Obama's Team Needs to Drop Phobia Towards Arab-Americans and MuslimsSo who's driving "the bandwagon of hysterical demonization and slander" anyway? Could it be people whom 'the effective and important successor to John Bolten" calls his fellow neocons? Clemons sounds like he's saying, 'Let's get a Muslim in the next administration, no matter that he's a charter member of the Project for a New American Century and oversaw our criminal occupation of Iraq?
A couple of well-placed insiders have told me that US Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad is going to make a quick split after the November 4th election. Some think he is going to position himself to run for the presidency of Afghanistan -- which I sincerely hope he does not do. Others think he has lined up a financially lucrative perch at an investment house. The problem with the latter scenario is that I was informed by my sources of Khalizad's departure agenda before the financial meltdown.
Khalilzad has been an effective and important successor to John Bolton at the UN on a number of levels, but one aspect of his service and identity that rarely gets attention is that he is the highest-ranking Muslim in the Bush administration.
America needs Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans in positions of responsibility in our government -- and not just dealing with Arab-American and Muslim issues. This is important as America needs to keep open the doors of civic opportunity to all Americans however hyphenated.
Yesterday, Justin Vogt of The New Yorker wrote a piece titled "Imagined Community" for the new Abu-Dhabi based The National. His article is one of the most serious and comprehensive discussions of the state of Arab-Americans in American politics I have read. I had a few quotes in the piece including the comment that "Both Muslims and Arab-Americans have been ill-treated in this political environment."
But the reason to read it is that we do need the 'likely' Obama administration to immediately suspend its generalized phobia of most things Muslim and Arab. McCain and Palin have been trying to slander Obama for relationships with "questionable" Arabs and have through a variety of means allowing a whisper campaign that he may be "Muslim."
I agree with Colin Powell. Why should it matter?! Muslims and Arab Americans are no less American than anyone else reading this blog -- or reading RedState.org or listening to Fox and Friends in the morning.
Although, shame on Tom Ridge for jumping on the bandwagon of hysterical demonization and slander of Columbia University Rashid Khalidi and Barack Obama even though Ridge said on Fox's show Tuesday morning that he knew nothing about Khalidi or what he had written or said -- but that this showed Obama's tendency to associate himself with terrorists and questionable people. That was outrageous.
Some of these Fox critics ought to dig into the founding entities of the Likud party in Israel and apply some historical objectivity.-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note
How the hell will that help?
Finally, I began getting responses.
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Yes but you cannot engage in a thousand fights at once. You choose those you can win at and hopefully the win will enable you to tackle the others more effectively and with a better chance of winning. That is judgement, tactic, strategy and skill. That is what I want in a leader and that is why I will vote for Obama because he has them. The so often lauded experience is nothing.
Posted 12:47 PM on 10/31/2008
If I try this method again, next time, I'll just say "thanks," instead of making a smart-ass remark like that.
In my comments, I was trying to make the case that we have all been ill-served by the Fear of the Other. The title confused many of the participants in this dialogue. I might have titled it, "How the Fear of the Other Keeps Obama from Embracing Downtrodden Groups, and Why He Needs to get Over It."
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The comments to which I refer below were deleted contemporaneously. So I retracted my "growing from both ends" statement.
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