Middle East studies in the News
The Persuasive Force of an Avalanche [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Daren Jonescu
Preaching to the choir, which has spiritual value as an expression of camaraderie, must temporarily take a back seat to the urgent task of persuading the hitherto disengaged. For while there is a large portion of the American electorate that seems irremediably committed to Barack Obama's promise of a food stamp in every pot, there is also, one must hope, a smaller segment of the population that remains inattentive to, or ignorant of, what is happening to America.
These are people of good faith who simply do not see what you see. They have refused to listen to the evidence thus far; they have been educated to believe in the kind of euphemisms the left uses to mask its true intentions; they cannot accept that real live men and women could possibly have aims so antithetical to the interests of humanity, civilization, and decency, let alone that such people could have risen to the highest positions of government, education, the press, and the arts.
(Before you scoff at the possibility that there might be such "people of good faith," consider the Tea Party. I have read the self-descriptions of many people who say they were politically disinterested all the way into their 50s, but have had a violent awakening within the past few years. What happened to them can happen to others.)
Though it may be difficult to muster the patience to argue with those who have chosen to remain under the rock of everyday life during this time of tectonic shift, if ever there was a moment for forbearance in the name of a greater good, this is it. The stakes could not be higher. The time could not be later.
The practical problem, however, is that merely being correct is not enough to win an argument. You must also make your interlocutor see your case, and take it seriously. But the world has reached such an extremity of degradation that for those who have not been paying attention, even calling the dangers by their right names seems "over the top." And if someone dismisses your argument as ridiculous on its face, they will not finally be swayed by it.
This problem cannot be ignored. Those frustrating "undecideds" to whom the obvious appears far-fetched must be won over. If they cannot finally be persuaded, then the only other way out of this crisis may simply be to watch civilization die, and hope that reason and humanity may be reborn in some distant future.
How to overcome this barrier? Consider how you yourself arrived at your conclusions regarding modern leftism in general or Barack Obama in particular. You got there through inference and synthesis after exhaustively examining the verifiable facts. Without the facts, you would never have believed those inferences and syntheses either -- nor should you have. The accumulated evidence comes first. Inescapable conclusions follow.
This is the solution for dealing with the disengaged. Wave your arms in front of their televisions and newspapers until you have swept away "Dancing with the Stars," Peggy Noonan, and the rest of the veil of life-as-usual that blinds them to the danger all around. Then overwhelm them, forcefully but without exaggeration or hyperbole, with the documented facts. Merely say what you know, and what can be proven incontrovertibly, without scaring them away with inferences they are not yet able to understand. If they are reachable at all, they will draw their own inescapable conclusions, just as you did.
This modern version of the Socratic Method might just avert catastrophe. It is fitting that Western civilization's most time-honored model of education should be the most valuable tool in rescuing Western civilization.
Persuade them with an avalanche of undeniable facts.
Barack Obama was raised by a committed leftist mother who clearly displayed a predilection for men of similar inclinations, fathering Obama with one, and later marrying another.
Both his father and stepfather were Muslims. Obama spent a significant portion of his early formative years being raised and educated among Indonesian Muslims. His mother was, on his own account, opposed to organized religion on principle. In short, he was not raised in a Christian household or atmosphere.
The only church to which Obama is known to have belonged is Jeremiah Wright's. Wright, a black liberation theologian, sermonizes about the fundamental evils of America, and is vehemently anti-Jew and pro-Palestinian. Obama has claimed that he heard none of this over his twenty years in Wright's church, and has publicly disowned his pastor. (Wright has since described himself as a close political and spiritual mentor of Obama's, and claimed that in 2008 an Obama surrogate offered him $150,000 for his silence.)
One of the most influential male role models in his youth was Frank Marshall Davis (see Paul Kengor's work on this), a radical activist, card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA, and pornographer. Obama's first autobiography, Dreams from My Father, written before he ran for public office, discussed Davis in some detail. The audio version of the book, which Obama recorded in 2005, excised all references to Davis.
Obama's political career began with a "meet the candidate" coffee klatch in the Chicago home of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Ayers and Dohrn are founding members of the Weather Underground terrorist group, dedicated to the communist overthrow of the American system of government. They have remained openly devoted to undermining American "capitalism" and "imperialism" to this day, though they have traded in the ineffectual methods of their youth for more subtle and gradual forms of cultural re-education.
They are not the sort of characters who would blindly support just any old Democratic candidate for the state senate, let alone host his campaign kick-off party. That is, they would not have supported Obama without feeling very certain that they knew who and what he was, and that his views and agenda were consistent with their subversive aims. Ayers has subsequently spoken with his unique brand of leftist lyricism about the excitement and promise of Obama's 2008 presidential victory.
When Obama was publicly questioned about his relationship with Ayers, he famously dismissed this associate, mentor, and probable ghost writer of Dreams (see here) as merely "a guy who lives in my neighborhood."
Throughout his presidency, Obama has been strongly supported by the Communist Party USA. The language of the CPUSA's 2012 endorsement includes a simple litany of all the same policy achievements and principles that Obama himself touts in his own defense. It is the official position of the CPUSA that Obama's policy agenda is consistent with and conducive to the Party's goal of establishing a communist state in America. They ought to know.
For several years (we do not know how many), beginning in high school, Obama was a heavy user of illegal drugs, ranging from marijuana -- in his high school yearbook, he thanked his dealer by name -- to cocaine. During his 2008 presidential bid, he repeatedly exploited his drug use to attract young voters by appealing to their desire for the "cool" candidate. (See here.)
Obama admits to having been a bad student, due to being frequently absent from classes as a "loafer" and dedicated partier; and yet he was somehow able to wend his way up the American education food chain, from Occidental to Columbia to Harvard. His academic records have been withheld from the public to this day. (A valuable clue to the mystery of Obama's academic upward mobility may have just been discovered.)
His first literary agent promoted him using a short bio which claims he was born in Kenya. This bio was changed in other ways over the course of seventeen years, but continued to say he was born in Kenya until 2007. The agent's official explanation for this is a whimpered "fact-checking error." As many have pointed out, however, a publisher does not create an unknown author's bio for him. (How could they?) They print the information they are given by the author. Does this prove that Obama was born in Kenya? Only if we assume he was telling the truth when he provided or approved his biographical information. Perhaps he was. My assumption is that he was not. So Obama is either constitutionally ineligible to be president or a dishonest careerist who is prepared to promote his career with convenient lies about the most basic facts of his personal history, à la Elizabeth Warren, his fellow Harvard leftist and presidential appointee. Take your pick.
Obama was a featured speaker at a dinner in honor of Rashid Khalidi, a pro-Palestinian academic who has made a career of defending the PLO and the Muslim Brotherhood, while spewing venom at the "occupiers" of Jerusalem. We know that in his speech, Obama spoke of Khalidi as an intimate friend and mentor. We also know that anti-Israeli sentiments abounded at this event, and that attendees apparently included Ayers and Dohrn.
That, however, is about all we know, because the Los Angeles Times possesses the only known video of the event, and has refused to release it on the grounds of respecting the wishes of their source. In plain English, they refuse to release it because they respect their source's desire to protect Obama from the video's incriminating evidence, as is apparent from the damage control story the Times published about this event.
In 2008, asked about his relationship to Khalidi, which, according to the Times' own "nothing to see here" story, Obama himself described as deeply influential, Obama said, "To pluck out one person who [sic] I know and who [sic] I've had a conversation with who has very different views than 900 of my friends and then to suggest that somehow that shows that maybe I'm not sufficiently pro-Israel, I think, is a very problematic stand to take."
Obama has 900 "friends," all of them pro-Israel, but just one anti-Israeli vague acquaintance -- "one person who I've had a conversation with." So there, Professor Khalidi. Yet another long-time Obama mentor and confidante thrown under the campaign bus.
On the other hand, there is his administration's renunciation of the Mubarak government in Egypt. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Palestinian forces (to which Khalidi prominently belongs) hated Mubarak, not as an authoritarian, but as an Arab who tried to work with, rather than annihilate, Israel. Thus it is clear why those forces cheered Mubarak's ouster in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood's takeover of Egypt, personified by Mohamed Morsi.
Now Morsi -- whose campaign for Egyptian president was introduced by a cleric promising that Morsi would lead a "march on Jerusalem" -- is boldly setting the terms of U.S.-Arab relations, while the Obama administration trips all over itself to certify that, Obama's shaky words notwithstanding, they really do regard Morsi's government, and by implication the "civilization jihad"-seeking Muslim Brotherhood, as an ally. (When Michele Bachmann and others raised the issue of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government, the Washington establishment convulsed in melodramatic outrage -- without refuting the claims.)
Furthermore, the Democratic Party tried to remove the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital from its 2012 platform, along with language condemning the Brotherhood's offspring group, Hamas. Facing public scrutiny, and against the will of their own convention delegates, the Jerusalem language was reinserted into the Democrats' platform. The Hamas language, however, was not.
Then there is Obama's private plea to Dmitri Medvedev, caught on tape, that Vladimir Putin needed to give him "space," i.e., stop making public demands of him before the election, after which time Obama promised he would have more "flexibility" to give Putin what he wants regarding missile defense.
This, of course, is merely a beginning of the avalanche of facts -- not speculative inferences, but facts -- that can and must be presented to those who have not yet come to terms with what is at stake.
Supplement this bombardment as needed. Your ammunition will last at least as long as the 1.4 billion rounds the Department of Homeland Security purchased this year. Consider: adding 50% to an already irredeemable national debt; supporting infanticide; violating Catholics' freedom of religion in the name of a "student" who claims she needs enough birth control to supply the Mustang Ranch; declaring himself a proponent of single-payer (i.e., socialized) health care achieved incrementally (but then denying that the signature legislation of his first term is exactly that); giving the most perfunctory and unfeeling "sad day" speech in history in response to the barbaric assassination of a U.S. ambassador, before racing to Vegas for a fundraiser; mocking every human being's pride in his own achievement ("You didn't build that"), thereby completely inverting the actual relationship between private success and "public works"; EPA drones flying over your farm; and so on ad infinitum.
You could not invent someone less suited to being president of the United States. Just lay it out for the undecided, verifiable step by step, and dare them not to draw the only conclusion reason permits.
And never forget that just as Obama is, for the radical left, merely the public symbol of their agenda, so he is, for your argument, merely the thin edge of a wedge. Having set the disengaged to thinking on this one score, a whole world of corruption and impending catastrophe will open up for them. Once one has begun to see reality, there is no turning back.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org