19
Sep
13

Can Y’all smell What Pres Obama’s cooking?

Can Y’all smell What Pres Obama’s cooking?

by @zizii2

No I’m not talking about the acrid smell of Boehner’s singeing flesh as he roasts in PBO’s Veto threats as well as the bonfire that is Congress. That is subject for another diary. No, I’m talking about PBO’s Foreign Policy chestnuts roasting beautifully.

****

The Burma Blueprint a Model for Iran Detente

Prez Obama really works best when there’s a melee brewing all around him. And so it was in 2011 when the GOP debt ceiling hostage taking was underway, he moved swiftly to accelerate the diplomatic thaw between the US and Burma.  DC was clueless about how that happened and predictably gave PBO very little credit.

In his speech in Rangoon, PBO said:

When I took office as President, I sent a message to those governments who ruled by fear: We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist. So today I’ve come to keep my promise and extend the hand of friendship.

****

He lived up to his promise as Times reported:

“Shortly after taking office, Obama eased American foreign policy toward greater engagement with Burma’s generals. Naysayers predicted that the clutch of xenophobic generals would not respond. But for whatever reason, Burma’s opening soon followed. For an American leader who calls himself the country’s “first Pacific President” and has pivoted U.S. foreign policy toward Asia in an effort to hedge China, the good news coming out of Burma couldn’t have occurred at a more opportune time.”

****

A fledgling but empowered Burmese government proceeded to enact reforms, following which President Obama quickly reinforced support by first sending then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton there, followed by his own visit 2 weeks after reelection.

Thein Sein’s government has introduced a raft of substantive reforms, allowing opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy to participate in April polls that resulted in her becoming an elected member of parliament, hacking away at press censorship, releasing political prisoners and signing cease-fires with some of the ethnic militias that had been battling the central government for decades. In return, the U.S., like many other Western nations, has eased the economic sanctions that had further isolated an already reclusive regime and pushed it into China’s economic embrace. Just a few months ago, the Rangoon airport where Obama landed was decorated with advertisements for local instant-coffee brands and jewelry companies owned by the regime’s cronies. Now, the biggest sign in baggage claim is a Coca-Cola advertisement: “Cola Welcome to Myanmar.””

****

Burma was a blueprint for how PBO quickly seizes unexpected openings to propel stakeholders (even those with unsavory records) otherwise paralyzed by fear, to just go for it. He showed the Burmese military junta that he was more interested in the real goal of reversing Burma’s isolation from the world and restoring democracy, than justifiably punishing them their horrendous record of repression.

****

So he encouraged them to reverse political repression, lift house arrest on Aung San Suu Kyi and allow her buy-in into the transforming political system. In a perverse way that action brought Suu Kyi down from her long standing perch as political martyr to the realm of mortal politician member of parliament. While these moves risked appearing to have prematurely validated the Burmese leaders’ feeble steps toward democracy. But it worked, And now Burma is no longer outcast but grappling with the mundane task of governance and succeeding or failing at it.

***

Next, Iran?

Right now as we bang our heads in disgust at the economic terrorists in our Congress holding us hostage, green shoots are glaringly sprouting right under our noses as Iran and the US signal potential to strike a deal on the former’s nuclear program. Before the ongoing US-Iran choreography, PBO stripped his detractors bare.

Whether he knew it would turn out exactly this way and so played “fulcrum politics” or characteristically planned to take advantage of all options, PBO’s request for congressional vote on Syria amounted to:

1. An amplified public polling that got the American people on record saying loudly that they prefer diplomacy to military engagement, which also became a message that POTUS simultaneously relayed to the MIC.

2. PBO got GOP on RECORD en masse to be anti-war. Meanwhile our own Emoleft contributed high decibeled gnashing of teeth and exposed charlatans like Alan Grayson in the process.

3. He got neocons isolated from their GOP congressional choir. All the big photo-ops with McCain & Graham in the White House in the run up to the congressional vote that never was, made the warmongers think PBO needed war street cred cover from them. Instead what happened was to coral them and neocons like Kristol, Krauthammer, Dan Senor, off on the lonely island of bellicosity, while revealing them to have zero following.

4. The almighty PNAC was killed in the Syria showdown

5. Pres Obama also showed AIPAC up not to have the same influence in Washington as beltway wisdom thought they had.

****

Syria: Means to an End

PBO gave Putin the sideshow that is Syria. He said so himself during his interview with Stephanopoulous when he stated that as bad as chemical weapons in Syria was, that was not Americas’ critical focus. Everybody took the bait, and puffed Putin up high over a relatively minor part in PBO’s grand vision for the Middle East. In my native language we call that “putting the monkey hat on someone”.

****

Rouhani said in Anne Curry’s interview that Iran had a significant role in the Syria deal. This tells us that while Putin hogged all the acclaim rather prematurely, the larger picture and diplomatic chess game is now being revealed to us piece by piece. It kinda now makes Putin look like the pre-opening circus act who makes the audience think he’s all that, only for the real show to come later and wow everybody into utter speechlessness. In a way it also cuts Putin off from claiming any credit on Iran since he did a premature victory lap (of course that won’t prevent beltway stenographers from continuing to hoist Putin high on this too).

****

For Pres Obama figuring out how to get tomorrow right is always more useful than expending energy on recriminations for horrors that have already happened.

Here’s where I step out to psychoanalyze a bit. We all know PBO’s lifestory chapter and verse—kid grows up without father, raised partially by peripatetic mother and only had anchoring with grandparents.

Here’s what I glean from PBO’s memoir “Dreams form my Father” – that as a kid try as hard as he wished for his life to be “normal” – dad present, mom to hang around longer, not to ALWAYS be in the position of outsider in all situations, not to be bullied in a foreign land because of race – that none of that wishing for his circumstance to be different ever changed anything. It’s something many of us can relate to. So PBO learned to MASTER how he RESPONDED to adversity rather than let adversity DEFINE him.

****

He says it all the time: “We can’t prevent all evil in the world, but how we choose to respond, that’s entirely up to us“.

****

This is a trait many on the left have vilified PBO for especially when he decided not to haul GWB, Cheney and the GOP cabal through hearings for lying us into a disastrous war in Iraq. The left has never forgiven him for that. PBO always operates with the simple question, how does that backward glance actually make things better for those who are in pain NOW and tomorrow. And that also confounds beltway stenographers (as Chuck Todd unhelpfully reminded us yesterday).

So with that principle in mind. It’s getting clearer that PBO sees many of the world’s hot conflicts as being irresolvable because of fear of losing face than on any real intractable substance. Conflicts fester because no one wants to take the risk to get on the dancefloor lest they expose their vulnerable flank. At the most basic level world civilizations and high and mighty rulers in their guts have never grown past kindergarten behavior.

****

Syria as precursor

The world watched Pres Obama take a risk by holding off military strikes against Syria and be mocked for being “weak” by myopic political adversaries, so-called allies, and the entire American corporate commentariat. More importantly PBO did not react to the mockery by reversing his position to show stupid machismo. Stuck to his goal.

As Sully once said very early in PBO’s presidency, he has an almost inhuman capacity to absorb insult, so long as he’s achieving his goal.

****

I posit that many around the world recognize that trait in PBO and so if Rouhani’s overtures are sincere, it is because of how he has seen PBO conduct himself and the kinds of risks he’s willing to take so long as the real goal is reached, chemical weapons out of the equation in the volatile Middle East and removing the nuclear irritant that’s impoverishing Iran itself and needlessly empowering Israeli rightwingers and their US backers. They’ve also seen how PBO skillfully outmaneuvered the deeply fossilized neo-con conventional wisdom among the powerwielding DC permagov, in both political parties especially when it comes to Iran.

****

They see he has stepped out dangerously on a ledge here, but also realize he’s no bumbling buffoon. He takes risks, but they are highly calculated risks. In this case he as weighed the options and decided that all parties have reached a dead end in their decades, even centuries, long conflicts. Exhaustion, depleted resources, a huge youth bulge, a looming new order in internecine conflicts have all converged to open up windows of opportunity for meaningful deals to be struck.

****

More importantly the world has seen America under PBO act with uncharacteristic restraint relative to our capacity to bomb away with impunity. For example, despite Medvedev making disdainful comments about PBO the very week he was elected in 2008, our Pres. brushed that aside and saw someone he could work with to get START treaty done.

Why? He quickly read that Medvedev desperately wanted to assert his bona fidis as a world player, so POTUS obliged him, just as he’s just done to Putin under different circumstances. Medvedev quickly became an Obama fanbot. Both Medvedev & Putin wanted attention and validation, and they got it because in both circumstances both countries wanted something that the other could give. So deal.

****

Where PBO has acted with lethal force, the world saw him do so with a scalpel and surgical precision. He’s not shown interest in wholesale indiscriminate punitive missions against blanket populations (yeah yeah, I can hear emos screaming “dronez”, NSA spying dragnet)

****

Enter Pres Hassan Rouhani

US media tend to treat figures on the world stage as if they’re props in a shadow puppet game whether ours or adversaries’ game. So we get simplistic quips like, “is Rouhani negotiating with Khamenei’s backing or not?”

So just like the Burmese government did releasing Nobel Peace laureate Aung san Suu Kyi, Iranian President Rouhani has begun making significant overtures such as the release of high profile political prisoners yesterday,  one of whom President Obama had spoken about in one of his Nowruz video broadcasts to the Iranian people, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, and who said:

I don’t know why they released me. I don’t know under what legal basis they released me. But I am free.”

****

Today, news comes that Rouhani will be bringing Iran’s only Jewish member of parliament with him to the UN General Assembly.

But the possible thaw in US-Iranian standoff didn’t just begin with recent Syria maneuvers. PBO invested heavily right from the period of his candidacy for President when he was mocked for saying he’d talk to America’s adversaries, including Iran.

He followed through in his Inaugural Address on Jan 20, 2009 then started the long arduous process of reaching out his hand to Iran seeking a partner to Tango with. He persisted despite being rebuffed countless times. He invested in personal diplomacy using that most old fashioned of means — letterwriting

Few American presidents have held a deeper belief in the power of the written word than President Obama. And in few ways has that belief been more tested than in his frustrating private correspondence with the leaders of Iran, a country with which the United States has had no diplomatic ties for 34 years.This week, Mr. Obama indicated that he might finally have found a pen pal in Tehran.

****

Of course Iran’s change  in tone is not solely due to Pres. Obama’s penmanship overtures. PBO is no wide-eyed idealist. He squeezed Iran economically by corralling the largest international consensus on economic sanctions against Iran. The hardliners including former President Ahmedinejad saw the writing on the wall, that while:

Iran expanded its nuclear program exponentially and confronted the United States and the West – the economy shriveled, Iran’s hard-line politics grew viciously divisive, and the risk of war rose.
So anticipation could not be higher for the next Iranian to take a turn at the UN podium: Hassan Rouhani, the centrist cleric nicknamed the “diplomat sheikh.” His promises of moderation and re-engagement with the West carried him to a surprise June election victory over a slate of conservative rivals.”

****

But here’s the character trait about Pres Obama that confounds the American commentariat: the goal for PBO was not sanctions for punishment sake, but rather a pinch to get them to calculate RATIONALLY and come to the negotiating table for a better deal.

****

Looks like we’re about to find out if PBO’s bet that Iran would eventually respond to multifaceted stimuli AT THE OPTIMAL TIME, was the right one. Carrots & sticks.

More importantly it is PBO’s never wavering principle that everybody in the world wants to be treated with DIGNITY and RESPECT. It’s amazing how much that simple creed can accomplish and likewise how many futile conflicts have resulted from hubris and disrespect.

****

Rouhani is in luck because just as PBO read the challenges that Burmese leaders had transforming, he’ll facilitate Rouhani’s overtures in ways that respect the domestic political minefields in Iran and maintain the latter’s dignity, because:

…as he reforges Iran’s diplomatic approach, Rouhani must also reassure conservative critics back home that he is not selling out to the West or compromising revolutionary principles. Rouhani’s many liberal and reformist supporters expect, too, that he will bridge Iran’s social divides and loosen internal restrictions.

****

So speed is of essence for some tangible enticements to be in the offing from both sides, while Iran’s conservatives are silent FOR NOW and PBO has tied his critics up in knots.

***

But as every Obama adversary finds out, PBO is no naif, and Rouhani must sure know this. PBO’s not extending his hand to Iran for the sake of Kumbaya, but to advance key strategic goals – namely,

1. Getting Israel gently down from the structurally flawed ledge where its hardliners have perched it because of existential fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

2. Unraveling the dumbest yarnball in which neocons and their militaristic cabal have ensnared America for 3 decades in the Middle East.

The supreme folly that is the PNAC (Project for the New American Century) now makes fools of the US fighting on both sides of stupid wars against ourselves. Of course as Chuck Todd mightily tells us, it’s not media’s job to tell us the truth. So they never bothered to explain the folly of going to war in Iraq since all they cheered was “shock and Awe”. President Obama euphemistically called it a “dumb war” because it was the height of sheer stupidity akin to Wile E. Coyote strapping on explosives but believing his nemesis would be hurt.

***

So in the 1980s we supported Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran cuz we wanted to exact revenge for the toppling of the Shah of Iran and our interests along with him. Also, Saddam was our minority led Sunni bulwark against the Shia dominated Iran. Then Bush Sr. invaded Iraq in 1991 ostensibly to “free” Kuwait (but of course t’was about oil interests in the Gulf).

However, GHWB left Saddam in place to maintain our geopolitical interest against Iran.

****

Then in 2003 GWB inexplicably torpedoes the entire rationale for our policy that had been in effect, even if threadbare at that point. Why? Hubris. The neo-con’s thought they could have it all. That is, mow down the Sunni-Shia balance en route to total dominance of the Middle East from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, and all will be cowed and reshaped in our image, while we control all oil spigots. Of course they forgot that it is people with complicated histories and faiths who actually live there.

****

So here we are today trying to extricate ourselves from what is truly a tragi-comedy of errors, which has us pushing the interests of the very people who attacked us on 9/11. But somebody’s gotta do it. PBO, that is.

****

Meanwhile like coy members of the high school mutual appreciation society, revised smoke signals are going up from both sides about possibly meeting on Sept 24, at the UNGA

****

Yeah PBO is gourmet cooking alright

[of course not mistress Chip’s kinda cooking :>)  ]

*

Bon Appetit

_______________________

P.S. Pres. Rouhani just wrote an Op-Ed for the Washington Post this evening and says thus:

The world has changed. International politics is no longer a zero-sum game but a multi-dimensional arena where cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously. Gone is the age of blood feuds. World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities“.

Does he sound like PBO or what?


181 Responses to “Can Y’all smell What Pres Obama’s cooking?”


  1. 1 utaustinliberal
    September 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    President Barack Obama – The world’s diplomat.

  2. 2 japa21
    September 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I’m smelling, and I’m telling…it is mighty fine.

  3. September 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Wow Zizi, one paragraph in and this already reads like a masterclass – thank you soooooo much for all the work you put in to this, off to read the rest!

  4. September 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    What an awesome post! Sharing widely.

  5. 6 cookemom
    September 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Professor Zizi!!! excellent…..

  6. 7 utaustinliberal
    September 19, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Fantastic piece Zizi.

    Seriously? Everyone must read Rouhani’s Op-Ed. The world is turning on a dime. Iran looking more sensible than Russia?

  7. 9 utaustinliberal
    September 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Heads Up.

  8. September 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Very, very fine zizii!!! Thank you for all your efforts.

  9. September 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I look forward to your posts Zizi2…..Can’t wait to read. Lengthy is good…Gives us more of an ‘edumacation’ :) :)

  10. September 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm

  11. September 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    You warned us it was long, zizi…LOL

    But, on point.

    Folks don’t even want to acknowledge what just happened with Iran.

    Too many in the MSM were carrying water for War with Iran, and now that the President has flipped the script there TOO…

    they’re mad all over again.

    BRAVO, ZIZI

    BRAVO

    • September 19, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      I’m sorry. I should have cut it into 2 posts. But events are changing so fast, I needed to capture how we got here before we get to the UNGA next week

      • September 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm

        Zizi, you shouldn’t have cut a thing. What you wrote is a clear, coherent, brilliant whole. You have an amazingly comprehensive view of the world and I feel we are all blessed to have you share it with us.

      • 24 globalcitizenlinda
        September 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        loved the chronology and how you linked each even to the other and also highlighted the implications of different foreign policy moves

      • 25 nathkatun7
        September 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm

        What are you apologizing for? This was simply brilliant! May be it’s me, having been brought up reading newspapers and not watching television, I really love reading comprehensive essays that try to connect all the dots in helping us understand the whole picture.

  12. September 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Ok, this has crystalized some of the things I’ve been thinking over the past few days. All we need to do is include Pope Francis and we’ll be complete.

    • September 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      I tells ya, the gods are truly punking conservative wingnuts. The religio-nuts are feeling like they’re in the twilight zone, especially when the Catholic Church whose heft they rely on to push right wing agendas, is so rudely redirected toward Christ’s social justice msg! What’s a nut to do?

  13. 28 Layla
    September 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    You are brilliant!!!!!!!!!

  14. 29 utaustinliberal
    September 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Iran takes one step forward, GOP tells poor: go screw yourselves.

  15. 30 hopefruit2
    September 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Zizi – thanks for this comprehensive of summary of PBO’s masterful FP accomplishments. Another must-read!!!

  16. 32 hopefruit2
    September 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I guess Leader Pelosi is not aware that Zuckerberg just recently accused our President of “destroying innovation abroad because of his spying.” Meanwhile, our President is making significant progress on the world stage, economically, diplomatically, humanistically…..

    • 33 anniebella
      September 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      I think the filthy rich punk have some nerve for accusing POTUS of spying.

    • September 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      Zuckerberg has a personal stake in reforming immigration, because he can get cheaper workers to work for him from Asia – although he’s not alone in this. Wasn’t Zuckerberg involved with some dubious groups against education reform, too?

  17. 35 utaustinliberal
    September 19, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I love this agency!

  18. 36 donna dem 4 obama
    September 19, 2013 at 7:28 pm

  19. September 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    zizi – a tour de force. You sized everything up beautifully and tied all the threads together into a brilliant and vastly appealing whole. There is and never will be anyone like President Barack Obama. Thanks again for adding your very impressive voice to the dialog at TOD. BRAVA!!

  20. September 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Zizi — WOW!!!!

    Your posts go beyond informing…they educate. You are very good at connecting the dots. We get a better feel for the complexity of President Obama’s strategic thinking and his ability to see the big picture when making short-term decisions.

    I agree with Cookemom….Professor ZiZi is right!

  21. 44 Vicki
    September 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Oh boy Zizi what a treat. I love your long pieces.

    One question. In the paragraph near the end your take is that the Neo-cons in 2003 conducted themselves as they did because they thought they could re-make the Middle East pretty much rule there and oh yes, keep the oil. Hubris, certainly. But That gives them credit for having a Plan.
    Maybe.
    Another idea is that the entire enterprise was about looting and warmongering done for the moment and the weapons manufacturers. And sure they hoped to get long term oil contracts out of it, but Cheney has pronounced the giant debacle as a success. For him it was billions and bilions of dollars.

    Our Nobel Peace Prize brilliant President is rewriting the modus operandi of the USA. That’s why the GOP is losing its mind so completely and publicly.

  22. 46 africa
    September 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Zizi, this is EGGcellent! Bravo, bravo.

  23. 48 Jovie
    September 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA climate rule arrives, political attacks in tow
    By Ben Geman
    FRIDAY’S BIG STORY: The Environmental Protection Agency will unveil long-awaited climate change rules for new power plants tomorrow.

    The measure is expected to require future coal plants to capture a significant amount of their carbon emissions.
    The rules are a central piece of the White House climate agenda that’s under heavy attack from Republicans and industry groups.
    EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will make the case for the standards at a National Press Club speech Friday morning.

    • 49 globalcitizenlinda
      September 19, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      oh, the rightwing and the coal lobby are about to loose the little remaining part of their pea-sized minds!

  24. 50 LDS
    September 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Zizi, this is worth every word. Long is a good thing…..
    POB is cooking up a storm! A peaceful storm, that is.
    Thank you so much.

  25. September 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Zizi, that is just an utterly fascinating post.

    I don’t even know where to start, but your take on Burma – “Burma was a blueprint for how PBO quickly seizes unexpected openings to propel stakeholders (even those with with unsavory records) otherwise paralyzed by fear, to just go for it” – was so interesting, especially in light of what’s now happening with Iran.

    And this:

    “Here’s where I step out to psychoanalyze a bit. We all know PBO’s lifestory chapter and verse—kid grows up without father, raised partially by peripatetic mother and only had anchoring with grandparents. Here’s what I glean from PBO’s memoir “Dreams form my Father” – that as a kid try as hard as he wished for his life to be “normal” – dad present, mom to hang around longer, not to ALWAYS be in the position of outsider in all situations, not to be bullied in a foreign land because of race – that none of that wishing for his circumstance to be different ever changed anything. It something many of us can relate to. So he PBO learned to MASTER how he RESPONDED to adversity rather than let adversity DEFINE him.”

    Really, just masterful.

    And:

    “This is a trait many on the left have vilified PBO for especially when he decided not to haul GWB, Cheney and the GOP cabal through hearings for lying us into a disastrous war in Iraq. The left has never forgiven him for that. PBO always operates with the simple question, how does that backward glance actually make things better for those who are in pain NOW and tomorrow.”

    A completely perfect assessment of it all.

    Truly honored to have this post here, it’s just wonderful. Thank you Zizi.

    • September 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Aww mistress Chips, you make me blush. Maybe I’ve invested too much of my time studying POTUS since 2004. I also taught his memoir a few times in my Lit. class.

      I personally share some aspects of his background too. A kid in foreign country feeling like outsider, taunted, and later in young adolescence wishing desperately my family’s circumstances were different, but never getting my wish. I could relate to his story

      • September 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm

        Zizi, I found that analysis just SO interesting, and your assessment of how it has impacted him in adult life:

        “PBO learned to MASTER how he RESPONDED to adversity rather than let adversity DEFINE him.”

        I’m off to read it again, its a delight.

  26. 55 africa
    September 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

  27. 56 jacquelineoboomer
    September 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

  28. 57 africa
    September 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm

  29. 58 jziglar
    September 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Bush Sr., James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, Robert Gates, Colin Powell and Lawrence Eagleburger didn’t take out Saddam because they knew that removing the government would lead to a long term occupation which is what happened in 2003. Also they didn’t want to by pass the UN mandate which was removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait. After Bush Sr, left office the neo-cons fully took over the republican party and pushed out the moderate pragmatic republican foreign policy experts.

    Of all the modern day presidents President Obama’s foreign policy reminds me of Eisenhower.

    • September 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Yep, you got that right. Which is why I wonder how it was that Bush Sr’s team never stopped Bush jr? Or were they mesmerized by the messianic cadence of the PNAC gospel? I would like that insider story of what Scrowcroft et al said to Bush jr. in the run up to 2003 war

      • 60 jziglar
        September 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm

        I think they got shut out from the debate. I recall reading an article where Brent Scrowcroft had issues with the Iraq War and complained about Bush jr. Cheney who was always a neo- con didn’t have much influence in the Bush sr. administration but with Bush jr. he was calling the shots.

    • September 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Yeah, the US really made a mess of things with Vietnam and continued making a mess of things throughout the 1960s-1970s (CIA vs. Allende, etc.) and then elected its clueless neo-con figurehead in the 1980s.

      Zizi2’s essay really gets to the core of why emoprogs like @maddow (and her lapdog follower @ChrisLhayes) will NEVER stand down on attacking our President’s foreign policy:

  30. 62 andogriff
    September 19, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Well done zizi, thank you very much!

  31. 63 jacquelineoboomer
    September 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Bon appetit, Mr. President, indeed. Thank you, thank you, thank you, zizi!

  32. September 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you Zizi2 for this masterpiece. You have brought to light a lot about our PBO that I was not aware of. You my dear are,in a word, BRILLIANt. Thanks again for all your hard work you put into this.

  33. September 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Masterful.

    I’m torn between standing (for standing O) or deeply bowing in respect for such excellence.

    Considering the amount of territory covered, this was not a “long” piece. Long are those 10,000 word New York magazine articles that really don’t say very much.

    Thank you so much for assembling all the various pieces of the Middle East-Russia puzzle.

    Of course there are other components that PBO had to juggle (China, Chechnya, every other place on the face of the globe…), but his strategic skill is breathtaking.

    But you know, what is most amazing to me is that I can picture PBO sitting at his upstairs desk, writing a letter to Hassan Rouhani on his yellow legal pad. Of course, that wouldn’t be the letter that was sent to the Iranian President, but you get the sense that PBO likes the tactile sense of writing, of putting pen to paper as he lets his thoughts flow; toward memories and his vision for the future.

    Beyond PBO’s brilliance, its his empathy and good manners that help guide him to do the right thing.

    Thank you so much, zizi2. You’re a superstar!

    • 68 jacquelineoboomer
      September 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      And what you just wrote was magnificent! Thank you, too!

    • September 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      Oh my, your own comment is a masterpiece

      • September 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm

        Humbled by such kind words from by our Poet Laureate and Scholar-in-Residence.

        Have decided that deep bows are the appropriate response. Thank you.

        But most of all, thank you Lord, and all the forces of the Universe for allowing the American’s good sense to prevail and elect this unique, magnificent leader at this time.

        The MSM is demonstrating their deep irrelevance while PBO leaves ‘em in the dust, gasping to catch up.

        Not only did Chuck Todd get his just desserts yesterday, but Carney’s take down of Begnhazi water-carrier himself, Jon Karl was just too delicious:

        “This led to Carney’s question: ‘Who has the power to raise the debt ceiling?’ When he didn’t get the answer he was looking for, he answered his own question. ‘The Congress has the power to raise the debt ceiling,’ Carney said, before joking that he likes ‘turning the tables’ on reporters when he can’t “get a direct answer.’”

        “Please tell me how you have managed to keep someone the Political Director of your news department and have him actually refuse to be responsible to provide facts to your viewership?”

        • 71 jacquelineoboomer
          September 19, 2013 at 10:59 pm

          Whoa – can’t wait to read that open letter! Thank you!

          Oh, and, I’m bowing appropriately before you, honey!

    • September 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      You make a great point: consider all that PBO has had to deal with on the international stage, let alone the domestic front. It’s breathtaking how very capable he is with some of the toughest challenges of the century, all the while enduring the most truculent political forces. He possesses the heart, the mind, the soul and the great energy to apply his values and principles consistently and appropriately. He sees farther into the future than just about anyone and crafts a long game that few rarely understand. He thinks when the world needs him to think and he acts only when it’s possible to achieve a goal, patient and steady. I’m just awestruck by the extraordinary vision at the core of his being. He was born for this. A GREAT man for our times.

    • 77 majiir
      September 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      PBO knows the value of humility and of approaching others with respect, something which has been missing form the characters of U.S. presidents for decades. His having lived in and visited foreign nations also makes him a unique fellow (and president) when it comes to understanding how those in other nations think. Too many Americans have become used to having a belligerent, arrogant, tough-talking POTUS, qualities they think personify strength in a POTUS. They don’t, all they do is give a false impression of strength and reveal the bully lurking underneath that some of us recognized in GWB. I think the major reason so many on the right were livid when PBO was awarded the NPP in 2009 was because they knew he was fundamentally different from Bush, a step above GWB to tell the truth. Never expect them to admit it because he’s a democrat, plus, he’s black.

    • 80 globalcitizenlinda
      September 20, 2013 at 6:52 am

      great thought, nicely put!

  34. 81 jacquelineoboomer
    September 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    This:

    “For Pres Obama figuring out how to get tomorrow right is always more useful than expending energy on recriminations for horrors that have already happened.”

    and this:

    “He says it all the time: ‘We can’t prevent all evil in the world, but how we choose to respond, that’s entirely up to us.’“

    So meaningful to read and learn! TY, zizi!

  35. 83 Jovie
    September 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    This Girl Zizi may be a Genius, ya know?

    Very smart… I wished you’d go into the Air Force they need help with engineers.
    :)

  36. September 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Once again, zizi, just exceptional analysis.

    President Rouhani’s WaPo Op-Ed is masterfully nuanced:

    “My approach to foreign policy seeks to resolve these issues by addressing their underlying causes. We must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart. We must also pay attention to the issue of identity as a key driver of tension in, and beyond, the Middle East.”

    Focus on that word – ‘identity’ – and then observe how he elaborates it:

    “We must create an atmosphere where peoples of the region can decide their own fates.”

    Followed by:

    “Rather than focusing on how to prevent things from getting worse, we need to think — and talk — about how to make things better. To do that, we all need to muster the courage to start conveying what we want — clearly, concisely and sincerely — and to back it up with the political will to take necessary action. This is the essence of my approach to constructive interaction.”

    Apart from lifting crippling sanctions against Iran, I’ll posit that eliminating the 10,000 ton gorilla in the region and securing a State for Palestinians are what President Rouhani wants and what it will take for him to achieve those two objectives has never been discussed ‘clearly, concisely & sincerely.’

    The 10,000 ton (actually, several & possibly larger) is Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

    What it will take for President Rouhani to get what he wants is ‘clear, concise & sincere’ formal recognition by Iran, and all Arab States, of Israels right to exist, Iran’s full cooperation in effecting a 2 State solution for Israel & Palestine & standing down Hezbollah, as well as, a willingness by Iran to have totally verified inspections of its current and ongoing nuclear power program. Eliminating ALL WMD from the ME should be everyone’s win-win.

    Only 1 President in my life-time even comes close to having the skill to orchestrate ‘clear, concise, sincere & constructive interaction’ – President Obama. He may just pull it off while #NEWSTAINERS, emos, teabaggers, etc., remain totally clueless as to what he’s already achieved and how he’s achieved it.

    #TrustBarack

    Yes We Can

  37. 93 donna dem 4 obama
    September 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm

  38. September 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm

  39. September 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Laura Rozen RTs a lot of people, so her Twitter timeline has a ton of posts each day.

    But she really know how to take-down know-it-alls like @JeffreyGoldberg and dimwits like @ChrisLHayes:

    Here are a couple of tweets from yesterday:

  40. September 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Arming the State Department with first-class innovation:

  41. September 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Wow, wow, wow! I feel like I have been well-schooled in foreign policy with the middle east. Fantastic brief Zizi.

  42. September 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I must commend you Zizi… this is Brilliant!
    Our blog tyrants are extremely talented. You give the likes of Chuck Todd a run for his money.
    Thank you so much for an extraordinary read.

  43. September 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    And for Lib_Lib and Japa21, maybe the Pope will be part of what’s going on in Iran (two deeply spiritual men, not as conservative as once thought…) — pure speculation on my part, but it would make this chapter of history very, very interesting. With PBO’s election in 2008 a catalyst for worldwide change. The foot-draggers seem to be the US, but we’ll eventually be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    The Cleric Who Changed
    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, was not always deeply conservative.
    By Ali Reza Eshraghi, Yasaman Baji – Iran

    • September 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      It is hard to tell, however, to what extent this transformation has roots in changes in his beliefs or to what extent it has been shaped by his position as the most powerful man in Iran. Khamenei recently said he wished he could still walk freely into the series of bookshops that stand in front of the Tehran University – a place which is known as one of the most intellectual corners of Iran.

      He seems to miss the happy days of his youth, which suggests he is not a happy man.

      What we have to remember is that Mr. Rouhani wouldn’t be able to make any of these overtures without the Ayatollah’s permission, tacit or otherwise. *He* holds ultimate authority, not the president. So this indicates a thaw in his position as well.

      • September 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        One of my references in the piece above explains Khamenei’s thinking. Two forces are nudging the shift in his stance — the overwhelming youth bulge (40% of population) that is pushing for more freedoms. Khamanei is thinking that pressure keg, if not handled properly, could unravel the structure of the Islamic revolution that the conservatives had painstakingly build 34 years ago. The second is the combination of PBO’s hardbiting economic sanctions but outstretched hand. Unlike in the past when even moderates like Rafsanjani & Khatami could not budge towards our overtures since they had not yet suffered from the sanctions, now there is incentive to do so and keep some dignity

        Ahmedinejad’s 8 yrs ended in ideological glory but economic and social unraveling. So Khamenei wants to see what Rouhani can accomplish that will make a difference.

        • September 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm

          Khamenei could go from ‘not a happy man’ to something way worse – for all the reasons you’ve outlined, zizi, particularly the burgeoning, restive ‘youth’ and the pain of the very real international sanctions our President has engineered and enforced.

          But, as noted above, what President Rouhani has enunciated in his Op-Ed is way more nuanced than anything we’ve heard from any Iranian leader, ever.

          Transitioning from a framework of ‘how not to make things worse’ to ‘how to make them better’ is tectonic. We all must never forget that the one State in the region that has an unambiguous WMD arsenal is Israel. ‘Clear, concise & sincere’ conversation about that fact has never happened.

          All parties have much to gain if the transition from ‘how not to make things worse’ to ‘how to make it better’ – a win-win for all in the region – drives a ‘clear, concise and sincere’ conversation about that fact.

  44. 112 desertflower
    September 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    zizi…brilliant just doesn’t do this post justice. This was a history lesson and a reminder to all just how capable and strong our President is. As I remember, he always LOVES foreign policy issues….thank you so much for this excellent tutorial. Your students must love you:) I know I do!

    Now this, from the bastard hypocrites that are the GOP.

    http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/09/19/congresswoman-outs-gop-saying-they-slash-food-stamps-while-dining-out/

    On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California lambasted those Republican colleagues who want to cut food aid for the poor, while they themselves rack up pricey meals during travel to foreign countries.

    “One member was given $127.41 a day for food on his trip to Argentina. He probably had a fair amount of steak. Another member was given $3,588 for food and lodging during a six-day trip to Russia. He probably drank a fair amount of vodka and probably even had some caviar. That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district. One of those people on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days,” Speier said on the House floor.

    Decorum prevented Speier from naming names, but CNN’s The Lead is restrained by no such protocol. CNN researched the public records and discovered that the gourmands in question are Republicans Steve King of Iowa and Frank Lucas of Oklahoma.

  45. 116 desertflower
    September 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/19/20584033-usis-security-firm-that-backgrounded-snowden-also-checked-navy-yard-shooter?lite

    Yeah…because private companies do this so well! They ought to be out of the background check business. NOW! This should NEVER be farmed out to a private company to do!

  46. 118 MightyPamela
    September 19, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Zizi! Whoa! I don’t know how to use characters to bow to you for this excellent writing, and a simple {{{zizi}}} seems sheepish. So ~ _/|\_ ~ Namaste, and thank you, very much. :)

  47. 120 globalcitizenlinda
    September 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    there is an area that is currently being ignored by many but in which I believe PBO and his team are making significant under-the-radar progress – I am referring to Cuba.

    It seems that the people in Team Obama who are working on the Cuban portfolio have received instructions to work quietly since this is one place where the mere mention of the country’s name makes a number of people loose their rational thoughts.

    I come across stories related to US engagement with Cuba which makes me believe that the current Castro government has been given specific goals to meet as demonstration that they want a new chapter.

    Yes reform steps taken so far are very small but I hope that many here notice that the rhetoric has been turned down.

    do not be surprised therefore if one day we wake up and the headlines are about significant moves in Cuba.

    stay tuned

  48. 123 Roberta in MN
    September 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    That was one wonderful piece written Zizi2. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am not always up on what is going on, but I have always felt President Obama was ten heads taller and think far ahead then anyone else. Thank you for putting it all together. You blog tyrants are fantastic. Thanks Chips for this safe haven.

  49. 125 vcprezofan2
    September 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Zizi, I got back not so long ago, pulled out the first FP chestnut to look at it and of course, couldn’t even sit down comfortably before pulling out all the others. (Don’t worry, I put each one back after I had inspected it.) And I read it inspected each thoroughly. Phew!

    This is terrific! You have very nicely packaged the goodies that the President has been marinating and prepping for years, and what a great ‘multi-tasker’ he is!

    TODobots are extremely fortunate because we really have little need for the MSM. The TODvillage has excellent essayists – like yourself, a resident poet laureate, hardworking mayor, writers, reporters, techie gurus, tons of research assistants, and an awesome archive department! Who could ask for anything more?

    BIG THANKS!!!

  50. 128 majiir
    September 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Although many Americans won’t give PBO credit for his foreign policy successes, history will. The president is quietly investing in his legacy and transforming American foreign policy for the better. Whether some will admit it or not, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee understood/understands President Obama better than most Americans. They acknowledged his potential to transform foreign policy and to promote the peaceful resolution of conflict among/between nations in 2009, and their faith in him has been verified. If only Stanley could see her little boy, she’d be so proud of him.

  51. 130 JER
    September 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Zizi2 — Insightful, informative, and wonderful. Truly appreicate your analysis. Thank you.

  52. September 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    New test for GOP.

    Will they block the nomination of the first Native American as a Federal Judge?

    Yoohoo, Annie Lowrey, looks like President Obama / AG Holder would rather nominate female JUDGES rather than be golfing buddies.

  53. 136 anniebella
    September 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    If Obamacare is so horrible, then why don’t the Republicans sit back and let it fall apart. Because they know it isn’t that horrible, and they are afraid it will turn out to be a success. Plus the Republicans know how dam stupid their base is, the base won’t take the time to learn that Obamacare can’t be repeal and it won’t be defunded. But their base is rule by their hate.

  54. 137 desertflower
    September 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Think Americans will finally figure out that those DEATH PANELS really DO exist and are really the GOP?

  55. September 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I guess they passed over Bill Clinton.

  56. 141 globalcitizenlinda
    September 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Zizi,

    another great piece – thanks a lot!

    have completed reading this essay for the third time – deeply thought out & well-sourced.

    keep it up.

  57. 142 HZ
    September 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Oh my.! zizi, you made me weep but oh so sweetly. I would love to be young and younger and have the honor to sit in your classes everyday!!! My, my, my. Are you sure you did not grow up right next to President Barack H. Obama and was his Best Best Friend? You spoke so precise of his core, his thinking, and his solid actions.

    BRAVO, to you, beautifully written. I am like Bobfr: when you said it was long… I wanted more every min., of my reading.
    ((((((((((((( Thank you so much, zizi)))))))))))))) Your students are so very blessed to have you teaching them. HZ

    • September 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      I do feel like his kindred spirit as I can relate to some of his childhood experiences. I was also in Kenya just a couple of years before he first visited there in 1988, and again went there just 3 months after his historic revisit in 2006 with his family and camera crew. My hubby and I heard so much about the senator from America who is one of their “own sons.” We drank the beer named after him, too :)

      • 144 HZ
        September 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm

        Zizi, thanks so much for this comment. I just felt so deeply in my being that you had to have had such an inner in tune of rare insightful kindred spirits to POB in so many ways. You spoke so beautifully about his core personality that causes him to be the great president that he is.

        I know several personal dear people who went to law school with POB, and they all speak so much like you have so beautifully laid out his actions and his personality which leads him to be such a great leader of our times.

        I hope you will maybe write a wonderful book someday after his presidency. Your gifts are so great on so many levels in your thinking and writing. I so appreciate Chips for having such great talents here to share with us during this great historically and beautiful time of this great man as our President of these United States.

        Thank you again, zizi. Just so beautiful. My heart leaped as I read. You are such a gifted writer. Enjoy your students, and I hope they appreciate you as much as I do when I read your writings. ((((( You gave this senior a breath of fresh air)))))). More people need to observe POB as you have. Great and Deep Observations Leads to Great and Deep Appreciation.HZ

  58. 145 Lovepolitics2008
    September 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Late to the party… My god ZIZI I want you on the editorial page of the NYT and the Washington Post !

    Wow, Wow, Wow !

    You explain it so beautifullly. I’ll print this one and keep it on my desk.

    You just have to post this anywhere you can. And would you mind if we tweeted / linked it on some pragmatic blogs ?

    You just “get it”, zizi. Barack Obama is a very different kind of leader.

    It may sound over the top, but watching him daily for five years now, I see him as potentially as important as Ghandi and Mandela in the world’s history. He operates in totally different circumstances than Ghandi, and has a very different job. Yet, he’s a leader for the ages. What he is doing is much more than geopolitics; he will have an impact on the world’s CONSCIOUSNESS.

    He needs all our support and prayers. The more he succeeds, the more he will be attacked. Viciously.

    • September 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Oh thanks for the compliment, senior blog tyrant. Please feel free to repost and share liberally. No problem

    • 148 majiir
      September 19, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      The public would get more insightful and fact-filled info if Zizi had access to major newspapers. A serious problem we have in this country is a dearth of educated, well-read columnists. Most of them are scribes and propagandists of the Jonathan Karl, Glenn Greenwald, and Chuck Todd variety and they’re not worth a sh*t, imo.

    • 149 theo67
      September 20, 2013 at 1:02 am

      My sister and I talked about President Obama, Ghandi and Mandela earlier today. What a coincidence.

  59. September 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Wonderful thread, Zizi. As usual, a top notch spring of intellectual and thorough might!

  60. 152 globalcitizenlinda
    September 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Oh, God help us all if this prayer of mine is answered: I pray that putin’s recent fake claims about his ‘strong respect for laws and the will of the people’ can be turned against him by his domestic opposition. I hope that the opposition can use his words against him and demand more reforms domestically.

  61. September 19, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Zizi this is truly a great article. Others have expressed the significance of your article far better than I. I read every word and returned to read it again.

    When you wrote about President Obama writing letters, I thought of the letters he wrote while he was in college. A couple of those letters are in the book “The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama”, by David Remnick . I remember thinking ‘wow, President Obama wrote beautifully and profoundly at such a young age’. I recommend this book (which I don’t often do) to anyone who has not read it. It’ll probably repeat things you already know about President Obama, but personally I don’t get tired of reading about him. Remnick is a Pulitzer Prize winner and is a very good writer himself.

    • September 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Yep indeed, I have Remnick’s book. In fact I have many of the “sensible” books on Obama. Amazingly after reading his first book, Renegade, I was never attracted to buy Richard Wolffe’s subsequent books. Now we see how much greed has pushed him into the gutter with his latest drivel.

      • September 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm

        I have Renegade as well, and will not buy a page from Wolffe, ever again. In fact, there aren’t any books lately pertaining to PBO that I would waste my hard-earned money on while those who profit from his very being smile all the way to the bank. Is it okay to say, in the presence of an esteemed writer such as yourself – F them ? :-D

  62. 160 carolyn
    September 19, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Late to this wonderful thread which opened with zizi’s amazing synthesis of President Obama’s foreign policy moves. For five years I have watched him move in ways I have not seen in my long life time. I do know that the punditry and the media blowhards never listen to a word he says. They make up their minds and then spout.
    If they had LISTENED to and understood his speech in Westminster Hall in 2011, they would not be the least bit surprised by what he is doing, and perhaps, could begin to understand it. In that speech he completely reset foreign policy dealings in the world. I’m thinking that some of the world leaders listened and took it to heart because of the results we are seeing now.
    PBO cannot be compared to any president in my life time. He truly stands alone, and history will clearly point that out.
    When it comes to dealing with dignity and his opponents always being able to come out of the process with their dignity intact, he tried to operate this way with John Boehner and company. They refused, and now they are mewling infants who have no face or dignity left. But, then they were used to dealing with a child for eight years.

  63. 164 nathkatun7
    September 19, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    It’s truly a treat to come to TOD and read posts by brilliant writers who are also well grounded in history. Thank you so much Zizi for another of your excellent posts.

  64. 166 amk for obama
    September 19, 2013 at 11:30 pm

  65. 169 Judith Fardig
    September 19, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Zizi, hope I’m not too late to join the chorus of praise for you thoughtful and thorough post. I look forward to re-reading it many times.

  66. 171 sjterrid
    September 20, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Zizi, Just wanted to thank you for another brilliant essay. Your posts are always so informative, and you should never think it would be too long.

  67. 172 Smoothscotch
    September 20, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Hi zizi,

    WOW. I am going to print this to add to my collection on PBO. WOW, that is all.

    Thank you.

  68. 173 lilaeafae
    September 20, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I had to delurk to say how wonderful this post is and how wonderful it is to have a President like President Obama. I’m biracial (white/persian and Syrian, born in Australia, lived and fell in love with the USA) and Jewish and somehow all of that makes it more beautiful. Basically, wow.

    • September 20, 2013 at 8:41 am

      Welcome to TOD. Thanks for delurking. We always want your contribution here. We care for each other as the corporate media is unwilling and unable to adequately inform us. :D

      • 175 Lila
        September 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm

        It’s a pleasure, zizi. I’ve been reading and enjoying for a while (I was in the US as an exchange student in 2007 and sort of discovered President Obama from there) but am shy.

  69. 176 Nena20409
    September 20, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Due to my nasty cold, I checked out earlier.

    I am sipping tea with lemon, coughing, sneezing and wiping both my nose and eyes as I read this masterpiece Zizi2. Wow. Brilliant. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, so very, very much.

  70. September 20, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    zizi2
    Doll, that was one helluva piece of writing. Everything you said was bullseyed. Don’t keep it to ya self, let all that wisdom and knowledge flow.

    PBO. Either u love him or u hate him.

    Since the DNC in 2006, i have personally vested and vetted this gentleman. When he officially announced his presidency in February, 2007 in Springfield, IL., on the steps of the capital building, a cold but brisk sunshiny day, my progressive child was born. I was smitten by the aura that I saw surrounding him, and the energy and excitement exuding from him (or in retrospect, maybe the excitement part was me!). Thru my teevee, on that day, I could tell that this was the one man I let come into my life that would not bring harm to me, or anyone else for that matter. Some says I think about that day and smile as I wonder why so many people hate him, but knowing why so many people love him.

    Since the beginning, his message has not changed. His history pushes this message: WE are all in this together. Whether we were born with a golden spoon or a plastic one, WE do not walk this journey alone.

    Speaking of journey, it has been one fierce battle after another, but how uncanny it is that he always comes out on top. He stays ahead of the game because he thinks about how each move he makes affects the many and not the few. His integrity is constantly being under heavy fire, and he still gets up every morning thinking what is it he can do, with or without his compradres, to make life better for all of us. I get so tired and sometimes discouraged for him, and for all of us that can see thru the muck and hateful spewing and personal attacks. I truly know now and one of the many things I see in him is that patience is a virtue!

    WE, THE PEOPLE, January, 2013. It was a warning shot that told everyone listening–I’m coming, and the truth is coming with me! Noticeably he has a way with words that 3/4 of the ears hearing have no clue to what he’s saying. You do, and I see many of your responders do too!
    As PBO said at DNC, 2012: (quoting who? Abe Lincoln of course) “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.” Lets continue to raise him up in prayer, for this journey will definately get harder before it gets better! BTW, as I read both speeches again and look at whats going on today, this quote from Lincoln comes to my mind “I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”

  71. 179 BeccaC
    September 22, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Who is zizi2 and why have I never heard of him/her (until incidentally steered this way by a NYT commenter) and most vehemently why isn’t this blog massively viral and its author at the top of the media pack? Well, don’t answer the latter, it’s wistful, but this really is the best read I’ve stumbled on for a very long time and a great relief from the compulsive stupid-Schadenfreude from all of the usual places. This country devours its own good over and over, it’s like a mindless, nihilistic appetite. Mindless loyalty is an evil, but so is the incapacity for any loyalty at all and the inability to tell the difference. I stand by my vote. Thanks – excellent, very smart analysis.

    • September 23, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Thanks so much for coming here. Please come back and join our conversations. We are just a bunch of pragmatists who pay close attention to what Pres Obama says and actually does. That’s all. The corporate overpaid media has its own agenda, which is to carry GOP/corporate puppeteers’ water at ALL times. So it’s sad but not at all surprising that FACTUAL news is lacking, as are thoughtful analyses about anything this President does. Here, we reverse that gaping hole in news coverage about POTUS’s actions.

      Have a blessed day

  72. 181 Churchlady
    September 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    First, because I don’t always check in, zizi – what is the word on your mentor in Kenya? I may have missed it, but I hope upon hope the news is good?

    Second – this president has ended forever the Cold War policies that existed since the 1947 National Security Council memor #68 that mandated US intervention into every other nation’s business especially if it was to prop up dictators. I have a very intimate reason to know that Myanmar’s military dictatorship had a highly unsavory relationship with C Street Dominionists – the latter have long supported dictators of all stripes SO LONG AS they deferred to Christian Dominionist power. (See Jeff Sharlet’s book, “The Family” for the awful details.) Barak Obama, using Hillary Clinton’s ability to work with C Street, with almost any foreign head of state, etc., ended that tyranny. PBO has ended the interventionism on behalf of RW dictators – and his refusal to honor the Honduran coup was a first case and much of the reason the RW HATE him. You’re supposed to prop up RW dictators if you’re president! PBO has changed the world – and for the better. Long overdue that we watch what he is doing and see what he has accomplished.


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