Monday, March 26, 2012

Speaking to the walls

Saw all the reports on U.S. President B. Obama's various appearances in South Korea in prelude to and at the Nuclear Security Summit... actually watched the so-called "special lecture" at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies...

...the man's reaction after going up to Observation Point Ouellette overlooking the DMZ
Earlier Sunday, Obama paid his first visit to the tense Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, speaking briefly at the U.S. military camp located just outside the 2.5-mile-wide zone. What he saw from the border, Obama said, underscored the degree to which the North has suffered under a battery of sanctions aimed at punishing Pyongyang for its continued provocations.

"It's like you're in a time warp," he said. "It's like you're looking across 50 years into a country that has missed 40 years or 50 years of progress."
and so on about how backwards North Korea is. No kidding. He actually sounded surprised. That either demonstrated a jarring reassessment of his world view or was simply his saying the words he and his speechwriters thought he should say at the time. Your choice which.

...and then the usual summit "hot mic" moment, where B. Obama says something when he thinks the press isn't watching.* Those often do one of three things: insult Americans; insult an American ally, or; promise to accommodate a rival, but on terms personally favorable to B. Obama. This was no exception.

...gave a speech disguised as a "special lecture" that was vapid, self-absorbed and directed at someone other than the audience (students... who seemed rather tired of being spoken past rather than to...):
In remarks made at a university in Seoul earlier in the day, Obama sent a pointed warning to North Korea.

"Here in Korea, I want to speak directly to leaders in Pyongyang," Obama said during the special lecture at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul. "Have the courage to pursue peace and give a better life to the people of North Korea."
I should note the brevity of the quote above does no justice to the long-winded and disconnected speech as a whole. It was... um... he said "um" a lot... uninspired to say the least. There was applause at times, but I can only imagine it occurred when some not-seen-on-the-video-feed indication was signalled to the audience except for that at the conclusion. That was probably a statement of relief.

All in all, a remarkable display of why November 2012 (U.S. Presidential Election) and January 2013 (Inauguration of the next U.S. administration) can not come too soon.

Hopefully something useful actually is going on behind the scenes at this summit. I think there is, but little chance of there actually being a report on any of that. Politics and Posturing are soooo much more important.


note * : That link is to Hot Air, a political site, commenting on the original article. The original citation is linked therein to abcgo 'blog by Jake Tapper at ABC News (USA). The direct link is unreliable in some browser/security software combinations.


Mr. Bill said...

All in all, a remarkable display of why November 2012 (U.S. Presidential Election) and January 2013 (Inauguration of the next U.S. administration) can not come too soon.

Don't sigh in relief too soon. The other guys have fielded an amazingly weak bunch this time around.

Mathematically, three of them are guaranteed unable to get enough delegates, but the one left over has to win just about everything between now and the convention to win on the first ballot.

Sorry for going off topic.

L.Douglas Garrett said...

re: off topic ~ No problem in this case. You mention a *real* problem. Sadly, at this point all I can do is point out that the alternative is IMO unacceptable.