Is Obama Bowing to Saudi King Worse Than Holding Hands?
by ralphlopez, Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 10:10:04 AM EDT
The poisonous, mischievous talkinghead right is at it again, building up the Barack Hussein Obama bogeyman. If saying America has made mistakes in Muslim countries, according respect to the Muslim religion, and now "bowing" before the Saudi king isn't enough to raise suspicions, talking about helping all those poor people in Muslim countries should do it. Yeppers.
It is the most vicious of double-standards, of course, intended to keep us at each other's throats, so that we don't start coming together to bring about that nightmare vision of both corporate Democrats and Republicans: Tea Baggers waking up seeing their life savings gone, and not knowing whom to blame, and traditional Democrats watching their party sell them down the river with the same billionaire bailouts. Those who dismiss the Tea Baggers as merely racists are as unfair as Hannity and Limbaugh. A liberal is just a former conservative who has been mugged by Big Business.
Is holding hands with Saudi royalty, as members of the Bush family always do, worse than a protocol bow?
I wouldn't have done it, but like the Dean Scream, the reality doesn't matter. Say something ad nauseum and it takes on a truth of its own. Those people who run the networks and the radio talk shows must know something, right? Or else they wouldn't make so much money. Hey, if I were selling my soul, I'd ask for a lot of money too.
Can you imagine what would have happened to Obama had he done what Bush did after 9/11? Enter a mosque after removing his shoes and, weeks after, calling for a Palestinian state? The mischievous right-wing media is not the Tea Baggers, but the Tea Baggers tend to be their audience. They are absolutely desperate to keep the Tea Baggers under control, lest they see that the same corporate masters who broadcast these shows are the ones who enabled Grand Theft, Bailout. The same people who socialize and go to school with and sit on boards of directors with those who run Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.
When Obama panders to the far-right, as he did on FISA, and in seeking the dismissal of the case against Boeing in relation to a Bush legacy torture case involving extraordinary rendition, and in protecting the Bush administration's expansive notion of "state secrets," these far-right talkingheads are who he is pandering to. You don't pander to someone you can't win with.
On the torture issue, rather than the excruciating exercise he has been engaged in, doing the right thing one day and the wrong thing the next, so that I get cramps just watching the tightrope act, Obama should make a policy speech making the distinction, once and for all, between the ticking-bomb scenario and the reality of what we have done. He has no less than former Bush FBI Director Robert Mueller to back him up, who said, to his knowledge, contrary to Dick Cheney's last defense against being labeled an international war criminal, torture never prevented any attacks. We were sweeping up the wrong guys, torturing first and determining innocence later, and giving Al Qaeda its greatest recruiting tool. As in, making us LESS safe.
A bit of a rarity in the Bush administration, Mueller is one of the few senior Bush officials, besides Colin Powell, who actually hefted a rifle in Vietnam as leader of an infantry platoon.
Then we have Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who says he felt obliged to step forward with the fact that most of the prisoners in the War on Terror prisoners were innocent when he heard, to his alarm, ex-vice president Dick Cheney practically labeling Obama a traitor and a danger to the Republic. Wilkerson wrote of Cheney's
unmistakable stoking of the 20 million listeners of Rush Limbaugh, half of whom we could label, judiciously, as half- baked nuts. Such remarks as those of the former vice president's are like waving a red flag in front of an incensed bull. And Cheney of course knows that.
Wilkerson called this kind of incendiary speech "dangerous," coming from a recent vice president.
Were that Obama was as politically skillful as Bush was, not necessarily a good thing. He would give Mueller, Col. Wilkerson, and Richard Clarke Medals of Freedom, and invoke them in a watershed speech on torture, the way Bush had 9/11 firefighters and widows standing next to him for cover. Richard Clarke is not directly relevant to torture, but he is relevant in another way to the war on terror: he had it right.
Where is Obama's Rove? Or rather, Rove's moral mirror image: clever and to the point but on the side of right rather than wrong? Where is Karl Rove's mirror image, would that be Lark Evor?
Rove's mirror image, Fighter of Evil