Tags: Obama | Heads | to | Europe

Obama Heads to Europe

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2008 09:35 AM

By Lowell Ponte

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Trailing clouds of glory and media-concocted halos from the Holy Land, presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is scheduled to touch down Thursday in Europe on the if-it’s-Tuesday-this-must-be-Belgium publicity junket designed to give him the instant illusion of foreign policy expertise.

Asked this week about the political nature of this trip, an Obama senior foreign policy adviser traveling with the candidate told reporters, “When the president of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.”

“But [Mr. Obama] is not president of the United States,” a reporter reminded the adviser, unnamed by Politico.com in recounting this incident.

The ancient Greeks had a word for Obama’s attitude — hubris, an overweening pride and arrogance that usually leads to a smackdown from the gods. As an old saying puts it, “Pride goeth before a fall.”

Both Obama and his mainstream media boosters clearly want the Illinois senator to be perceived as presidential, indeed as the virtual president-elect.

He tried mightily but failed, for example, to get permission from the German government to deliver a speech at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

This is where President John F. Kennedy — lacking in Teutonic fluency, like most Americans recently denigrated by Mr. Obama for lacking foreign language skills — inadvertently referred to himself as a “Berliner,” local slang for a jelly donut.

This is where President Ronald Reagan, rejecting Kennedy’s acceptance of tyranny, called on the Soviet dictator to “tear down this wall.”

Thwarted in his immodest plan to stand in their giant footsteps, Sen. Obama now reportedly intends to speak instead at the Berlin Victory Column in the Tiergarten that commemorates a German military triumph over France. Mr. Obama will then fly to France. Such is the neophyte senator’s depth of foreign policy and diplomatic sophistication.

Like the other European stops on Obama’s junket, France will greet the popular young politician with smiles and cheers.

We should expect to see an especially large turnout from the fast-growing Islamic population that now rules (and sometimes ignites the cars in) whole neighborhoods of Paris, eager to see this soon-to-be American president who prayed in mosques as a child and has the middle name Hussein.

If present demographic trends continue, the Europe of Christendom and open-mindedness is doomed. It is becoming "Eurabia," with elections decided by Muslim votes and millennia-old legal precepts replaced by Islamic Sharia law.

To remind you why many of our ancestors (including Obama’s) fled Europe, read Pat Buchanan’s powerfully insightful new best seller "Churchill, Hitler, and 'The Unnecessary War': How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World." It will give you second thoughts and dire doubts about any politician lionized by Europeans.

Continuing to London, Mr. Obama will greet Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who supplanted our Iraq war ally Tony Blair. The Labour Party of both was secured in power with the help of political operatives sent by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

But were an election held in England today, the Labour Party would be overwhelmingly defeated. One reason is that Mr. Brown has reneged on his explicit promise to let citizens vote on whether to dissolve British sovereignty into the European Union.

Labour Party bosses will not permit such a vote because, as happened not long ago in Ireland, voters would overwhelmingly reject EU rule.

Sen. Obama, like the misnamed Democratic Party whose banner he carries, has come down foursquare against democracy in the United States. He and his party want to abolish secret ballot elections in workplaces over whether workers want to unionize.

Instead, knowing that unions lose far more than half such honest elections, Obama and the Democrats now want unionization forced by having a majority of workers sign cards — a process that often involves union thugs surrounding an isolated worker and intimidating him to sign the card, or else.

By American standards, Europe has neither genuine democracy nor economic freedom nor any unalienable rights such as freedom of speech. In Germany, France and even England, for example, severe penalties can befall those whose words offend the arbitrary sensitivities of Muslims. Ask legally-harassed actress Brigitte Bardot.

But increasingly, even de-Christianized Europeans are speaking out against mosques invading their neighborhoods.

What Americans should recognize in Europe’s outpouring of adoration for Barack Obama is that his politics are more European than American. A product of the left wing of his party, Mr. Obama is at least a Euro-socialist, a politician who only days ago compared his fellow Americans unfavorably to multilingual Europeans.

Like European social democrats, Obama is eager to raise American taxes, restrict business and private property, shrink the U.S. military as Bill Clinton did, and use the resulting diverted tax dollars to expand welfare programs.

Former Clinton political adviser Dick Morris sees this as a key to Obama’s high approval ratings in Europe. Social democrats there have been constrained from raising taxes even higher by the United States, a place to which European businesspeople could escape. An Obama presidency, speculates Morris, would raise business taxes sky high here and leave European businesses no place to flee.

Sen. Obama is fully aware that in 2004 the Democratic standard-bearer Sen. John F. Kerry lost in part because Americans perceived him as too European. Kerry, of course, grew up speaking French in a Swiss boarding school and to this day prefers at dinner to speak French with his wealthy wife.

Obama knows the peril of being seen on this junket as too cosmopolitan, too haughty and European, as Kerry was.

Ironically, Obama is chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on European Affairs but has never convened a hearing of any kind by his subcommittee.

Insightful journalists, from Bill Kristol of The New York Times to Irwin Stelzer of the London Telegraph, expect Obama to make some tough statements during the European leg of his image-building junket.

Obama will almost have to make some memorable statement affirming American strength and self-interest for the voters back home, even if it goes unheard by cheering socialist mobs in Europe.

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