Obama, muslims, and endorsements.

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by fleinn, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    United Press International - NewsTrack - Top News - Obama praised by Louis Farrakhan
    Sadly, No! Uh-oh! They’re onto us!
    Also, Tim Russert with Obama on MTP.

    Question: how seriously do you take the very common idea in the media that if you do not wish to kill terrorists indiscriminately, wherever they may or may not be, bomb countries at random and agitate for killing people in a show of force - as opposed to the other party who draws the line on nuclear weapons.. unless they're really needed - then you are soft on terrorism?

    And how difficult is it actually for Obama to be endorsed by the former leader of the Nation of Islam? Is it, for example, more damaging for Obama to be defensive on MTP than being endorsed by Farrakhan?

    After all - it's obvious that being endorsed by aggressive, homocidal and gay priests is not a problem for the republicans - so isn't it obvious that it's the person's attitude towards the onslaught that determines the damage the candidate takes?

    Or is that yet again part of narrative that most people don't care about, in favour of other issues (like Hillary's temper :p ).

    Thoughts..?
     

  2. micfranklin

    micfranklin Eviscerator

    All I can say is that its not good to associate yourself with an anti-Semitic person, and I'm glad Obama is aware of that.

    Since 9/11 the media and all kinds of people have really outdone themselves when they say you are <insert awful thing to call someone here> if you feel we do or don't need to do this.
     
  3. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    Mm. So the idea is to set up a test- scenario to determine whether someone is <insert awful thing>.

    How come that works in this case, though? Obviously Obama isn't a secretly muslim undercover agent because Farrakhan endorses him, yeah? (I mean, if he was a covert muslim terrorist, they'd fashion Obama as a die- hard conservative who wants to destroy all muslims anywhere... right? Or at least some other genocidal kook beyond suspicion.)

    I'm just wondering - how does this work? "Some people say"? "We have heard from super- secret sources that.."? I just don't see how it turns up, or how it works. I mean, it's hardly months ago that Michelle Malkin was having people hide in the bushes outside the "mansion" of some democrat speaking in favour of the s-chip program. So why is suddenly the "ooh, isn't that a problem for the candidate" to be seen in the same room, because it upsets us somehow enough now?

    Is the worry something along the line that: since all politicians are scum and will have sex with the dead in one town to woo the votes of the necrophiles, and then praise god in the next town - so by the law of... something.. he's bound to take money from Farrakhan, and then automatically become an anti- Israeli extremist..?

    I... just don't see it, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  4. soot

    soot Registered Member

    It's simply that Farrakhan is a polarizing figure.

    If Fred Phelps endorsed McCain I'm sure he'd "denounce and refuse" the endorsement along the same vein.

    Farrakhan is an antisemite, a homophobe, and a racist. I wouldn't want his endorsement either.

    I think the photo the other day with Obama in traditional Moslem atire was ridiculous and I'm glad that the vast majority of this nation saw it for the farce it was. I think him Obama acceting an endorsement from Farrakhan would be equally riduculous.

    He did the right thing for the right reason in refusing it.

    As far as Obama's national defense credentials, I think they're laughable. I like the guy a lot but it's easy to see that he's completly out of his element and over his head.

    Clearly the Republicans have taken things much too far with the GWOT business we find ourselves in, but it is what it is at this point and somebody has to clean up the mess while preventing the world (and specificaly real terrorists) from preceiving an exploitable and actionable weakness on the part of America.

    I truly believe that if Obama is elected president the real terrorists are going to come looking for us in a way we don't really want to have to deal with, let alone even consider. Probably something on the grounds of the Palestinian Intafadas.

    If I thought that accepting that kind of beating were necessary in order to get America back on the right track then I would vote for Obama and hope he doesn't let us get f.ucked up too baddly.

    McCain is an unknown quantity for me. I really don't know how to peg him on national defense. I think he'd be strong on while restoring a degree of ethics and morality to it that we've seen precious little of under Bush. But I really don't know.

    So either I vote for a Democrat who I know is going to bend over, grab his ankles, and allow us to take it right up the a.ss in the name of improving our standing in the eys of the "international community", or I vote for McCain and hope that the warpath doesn't become any broader or dirtier.

    What a choice.
     
  5. Brandon77

    Brandon77 Registered Member

    Obama can't really prevent anyone from giving him their endorsement. It's free speech. I think a lot of people blow this out of proportion because of Obama's Muslim father. I don't think it's fair how the media runs with this kind of stuff, like all the people saying "Barack Hussein Obama", throwing in a racial cheapshot. For goodness sake, he was called "Barry" in High School.

    I don't support the man and disagree with almost 100% of what he will do, or at least plans on doing, but I do think the media has not been treating him fairly the last few days with all this muslim drama being thrown at him.
     
  6. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    I suppose I can understand that..

    But.. you both seem to say that the buzz does work - the way the cases are shaped, until it turns out the buzz is not central to the issues, and it's "really" about Obama's terrorist sympaties.

    What I'm really wondering about is.. how it works. How do you go from media- storm and to "I don't trust the guy on national security"?

    ...help me out here.
     
  7. soot

    soot Registered Member

    I don't think there's any real association between the level of trust I place in his ability to adequately secure this nation and the hype about Obama's precieved relationship to Islam, real, spun, or imagined (whether created by the media, as a consequence of dirty pool out of the Clinton camp, as a result of a misinterpretation of a Farrakhan endorsement - had he accepted it, or because of the man's upbringing or family circumstances).

    I think that most of the latter is just so much silliness that's only going to fool those who are actively willing to be fooled.

    I don't think that Obama harbors terrorist sympathies, and I don't think that too many other people do either, media hype not withstanding. I just don't think he would take the proactive approach necessary to interdict terrorism, or have the courage to make decissions on anything less than absolutely overwelming and obvious evidence. That doesn't make him a terrorist sympathiser, just a weak executive. I think that because of the things that Obama says and just a general feeling I get about the guy, not because of the things that have been said about.
     
  8. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    Hmm. So I was right? If he took charge and tore at the silliness these views come from, you would have a different view of him as a person?

    ..It's very strange. I had this discussion with some democrats earlier on - and they too had this curious idea that they should be defensive and reasonable and calm in the face of anything - because people were so tired of the "animosity in washington". It's bull. Turns out, time and again, that if a candidate takes charge and forcefully argues his position - like Obama did earlier on with the attitude towards the constitution and the process, the separation of powers, and so on - he can be popular without agitating for monarchy, perpetual war and endless military spending.

    But I think the way you refer to Obama's personality is strange. Is that a symbol for the national security problem, do you think? The "strong leader", and the protection aspect? I mean - it's not actually dependent on the leader whether the terrorists (read: wolves) circle in on you... right?

    Not to get sidetracked over to the specific issues - but there is a case to be made for the idea that the "aggressive" position on national security has been a PR flop. And that the actual impact - like with Afghanistan, Saudia- Arabian diplomacy after ww2, etc. - will perhaps not be seen for a while. As well as that the outcomes aren't exactly as clear cut as some.. very eager strategists might say?

    I could also mention that only a couple of weeks ago, the idea of having two (rhetorically strong) men face off on being the toughest on America's enemies - were as far from the media- picture as perhaps Bush has been for several months.. Instead there have been other issues, economy, jobs, plans, process in Congress - so what's changed now..?
     
  9. soot

    soot Registered Member

    Which views exactly? The media view of him as a Moslem sympathizer or my view of him as a weak national defense candidate? (Or perhaps you consider them to be one and the same?)

    I think Obama is very popular in spite of his aversion toward war and military spending. I think he has a very good chance to be the next president despite my personal feelings in regard to the matters we're discussing here, and I could live with that because I think he brings a lot to the table.

    No, you can't stop them from circling, but you have to decide how closely you're willing to let them circle. Once they get close enough to bite they become a very real and present threat.

    I think that Obama is the kind of guy who would allow them to circle in closely enough to bite without being willing to do anything about it until after the biting actually occured. I think that's a stupid approach to security, which would imply in its definition not just an ability to respond to harm rendered but also a degree of saftey from harm. I think Obama is risk averse and would be unwilling to make difficult, and possibly unpopular (especially with his core constiuency) decissions before harm came to this country when it would be much easier to make decissions in response to harm already done. How would he explain aggressive military action when he's built a campaign on opposition to aggressive military action?

    I think force of personality alone is enough to disuade some wolves because ultimately the wolf wants to be successful in whatever action he takes. If you make it clear that you're out there looking for him he might be a little less eager to run up againstt you. The wolves we're dealing with are happy to throw their lives away for their cause, but they'd like to throw thm away on a good couse, not just as a matter of course.

    And lastly, I don't think an overy display of machismo is absolutely necessary as a deterent. Walk softly and carry a big stick worked pretty well for us before. The threat of interdiction and retaliation has to be there, but the president doesn't have to pose and posture as Billy Bada.ss at every opportunity either.

    I don't understand what you're getting at here.

    I think that all of those things are still important to poeple, especially the economy now that it looks more and more likely that we might be heading into a depression. In fact I think the news of the day was both Obama's and Clinton's recent (and disingenuous) comments on NAFTA.

    But we're also a nation at war, and even though it might not necessarially be the "right war" in the case of Iraq it is the right war in the case of militant Islamic terrorism and it's a problem that's going to be with us for a long time. People recognize that and it concerns them, and rightly so.
     
  10. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    ..I'm not sure. As I said, I can't figure out how weak on national defense, and weak personality really are different sizes in american politics at the moment.. (I could be wrong).

    Well. Some strategists think - genuinely think - that if they don't show the muslim savages who's boss, they're going to stab you in the back the moment you turn and walk out of the room. Figuratively and literally. So they maintain that view, and support policies to maintain a large "footprint" in the middle east - in the Gulf, the straits of Hormuz, and in Saudi- Arabia and Egypt - for the reason that they believe it intimidates the muslim hordes so they won't slaughter our women and children in their beds while draining our lifeblood.

    (I'm not kidding. Serious people in high positions.)

    The same typically goes for China and Russia. So when a question of reducing the force- deployments arise in a good- faith/quid pro quo agreement - there's always the problem that the US representatives cannot go away believing they gave anything up. I'm sure you see that this will make things complicated, when their chief is an underdeveloped four- year old, who has gotten everything he wants since he was too small to remember, if he only jumped up and down enough. Or asked in the right way, or put down enough "leverage".

    Since because of this, it will always be impossible to field an idea that the force- deployments of various kinds should truly be grounded in a practical mission to accomplish a task. Take Lebanon, for example - the result of the problem I'm describing here, when the people with these attitudes are the representatives for the US - is that the forces must stay until the US feels they can withdraw without for example allowing that...*shrug* democracy didn't flourish, people didn't sing praise, and rose- petals didn't flow in the streets - like a Bollywood- movie - without this signifying defeat and shameful withdrawal and weakness. Since that backing down again suggests directly that the US is now in deadly peril from the horrible enemies of nondescript origin and appearance.

    The problem is that this same problem has happened before. The same argumentation was used before, with full success for keeping loads of military equipment in place - and we know that relations with Afghanistan and Saudi- Arabia are major points of contention in all muslim countries. Historically, and when it comes to contemporary issues like the indefinitely postponed rebuilding. As both countries are now experiencing new bases and increased troop presence, without any of the fringe- benefits they were promised.

    The same goes for involvement with and support for tyrants, staging of coups, and so on - all in the name of freedom and democracy. Just like now, where the practical translation of all the money for the war is yet more weapons to extremists, and political cover for those who know how to exploit and kill others while wearing a genial and diplomatic face. In fact, the image of the US and Bush not in the least, is very much alike that of certain hated local leaders. Who do, as a matter of fact, often retain their position through unscrupulous exploitation of the local population. And are using the methods the US supports actively at the moment. To the point it's only fair to say they are enabled by the US to do so.

    I'm just saying it's a curious sleigh of hand to turn this type of activity into being "strong on defense".

    But I'm getting off track. Sorry about that.
     

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