"There have been times when Americans shown arrogance, and been dismissive even derisive" were the words of Barack Obama in Strasbourg France. I have never heard a president talk this way about our country. I have never heard another chief of state talk this way about his/her country. Obama continued to rapturous applause, "The United States does not and will not torture." The United States has never tortured, so to say that we do not torture implies that we did torture. In his speeches, he continues to create the narrative that President Bush was the evil one and he is the savior. No other president has continuously mentioned their predecessor the way Obama does. Once the campaign has been fought and won, the candidate should move from candidacy to presidency or one would think. Obama seems to be stuck in campaign mode 24/7.
When I travelled to Spain the first time in the early seventy's, there were several things I noticed. It was like travelling to a country in miniature. Everything was on a smaller scale. The average Spaniard lived in what is known as a "piso" or basically a small flat. Virtually no one owned a single family dwelling. Most families could not afford a car, and when they could, the typical family would purchase a small seat. Women did not drive. Television was still in black and white. The Spanish did not travel not even to their neighboring country France. Francisco Franco was still in power. The standard of living in Spain was lower than the rest of Europe, but even the other countries in Europe did not have near the standard of living the United States had.
Franco was the last of the fascist dictators in Europe. He died in November 1975 and for the next several years Spain entered a period which was known as "the transition," that period of time when Spain morphed from a dictatorship to a democracy. In June 1977, Adolfo Suárez was elected the first Spanish president. In 1986, Spain joined the European Union. The European Union allowed Europe to compete on a wider scale, and it also raised the standard of living for the typical Spaniard. There have been many problems with the European Union, but it has made life better for most of Europe's citizens.
Spain is a young democracy. This generation of Spaniards can afford much more than their parents. Many have been able to travel, and some have even bought single family dwellings. Most of the population however still lives in "pisos." The United States has 200 years of free trade experience, which has allowed the United States to grow into a very wealthy country. We have had rough spots, but what cannot be denied is that the United States' wealth continues to grow. When I travelled to Europe, I knew I was better off and the Europeans knew I was better off. I made many friends many with whom I still keep in contact. Contrary to popular belief, the Europeans do not hate Americans. I have never had trouble making friends with Europeans and vice versa. In fact, I always say, if you are young go to Europe because they know how to party, but when you have to work come to the United States, (Spain's unemployment rate is currently 16%, the highest of all the European countries) because you can live much better in the United States since the standard of living is much higher.
The point is America was and is (for now) number one, and it was a good feeling. It was a good feeling to see the Spanish look up to you. I found this everywhere I went. If you want to call it arrogance – so be it. But America has done more good for the world than any other country. Why would we want to give this up and just be one more country in the European Union? We will always make mistakes but for Barack Obama to go out and say, "America has shown arrogance" I can only think of the words my father would say to me when I was young, "you don't know when to shut up."
In his speech in Turkey, Obama said that Turkey's future is with the European Union. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France stated, "I have always been opposed to this entry and I remain opposed." France's problems with the Muslim population continue to grow. Muslims do not assimilate into French society. Instead they maintain ties with their country of origin, build their own communities and are the biggest recipients of the social welfare state. Unemployment among second generation Muslim youth is consistently higher than the rest of France. This has resulted in discrimination and riots. The fertility rate in France is about two babies per woman, but the Muslims have a fertility rate of about seven. French society has become unnerved about the prospect of the Islamization of their country. One of the platforms on which Sarkozy was elected was the immigration issue, (i.e.: the Muslims) – adding Turkey and its 60-70 million Muslims to the mix would not advance Sarkozy's or France's agenda.
Obama continuously tries to appeal to the moderates of Islam. Prime Minister Ergdogan of Turkey had this response to Obama, "there is no "moderate Islam."
Obama also said in his speech in Turkey, "we are not at war with Muslims." Whoever said we were? And why does the president have to keep reiterating this fact. There is a certain population within Islam, the radicals with whom we are at war. Debbie Schlussel has made the observation that Muslims have declared war on us, and she notes Obama is now using his middle name Hussein which was verboten during the campaign. If anyone has declared war on Muslims, it was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish leader after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. He waged war against the institutions of Islam. He established a representative Democracy, abolished the Caliphate and began to modernize Turkey. His goal was to secularize Turkey.
Ataturk had much success with the secularization of Turkey and much of his reforms are still in place, but Islam still simmers below the surface. In a speech on Secularism, Prime Minister Ergdogan, the current leader of Turkey said, "It is not possible to be secular and Muslim at the same time." Many of Ataturk's reforms remain, but Turkey remains profoundly Islamic.
Please inform President Obama there is no language called Austrian – the language in Austria is not Austrian, it is German.
With all the adulation and accolades the Europeans showered upon Obama as the messiah (note: small m, I only use a capital M for the real Messiah), we did not get much. Obama failed to part the seas. Not one single additional French soldier will be sent to Afghanistan but Sarkozy did berate Obama for suggesting that Turkey be a part of the European Union. Oh, and Sarkozy agreed to take one inmate from Guatanamo - how is that for European cooperation that Obama touted? Russia agreed to reduce its nuclear stockpile which means we will reduce ours, but Russia will not reduce theirs. Even one of Obama's senior advisers stated that the Russian deal could amount to nothing. Der Spegiel magazine in Germany quoted Obama as saying that America was to blame for the economic crisis. It appears this new relationship with Europe because we now have the messiah is working. NOT! The most important item that Obama left behind from his European Vacation was the knowledge to our enemies that Obama is weak.