Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama Speech ' A More Perfect Union'

Barack Obama Speech on Racism March 18, 2008
' A MORE PERFECT UNION ' ( clip 9:00 minutes )
Racial stalemate

Inequality still exist in America
Systemic embedded racism Must be faced and overcome
Insist on a full measure of justice and equality for all Americans
" The most segregated hour in America takes place on Sunday Morning "

For full speech ( 37:00 minutes ) see Barackobamadotcom

also check out Keith Olbermann on Countdown at MSNBC
Rachel Maddow and Eugene Robinson join Keith Olbermann to discuss Barack Obama's landmark speech on race. Aired 3/18/08.

As the media and Neocons and the Radical Religious right act appalled by Obama's spiritual guide Pastor Wright they all seem to forget about the advisers and spiritual guides of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney which include the Straussian Neocons and religious leaders such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. It was Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell for example who believed 9/11 was payback from God for Americans living sinful lives ; allowing Gays and Lesbians and other perverts (in their view) to walk about freely and murdering millions of babies by legalizing abortion, while teaching Godless Evolution in the schools along with sex education and allowing women into the Army etc.

It just all seems a little less than even-handed. If Senator McCain or George Bush associates with Radical Christian Evangelicals and the odd White Supremacists the media are told it is not that important or if Bush spends an inordinate amount of time with various Radical Neoconservatives this is again not really the Public's or the Media's concern.

And here's a bit on one of Bush's spiritual and political advisers Norman Pohoretz

The Lunacy of Norman Podhoretz by the Southern Avenger

Well thank God George Bush had such a wonderful and insightful mentor to guide him so that all of his foreign and domestic policies have worked out so well. Of course ignoring the sarcastic tone as far as the Neocons and Podhoertz are concerned most of Bush's policies were stellar decisions . Ignoring the people who were the victims of Katrina is just part of the neocon agenda of self-reliance and allowing nature to take its course and Iraq has become a new Beach-head in the Middle East as American plans to conquers a number of other nations eventually.

Anyway back to Obama's speech.
What I fear is that Obama's speech will get lost in the noise of Fox News and the Radical Religious Right and the Neocons and the McCain and Clintons' campaign machines of half-truths, lies , rumors and other forms of propaganda as their spin doctors gear up for another wave of attacks on Barack Obama.

And so is Obama too honest and outspoken to be President of a country which would prefer not to accept or face up to certain issues such as race or the economic divide . Is Obama then in fact as Hillary and others claim too naive . Is his vision of America too far off the mark. Hillary and McCain believe that American's only understand things in very simple terms of good or bad , or good versus evil. Americans they seem to claim are just too simple-minded to understand the complexities of any issue. It is therefore the job of politicians to break issues down into overly simplified terms. What Hillary and McCain claim is that Politicians need to dumb it down so that American's can understand an issue. This is all part of the dumbing down of America.

What Obama seems to say is that American's are intelligent and sophisticated enough that they can understand the complexities of various issues and are mature enough to discuss these openly in the public arena . Obama's argues that American's are insightful enough that they understand that all of America's problems cannot be resolved by merely waving a magic wand . Obama is also arguing that American's know when fear and threats to the nation are merely being used by those in power to distract the citizenry from what are the real issues facing Americans . What McCain and Hillary claim is that solutions to America's economic , social, and racial problems and issues to do with inequality and injustice have to once more be postponed as America faces another National crisis and so has to spend or focus all its resources and energies on expanding its war on terror.

And so McCain and Hillary will be able to fix these internal problems once they have won the war on terror which McCain says may take another 50 to 100 years.
And they also promise that all they need is to be authorized to enter into even more foreign wars to widen the war on terror or that it could more quickly resolved by dropping even bigger bombs and possible nuclear bombs. After that they can then focus on domestic issues in the year 2028 or 2058 or even 2108 and then all will become perfect in America.

But are Americans willing to wait that long and are they willing to put their trust in politicians who seem locked into this sort of mindset of continuous and perpetual war. Or are Americans finally getting wise to being told that those in power always know what's best for America as in obliterating one country after another all in some dubious rationale of 'National Security' or 'America's interests' which really means the interests of various super-wealthy individuals and corporations.

For instance according to some of the conservatives and Neocons if anyone including an American questions some of America's foreign policies then that individual is labeled as being anti-American. There are many Americans who believe for example that the United States was not justified into going into Iraq and so those who believe this must be anti-American. Consider some of the foreign policies of America over the passed fifty years. Now not everything America did was wrong but some decisions and actions by former American administrations are questionable. Was America right in overthrowing Allende in Chile who had been democratically elected as President of Chile.The coup was American backed and there were American advisers who helped Pinochet and his army to take control of Chile. As I mentioned for instance when writing about Chilean musician Victor Jara that he was murdered by Pinochet's soldiers. Of the thousands executed during the coup most were not a threat to the state , most were musicians, poets, actors , writers, academics , journalists , university students who were unarmed but who supported Allende and for that they were murdered . So is it in some cases acceptable to question or even condemn a particular American foreign policy or must all Americans in order to be considered patriots support all American foreign policies of the present and the past ???
Was the Vietnam War for instance an example of a justified foreign policy or was it absolutely wrong-headed or just flawed ?

So once again Americans are told they may make minor changes in the system but nothing too substantive because then it will be labeled radical and anti-American.
So its acceptable to withdraw a few troops from Iraq but not most of the troops and one is not even permitted to talk about America's Holy Warriors such as the Mercenaries like Blackwater who are like the Centurion Guard or Royal Guard who are beyond reproach . What Obama's sin is that he says the War in Iraq was unjustifiable from the beginning and that the occupation is a disaster and for saying so bluntly the Republicans , Neocons , the Religious Right and even Hillary Clinton want to scuttle his campaign in anyway that they can .

Here is a good summary and analysis of the attacks on Obama by the Republican's and Neocons and the Religious Right and even Hillary Clinton's supporters :

The Media Repeats Stream of Lies About Obama

By Ari Berman, The Nation. Posted March 13, 2008.

He's been defended by AIPAC on his Israel views, made it clear that he's Christian, yet the media keeps swallowing right-wing lies.

By now you've probably seen at least some of these e-mails and articles about Barack Obama bouncing around the Internet. They distort Obama's religious faith, question his support for Israel, warp the identity and positions of his campaign advisers and defame his friends and allies from Chicago. The purpose of the smear is to paint him as an Arab-loving, Israel-hating, terrorist-coddling, radical black nationalist. That picture couldn't be further from the truth, but you'd be surprised how many people have fallen for it. The American Jewish community, one of the most important pillars of the Democratic Party and US politics, has been specifically targeted [see Eric Alterman's column in the March 24 issue, "(Some) Jews Against Obama"]. What started as a largely overlooked fringe attack has been thrust into the mainstream -- used as GOP talking points, pushed by the Clinton campaign, echoed by the likes of Meet the Press host Tim Russert. Falsehoods are repeated as fact, and bits of evidence become "elaborate constructions of malicious fantasy," as the Jewish Week, America's largest Jewish newspaper, editorialized.

...We may not know who started the smears, but we do know who's amplifying them. The "Obama is a Muslim" rumor began in the fringe conservative blogosphere. "Barack Hussein Obama: Once a Muslim, Always a Muslim," blogger Debbie Schlussel wrote on December 18, 2006. Schlussel had a history of inflammatory rhetoric and baseless accusations. She said journalist Jill Carroll, who was kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents in 2006, "hates America" and "hates Israel"; labeled George Soros a "fake Holocaust survivor"; and speculated that Pakistani terrorists were somehow to blame for last year's shootings at Virginia Tech. Yet her post on Obama gained traction; one month later, the Washington Times's Insight magazine alleged that Obama had attended "a so-called Madrassa" and was a secret Muslim.

The Christian right is also preoccupied with Obama's religious beliefs. "Is Obama a Muslim?" the Rev. Rob Schenck, a reform Jew who converted to Christianity and now calls himself a "missionary to Capitol Hill," asked in a recent videoblog. "He may be an apostate, he may be an infidel, he may be a bad Muslim, a very, very bad Muslim, he may be an unfaithful Muslim." Schenck's videoblog was circulated by the Christian Newswire and Cross Action News, a self-described "Drudge Report for Christians." Schenck later concluded that, although not a Muslim, Obama was also "not a 'Bible Christian'" and did not practice a "confident faith." A separate report posted on the Christian Newswire recently asked if Obama was "Wearing a What-Would-Satan-Do Bracelet." And a top figure in the group Christians United for Israel, Pastor Rod Parsley, a "spiritual guide" to John McCain, repeatedly referred to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama" before campaigning with McCain in Ohio. (Thirteen percent of registered American voters now incorrectly believe that Obama is a Muslim, according to a recent Wall Street Journal poll, up from 8 percent in December. Forty-four percent of respondents are unsure of his religion or decline to answer; only 37 percent know that he is a Christian.)

The Muslim rumor was followed by fictions about Obama's actual faith, Christianity. In February 2007, Erik Rush, a columnist for WorldNetDaily, a hub of right-wing yellow journalism, called Obama's Chicago church a "black supremacist" and "separatist" institution. Rush found a sympathetic audience at Fox News, where he was interviewed by Sean Hannity. Soon after, another blast of e-mails went out, calling Obama a racist: "Notice too, what color you will need to be if you should want to join Obama's churchB-L-A-C-K!!!" Like the Muslim claim, it was a lie. But screeds about Obama's faith soon gave way to wide-ranging attacks against his campaign advisers, his positions on the Middle East and his associations in Chicago.

And he points out who he believes is at the center of the controversy surrounding Obama's campaign :

At the fulcrum of this effort is a little-known blogger from Northbrook, Illinois, named Ed Lasky, whose articles on have done more than anything to give the smear campaign an air of respectability. Lasky co-founded in 2003, modeling it after Powerline, a popular conservative blog. Before that, he had frequently written letters to newspapers defending Israel and criticizing the Palestinians. Though his background remains a mystery, Lasky didn't hide his neoconservative leanings. He wrote a blog post in 2004 titled "Why American Jews Must Vote for Bush," made three separate donations to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, contributed $1,000 to Tom DeLay and has given more than $50,000 to GOP candidates and causes since 2000. Lasky sits on the board of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, whose close affiliations with Christian-right operatives like Ralph Reed has made Eckstein a controversial figure in the Jewish community.

A lengthy article from January 16, "Barack Obama and Israel," put Lasky on the map. "One seemingly consistent theme running throughout Barack Obama's career is his comfort with aligning himself with people who are anti-Israel advocates," Lasky wrote. To reach that conclusion, Lasky laughably warped what it meant to be "pro-Israel," criticizing Obama for, among other things, opposing John Bolton as UN ambassador and hiring veteran foreign policy hands from the Clinton and Carter administrations. By Lasky's criteria, every Democrat in the Senate, and more than a few Republicans, would be considered "anti-Israel." "Lasky's piece is filled with half-truths, omission of 'inconvenient facts,' innuendo, deeply flawed logic, undocumented charges, hearsay, and guilt by distant association," wrote Ira Forman of the National Jewish Democratic Council in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

And to hear it from the horse's mouth see :article by ed lasky March 14, 2008
Senator Obama's Foreign Policy Judgment
By Ed Lasky

also in the spirit of equaltime see for a Neoconservative perspective on Obama's speech:

at American Thinker Blog: March 18, 2008
Obamababble/Clarice Feldman

"If in their close twenty year association Obama was not able to move Rev. Wright off his divisive hatred and correct his many historical errors, why are we to suppose he could unite a nation, millions of whom didn't and would never vote for him?"

and : March 16, 2008
A President Obama's Neoliberal Theocracy By Lee Cary

Barack Obama's first vocational choice was to help people in a poor African-American community. Later, he joined a church founded on black liberation theology. This combination could result in an Obama presidency that embodies something new in American history -- a Neoliberal Theocracy.

March 19, 2008/Obama's Coming-Out Speech By Lee Cary
After his speech yesterday, we now better understand Obama's church affiliation and have a framework to interpret his intentions. He and his spiritual mentor shape their respective vocations, politics and theology, through the same race-based class dialectic.


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