President Barack Hussein Obama is campaigning again. And, why not? He has accomplished so much in less than six months that he can afford the campaign trail, again. I thought he was going for World President directly. Instead, he is trying for Khalif of Islam, religious and secular leader of all Muslims worldwide. It’s not absurd because the religious dimension of the position suits him especially well.
Dictators Chavez of Venezuela and Castro of Cuba have expressed their admiration for Pres, Obama. The former is reported to have said that Obama had by-passed him on his Left, doing more for socialism than he, Chavez was able to accomplish in several years. Astute Russian observers whose judgment I trust for obvious reasons say that no one has managed to socialize such a large part of a national economy in so short a time, I am told. (Sergey Nikoforov, if you are reading this from Moscow, please, chime in quickly. If you are not reading this, I forgive you. I know you are busy taking the prudent steps dictated by Soviet experience: planting a large vegetable garden, and possibly raising some small farm stock.)
COMMENT FROM SERGEY IN RUSSIA AT THE END OF THIS POSTING.
The fact that this happened in the economy of a developed country intrigues me. That was what Karl Marx had predicted originally, down to the notion that a fraction of the bourgeoisie would detach itself and join the proletarian revolution. He was wrong on the latter though. This is not a proletarian (workers’) revolution. It’s the case of the political apparatus taking over directly – as happened under Stalin after years of travail – and expropriating this country’s wealth. This is the dawn of a triumphant and omnipotent government bureaucracy. (See my small posting of about how government bureaucrats at the lowest level think on 6/5.) Think of Michele Obama, whose last job paid $350,000 for reasons unexplained, speaking in the name of the poor and the downtrodden while on her way to a big date in New York with her husband in my expensive jet. I still own the plane but not for long and it already makes no difference.
Personal note: I don’t comment much about the vast economic disaster surrounding us for two reasons. First, the loud lamentations it merits become tiresome quickly. I don’t want my voice to be limited to one loud wail for the next few years, at least. Second, I try to limit myself to topics I understand well, or that I think I understand well. There are three main types: 1 Those topics on which I have a good grasp as an immigrant and a person familiar with more than one more national culture; 2 Those topics that overlap with my past scholarly work; 3 Those topics that happen to ring a bell with the memory of my wide-ranging reading.
To fight the Beast, some must grab the head, some the tail, and some the big toe. I don’t mind being the big toe guy, or one of them. I wish you should do the same.
How about the President’s speech in Cairo?
As I said, I think it was a good stump speech. I would not be surprised if a well-informed Muslim told me this was the best electoral speech ever delivered to a Muslim audience.
On the whole, I think the Cairo speech did more good than harm to security. Here is why: First. the large numbers of Muslims who are illiterate (in violation of their own religious precepts) will have been flattered to be addressed at all, and to be addressed in fairly mellifluous terms at that.
Second, some Muslim intellectuals will find validation and even some encouragement in the President’s brief mention of the tyranny and injustice reigning in much of the Muslim world (but not in all of it: fellow conservatives, pay attention!) Some moderates will even take heart and speak a little more openly about the contradiction between suicide and Islamic morality.
Third, any such well-publicized speech by such a famous figure is bound to trigger some discussion inside Muslim countries. That will cause further divisions. That’s right, I want the Muslim world divided but not so much between different nation-states, as it is now, but inside, the way Western societies have been internally divided for several centuries. I don’t like Muslim unanimity because history shows that it breeds aggressiveness and fanaticism.
Aside from the grammatical mistakes and the historical confusion (that may not have been translated), the effectiveness of the President’s speech will be limited by one factor the press is too polite or too ignorant to talk about. His are the words of an abed (or abid), of a black man and therefore, a slave, or a descendant of slaves. In Arab society, such people are lent little credence. Some Arabs may not believe he is the real President of the US but instead, the Chamberlain of the real, pale-face ruler. I don’t know about non-Arab Muslims, the vast majority, of course.
So, liberals, you can relax. Barack Obama is not going to abandon the presidency to ascend to the throne of Khalif of all Muslims. There has never been a black Khalif. It’s not going to happen.
Things the President did not say because he wanted to flatter his audience or because he honestly does not know. (I would prefer the cynical option, by far.)
Palestinian Arab Muslims live mostly as refuges and under foreign control because of three wars their stupid Arab Muslim cousins started and lost.
They live as refuges in several Arab countries because those countries don’t want to grant them citizenship. Compare with the way Germany treated fellow Germans who were refuges in 1946 and again, in 1989-90.
By the way, Palestinian Arab Muslims, how did the Palestinian Arab Christians disappear from your midst? (A topic in a recent National Geographic Magazine.)
The harm Israeli Jews do to Palestinian Muslims does not begin to compare with what Muslims are doing to Muslims in Darfur. The latter is a genocide. If Israel wanted to exterminate Palestinians, it would have been done a long time ago; the Palestinian population would have shrunk much instead of thriving demographically as it is.
Peace in the Middle-East is desirable. We are all tired of that interminable conflict. I have commiseration fatigue as I write. I am sick of paying the bills for the bad behavior there. Yet, you can’t fault Israel for not negotiating right now. There is no one to negotiate with. The Palestinian Authority in the West Banks is extremely corrupt, by its own admission. (Arafat’s widow is living in luxury in Paris. Why in luxury? Why in Paris?) Its political legitimacy is dubious at best (with much benefit of doubt). The Hamas rule on the Gaza Strip is classical fascist rule. (See my posting on fascism on 5/20 on my blog Bay Watch – jacquesdelacroixliberty.wordpress.com, and on 5/27 on my new blog, factsmatter,wordpress.com.) The Hamas Charter (link on first page of this blog) achieves two things. First, it expresses admirably in its words how it was written by people who live in the mental Middle-Ages. Two, it expresses clearly that Hamas ‘ goal is to destroy Israel.
How would you like to negotiate a boundary dispute with two neighbors, one a tottering thief, the other, a guy who swear he will run you out of your house and shoots at you every day, while they are trying to cut each other’s throat?
Another part of the speech that’s missing:
“[We will] invest in on-line learning for teachers and children around the world; and create a new online network, so a teen-ager in Kansas City can communicate instantly with a teenager in Cairo.”
and, if any tin-pot tyrant tries to restrict or interfere with this effort on their end, there will be hell to pay!
Of course, the last is crucial.
More on Judge Sotomayor. I think no one has commented on this important point: The fact that she said several times that she believes she possesses special wisdom because she is a Latina, tells me that she probably believes it. If she does, that makes her a little stupid. Being reared in difficult circumstances does not broaden your horizons, it makes them narrow. (Been there; done it; barely escaped; thank you America!) Poverty does not make you brilliant; it makes you stupid, or it does nothing. And, prejudice makes you prejudiced more often than not. That’s why economic stagnation is so objectionable: It wastes human potential.
More on the judge. She seems to have this whiny attitude as in, “Look at me; I am a poor member of a poor oppressed minority; I have suffered all my life.” She has a big chip on her shoulder. The press, even the conservative press, is too courteous to comment on the obvious. I am not: I am kind of an A-H- because I am losing patience. Also, I am tired of holding my tongue in insincere tribute to political correctness. Here is the obvious: She is a plain-looking woman. I can tell she always was, except perhaps between sixteen and nineteen.
Society is not kind to woman who are not at least moderately attractive. (Don’t blame society, I think. Blame Mother Nature, that evil stepmother.) Somehow, you don’t hear Penelope Cruz, or Salma Hayek complain much about the discrimination they suffered as Latinas. It would be interesting to compare the levels of bitterness of ugly Latinas with those of ugly blue-eyed blondes. I know my mental answer to the question my well reflect my preference for coffee over vanilla. But, enough said about my erotic life!