My friend Byron chides me for the post immediately below this one where I said that: "By choosing this site for his speech Obama tacitly endorses the symbolism of the Victory Column and makes himself appear just as blissfully ignorant of European history and culture as the feckless tourist who speaks no French."
Byron correctly points out that I should not have said that Obama was "tacitly endorsing" the symbol since there are other posible explanations for his choice of this venue. For one, it's possible that Obama knows the history behind the Victory Column and is going to use this backdrop to somehow criticize the mindset which lies behind it.
It's also possible that he actually doesn't know the history of the Column and would not have chosen it if he had.
Of course, if the Senator doesn't know the history then the last clause of the passage quoted above obtains, and if he doesn't use the occasion to make a speech which "deconstructs" (to use Byron's word) this expression of German military power then it seems we're back to my original formulation.RLC