First Lady Michelle Obama, U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband Joachim Sauer attend the dinner given in honour of President Obama at the Orangerie of Schloss Charlottenburg palace on June 19, 2013 in Berlin, Germany.
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Ulrich Grillo, president of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), toasts his glass next to U.S. President Barack Obama
Roland Nelles: In his speech at the Brandenburg Gate, Obama covered a broad gamut of issues — from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Arab Spring. Freedom and the fight against poverty — those were the main topics the president used in Berlin to win over his listeners. Obama stands for a better America. In contrast to his predecessor George W. Bush, Obama doesn’t try to impose his terms on the world — he seeks cooperation. He tries to find common ground with other countries and people rather than seeking to emphasize differences. That alone is of particular value in a world in which ever more fanatics are spouting off about some “conflict of civilizations.”
Obama tries to promote his policies abroad. He doesn’t stray from his positions, but he does explain himself and he tries to address peoples’ concerns comprehensively — especially pertaining to something like the NSA’s Prism spying program. He noted in Germany that the electronic eavesdropping program has saved lives — in Germany, as well. He doesn’t arrogantly skate around criticism. Instead he fights for trust. By doing so, he deserves it.
First Lady Michelle Obama, with her daughters Malia and Sasha, Auma Obama, and German Chancellor’s husband Joachim Sauer visit the Berlin Wall memorial at Bernauer Strasse on June 19, 2013 in Berlin, Germany.