Shock, horror: Obama in turban!


by Leon
25th February, 2008 at 5:42 pm    

Barack ObamaOh my god what is the world coming to?! Sen Barack Obama has shocked the world by daring to dress in traditional African clothes, and wear a Turban too! To many this will look ‘Muslim’ and of course we all know that’s officially A Bad Thing. How can he be President now…?

Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, blamed the Clinton team for distributing the picture on the internet and described as the worst piece of fear-mongering of the election campaign so far.

The picture, which first appeared on the Drudge Report, is likely to be picked up by the many websites that have falsely claimed he is a Muslim. It was taken in 2006 when Obama, whose father was Kenyan, visited Wajir in the north-east of the African country and was dressed by the locals as a Somali elder.

The Drudge report said it had obtained the picture after it was circulated in an email between Clinton’s staff under the heading: “Wouldn’t we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were [Hillary Clinton]?”

It’s terrifying isn’t it? Those Clinton’s and their nasty little smear campaign tactics have done the American people a great service by alerting them (and us) to this horrifying image. Well done on them working with the rightwing blog The Drudge Report to bring this to light.


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  1. The Clinton Hypocrite « All About Nothing

    [...] further proof of her [...]




  1. SalmanRush — on 25th February, 2008 at 6:36 pm  

    Well, someone needed to put some negative information out there about Obama. I hope they find pictures of him hanging out with Nasrallah. Whats at stake are U.S. tax rates. Obama will probably raise them to 40-60% of U.S. corporate and individual income. That alone will tank the global economy.

  2. marvin — on 25th February, 2008 at 7:30 pm  

    Not the first time a Clinton campaigner has tried that kind of smear. Clinton backer stirs the pot by referring to Obama’s ‘Muslim’ roots

    I still don’t get what Obama is really about. Apparently he’s ready for change. Certainly ready for change…

  3. SalmanRush — on 25th February, 2008 at 7:37 pm  

    I think Obama is about change to 40-60% UK style tax rates.

  4. Bartholomew — on 25th February, 2008 at 10:36 pm  

    The most shocking revelation of a nefarious religious conspiracy since this.

  5. Sajn — on 25th February, 2008 at 11:18 pm  

    I didn’t quite understand where it shows that the Clinton campaign were behind this other than Obama’s agent claiming they were.

  6. Leon — on 25th February, 2008 at 11:27 pm  

    Read the second link, Drudge said it came from the Clinton campaign. The Clinton’s haven’t denied that therefore it did come from them.

  7. Sid — on 25th February, 2008 at 11:31 pm  

    Kind of says more about the parlous state of Clinton’s campaign than the rather fetching tilt of Obama’s turban.

  8. Sajn — on 25th February, 2008 at 11:31 pm  

    It doesn’t prove that they deliberately sent it to Drudge, just that the Drudge Report “obtained” an e-mail circulating amongst Clinton staffers.

    “Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams responds: “If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed.”

    Exactly! Why is it divisive?

  9. Leon — on 25th February, 2008 at 11:36 pm  

    Why would Clinton send this round if it wasn’t? If it wasn’t the Clinton campaign they would have denied it had anything to do with them or their usual ‘someone close to the campaign but not us but they’re gone now’ routine.

    Sid, yep but still it’s always good to lay into the Clinton’s. Man I dislike them so much I’m practically a Republican!

    Hopefully a backlash against this will secure her decisive defeat next week…

  10. Sid — on 25th February, 2008 at 11:39 pm  

    Hitchens was a lefty when he laid into the Clintons too. Now he’s a neocon. There’s a pattern there somewhere.

  11. Leon — on 25th February, 2008 at 11:45 pm  

    Oh god…being compared to him is quite the insult, what did I do to you to provoke such a response Sid!? :D

  12. Sid — on 25th February, 2008 at 11:57 pm  

    I was just saying that the rather enjoyable and relaxing impulse of laying into the Clintons might result in a complete intellectual breakdown. ;)

  13. Leon — on 25th February, 2008 at 11:59 pm  

    Either that and they truly are scum and that’s so objective that people from all over the political spectrum are brought together by that fact?

  14. Sid — on 26th February, 2008 at 12:05 am  

    The longer this election goes on the more she confirms the worst her detractors have said about her.

  15. digitalcntrl — on 26th February, 2008 at 12:11 am  

    It may be nefarious. However, I am sure it will be quite effective. Muslims these days are becoming the global pariahs. American muslims are realtively well off compared to their brethren in Europe. However most Americans will be suspicious of a muslim politican. Expect such things to heat up if Obama gets the nomination. McCain will probably neither do or encourage such things, but I am sure many right wingers are itching for such antics against Obama…err I mean Barack Hussein Obama.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=jk7AfHTtj-c

  16. Nyrone — on 26th February, 2008 at 12:17 am  

    non-story.

  17. Refresh — on 26th February, 2008 at 1:23 am  

    ‘Muslims these days are becoming the global pariahs.’

    No this is NOT true!!

    This is wishful thinking on some people’s part, in a realtively small part of the globe. And despite plenty of resources being poured into that little project – it will not come to much.

  18. Refresh — on 26th February, 2008 at 1:25 am  

    And its bettter its come out now – so it can be faced down well before the actual election.

    Timing is perfect for Obama.

  19. Refresh — on 26th February, 2008 at 1:31 am  

    I am waiting for the ‘Kunta Kinte’ jibe.

  20. digitalcntrl — on 26th February, 2008 at 4:36 am  

    @18

    “No this is NOT true!!

    This is wishful thinking on some people’s part, in a realtively small part of the globe. And despite plenty of resources being poured into that little project – it will not come to much.

    I would disagree…

    http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=830

  21. Isaias — on 26th February, 2008 at 8:38 am  

    I this is getting more and more interesting! I HAVE NO SYMPATHY WHATSOEVER FOR ANY OF THE TWO. BUT THIS SHOWS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, ITS MEDIA, AND THE REST OF THE WORLD IS SHOWN TO BE “VERY, VERY, VERY IGNORANT.”

    OBAMA MIGHT WEAR ANY KIND OF DRESS … BUT HOW DOES THAT ‘AFFECT’ HIS WHATEVER?

  22. sharmen — on 26th February, 2008 at 9:49 am  

    Well that’s another proof how stupid and idiotic American voters are. They know and everyone’s seen that Obama is son of a Muslim. He may be a church goer but that doesnt proove anything what he is but definately he is muslim by blood. And that blood also flows in Osama and now his brother Osama is becoming president of the US. So it is obvious the Americans want to finish themselves off quickly. Cant imagine the most powerful nation controlled by Jihadi agents. What a jerk everyone is……..

  23. douglas clark — on 26th February, 2008 at 9:53 am  

    sharmen,

    Just out of curiosity, is post 23 supposed to be satire?

  24. sharmen — on 26th February, 2008 at 10:00 am  

    no doug its the way I feel, if u felt any satire in that, I apologise.

  25. Leon — on 26th February, 2008 at 10:46 am  

    He may be a church goer but that doesnt proove anything what he is but definately he is muslim by blood.

    You what? ‘Muslim’ blood is different from other blood?!

    Cant imagine the most powerful nation controlled by Jihadi agents.

    O…K.

  26. Leon — on 26th February, 2008 at 10:49 am  

    And its bettter its come out now – so it can be faced down well before the actual election.

    Timing is perfect for Obama.

    I think you may have something there; his admission of drug use years in advance of this campaign helped neutralise it as potential ammunition too.

    Obama’s campaign have handled fairly well the mud the Clinton’s keep flinging and this is good training for the real campaign later against the Republicans and McCain…

  27. A councillor writes — on 26th February, 2008 at 10:56 am  

    I’m afraid sharmen’s meme is not unpopular with certain sections of US society, I’ve got some family over there and a couple of them have sent “he’s a secret muslim” emails to me. We can expect a lot more of this sort of thing from 527′s groups (who really, honestly won’t be associated with the Rethuglicans) if Obama gets the nomination – which I think he will now. Leon’s right, it’s very good training for him.

    Personally, I thought he looked loads cooler in the cowboy hat he wore in Texas the other day.

    I was pretty neutral in this race to start with, any of the three leading Democrats would have done me with some favouritism to John Edwards. However, I’ve really gone off Hillary over the last few weeks. Let’s hope that Obama isn’t as they say in Texas: “all hat and no cattle”

  28. Sid — on 26th February, 2008 at 11:02 am  

    This whole thing makes the antisemitism faced by Lieberman in the last election look like a walk in the park.

  29. douglas clark — on 26th February, 2008 at 11:16 am  

    sharmen,

    No, I was just clearing the decks. I certainly didn’t want to attack what may have been a humourous piece.

    You might want to read this, or then again, you might prefer not to:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp

    It was, according to the ever reliable Snopes, his father who turned away from Islam and became an atheist. Or is that a nuance too far for you? That someone can change their mind?

    Was his father a Muslim? Yes, he was. Was his father a Muslim when Barak Obama was born? No, he wasn’t.

    It’s maybe what you ‘feel’, but it isn’t based in any reality. Is everyone in the USA so in touch with their feelings that they can’t think straight?

    Muslim by blood is in KKK territory. Y’know, white blood, that sort of shit.

    Nice way you made Obama’s Christian name Osama, real clever that one.

    Disappointed it wasn’t satire,to be honest, so there is really no need for you to apologise.

  30. Ravi Naik — on 26th February, 2008 at 1:20 pm  

    “I still don’t get what Obama is really about. Apparently he’s ready for change. Certainly ready for change…”

    You should go to his website, and you will see where he stands on issues. As you can imagine, it is not very different from what Hillary is proposing.

    I have to say I was a big fan of the Clintons, but I am so disgusted by their tactics and dishonesty in the last 3 months, that I would rather have McCain win it than her. The fact that she wants Florida/Michigan in (democracy rules!), but then says super-delegates should follow their conscience and not who wins the popular vote (out with democracy!), pretty much shows she is not principled and will do anything to get elected.

  31. Random Guy — on 26th February, 2008 at 2:22 pm  

    Sharmen @ 23:

    Lost for words. Really don’t know what to type in response to such well-rounded stupidity. Apart from an urge to slap people like you about, the only other puzzling emotion I am feeling is that “OMG, (some/most) Americans actually do think like this!”. At least the Brits have the sense to spot demonisation and an agenda when they see one.

    So there are two possibilities: 1. You are a shit-stirring troll or 2. You are living proof of a fairly new type of mentality that has been born out of over exposure to one-sided media, and a biased/manipulated view of why the world is the way it is. Either way, have an idiot biscuit on me.

  32. SalmanRush — on 26th February, 2008 at 2:39 pm  

    I applaud Hillary for her continued, tenacious fight for the nomination; someone needs to force Obama to do more for the Presidency than grandiosely utter the words “hope,” “change,” and “yes we can.”

    I would really appreciate it if he could expand on what kind of “change” he intends.

  33. Leon — on 26th February, 2008 at 3:10 pm  

    I’m disappointed, I thought mentioning the ‘M’ word in a post would’ve got me at least 400 comments. And only one pisspoor wingnut? Something aint right!

  34. Random Guy — on 26th February, 2008 at 3:15 pm  

    No no Leon, you’re doing it all wrong. This post is not really relevant to the ‘M’ word as such is it. It is actually more to do with proving the absence of any ‘M’ word connotations, which is not the same thing.

  35. Ravi Naik — on 26th February, 2008 at 3:18 pm  

    “I applaud Hillary for her continued, tenacious fight for the nomination; someone needs to force Obama to do more for the Presidency than grandiosely utter the words “hope,” “change,” and “yes we can.””

    It is working wonders for Obama, why should anyone – apart from Clinton – force him to do otherwise? In fact, even Clinton tried to … er.. what is the word?… to borrow his words… “yes, she can“.

    And he managed to tap in what we all want: a change from the nightmare of the last 7 years. To me, the selling point is that he voted against the war in Iraq, when it was considered a political suicide move back in 2003. Clinton didn’t – and she still hasn’t admitted it was a mistake.

  36. Ravi Naik — on 26th February, 2008 at 3:20 pm  

    “Something aint right!”

    It is an open and shut case, isn’t it? ;)

  37. SalmanRush — on 26th February, 2008 at 3:27 pm  

    #36

    He didn’t vote against the war in Iraq because he wasn’t in the Senate at the time. Furthermore, its totally naive to think that Obama will get the U.S. out of Iraq. He’s already hedging saying that he will rely on the “advice of the military.”

  38. Ravi Naik — on 26th February, 2008 at 3:53 pm  

    He didn’t vote against the war in Iraq because he wasn’t in the Senate at the time.

    You are absolutely right. Still, he ran a campaign to the Senate with an anti-Iraq war message , which is far more courageous than actually being already elected, in a time where it was deemed unpatriotic to do so, and when most Democrats were too cowards to go against El Presidente. Listen to the interview: if that’s what “lack of experience” means, then who needs Hillary’s experience?

    “Furthermore, its totally naive to think that Obama will get the U.S. out of Iraq. He’s already hedging saying that he will rely on the “advice of the military.””

    I am glad he is going to take into account what the military is saying – wouldn’t you say that is a change from the current administration? – but neither Clinton or Obama have promised that they will withdraw all troops suddenly: it will be gradual, and some limited forces will stay longer.

  39. Ravi Naik — on 26th February, 2008 at 3:55 pm  

    Another reason I like Obama, is this.

  40. SalmanRush — on 26th February, 2008 at 4:22 pm  

    #39

    “…He ran a campaign to the Senate with an anti-Iraq war message , which is far more courageous than actually being already elected, in a time where it was deemed unpatriotic to do so…”

    Actually, he ran for Senate in Illinois in the 2004 timeframe and by that time, the War was very unpopular. So you are overstating his courageousness, I’m afraid.

    I’m not attacking Obama by any means. He is a breath of fresh air, fer sure. However, he doesn’t seem to be running on any platform other than “its cool to vote for him.”

    Keep drinkin’ that Obama-mania Koolaid.

  41. Ravi Naik — on 26th February, 2008 at 5:01 pm  

    “Actually, he ran for Senate in Illinois in the 2004 timeframe and by that time, the War was very unpopular. So you are overstating his courageousness, I’m afraid.”

    I am not. Surely his political campaign didn’t start in 2004, but way before in a time when supporting the war in Iraq was seen as a litmus test for patriotism.

    “However, he doesn’t seem to be running on any platform other than “its cool to vote for him.”

    That’s your opinion. In fact, Clinton is running on the “experience” platform, yet if you follow her political campaign so far you will see serious lapses of judgment – whereas Obama has shown to be a far superior player, and again possessing better judgment.

    You can’t really spin on that.

  42. SalmanRush — on 26th February, 2008 at 5:17 pm  

    #39

    I think you are splitting hairs. Fine–he was against the War before it was popular to be against this War. I’m not sure having the right opinion at the right time is a sign of courage. Perhaps its his judgement but mostly, it’s just lucky.

    McCain was imprisoned in a Vietnamese POW camp for 5 1/2 years and lived to get voted into the U.S. Senate. That’s courage.

  43. Tu S. Tin — on 26th February, 2008 at 5:25 pm  

    what an excellent post for discussion!
    I try to avoid jumping on any bandwagon…
    but I do have a great deal of respect for obama as a person. and they say a true leader inspires others to greatness.
    Its best to stay positive yet cynical , new starts lead in many directions.
    History is full of good ideas gone bad … but not always.
    Who are his advisers and role models I wonder?

    OT… that one link has a side link to hamas childrens television ….. if thats not the saddest thing I’ve ever seen I don’t know what is

  44. Don — on 26th February, 2008 at 6:52 pm  

    Ravi,

    Interesting link. I was dubious about Obama’s lack of experience, though generally well inclined, but his refusal to play the patriot game has impressed.

    Call me a naive fool, but is this a politician who actually has some remaining shreds of integrity and self-respect? Who won’t slap on a lapel badge or wrap himself in the flag, or don hunting gear and blast some critters to prove he ain’t no bleeding heart, just because the media expect it?

  45. Don — on 26th February, 2008 at 6:57 pm  

    Tu S. Tin

    ‘ hamas childrens television ‘

    Can’t find the link. Is it the one where the little girl and her cute puppet buddy talk about how they will kill Danish cartoonists? Yeah, that’s depressing.

  46. Refresh — on 26th February, 2008 at 7:30 pm  

    Digtlcntrl

    ‘I would disagree…

    http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=830

    I’ve looked at that report and it fully supports what I said. If we were to take your line of thought, it could easily be argued that in other parts of the world (and possibly the majority of the globe), the so-called ‘westerner’ might end up being the pariah.

    My point is simple – there are divisions being created which we should all regret. And those behind it should be brought to the light.

    In this particular case, we are pushed into a corner to defend Obama by saying no he is not muslim. What would be so wrong with a muslim President?

    You see the point I am making, and do you see how readily ‘we’ come to accept these divisions as the natural order of things?

  47. marvin — on 26th February, 2008 at 7:34 pm  

    Another photo of Obama with what appears to be a muslim headgear has appeared!

  48. marvin — on 26th February, 2008 at 7:39 pm  

    That was from this site, which has another bizzare article

    Hillary Fan Stabs Obama Supporting In-Law

  49. Sid — on 27th February, 2008 at 12:27 am  

    That photo on the sweetness-light blog looks like Obama wearing traditional West African garb as opposed to “Muslim garb”. But then, sweetness-light is a bilious right wing blog that can’t tell the difference between Muslim, Sikh and a West African cultures and is therefore completely representative of 95+% of the US population. The level of ignorance is getting tiresome.

  50. jassbajwa — on 27th February, 2008 at 4:32 am  

    Every one who wears turban is not terrorist and muslim. Some Indians wear turbans. Just for ur information they are Sikhs.But in Obama’s case so what if he is wearing his traditional clothes.I thought this was free country.I guess not.

  51. digitalcntrl — on 27th February, 2008 at 5:49 am  

    @ Refresh

    “I’ve looked at that report and it fully supports what I said. If we were to take your line of thought, it could easily be argued that in other parts of the world (and possibly the majority of the globe), the so-called ‘westerner’ might end up being the pariah.
    My point is simple – there are divisions being created which we should all regret. And those behind it should be brought to the light.
    In this particular case, we are pushed into a corner to defend Obama by saying no he is not muslim. What would be so wrong with a muslim President?
    You see the point I am making, and do you see how readily ‘we’ come to accept these divisions as the natural order of things?”

    If my post came off as sanctioning these divisions or implying that something is wrong with a muslim being president, my apologies. The point is that regardless of right or wrong the current situation in the US (and other countries) is such that the phrase “muslim” being connected to any presidential candidate is a threat for them. This is why the Obama campaign is so vigorously attempting to deny that he is a muslim. Tell me, do you honestly believe a muslim at this point in time could be the PM of the UK or the leader of other large EU countries?

    Even in places that loathe westerners, those feelings are part of a general set of ambivalent feelings of loathing, envy, and admiration of the west. For muslims on the other hand the situation in many parts of the world has gone down hill. Places like India, Europe, and the US have always had problems with muslims (albeit at a lower intentsity in the past). Now, however see such negative feelings spreading to other parts of the world. Many of my friends in places such as East Asia and Latin America have stated that negative views of muslims are increasing dramatically due to problems with terrorism and violence.

  52. Desi Italiana — on 27th February, 2008 at 6:00 am  

    Obama looks hot like that.

  53. Tu S. Tin — on 27th February, 2008 at 7:30 am  

    refresh says ….
    My point is simple – there are divisions being created which we should all regret. And those behind it should be brought to the light.

    couldn’t have been said better!!

    someone said to me recently what the world needs is strong leaders to stand up and say “this is how it
    is!!”
    I do agree ..but I never can understand why that seems to mean busting in with an iron fist and taking control somehow.
    There is a big difference between aggressive and assertive action.
    Honestly I feel the world is tooo full of over aggressive leaders and people claiming “this is how it is”
    and we could do with a few willing to say “no it’s not!!”
    if that made any sense?..
    one thing I like about Obama is he has spent some time living abroad.
    Something I noticed many greats from the past have experienced. He is also a very intelligent and powerful speaker,

    http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/ObamaonFaith.pdf

    I really like too that he shares my philosophy in building on foundations …

    I do not think he is a closet muslim, or what ever people are trying to prove with all this?
    It’s also been said he has ties with cair………
    what they are I can’t say
    but there’s a quote goes something like
    “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”…
    so I don’t see how having a communication relationship of some sort automatically makes you evil, or part of some plot.

  54. Tu S. Tin — on 27th February, 2008 at 7:38 am  

    ps,
    just in case that closet muslim line is misinterpreted…
    I do know there are good people of all and any religious belief system including those with none…. so don’t attack me please

  55. Cathy — on 27th February, 2008 at 8:24 am  

    I think the whole idea of all this campaigning is ridiculous in the first place. Why can’t the voters just go to the polls in the general election and a vote counts for a vote PERIOD! Among a lot of things I think is done wrong in the US in the stupid electoral college. What’s up with that? Both times that Bush “won”, he didn’t actually but the electoral college allowed him to win. I’m not even going to waste my time voting because they put in whoever they want in anyway. Our country is going to hell fast. :/

  56. Tu S. Tin — on 27th February, 2008 at 8:53 am  

    me too cathy!!
    I don’t get it .
    The cynic in me says it doesn’t matter at all, which is why I refuse to join in and will remain an observer in this…
    though the hope in me is waiting till after the election to decide if we are going to hell or not and how quickly.

  57. Somone — on 27th February, 2008 at 9:38 am  

    this is bullshit wy are you happy about this you are some F***in raisist Hillery is only a coward she needed this to ”win” she is desperat so wy are you happy to see how desperet hillery is

  58. Ravi Naik — on 27th February, 2008 at 11:48 am  

    Damn you Obama! Hillary has a case on plagiarism charges! ;)

  59. Leon — on 27th February, 2008 at 12:27 pm  

    Obama looks hot like that.

    Heh I was waiting for someone to say that. :D

  60. Sukhi — on 27th February, 2008 at 12:47 pm  

    I saw a picture of Hillary Clinton and her daughter wearing Islamic headscarves whilst visiting a Muslim country. Oh no maybe they’re Muzlimz too! This basically shows how defeated Clinton is. She’s getting routed in the votes for the Democrats and she’s lost morally too. She should just concede now and let Obama prepare for the election.Do the decent thing Hilary.

  61. SalmanRush — on 27th February, 2008 at 5:35 pm  

    Obama has said that he supports unilateral U.S. military strikes within Pakistan against so called terrorists. Is that evidence of sound judgement? I think we would have a nuclear war, if the U.S. military struck within Pakistan without the permission of the Pakistani government.

    So much for the “Obama has sound judgement” argument.

  62. Sid — on 27th February, 2008 at 5:41 pm  

    Yeah, that one is a bit worrying SalmanRush, I have to admit.

  63. Ravi Naik — on 27th February, 2008 at 6:34 pm  

    “Obama has said that he supports unilateral U.S. military strikes within Pakistan against so called terrorists. Is that evidence of sound judgement? I think we would have a nuclear war, if the U.S. military struck within Pakistan without the permission of the Pakistani government.”

    Yes, that’s good judgement in my view. If Pakistan decides not to act and knowingly keeps harbouring Al Qaeda, then Pakistan should know the consequences. I don’t really care if Obama or Bush says it, it seems to be the right course of action. It is really rich if Pakistan’s nuclear arms are now used to protect terrorists – perhaps the more reason to get rid of them as soon as possible.

    I was for the war in Afghanistan, and have no qualms if the US attacks countries that knowingly keep harbouring Al Qaeda as the Taliban did.

  64. SalmanRush — on 27th February, 2008 at 6:51 pm  

    #64

    Ha ha, ok. I think one nation’s military entering another sovereign nation without their permission is called an invasion.

    Great change.

  65. SalmanRush — on 27th February, 2008 at 7:04 pm  

    #64

    And when a nation invades without any provocation, that is called “preemptive war.”

    And the concept of preemptive war was first introduced by, none other than, our friend, George W. Bush.

    So Obama is willing to continue the faulty policies of Bush.

    He’s not really the candidate of change, is he?

    My point being: before we say that Barack Obama walks on water, let’s dissect some of his known views.

  66. Ravi Naik — on 27th February, 2008 at 7:25 pm  

    “I think one nation’s military entering another sovereign nation without their permission is called an invasion…And the concept of preemptive war was first introduced by, none other than, our friend, George W. Bush.

    He’s not really the candidate of change, is he?”

    You must be kidding me if you can’t see the difference between Iraq and a strike in Pakistan against militant bases. What you have in Iraq is an occupation of a country based on false pretences, and a preemptive war. In the case of Pakistan, there is no talk of occupation or taking out the little dictator, and if a country is knowingly harbouring terrorists who plan attacks against other countries then they become accomplices, and therefore it can’t be considered a pre-emptive strike.

    So there is no way Obama is continuing policies of Bush, he is in fact, trying to do what Bush should have done a few years back: go after Al Qaeda and Bin Laden wherever they are hiding.

  67. SalmanRush — on 27th February, 2008 at 7:45 pm  

    #67

    I think you’re splitting hairs. Entering a sovereign nation without permission is invasion and bad global diplomacy, a la Bush-Cheney.

    Methinks Obama is half-baked at best.

    So, in sum, this is what I am determining Obama’s “change” to be, in specifics:

    * A continuation of bad global diplomacy, i.e., possible invasion of Pakistan [NO CHANGE]

    * A change of U.S. tax policy by raising U.S. tax rates and thereby hurting the U.S. and global economy [BAD CHANGE]

  68. Ravi Naik — on 27th February, 2008 at 9:46 pm  

    “I think you’re splitting hairs.

    It can be bad diplomacy, but it is no doubt a change in strategy when dealing with Al Qaeda.

    A change of U.S. tax policy by raising U.S. tax rates and thereby hurting the U.S. and global economy [BAD CHANGE]

    Oh, so you can see change after all, but you continue to be silly if you think that the present situation is better, let alone sustainable. The country is in huge debt thanks to the war and incompetent management, and Bush decides on tax cuts? Obama (and I believe Clinton) are going to repeal tax cuts, and increase taxes on the rich – I mean, there is little a responsible government can do under these circumstances.

  69. Tu S. Tin — on 27th February, 2008 at 10:38 pm  

    sorry to go off topic now but the above comment makes me want to ask something thats been on mind in regards to the economy.
    Immigration is subject everywhere..
    I don’t have anything against immigrants at all … except I’ve been wondering…and I’ll try to keep it short.
    A lot of people coming into our economy’s to work – take the money they make and send it back to where they came, supporting the families they left behind.
    I’ve seen reports exposing companies like western union taking advantage of this situation ….
    but no one has looked into the effect of – money going out to workers…and it not being reused inside the host economy…
    anyone understand that question?

  70. SalmanRush — on 27th February, 2008 at 11:00 pm  

    “It can be bad diplomacy, but it is no doubt a change in strategy when dealing with Al Qaeda.”

    Ok so Obama espouses invading Pakistan, a U.S. ally. There’s a new one — U.S. invading its allies. Are you going to twist that one into a good change too?

    “The country is in huge debt thanks to the war and incompetent management, and Bush decides on tax cuts?”

    Clearly, you have no grasp of macroeconomics. The country is also in a recession and in a recessionary environment you need economic stimulus. Hence, raising taxes is the wrong move right now. At some point the U.S. will need to raise taxes but not now.

  71. Refresh — on 27th February, 2008 at 11:02 pm  

    I will never forgive Bill Clinton for his seemingly crazed response to the failure in settling the Israel Palestine issue.

    In his last days in the Whitehouse he made a pretty impressive effort in trying to get the two parties together – but tellingly when Yasser Arafat could not accept the terms being forced on him. Bill Clinton, shockingly, directly blamed Yasser Arafat and in public. Knowing full well that if Arafat had accepted the terms he would be a marked man. Arafat even told the world’s media that he would expect to be assasinated.

    But Clinton still went on to name and blame Arafat.

    You’d have thought, at the end of his tenure, he had nothing to lose except perhaps his wife’s bid for the Whitehouse.

  72. Tu S. Tin — on 28th February, 2008 at 1:53 am  

    I agree about the war and economy and taxes not being a solution.
    But why does everyone look at problems in only one way and turn to the same tired answers?
    If there are 5million mexicans working in the us at minimum wage and lets say half of them send only half of what they make out of the country… thats 20000000000$ lost a year…does it effect the economy? and thats just counting mexicans.

  73. digitalcntrl — on 28th February, 2008 at 1:54 am  

    @ 72,

    “In his last days in the Whitehouse he made a pretty impressive effort in trying to get the two parties together – but tellingly when Yasser Arafat could not accept the terms being forced on him. Bill Clinton, shockingly, directly blamed Yasser Arafat and in public. Knowing full well that if Arafat had accepted the terms he would be a marked man. Arafat even told the world’s media that he would expect to be assasinated.”

    Alan Dershowitz a law professor at Harvard University said that the failure of the negotiations was due to “the refusal of the Palestinians and Arafat to give up the right of return. That was the sticking point. It wasn’t Jerusalem. It wasn’t borders. It was the right of return.” He claims that President Clinton told this to him “directly and personally.”[17]

    Right of return is a red line for Israel, everyone knows it. Clinton was probably angry that Arafat would not recognize that. Though I don’t know if Arafat would have been killed for giving up the right of return for compensation.

  74. Refresh — on 28th February, 2008 at 2:18 am  

    Not sure Dershowitz (if its the same one I am thinking of) is a reliable unbiassed source. That said – whatever the reasons they were clearly valid for Arafat. But when and where do you have an ‘honest broker’ point fingers and names only one participant in negotiations? Bill Clinton being a statesman did it for a reason.

    BTW right of return is surely the Palestinians’ prerogative?

  75. digitalcntrl — on 28th February, 2008 at 4:40 am  

    Dershowitz is biased (he is also was one of OJs attorneys). However he has no reason to lie here. It also makes alot of sense. No way Israel would allow the right of return for Palestians. Israel was founded as a refuge for Jews. To imagine a Palestinian majoirty or even a large minority is unthinkable for the Jewish state. Clinton probably was frustrated by Arafat’s unwillingness to move on this issue. Barack actually offered 91% of the Palestinian demands for territory as well as East Jerusalem as their capital, however, right of return was impossible.

  76. Refresh — on 28th February, 2008 at 8:47 am  

    DigitalCtrl

    Here is an article touching on the very points:

    Donald Macintyre: To be in favour of peace is not anti-Israeli

    Thursday, 28 February 2008

    It started with an internet campaign against Robert Malley. Malley, who worked on the Clinton team at the failed Camp David Israel-Palestinian peace talks in 2000, had fetched up in a long list of people who advise Barack Obama on foreign policy. Mr Malley, who now works for the International Crisis Group, is not on the Obama staff, or anywhere near it. But it still triggered a series of hostile comments apparently designed to undermine the candidate’s credibility with Jewish voters. Most appeared in conservative blogs and websites, but according to Newsweek, attacks on Malley also surfaced in emails sent out by staffers on Hillary Clinton’s campaign team.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/donald-macintyre/donald-macintyre-to-be-in-favour-of-peace-is-not-antiisraeli-788498.html

  77. Ravi Naik — on 28th February, 2008 at 9:00 am  

    “Ok so Obama espouses invading Pakistan, a U.S. ally. There’s a new one — U.S. invading its allies. Are you going to twist that one into a good change too?”

    Let me run the logic through you: if Pakistan is a true U.S. ally then it will help the US erradicating Al Qaeda – and thus the US would not need to do this extraordinary measure. If Pakistan deliberately fails to act and Al Qaeda continues to grow, then Pakistan is not being an ally, and the US can reconsider the relationship at anytime , and thus your latest argument does not stand.

    “Clearly, you have no grasp of macroeconomics. The country is also in a recession and in a recessionary environment you need economic stimulus. Hence, raising taxes is the wrong move right now. At some point the U.S. will need to raise taxes but not now.”

    If he is elected, he will only take office in 2009, so a lot of things can happen between now and then. He also didn’t say when he would apply tax reform. My guess it will take a year or so. So we are talking about 2010. So you are basically agreeing with him that there is a need to increase taxes at some point.

    But I am not sure that taxing the very rich – a minority – will make much difference in the economy even when in a recession – it is the middle-class that counts as they are the ones affected by inflation.

  78. SalmanRush — on 28th February, 2008 at 5:24 pm  

    #78

    “If Pakistan deliberately fails to act and Al Qaeda continues to grow, then Pakistan is not being an ally, and the US can reconsider the relationship at anytime.”

    Sure, any U.S. ally can be reconsidered at any time. The subtext of any geopolitical alliance is that its useful until its not. The fact that Obama would publicly proclaim that he would invade an ally when that ally has thus far done nothing wrong, is disturbing. As such, he displays an alarming lack of judgment and diplomatic skill. And your whole argument for him becoming President is that Obama, in his short political career, has shown “judgment” through his public statements on various issues.

    “So you are basically agreeing with him that there is a need to increase taxes at some point.”

    Yes, but not during my lifetime.

  79. Ravi Naik — on 28th February, 2008 at 7:41 pm  

    “Yes, but not during my lifetime.”

    Yes, let your children and grandchildren pay for it, right? :) Surely, you are not saying that recession would continue during your lifetime, right?

    “The subtext of any geopolitical alliance is that its useful until its not. “

    Correct and that is what Obama alluded, if you cared to read what he actually said.

  80. SalmanRush — on 28th February, 2008 at 8:33 pm  

    “Yes, let your children and grandchildren pay for it, right? Surely, you are not saying that recession would continue during your lifetime, right?”

    Yes, we can only do so much for future generations. At some point one needs to live in the moment. And no to your second question.

    Regarding your second point, this is what I said about the whole “Obama-says-he-will-enter-Pakistan-without-permission” issue:

    “The fact that Obama would publicly proclaim that he would invade an ally when that ally has thus far done nothing wrong, is disturbing. As such, he displays an alarming lack of judgment and diplomatic skill.”

    I might add that he’s got the populism part of his act down but the diplomacy part seems quite immature.

  81. Ravi Naik — on 28th February, 2008 at 10:32 pm  

    “Yes, we can only do so much for future generations. At some point one needs to live in the moment. And no to your second question.”

    I find that disgusting: to leave debt to your children and grandchildren because you don’t want to sacrifice. So it has nothing to do with recession or economic stimulus: just greed.

  82. SalmanRush — on 29th February, 2008 at 3:12 am  

    You don’t seem to know much about macroeconomics. Low taxes are also socially responsible. The economy grows more robustly when tax rates are low, thereby leading to higher tax revenues nonetheless.

  83. Ravi Naik — on 29th February, 2008 at 10:31 am  

    You don’t seem to know much about macroeconomics. Low taxes are also socially responsible.

    Rubbish. You just said that you don’t want taxes to be raised during your lifetime, but that they need to be raised at some point. If they need to be raised at some point, it means that you acknowledge that lowering taxes will not be enough to pay the deficit – it is just that you don’t want to contribute to pay the bill.
    It has nothing to do with macroeconomics, just greed.

    And I honestly don’t see how a politician, who tells voters they need to sacrifice in this generation, be considered in this instance a populist politician. (His NAFTA rethoric, on the other hand…)

  84. SalmanRush — on 29th February, 2008 at 7:06 pm  

    “If they need to be raised at some point, it means that you acknowledge that lowering taxes will not be enough to pay the deficit – it is just that you don’t want to contribute to pay the bill.”

    Case in point for low taxes: Clinton lowered the tax rates during his administration and the economy thrived and consequently there was a budgetary surplus.

    If you feel that you are not paying enough U.S. taxes, feel free to send the U.S. Treasury more of your earnings. They accept personal check and money order.

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