Obama in France: Repairing damaged relations with Europe

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    I woke up this morning with the television on, CNN I believe. Obama was addressing a mix of young french and german men and women at a remarkable event he created at a basketball arena in Strasbourg, a campaign-style "town hall" in which he fielded questions.

    This European trip is bringing out the best in both Barack and Michelle. Please watch the youtube clip below.

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    Associated Press

    STRASBOURG, France - Welcomed here with thunderous cheers, President Barack Obama pledged on Friday to repair damaged relations with Europe, saying the world came together following the 2001 terrorist attacks but then "we got sidetracked by Iraq."


    Obama:"We must be honest with ourselves. In recent years, we've allowed our alliance to drift. There have been times where America's shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive {toward Europe}".

    "In Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans chose to blame America for much of what's bad. Both of these attitudes do not represent the truth. America is changing, but it cannot be America alone that changes."

    YouTube - Obama Holds Town Hall In Strasbourg, France




    I'm a sucker for quirky little details: "Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, welcomed the Obamas at the majestic 18th-century Rohan Palace in Strasbourg."

    lps9104 - Fotosearch Stock Photography




    "It used to be when I came to Europe that I could just wander down to a cafe and sit and have some wine and watch people go by. And go into a little shop and watch the sun do down. Now I'm in hotel rooms all the time, and I have security around me all the time. And so just, you know, losing that ability to just take a walk, you know, that is something that is frustrating."

     
  2. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    Can you imagine what it says to the world that an American president would field questions in this manner? Can you imagine how open and accessible it makes us appear and how much more connected to us many heretofore alienated people and peoples must feel? Don't tell me this man isn't brilliant.

    The starman must be writhing and moaning and gnashing his teeth as this "Master of PR" has done it again. And all to our good.
     
  3. pym

    pym New Member

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    Thanks for the Upbeat reports WillTom.
     
  4. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Nick8/pym: There's a conservative guy at my work.

    I just asked him if he's been following the "Obamas in Europe" news.

    He said: "Oh, they love him over there.... because they can manipulate him."

    When I told him I really couldn't discern any manipulation, that he's saying over there pretty much what he says here - and that it's refreshinging to see an american president and his wife greeted by throngs of crowds and cheered, my co-worker just shook his head and said: "You're living in your own little world."
     
  5. pym

    pym New Member

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    WillTom, Do you live in Orange County? Than it would be No surprise if you were surrounded by such Sentiments. I lived{santa clarita} and worked in L.A. for 6 years. It's that kinda' town. Sorry Bud.
     
  6. SpeedoGuy

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    Europeans may be slightly less inclined to look down at the US culturally now, but what really are Europe's policy differences that would be improved by speeches from a more oratorically gifted president?
     
  7. pym

    pym New Member

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    Do you find Barack Obama "Oratorically" Challenged?{i sure do not}
    Or did i misunderstand your question?
     
  8. dong20

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    I think he meant that talk is cheap, that even a silver tongue may be forked. And, that 'European' policy isn't formulated based on the oratorical skills of the POTUS.

    Or did I misunderstand also?
     
  9. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    It shouldn't surprise anyone if policies of mutual interest and commonality are fostered in an atmosphere free from arrogance and antagonism and one of understanding and respect.
     
  10. midlifebear

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    I've definitely got my fingers crossed, hoping for the best.
     
  11. SpeedoGuy

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    You're correct, dong. I meant more oratorically gifted than W.
     
  12. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    The problem is: How much of our forward policies are aligned with Europe?

    I think its refreshing and cool that we have a Prez that can connect with Europeans, but..... What does that mean?

    I just do not know and am willing to listen to what things the US ans Europe need to be in concert with? Is France or Germany's future aligned with America? I do not think so. You might.
     
  13. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    All our futures are aligned. We're too interdependent with other industrialized nations to be mavericks.
     
  14. earllogjam

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    I can't think of a president that was as popular abroad as back home in my lifetime. It certainly is encouraging but how long will the honeymoon last? There will come a time when rhetoric cannot take the place of reality and get whittled down to excuses.

    Another thought that comes to mind is what the hell did Conodoleeza Rice actually do in the 8 years she served under Bush? The mind reels.
     
  15. SpeedoGuy

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    The phrase "opportunistic sycophant" springs to mind.
     
  16. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    Specifics, please.

    For example we are a maverick on Israel. How does getting close to Europe, who seems to despise Israel, help us?

    We disagree on Iran. Europe will sell them nuclear triggers if they could.
     
  17. Gl3nn

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    Hey, a euro is a euro... (note the sarcasm)
     
  18. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Typical starry-eyed Obamabot fawning.

    "In France, Obama takes no questions from French"

    By the end of the hourlong session, not a single French citizen got to ask the U.S. president a question.


     
  19. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Not talking to them is hardly going to help, is it? The better our relations with Europe, the more influence we can wield in our favor. Catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    If I recall rightly, that pending sale was illegal to begin with. We're not far off on Iran with Europe. Nobody trusts Iran one iota though Europe does buy Iranian oil. Same thing goes with them.

    Our economies and civilization are dependent upon unity in the west. Europe is of utmost strategic importance to the US because of what it could mean to the US if Europe collapses or falls. They are a major trading partner in technology and a very lucrative market for American goods and services. It would be foolish to alienate the very people who add to the quality of life we have here and, indirectly, equally foolish to alienate a world power with so much influence. The US is no longer an island. We cannot be self-sufficient isolationists unless we return to a pre-industrial state. Good relations with any state or entity of states with power comparable to ours is necessary for the security of the United States. Would you rather Europe fall into the Russian sphere of influence? Perhaps China? Why would Europe consider the needs of the United States if the United States doesn't consider the needs of Europe?
     
  20. midlifebear

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    As for Obama's visit to France is concerned, I'm more in line with Gail Collins in today's New York Times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/04/opinion/04collins.html?_r=1 ) where she answers the age-old question: who can be more irritating, the Republicans or the French? I think old Gail is on to something. Plus, the French can cook.
     
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