Middle East studies in the News
Iceberg Policy of Barack Hussain Obama [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Salah Uddin and Shoaib Choudhury
Barack Hussain Obama is not a pain only for Republicans in United States; he is equally a big pain for the Democrats too. Because, both parties are having patriots, who love United States as well heroes, who are committed in fighting militant Islam as well save this world from the grips of Jihadists, who are conspiring secretly in turning our entire world into a reign of Taliban and Mullahs.
I was terribly shocked to see Obama being elected as the President of United States, who very smartly managed to suppress his religious identity. I also knew that, Barack Obama is the champion hypocrite of today's world, who shows no interest for freedom of expression or freedom of speech or even anyone's fight against Jihad, Holocaust denial or militant Islam.
I don't want to say that Barack Obama is planted in that most influential political position in the world to serve the purpose of Jihadists, but, his actions and statements since he was elected give a very strong signal of him having a kind of 'softer attitude' towards notorious Jihadists and Islamists.
And to know little more about Barack Hussain Obama, it will be important for everyone to spend few hours in doing an anatomy of his writings and speeches to finally come to the conclusion of his ultimate face.
I am sure, many of my writers, if not all, have heard about his book titled 'Dreams from my father'. Well, the title itself is of a ma, who fathered Barack Hussain Obama and who was a Muslim. On the other hand, this Muslim father deserted Obama. But, still he aspires to the 'dreams' of his father. Commenting on this book, someone wrote, "Yet, he idolized a black man and basically cast his white mother aside. How demoralizing for this poor woman. He can say whatever he wants, but as a mother of a twenty-two year man, I would be very hurt if he began to idolize a man that had abandoned him and me. I would be very hurt to see him spouting racist remarks against whites in a book that he himself had written. I would be very hurt to hear him say disrespectful things about my mother, his grandmother, who helped to care for him and provide him with the education that made it possible to be a black man running for President of the United States. I would be very hurt to have him attend a church for 20 years and then not be honest enough to admit he CHOOSE that church because of the agenda they had against white people."
Now there is controversy whether Barack Obama at all wrote this book, or he hired a ghostwriter for this project. Searching the web, I found some information, which might be interesting to my readers. Prior to 1990, when Barack Obama contracted to write Dreams From My Father, he had written very close to nothing. Then, five years later, this untested 33 year-old produced what Time Magazine has called -- with a straight face -- "the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician."
Once elected president of the Harvard Law Review --more of popularity than a literary contest -- Obama contributed not one signed word to the HLR or any other law journal. As Matthew Franck has pointed out inNational Review Online, "A search of the HeinOnline database of law journals turns up exactly nothing credited to Obama in any law review anywhere at any time."
A 1990 New York Times profile on Obama's election as Harvard's first black president caught the eye of agent Jane Dystel. She persuaded Poseidon, a small imprint of Simon & Schuster, to authorize a roughly $125,000 advance for Obama's proposed memoir.
With advance in hand, Obama repaired to Chicago where he dithered. At one point, in order to finish without interruption, he and wife Michelle decamped to Bali. Obama was supposed to have finished the book within a year. Bali or not, advance or no, he could not. He was surely in way over his head.
According to a surprisingly harsh 2006 article by liberal publisher Peter Osnos, which detailed the "ruthlessness" of Obama's literary ascent, Simon & Schuster canceled the contract. Dystel did not give up. She solicited Times Book, the division of Random House at which Osnos was publisher. He met with Obama, took his word that he could finish the book, and authorized a new advance of $40,000.
Then suddenly, somehow, the muse descended on Obama and transformed him from a struggling, unschooled amateur, with no paper trail beyond an unremarkable legal note and a poem about fig-stomping apes, into a literary superstar.
To be sure, it is not unusual for successful politicians to hire ghostwriters -- John McCain gives due credit to Mark Salter for his memoir, Faith of My Fathers -- but it is highly unusual for unknown young Chicago lawyers to hire ghostwriters.
Obama's memoir was published in June 1995. Earlier that year, Ayers helped Obama, then a junior lawyer at a minor law firm, get appointed chairman of the multi-million dollar Chicago Annenberg Challenge grant. In the fall of that same year, 1995, Ayers and his wife, Weatherwoman Bernardine Dohrn, helped blaze Obama's path to political power with a fundraiser in their Chicago home. In short, Ayers had the means, the motive, the time, the place and the literary ability to jumpstart Obama's career. And, as Ayers had to know, a lovely memoir under Obama's belt made for a much better resume than an unfulfilled contract over his head.
Now here are some scoops! In 1970, for instance, the 9-year-old Obama alleges to be visiting the American embassy Indonesia. While waiting, he chances upon "a collection of Life magazines neatly displayed in clear plastic binders."
In one magazine, he reads a story about a black man with an "uneven, ghostly hue," who has been rendered grotesque by a chemical treatment. "There were thousands of people like him," Obama learned, "black men and women back in America who'd undergone the same treatment in response to advertisements that promised happiness as a white person."
Obama's attention to detail is a ruse. Life never ran such an article. When challenged, Obama claimed it wasEbony. Ebony ran no such article either.
Many people with all these facts and findings continue to argue that Barack Obama actually never wrote this book. It might have been the work of a ghostwriter.
Commenting on the book, writer Jack Cashill wrote, "in 1990, the University of Illinois at Springfield published a collection of essays called "After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois." Obama contributed a chapter, titled: "Why Organize? Problems and Promise in the Inner City."
"The year 1990, by the way, was when Obama, the newly elected president of the Harvard Law Review, received a six-figure advance from Simon & Schuster to write what would become "Dreams from My Father."
"The publishers must not have read "Why Organize?" Although the essay covers many of the issues raised in "Dreams" and uses some of the memoir's techniques, it does so without a hint of style, sophistication or promise.
"Indeed, the essay is clunky, pedestrian and wonkish – a B- paper in a freshman comp class. The following two excerpts capture Obama's range, or lack thereof:
"Moreover, such approaches can and have become thinly veiled excuses for cutting back on social programs, which are anathema to a conservative agenda.
"But organizing the black community faces enormous problems as well … and the urban landscape is littered with the skeletons of previous efforts.
"These cliché-choked sentences go beyond the merely unpromising to the fully ungrammatical. "Organizing" does not "face." "Efforts" do not leave "skeletons." "Agendas" do not have "anathemas."
"In "Why Organize?" Obama makes use of the fully recreated conversation, a technique used to somewhat better effect in "Dreams." Here, his ungainly conjuring of black speech makes one cringe:
"I just cannot understand why a bright young man like you would go to college, get that degree and become a community organizer."
"'Cause the pay is low, the hours is long, and don't nobody appreciate you."
"Obama asks us to believe that five years later, without any additional training, he was capable of writing passages like the following from "Dreams":
"Winter came and the city turned monochrome-black trees against gray sky above white earth. Night now fell in midafternoon, especially when the snowstorms rolled in, boundless prairie storms that set the sky close to the ground, the city lights reflected against the clouds.
"To read "Why Organize?" in its entirety is to understand the fraud that is Obama, the literary genius. As the reader will see, one does not need forensic software to sense the limits of Obama's skills.
"Allow me to reconstruct how Obama transformed himself in a few short years from an awkward amateur into what the New York Times has called "that rare politician who can write … and write movingly and genuinely about himself."
"There is an element of speculation in this reconstruction, but new evidence continues to narrow the gap between the speculative and the conclusive.
One clue comes from an unexpected source: Rashid Khalidi, the radical Arab-American friend of Obama's and reputed ally of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
"In the acknowledgment section of his 2004 book, "Resurrecting Empire," Khalidi pays tribute to his own literary muse, the man who has made "unrepentant" a household word, Bill Ayers.
"Writes Khalidi, "Bill was particularly generous in letting me use his family's dining room table to do some writing for the project." Khalidi did not need the table. He had one of his own. He needed the help.
"Khalidi had spent several years at Chicago University's Center for International Studies. At a 2003 farewell dinner on the occasion of his departure from Chicago, Obama toasted him, thanking him and his wife for the many dinners they had shared as well as for his "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases."
"Chicago's Hyde Park was home to a tight, influential radical community at whose center was the charismatic Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn. In this world, the Ayerses' terrorist rap sheet only heightened their reputation. Obama had to know.
"The couple had given up revolution in 1980 for the long, slow march through the institutions. By 1994, if not earlier, Ayers saw a way to quicken that march.
"I believe that after failing to finish his book on time, and after forfeiting his advance from Simon & Schuster, Obama brought his sprawling, messy, sophomoric manuscript to the famed dining room table of Bill Ayers and said, "Help."
"In fact, as young women, the two looked enough alike that I had to double check before disproving that a photo floating around the Internet of Dohrn with Ayers was not a photo of Dunham with Ayers.
"As to Ayers, envision him as the seafaring Odysseus to Obama's father-hungry Telemachus. By Obama's own admission, "Dreams" would become "a record of a personal, interior journey – a boy's search for his father."
"The question is often asked why Obama associated with Ayers. The more appropriate question is why the powerful Ayers would associate with the then-obscure Obama.
"Before Obama's ascendancy, it was Ayers who had the connections, the clout and the street cred. Ayers could also write, and write very well. By the mid-1990s he had several books published.
"My suspicion is that Ayers saw the potential in Obama, and he chose to mold it. The calculation in "Dreams" is palpable. Nothing about the book would deny a black Democrat the White House. And if "Dreams" were beautifully written, it could launch a career.
"As I have documented earlier, one thread that ties Ayers to "Dreams" is the repeated use of maritime metaphors throughout both books, a testament to Ayers' anxious year as a merchant seaman.
"There is, however, a deeper thread, namely a shared postmodernist perspective. A serious student of literature, Ayers has written thoughtfully on the role of the first person narrator in the construction of a memoir.
"In true postmodernist fashion, Ayers rejects the possibility of an objective, universal truth. He argues instead that our lives are journeys with "narratives" we "construct" and, if we have the will and the power, impose on others."
Here is only a fraction of information on how Barack Obama managed to become a top-selling writer in United States with the help of a ghostwriter.
There is possibly no crime in hiring a ghostwriter for a book of memoir. But, the most important point, which always would disturb my mind is, who is the 'ghost' behind the scene, who is actually leading today's Barack Obama in continuing as the President of United States? Is it Osama Bin Laden? Sooner we get reply to this question would be better for all of us.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.
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