Live Whiskey-Blogging Obama's Big Damn Middle East Policy Speech:
Breaking out the Bullheit, which is a good lunchtime sippin' bourbon, and getting all geared up for the latest biggest, most importantest speech o' the Obama presidency, most recently preceded by the biggest, most importantest speech on the economy. Pour a shot or two and get ready for the Middle East/foreign policy rumble, which the Rude Pundit is fairly sure he won't understand.
(All quotes pretty much guaranteed to be somewhat fucked up.)
12:03 pm: Jesus, does President Obama start anything on time anymore? It's like being in a club and waiting for a Lauryn Hill show to begin.
12:09: It's Hillary Clinton, dressed in the sky blue pants suit of socialist defeat.
12:11: First shout-out for "social networks." Somewhere, Mark Zuckerberg's gettin' wood.
12:12: Clinton: "Check out the old picture of the Tunisian dude on the back wall. Isn't that convenient for my rhetorical purposes?"
12:13: Clinton asks for a "sophisticated" understanding of issues, which means she's not talking to Americans.
12:14: Obama hugging Clinton reminds me of when Eisenhower would slap John Foster Dulles on the ass.
12:14: Hoo, baby. Obama calls Clinton "one of the finest" Secretaries of State.
12:15: Obama: "Our future is bound to the region" of the Arab Spring. Which means "oil." And tasty falafels.
12:16: We've started to wind down the wars, which would be awesome if we really started to wind down the wars.
12:16: "I got bin Laden. Did you hear about that?"
12:17: Al-Qaeda is getting "irrelevant," even pre-Osama face shot.
12:18: Reviews the self-immolation that started the Tunisian uprising. Tea Party members start to eye each other to see which of them will burn himself.
12:20: Crispy Tunisian had "no political party" that represented him. Based on that, we should all be pouring gas on ourselves.
12:21" Offers support for Israel, which will be interpreted as his Muslim desire to re-Holocaust Israelis.
12:22: Boo-yah. Second mention of "social networks" today. Just fuckin' say, "Facebook."
12:22: Students chanted, "Our night must come to an end." Did anyone tell them to wait a few hours?
12:23: Though non-violence, protesters got more done in a few months than terrorists have gotten done in years. Word.
12:23: "The question before us is what role America will play in all of this." Word.
12:24: Again offers support for Israel, which will be interpreted as his Kenyan desire to spear Jewish babies there.
12:25: Obama: "You're paranoid about us, and, hey, we're paranoid about you. Go figure. Howzabout some mutual respect?"
12:26: We need to support street vendors in Tunisia because their kebabs are especially delicious. (It's lunch time.)
12:27: "People themselves launched these movements" and those people will determine the outcomes, and sometimes America needs to not be pricks about it.
12:28: The United States opposes violence and repression against people, which, if you think about it, would only be surprising if he said the opposite.
12:29: Obama: "All the world over, so easy to see. People everywhere have got to be free."
12:30: There's also violence, like in Libya. Obama restates his position on Libya, that he heard "the Libyan people's call for help." Which was much, much louder than the Ivory Coast's.
12:31: On Libya, "the message was, 'Kill as many people as you need to maintain power,'" which is pretty much what happens in a war, no?
12:32: Syrians are gettin' all democracy-ish now, too, and he says that Syrians need to stop killing protesters.
12:33: Oh, snap. Now he's talking that Iran is all repressive. "Our opposition to Iran" is well-known. But there's way too many fuckin' people there to invade.
12:35: Bahrain, yeah, he's lookin' at you, too.
12:36: All of this is fine, but why is this billed as something important? Isn't Obama just laying out shit what we already do? Then again, the shot glass is empty, so let's refill.
12:37: "We must reach the people who will shape the future, particularly young people. Like exchange programs and civil societies. And we will follow you on Twitter and you don't even have to follow back."
12:38: We will support open access to the internet. (see above)
12:38: "America respects all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard, even if we disagree with them." (Somewhere, John Bolton's mustache just attacked the rest of his face.)
12:39: Expects respect for the rights of minorities, especially when it comes to how people talk to an invisible sky wizard of various colors.
12:40: Supports rights of women in countries where women are treated like veiled cattle. Good on him.
12:41: Must advance economic development (oil). "Too many people wake up in the region with few other ambitions than being able to make it to the end of the day." It's like he's describing mass depression.
12:42: Name checks Google. Says let's get down an get prosperous. "Focus on trade, not just aid." Hells, yeah, B-Obs throwin' down the rimez.
12:43: Mentions IMF. Legs in the room cross unconsciously.
12:44: We will relieve a democratic Egypt of a shitload of debt.
12:45: Oooh, look: an email with a Groupon on Burlesque Bikini Bootcamp. Oh, wait...
12:46: "Prosperity requires tearing down walls." Somewhere, a teabagger nods triumphantly because he knew Obama didn't want to build that wall.
12:47: Another cornerstone: pursuit of peace. Gonna go down Israel/Palestine road. Starting with the children of Israel.
12:48: Says that Palestinians "suffer the humiliation of occupation." Somewhere, Joe Lieberman's head explodes.
12:48: Calls bullshit on the "stalemate" in the peace talks.
12:49: Tells Arab countries not to be mean to Israel and to stop huffing on Hamas's ass.
12:49: Our devotion to Israel's safety is "unshakeable." Which means Bill Kristol will say he means the opposite.
12:50: But Obama says there cannot be "permanent occupation." And says that the Israelis and Palestinians need to work out their own shit.
12:51: Says that there needs to be a "state of Palestine." The Heritage Foundation riots.
12:52: Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself. Which is secret Indonesian code for "Death to Israel."
12:53: You know, snark aside, at least he's talking straight about the conflict, even if he's not offering the clearest path to peace other than, "Hey, fuckers, get it done."
12:55: Just said "hard" and "harden" in the same sentence. Arousing.
12:57: "We see reason to be hopeful" until Republicans destroy the world by not voting to raise our debt ceiling.