The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The speech

Our new president has become famous for his oratory skills. He's given more speeches since entering the office than both Bushes and Clinton put together. His inaugural speech did not approach his nomination acceptance speech. But, my oh my, he is good.

Today, a speech was given at the UN. It is an important, ballsy speech. It is a call to conscience. It is, perhaps, the best speech and I fear the most historically significant speech I've heard since Martin Luther King's "I have a dream."

It is about how we humans are unteachable. It is about not repeating history.

Read it here. It's important.


Bill Fleming said...

So what's the solution, Mike? I'll show you mine if you show me yours. You first.

Michael Sanborn said...

This is why the United Nations exists. I fear that President Obama does not have the resolve or the conviction to lead here. I do not believe Iran takes him – or anyone else – seriously.

If the UN will not vote to stop Iran, it is my deepest fear that only Great Britain will come to their aid and my country will throw them under the bus.

I don't have a solution. But a solution has to come from the world. If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, they will immediately use it on Israel, if they are fast enough and smart enough.

If Israel does a preventive strike and destroys their ability to make a nuclear weapon, I think we must stand behind them. I do not see our President offering U.S. aid. Honestly, I don't think he has the intestinal fortitude. And, believe me Bill, I wish I didn't think that.

caheidelberger said...

Is the throwaway and unsupported line about Obama giving more speeches in eight months than three presidents over 20 years necessary? Do you really want me to go to the Bush Library, do a search on "speech," get 367 results, and ask you to offer a count of Obama's speeches?

I'm sure Netanyahu has given a whole lot of speeches, too. But if humans are unteachable, how do we not repeat history? You want to pick out a couple different lines to summarize this allegedly profound speech.

Note also that the U.S. delegation joined several others who walked out when Ahmadinejad spoke. Sounds like the Obama Administration is on target there.

No intestinal fortitude to back Israel if they wipe out Iran's nuclear capacity? Do you have some evidence of that, Mike, or is that just something you like to say to encourage others in the belief that Obama is a weak and unmanly president who ought not be followed on other policy matters? I'm sure we can find all sorts of examples of diplomatic words used by Reagan, Bush, and Clinton that could give the impression that they wouldn't jump to forceful action... yet we can find each of them did take forceful action at various critical junctures (well, except maybe that Reagan character: one bloody nose in Beirut, and he pulled the Marines out of Lebanon and started trading arms for hostages with Iran—whither intestinal fortitude, Gipper?).

I too wish you didn't think what you think, Mike. I offer you the simple solution: don't think it until you can offer some firmer evidence. Maybe even don't make up thoughts about what we cannot know until the actual situation arises.

caheidelberger said...

by the way, not everyone thinks Israel needs to be terrified of Iran. After all, Israel has 50 to 200 nuclear weapons; Iran has none:

And the man with the coolest name in the world thinks the intestinally fortitudinous (and correct) thing for the U.S. to do would be to send up jets to intercept and shoot down any pre-emptive Israeli attack on Iran:

Bill Fleming said...

The best action I can recommend is for everyone in the US to read "Treacherous Alliance" by Trita Parsi.

Things are not what they seem between Israel and Iran. It's a bewilderingly complex game of cat and mouse with a very ancient history.

Having said that, I just want to point out that even as Netanyahu bemoans Iran's refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli state, he is in effect doing the same thing to Iran and Palestine.

Disarmament is essential in my opinion. The nuclear option has to be taken off the table. And a diplomatic solution has to be reached. Now. It's time.

The best Obama can do in this regard is to be an honest broker and call everyone in the game on their ridiculous four thousand year old bullshit.

Like I said, to appreciate what I'm talking about, you have to read Trita Parsi's book. I bet Barack Obama has.

Thad Wasson said...

American leaders did not do anything to Iran during and after the 1979 hostage crisis. Our leaders coward from doing anything abour the Iranian involvement in roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We have sold our souls to the Arabs. Don't get your hopes up for an American strike on Iran.

Michael Sanborn said...

Bill, Cory

All you say would make perfect sense if President Ahmadinejad was remotely sane. He isn't. Given a nuclear weapon, he won't hesitate to try to use it.

Number of source was CBS News. He had given more than 200 by July 13. My critique of the inaugural was a throw-away, I agree.

I'm not dissing Obama for the number of speeches he gives. He's good at it and it serves the public, as it did when Reagan gave a lot of speeches.

I have no evidence that Obama hasn't the guts to back Israel in the event of an Iranian attack. It is, as I said, a gut feeling that I sincerely hope is wrong.

To his credit, Obama is talking very tough about the Iranian's second enrichment plant at the G20 today in Pittsburgh.

In his speech, Netanyahu was referring to Winston Churchill's remark about mankind being unteachable. Netanyahu was making an appeal for learning from the past.

I would love to see unilateral nuclear disarmament. But then there are the crazies...

Bill Fleming said...

Well, Mike, all I know is what I read in books like Parsi's and in the newspapers, but it is my understanding that Ahmadinejad is just posturing,
and has little if any ultimate power. i.e. Iran is a Theocracy controlled by Imams who are in turn in conflict with each other, hence the Iran revolution.