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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Krugman, "The Post-Truth Campaign": Paul Bends the Truth

In his latest New York Times op-ed, "The Post-Truth Campaign" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/opinion/krugman-the-post-truth-campaign.html?hp), Paul Krugman would have us believe that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is incessantly falsifying President Obama's record. Specifically, Krugman slams Romney for falsifying Obama's foreign policy:

"Then there’s Mr. Romney’s frequent suggestion that the president has gone around the world 'apologizing for America.' This is a popular theme on the right — but the so-called Obama apology tour is a complete fabrication, assembled by taking quotes out of context."

Before delving into the issue of whether Obama has been "apologetic," let's begin by examining whether Obama himself has been "honest" when publicly presenting the principles guiding his foreign policy. In a March 28, 2011 Huffington Post article entitled "Obama's Libya Speech Fact Checked: How The Claims Fit The Facts" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/29/obama-libya-speech-fact-check_n_841920.html), Calvin Woodward and Richard Lardner write:

"Here is a look at some of Obama's assertions in his address to the nation Monday, and how they compare with the facts:

. . . .

OBAMA: "Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

THE FACTS: Mass violence against civilians has also been escalating elsewhere, without any U.S. military intervention anticipated.

More than 1 million people have fled the Ivory Coast, where the U.N. says forces loyal to the incumbent leader, Laurent Gbagbo, have used heavy weapons against the population and more than 460 killings have been confirmed of supporters of the internationally recognized president, Alassane Ouattara.

The Obama administration says Gbagbo and Gadhafi have both lost their legitimacy to rule. But only one is under attack from the U.S."

Subsequent to the Woodward and Lardner article, Obama also turned a blind eye to ongoing atrocities committed by Syrian President Assad, whom Obama had been courting since his inauguration (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-york-times-editorial-killing-in.html).

Consider also Obama's craven 2009 bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEUif1--r38), which this year has beheaded almost a hundred persons, some of them for "witchcraft." There was also Obama's bow to Japan's Emperor Akihito (see: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/11/obama-emperor-akihito-japan.html).

Yes, there is a difference between "goveling" and "apologizing," so let's have a look at Obama's 2009 Cairo University speech (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-cairo-university-6-04-09):

"The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

. . . .

I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons. And that's why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation -- including Iran -- should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

. . . .

I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation by any other.

. . . .

Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit -- for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We can't disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism."

Not apologetic? Have I taken quotes out of context? Decide for yourself.

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