Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Journey Towards Peace

Hillary's MLK Jr. Moment

My Question:
Should the White House Be A Test-Tube for Domestic and Foreign Policy Experiments?

A Fox News talking point from a news item related to a short interview between reporter Major Garrett and 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is absolutely wrong.

The article by Fox News' Aaron Bruns claimed that Clinton “appeared to diminish the role Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. played” in the bringing about of Civil Rights.

To myself, an unbiased viewer, it looked as though Senator Clinton was trying to shrink Senator Obama’s lofty and dramatic rhetoric down to 'actual size'.

At the end of the day (using some of Clinton's words from the interview), being “able to get it through Congress” is something she’s been doing longer. The ability to inspire by the “power of dreams” is a worthy and necessary talent for all social justice leaders. When she spoke of the dream "becoming reality..”..she seems only to be saying she thinks she can do it better than Obama can.

Perhaps she should just say, "I think I can do [these things] much better than Obama can."

But I think I understand her message, however confused some may be about it. Jesus Christ has inspired people for over 2000 years…Moses and Abraham for much longer … and they never had to pass a law in any Congress in order to keep us bathed in the light of faith and hope. Many believe Moses handed down law from a source beyond our human existence. Whenever a law that best forwards social justice is passed in the name of the people of this country, the law was one that had likely been created long ago...born in the hearts of men and women; born of inspiration and faith.

There is no doubt that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of God and an inspirer for the ages. I trust that Hillary Clinton was by no means discounting Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. by showing how his wonderful dream was put into action…and pointing to the Presidents who helped to facilitate the dream through signed, dealed, and delivered legislation.

Ask yourself, regardless of who you may be supporting for 2008, isn’t it just a bit of a stretch to say the newest Senator of the top-tier-three is an inspirer of the ages and a JFK and an LBJ all wrapped up in one..and more capable than Clinton (or Edwards, for that matter) to get his agenda through Congress?

How has he ever proven it?

Shouldn't we be asking those questions?

If your answer is "No", I'd ask: Why the blinders?

If Hillary’s pointing that out, more power to her for the reality check. We should be doing our own vetting of the candidates, not just for personality, but for what they know and what they've accomplished. Both Clinton and Edwards may not be perfect, and I think Hillary was reminding us what happens when imperfect, untested people suddenly find themselves in the White House.

A new generation of young, enthusiastic voters stand to be disillusioned once again when heads-in-the-sky meet the very real difficulties associated with compromise and consensus and Washington, D.C.

With a gathering storm outside our nation's borders, should the Oval Office be a test-tube, particularly for foreign-policy experiments?

Right GaGa Over Obama? Yeah, RIGHT!

First it was the line, "Either you're for the Iraq war or your un-American."

When Rich Lowry tells you you just might be
un-American if you don't go starry-eyed for the newest kid on the Democratic block or if you don't feel teary-eyed somehow that the stomping of the other top-two far more experienced candidates is some kind of a cosmic reward.. well.......come on, that's just weird.

The quote:

"You're almost not an American if you don't feel stirred by what his victory would represent symbolically. Here's a guy who 50 years ago couldn't have gone in certain restrooms and motels."

- Rich Lowry of the National Review

What's a lot more strange is the way so many right-wing nastys are singing the praises of the Dem rookie with the moth-to-flame following. Howard Kurtz's most recent WaPo column is linked to a Daily Kos-website diary asking the question: If Right Wing Media Backs Obama, Who Are They Afraid to Face?

Come on, you can't blame anyone for asking!

After having blogged the wicked cynicism, sharp partisanship, and divisive rhetoric from the Kristol/Goldberg set for the last five years straight..going on six...

call me skeptical. [wink]

Note: One theory I have is that the Right is so afraid of NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg entering the '08 race that they are praying for an emerging Obama, an accomplished political chameleon, who is basically stealing the Unity message (or at least neutralizing its impact), reducing the chance of Big Bad Mike from spoiling the GOP's already-limp chances of scoring another four years in the White House.

Combating Terrorism - Sinjar Records

Last September, 2008 Presidential candidate John Edwards gave a speech at Pace University outlining a new strategy against terrorism (called "brilliant" by TPM blogger Matthew Yglesias) in which he said:
...We need a counterterrorism policy that will actually counter terrorism.

That brings me to Juan Cole's Top Ten challenges facing the U.S. in the Middle East, 2008; number 8:

8. Congress should expand funding for, and guarantee the future of, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Its researchers do among the very best jobs of analyzing the writings and activities of the Salafi Jihadis, and so of combatting them. Few government institutions are as effective. If the US government were serious about the threat of terrorism, I would not even have to make this plea. Of course, if Bush and Cheney had really cared about the threat of al-Qaeda, they would have gone after it and gotten Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri rather than rushing off on a fool's errand in Iraq.

A look at a recently-released Sinjar Records report at the CTC website shows a preliminary analysis of records containing background information on foreign fighters entering Iraq via Syria over the last year. The downloadable report says that:

...the Sinjar Records exemplify al‐Qa’ida’s fundamental strategic challenge in Iraq: melding the ideological demands of its global constituency with the practical concerns of relatively secular Iraqis.

One fact from the report that I found to be important to share is that:

...The vast majority of militants in Iraq have nothing to do with al‐Qa’ida, and they are focused on Iraqi problems: security, distribution of power and money, and sectarianism. Those insurgents are a mix of Sunni nationalists, Ba’thists, Shi’a militias, and Islamist organizations. Mistaking any of these groups for al‐Qa’ida is not simply wrong, it is dangerous....

I hope you'll visit the website and take a look at the report, which contains far too many eye-opening details for me to outline them here.