“They Hate Us For Our Freedom”

This is perhaps the stupidest idea ever put forth in the arena of foreign relations.

May I quote someone?

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over ablack, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action.

Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.  Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim, which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.

Do not therefor, do injustice to yourselves.

There’s other parts of the speech i don’t agree with, obviously, but the basic premise is a fairly strong argument against the idiocy displayed by those who would profess that the title of this post is true.

A Southpark Metaphor For McCain’s Speech

I was just having a smoke pondering Senator McCain’s speech at the RNC Convention 2008, and I was struck by a pretty strong metaphor.

Now, go with me a minute here. This is really only going to make the slightest bit of sense to people who have seen ‘Southpark: The Move’. Preferably more than once.

Other’s might get distracted by the metaphor.

In the movie Satan (in this case a metaphor for the U.S. electorate) is in bed with Saddam Hussein (in the case a metaphor for the Republican party). Now Satan (the U.S.) is sick of Saddam’s (Republican’s) crap. Saddam consistently treats Satan like a sex object, refuses to cuddle, and the U.S. is sick of it.

So Satan is ready to dump the Republicans and makes that hope clear.

And then Saddam starts singing…

But I can change, I can change!!!
I can learn to keep my promises, I swear it!
I’ll open up my heart and I will share it!
Any minute now I will be born again!
Yes I can change, I can change!!!
I know I’ve been a dirty little bastard
La la la la la lalala!

I like to kill, I like to maim, yes, I’m insane, but IT’S OK
Its not my fault that Im so evil
Its society, society.

So that’s pretty much what I heard. It’s not our fault. It’s the media. And those corrupt Republicans in Washington.

The people that caused the problems are going to change…themselves…and all the problems are solved.

It’s a joke, don’t you get it?

Oh Yeah, and Obama Gave Some Speech

Denver – In a stadium packed to the brim with more than 80,000 Americans waving red, white, and blue flags, Barack Obama formally accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, becoming the first African-American candidate for that office from a major party.

“With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States,” he said as the crowd roared, stamped their feet, and flashed their cameras throughout Denver’s Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium.

Senator Obama then made an emphatic appeal to the working and middle classes, blaming their economic struggles on eight years of the “failed policies of George W. Bush.” While he pledged not use the “same partisan playbook” to attack GOP rival John McCain, Obama made the strongest case yet against the Arizona senator, assailing him for holding onto the “old, discredited Republican philosophy” and “standing alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.”

He also challenged Senator McCain on his own turf, saying he was more than ready to “have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander-in-chief.”

Soaring speech from Obama, plus some specifics | csmonitor.com.

Like most of the media (hey look, I’m honest enough to admit that I’m part of it) I’ve been focusing the vast majority of my attention over the last few days on Sarah Palin and the circus surrounding her (HA!!! Actually no one was talking about her on Monday, despite all the juice.  They’ve been blowing Gustav all weekend.  He barely came at all).  I’ve actually got another, more serious, post on that coming up.  There’s some b.s. in the WSJ (News Corpse Cadillac) that I was to tear asunder.  It’s here if you want the preview.

But now I wanted to cover Obama real quick.  He’s been lost in the shuffle since giving the performance of his life.  This is what it looked like.

It’s a heckuva speech.  For anyone who wants to know what he is, wants to do and why, watch the speech.

I’ve got a version of it with live commentary I’ll try and post later.  It’s too large for normal Youtube Upload, so I’ll probably have to split it up.  Might even give it some “Pop-up Video” treatment.  If you want that, say so.

Regardless, this election isn’t just about making fun of McCain and his VPilf choice, it’s also about supporting one of the most exciting and with it politicians I’ve seen in my short time on this rock.

UPDATE: Here’s the fact-checking.

The Obama World Tour : Reaction (Race Card Analysis)

“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,” Obama said at Berlin’s Victory Column in the Tiergarten park.

“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,” he said.

Obama said people of all nations must stand together to face challenges of the 21st century — from terrorism to global warming to genocide.

“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,” he said.

Obama uses Berlin symbolism to reunite old allies – CNN.com.

And so the world’s introduction to Obama to complete. Now pretty much everyone knows who he is and what he stands for.

At least for those outside the U.S. Inside the U.S. there is still plenty of work being done to reduce his candidacy and the man himself to a simple concept. A basic label. This process is now complete.

Obama is “The One”.

Yup. The Annointed One. The Saviour of All that is Good and Holy.

Not a bad label, really, when you compare it to some of the previous attempts.

Much of this was solidified by his speech last week in Berlin.

More on this one later. As with many things that illicit a strong reaction, this one is probably best processed personally.

Update: 8/7/08…just got back from driving across the country with a friend who was moving across the country.

Read more for some analysis…

Continue reading

Some Random Black Dude Talks about Iraq

Ran across this one yesterday.  It’s always nice to see the positions coming directly from the candidates.  As I tend to lean a bit towards this Obama fella, I figured a closer look at his Op-Ed would be worthwhile.

On we go.

Op-Ed Contributor – My Plan for Iraq – Op-Ed – Barack Obama – NYTimes.com

CHICAGO — The call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States.

Good start.  This is exactly the same thing I pointed out last week when al-Maliki made his statement.

Next up is a bit of history surrounding the engagement.  Nothing much here but the bottom line.

The differences on Iraq in this campaign are deep. Unlike Senator John McCain, I opposed the war in Iraq before it began, and would end it as president. I believed it was a grave mistake to allow ourselves to be distracted from the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban by invading a country that posed no imminent threat and had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. Since then, more than 4,000 Americans have died and we have spent nearly $1 trillion. Our military is overstretched. Nearly every threat we face — from Afghanistan to Al Qaeda to Iran — has grown.

In the 18 months since President Bush announced the surge, our troops have performed heroically in bringing down the level of violence. New tactics have protected the Iraqi population, and the Sunni tribes have rejected Al Qaeda — greatly weakening its effectiveness.

So we’ve got a bit of momentum, maybe..depending on the way Sadr goes, which seem seems to be quietly at the moment.   He then goes on a bit about the current state of Iraqi politics and makes on the most salient semantic points I’ve seen in a while.  Note the bold.

Only by redeploying our troops can we press the Iraqis to reach comprehensive political accommodation and achieve a successful transition to Iraqis’ taking responsibility for the security and stability of their country. Instead of seizing the moment and encouraging Iraqis to step up, the Bush administration and Senator McCain are refusing to embrace this transition — despite their previous commitments to respect the will of Iraq’s sovereign government. They call any timetable for the removal of American troops “surrender,” even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government.

A wonderful point here, as we are giving power to a government we put in place, not the insurgents or AQI (obviously).  To call this surrender is to embolden the enemy.

He then points out that leaving in a responsible manner is not only desired by the Iraqis, the U.S. and the World, but that it can be done responsibly.

As I’ve said many times, we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 — two years from now, and more than seven years after the war began. After this redeployment, a residual force in Iraq would perform limited missions: going after any remnants of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces. That would not be a precipitous withdrawal.

And then with the strong finish, with some excellent rhetoric and a very simple statement (bolded for your pleasure).

In this campaign, there are honest differences over Iraq, and we should discuss them with the thoroughness they deserve. Unlike Senator McCain, I would make it absolutely clear that we seek no presence in Iraq similar to our permanent bases in South Korea, and would redeploy our troops out of Iraq and focus on the broader security challenges that we face. But for far too long, those responsible for the greatest strategic blunder in the recent history of American foreign policy have ignored useful debate in favor of making false charges about flip-flops and surrender.

It’s not going to work this time. It’s time to end this war.

And so it is.

Always Know Your Audience

Babylon & Beyond : Los Angeles Times : MIDDLE EAST: Bush’s Iraq speech leaves a bad taste

While President Bush defended his decision to invade Iraq tooth and nail, media in the Arab world lambasted the U.S. war for unleashing disasters, divisions and terror.Bush was addressing defense officials at the Pentagon on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

A fiery editorial in today’s edition of the English-language Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star rebuked Bush for blaming the destruction of Iraq on the Iraqi people:

The Bush administration and its apologists like to blame Al-Qaeda for all the chaos that has plagued Iraqis since 2003, but it was Bush and his advisers who brought terrorism to Iraq…. They have helped keep it there, as well, by consistently failing to provide many of the benefits they promised as mitigating factors for the nightmare they unleashed: Millions of people have been displaced, millions more are unemployed.

Another editorial in the Dubai-based Gulf News daily criticized the “horrifying” US mismanagement of Iraq after the invasion:

Any improvements discussed by Bush today do not change the fact that Iraqis continue to suffer from this war. Five years on, the war-torn country faces the same horrors inflicted upon it in 2003. The Iraq war will haunt future generations.

Reaction from last week’s 5-year silliness speech from Boosh.

You Never Lose Money…

STLtoday – Obama tests America’s cult of ignorance

Early on in Robert Harris’ new novel, “The Ghost,” a literary editor says to an author who ghost-writes celebrity memoirs, “Tell me. When did it become fashionable to be stupid? That’s the thing I don’t understand. The cult of the idiot. The elevation of the moron.”

I worried about this question last week as I listened to Sen. Barack Obama’s speech on race. I wondered, is America going to get this? Isn’t this speech way too carefully constructed and nuanced? Shouldn’t he have explained what he meant by “Jim Crow”? Shouldn’t he have explained who William Faulkner was?

What’s he doing giving this speech at 10 o’clock on a Tuesday morning? Doesn’t he know about prime time? Why did he write this speech himself? Doesn’t he have speechwriters and focus groups who can test this stuff? Shouldn’t he be shouting and waving his arms instead of standing coolly behind a lectern and talking in measured cadence? Why isn’t he pandering?

…underestimating the intelligence of the American electorate.    Watching the response to the..curious speech (Robot Pirate Ninja’s have no race)…tells me what I need to know about the rest of you.