Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Playing the Muslim Card

I just read the transcript of The President’s interview with Al-Arabiya TV (link on left side bar under news section). I had written another post called escargot instead of apple pie, but I guess i will post it another time. First, folk rocked that shit, never before has an American President been able to say to the world, especially the Muslim and Arab world that I have lived in Muslim countries, or that members of my family are Muslim. And yep, folk here use Muslim and Arab separate because they are not the same albeit most US citizens don’t understand or know that they are; just like messenger RNA is different from transfer RNA. Arabs are a group of people from the Middle-East and North Africa. Muslims are people who practice and abide by the Muslim religion. Some Arabs are Muslim, but some Arabs are also Jews and Christians.

It was definitely a clear paradigm shift (Kuhn, 1957) for he specifically attempted not to alienate Arab and Muslims from being partners in the problem at hand.

At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprise if he addressed the Muslim world in some place like Lebanon, Indonesia or Jordan to lay his cards on the table. In Memphis we call this a Mac move. First he attempted to broaden the discussion beyond the Israeli-Palestine Theater to the entire region inclusive of Israel. In addition, he also put the heat to Al Qaeda say in essence, what are you contributing

I give the Presidents big props on this, speaking directly to the nations of Asia that traditionally we in the west, especially back up in this camp, have historically turned a blind eye to. He spoke of respect and may have stated or said the word more than a dozen times in his interview. Only time will tell if playing the Muslim card will, work, but he did, and played it like he was sitting at a table playing in the world championship of poker. Now he may have received a D plus on his economic proposals to date, or a C minus on his quick Executive orders to close Gitmo for example, but he gets at least a 90 on this, from my narrow minded understanding of things and history and events and foreign policy.

Now true it could be smoke and mirrors. He still says that he will keep Israel as a fundamental alli of the United States, and his attempt to disenfranchise Al Qaeda by playing to Muslim and Arab moderates as being out of touch and preferring to destroy as opposed to build, may be tested. Also, the Israelis may be a source of consternations for they may prefer hegemony over peace, and with an election coming up, may put Bibi Netanyahu in office – which won’t broker well for what the President has spelled out for the region. But none the less – this tactic was trump tight. I’m just mad that he was not as lucid regarding the economy and my loot. Hats off to you folk, again, you rocked that shit and it took balls. Now fortify them balls and do something to stimulate the retail sector and business with annual earnings under $250,000.


Anonymous said...

"But none the less – this tactic was trump tight. I’m just mad that he was not as lucid regarding the economy and my loot. Hats of folk, again, you rocked that shit and it took balls. Now fortify them balls and do something to stimulate the retail sector and business with annual earnings under $250,000."

For some reason this made me smile. You still at it. No one can say you aren't consistent.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

I give credit where credit is due and i try to be objective, i never get on Obama, just the office of president and policies (still looking up to ans your request

Anonymous said...

I too give props to a President that people around the world are ready to speak to. I am not looking forward to Clinton dealing with other nations because I do not believe she has the tact to do it. Bidens's job is to make sure she doesn't screw up too bad.

Dr. Wright
The Wright Place TV Show

Clifton said...

Do you think that we can get an accurate gauge on what progress he can make before Netanyahu gets in office? He's already said he would let the settlements in Gaza expand and that was one of the things that energized the terrorist movement before.

Red Snapper said...

"The Mac move"


Yo Memphis roots run deep and cannot be denied I see.


hee hee

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

The president is treading in charted waters and I admire him for that.

Lovebabz said...

Diplomacy. Real diplomacy.

My muslim ex-in-laws feel very strongly that this was an amazing thing to do. They feel like someone in America recognizes and understands...not so the much the problems but the differences in the people, culture and religion.

The beginnings of restorative talks and bridge-building.

Sista GP said...

It's amazing how one person can somewhat "know how it is" in relations to Whites, Blacks, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Americans, Africans, and Eastern Asians.

cordieb said...

Yes! I found it quite refreshing too. He's a smart man and I beleave he tries earnestly to be a fair man. Something found so scarcely in politics.

PLL, CordieB

Epaminondas said...

Obama, given the challenges he faces has the opportunity to be one of the greatest 4 or 5 presidents.

But giving your first interview to THESE GUYS

He has my prayers to be successful, but he has to recognize who he is talking to every bit as much as the revolting Trent Lott does talking to the even more revolting CofCC

Rich Fitzgerald said...

I liked how he decided to send the Ambassadors over to "listen" as opposed to giving demands.

We'll see the tale of the tape as it continues to roll out.

Jay Midnyte said...

nice post. But you don't think the closing of Gitmo was a plus for the international communities perception of America?

The Black Snob said...

I think this was a good move, politically and internationally, as it really demonstrates how "different" Obama intends to be from Bush. It's definitely good enough to confuse the anti-American propaganda al-Qaida is pushing. They need us to be antagonistic and speaking directly to Muslims and Arabs is the opposite of antagonism, so now they have to adjust their game.

I'm still more interested in seeing how he'll handle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict because I simply don't see American policy towards Israel changing no matter who is president. I can see us being a tad more rational (more Jimmy and Bill, less Bush), but at the end of the day, we've promised Israel so much in ways of money, arms and defense that I don't know how we can extract ourselves from that role or even reform it in any dramatic way.

clnmike said...

Isreal isnt a road block it is a mountain in the road, I can not see Obama brokering anything between those two that would satisfy anyone.

Jackie E. said...

One thing no one could ever say about you is that you are wholly aware and insightful and thorough in your commentary and I for one, am always grateful!

Linda said...

Up here you'll find folks calling every muslim a Turk. Even the Dutch woman with blue eyes wearing a nijab.... yep.. a turk.

Black people, of course, are folks from Surinam. I had a classmate asking me one day.. 'it's true that Michael Jackson used to be a Surinam guy, right?' - hilarious :P

Greetings from holland!

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

the brother is playing a deep chess game here. if he keeps this up he will graduate to the 3d Star Trek Chess that Kirk and Spock bonded over.

i am proud.

chauncey devega

no_slappz said...


By mentioning his muslim roots and stating the US intends to negotiate with muslims based on mutual respect and mutual interests, there is only one goal that will emerge in muslim minds -- the US will withdraw from the middle east and withdraw its support for Israel.

If he believes it is possible to negotiate with governments and populations that support Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and other radical extremist groups, then Obama is more naive than I had thought possible.

Meanwhile, the issue of who is a muslim is unimportant. Arabs are about 99% muslim. The same is true for Persians (Iranians) and Turks (Turkey). Meanwhile, their are ethnic groups in China, in the former Soviet Union and in eastern Europe whose members are almost 100% muslim.

Then there are the Pakistanis and the Indonesians.

Despite the efforts of Louis Farrakhan and his predecessors, the American version of Islam gets thumbs down from the middle east.

However, the goals of Black Muslims are remarkably similar to the goals of the muslims of the middle east.

According to Elijah Muhammad in Message to the Blackman, a demand for a separate country for blacks within the United States has been made.

It seems that every place Islam appears, its believers want to separate themselves from non-muslims. Moreover, muslims demand that non-muslims leave the region.

Or convert. Often the choice between converting and maintaining another religious view is boiled down to a Godfather offer -- either one agrees or one is killed.

Anyway, Obama's willingness to open negotiations with Iran means he will become a dupe in the charade that occurs when jabbering with muslim leaders. The talk will proceed in meaningless ways while the Iranians continue to build a nuclear bomb.

Fortunately, muslims are technically incompetent, which means the Iranian bomb will most likely fail to detonate. But, they could get lucky.

The screwball Ahmadenijad has already asked Obama to apologize for past American acts in and around Iran. In other words, he wants to see if he can publicly humiliate Obama. Make Obama grovel.

If Obama apologizes, he will permanently damage himself here at home. Meanwhile, his statement urging muslims to build rather than destroy seems to put hope over experience. Other than rugs woven by women working as slaves, some farming and stitching together some clothing, muslims build nothing.

Everything is imported, or unavailable. That should give Obama a big clue about developments he should expect.

rawdawgbuffalo said...

well said sister, well said

u just versed the million dollar question.

Red Snapperlol me no gangster

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts
so true

yep it is but has he thought out the implications? i dont know

Sista GP
amazing is true

yes it is but thought and rumination is still needed not just pr

we americans always wish the best for our president

Rich Fitzgerald
true man like aint it.

Jay Midnytegitmo wasnt well thought out - just to me

The Black Snob
bravo gald to see my lil sis repping

yea folk, tread lite, his loot came, at least a lot from them folk there

Jackie E.
u flatter me maam


Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle
now thats an honor

hey folk i missed u, but with that said. i disagree - anything is possible - a man on the moon even. as far the

as how the asians (u call middle east look at me and mine - dont matter. on the really real,an olvie branch is just that and such is the same for a phd in engineering no matter where they are jones

no_slappz said...


The middle east, with the exception of Israel, is one of the world's most culturally backward regions.

The Koran rules over everything, which means there is a deep bias against knowledge.

Furthermore, as I said, the middle east manufactures, builds, develops and invents almost nothing. Islam disapproves of inquisitiveness. It is a dogmatic religion that claims the Koran answers all questions.

When a dogmatic religion is elevated to the law of the land, then intellectual development ends. That's the main reason the middle east has more-or-less stood still since the year 1,000.

There are no prestigious middle eastern schools. The few muslims who have obtained real educations had to study outside the middle east.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

Torrance: You know how big a deal pan-Semitism and the two-state solution is for me and from that perspective I like it insofar as he's breaking with all sorts of traditional ways of a non-"safe" Saudi/Kuwaiti/UAE-ONLY Muslim connection.

This would be fine if he hadn't been so limp on the ethnic cleansing in Gaza and if at rock bottom John Lewis is for show and Joe Lieberman is for dough.

Like for you, it's not about Obama for me. It's about the POTUS. If he's adopting the Baker III, Regan Shultz approach of "look we have business all over the world and neither the Islamic, Christian nor Jewish Fundamentalists are going to screw it up," then I like it.

If not, it will be just another way in which he perceives that he owes the Republican Party and their prerogatives his culo. I don't think I can bear 4 years of watching him have to apologize to the DLC and AIPAC at every turn.

If it's a pure "Mac" move than I applaud it heartily. I assume he knows what's coming as you and I do. Netty as PM in a Knesset coalition with Kadima and Labour that holds over 80% of the seats. They don't particularly care what the majority of their people think or what the world outside the USA thinks. Or even what the Diasporal Ashkenaz community outside and even inside the USA thinks.

If that's his plan, it's a bad plan. There is literally nothing he can do now that will take away "Barack 'Hussein' Obama" as a right-wing talking point. So, he's got two choices (1) Peacemaker or (2) He just gives back in, worships bi-partisanship and puts as mony republicans in his inner circle and hopes Netty will see how useful he can be to an expansionist Israel.

In the world Obama sees Joe Lieberman deserves a committee chairmanship on Homeland Security and Conyers doesn't deserve Foreign Relations,Finance or Ways And Means.

I agree with Emeritus. Obama's never that crisp on economics. I agree with Clifton, as well, in that it's a mixed message. I also liked the The Black Snob's take on it. The Palestinians did not perpetrate 9/11 and they are secular for the most part. The Fundamentalist Muslims are a problem. They love every part of this as much as the extremist Israelis and the arms dealers do. Anything that separates militants from the corridors of power is good.

I also don't think GITMO is going anyway and if it, by some fluke, does go away, expect a huge "surge" in extraordinary renditions.

For me maybe it's an inter-tribal thing. There's a big rivalry between Diasporal Ashkenazim and Sabra Sefardim. I'm Ashenkaz; we self-identify as European people and I kind of accept my situation as a stateless citizen of the world. The Sabras are ISRAELIS. They are far closer culturally to the Palestinians as we are but they've been fed on a diet of hate, and out in the New World we've been fed on a diet of business, trade, the arts, the sciences, medicine and politics. We don't understand why OUR aunts and uncles deaths have been used to give Sabras status as the controlling force in Israal and worse still a controlling force with expanionists ends.

They have the numbers and the ear of the US government. We have the money, particularly, the money Obama needs for reelection. The diasporal vote went 80-20 in the US for Obama. So he's a friend of Israel's and all hell breaks loose.

It all comes down to very base stuff. The Sefardim wants to conquer Muslim lands because familiarity breeds contept and they to this day think of the Ashkenazim as weak, meanwhile they, of course, were in Kuwait or Turkey. To us, they are brutes who only care about money and land who created a relgious warrior state in protest to the deaths of millions in a religious war. Millions of my kind, mind you, not theirs. They were safe as houses in Southern Europe and Northern Africa but have appropriated the Ashkenaz Holocaust as their cassus belli for everything much the way Red State America appropriated 9/11from Blue State New Yorkers who had to deal with it. Meanwhile as obsessed with material crap as the Sabras are it galls them that the Diasporals in abandoning the Fundamentalist reading of the Torah, have been successful everywhere on the globe and have all the money that they lust after and need to fight their wars of choice.

Those people will always hate Obama for this and they'll let AIPAC know. AIPAC's about war, territory and religion. So, the Sabras are for them a gang through whom they can make their fantasies of military glory happen even though AIPAC itself is run by the weakest of the weak chickenhawk Ashkenazim.

The proud Ashkenaz is about science, business, the arts and most of all peace and stability. And we've shown we can get well lairy if needs must -- Murder Inc, Siegel, Schultz, Reles, Zwilling, Lansky, Rothstein. Buchalter. Read THE BLOODHOUNDS OF BROADWAY, they all get names not terribly unlike "The Notorious B.I.G" or "50-Cent": Lemon Drop, The Brain, Dave The Dude, Jew Louie. And let's not forget Bumpy Johnson, given the moniker "Big Nig," because Harlem and the Lower East Side had a deal on the numbers split ("policy" it was called then) the Irish and Italians couldn't get.

In some ways Barack Obama is playing a role in a culture war here that isn't his at all. The reason AIPAC and the neo-cons are such high-and-mighty moralistic assholes is because they want to be Super-American and wash all that old shit off.

So, they throw in with the Fundamentalist Christians and any part of White Gentile American foreign policy and Middle East policy that brings them to what they think is holy and away from their own kind they think were evil and whose great-granchildren they deem to be profane. They don't want to deal with the Balzac shit that Torrance has on the homepage. So, it's WORSE violence with no danger for them in service of evading their own violent history in America.

Listen, Jonas Salk doesn't have access to what he needed to find the cure for polio if a generation earlier Zwilling wasn't breaking heads and machine-gunning guys at the Canadian border.

It all really goes back to the Golden Age of Iberia and who went where when the Visigoths overthrew Hasam II (Yeah, there were plenty of times when Jews and Muslims got along great guns). But that's a story for another day, kiddies.

Meanwhile, I left you with all the current dirty laundry to examine for clues to what's happening in the American political fight over Israel policy.

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