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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 2008 AND 2013?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 19, 2013) — A Reuters article published on June 14 describing Obama’s then-upcoming trip to the Brandenburg Gate, where President John F. Kennedy famously spoke a half-century ago, claimed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel “owed” Obama the speaking platform after refusing to allow him the opportunity when he was campaigning for president in 2008.
Merkel did not allow Obama to use the Brandenburg Gate as his backdrop five years ago because “only sitting presidents were granted such an honor.”
Reuters reported that 4,000 “invited guests” would be in attendance, and National Review said on Wednesday that 4,500 actually attended.
Obama included the topics of climate change, nuclear weapons, data-mining by the National Security Agency (NSA) and “freedom” in his 30-minute speech. He specifically mentioned Russia in regard to nuclear proliferation, whose leader, Vladimir Putin, supports Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, while Obama is now supplying rebels, who may have Al Qaeda members intermixed, with military assistance.
On Tuesday USA Today quoted former Weather Underground domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and former Obama political supporter as having said that Obama “should be tried for war crimes.”
After learning of the NSA’s gathering of data from citizens around the world, some Germans held protests holding signs that said, “Yes, we Scan,” which was a parody on Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan, “Yes, We Can.” Some wore badges saying “Stasi 2.0,” which was reminiscent of Hitler’s East German secret police during the Third Reich. Hitler had held the position of Chancellor beginning in 1933, after which he consolidated the positions of President and Chancellor, making himself a dictator who killed his political enemies and persecuted Jews, Christians, gypsies and others, sending them to concentration camps to be worked, starved or gassed to death.
Obama was viewed with optimism by many Europeans in 2008, when 200,000 attended his speech at the Victory Column, his promise of “hope and change” having reportedly resonated at the time. Obama’s visit today was described as “much more tempered” than in 2008, when he was “feted like a rock star,” according to Reuters.
The “Yes We Scan” phrase was reportedly also used in German newspaper headlines after revelations from former NSA contract worker, Edward Snowden, were released beginning on June 6.
Although the Reuters article contains opinion, it was widely circulated on the web. One of the statements in the article reads:
At a G20 summit in Cannes in late 2011, they say Obama tried to persuade the French and Italian leaders at the time, Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi, to gang up on Merkel and her euro policies. In 2012 at a G8 summit he hosted at Camp David, Obama embraced new French President Francois Hollande and his pro-growth message, leaving Merkel looking isolated and vulnerable as she pressed the case for austerity and reform.
Merkel has reportedly called upon Obama for “more transparency” about the NSA’s activities as they affect the German people. European Union Justice Minister Viviane Reding also vowed to ask pointed questions of Obama during his visit to Northern Ireland on Monday.
Obama told the Berlin gathering that the NSA is “not spying” on the emails of ordinary citizens.” Merkel grew up in communist East Germany and after discussing the NSA program with Obama is reportedly not clear on all of its aspects.
Obama promised “an unprecedented level of openness in government” after taking office in 2009, but the American people still do not know why the White House posted a fraudulent birth certificate bearing his name on its website on April 27, 2011. The image, and the paperwork purported to be his Selective Service registration card, have been determined to be forgeries by a law enforcement investigation, whose lead detective is attempting to gain the attention of Congress on the matter.
When Obama arrived at the Gate, a violinist reportedly played, “Born in the USA,” which is contentious among many Americans because, lacking any authentic paper documentation, there is no evidence that Obama was, in fact, born in the United States. Various reports from Obama’s campaign for U.S. Senate say that he was “Kenyan-born.”
Commentator Chris Matthews, who ardently supported Obama in 2007 despite Matthews’ claim that Obama was born in Indonesia, said that the afternoon sunshine in Berlin “ruined his use of the teleprompters,” causing him to have to read the text of his speech rather than the teleprompter on which he has been known to rely.
Following Obama’s speech, CBS’s Mark Knoller tweeted, “Pres Obama says ‘the incredible reception’ he received in Berlin reflects ‘the incredible friendship’ between our two countries.”