Off on a two week
Hollywood Hawaiian vacation Obama is busy taking care, as usual, of what benefits himself. The world is going to hell in a hand-basket, but Obama is too busy to care – presumably flashing his manboobs on sandy beaches and on the luxurious estate he now calls home.
We are thankful that finally we have a respite from the ceaseless Obama publicity stunt appearances, but many are asking “Where’s Obama?”
Still no word from the president about the failed Christmas Day terrorism attempt, but the White House did distribute a statement from him today on the death of Percy Sutton.
Obama called Sutton “a true hero to African Americans in New York City and around the country” whose “life-long dedication to the fight for civil rights and his career as an entrepreneur and public servant made the rise of countless young African Americans possible.”
The president also made time for a workout and some early-morning basketball today. On the guest list for a couple of games at the gym: Marty Nesbitt, Eric Whitaker, Denis McDonough, Bill Burton, Reggie Love, Pete Newell, Grant Campbell and Ben Finkenbinder.
Today, another incident on a flight from Amsterdam (another Nigerian it appears, on the same flight number) but Obama is busy – possibly watching Tiger Woods videos to improve his laughable golf game.
Where’s Obama? Certainly not thinking about the deaths in Iran.
Iranian police opened fire on protesters in Tehran on Sunday, killing at least four people, including a nephew of the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi, as vast crowds of demonstrators flooded the streets of cities across Iran and fiercely fought security forces, according to witnesses and opposition Web sites.
The protests, taking place on the holiday marking the death of Shiite Islam’s holiest martyr, were the bloodiest — and among the largest — since the uprisings that followed Iran’s disputed presidential election last June, with hundreds of thousands of people thronging Tehran alone, witnesses said. There were reports of hundreds of injured people and numerous arrests.
In Tehran, thick crowds marched down a central avenue in mid-morning, defying official warnings of a harsh crackdown on protests as they chanted, “Death to the dictator!” They refused to retreat even as police fired tear gas, charged them with batons and discharged warning shots.
The police then opened fire directly into the crowd, opposition Web sites said, citing witnesses. At least four people were killed, the Web sites reported, and photographs circulated of a man with a bloodied head being carried from the scene.
One of the dead was Ali Moussavi, Mr. Moussavi’s 35-year-old nephew, the Parleman News Web site reported. He was shot near the heart at midday in Tehran’s Enghelab Square, the report said.
The Iranian people are rising against their oppressors. Obama however is busy flashing his manboobs and looking at the mirror and thinking “What a clever fellow am I.” For Americans it is a lost opportunity to express solidarity with a freedom movement filled with real Hope for real Change. But Obama is missing.
The day’s clashes showed an opposition movement that is becoming bolder and more direct in its challenge to Iran’s ruling authorities. Yet the protesters continued to reclaim Islamic symbols from the government, which has cast its opponents as anti-religious rioters. On Saturday, when protesters gathered outside a prayer hall where the reformist former president Muhammad Khatami was speaking, they chanted, “The family of the Imam are with us,” a reference to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s 1979 revolution. Ayatollah Khomeini’s grandson, Hassan, is widely said to support the opposition movement.
Charles Krauthammer, before the latest bloodletting in Iran, called Obama “feckless”.
On Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not just reject President Obama’s latest feckless floating nuclear deadline. He spat on it, declaring that Iran “will continue resisting” until the U.S. has gotten rid of its 8,000 nuclear warheads.
So ends 2009, the year of “engagement,” of the extended hand, of the gratuitous apology — and of spinning centrifuges, two-stage rockets and a secret enrichment facility that brought Iran materially closer to becoming a nuclear power.
We lost a year. But it was not just any year. It was a year of spectacularly squandered opportunity. In Iran, it was a year of revolution, beginning with a contested election and culminating this week in huge demonstrations mourning the death of the dissident Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri — and demanding no longer a recount of the stolen election but the overthrow of the clerical dictatorship.
Obama responded by distancing himself from this new birth of freedom. First, scandalous silence. Then, a few grudging words. Then relentless engagement with the murderous regime. With offer after offer, gesture after gesture — to not Iran, but the “Islamic Republic of Iran,” as Obama ever so respectfully called these clerical fascists — the U.S. conferred legitimacy on a regime desperate to regain it.
Why is this so important? Because revolutions succeed at that singular moment, that imperceptible historical inflection, when the people, and particularly those in power, realize that the regime has lost the mandate of heaven. With this weakening dictatorship desperate for affirmation, why is the U.S. repeatedly offering just such affirmation?
Apart from ostracizing and delegitimizing these gangsters, we should be encouraging and reinforcing the demonstrators.
Poor Charles Krauthammer. He thinks Obama cares. Obama only cares for his comfort and his self-advancement. Why should he disturb his slumbers and the airing of his manboobs?
Obama is not about to rouse himself to denounce a privileged terrorist.
With his wealth, privilege and education at one of Britain’s leading universities, Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab had the world at his feet – able to choose from a range of futures in which to make his mark on the world.
Instead, the son of one of Nigeria’s most important figures opted to make his impact in a very different way – by detonating 80g of explosives sewn into his underpants, and trying to destroy a passenger jet as it came in to land at Detroit Airport on Christmas Day.
As he was charged by US authorities last night with attempting to blow up an airliner, a surprising picture emerged of the would-be bomber.
Abdulmutallab, 23, had lived a gilded life, and, for the three years he studied in London, he stayed in a £2m flat. He was from a very different background to many of the other al-Qa’ida recruits who opt for martyrdom.
Perhaps Obama viewed Abdulmutallab as a potential donor. In either case, Obama has gone missing even as Abdulmutallab’s father took steps which must be the most painful a father can ever take:
Abdulmutallab’s father, Umaru, is the former economics minister of Nigeria. He retired earlier this month as the chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria but is still on the boards of several of Nigeria’s biggest firms, including Jaiz International, a holding company for the Islamic Bank. The 70-year-old, who was also educated in London, holds the Commander of the Order of the Niger as well as the Italian Order of Merit.
Dr Mutallab said he was planning to meet with police in Nigeria last night after realising his son had joined the notorious roster of al-Qa’ida terrorists, and is said to have warned the US authorities about his son’s extreme views six months ago.
Dr. Mutallab, presumably in deep pain, did his duty and reported his terrorist son. But duty is not in the Obama vocabulary. “Self-advancement” and “careerism”, as Michelle Obama herself described Obama, are part of Obama’s life aims.
Where’s Obama? Ask his freezing constituents in Chicago. Ask those in Illinois when Obama killed universal health care from the state legislature. Ask those Obama bamboozled by pretending to oppose Exelon on radioactive leaks while really siding with Exelon.
Where’s Obama? Obama is on the side of what benefits himself. The concerns of ordinary Americans are not to be found in Obama’s mirror.
Where’s Obama? Like George W. Bush, Obama is on vacation when he should be on the job.