible attitude in order to come to terms with the USA and with President Obama being more sensitive than George Bush, this becomes possible. Unlike Bush, Barack Obama never called Turkey a “Moderate Islamic Republic,” which is a tremendous insult to the Turkish secular constitution. Simply put, we are not an Islamic Republic. In terms of politics and government, Turkey has never been associated with any religion. The second article of Turkish Constitution clarifies “The Turkish Republic is a nationalistic, democratic, secular and social State, governed by the rule of law, based on human rights.”

 

We do not discriminate our citizens according to their faith or race. Everyone living in Turkey is a Turkish citizen.  This is why the great Turkish leader Ataturk says, “How happy is he who can say I am a Turk” and not “How happy is he who is a Turk.”

 

This is one of the major reasons Obama is exalted in the eyes of the Turks; he has shown he knows this to be true. The Bush administration just never seemed to understand the nuances of the world they so badly wanted to influence. This was why his administration was a failure. Obama, on the other hand, has show more tact and diplomacy in a few short months, than Bush did in eight years as president. By the time he left our country, Obama’s circumspect manners and attentive word choice throughout his visit made him very popular among Turkish people. In the end, politics isn’t rocket science. I think it’s the same everywhere, no matter what the country; people just wanted to be respect for who they are.

 

          Even in his election campaign, when he was being verbally attacked and disrespected by Republican lobbyists, President Obama never failed to speak in a diplomatic and polite tone. I have never understood why some politicians forget about the importance of effective communication. Some leaders like to patronize other countries, as if they control the universe. They love to act authoritatively and are concerned with only their own interests. During diplomatic visits, they cordial tone hardens and talks focus almost entirely on politics and policy. I was happy to see Obama was different.

 

Once in Turkey, Obama’s distinguished manners did not change. Whether it was the Blue or the Ayasofya Mosques, he humbly expressed his admiration for the historic beauty of Istanbul. Turkish people are just like everyone else: we like sincerity; we like to see a person’s admiration for our history, of the things we are so proud of. This is something that seems easily understood, but some world leaders simply don’t get it. Words are important and the simple act of communication should never be under-valued. As a result, we found Obama, day by day, to be more sympathetic; even closer to us. He is neither offensive, nor aggressive when he speaks about Turkish political issues. He is simply an affable figure. I’ve heard many elderly in Turks refer to him as çok beyefendi, meaning a real gentleman, and I would have to agree.

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            One of the most significant moments of President Obama’s stay in Turkey was his visit to Ataturk’s Mausoleum, or the Anitkabir. Almost every leader who comes to Turkey visits the Anitkabir and expresses their respect for Ataturk, the man whose vision and courage led to an independent and democratic Turkish State. After the Anitkabir, President Obama voiced his esteem for Ataturk and paid tribute to his leadership in the guest book. Declaring his wish to strengthen relations between the USA and Turkey, Barack Obama said that he would support “Ataturk’s vision of Turkey as a modern and prosperous democracy giving hope to its people and providing ‘peace at home, peace in the world’.”

 

This was the moment when President Obama conquered the hearts of Turkish people. Ataturk has a special place in the lives of all Turks. Turkish children learn about him even before they start school. Their parents, and even more so, their grandparents are fond of telling stories about Ataturk’s glorious victories, over and over again. Families are very concerned with their children’s nationalist awareness. Whenever I go to the Anitkabir, I see a lot of parents with their children wandering around and telling them what a wonderful leader Ataturk was. Some parents even cry when they visit his tomb. When I first learned of Ataturk, I’d just arrived from Bulgaria. I was in primary school, busy trying to learn Turkish, and found his stories of bravery and courage very interesting. Whenever I think back, I remember a story of Ataturk’s childhood, when he and his sister were running after crows in the cornfields. It was very difficult for me to think of this great leader as a child like me, but it helped me to associate him with ordinary life. He is a leader who loved his country so much, that he sacrificed his entire life to create a democratic republic. This is why our elderly often they would willingly have died in his place. Turkish people show their gratitude to Atarturk as much as they can. He is a true hero.

       

Even the magnificent memorial tomb built for him reflects this. Ataturk, the leader of Turkish War of Independence and former president of Turkey, has always been an idealistic figure not only for Turkey but also for several leaders all over the world. Turkey is proud of having such a great leader who founded a new republic from the ashes of an empire. Therefore Turkey very warmly received Barack Obama’s note in the guest book. For him to actually quote Turkey’s greatest leader showed us something special. It was very considerate of him to make such diplomatic and intellectual remarks, considering the recent tension between America and Turkey during the presidency of George W. Bush. Emphasizing Ataturk’s saying, President Obama both discloses his peace policy all over the world and attributes his action to Ataturk, thus becoming a follower of peace. He gained the sympathy of Turkey by referring to Ataturk’s internationally praised philosophy summarized as “peace at home, peace in the world”. When I heard him say this, I appreciated his consideration and believed in his sincerity. Words are powerful, indeed.

 

There are those who are skeptical about Obama’s peace policy. One of my friends said just the other day, “We’ve suffered from American policies too many times… Barack Obama can’t win us over by simply exploiting our sentimental vision of Ataturk’s ideology.”

 

Despite the fact that some Turks are still dubious about President Obama’s global strategy, we all hope he will keep his promise and prove this time everything will be different.

 

Overall, President Obama’s visit and his diplomatic attitude throughout his stay in Turkey were highly praised. Though his visit was short, which hindered him from dealing with all the issues between the two countries, it represented a significant step towards fortifying Turkish-American relations and Turkish people appreciate Barack Obama’s policy. However, no matter how sympathetic and agreeable a figure President Obama is thought to be, people must be aware of the fact that he is a politician who looks after his own country’s interests. Similarly, Turkey gives priority to its own interests in the political arena. At the Turkish National Assembly, Barack Obama declared that he was happy to see Turkey’s attempts to mend relations with Armenia, but added we need to open the border. Furthermore, he talked about the European Union, stating that Turkey deserves to be accepted as a member. Whereas President Obama’s view on Turkey is complimentary and pleases the country, it reminds people of two possible problems.

 

Whether President Obama did it intentionally or not, his speech about Turkey’s membership of the EU will definitely irritate the European Union, which may affect Turkey’s application for membership. Thus his remarks might upset Turkish people in the long term. Additionally, I felt his views on Turkish-Armenian relations and his call to open the borders to be a somewhat inflammatory statement, and one that interferes with Turkey’s domestic affairs. It’s up to Turkey to open the border and pursue good relations with Armenia and Turkey aims to do just that, but not because American President Barack Obama suggests we should. The Turkish Republic tries to maintain peace with our neighbors, simply because it’s the right thing to do.

 

          Although President Obama’s declaration about these issues is controversial in political sense, Turkish people, famous for their hospitality, still greet his visit to our country with enthusiasm. Despite our problems with some of his policies, President Obama’s sensitivity and consideration for Turkey brought him ten points out of ten from the Turks. I hope he will always maintain a global peace policy and be a successful politician, dealing diplomatically with world issues. I think the world needs such leaders, now more than ever.

    

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