12:08 PM, Nov 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama held a townhall today in Burma where he was met with signs that read "Reform is fake" and "Change." He commented on the signs before getting on with the program.
"It’s wonderful to be back in Myanmar. Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat," the president started. "Oh, we got some signs -- 'Reform is fake.' 'Change…' -- okay, well, you guys will have a chance to ask questions later. Yeah, you can put them away. That’s why we’re here -- for a town hall. See, that’s the thing, when you have a town hall, you don’t have a protest because you can just ask the questions directly."
Later the president sent a message by taking questions in the order of " boy, girl, boy, girl." As he told the crowd in Burma, "Okay, I’m going to go –- now, the one thing I’m going to do is I’m going to go boy, girl, boy, girl to make sure that it’s fair, because one thing I didn’t say in my initial speech is societies that are most successful also treat their women and girls with respect. Otherwise, they won’t be successful." The crowd applauded.
Obama also blamed old people for creating a "mess" that young people now have to clean up:
In the United States, I've instructed my Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the amount of greenhouse gases that power plants can send into the atmosphere. And we've doubled fuel-efficiency standards on cars. So in a few years, by the middle of the next century, by 2025, you won't be able to sell a car in the United States unless it is delivering twice as much mileage for every gallon of gas.
And so you can build in transition times to get this done. But we have to start now. And this is probably a good place for me to end by just saying that the issue of climate change is a perfect example of why young people have to lead.
Because old people, they've created a mess, and then they'll be gone. And then you -- (applause) -- you're the ones who have to deal with it. And also what happens is old people get set in their ways. So the older you get, the more likely you are to say, that's how it's always been so that's how I'm going to keep on doing it -- even if there's a better way to do things.
Young people, they're asking, well, why do I have to do it that way? Let's try it this way. And that kind of willingness to accept challenges and try things in a new way, to not be stuck in the past, or to look towards the future, that's what all of you represent.
So I'm hopeful that you have a chance to participate in our Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Fellows Program. Maybe I'll see some of you in the United States. I'm sure all of you are going to do great things. And I hope all of you dream big and then work hard to achieve those dreams.
Sep 8, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 48 • By ELLEN BORK
Despite the attention paid to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy as lacking an “organizing principle,” there wasn’t much new in her interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. Mostly the exchange covered issues on which her differences with the president are well known, such as arming the Syrian opposition and supporting Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
7:44 AM, Jan 4, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Hillary Clinton, who was recently released from the hospital, released a statement yesterday ... on Burma.
9:20 AM, Dec 7, 2012 • By ELLEN BORK
Much reporting on Burma reflects the mistaken impression that things have changed dramatically and for good. Yet last Saturday, three activists were arrested in connection with a rally outside the Chinese embassy in Rangoon against a Chinese-sponsored copper mine.
6:34 PM, Nov 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
In this footage from CNN, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears to fall asleep during President Barack Obama's Burma speech:
8:03 AM, Nov 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama called Burma 'Myanmar' after a bilateral meeting with Thein Sein, the president of that country. From the pool report:
Obama used the word "Myanmar," the preferred terminology of the former military government and currently nominally civilian government, in a spray following the bilat, rather than use "Burma," the former name of the country, and the one preferred by Aung San Suu Kyi as well as the name the U.S. uses.
3:35 PM, Nov 16, 2012 • By ELLEN BORK
President Obama’s trip to Southeast Asia will take him to Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma. Relations with Thailand and Cambodia are relatively static, thanks to the former’s historic alliance with the U.S. and despite the latter’s terrible human rights record. Burma, on the other hand, is in the midst of change, with the beginnings of a potential transition to democracy.
10:42 PM, Nov 15, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
President Obama heads abroad Saturday for a four-day visit to Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia. One assumes the president was going to add on to this trip a visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which would certainly be the fitting and proper thing to do.
1:44 PM, Nov 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama will travel to Burma, as well as other countries in Asia, the White House announced.
Insist on democratic reforms.Oct 1, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 03 • By ELLEN BORK
A cartoon on the front page of the August 2 Independent, a weekly journal published in Burma’s capital, showed a rider approaching a fortress painted with the stars and stripes of the American flag.
“Please open the door,” the rider says.
“What is the password?” asks a voice from within the fortress.
“Democracy,” says the rider.
“Is that permanent or temporary?” asks America.
Why is the State Department defending Malaysia in the wake of democratic crackdowns? 4:00 PM, Jul 8, 2011 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
Secretary Clinton had nothing but glowing remarks for Malaysia’s leadership when she stopped there in November of last year. “We already have a strong partnership based on common values like respect for cultural diversity, pluralism, religious tolerance… We know that Malaysia is a leader in this region…. [and is] increasingly being looked to as both a thought leader and a model globally,” Clinton said at the time.
Embarrassment watch.1:20 PM, Sep 6, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
In its Friday afternoon news dump before Labor Day weekend, the White House announced that President Obama had invited the ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to join him for a summit in New York on September 24. This will be the second U.S.-ASEAN summit, and the first to be held in the U.S.
Engagement isn't working.2:21 PM, Jan 25, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
After the Obama administration announced a new policy of "engagement" with odious military regimes last year, Burma went back to relative obscurity. Engagement yielded the predictable result (nothing), and other issues -- namely various manifestations of uncouth behavior emanating from Beijing - took over as the spangliest thing on the Asian landscape in recent months. But while attention was focused elsewhere, Burma's malignant generals have steadily worked to establish themselves as an ever greater threat to regional peace and stability, and an even heavier blight on the Burmese people.
What the Zimbabwean and Iranian democratic movements have in common2:14 PM, Jan 21, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
After one year in office, the Obama administration's foreign policy has been defined by an odd role reversal. The rogues gallery of the world, from Burma to North Korea to Iran to Russia to China, have been largely embraced by the White House and State Department --while relations with key democratic allies, like Great Britain and the liberated Eastern Bloc, are increasingly strained.
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