Skip to comments.Barack Obama's Berlin visit sparks German diplomatic row
Posted on 07/08/2008 5:29:50 PM PDT by Sub-Driver
Barack Obama's Berlin visit sparks German diplomatic row Barack Obama Roger Boyes in Berlin
Berlin, a city torn apart by war, is the perfect setting for an American president preaching peace. Ronald Reagan famously stood metres away from the Brandenburg Gate and called on the Soviet Union to tear down the Wall dividing Europe. And President Kennedy used a Cold War visit to the once and future German capital to declare: ich bin ein Berliner!
Now Barack Obama, the presidential candidate, wants to grandstand there too. But a simmering row between the German Government and the local Berlin authorities could rob the Democratic politician of a photogenic moment at the Brandenburg Gate and derail his flagship tour of Europe this month.
The plan, Obama advisers have told Der Spiegel magazine, is to use the visit on July 24 to signal an imminent improvement in the transatlantic relationship.
"The Senator was criticised in the primaries for showing insufficient interest in Europe," said the unnamed adviser. "This visit is an answer to this criticism ... the memories of John F. Kennedy's 1963 speech are still very fresh Berlin is a bridge between East and West."
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
Obama thinks that he is going to make Europeans love America! What a joke. No matter who is president the Europeans will continue to hate America.
Obama should tell the Germans “Ich bin naiv.” That would be the truest statement he will ever make.
“Berliner” could be a noun, a resident of Berlin (or a kind of pastry, sometimes translated “donut”) or it could be the nominiative singular masculine form of the adjective describing a person from Berlin. That’s why I deliberately chose “American” in my analogy, it could be a noun or adjective and works both ways, with the noun taking the indefinite artcle “an” just as in German it would take the article “ein”. With Dane/Danish the noun and adjectives have distinct forms.
Like I said, I’ve heard both takes on it from Germans. In the event the crowd absolutely loved it, especially in his nasal Boston accent. Or is that Bostonian accent? Or Bostoner?
Mein freund McCain ist der nutbagen shiest-kopf.
Der Maverick ist ein loooser mit der kopf in der krapper.
Ich beaten Frau Hitlary mit das wooden shtick, ser gut. Herr McCain ist next fur der beaten, mach schnell, achtung!!
Now.. about the time Jimmy Carter told a crowd in Poland that he wanted to have sex with each and everyone of them. . . .
I was thinking about what the strategy session must have been like to come up with this one...I can just see it now:
MEETING TO DISCUSS CAMPAIGN STRATEGY
YOUNG ADVISER 1: We have a problem. When Barack tries to talk about military related issues on the campaign trail, people snicker at him. Veterans openly laugh at him. He is viewed as a black Michael Dukakis.
YOUNG ADVISER 2: We need to show the American people that he is just as staunch and reliable on national defense as...Ronald Reagan!
YOUNG ADVISER 3: (Projectile vomits into nearby trash can)
YOUNG ADVISER 2: Sorry dude! No, I am serious! All it takes is imagery, and if we put Barack in the same settings that strong presidents were seen in, then regular voters who are as stupid as sheep will automatically make a mental connection!
YOUNG ADVISER 1: Hmmm. I think you are on to something there. Lets see...we could get him in a flight suit and fly him out to the USS Ronald Reagan...
YOUNG ADVISER 2: No. The officers, who are the bourgeoisie obviously hate him. The proletariat love him, of course, but due to rigid class distinctions, lack of trust and desire to keep them from rising to any well paying jobs, the proletariat are banned from flying the planes. We cannot trust the pilots from the privileged class to fly him safely. They might fly their planes into the ocean on purpose. No that wont work. Besides, only the Bushchimphitler wore a flight suit.
YOUNG ADVISER 3: (Timidly) And I think the flight helmets would all be too small to fit over his ears...
(YOUNG ADVISERS 1 & 2 turn and glare at him)
YOUNG ADVISER 2: How about if we set up a meeting between Putin and Barack in Iceland, the way Reagan met with Gorbachov...he could wear one of those dark overcoats...they could have the wind blowing through their hair...
YOUNG ADVISER 3: But...Barack doesnt have any hair for the wind to blow through. And Putin doesnt really either.
YOUNG ADVISER 2: The dimwit has a point. Maybe we could have Putin take off his overcoat and shirt, grab a pole...a fishing pole, and...
YOUNG ADVISER 1: Stay on focus. This is not about Putin, no matter how much we admire him. I admit he IS attractive without the clothes...er...shirt, but...we have to find some way to fool the American voters into thinking Barack is strong on defense.
YOUNG ADVISER 2: Heres an idea! How about having him appear at the Brandenburg Gate as Reagan did...
YOUNG ADVISER 3: (whines) But...Reagan was EVIL! He wanted everyone with AIDS to die! He cut all the money for AIDS research from...
YOUNG ADVISER 1: Can it. Not everything is about AIDS. We will pander to no constituency before its time. Now is not the time. Hows this: We get one of our writers to rewrite the speech that JFK gave at the Brandenburg Gate to address current issues...
YOUNG ADVISER 3: Like AIDS! And Racism! And Big Oil! And Corporate Greed!
YOUNG ADVISER 2: Yes! And we can have Barack make all the same hand motions as he speaks, the same way JFK did...(chops with his hand)
YOUNG ADVISER 3: Im on it! I have all the JFK DVDs back at my penthouse in Manhattan. This is great! Itll be just like when JFK said Mr. Khrushchev: Tear down this wall! (spoken in heavy gay Boston accent)
(YOUNG ADVISER 1 & 2 stare in disbelief at YOUNG ADVISER 3)
YOUNG ADVISER 1: You idiot. JFK never said it that way.
YOUNG ADVISER 2: Yeah! He wasnt gay!
Has Obama got a passport? What did he use for a birth certificate?
No, he actually said he was a Berliner:
“All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words: Ich bin ein Berliner!”
And you´re right that his words are not understood in a “pastry context”. A jelly-filled doughnut is called “Berliner” only in West Germany. In Southern Germany it´s called “Krapfen” and in the East they name it “Pfannkuchen” - all three words describe the same thing.
The US should have interests, not "friends."
At the historic Brandenburger Tor in front of many many celebrating people. He is very popular here in germany and will get what he wants. I have no doubt that this would be a great success for his campaign.
On the other site we as germans should not play a role in a US presidential election campaign. He can visit germany as many before but this speech has just one goal: great pictures to show the american people how popular he is and how great and easy foreign policy will be after a really unpopular president Bush
Thanks, I’m sure you’re correct. I heard the speech contemporaneously and in context, though I knew almost no German or Latin at the time. The Latin and German meaning was obvious, in context.
Kennedy made an explicit analogy of Berlin to ancient Rome. I don’t think the German crowd understood half of his Boston accented English, but they went wild when he spoke those words, “Ik (sic) bin ein Berliner.” (Kennedy clearly said “Ik”, not “Ich”.)
Like I said, Germans whom I’ve spoken to are divided, but I suspect the ones who claim he said he was a pastry are carping.
Actually, Kennedy said the phrase two times. The first time, he made the analogy to Rome: “Two thousand years ago ... (repeating because of the noise) two thousand years ago, the proudet boast was: civis romanus sum. Today in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ´Ich bin ein Berliner´” and as he finishes his speech he said it again in the context of “all free men”.
I still say he said, “Ik bin ein Berliner.” ;)
Ahh, here it is.
....until they are getting their ass handed to them by an aggressor nation. Then they tolerate us, but complain about the mess we left saving them..
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