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July 13, 2008

Obama: 9/11 Attack The Result Of Attackers' "Fundamental Absence Of Empathy"

The New Yorker has a big article on Obama. I haven't read it all yet but there are some interesting excerpts out there already.

Here's Obama from a 9/19/01 speech.

We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe—children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and within our own shores.

I guess my thought that the attacks were carried by evil thugs in furtherance of a murderous ideology would be viewed as insufficiently nuanced by Obama.

It seems, at least from this excerpt, that from the start Obama viewed 9/11 as a call to engage in global social work. I have to admit, 8 days after September 11th those weren't exactly my concerns and not really the priorities I'd want in any President faced with that situation.

Also from this article...As a state Senator, Obama threatened to kick the ass of a fellow Senator.

If the media is starting to get curious about the pre-2004 Obama, this could get very interesting.

There's no truth to the rumor Hillary was heard to shout "I told you!" when she saw the story.


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posted by DrewM. at 05:45 PM

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