Veggie Day

Now I don`t know if “Veggie Day” means anything in English, in Germany it is the latest idea of the Green Party: One obligatory meat-free day per week in German cantinas.

Not that I am having T-bone steaks every day, but I do not like people telling me what to eat or not to eat. So they won`t have my vote, that`s for sure. But whom to vote for?

It`s about interests and values, not popularity

I loved reading this article: “Misreading the Muslim World” by Jeffrey Gedmin (The Journal of International Security Affairs), maybe you too?

Excerpts:

Go back and read the speech that President Obama gave at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University on June 4, 2009, and you’ll see just how unkind history can be. This was in essence the President’s attempt to begin to undo the damage done by George W. Bush and the Iraq war and provide a compass, as Mr. Obama envisioned it, for a “new beginning” in America’s relations with the Muslim world. (…)

Apologize for colonialism, voice compassion for Palestinian plight, bow to Islam as a great religion of tolerance and racial equality. The Obama administration’s public diplomacy seems to have been predicated on the idea that if we smother the Muslim world with kindness, dignity and dialogue we can set relations on the right path. But by any measure, more than three years later, the Administration’s approach has borne little fruit. (…)

With the administration’s “new beginnings” public diplomacy now largely in tatters, what lessons can be gleaned for a second Obama term—or a Romney administration in waiting?

Let’s recognize, it’s not about popularity, it’s about interests. It would be a mistake and the wrong objective if the American president were to try to become the darling of Muslims in the Middle East or elsewhere. The United States is a great power with self-interests. It is ridiculous that we labor at times to imply otherwise. Public diplomacy is not therapy. There’s nothing the slightest bit wrong with self-confidently articulating where our interests lie. (…)

Let’s be equally clear that, while it’s about interests, it’s about values, too. Ronald Reagan went to great lengths to explain to Mikhail Gorbachev why the leaders of an unelected government that rules by brute force and wicked coercion cannot be trusted. U.S. foreign policy is at its best—and enjoys its most secure basis at home—when it is conducted in principled fashion and endeavors to align interests and values. (…)

Two competing visions for America

Jeffrey Gedmin, president and CEO of the London-based Legatum Institute, sees two competing visions for the future that Americans face in tomorrow`s election. I could not agree more:

(…) The U.S. economy has never properly rebounded from the crisis that started in 2008. Entitlement spending is soaring and there has been no serious effort to tackle high levels of debt. This is a daunting problem that threatens long-term prospects for the prosperity and competitiveness of the country. In this context, Americans seem to be craving a vision that will unite, inspire, and unlock the potential for renewed prosperity. They are faced with two competing visions in this election.
One vision is fundamentally social democratic and sees the state playing a large role in the economy and society. Ed Miliband, leader of the UK’s Labour Party, summed up this worldview when he asked recently what role there would be for Labour in Britain if state coffers are empty. This is social democratic, redistributionist thinking. This is basically Barack Obama in the United States. In the first televised debate on October 3, the president told the nation that he sees a far more important role for government in America’s future than Mitt Romney does.
Romney, on the other hand, is equally clear: he wants lower taxes, less regulation, and more free enterprise. There’s a case to be made for this vision.
(…)
Romney is promising greater opportunity, increased competition, and a more robust culture of free enterprise. All this is urgently needed. Americans are also happy to hear about values. The nation was built on hard work, sacrifice, savings, and self-reliance. However, proponents of free enterprise in the United States have a credibility problem. (…)

Read the entire article on the Carnegie Europe website

Tyrone Woods: A true American hero

Earlier this week I listened to what Charles Woods, Tyrone Woods` father told Fox News. I wanted to write about it, but I could not do so immediately, because it simply made me too sad. And then it also made me angry. Tyrone Woods was a true American hero. According to his father he was told not to help his fellow Americans in the American Consulate in Benghazi, but he decided he would do so anyway. How awesome! He then saved the lives of 30 other Americans and ultimately gave his own. I was crying when I heard this. But then I continued listening and what I heard made me angry. His requests for help were denied although support was available. How can that be? That on the anniversary of 9/11 Americans refuse to help Americans? And how come this is not being discussed in the media? On CNN I did not hear about it, I had to listen to Fox News via Internet to get to know more about it.

An investigative press would ask questions, would want to know who is responsible, but all I can hear is deafening silence.

CNN – Be the last to know! Or even more accurate: CNN - Be the only one not to know!

Obama: The first anti-American American President

Obama – the first anti-American American President? First I thought, no, you can`t write that, this is completely over the top, you must be seeing things. An American President cannot be anti-American.

But now after having read Dinesh D`Souza`s “Obama`s America – Unmaking the American Dream” I know I can trust my feelings, it all makes sense now.

And actually Obama explained it himself in his inauguration speech back in 2009: He said he wanted to “remake” America.

This was my missing piece, now it is all logical. In order to make a “new” America, you first have to unmake the “old” America.

So I was not seeing things - Obama is indeed anti-American, meaning anti-the America I love and admire. The courageous, powerful and optimistic America, the America that is able to lead and wants to lead, that believes that promoting freedom and democracy in the world is a good thing, the America that stands for the Landing in Normandy, the liberation and rebuilding of Europe, the Marshall plan, the Berlin Airlift, German reunification and so many other great achievements.

This “old” America I love is what I would call the true “Yes we can America!”

And there is the other America, the one shaped according to Obama`s (or his father`s) dreams: I`d like to call it the “No we can`t America!”
A smaller, downsized, non-assertive America, an America that denies the great achievements made by Americans in the past, an America that says we can`t lead and we don`t want to lead, we cannot and we should not impose our system of government on any other nation,
we cannot solve the economic crisis but postpone it until later.

The missing piece was that there are two Americas and two different visions of America and next Tuesday Americans will decide which one they want.

Obama: The No we can`t President

President Obama won the elections four years ago using the slogan “Yes, we can!”. But is that true? Is he the “Yes we can President”? Or the “No we can`t President”?

Yes - we can lead? – No, we do not even want to lead. And if we cannot avoid it, we do it from behind.

Yes - we can get the economy back on track? – No, we prefer making debts, more debts and even more debts to postpone the crisis until later. Let our kids pay back the debts.

I could go on, but I don`t want to. And I don`t have to. Because there is one sentence, one sentence in all these nice speeches that were held during the past 4 years, only one sentence that says it all and Obama was very explicit about it. In his famous Cairo Speech on June 4, 2009 he said:

“So let me be clear: No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation on any other.”

Pardon me? You cannot impose a system of government on a nation? Of course, you can!
America liberated Europe from the Nazis, and then imposed democracy on us Germans and I am so grateful you did! Otherwise I would have grown up in a Nazi dictatorship - what a horrible thought!

Now I don`t think that Obama failed to attend history classes at school. No, it seems as if he really did not see Europe`s liberation and German re-education as an achievement. Has this ever happened before that an American President would have denied the achievements made by Americans in the past?

When I think of WW II and the liberation of Europe one picture instantaneously comes to my mind: The white crosses on the green grass in Normandy. These men gave their lives to liberate Europe so that it could be rebuilt. It is thanks to their sacrifice that I was allowed to grow up in freedom and democracy. They did something that according to the current American President is something you cannot and you should not do.

I am glad they did it anyway.

And they didn`t even need a slogan for it.

They just did it.

The Berlin Airlift

I am just watching this incredible German movie “The Airlift” (“Die Luftbrücke – Nur der Himmel war frei”). It shows the America I love: Strong, powerful, optimistic. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when President Truman is being told that experts believe the Airlift to be impossible. His answer is: This is what Americans are best at - making the impossible possible.

I miss this America.

I want it back.

Anti-Americanism worse than ever

I remember very well what many Obama supporters said when G. W. Bush was still President. In short it was: Anti-Americanism is all Bush`s fault, if we come to power we will change the rhetoric, and the world`s gonna love us.

Well, I did not believe this for a second, but I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. But now after almost 4 years, it is time to look at their “achievements” in foreign policy.
Where did the “Bush screwed it all up, we`re gonna fix it” strategy lead us?

Iran is closer to the bomb than ever and as determined as ever to wipe Israel off the map. Relations with Israel have deteriorated.
And in the Arab world nearly two dozen American embassies were burning just last month, the American ambassador to Libya and 3 other staffers murdered. And this time it is not Bush`s effigy that is being burnt, it`s Obama`s!

And what about this hillarious * reset button (maybe a little “overloaded” in meaning anyway) that was meant to improve American-Russian relations (that were allegedly ruined by Bush)? Putin is more powerful than ever, as fiercely opposed to the missile defense shield as ever, the opposition is being oppressed more than ever, USAID kicked out of Russia, Putin unwilling to stop the bloodshed in Syria, …, I really do not want to know where more “flexibility” towards this man would lead.

If this administration should get another four years, I hope they will at least have learnt these two things:

When leading from behind, you should make sure you`re not invisible.

Talking nicely to the bad guys, will not make them love you, but it might well make you loose the support of the good ones.

* spelling intended

The America I love is back!

The America I love is back, or at least it might be back if Mitt Romney wins the election on November 6th.

I was enthused when I listened to his speech on foreign policy at the Virginia Military Institute last week. Unfortunately CNN did not air the entire speech. I finally took my time to read the whole speech and now I am even more enthused!

This is how real leadership sounds!

The leadership that has been absent for the last four years, the leadership that the free world and everybody who wants to live in freedom and democracy is longing for!

I am so deeply grateful I was allowed to grow up in freedom and democracy. And I know it is thanks to the United States of America.

Leading from behind you would not have been able to liberate Europe from the Nazis and rebuild Europe after WW II.

And that is why Romney is so right when he says: “Our friends and allies across the globe don`t want less American leadership. They want more – “ and “if America doesn`t lead, others will – “.

Excerpt from Mitt Romney`s speech:

I believe that if America doesn’t lead, others will — others who don’t share our interests and our values — and the world would grow darker, for our friends and for us. America’s security and the cause of freedom cannot afford four more years like the last four years. I’m running for president because I believe the leader of the free world has a duty, to our citizens and to our friends everywhere, to use America’s great influence, wisely, with solemnity and without false pride, but also firmly and actively, to shape events in ways that secure our interests, further our values, prevent conflict and make the world better — not perfect but better.

Our friends and allies across the globe don’t want less American leadership. They want more — more of our moral support, more of our security cooperation, more of our trade, more of our assistance in building free societies and thriving economies. So many people across the world still look to America as the best hope of humankind. So many people still have faith in America. We must show them that we still have faith in ourselves; that we have the will and the wisdom to revive our stagnant economy, to roll back our unsustainable debt, to reform our government, to reverse the catastrophic cuts now threatening our national defense, to renew the sources of our great power and to lead the course of human events.

Sir Winston Churchill once said of George Marshall: “He always fought victoriously against defeatism, discouragement and disillusion.”

That’s the role our friends want America to play again, and it’s the role we must play.

The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror and war and economic calamity. It’s our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom and peace and prosperity. The torch America carries is one of decency and hope. It’s not America’s torch alone, but it is America’s duty and honor to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.

Thank you so much for your participation in this great charge. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Benghazi attack: A total and complete security failure

I am no security expert, but the moment I heard that rocket propelled grenades were used to attack the American consulate in Benghazi I knew it was not a spontaneous attack, but a very well planned terrorist attack. Then CNN showed pictures of the Benghazi consulate before the attack. Oh my goodness!!! It looks more like a little nice inviting holiday villa than a fortress!!! It is hard to believe that despite warnings the security threat was so badly mishandled. And all this, on a day like the 11th anniversary of 9/11!!!

The American President is of course not to blame for this attack, but without the security failings, the outcome of the attack could have been far less tragical. It is the American President`s duty to protect Americans all over the world.

He failed. Totally and completely.

Time for change!