Middle East studies in the News
Solving the Obama Problem [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
Regular readers of this site need not be reminded of Barack Obama's countless gaffes, aberrations, indulgences, prevarications, poor decisions, shady dealings and worrisome patches of biographical obscurity. These blemishes have been rehearsed in article after article to the extent to which we can say that, by this time, the issue of his competence and bona fides should have reached critical mass. Nevertheless, for the fence sitters, the undecideds or those of a different political persuasion who out of curiosity occasionally scan the conservative media, it might be expedient to revisit the Obama problem and set down a brief summary of the president's track record.
I have argued before  that Barack Obama is as close to being a rogue president as can be imagined. There is something troublingly undocumented about him, a cloud of ambiguity hovering over his selective reticence. No one can doubt that his actual résumé, compared to that of any of his predecessors, is strangely bare, like a kind of Mother Hubbard's cupboard. (Obama's first memoir in particular, Dreams from My Father , as Jerome Corsi shows in The Obama Nation , is a distinctly unreliable source. Corsi has been viciously attacked as a liar and a "discredited, fringe bigot ," but his defense  of his allegations is point-device.)
Some facts are known—where Obama studied, where he taught, his activities as a "community organizer," his various associates, his attendance at Trinity United Church, his law firm employment, his voting record in the Senate, and now the White House visitors list to which, as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer reveal in The Post-American Presidency , access had been blocked until a legal suit forced him to release it. The problem is that much of genuine importance remains an ongoing mystery.
For example, his college and university transcripts, including his academic papers and financial statements, his senate files and schedules, his professional client lists and other documentation remain sequestered under seal , a fact which should properly distress even his most ardent supporters. There is also the enigma of his faith, for although Obama professes to be a Christian, "we don't know," writes  Bosch Fawstin, "when he renounced Islam, if he ever truly did." (Political scientist John Drew who knew Obama at Occidental College is confident  that "his basic mental architecture has more links to Islam than Christianity.") Obama's informational footprint, unlike his carbon footprint, is scarcely discernible. What does the president have to hide? There should be no reason for such coyness—if that is what it is—any more than, for example, there could be a legitimate reason for the Los Angeles Times to suppress video footage of Obama's words and actions at former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi's Chicago farewell party . Something is clearly not kosher here.
It is time, once again, to look at a few hard facts about the president's policies, traits and activities well into the first half of his administration, of which I will bullet only some of the most conspicuous:
Admittedly, very few presidents keep all their promises or are even expected to, and very few would qualify as moral and intellectual paragons. But the lengthening rap sheet of Obama's character defects, equivocations, dissemblings, bad judgments and actions harmful to the integrity of the nation may well be unprecedented in POTUS annals. The warning signs are everywhere and critical pushback has become necessary. Barack Obama is patently a high maintenance president that America cannot afford, whether fiscally or politically. "A great part of America now understands," writes  Israpundit editor Dorothy Rabinowitz, "that this president's sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class."
But it goes deeper than that. He is a president who seems hell bent on plunging the nation into ruin. The damage he has inflicted upon his country, in both his domestic and foreign policies, is on the cusp of becoming irreversible. This presidential silverback has got to be stopped in the larger interests of the tribe. Nobama is the watchword. How to do this in indeed the question. A Republican majority in Congress and/or Senate would go some way to resolving the problem that Obama epitomizes, and represents a midterm election opportunity that must not be lost. Thomas Sowell is insistent  on this point: "If Obama doesn't get stopped in 2010, I don't know how he will ever be stopped." Sowell believes that America is careening toward "the point of no return" and that November 2 is a watershed moment in the fate of the nation. He stresses the overwhelming importance of an anti-Democratic Party vote, even though this would not strip the president of executive privilege and the veto power.
Some would go even further. Former Colorado representative Tom Tancredo has cited the president's refusal to enforce immigration law as an impeachable offense, and Arizona state senator Russell Pearce, in a recent interview , has strongly—"absolutely" is the word he used—concurred. "Five to ten thousand folks come across that border daily," he declares, "and what's coming across—20 percent have criminal convictions—are gang members, drug smugglers, human smugglers, child molesters, rapists. It's an invasion. It's in violation of the Constitution. Yes, it's impeachable. He [Obama] not only neglects to do it, now he's refusing to do it. It's impeachable." (The recent passing of legislation  by Congress to toughen border security is plainly an attempt to restore its sagging credibility after the fact and only partially addresses the issue.)
In any event, there should be little doubt by this time that Barack Obama is a grave security threat to the United States. He is, as Sowell argues, a president the country may not survive. And still many of us are disinclined to grasp how truly dangerous this man is, for he is not just another Democrat seeking the privilege of power but a crypto-Marxist who hauled his buckets from the wells of the left (e.g., Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals , which, as James Lewis points out , he "taught his ACORN followers in all his Community Agitator classes in Chicago"), a clear Islamo-sympathizer and a man who gives every indication of intensely disliking the country he was elected to serve. He is not simply naïve, misdirected, frivolous, unprepared for office, partisan and ignorant—he may be all these things—but, to quote  Pajamas Media CEO Roger Simon, he may also suffer from "a serious personality disorder."
According to a report in The European Union Times , French president Nicolas Sarkozy is on the same page, having described Obama as "a dangerous aliéné" (French for "lunatic"); elsewhere, he slams Obama's Iran policy as "utterly immature ." Similarly, Obama's jettisoning America's nuclear ambiguity  and committing under certain circumstances not to use nuclear weapons to respond to biological or chemical devastations, which leaves the country shorn of its deterrent threat and vulnerable to proxy attacks, is another symptom, not merely of political narcosis, but of overt psychological imbalance—unless, of course, as a trained and committed Marxist with Islamic sympathies, he has deliberately set out to sabotage American strength and longevity. Take your pick.
America's allies, from Taiwan to Ukraine to Israel and the United Arab Emirates  are feeling profoundly at risk as a result of Obama's fecklessness or intentions. Indeed, Obama has effectively abdicated America's role as the guarantor of the free world. But it is America itself that is in direst jeopardy from the operations of a president who governs at a great distance from the people. It is as if a majority of electors and salon intellectuals hurtled down the rabbit hole and found themselves in a sinister wonderland whose gaudy illusions they foolishly took for reality. Many have been chastened and are now scrambling to climb back out.
November would be a good place to start.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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