Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html en-gb 30 Sat 02 Aug 2014 07:17:27 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html krishnamurthi ramachandran http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=98#comment98 Dear,Mr.Justin,Just i have finished of your bolg-writing,commenced to write about this writing.As you aware,during last year American Presidential election,many individuals had written about Mr.Oama!s concern on total issues,from day today economic to nuclear weapons.His own party heavy weights had criticised of his approach,follow up actions for racial,ethnic,religious matters and about post Irag conflicts,his foreign policies towards middle east and particularly to Cuba.What happened.Mr.Obama came out with flying colors in presidential election.Mr.Obama has his own crowd pulling,convincing abilities,understanding with his own team ,and he has very good social networks.Personally,happily saying,first time in my life,i am following Obama in Twitter,writing comments see this world in Face Book,and getting messages from White House.Still,more hours,days,months,years to watch of his perfomances.Green light always shows to Mr.Obama. Sat 04 Jul 2009 09:57:44 GMT+1 alphamiguel http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=97#comment97 64."Is the US an empire"The US is a Corporation. Mon 22 Jun 2009 15:09:47 GMT+1 U14028224 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=96#comment96 You could say Hispanic's or Latino's form Mexico, Puerto Rica, Cuba, South or Central American, etc were in the Americas before any Europeans got there and they didn't really come to the States because they were always there. Wed 10 Jun 2009 22:08:11 GMT+1 BRIANCM http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=95#comment95 So, what is this La Raza of which Judge Sotomayor is a member? To listen to some, its quite scary. On May 28, Tom Tancredo, a former congressman from Colorado and a spokesman against illegal immigration, appeared on CNN comparing La Raza to the Ku Klux Klan which does seem rather histrionic, as reports of Hispanic vigilante lynchings have been rather thin. In only slightly more modified tones, a World Net Daily piece says the National Council of La Raza embraces the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan which sees the Race as part of an ethnic group that one day will reclaim Aztlan, the mythical birthplace of the Aztecs. In Chicano folklore, Aztlan includes California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas. The trouble is, there doesnt appear to be much connection between the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan and the National Council of La Raza, though the multiplicity of organizations with similar names, such as the unrelated La Raza Unida, may be responsible for the confusion. Does anyone mind that I am a member of La Blanco? I am not running for any political office, just trying to retain my heritage. Wed 10 Jun 2009 21:36:46 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=94#comment94 84 simon Oh put like that I'm in total agreement.;) Mon 08 Jun 2009 18:54:16 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=93#comment93 92 lol polite may be but you will be lucky to get a response from justin. He prefers to throw some chum in and watch Mon 08 Jun 2009 18:47:41 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=92#comment92 82. At 7:17pm on 07 Jun 2009, McJakome wrote: "I guess you're saying we have to look at causes and those who caused them in order to understand and fix a problem."This is always true. What problem can be ultimately solved without looking at its causes?"How does knowing that New England rum producers and Southern planters were responsible for slavery in the US help fix the problems in US race relations today?"Well first you need to know the economic and social basis of slavery and how these continue in various manifestations today.You certainly cannot solve race relations by presuming these only arose in 2009." First what percentage of responsibility do you assign each, and then don't you have to take account of Africans engaging in the slave trade? Next ask for reparations from people whose ancestors had no part in that. So you end up with everybody angry and pointing fingers with no resolution [IMHO]."this oddly assumes ecveryone is responsible for everything in equal measure.Transatlantic slavery was a white initiative, no one serr iously disputes this.In any case it is a cod argument. Should we ditch holocaust remembrance day (I would argue yes, on the grounds there was no holocaust(pace Levi) only mass murder) because one could include every country as being equally responsible?History and our perception of it matters as memory matters to every human being. In the US they celebrate independence day, in Australia Australia day all countries pay regard to history.Unfortuantely however history occassionally throws out uncomfortable facts and interpretations, but that is knowledge for you. Mon 08 Jun 2009 14:54:23 GMT+1 courteousElise http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=91#comment91 Hi Justin,Do you read your comments ?I was wondering if you had time to reply to mine from a few days ago ? Thank you. Mon 08 Jun 2009 07:57:43 GMT+1 U14017943 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=90#comment90 ""Insults and ad hominem attack indicate that you have nothing to contribute and or are unable to respond at the appropriate "intellectual" level, and this on two fronts.""+Ooh, suit youpoint was woody allen film = pseudo intellectual = reminded me of you i.e.no insultno ad hom attack+it don't indicate a goddamn thing mr la di dah 'you have nothing to contribute and are unable to respond'+ are you really american Mon 08 Jun 2009 00:46:55 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=89#comment89 "89. At 00:20am on 08 Jun 2009, U14017943 wrote: i.e. pseudo intellectual sounding but not really intellectual at all imho"Insults and ad hominem attack indicate that you have nothing to contribute and or are unable to respond at the appropriate "intellectual" level, and this on two fronts. I will ignore you. I will not complain about your inappropriate comments because that would mean I take you seriously. It would also be an attack on your right to free speech should the moderators decide to silence you. Mon 08 Jun 2009 00:04:49 GMT+1 U14017943 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=88#comment88 i.e. pseudo intellectual sounding but not really intellectual at all imho Sun 07 Jun 2009 23:20:11 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=87#comment87 "87. At 11:40pm on 07 Jun 2009, U14017943 wrote: McJakome you sound a more like a woody allen film to be honest"Is that a compliment, a put down or a nonsequitur. Sun 07 Jun 2009 23:13:23 GMT+1 U14017943 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=86#comment86 McJakome you sound a more like a woody allen film to be honest Sun 07 Jun 2009 22:40:15 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=85#comment85 Justin--"...And an observation after meeting him: he should ditch the search for a church and become a Quaker. Talking to him about family matters (type one diabetes of course) he was sympathetic and engaged and plain-spoken without at any stage being the slightest bit sentimental or gushing...."For a secular state, the US has a lot of religious issues [and distractions] to deal with. Given this and his personal issues [i.e. Pastor Wright] his search for a church to attend is fraught. It is also very political, should he choose a liberal right to choose or conservative right to life church.If I weren't a Unitarian I could easily be a Quaker, at least until they banished me for verbosity [my posts probably show that I would not be a good fit for a congregation preferring silent meditation with an occasional call to bear witness briefly]. This might also be a problem for President Obama. Quaker pacifism might be a problem, though it didn't seem to bother Richard Nixon overmuch.These two threads are very interesting and informative [good job there] but they have gotten tangled together, is there any way to separate them?Keep up the good work. Sun 07 Jun 2009 21:20:29 GMT+1 U14017943 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=84#comment84 82. At 7:17pm on 07 Jun 2009, McJakome wrote:""I guess you're saying we have to look at causes and those who caused them in order to understand and fix a problem. That is sometimes true, but can lead to more problems. How does knowing that New England rum producers and Southern planters were responsible for slavery in the US help fix the problems in US race relations today? First what percentage of responsibility do you assign each, and then don't you have to take account of Africans engaging in the slave trade? Next ask for reparations from people whose ancestors had no part in that. So you end up with everybody angry and pointing fingers with no resolution [IMHO].Better to "let the dead past bury its dead." Deal with the problems of today in today's terms, and everybody take responsibility for their actions, inactions, lapses, etc.""+I wasn't talking about african slavery in the past per se, except maybe for the concept that we are indentured slaves / chattel for the masters or our creditors today, but it is good to study history and geography to understand how we got here and where we are going. The point I was trying to make was that the crime ministers involved in the manufacture and distribution of killer weaponry and hard drugs etc are funded by big businesses who also have dealings with covert government agencies, armies etc. Sun 07 Jun 2009 19:52:43 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=83#comment83 72. At 03:54am on 07 Jun 2009, happylaze wrote: simon on the quiet I must have missed TT story from S africa. But I do remember that RobLoop was s african. are you maybe confused?"No I take the view that both are probably the same person or the same family or the same party.Their views are pretty much textbook for those raised inteh RSA where violence against native peoples was practically a cult Sun 07 Jun 2009 18:50:03 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=82#comment82 76, McJ -No, it is not false balance (and by the way, that is not my term; it's a media expression) to report what has actually happened on both sides of an issue, although those on opposite sides may think that any mention of the other side is prejudicial.I guess the best example of false balance I can come up with would be "balancing" a report on the holocaust with an interview with a holocaust denier. Or a report on a lynching with a statement from the Klan on why lynchings are good for society.Or to bring it more up to date, "balancing" a report on a family who has lost everything they own due to medical bills with an interview with an insurance executive who states that "socialized" medicine would ruin this family even more. Which I actually heard at some point on NPR. Sun 07 Jun 2009 18:25:36 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=81#comment81 79. At 5:38pm on 07 Jun 2009, U14017943 wrote: Mc Jacme'mo examples:who makes the bombs and who buys and sells bombs, before there are dead civilians and a messed up societywho makes the smack and who buys and sells the smack, before there are dead civilians and a messed up society(you can replace the above with guns and crack too in the demand + supply chain)(also street gangs, business and political scenario's can apply)"I guess you're saying we have to look at causes and those who caused them in order to understand and fix a problem. That is sometimes true, but can lead to more problems. How does knowing that New England rum producers and Southern planters were responsible for slavery in the US help fix the problems in US race relations today? First what percentage of responsibility do you assign each, and then don't you have to take account of Africans engaging in the slave trade? Next ask for reparations from people whose ancestors had no part in that. So you end up with everybody angry and pointing fingers with no resolution [IMHO].Better to "let the dead past bury its dead." Deal with the problems of today in today's terms, and everybody take responsibility for their actions, inactions, lapses, etc. Sun 07 Jun 2009 18:17:31 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=80#comment80 79well said Sun 07 Jun 2009 17:19:09 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=79#comment79 70. At 01:21am on 07 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote: Well said. Issues are notbalanced. The whole concept is ridiculous. Sun 07 Jun 2009 17:15:11 GMT+1 U14017943 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=78#comment78 Mc Jacme"""Palestinian militants fire a rocket into an Israeli bus, which destroyes the bus, kills 2 elderly women and three children in addition to 2 IDF members. Israel retaliates with a barrage that destroys a house and two vehicles and, in addidion, this kills two militants, 2 women, their husbands and 6 children. In terms of fighters there is the equivalency of 2 for 2, the rest is usually [in my opinion immorally] dismissed as collateral damage. The Palestinians will claim a victory, the Israelis will claim just retribution, and the world opinion will either support Israel whatever they do [MAII] because the Palestinians had it coming, or claim it is a typical Zionist aggression [the UN and left leaning sources].""""+'mo examples:who makes the bombs and who buys and sells bombs, before there are dead civilians and a messed up societywho makes the smack and who buys and sells the smack, before there are dead civilians and a messed up society(you can replace the above with guns and crack too in the demand + supply chain)(also street gangs, business and political scenario's can apply) Sun 07 Jun 2009 16:38:09 GMT+1 U14017943 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=77#comment77 McJakome"'.. either support Israel whatever they do [MAII] because the Palestinians had it coming"+Hmm interesting point is MAII really possibly the head of israel (as well as truetoo) and not a US Resident and more of a visiting alien or tourist..what time zone is he in Sun 07 Jun 2009 16:11:26 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=76#comment76 "71. At 01:46am on 07 Jun 2009, BRIANCM wrote: Justin, Obama chose Sotomayor because of her race and her gender."Have you succeeded in planting a listening device in the White House? Or perhaps you are a mentalist who has read President Obama's mind?I am sorry but I dislike such bald assertions of knowledge that nobody outside the White House is likely to have. You probably meant to say that you believe the president's announcement to have indicated such a rationale. Or that Rush Limbaugh has assured you that it is true. The US is not as simple as outsiders [even a surprising number of Americans] believe. The present US government has been in uninterrupted existence since 1789. During the Civil War the political process and elections continued on schedule on both sides.The result is that the adjective Byzantine can justly be used on the government and process. It sounds [and can be shown in a sense to be] undemocratic and racist to appoint someone with race, color, gender or other factor other than ability as a major factor. However, consider this, was it racist for post apartheit South Africa to appoint or elect blacks and coloreds to government offices?The US is trying to address historical underrepresentation of "minorities." The truth is that most positions of power and authority in business as well as government have been held by white men, and white men are definitely a minority. When a minority [ie. white males] has been in control for such a long time it isn't undemocratic to seek broader representation, and that results in the appearance of bias.To broaden the influence of other than white males is not an undemocratic bias, however, this must not be tokenism or appointment of unqualified persons as this would produce very destructive results.The first question critics should ask is, whether judge Sotomayor has the appropriate legal and professional qualifications for the job. [Most say yes.] The second question should be whether she has the correct temperament (including a commitment to fairness). [There are some doubts that need to be examined.] The third question should be whether her record of decisions is within the mainstream. [This is the real point of contention, whatever the pros and antis say. The US is a country in which there are great differences of opinon [such as on abortion] and the supreme court being the penultimate decider of the law [the ammendment process being very difficult] appointees have great authority and appointments are fraught with social and political consequences.] Sun 07 Jun 2009 15:33:49 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=75#comment75 "70. At 01:21am on 07 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote: 65, McJakome -False balance is giving equal time and credence to opposing opinions no matter what those opinions or their source might be. An egregious hypothetical example would be asking bin Laden to give his opinion on a speech of Obama's. Or giving Hitler equal time with Churchill or Roosevelt...."Thank you for the clear and thoughtful answer. I think I would call that misdirection [a common propaganda ploy] rather than false balance. Or perhaps one could call it making a false equivalency. Making any such assertion is a problem because it involves the one sided assertion of a value judgement. Taking the example above, fairness would seem to require listening to both Hitler and Churchill and then making an independent judgement on what each asserted, leaving aside the propaganda and rhetoric on both sides. That is really a difficult proposition, especially in messy real world situations. Let's take a more real world example.Palestinian militants fire a rocket into an Israeli bus, which destroyes the bus, kills 2 elderly women and three children in addition to 2 IDF members. Israel retaliates with a barrage that destroys a house and two vehicles and, in addidion, this kills two militants, 2 women, their husbands and 6 children. In terms of fighters there is the equivalency of 2 for 2, the rest is usually [in my opinion immorally] dismissed as collateral damage. The Palestinians will claim a victory, the Israelis will claim just retribution, and the world opinion will either support Israel whatever they do [MAII] because the Palestinians had it coming, or claim it is a typical Zionist aggression [the UN and left leaning sources].In this case [I can't point to any specific incident but it sounds real enough] is it false balance to listen to both sides? There is moral equivalency in that both sides have killed innocent bystanders and then justified it. The problem with making an assessment here is that such an incident can not be understood, much less judged in isolation. And, most importantly, the attitudes on both sides [re participants and outside observers] have already hardened.What actions went before [on both sides]? If you persue this thoroughly you end up discussing Ottoman politics, Romans vs. Jews at Masada, Cain vs. Able or, ultimately, God vs. Adam and Eve. Such is the weight of the dead hand of history. Americans are said [inaccurately] to have no history or not to have learned it. Looking at Ulster, the Middle East, Jammu & Kashmir, etc. this could be seen as a blessing.It gets messier, and the details are deviating from your point. We can pursue this line of reasoning or drop it, as you like. Sun 07 Jun 2009 14:58:33 GMT+1 U14017943 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=74#comment74 (Don't worry, in a perfect utopian society, the stupid will be also allowed to enter) Sun 07 Jun 2009 14:03:44 GMT+1 U14017943 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=73#comment73 71. At 01:46am on 07 Jun 2009, BRIANCM wrote:""Justin, Obama chose Sotomayor because of her race and her gender. Republicans need to talk about her record and leave the phony identity politics to the democrats.You could have asked him why the Deocrats are attempting to ruin the United States with someone who regularly eats pig intestines and feels she is inferior to white males? How many white males have been ruined by her racially biased decsions and how many nmore will be hurt?""+maybe these positions are generic place holders to open doors for blacks and latinos in obtaining positions of powers or an attempt to achieve a level playing field, that will end a history and culture of exclusivity based on the amount and type of melanin determining fairness of skin. Sun 07 Jun 2009 10:38:28 GMT+1 bfoulkrod1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=72#comment72 Sometimes, the intent is not under the assumption that a hostile world will accept rationality. Ever consider the best to be done at present is to put the truth on the table, and whether it is embraced or attacked, it is out there for future history as a warning (when all sides do finally decide a different approach is called for)? Sun 07 Jun 2009 10:00:15 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=71#comment71 simon on the quiet I must have missed TT story from S africa. But I do remember that RobLoop was s african. are you maybe confused? Sun 07 Jun 2009 02:54:34 GMT+1 BRIANCM http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=70#comment70 Justin, Obama chose Sotomayor because of her race and her gender. Republicans need to talk about her record and leave the phony identity politics to the democrats.You could have asked him why the Deocrats are attempting to ruin the United States with someone who regularly eats pig intestines and feels she is inferior to white males? How many white males have been ruined by her racially biased decsions and how many nmore will be hurt? Sun 07 Jun 2009 00:46:00 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=69#comment69 65, McJakome -False balance is giving equal time and credence to opposing opinions no matter what those opinions or their source might be. An egregious hypothetical example would be asking bin Laden to give his opinion on a speech of Obama's. Or giving Hitler equal time with Churchill or Roosevelt. One of the things NPR was doing quite a lot of during the time right after 9/11 was to say "the Democrats say" and then go on to relate something that was an actual fact, not just the opinion of Democrats, which was apparently NPR's idea of "balanced" reporting. Or a fear of losing what little federal funding they were getting by reporting facts that were unpalatable to the Republicans.Sometimes they would go for opinions on any issue to the most extremist people on the other side of the issue, without making much of an effort to give full background on the commentator. The BBC has done this sometimes too, interviewing the most ignorant Americans they can find, thereby giving the impression to the rest of the world that we are all like that.I have noticed that both NPR and the BBC have been doing less of this sort of thing in recent years. Thank goodness. I don't have to scrape my jaw off the floor so often. Sun 07 Jun 2009 00:21:05 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=68#comment68 57. At 7:10pm on 05 Jun 2009, Scotch-git wrote: #52Simon21,Those Hamas missiles, of which you are so disparaging? I suspect were they hurtling in your direction, you might not be so flippant."And if your children were being starved and denied medical aid, and your wife was forced to give birth before leering soldiers, no doubt using their mobile phones to record the process, you might understand why the Palestinians do not love their oppressors. Sat 06 Jun 2009 22:54:51 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=67#comment67 58. At 7:27pm on 05 Jun 2009, TrueToo wrote: "31. saintDominick,Try not to let your anti-Israel obsession blind you to reality. Obama is quite popular in Israel and his speech was mostly well-received.2Good example of 1984 newspeak. well-received meaning non well-recieved. I suppose like most ex RSA patriots youlive in a fantasy world of Swiftian proportions. Sat 06 Jun 2009 22:51:48 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=66#comment66 59. At 10:22pm on 05 Jun 2009, TrueToo wrote: 57. Scotch-git,True, and of course he omits to mention that they were starting to fire longer-range and more powerful missiles from Gaza late last year, hitting Israeli cities 40 kilometres away and provoking Israel's response."As if starving women and children was no response.Like saying schoolchildren provoked Soweto. Sat 06 Jun 2009 22:50:03 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=65#comment65 McJ good points there. on the housing problems. Shame to have created it. Sat 06 Jun 2009 21:20:51 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=64#comment64 bere54 When you can't please most of the people most of the time, you might be doing something right (as in correctly), except for the false balance.I like what you say, I like that Abraham Lincoln said something to that effect. I like to call myself a "radical centrist" in the same vein.(:-)But what does "false balance" mean? Is it specific or general, limited or unlimited, and how? Sat 06 Jun 2009 20:58:49 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=63#comment63 Justin, "At some stage he is going to have to decide as well whether or not he believes in American exceptionalism." Like the question, "Is the US an empire," this idea is vexing and divisive. I acquired a small library of books on both before I decided to borrow them from the library and spare my bank account. The short answer to both is, "Yes and no." This is because the terms are subject to interpretation. One could say that every country is exceptional in some respect, or that no country is exceptional because all are inhabited by fallible humans.Verycynical, at #261. Yes you are. 2. "I see the americans are reverting to type. I have read that a majority of americans are against the closure of guantanamo. Again I see its totally valid to endorse confinement without trial, torture and rabid self-interest and any complaint against these values is vile anti-americanism." You have made an "ad hominem" attack, followed by a factoid, followed by a cynical misdirection, and followed up by another "ad hominem."Have you met enough Americans to be able to typecast us? Do you equate judge Sotomeyer with Bill O'Reilly or Obama with Rush Limbaugh?With all due respect, to the best of my knowledge, the acronym NIMBY is British in origin. If I am wrong and it is American, I have seen many instances in Britain and Europe.I don't know where you live, but do you believe that your neighbors would welcome a group of ex-Guantanimo inmates? If yes, I am sure the US government would appreciate hearing from you. If no, you leave yourself open to a charge of hypocracy. Most Americans do not, to the best of my knowledge, approve of locking people up without trial, nor do they support torture, but as a resident of one of the "bluest" states I couldn't possibly pretend to speak for all 300,000,000 plus countrymen, especially for residents of the red, purple or green states.Not wishing to host a group of people who might be terrorists is not necessarily out of ignorance nor uninformed hostility.1. These prisoners might actually be dangerous, guilty as alleged/charged.2. They might invite attacks either from terrorists or from misguided "patriots" [No slur intended to true American patriots nor to the sterling Patriots football team].3. Housing and security could well be a problem for the local tax payers as well. Sat 06 Jun 2009 20:39:24 GMT+1 alphamiguel http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=62#comment62 62.Your right of course,but at the end of the day your dealing with Demo-Publicans,that really is the gist of it. Sat 06 Jun 2009 14:01:00 GMT+1 ynda20 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=61#comment61 Obama was talking big about torture before he was elected. Now he hasn't close gitmo, not prosecuting the people that sanctioned torture and now also letting the "self-confessed" 9/11 masterminds (confessions extracted by torture) to plead guilty for a quick and merciful execution. Meanwhile Cheney is "allowed" to roam through the airwaves justifying torture and lying about its supposed effectiveness.I don't know you can call any interview with Obama "good" when you don't challenge him on the subject of torture. Sat 06 Jun 2009 12:34:55 GMT+1 alphamiguel http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=60#comment60 Has Obama had his instructions from the oil men yet? Sat 06 Jun 2009 12:27:31 GMT+1 U14017943 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=59#comment59 More thoughts on my Obama interview~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~you are wondering wonderingsay what you are going to dobet you're pondering ponderinghow you will reach the topit's one for the money two for showbut remember to tell all the factstrying to reach the topbut be careful you'll get a sudden droplive for today and not tomorrowmany are called but chosen are few Sat 06 Jun 2009 10:11:15 GMT+1 TrueToo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=58#comment58 57. Scotch-git,True, and of course he omits to mention that they were starting to fire longer-range and more powerful missiles from Gaza late last year, hitting Israeli cities 40 kilometres away and provoking Israel's response. Fri 05 Jun 2009 21:22:46 GMT+1 TrueToo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=57#comment57 36. LGD1983 wrote:No offence intended, but Stephen Sackur should have been given this opportunity over you Justin.Carrie Gracie would have been good. She's the only one at the BBC who can really conduct an interview. She doesn't let her own opinions intrude on the interview and she asks pertinent and probing questions. Sackur is extremely biased and his interviews suffer as a result.31. saintDominick,Try not to let your anti-Israel obsession blind you to reality. Obama is quite popular in Israel and his speech was mostly well-received.31. saintDominick,Still going on about the US' "unambiguous support to (sic) Israel," I see. Any explanation as to why Obama is wooing the Muslim world, then? No, I guess not. Fri 05 Jun 2009 18:27:27 GMT+1 Scotch Git http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=56#comment56 #52Simon21,Those Hamas missiles, of which you are so disparaging? I suspect were they hurtling in your direction, you might not be so flippant. Fri 05 Jun 2009 18:10:09 GMT+1 Maria Ashot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=55#comment55 I like your definition of exceptionalism, Mr Webb, "in the sense of qualitative uniqueness" -- trouble is, it then applies to everyone.Italy is qualitatively unique, Greece is qualitatively unique, Japan is qualitatively unique, the UK is qualitatively unique... Truly!And that is the problem with the doctrine of "AMERICAN exceptionalism" -- it asserts not qualitative uniqueness, but very much the opposite: unapologetic supremacism, a pick-and-choose approach to "the rules of the game": when we like 'em, we enforce 'em; when we don't, we sweep them aside altogether...Most definitely, the United States of North America is a charming country which has led rather a charmed existence, off and on, during its two-and-a-bit centuries of global standing.But extraordinary, entitled, a nation apart from all others, specially privileged to bestow life-saving, epoch-defining and unheralded revelations upon others? Upon "lesser nations"?Hardly. Fri 05 Jun 2009 15:15:19 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=54#comment54 ref #50Actually that is a better description of Fox News which does let both sides have a say.Name a conservative host on NPR.I can name a modeater to left on Fox: Geraldo Thu 04 Jun 2009 23:32:22 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=53#comment53 Justin, I'm happy that your interview reached the audiences around the world that you promised it would. Of course this was no surprise, as the BBC, as everyone knows, is one of the biggest news organizations, reaching one of the largest world wide audiences of all audiences that have been reached, or are currently being reached, by all other news organizations in today's journilist environment. However that having been said, its not as if the British Broadcasting Corperation is the end all and be all of news broadcasting, and its not as if other news organizations don't reach at least the same amount of people world wide as the BBC does, so do try not to be so boastful about the BBC's capabilities and achievements, please? I know you don't want to hear this, but Obama could have probably reached the same amount of people had he chosen to be interviewed by CNN. I know you hate CNN, but that doesn't make it any less true."My question (actually the question of a colleague but it is a good one) is this: will this internationalist rationalist president learn this week that much of the outside world is not on board for a quiet sensible chat about what makes sense and what does not?" Why wouldn't they be? Isn't that the best way to resolve disputes? Isn't that the basis on which Europe, and in fact any calm, rational international entity prefers to operate? Hasn't this method of deplomacy been proven time and time again to be the most affective? And most important of all, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't "much of the outside world" despise the United States under Bush for our having explicitly lacked common sense, lojic, and rationality? And if they did, why would they loathe our inhibiting saidcharacteristics now under Obama?It doesn't make sense. What can the United States do that will make the outside world happy?"At some stage he is going to have to decide as well whether or not he believes in American exceptionalism."Why? Is there some hidden law, a recently added constitutional amendment perhaps, that demands that every United States president hence forth state their opinion on the notion of American exceptionalism? Perhaps there's a good reason why Obama hasn't given a clear, decisive answer to that particular question yet. And if he doesn't, is it really the end of the world?"I do: not in the sense of superiority but in the sense of qualitative uniqueness."That's very kind of you, and I for one am flattered, but Justin don't you see? It is precisely this "qualitative uniqueness" that causes others who believe in American exceptionalism to believe that we are superior. In other words, they believe that we are better than the other countries in the world, that we are "superior" to the rest of the world's people, because of our qualitative uniqueness. So I would advise you to be careful when declaring your own belief in American exceptionalism, because you run the very high risk of insinuating to people who are at best wary of America that you believe that the US is better than the rest of the world due to its uniqueness (I.E. how it came into existance.) And I'm sure you don't, I'm sure you simply think that the US is merely unique, and that that uniqueness doesn't make us any better or worse than any other country or people in the world. For at the end of the day, we are all, in this great world, human. Thu 04 Jun 2009 23:14:53 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=52#comment52 27. At 10:43am on 04 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote: ref #5first I am shocked that any NPR station would ever take a positive stand towards GWB or let a caller have an uniterupted say. for future refrence what city is this in?From what I have seen and I have traveld through much of the world, American are far more knowledgible about the world than Europeans or people in Asia."Meant as a joke of course.Not even Americans would say this."We don't buy the propganda that terrorists like Al Quada and Hamas or dictators like Mugabe have legitimate concerns.We also see more intolerance outside North America than in."We? Speaking for 300 million people? Even your hero Dershovitz wouldn't claim to be president.I don't want to upset you but you will find very few people in the world have your extreme views, very few.It can't be denied that the U.S Canada and Australia followed by Brazil are the most sucessful example of a muti-cultural socities working. Thu 04 Jun 2009 22:35:23 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=51#comment51 35. At 1:23pm on 04 Jun 2009, Scotch-git wrote: Mr. President, HOW TO REALLY PUT PRESSURE ON ISRAEL.Have Damascus cancel its order of MiG 31E fighter jets from Russia. This will nip Israeli "Security Issues" excuses in the bud."But not do much for Syria's security. Maybe the US should give Syria some of its weapons?"Have Syria announce its readiness to give up the Golan Heights in return for peace. This will show the Jewish state just how intransigent it is."No the Syrians should be pressed to surrender Damascus - so Israel can feel very secure."Have Hamas revoke their charter. This will expose the Israeli charge that Hamas is determined to destroy the State of Israel as delusional paranoia."Everybody already knows hamas cannot destroy Israel - so it is delusional paranoia.Still that charter is dangerous - paper cuts."Mr. President, everyone knows that the Zionists are to blame for this impasse. Follow my advice, prove that the Arabs truly desire peace."By taking their land.Yes excellent With many thanks to Yaakov Kirschen. >8-D Thu 04 Jun 2009 22:30:22 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=50#comment50 Guns, is this the first time you've been called far right? Or is there just no ground between centre and far right any more? StD, you could switch left and right and still be correct. And if you can't see that then it proves my point! Thu 04 Jun 2009 20:04:48 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=49#comment49 Ref 48, BereThe reason the far right considers NPR liberal media is because any media that allows both sides to express their views is automatically liberal. The only acceptable media to them are those stations or newspapers who only air or print conservative views and attack or simply ignore liberal and centrist views. In a way, it reminds me of the dictum "you are either with us or you are against us". Thu 04 Jun 2009 18:30:41 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=48#comment48 or this sort of exceptionalism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J_qadIwM60&feature=relatedsays so much about the problems seen here in some of the postings. Thu 04 Jun 2009 17:08:18 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=47#comment47 gunsandreligion & seanspa -I consider NPR these days to be pretty centrist for the reason that I know they are not right-wing and yet they make me so mad much of the time. They engage in a lot of what I consider to be "false balance." Even Prairie Home Companion, which was decidedly as anti-Bush as a non-political program can be, mocks Obama and H. Clinton and Gore and Biden (not that I object to this; I present it as an example of non-partisan mocking).Terry Gross on Fresh Air has interviewed some right-wing extremists so respectfully that I wanted to reach into the radio and strangle her.And All Things Considered often receives comments from outraged left-wingers about its supposed conservative bias, as well as from outraged right-wingers about its supposed liberal bias. When you can't please most of the people most of the time, you might be doing something right (as in correctly), except for the false balance. Thu 04 Jun 2009 17:05:58 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=46#comment46 American exceptionalism.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA5faeCGg-wThis IS. Thu 04 Jun 2009 17:03:01 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=45#comment45 I like wiki as a good starting point. NPR is described as more liberal than the average US voter, and more conservative than the average democrat. So you're all right - or wrong. Thu 04 Jun 2009 15:53:23 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=44#comment44 bere54, I listen to NPR now and again, and they have a lot of interestingstuff on there. But, I think that you'll have to agree that, in general,it's a fairly left-wing organization. That's fine with me. In order to become disillusioned, one must first believe in an illusion. Thu 04 Jun 2009 15:34:59 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=43#comment43 I can't help but think that Obama is in the position of attempting toput out a house fire with a garden hose with so many obstacles to peacein his path. We have the Netanyahu government, an obvious attempt byIran to acquire nuclear weapons which would cause an equivalent effortby their Arab neighbors, and the Afghanistan/Pakistan situation, to name just a few.Neytanyahu probably believes that the Arabs will have to settle withhim if Iran gets the bomb. Personally, I consider this kind of thinkingto be somewhat warped, and that peace is a good thing in and of itself,but they are hard bargainers over there... Thu 04 Jun 2009 15:30:43 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=42#comment42 33 -You can't have listened much to Fresh Air if you think it's a call-in program. And the only conservative callers on On Point who are not treated respectfully are those who spout ignorance. There are often conservative guests on both those NPR programs and they are never treated with contempt. On Point has regular commentators who are conservative.I know your mind is closed, but I thought I ought to set the record straight for those who may not be familiar with these programs. Thu 04 Jun 2009 14:24:22 GMT+1 Elvis2020 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=41#comment41 Hi Justin,I do worry about this idea of American Exceptionalism, it can be very dangerous.Check out Chomsky's history of American Empire building and the idea of "the city on the hill"http://www.zcommunications.org/zmag/viewArticle/21609While there is more to the story than what is included here, we should never forget the past or we will be doomed to repeat our mistakes in the future. Thu 04 Jun 2009 14:22:41 GMT+1 SaintOne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=40#comment40 #40"Others consider the notion nothing less than a sick joke. With their oil reserves, they need a reactor like they need another hole in the head."Iran actually import most of their oil, as they lack the refineries to convert crude into petrol etc. No doubt they should spend some money addressing that problem. However, oil won't last forever, and eventually new energy sources will need to be harnessed. "The official Iranian policy is to build the reactor for peaceful purposes but I have heard the average Iranian wants an atom bomb so bad they can't stand it"I'm not sure your source, but I expect there is a minority of crazy Iranians that want a nuke for a weapon. I expect a considerable larger amount want it as a deterrent instead. But the average Iranian? I'm not so sure they want it THAT badly. What is an average Iranian anyway? What is an Average American? They don't exist. Thu 04 Jun 2009 13:56:04 GMT+1 ruralhills http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=39#comment39 About the speech.Nice. Thought it went off well, but I do have one concern.The US has previously been vague about Iran's reactor, indicating we won't tolerate their nuclear ambitions, etc., not saying exactly what we think about a reactor for peaceful purposes.If I heard correctly, the president basically gave Iran a green light to build a reactor for peaceful purposes. No ambiguity there.Now it's policy. He delivered a definitive statement about an Iranian reactor. They can have it.Now then. Some think that's okay, peaceful reactor, no problem.Others consider the notion nothing less than a sick joke. With their oil reserves, they need a reactor like they need another hole in the head. The official Iranian policy is to build the reactor for peaceful purposes but I have heard the average Iranian wants an atom bomb so bad they can't stand it. It would give them enormous credibility in the eyes of other muslims and set the stage with two nuclear powers in the mid east. They would be the most powerful muslim country with greater bargaining power sitting at any table in the world. The prestige factor is so salacious, it seems irresistable, this to the average Iranian. The momentum in that direction may be unstoppable. Keep in mind, their government, albeit a dictatorship of the muslim clergy, is not dysfunctional, like Pakistan's. Pakistan's policy may change dramatically over time, based on the uncertain circumstances but Iran's government is unwavering. Today's policy statements contain future credibility. We worry about a nuclear Pakistan but don't take what they say very seriously. It could change with the wind. A nuclear Iran would be taken seriously, indeed. And the Iranians know it.Enter Israel into the equation. Many believe they will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power. Our traditional ambiguity left them observing our reaction to matters, somewhat reassured by our usual vague condemnations of Iran's nuclear ambitions, etc. What will the US do next? Wait and see sort of thing.Now they know what the US will do. Nothing.This may have painted them in a corner, so to speak, to proceed, knowing they must go it alone. We're probably closer to the notion that Israel will strike not "if" but "when."Nice speech otherwise, but Barak's not a great chess player. He needs to think ahead more carefully before making such definitive moves. Thu 04 Jun 2009 13:28:53 GMT+1 SaintOne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=38#comment38 #39"Well, I think Rush is of the same ilk as religious terrorist extremists -not a lot of thought or logic going on there, just reactionary fury."Hear, hear! Thu 04 Jun 2009 13:28:03 GMT+1 frayedcat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=37#comment37 Well, I think Rush is of the same ilk as religious terrorist extremists -not a lot of thought or logic going on there, just reactionary fury. I admire Obama's approach greatly. Just because rationality might fall on many deaf ears doesn't mean you should abandon it. Who knows, maybe humanity is still evolving for the most part, and if Obama can reach the quiet majority on all sides, and can reign in some of the US' recently aggressive oppressive greedy behavior, then perhaps the quiet majority will ignore the angry Rushes and Osamas of the world and we'll get a little peace. Thu 04 Jun 2009 13:16:09 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=36#comment36 Politics is about the possible. Ideals are fine but the real world does not go away. Every President has goals and those goals are often sidetracked by events. The hollow crys from the right are the death throws of a dying party. The President is attempting to communicate that the U.S. does not view all Muslims the same and that the radical Islamist do not represent the will of the majority of Muslims. Muslins live in many countries, the vast majority in Asia, and cultural and national interest that are separate from religion. When oil is replaced as the primary income in the Middle-East tensions will be increased. The countries in that area of the world need to mend fences and give up the past and begin thinking about the future or the future will not be very good. Because the President presents a new position those who wish to demonize the U.S. are deprived of their demon. Most people want a job and a future for their children without the fear that their children might be blown up by some fanatic while learning to read and write. Thu 04 Jun 2009 13:12:54 GMT+1 T from New Zealand http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=35#comment35 No offence intended, but Stephen Sackur should have been given this opportunity over you Justin. Thu 04 Jun 2009 12:23:20 GMT+1 Scotch Git http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=34#comment34 Mr. President, HOW TO REALLY PUT PRESSURE ON ISRAEL.Have Damascus cancel its order of MiG 31E fighter jets from Russia.This will nip Israeli "Security Issues" excuses in the bud.Have Syria announce its readiness to give up the Golan Heights in return for peace.This will show the Jewish state just how intransigent it is.Have Hamas revoke their charter.This will expose the Israeli charge that Hamas is determined to destroy the State of Israel as delusional paranoia.Mr. President, everyone knows that the Zionists are to blame for this impasse. Follow my advice, prove that the Arabs truly desire peace.With many thanks to Yaakov Kirschen. >8-D Thu 04 Jun 2009 12:23:08 GMT+1 courteousElise http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=33#comment33 Hi Justin,I didn't catch the name of the book which the President is currently reading - please could you post the details ?Excellent interview; so pleased you are able to cover these historic times so well. Thu 04 Jun 2009 11:54:07 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=32#comment32 ref #31I've only heard the Reim show in a few areas I would classify as liberal but not extreme.But Fresh Air and On Point treat conservative callers with contempt.I think Thomas would not agree that he was treated with respect, Sotomayor will be treated with courtesy but that should not mean a walk through without probing questions Thu 04 Jun 2009 11:53:53 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=31#comment31 Ref 5, Mary"There were 19 and one unknown attackers, all Saudis, who executed 9/11. This number is a grain of sand compared to the entire Muslim World."I agree with the point you made, but I feel compelled to point out that not all the terrorists that carried out the 9/11 attack were from Saudi Arabia. Most were, but there was also one from the United Arab Emirates, and if I remember correctly there was one from Egypt and one from Yemen. The Madrid attack was carried out mostly by Moroccans, and I believe the one in London by people of Pakistani ancestry. In all cases, they were carried out by a tiny minority of radicals, and not by the general population who I doubt is very different from anyone else.I think, however, that it is fair to say that the Muslim world does not have a very high opinion of US foreign policy because of our unconditional support to Israel, our decision to invade Iraq, indiscriminate bombings in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a high number of civilian casualties, the insensitive decision to build US military bases near the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and the incendiary rhetoric and insults of the last 7 years. Thu 04 Jun 2009 11:26:11 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=30#comment30 Magic, regarding your question about uninterrupted conservative opinions on NPR, you can hear them practically every day on programs such as the Diane Reim show. I currently listen to the station in Jacksonville, Florida, but the same opportunities were given to conservative guests when I used to live in Maryland.Don't forget that conservative Justice Scalia was confirmed unanimously, and that Roberts, Alito, and Thomas were all confirmed by comfortable margins. Most importantly, while all were questioned during their confirmatin hearings, they were all treated with respect. The attacks against the nomination of judge Sonia Sotomayor have been so vicious and reflective of intense bias that they are nothing short of embarrassing. I doubt there are too many Hispanics who would vote for a Republican candidate in the future. The benefits of President Obama's trip, and the effects of his speech, remain to be seen. I expect that people throughout the Middle East, except perhaps in Israel, will have a positive view of the President, but what they are looking for are deeds, not speeches, and until they see something they can believe in, this trip and speeches will be relegated to the realm of empty rhetoric and unfilled promises.Nevertheless, his efforts are much more constructive than Geoge H. W. Bush vomiting on the lap of Japan's PM, or his son giving Angela Merkel a back rub. I'll be surprised if anything positive comes out of all this, not for lack of wanting or sincerity, but because of the hatred, suspicion, and intolerance that exists in the region. Thu 04 Jun 2009 11:14:00 GMT+1 Parrisia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=29#comment29 "Keynote speeches" are nice. Indeed Mr. Obama is a great orator. But for the Arab and Muslim people, not the autocratic regimes that rule most Arab and Muslim states, to really expect anything postive from the US, Mr. Obama ought to change his accurate, but nevertheless weird, idea about some of them (like for an example what he said about Hosni Mubarak being "a force for stability and good"...) Thu 04 Jun 2009 11:00:21 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=28#comment28 Mr. President, before you solve the impossible to sovle problems of the rest of the world that nobody before you has put much of a dent in like the Middle East, how about tackling the merely difficult problems at home first like the fact that the United States government and the rest of the world is bankrupt, in a deep recession, or even a depression and the best that can be said about it now is that the rate of decline in economic activity is slowing...for the moment. Don't you think that as a rank beginner in politics on the world stage, you should concentrate your efforts on the more immediate and pressing catastrophe before you create some new ones.A lot of people say the US got out of the great depression because of WWII. Maybe it's time to start thinking along those lines and learn from the past. It seems to me there are lots of opportunities here in that regard. Thu 04 Jun 2009 10:50:01 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=27#comment27 ref #20Barring at Oct suprise Sotomayor is going to be confirmed. But there is an irony when than Senator Obama votes against Roberts and Alito it was because he felt they were too conservative.It is hypocritical for the Democrats to attack Republicans who feel she may be too liberal. Thu 04 Jun 2009 09:46:19 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=26#comment26 ref #5first I am shocked that any NPR station would ever take a positive stand towards GWB or let a caller have an uniterupted say. for future refrence what city is this in?From what I have seen and I have traveld through much of the world, American are far more knowledgible about the world than Europeans or people in Asia.We don't buy the propganda that terrorists like Al Quada and Hamas or dictators like Mugabe have legitimate concerns.We also see more intolerance outside North America than in.It can't be denied that the U.S Canada and Australia followed by Brazil are the most sucessful example of a muti-cultural socities working. Thu 04 Jun 2009 09:43:34 GMT+1 verycynicalskeptic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=25#comment25 I see the americans are reverting to type. I have read that a majority of americans are against the closure of guantanamo. Again I see its totally valid to endorse confinement without trial, torture and rabid self-interest and any complaint against these values is vile anti-americanism. Obama is just the label of the tin, the tins contents remain the same. Thu 04 Jun 2009 09:36:15 GMT+1 Via-Media http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=24#comment24 #4: the topic of this thread is the President's trip to the Middle East. His nominee for the Supreme Court is nowhere referenced. Attempting to hijack all conversations to your obsession of choice regardless of the intent of the blogger or of the community is the mark of a Troll, and as such should not be acknowledged. Thu 04 Jun 2009 09:10:23 GMT+1 smileytm303 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=23#comment23 I thought it was a great interview. It will be broadcast around the world, which is why it's a good and valuable use of our President's time. Thu 04 Jun 2009 07:21:29 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=22#comment22 This post has been Removed Thu 04 Jun 2009 07:01:25 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=21#comment21 20, David."Any President who wins, even by the most slender of margins, has the right to pick anyone he chooses. Whether the nominee will receive Senatorial approval is quite another matter."Ali Khamenei is in much the same position, which is why he does not have absolute power. Thu 04 Jun 2009 06:42:52 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=20#comment20 This post has been Removed Thu 04 Jun 2009 06:38:04 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=19#comment19 #6. signseeker17: "President Obama won by a landslide"Much as I like him, barely 53% of the popular vote is hardly a landslide. "he has the mandate and the right to pick anyone he chooses."Any President who wins, even by the most slender of margins, has the right to pick anyone he chooses. Whether the nominee will receive Senatorial approval is quite another matter. Thu 04 Jun 2009 05:15:04 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=18#comment18 "The reach of my interview with President Obama - went from here to here, via here."Apart from the first, the others, not in English or any other European language, appear to be BBC sites. If they were foreign, i.e. non-BBC. that might be something to crow about, but as it is, the two links appear self-congratulatory."Talking to him about family matters (type one diabetes of course) he was sympathetic and engaged and plain-spoken without at any stage being the slightest bit sentimental or gushing."Justin, not again, please. We feel sorry for your son, but his condition can be contained. It would be more to the point if you had enquired about cancer and dementia, for which there is no long-term cure. I know, since I have one of these and it isn't dementia - yet. However, it does run in the maternal side of my family and consequently I'm at risk. I'd be happy to have a shot/injection every day rather than fade into the sunset as did both President Reagan, my mother and countless others. It's not simply an affliction of the elderly but can strike any time. A far more important quest that diabetes. Thu 04 Jun 2009 05:05:46 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=17#comment17 "My question (actually the question of a colleague but it is a good one) is this: will this internationalist rationalist president learn this week that much of the outside world is not on board for a quiet sensible chat about what makes sense and what does not."'Much of the world' - I don't know about that, but some, of course. What makes sense is self-interest, of course. That is what Pres. Obama is talking about, too, American self-interests, and the world as in a vision of the possibilities of the 21st century. No politician or other leader in the world can be expected to deal in much other than his nation's interests.The Pres will have as much trouble as anywhere else sitting down with the Democrats in our Congress to discuss 'what makes sense and what does not'. They are as focused on their internal political wish lists and hatchet lists as are their closest enemies, the rump Republicans, and good sense has no part in their plans. It's no different inside or outside the country; the Pres has known this for a long, long time, and this is the game he has come to play.He does not want to become everyone's enemy - he does not want to become anyone's enemy. Or at least, he wants to begin with the doors and the windows open, and the welcome mat out. He will talk to anyone - he really will. He will be cool and positive and speak clearly, and each one of them will show him and the world who they are, as Chavez has done. He will discover where rapprochement can happen, and also where the knives cannot be turned. Then he will react to both to advance America's interests, the interests of our friends, and the interests of the world's people to the extent that he understands them and can cooperate with them, because that is of great importance to America's interests.Many want him to fail because they feel his success lessens their influence and power. Part of his strategy is to advance on so many fronts that they will have to keep scrambling to stay out of the way.The bottom line today is, if he can bring the US economy out of the recession before November 2010, he will be very hard to stop, anywhere where people's own self interests matter. I think only the inertia of entrenched interests, or the bald black fury of hopeless skepticism, are strong enough to prevent it. Kscurmudgeon Thu 04 Jun 2009 04:14:54 GMT+1 Jeebers76 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=16#comment16 I saw this article online, and I think it's something as many people as possible need to read." Wed Jun 3, 10:22 am ETNEW YORK (Reuters) An owner of a New York store thwarted a robbery only to take pity on the perpetrator, who claimed he could not feed his family, and gave the man $40 and a loaf of bread, a video of the incident showed.A video posted on Tuesday by the Newsday newspaper on its website www.newsday.com showed a masked man wielding a bat as he entered a convenience store in Shirley, Long Island, just after midnight on May 21 and demanded money.But when the store's owner, identified by the local Channel 12 TV station as Mohammad Sohail, pulled out a rifle, the masked man dropped to his knees and appeared to beg for forgiveness."He said 'I am sorry, I have no money, no job, my family is hungry,'" Sohail told the TV station. "Then I feel bad for him ... I take $40 for him."Sohail said he was not planning to press charges.(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Michelle Nichols and John O'Callaghan)" Thu 04 Jun 2009 04:05:50 GMT+1 U14014303 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=15#comment15 I think what she meant to say was a latino woman she has had to repeatedly strive and work hard her whole life in the endeavor to achieve the experience necessary to be considered for this reputable position..... and as a latina woman she has probably got mucho better rhythm than a white male Thu 04 Jun 2009 02:22:08 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=14#comment14 What a wasted opportunity for an interview. It was consistent and typical of BBC. Obama said absolutely nothing new that we didn't know before. Oh yeah, we now know what book he's reading at the moment. That's the scoop for the day. Frankly this whole trip seems like a stupid waste of time an taxpayer money. Mr. Obama remember me? I'm one of 300 million Americans you represent. How about sticking around the old White House and doing some work besides bailing out banks, insurance companies, car manufacturers, and playing with the dog? Thu 04 Jun 2009 02:21:42 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=13#comment13 8, richard."Hilary Clinton has called on China to name all those killed during the protests on Tiananmen Square twenty years ago. Will Hilary Clinton name all those USA has killed in Afghanistan and Iraq? Will she name all those who died in Iraq as a result of sanctions imposed by her husband, which caused over 5000 children a month to die."A dumb move on her (probably Obama's) part. Selective humanity. Thu 04 Jun 2009 02:09:57 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=12#comment12 Ref 4, Brian"Judge Sotomayor said that HER experience as a "wise Latina woman" would make her a better judge than a white man would be!"Where was the "conservative" outcry when Justice Alito said during the confirmation hearings something along the lines of how the discrimination and life experiences endured by his parents and grandparents when they first arrived in the USA influenced his thinking and decisions.Of course a "Latina" woman has a better understanding of what it is to be a minority in the USA than a white man. She lived it, we read about it in a book or by watching TV unless, of course, you were in charge of the noose. Judging by the polite behavior of Republican senators the last couple of days I suspect the GOP leadership concluded the overt hostility voiced by the likes of Gingrich, Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs and the rest of that gang is counter productive and may destroy what little is left of the GOP.The GOP lost the African-American vote long ago, and with the exception of Cuban-Americans they lost the "Hispanic" vote as well. If women desert the GOP in large numbers they are likely to become irrelevant by 2010. Thu 04 Jun 2009 02:03:05 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=11#comment11 Well done Justin. The Beeb certainly held up its end of things.---"My question (actually the question of a colleague but it is a good one) is this: will this internationalist rationalist president learn this week that much of the outside world is not on board for a quiet sensible chat about what makes sense and what does not."---Does it matter whether everybody is on board, as you put it?Isn't it a lot like unilaterally deciding to eliminate tariff barriers: the country that does so will have the least distorted economy, no matter what anyone else may choose to do. In that sense, virtue is its own reward.And, to the extent that anyone is listening we must all be at least marginally better off. The world ignored the President of the United States as being utterly irrelevant for two years prior to January 2009. However well or poorly Obama does, he can't possibly do worse than that.Sometimes President Obama seems like Woodrow Wilson, whose idealism (and difficult personality) ended up doing so much harm, except that president Obama seems more inclined to listen. Don't have the impression that Wilson cared much for listening, which was one of his problems.The thing is, he is changing the terms of the discussion, and he is doing it at the level of people in the street. He is moving public opinion even in countries where those in government may not be accustomed to paying much heed to public opinion. Whether this will work, and to what extent is really unclear. It is, however, raising public hopes and expectations not only in America, but in countries far from America's shores.Yes, the ability of even supposedly friendly governments to be both venal and perfidious can never be overestimated. There are no doubt plenty who would be glad to see President Obama fail. The odds against him are long. He is working from a position of both relative economic weakness and relative military overstretch. Yet he overcame very long odds to get where he is. Perhaps being underestimated by opponents has worked in his favour.We'll see. Thu 04 Jun 2009 01:28:35 GMT+1 U14014303 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=10#comment10 When I was in the US the girls were more boisterous, outgoing and louder than men and would party harder Thu 04 Jun 2009 01:00:48 GMT+1 U13817236 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=9#comment9 Do your mother's friends at home in Bath murder innocent civilians in the Middle East and Afghanistan and elsewhere? Do they consort with war crimnals and gangsters and arrange massive handouts to reckless, rapacious investors? Do they lie to you about 'hope' and 'change' and set about reinforcing the corporate imperialist new world order around the globe? If so, you're mother needs new friends - and the U.S. needs a new political system, the world can't survive much more of it's arrogant, lethal 'exceptionalism'. Thu 04 Jun 2009 00:48:04 GMT+1 frayedcat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=8#comment8 Erp.. # 5 speaking of IGNORANCE meet #4But it's not quiet ignorance, which would be a sort of pastoral bliss. Its rabidly aggressive ignorance and I wonder why. Thu 04 Jun 2009 00:20:01 GMT+1 Richard_SM http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=7#comment7 Hilary Clinton has called on China to name all those killed during the protests on Tiananmen Square twenty years ago.Will Hilary Clinton name all those USA has killed in Afghanistan and Iraq? Will she name all those who died in Iraq as a result of sanctions imposed by her husband, which caused over 5000 children a month to die.Maybe the Chinese will tell her, "We don't do body counts." Thu 04 Jun 2009 00:10:34 GMT+1 Richard_SM http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=6#comment6 Ref 4. BRIANCM Calm down. What exactly is wrong with Sonia Sotomayor? You haven't listed anything. La Raza is simply a support group for Hispanics. It gets donations from Ford Foundation, Citigroup and Wal-Mart. I can sense your fear. Stop quivering. Stop getting into a panic and remember - we are all people. Wed 03 Jun 2009 23:41:36 GMT+1 signseeker17 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=5#comment5 Judges are human beings; it is impossible for them to be totally "neutral". She hasn't even been questioned yet; why don't you wait and see how the Congressional hearing go? You are clearly conservative; who knows? being a Latina Catholic, she might be opposed to abortion (there's a stereotype for you), which would make you HAPPY, would it not?By the way, the Founding Fathers, wise as they were, did not expect the country to remain the same FOREVER. The Constitution is a living, breathing document (27 amendments, so far), with deliberately general language, open to interpretation, not the Ten Commandments (although you probably wish it was).President Obama won by a landslide; he has the mandate and the right to pick anyone he chooses. He did not "threaten" anything re Supreme Court appointments, and he is a fair, thoughtful man. It's too bad your sour grapes have turned you to panic mode. Wed 03 Jun 2009 23:25:17 GMT+1 mary gravitt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=4#comment4 Americans remain exceptional in one thing only: IGNORANCE of what is going on in the world around them. Today I heard on WSUI-AM, my local NPR affiliate that the Muslim World attacked us on 9/11 and that it was through the efforts of George W. Bush that we were kept safe afterward. The moderator did not object to the caller's ignaorance. In fact he supported it againt his two guest opinions.When I took college composition, the first thing my professor taught us was that ALL is too much of a generalization and that even in Chemistry class all has no meaning. If all of the so-called Muslim World had attacked the US on 9/11, I doubt if anything we have known as the US since 1776 would still exist. There were 19 and one unknown attackers, all Saudis, who executed 9/11. This number is a grain of sand compared to the entire Muslim World. Shortly after 9/11 George W. Bush and his propaganda machine went into action and paniced the American peoples. He would not listen to cool heads like Colin Power, former Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and to Tony Blair, MI5 and MI6, who had had experience with domesteic terrorism, that in order to seek and find the perpetrators, 9/11 should be treat like an international crime.Bush would not listen because he had bigger fish to fry: Iraq with it deep wells of oil and its central location in the Middle East. Then too, he had his own illusions of American Exceptionalism and an Apocolytic Dream of greatness: "I'm a War President," he declared.Few Americans have read Bin Ladin's letter which appeared in The Guardian Newspaper in which he laid out his plans to "BRING THEM OUT AND BLEED THEM." By this he meant that there was no need for an atomic attack on the US because he understood how propaganda machine works. And he unlike the wise men of the Congress and the Treasury knew how much this so-called War on Terror would actually cost. Why go to the expense of an atomic bomb when Bush would make the US implode under his guidance. Therefore we were kept safe because there was no need for a second attack. Like a cancer entering a human body, the body's own defenses would attack it. Fear took hold, then the Neocons took over.We are Exceptional in our own stupidity and seek to pass it on to others. Take for instance the Neoconservative Republicans and the DINOS, Democrats in name only, who want President Obama's trip to the Middle East to fail along with his plans to regenerate the economy. The only answser they have is war in the Middle East, lower taxes, and spending cuts; old tired worn out ideas. Mr. President the rest of US unexceptional Americans are with you, including your choice of Sonia Sotomayer, and the hell with them. Wed 03 Jun 2009 22:22:19 GMT+1 BRIANCM http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=3#comment3 This post has been Removed Wed 03 Jun 2009 22:01:40 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=2#comment2 If President Obama is an "internationalist rationalist" he must be a realist and pragmatist as well. The Israeli-Palestinian problem has gone on for far too long, and it is too complex, to expect a positive response from what is bound to be perceived as a pep talk. People expect unambiguous deeds, not feel good speeches.Hopefully he has reflected on the statements that have been made by the main players in this conflict regarding their positions on a two-state solution. If he has, he must understand that the only way to achieve his goal is by exerting pressure. Unfortunately, doing that will probably cost him his re-election. Wed 03 Jun 2009 21:56:49 GMT+1 philzep http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=1#comment1 Despite all its faults, the BBC is still quite wonderful.With regards to Justin's question, I think Obama is already learning that many in world do not hold dear the what he feels is sense, and that learning may well be rammed home completely by the end of his visit to the Middle East.Perhaps the answer is to skip the current generation and concentrate on trying to encourage moderate thinking to next. Wed 03 Jun 2009 21:35:39 GMT+1 Jordan D http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/06/more_thoughts_on_my_obama_inte.html?page=0#comment0 Justin you make a good point: another example is Rush's page - "apology tour" ... hold on, this is a Republican complaining about the President going to Saudi who buy an awful lot of military hardware - manufactured in, yes you guessed it, Republican states and in deals struck by Republican Administrations.Obama's done either way.Oh - did you not get to go on his four day world tour? Wed 03 Jun 2009 21:31:54 GMT+1