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Old July 24, 2008, 03:15 PM
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Default Obama's Berlin Speech & Bangladesh

We are still the well known example of poverty . I didn't like the context he used it. I guess only reason for using BD is because of the bad PR we get all the time; flood, cyclone, poverty and we are well known for it. We need to find some source of good PR!

(check highlighted part)



Quote:
Obama: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you to the citizens of Berlin…



… and thank you to the people of Germany.


Let me thank Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you, Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of all thanks to all of you for this extraordinary welcome. Thank you.


I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before, although tonight I speak to you not as a candidate for president, but as a citizen, a proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world.


I know that I don’t look like the Americans who’ve previously spoken in this great city.


The journey that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland of America, but my father grew up herding goats in Kenya.


His father…


His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British. At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning, his dream required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a better life.


That is why I am here. And you are here because you, too, know that yearning. This city, of all cities, knows the dream of freedom.


And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life.


Ours is a partnership that truly began 60 years ago this summer, on the day when the first American plane touched down at Tempelhof. On that day…


On that day, much of this continent still lay in ruin. The rubble of this city had yet to be built into a wall. The Soviet shadow had swept across Eastern Europe, while in the West, America, Britain and France took their stock of their losses and pondered how the world might be remade.


This is where the two sides met. And on the 24th of June, 1948, the communists chose to blockade the western part of the city. They cut off food and supplies to more than 2 million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in Berlin.


The size of our forces was no match for the larger Soviet army, and yet retreat would have allowed communism to march across Europe. Where the last war had ended, another World War could have easily begun. And all that stood in the way was Berlin.


And that’s when the airlift began, when the largest and most unlikely rescue in the history brought food and hope to the people of this city.


The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold.


But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up.


And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city’s mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom. “There is only one possibility,” he said. “For us to stand together united until this battle is won, the people of Berlin have spoken. We have done our duty,” he said, “and we will keep on doing our duty. People of the world, now do your duty. People of the world, look at Berlin.”


People of the world, look at Berlin. Look at Berlin, where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other less than three years after facing each other on the field of battle.


Look at Berlin, where the determination of a people met the generosity of the Marshall Plan and created a German miracle, where a — where a victory over tyranny gave rise to NATO, the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security.


Look at Berlin, where the bullet holes in the buildings and the somber stones and pillars near the Brandenburg Gate insist that we never forget our common humanity.


People of the world, look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.


Sixty years after the airlift, we are called upon again. History has led us to a new crossroad, with new promise and new peril. When you, the German people, tore down that wall — a wall that divided East and West, freedom and tyranny, fear and hope — walls came tumbling down around the world.


From Kiev to Cape Town, prison camps were closed, and the doors of democracy were opened. Markets opened, too, and the spread of information and technology reduced barriers to opportunity and prosperity. While the 20th century taught us that we share a common destiny, the 21st century has revealed a world more intertwined than at any time in human history.


The fall of the Berlin Wall brought new hope. But that very closeness has given rise to new dangers, dangers that cannot be contained within the borders of a country or by the distance of an ocean.


Think about it. The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.


As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.


Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan come to Berlin in the form of heroin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. The genocide in Darfur shames the conscience of us all.


In this new world, such dangerous currents have swept along faster than our efforts to contain them. And that is why we cannot afford to be divided. No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone.


None of us can deny these threats or escape responsibility in meeting them. Yet, in the absence of Soviet tanks and a terrible wall, it has become easy to forget this truth. If we’re honest with each other, we know that sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart and forgotten our shared destiny.


In Europe, the view that America is part of what has gone wrong in our world, rather than a force to help us make it right, has become all too common. In America, there are voices that deride and deny the importance of Europe’s role in our security and our future.


Both views miss the truth: that Europeans today are bearing new burdens and taking more responsibility in critical parts of the world; and that just as American bases built in the last century still help to defend the security of this continent, so does our country still sacrifice greatly for freedom around the globe.


Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together.


A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more, not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the only way, the one way to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.


That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.


The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christians and Muslims and Jews cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.


We know — we know that these walls have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace.


Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they’ve come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid.


So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy, of peace and progress. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other, and, most of all, trust each other.


That is why America cannot turn inward. That is why Europe cannot turn inward. America has no better partner than Europe.


Now is the time to build new bridges across the globe as strong as the one that binds us across the Atlantic. Now is the time to join together, through constant cooperation, and strong institutions, and shared sacrifice, and a global commitment to progress, to meet the challenges of the 21st century.


It was this spirit that led airlift planes to appear in the sky above our heads and people to assemble where we stand today. And this is the moment when our nations, and all nations, must summon that spirit anew.


This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real, and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it.


If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman, in London and Bali, in Washington and New York. If we could win a battle of ideas against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope.


This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets.


No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done.


America can’t do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops, our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaida, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.


This is the moment when we must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.


The two superpowers that faced each other across the wall of this city came too close too often to destroying all we have built and all that we love. With that wall gone, we need not stand idly by and watch the further spread of the deadly atom.


It is time to secure all loose nuclear materials, to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and to reduce the arsenals from another era. This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.


This is the moment when every nation in Europe must have the chance to choose its own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday. In this century, we need a strong European Union that deepens the security and prosperity of this continent, while extending a hand abroad.


In this century, in this city of all cities, we must reject the Cold War mindset of the past and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must, and to seek a partnership that extends across this entire continent.


This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that opens markets have created and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development, but we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few and not the many.


Together — together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all.


This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East. My country must stand with yours and with Europe in sending a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions.


We must support the Lebanese who’ve marched and bled for democracy and the Israelis and Palestinians who seek a secure and lasting peace.


And despite — despite past differences, this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close.


This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children to a world where the oceans rise, and famine spreads, and terrible storms devastate our lands.


Let us resolve that all nations, including my own, will act with the same seriousness of purpose as has your nation and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere.


This — this is the moment to give our children back their future. This is the moment to stand as one. And this is the moment when we must give hope to those left behind in a globalized world.


We must remember that the Cold War born in this city was not a battle for land or treasure. Sixty years ago, the planes that flew over Berlin did not drop bombs; instead, they delivered food, and coal, and candy to grateful children.


And in that show of solidarity, those pilots won more than a military victory. They won hearts and minds, love and loyalty, and trust, not just from the people in this city, but from all those who heard the story of what they did here.


Now the world will watch and remember what we do here, what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity, by security and justice?


Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, and shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?


Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words “never again” in Darfur?


Will we acknowledge — will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we…


Will we — will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don’t look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?


People of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment. This is our time.


I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.


But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived, at great cost and great sacrifice, to form a more perfect union, to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world.


Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom; indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares.


What has always united us, what has always driven our people, what drew my father to America’s shores is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want, that we can speak our minds, and assemble with whomever we choose, and worship as we please.


Those are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. These aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart.


It is because of those aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of these aspirations that all free people, everywhere, became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit — it is in pursuit of these aspirations that a new generation, our generation, must make our mark on the world.


People of Berlin and people of the world, the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long.


But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye towards the future, with resolve in our heart, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.


Thank you, Berlin. God bless you. Thank you. Thank you.
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Last edited by Nasif; July 24, 2008 at 04:04 PM..
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  #2  
Old July 24, 2008, 03:24 PM
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dariddrotar onno naam Bangladesh. aha shudhu amader tothakothito political manush gula bujto...
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  #3  
Old July 25, 2008, 01:15 AM
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Thank you, Nasif bhai for opening the thread.
Well, its not all about poverty, Bangladesh has earned world's respect too...



These pictures are few samples why we are example to "quote" ...
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Old July 25, 2008, 02:19 AM
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He mentions Bangladesh's name!
Obama for president!!!
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Old July 25, 2008, 04:00 AM
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Few thoughts why people should be aware of uphold BD image abroad, or be aware of harmful propaganda against BD.

Daily Ittefaq
Amadershomoy

And A report from The Wall Street Journal

----------------------------------------------------
REVIEW & OUTLOOK

World Bank Shots on Corruption
July 23, 2008; Page A16

The World Bank is nothing if not persistent. In recent weeks, the bank has announced low-interest loans of $320 million apiece to Bangladesh and Vietnam, despite their awful corruption records.
Since May, Bangladesh's military-backed government has arrested an estimated 12,000 people without charge and confined them to overcrowded prisons. Human Rights Watch reports "well-documented patterns of torture and mistreatment of detainees." The government has cancelled plans for a December election over the objections of the two main political parties, whose leaders have also been in and out of jail.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

World Bank Scorpions 05/08/08
World Bank Confidential 03/10/08
World Bank Disgrace 01/14/08
World Bank Runaround 10/18/07


None of this has deterred the bank from going forward with a $200 million "transitional support credit," which it says the government needs to deal with rising commodity prices and last year's Cyclone Sidr. There is also a $120 million "power sector development policy credit" that will "support the government's overall power sector reform program." The bank justifies these loans partly on account of the "impressive economic and social gains" it claims Bangladesh has made, and partly because it thinks more money would actually help address the corruption problems.
For a reality check, the bank might have consulted its own experts. According to the bank's internal data on "governance indicators" in Bangladesh, measures of government effectiveness, political stability, "voice and accountability," regulatory quality and control of corruption all declined between 1998 and 2007. A report from Transparency International reaches similar judgments.
Under former President Paul Wolfowitz, the bank cancelled 14 road contracts in Bangladesh after evidence came to light of corrupt bidding. But with Mr. Wolfowitz gone, bank lending to the country under President Robert Zoellick has doubled in the past year alone, to $753 million.
----------------------------------------------

Just take a look at those 'red highlighted' part, I have no idea where it came from ...
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Old July 25, 2008, 04:26 AM
bdchamp20 bdchamp20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabz
He mentions Bangladesh's name!
Obama for president!!!
McCain has an adopted Bangladeshi daughter, he should be president....lol
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Old July 25, 2008, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdchamp20
McCain has an adopted Bangladeshi daughter, he should be president....lol
Well, that's exactly the reason why Obama talked about children in Bangladesh in his speech. Because his opponent happens to have adopted one such kid.

Obama doesn't really give a s@#t about Bangladesh. He needs to win this election. And Bangladesh has nothing to do with it.
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Old July 25, 2008, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnab
Well, that's exactly the reason why Obama talked about children in Bangladesh in his speech. Because his opponent happens to have adopted one such kid.

Obama doesn't really give a s@#t about Bangladesh. He needs to win this election. And Bangladesh has nothing to do with it.
Neither Obama nor McCain gives a rat's back about Bangladesh, and to be honest unless we have a massive resource of oil that rivals the arctic's reserve, there is no reason to do so.

All these sweet talks, all these a$$ licking is just for one thing and one thing only, THE PRESIDENCY.

Btw, (shh...dont tell anyone) according to some strong underground rumours esp in places like Sylhet and other gas fields, we do indeed have a massive reserve of OIL!

Time to be a Nigeria!
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Old July 25, 2008, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalpurush
Thank you, Nasif bhai for opening the thread.
Well, its not all about poverty, Bangladesh has earned world's respect too...



These pictures are few samples why we are example to "quote" ...
Bro, I dunno what you use to upload your pictures here but I can't seem them. I can only see Photobucket logo and "This image has been removed or deleted". It's the same elsewhere you have uploaded from photobucket.
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Old July 25, 2008, 05:33 AM
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Obayed bhai,
Alien kintu hasa kotha bolitese.
Amio kisui dekhite pai na,

Apni chobi upload korle betara amader ke kon ek balti'r kotha bole!
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Old July 25, 2008, 05:33 AM
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It's rather strange how Burma cropped up in his speech and not Tibet where monk led protests go cracked down heavily and received heavy publicity everywhere.

He's a real A-hole. I thought that this guy who is black and has a Muslim background going back few generations would be able to see both side of the coins and unlike Bush. But I was wrong and this trip of his proved it big time.

Seeing this guy, I don't blame Bush the way he is. In this trip he just proved that he won't be able to do jack in Middle East peace process just like all his would be predecessors dating back to 1948.

Politicians and Paedophiles are the lowest form of life in this world.

That's not to mention this guys has issues with Muslims. Here are few examples.

Obama Snubs Muslim voters

Obama campaigners bars 2 Muslim women from taking photos with Obama

Last edited by Alien; July 25, 2008 at 05:43 AM..
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Old July 25, 2008, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alien
It's rather strange how Burma cropped up in his speech and not Tibet where monk led protests go cracked down heavily and received heavy publicity everywhere.
My friend, you dont piss China off!
You just dont do it.
They have earned it.

And while talking about "heavy" publicity, dont you reckon the "heavy" was more "heavified"(no such word, i just made it up) in the recent times leading up to the Beijing Olympics?

The fight for Tibet was always there and yes it was always in the media,but not to this scale. Apparently every single country these days have a "Free Tibet" "Anti-China" campaign.

Offcourse they are taking advantage of the situation. But the way i see it, its just a ploy to undermine China's credibility.
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Old July 25, 2008, 09:21 AM
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Jara shundor shundor speech dite jane... ashol jaigai gele tarai shobcheye faltu kaaj kore..
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Old July 25, 2008, 09:25 AM
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Obama proved to the world that no American president can ever change which beats the purpose of democracy in US. All along this was a hypothesis, now he turned it into a theory.

All these presidents speak of change and what not but when they come to the office they do the same **** as all their predecessors. Just like Bangladesh. Whoever you pick is a corrupt bigot. Same with US, whoever you pick will go around bombing nations back to stone age.

Israeli Govt should pay a salary to US presidents as they do more for Israel than their own PM. Or at least deduct it from the 4 billion they get annually.
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Old July 25, 2008, 10:36 AM
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I told you guys long ago... who ever is looking for drastic changes if Obama is elected, is still day dreaming. There is not that much of a difference between any democratic candidates.

As primary is over, Obama will move more towards the center. Principle? "Change"? "past promise"? who cares.... as the time passes... Obama will look more like a traditional politician with a god gifted talent to give speaches that will give public false hope.

but one thing is for sure.... anybody will be better than Bush by default.
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Old July 25, 2008, 11:34 AM
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What i find really amazing and amusing at the same time is this is NOT THE President, BUT the presidential candidate who is touring overseas and meeting with heads of other major nations, giving speech, having meeting, attending press conference!

Such is the might of US!

One country holding such influence and power is just mind blowing but unhealthy at the same time.

We do live in the American civilization!
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Old July 25, 2008, 11:35 AM
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I see that the Obama mania is dying down a little bit. I wasn't going to vote for him anyways (she looks shifty) and McCain isn't exactly what he was 6 months ago - should I simply sit out this year ?

Re: McCain. Notice how he 'shifted his position' on several issues and sounds more like Bush. He must be desperate for some conservative votes.

It's funny how both propaganda machines always accusing the other of propaganda. The Rep side is worse. When they change their 'SHUR' on an issues, it's a 'change in position', when the Dems do it, they are 'flip'flopping'. Both sides could care less about the general public, forget the world. As long as there are conflicts around the world, politicians and religious 'leaders' will thrive.
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Old July 25, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabz
Obayed bhai,
Alien kintu hasa kotha bolitese.
Amio kisui dekhite pai na,

Apni chobi upload korle betara amader ke kon ek balti'r kotha bole!
ওবায়েদ ভাই- কয়েকদিন ধরে আমিও আপনার আপলোড করা কোন ছবিই দেখতে পারছি না
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  #19  
Old July 25, 2008, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Nocturnal
ওবায়েদ ভাই- কয়েকদিন ধরে আমিও আপনার আপলোড করা কোন ছবিই দেখতে পারছি না
Me too!! balti ta change koren please.
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  #20  
Old July 25, 2008, 04:30 PM
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Btw, (shh...dont tell anyone) according to some strong underground rumours esp in places like Sylhet and other gas fields, we do indeed have a massive reserve of OIL!

Time to be a Nigeria!
I don't know if any of you saw the movie Blood Diamonds (pretty gritty but well made flick) but for me the line of the movie was this scene where the protagonists stumble upon a weary villager whose entire village had been wiped out by diamond hungry rebels. The screen is filled with sights of looting, destruction etc. Anyway the villager starts talking and he tells one of the key guys in an African dialect: "it's a good thing we don't have oil. Then we'd _really_ be in trouble".
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Old July 26, 2008, 07:53 AM
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AsifTheManRahman AsifTheManRahman is offline
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I don't know if any of you saw the movie Blood Diamonds (pretty gritty but well made flick) but for me the line of the movie was this scene where the protagonists stumble upon a weary villager whose entire village had been wiped out by diamond hungry rebels. The screen is filled with sights of looting, destruction etc. Anyway the villager starts talking and he tells one of the key guys in an African dialect: "it's a good thing we don't have oil. Then we'd _really_ be in trouble".
Yeah I remember that.

On a different note, every time a friend plans on getting engaged, I do him a favor by asking him to rent and watch Blood Diamond with his fiance-to-be. Saves him a couple of thousand bucks.
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Old July 26, 2008, 07:59 AM
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What i find really amazing and amusing at the same time is this is NOT THE President, BUT the presidential candidate who is touring overseas and meeting with heads of other major nations, giving speech, having meeting, attending press conference!
Yeah, he is acting like he won the election already. I haven't heard much about Bush or the republican guy McCain lately. In the news its all Obama.
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Old July 26, 2008, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by AsifTheManRahman
On a different note, every time a friend plans on getting engaged, I do him a favor by asking him to rent and watch Blood Diamond with his fiance-to-be. Saves him a couple of thousand bucks.
Slight digression here, but the popularity of diamonds for engagement rings are a recent and artificially constructed phenomenon. Before the 1930s, diamond rings were rarely given as engagement rings. Opals, rubies, sapphires and turquoise were far more popular.

The current popularity of diamonds are the results of a beautifully orchestrated, long and enduring marketing campaign by De Beers, the company that has a monopoly on diamond trading. Check out the following links to see what I mean.For what it's worth, I used a pearl ring that had been my great grandmother's engagement ring.
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Old July 26, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Yeah, he is acting like he won the election already. I haven't heard much about Bush or the republican guy McCain lately. In the news its all Obama.
Umm....i was not just talking about him, but both of them but more importantly, the trend set up by this two.

Correct me if im wrong, but i cant remember Bush/Clinton ever visited overseas when they were campaigning for the Oval Office.
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Old July 26, 2008, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabz
What i find really amazing and amusing at the same time is this is NOT THE President, BUT the presidential candidate who is touring overseas and meeting with heads of other major nations, giving speech, having meeting, attending press conference!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alien
Yeah, he is acting like he won the election already. I haven't heard much about Bush or the republican guy McCain lately. In the news its all Obama.
Rabz & Alien, this is simply effective political strategy by the Obama campaign.

In part, it's because the McCain campaign has tried to position him (McCain) as more experienced in foreign policy issues. It hasn't worked very well for McCain, largely because he keeps on making asinine errors which suggest that he is either rather ignorant about the rest of the world, or suffering from senility. His rather lackluster low-key trips abroad, hardly reported by the media, haven't helped either.

Now, the average American voter isn't the brightest bulb in the room (I mean, this is the fellow who voted Bush into office a second time, right?); he doesn't really know or care about foreign policy nuances; but to him, this tour by Obama is effectively bolstering Obama's foreign policy credentials. Keep in mind that Americans in general have almost a pathological desire to be liked, respected, and admired and are quite aware that they are currently unpopular abroad. The observation that Obama gets cheered overseas, that he is an American who is actually liked abroad, gets the average voter to identify with him. And, in the end, it means a vote for Obama.

So, frankly, this isn't so much about arrogance as it is about shrewd electoral strategy.

Now, I have issues with Obama -- I don't like candidates who have never really articulated their policy platforms (Yes, we can! is not a policy platform), but run on a nebulous feeling of goodwill and a desire for change. And unlike some dismayed liberals, I was not at all surprised by his hard tack to the center after "winning" the Democratic primaries. But given that Kucinich or Nader had no chance whatsoever of ever getting elected president, I think Obama is definitely the lesser of the two evils compared with say, "Bomb Iran" McCain.
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