Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Are American liberals deaf?

Many liberals in the United States are disappointed that President Obama has chosen to send more troops to Afghanistan. They view it as a betrayal of what he stood for during his campaign. A typical complaint reads like this one from Michael Moore:
"Dear President Obama,
Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do -- destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they've always heard is true -- that all politicians are alike. I simply can't believe you're about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn't so."
I listened to Obama's stump speeches carefully during the long drawn out election campaign and each time he spoke he said clearly that he wanted to withdraw from Iraq and send more troops to Afghanistan. As this article from the Boston Globe put it after the first McCain - Obama debate: "If elected, Obama says, he would immediately withdraw thousands of ground troops from Iraq and send them to Afghanistan to help undermanned US forces defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda."
In other words, Barack Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do. His vaunted eloquence must be grossly over-rated since his most ardent admirers appear to have spent eighteen months hanging on to his every word, but failed to register what he was saying.


adrian mckinty said...


Michael Moore isnt stupid and he isn't deaf he's just a marketing genius, pathological liar, narcissist and phoney. But no, not deaf.

Anonymous said...


The moment was like mass hysteria, inspite of Obama's charisma, people weren't paying much attention on what's being said. Not that he was/is doing anything wrong, he is trying to right the wrongs committed by the Bush admin. I personally think this is a right move as presence of such larger number forces would create a synergy effect in defeating the Al Qaeda/Taliban/ rougue ISI.

I has a lot of respect for Michael Moore during the " Bowling for Columbine " days, as he definitely did bring in some change, I think he needs to understand the problem more clearly.


Girish Shahane said...

Srikanth, while I think more highly of Michael Moore than does my buddy Adrian, I found Bowling for Columbine unsatisfying because it appeared to undercut its own thesis. Moore suggests guns are the problem, but then he goes to Canada and finds everybody there owns a gun and yet the nation doesn't suffer the kind of crime the US does. He never resolves that contradiction, instead getting into another bind about race which in my opinion he solves with some cheap shots aimed at Charlton Heston. Heston uses the word 'minorities' if I remember right, when accounting for the high crime rate in the US, but of course he means blacks and to some extent Hispanics. Moore counters this by showing that Canada also has a high percentage of 'minorities'. But actually Canada has a very small percentage of those minorities most responsible for violent crime in the US.
Heston's rather politically correct use of 'minorities' can easily be turned against him, but in the process the central debate about ethnicity as well as guns is, in my opinion, ignored.
I much prefer Fahrenheit 9/11 which is a straightforward attack on the Bush administration put together exceptionally well.
This has turned into a discussion about Moore, but actually I could have posted from any number of others on the Left who're saying exactly what Moore did, namely that Obama is somehow going back on his word by sending more troops to Afghanistan.

adrian.mckinty said...

Bowling for Columbine is where I left Moore for good. I was in Denver in 1999 and taught high school to students who had transferred out of Columbine. I remember very well the parents of the children murdered and wounded in the massacre begging Moore not to use the close circuit footage of the murders in his film which was made not to change anything but merely for Moore's commercial gain (all the profits went to Michael Moore). Of course Moore used the footage. The scene with the gun outside the bank was staged, the South Park duo were misrepresented, he didn't even get the bowling stuff right. As I've learned more about Moore, I've come to see that he, like Sarah Palin, just doesn't know what the truth is, hence pathological.

And Girish if you removed black and Latino murders from the US crime statistics I think that would reduce the US crime rate to the Canadian rate everywhere except the South. In the South there are still a lot of white folk killing each other (and everyone else).

Girish Shahane said...

Adrian, this raises a larger question of whether footage in the public domain should be held back because relatives of those affected might be upset.
I'm of the view that it is a film-makers prerogative to take the call, irrespective of what some, or even most, parents say about the matter.
This applies to stuff like pictures of Iraqi war dead too; it's convenient for the US administration to bury them under the pretext that family sentiments will be hurt. Of course, it also helps the administration's cause.
As far as Moore's motives go, I have no bone to pick with you, and while I don't know about the misrepresentations of South Park duo (don't recall the film well enough to know what you're referring to), I will take your word over Moore's any day.