Barack Obama, President?

barackTime magazine has put senator Barack Obama on the front cover, wondering if he could be the next American president. This bit was interesting:

The current Obama mania is reminiscent of the Colin Powell mania of September 1995, when the general-another political rainbow-leveraged speculation that he might run for President into book sales of 2.6 million copies for his memoir, My American Journey.

Powell and Obama have another thing in common: they are black people who-like Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan-seem to have an iconic power over the American imagination because they transcend racial stereotypes. “It’s all about gratitude,” says essayist Shelby Steele, who frequently writes about the psychology of race. “White people are just thrilled when a prominent black person comes along and doesn’t rub their noses in racial guilt. White people just go crazy over people like that.”

Hmmm… is that being cynical?

17 / October / 2006  Global politics, Race politics  Comments (0)

Daniel Pipes makes stuff up

It should be accepted wisdom that anyone who looks to Daniel Pipes as a useful source of information is just being stupid. And ignorant. And is likely to be misled.

A case in point. Over a year ago I wrote an article on a Five Live documentary on reported cases of Pakistani guys ‘grooming’ white girls in a town in West Yorkshire. It turned out later the Beeb had made a mountain out of a molehill and even Ann Cryer said the issue was being blown out of proportion. But anyway.

I find out that Daniel Pipes recently copied my article on to his website. Although it is somewhat intact, he adds these two paragraphs in at the end.

Gang of Muslim men enter into friendship with innocent white girls and invite them for a drink , they give sleeping pills in coke and when the girls are unconscious , Muslims invite their gang of other fellow Islamic Maniacs and gang rape these white minor girls and make their porn films. These girls are blackmailed and raped for a long time and after that they are forced in to flesh trade ( Prostitution) . and these Muslim Youth find another white or non muslim girls. This is happening in UK , Australia , Europe and Canada as well.

Be careful otherwise you may end up with your cousin or sister gang raped and forced in to prostitution by these Holy Warriors of Allah living among you and feeding on your tax payers money and claiming all benefits to outnumber you demographically.

I of course wrote nothing of this sort. Underneath the article it says: “Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes” - yeah right. Bigot.

Update: Looks like DP has now taken the article off.

5 / October / 2006  Global politics  Comments (0)

State of Denial

The title of Bob Woodard’s new book pretty much sums up George Bush’s entire tenure at the White House. But the point I wanted to make is made much better by Mash:

The main theme of the book seems to be this: Iraq is going badly and the Bush Administration is pretending otherwise. This is perhaps news only to the ostriches who still hold out hope of finding WMD in Iraq or finding Saddam’s DNA on the 9/11 attack plans. The rest of us have been reading the news, and the news from Iraq speaks of more than 3000 deaths a month in what has been a raging civil war since last spring.

There is also another more slightly less obvious theme to Woodward’s book. That is: George W Bush has been let down by the people who served him, most notably, Donald Rumsfeld.

But there is more… read the whole thing.

4 / October / 2006  Global politics  Comments (1)

Cameron embraces blogs

Last week I said on Pickled Politics that Gordon Brown needed to embrace blogs to at least try and re-connect with the youth. Labour is quite rightly seen as a party obsessed with spin and out of touch with its electorate.

A few days later, coincidentally, the Guardian revealed that the Tories had unveiled WebCameron, an attempt by their leader to reconnect with the youth through online technology.

Labour activists may dismiss this as cheap PR tactics but they miss the point: the internet has become the modern youth’s primary means of communication and to avoid a big presence in this medium is not only foolhardy, but shows a contempt for the way communication is going.

Labour has to not only get down and dirty, it also has to find ways of opening itself up to outside criticism without being overwhelmed. Either way it needs to get itself in tune with the web and on this it is way behind the others. Shame.

1 / October / 2006  Global politics  Comments (5)

‘Kill all Palestinian males’

A Jewish rabbi living in the West Bank has called on the Israeli government to use their troops to kill all Palestinian males more than 13 years old in a bid to end Palestinian presence on this earth.

Extremist rabbi Yousef Falay, who dwells at the Yitzhar settlement on illegally seized Palestinian land in the northern part of the West Bank, wrote an article in a Zionist magazine under the title “Ways of War”, in which he called for the killing of all Palestinian males refusing to flee their country, describing his idea as the practical way to ensure the non-existence of the Palestinian race.

That’s not very nice.

By way of Jew90, who hits the nail on the head:

If this was a Muslim preacher the story would be splashed all over certain sites, gnashing of teeth would be heard and the usual (often racist) stereotypes of Muslims would be trotted out.

29 / September / 2006  Global politics  Comments (4)

Have American liberals lost their way?

A very interesting piece in the London Review of Books titled ‘Bush’s Useful Idiots‘, with Tony Judt examining the ‘Strange Death of Liberal America’.

In particular this paragraph caught my eye:

One of the particularly depressing ways in which liberal intellectuals have abdicated personal and ethical responsibility for the actions they now endorse can be seen in their failure to think independently about the Middle East. Not every liberal cheerleader for the Global War against Islamo-fascism, or against Terror, or against Global Jihad, is an unreconstructed supporter of Likud: Christopher Hitchens, for one, is critical of Israel.

But the willingness of so many American pundits and commentators and essayists to roll over for Bush’s doctrine of preventive war; to abstain from criticising the disproportionate use of air power on civilian targets in both Iraq and Lebanon; and to stay coyly silent in the face of Condoleezza Rice’s enthusiasm for the bloody ‘birth pangs of a new Middle East’, makes more sense when one recalls their backing for Israel: a country which for fifty years has rested its entire national strategy on preventive wars, disproportionate retaliation, and efforts to redesign the map of the whole Middle East.

Worth reading in full.

29 / September / 2006  Global politics  Comments (1)