Thing have changed a little, in 2008 President Obama went to Berlin as candidate and was welcome with furor, expectation and support, almost like a rock star. Today, President Obama carries on his shoulder some foreign policies and surveillance scandals that put in risk his credibility.
Mr. Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security said, “the historical context is important here”. Mr, Rhode mentioned also that the speech was arranged by German government and President Obama enjoys to speak to young people and university students.
President Obama gave a speech in front of Berliners at the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Although, Obama is a great speaker, his actions speak louder than words this time. His popularity with Germans has declined because, the Guantanamo Prison, the ongoing war on Afghanistan, the killings by American drones, and the recent bombshell of NSA and Prism surveillance program.
Because of the monitoring program, U.S. had thwarted at least 50 threats, including attacks in Germany, Obama said.
President Obama´s biggest speech is on arms control with Russia. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that Obama will face the notion that “history is behind us”, informed CBS news.
President Obama received and ovation when he said about his plans to reduce nuclear warheads deployed by U.S. and Russia.
Also, this month pays tribute to John F. Kennedy, who told a huge crowd in Berlin, “Ich bin ein Berliner”, which means “I am a Berliner”, during the Cold War. The speech was in June 26 of 1963, and that speech gave hope and comfort to many who were divided by the Wall.
Obama is the subject of intense criticism over NSA program, which included the surveillance of German citizens. In his defense, Obama address the issue in front of the Berliners.
In Berlin, President Obama remarked that when he became President he had a healthy skepticism about how the surveillance programs were structure. Now, President Obama is seeking for balance between privacy and security, he commented, “is not a situation where we are rifling through the ordinary e-mails of Germans citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anybody else”, “is not a situation where we just go to the internet and search whatever we want”.
In 2008, many Germans express the desire that Obama would end the anti-terror measures taken by President Bush.
Guantanamo Prison remains open and as a symbol of violation of human rights, Obama said, “it has been more difficult than I hoped because there has been significant resistance from Congress.
Obama and Angela Merkel met earlier to talk issues including the conflict in Syria, Iran, the War in Afghanistan, the European debt crisis and the transatlantic free trade agreement.
Also, President Obama said, “I am a president that can do this in front of a gate that is now open”, in regard to a city divided between West Germany and East Germany more than two decades ago.
According with the New York Times, one of the newspapers of Germany make a political point, which ran a headline in English, using a photo of the American prison at Guantanamo Bay, saying, “Mr. Obama, Open this gate”
Although, there is some skepticism about Obama´s actions, Germans show in a Poll last week that 82 percent of Germans approve of Obama, but he has lost the aura he had back in 2008, because of his tactics in combating terrorism.
By: Oskar Guzman
Sources: The New York TImes, News from Washington, Reuters.