Not Lies, But not the Truth

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Flopper, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    Notice how the meaning and slant of the following statement reported by Sarah Palin is changed by pulling a quote out context. By the question she asks she implies that the president finds a strong America a problem. Then she pulls a phrase from the quote to support her statement. Commentators on MSNBC and Fox due this constantly in order to present only one side of the story.

    **********
    Mr. President, is a strong America a problem?

    Asked this week about his faltering efforts to advance the Middle East peace process, President Obama did something remarkable. In front of some 47 foreign leaders and hundreds of reporters from all over the world, President Obama said that “whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.”

    Whether we like it or not? Most Americans do like it.

    **********

    Here’s what the President actually said:

    **********

    But what we can make sure of is, is that we are constantly present, constantly engaged, and setting out very clearly to both sides our belief that not only is it in the interests of each party to resolve these conflicts but it’s also in the interest of the United States. It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.

    **********

    Daily Kos: State of the Nation
     
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  2. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    . . . Sorry, but I don't see how the "whole quote" changes the context in the slightest.
     
  3. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    In this example, Palin is implying that the president is opposed to a strong America and is using a phrase from his speech to support her premise. Had the president said “Whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.” as a standalone sentence then it would support Palin's premise. But if you read the entire statement, you can't draw the conclusion that the president does not believe in a strong American. If you do, you've been watching too much Fox News.

    Although I am no fan of Sarah Palin, I'm not trying to bash her. All politician do this occasionally. News commentators do it over and over. Bush's speeches were loaded with these sticks of dynamite and the news commentators had a field day with them.

    You might be interested in knowing that speech writer go over speeches very carefully trying to eliminate any phrases that can clipped out of context and used by the opposition. The result is often a crappy speech that says nothing.
     
  4. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    Sorry, Sparky, but contrary to your talking points list, it doesn't take Fox News to draw that conclusion. It just takes the ability to read and understand English. The meaning of that phrase remains exactly the same, in context of the whole quote or out of it. If anything, I think the rest of that sentence STRENGTHENS that interpretation, rather than weakening it.

    You might be interested to know that, despite your obvious belief that you're Mr. Clever, you haven't said a damned thing I didn't already know.
     
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  5. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    The minute I read the comment "whether we like it or not", I went and found the whole quote to see whether he actually meant it the way it was represented. Guess what? Yea, he meant it the way it was represented.
     
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  6. Midnight Marauder
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    Midnight Marauder BANNED

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    This isn't tough to understand.

    Comments such as these are due to the speakers' ingrained idea of playing down "American Exceptionalism" and having the "blame America first" mentality. It's exactly like when Billy said "We have to prepare for the time when we are not the lone superpower" and the WH "science czar" this week saying, "We can't expect to be number one in everything indefinitely." And we got more from the President, when he also this week talked about, "Iran changing their behavior if we do."

    They also tend to keep these kinds of sentiments pretty much to themselves when they're not in power. Believing they have a "mandate" emboldens them to just go ahead and say what they really think.

    It just is what it is, and it's not defensible.
     
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  7. code1211
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    code1211 Senior Member

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    Palin is obviously trying to score political points. The statement by the Big 0 stands by itself as being stupid whether Palin quoted out of context or not.

    The Big 0 sees the world from a point of weakness. His viewpoint is that of a Community organizer who is always taking pot shots at the powerful. He is only now starting to grasp the real world fact that the USA is the richest and most powerful in the history of the world. He had that idea, but it was more in the way a child thinks Daddy is the strongest man in the world.

    I think that this statement illustrates the fact that the Big 0 is only now starting to understand that "like it or not, we remain a dominant military power." He, obviously, does not like it.

    "Richest and most powerful" are not superlatives. They are comparitives. Comparitives imply competition and the Big 0 is working every day to assure that the USA is put in an improving position to lose every single competition we might enter into. Technologically, militarily and economically.

    The Big 0 thinks that the rich are rich because of luck and that the poor are poor for the same reason. By that logic, nobody has the right to anything that they have earned because nothing is earned, it is only gained by luck.

    Anything gained in this way can be taken away and given to someone else who thereby has become lucky, too. It will be interesting watching him try to convince the Chinese that they are only gaining market share through luck and they will need to share with the USA. Now THAT is hope.

    America, functioning in the real world, must function under rules that exist in the real world. In the real world, everything is earned or it is not posessed. Obama is functioning in some other world.
     
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  8. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Typical right wing nonsense in taking things out of context and screaming "Obama hates America"

    Anyone reading the actual quote and its context can see that he was refering to "whether we like it or not" we get pulled into global conflicts BECAUSE of our status as a superpower

    But thats what makes this board so much fun
     
  9. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    This is just another example of disingenuous right wing garbage. Just Google the phrase: 'we remain a dominant military superpower', you will see the right wing echo chamber in full bloom.

    The question and the subject was the Middle East, NOT America's superpower status.

    WHAT President Obama was saying is that as a "military superpower," the U.S. has an interest in reducing tensions between foreign nations because violent conflict abroad inevitably "ends up costing" the United States "significantly in terms of both blood and treasure."

    Here is the FULL context:


    Last question, Ed Chen of Bloomberg.

    Q Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon. Given the progress you have cited in recent days on your foreign policy agenda, to what extent do you feel like you have gained political capital with which to take further to the international stage for the rest of this year, to perhaps rejuvenate some initiatives in trouble spots such as the Middle East and elsewhere?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the work that we’ve done in recent days around nuclear security and nuclear disarmament are intrinsically good. They’re good just in and of themselves. And so we’re very pleased with the progress that we’ve made. And we could not have done this without extraordinary cooperation first from President Medvedev when it came to the START treaty, and then from my colleagues who were here today when it came to this Nuclear Security Summit.

    What I think it signifies is the fact that so many of the challenges that we face internationally can’t be solved by one nation alone. But I do think that America’s leadership is important in order to get issues on the international agenda and to move in concert with other countries to have an effective response.

    There are a host of other issues, obviously, that have to be addressed and one of the points that was made actually during the communiqué is we’re talking here about the instruments of potential war or terrorism, but obviously there are also the reasons, the rationales, the excuses for conflict, that have to be addressed as well.

    And I remain committed to being a partner with countries around the world, and in particular hot spots around the world, to see if we can reduce those tensions and ultimately resolve those conflicts. And the Middle East would be a prime example. I think that the need for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and the Arab states remains as critical as ever.

    It is a very hard thing to do. And I know that even if we are applying all of our political capital to that issue, the Israeli people through their government, and the Palestinian people through the Palestinian Authority, as well as other Arab states, may say to themselves, we are not prepared to resolve this -- these issues -- no matter how much pressure the United States brings to bear.

    And the truth is, in some of these conflicts the United States can’t impose solutions unless the participants in these conflicts are willing to break out of old patterns of antagonism. I think it was former Secretary of State Jim Baker who said, in the context of Middle East peace, we can’t want it more than they do.

    But what we can make sure of is, is that we are constantly present, constantly engaged, and setting out very clearly to both sides our belief that not only is it in the interests of each party to resolve these conflicts but it’s also in the interest of the United States. It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.

    So I’m going to keep on at it. But I think on all these issues -- nuclear disarmament, nuclear proliferation, Middle East peace -- progress is going to be measured not in days, not in weeks. It’s going to take time. And progress will be halting. And sometimes we’ll take one step forward and two steps back, and there will be frustrations. And so it’s not going to run on the typical cable news 24/7 news cycle. But if we’re persistent, and we’ve got the right approach, then over time, I think that we can make progress.

    All right? Thank you very much, everybody.

    END 5:11 P.M. EDT

    (Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: America - Engaging the World - America.gov)

    Read more: Obama?s Closing Remarks, Press Conference at Nuclear Summit

    -----------------------------------------------------


    "In short, we must face problems which do not lend themselves to easy or quick or permanent solutions. And we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient--that we are only 6 percent of the world's population--that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind--that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity--and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem."
    President John F. Kennedy
    University of Washington, November 16, 1961
     
  10. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    I just find this amusing to no end. For years Kos and company cherry picked republican statements and whaled away at them.

    The way the president said what he meant was kinda dumb, you dont want to leave openings like this.

    Its real fun watching the koz kids play defense instead of the 8 years of offense we watched during bush's term.
     

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