Friday, April 24, 2009

Unsilent Barack

In a Newsweek article published on April 24, 2009, George Will referred to the start of the Obama administration as “100 days without silence.”

“Ordinary politicians cannot comprehend that it is possible for the public to see and hear too much of them,” said Will. “In this sense, Obama is very ordinary.”

Unless Obama started to restrain himself and become a little bit more obscure, Will argued that Obama would “learn how skillfully Americans wield the basic tool of modern happiness, the TV remote control with its mute button.”

“There were 43 presidents before the current one and there will be many more than that number after him,” said Will. “The nation that elects the 88th probably will remember little about what the 44th did. This does not mean Obama is unimportant. It does mean that he is in the middle of the broad, deep river of history, where the current is strong and will not be much bent by him.”

George Will got his wish. Instead of leading on issues throughout his presidency, Obama seemed content to sit in the background and let events happen in whatever way that fate had so desired. And in doing so, he would discredit his system of government, otherwise known as democracy.

Whoops.

And Mr. Will is quite wrong when he says that no one will remember Obama. Because of the lack of morals and vision and integrity displayed by him and all his associates – including Mr. Will – the Obama presidency will be remembered as the defining moment when the West was exposed as hypocritical and undeserving of the prominent place it had ascribed for itself in the world. His presidency will be remembered as the point in history when the East overtook the West as the leader of the world. The river of history has been decisively bent during the Obama administration, much to the chagrin of Obama and Mr. Will.

Whoops.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Remarks by the President to CIA employees at CIA Headquarters

On April 20, 2009, President Obama gave a speech at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. President Obama said the CIA was more important now than ever.

“It is because of you that I can make good decisions,” said President Obama.

President Obama went on to say that he would vigorously protect the people who work for the CIA and that its best days were yet to come.

“I'm going to be relying on you and the American people are going to rely on you,” said President Obama.

Whoops.

Better hope that no one ever finds out about me and what you people have done to me. Oh wait, other governments already know about me.

Whoops.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ozawa tells McCain he opposes Obama's Afghanistan troop surge

John McCain met with Ichiro Ozawa in Tokyo on April 11, 2009. During that meeting, Ozawa told McCain that he opposed the troop surge in Afghanistan.

“Though military force can topple a government, it cannot govern people,” said Ozawa. “I cannot agree with it.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Japan Drafts $154.4 Billion Stimulus

“The world is at a turning point, where only countries that can turn adversity into opportunity will thrive,” said Prime Minister Aso. “Japan is at its most crucial crossroads in 100 years.”

Taro Aso unveiled the largest fiscal stimulus plan in its history on April 9, 2009. The plan called for $154 billion in new spending.

Several officials at western financial institutions denigrated the legislation.

While admitting that the plan would boost the Japanese economy in the short run, Masamichi Adachi, an economist at JPMorgan Securities Japan believed that “a substantial negative payback in 2010 looks unavoidable.”

“The stimulus will probably prevent Japan from falling apart in the short term, but it will leave a massive bill for the future,” said Hiromichi Shirakawa, the chief economist at Credit Suisse Group.

“The fiscal situation of the government is deteriorating faster than anyone imagined,” said Kirby Daley, an official at Newedge Group.

Instead of borrowing more money, Daley argued that Japan needed to address its debt problem. John Richards, an official at the Royal Bank of Scotland agreed with Daley.

“The burden of this debt is going to be felt and it’s going to be much worse than people thought,” said Richards. “It’s going to result in higher interest rates and slower growth than Japan can otherwise achieve.”

After the crisis ended, interest rates did not go up in Japan.

I imagine these economists would have preferred that Japan loan the $154 billion to the West so they could spend their way out of the recession.

Too bad.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

LDP exec criticizes Rice, ex-top U.S. nuke negotiator

On April 7, Hiroyuki Hosoda, the secretary general of the LDP, criticized Christopher Hill and Condoleezza Rice for the way they handled North Korea.

“They were weak-kneed,” said Hosoda. “Their ways (of dealing with the issue) were wrong.”

In an apparent bid to pressure America to take another tact on North Korea, one LDP official said, “We should deal with this issue with a recognition that Japan needs to possess nuclear (weapon).”

Hmmm…if Japan obtained nukes then Japan would no longer need the services of the U.S. military. After all, why would Japan need the protection of the U.S. military if she had nukes? Why would Japan need America at all? Facing such a dire situation, America had noooo choice but to revamp its North Korea policy in a way that Japan would find pleasing.

Ooh, those sneaky, treacherous guys. They really take the cake.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

American Exceptionalism

On April 4, 2009, at a NATO summit in Strasbourg, someone asked Obama if he believed in American exceptionalism, to which he replied, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

Almost immediately after Obama said that remark, the right started to pillory Obama for not really believing in American exceptionalism. The debate that ensued was really stupid and superficial and had little to do with the real meaning of the term American exceptionalism. The right equated American exceptionalism with the belief that America was special, great, a city on a hill, etc. The real meaning of the term American exceptionalism is the belief that the rules don’t apply to us, that we can do whatever we want in the world, particularly in foreign policy and in that respect, certainly, Obama did believe in American exceptionalism.

Whoops.

The problem with that sort of mindset is that other countries may not like some of our “exceptional” actions and they may hit back at us in retribution. Furthermore, other countries who know what our government has done can use the threat of releasing that information to extort us.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Moment of truth for Afghanistan

The Japan Times published an editorial on Afghanistan on April 3, 2009. In the article, the Japan Times argued that the success of the mission in Afghanistan would hinge on what happened in the upcoming election.

“Much rests on elections scheduled for August,” said the Japan Times. “This ballot must not be compromised. Failure to hold free and fair elections would undermine all that has been accomplished since the Taliban were driven from power. The legitimacy of the government in Kabul is the final thread that holds the country together. If that snaps, no new strategy will ever succeed.”

Of course, the election turned out to be a disaster.