[Marxism] HUFFINGTON POST: Berlin Was Wrong Place for Obama's Wall Speech

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 25 11:53:02 MDT 2008

Berlin Was Wrong Place for Obama's Wall Speech

Posted July 24, 2008 | 11:53 PM (EST)


I think it's terrific that Barack Obama went abroad to connect with
leaders and some people in Europe and the Middle East. I think he
should have gone to Brussels -- but I can certainly embrace that he
emphasized 'engagement' with this trip.

But besides skipping Europe's institutional heart, his speech in
Berlin had a few lines that were disappointingly absent from his
remarks in Israel -- where he spent more than 30 hours while spending
just an hour or so in Ramallah.

He said in Berlin:

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to
divide us from one another.

The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot
stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with
the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives
and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now
are the walls we must tear down.

Had he given those remarks in Israel, at any of the checkpoints that
have been added since the Annapolis process began, or at the large
divididing wall Israel has constructed, or just about anywhere
frankly in Israel or Palestine -- it would have been a "game-changing

John F. Kennedy's famous "Ich bin Berliner" remarks in the same city
were brave, original, impactful. Obama's speech had high points and
deserves applause -- but it's ultimately forgettable because he
failed to deliver the most important lines where they most mattered.

One can't be about hope, no walls, and leap-frogging into a different
reality than the mess we have today when there's no pressure and
nothing on the line. What matters is whether or not that message is
as resonant in the context of controversial issues where tough
decisons and heavy-lifting are needed.

I will be discussing Obama's fascinating European and Middle East
journey with Amy Goodman tomorrow morning (Friday) on Democracy Now!
some time after 7:45 am EST.

-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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