. . . in which our hero gallantly stands at the gates

This is just a snippet (ok - a long snippet) from an extended discussion on Amazon.com with the anti-Obama hordes. I spent a great deal of time writing this reponse, so I thought I would save it for a time.


Hmm . . . so you have been sipping deeply from the well of anti-Obama - but are your points internally consistent and have you applied the same standard to all of the candidates?

Iran has no bombers. Their "air force" - such as it is - consists of leftover planes purchased from the USA as late as the 1970s (remember the Shah?) and those were no doubt leftover models from our early forays into Vietnam (I would lay even money on the same model in which McCain was shot down. I wonder how replacement parts are for those babies). No matter how much we like the Shah, we were never going to sell him an air fleet even remotely capable of competing in either air combat with Israel or with bombers that could be used against Israel. Israel is our prime ally in the Middle East and has been since Eisenhower - if not also Truman. And in the 1980s, Iran was too busy fighting with Saddam to restock an air force from anyone else (France, Russia, etc.) - plus, we were providing Saddam with aerial and satellite information, with which to target Iranian forces. You might ask Donald Rumsfeld if he left any planes un-targeted during that eight year campaign - but I doubt he would tell you the truth. And as for nukes - I am glad you mentioned that: here, your argument seems to begin its run of cherry-picked evidence. The most recent National Intelligence Estimate states that there is no evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Indeed, it states that the latest intel we have shows Iran is backing away from plans to develop nuclear weapons - most likely because their influence in the region has already improved so greatly what with the demise of their nemesis, Saddam. They are the new superpower of the Persian Gulf - and you can bet that chaps the Saudis everytime they hear that phrase (BTW - does anyone remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis? I would love to hear people talk of straightening out our Saudi-problem. Those duplicitous ----------. We made them billions and they repaid us with terrorists).

Iran cannot now threaten Israel or Iraq with neither bombers or nukes and is not likely to gain the ability to do either in the next six years. This is what the NIE says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Intelligence_Estimate#November_2007_NIE) - I just happen to agree with it.

What did Wright say at the National Press Club that makes him unpatriotic? He is definitely critical of the government, but cannot someone be critical of a country he loves and wants to improve? Obviously anyone can be unpatriotic - war vet, preacher or both - but on what statement(s) are you basing the claim that he is unpatriotic:

- the US government created HIV to infect its own black citizens?
it is a fact that our own government used black men to study the impact of syphilis on their health and the health of their community for decades after a treatment had been produced. Our government lied to these men, told them they were being treated when they were not and then watched them get sicker as they continued to spread the disease with all of their sexual partners. Sounds pretty heinous to me. HIV as a government plot may be a marginal belief, but is it unpatriotic?

- the US government committed acts of terrorism around the world, which led directly to the response we all saw when those two planes hit those two towers?
More people that just Wright argue that the atomic bomb drops on Japan were unnecessary and even more argue that the second one surely was. Seems like we as a country should be healthy enough to have that debate. Or maybe we can feel free to just say, "tough". Japan attacked us - unprovoked - and whatever they get in return is just a little "que sera sera". So then, one might wonder what the Iran of 1953 did to us? Remember that one; the British came over to us, upset at having their embassy staff kicked out of Iran and asked us if we could use our embassy to plot a coup for them, to prevent the Iranians from nationalizing their own oil assets (you know how GWB is fond of saying that the oil in Iraq belongs to all of the Iraqi people? Yeah - the CIA did not go for that back in the 50s. That oil belonged to British Petroleum; hell - it said so right in the name). Bye-bye Mossadegh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mossadegh#Coup_d.27etat), hello, Shah (I love the notes from Eisenhower's diary here. Thanks to GWB, we will never again have contemporaneous notes like that again. History weeps). And if the Shah needed a little help building a repressive police force to keep him in power, well - the USA was only too proud to help. More than half a century later and Mossadegh is still a popular politician in Iran. Except with the religious leaders; they found him too Western. Need I add in the story of Patrice Lumumba from Congo or Salvador Allende from Chile? Or perhaps you thought those two countries wanted to be rid of democracy and instead preferred the rule of brutal thugs like Mobutu Sese Seko and Pinochet? Our commitment to democracy in resource-rich nations is very, very recent; does it make someone unpatriotic or un-American to acknowledge the simple truth?

As far as McCain's preacher, we really do not know. But we do know that he went out of his way to seek the approval of and the endorsements of:

- Rev. Pat Robertson
- Rev. Jerry Falwell
- Rev. John Hagee

The first two of whom respectively blamed gays, abortionists, feminists and ACLU lawyers (Civil Liberties lawyers?) for the attacks of 11 September 2001 - just two days after the attacks! And the last of whom who believes, respectively that:

- The Roman Catholic Church is "The Great Whore"
- Roman Catholics "thirst for the blood of the Jewish people"
- God created Hurricane Katrina to punish the city of New Orleans for a planned "gay-pride" parade. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/opinion/04rich.html?hp)

I hope you will not hold McCain accountable for the rants of these preachers, as even though he sought out their endorsements, it would be patently unfair to attribute their beliefs to McCain - unless he stands forth and says he agrees with Hagee's call for a pre-emptive attack on Iran.

I do have to say that in my swamp, there is a difference between being "proud" and "really proud". You see, I know there is a difference, because one statement has an extra word. And I know that extra word has meaning, because that is what words do. The only way you and I have been able to have an asynchronous, extended conversation like this is because of words, so you just cannot throw away a word if it does not match with your own pre-conceptions. Michelle Obama has spoken eloquently about how she is an excellent example of what good public education systems can produce; that is a routine part of her stump speech and she is perhaps one of the best rationales I have ever seen for just what public schools can do. Heck - even Barack has stated that it may not make sense for his two little girls to have the same boost from affirmative action programs that he and Michelle did. I think every aspect of both Michelle and Barack is walking proof of how proud they are in this nation; and perhaps seeing young people participate in ways in which they never have before and at levels everyone else said they would not is a reason to be really proud.

It makes me really proud, but I am a contrarian.

Oh and that Weatherman stuff? Just how is Obama responsible for what someone did when he was eight - and yet Hilliary Clinton is not responsible for what her husband did when he was President? Yes, William Jefferson Clinton walked out of office in January 2001, but not before pardoning not one, but two members of the same Weather Underground group. (I will give you even odds on whether or not a donation to the Clinton Library and or the Clinton Foundation was behind those pardons; any takers?) So which is worse? Serving on the same board of a charity with someone who has never been convicted of a crime or pardoning two criminals who actively sought to bomb government offices in our own country?

White people continually overestimate the power of Sharpton - but don't take my word for it - how many votes did the well-known Al Shapton receive in his Democratic primary campaign and how many has Barack Obama received? I lived in NYC at the time of Sharpton's run, so I know that he received so little support from within the Democratic Party, that he had to reach out to Republican operatives (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Stone#2004_United_States_Presidential_campaign). And just like Republican operatives (i.e. - Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity) today have purely altruistic motives in calling for Republicans to vote for Hillary, I am sure that Roger Stone really wanted Sharpton to stay in the 2004 campaign to "talk about the issues".

I certainly have not the media power that Sharpton has, but I believe that black voters will do what we each individually feel is the proper thing to do at the outcome of this campaign. Is there enthusiasm within the black community for the Obama campaign?


Will this community be supremely disappointed, should super-delegates come out and push Hillary over the top - after 20-months of campaigning?


Will black voters vote Republican in response?


Will black voters stay home?

"reply hazy - ask again in October".

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