Sunday, March 2, 2008

Barack Obama's Farrakhan Problem


Barack Obama pedals away after responding to John McCain's charge that he lacks experience and maturity on matters of foreign policy and national security. Note: this site regularly posts humorous photos related to the Obama campaign -- scroll down to see.
In the Washington Post Op Ed section on January 15, 2008, Richard Cohen wrote an excellent piece about Barack Obama's uncomfortably close relation to Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan. In the recent debate, Obama said he "rejects" Farrakhan's strong support of his candidacy -- and then, when pressed, relunctantly said he also "denounces" the Black Muslim leader's anti-Semitic views.
Here's what Richard Cohen said about the issue:
"[Farrakhan] has vilified whites and singled out Jews to blame for crimes large and small, either committed by others as well or not at all. (A dominant role in the slave trade, for instance.) He has talked of Jewish conspiracies to set a media line for the whole nation. He has reviled Jews in a manner that brings Hitler to mind."
"And yet [Obama's minister and spiritual advisor Jeremiah] Wright heaped praise on Farrakhan. According to Trumpet [magazine, a Wright-organization publication], he applauded his 'depth of analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation." He praised 'his integrity and honesty.' He called him 'an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose.'"
"These are the words of a man [Wright] who prayed with Obama just before the Illinois senator announced his run for the presidency. Will he pray with him just before his inaugural?"
"I don't for a moment think that Obama shares Wright's views on Farrakhan. But the rap on Obama is that he is a fog of a man. We know little about him, and, for all my admiration of him, I wonder about his mettle. The New York Times recently reported on Obama's penchant while serving in the Illinois legislature for merely voting "present" [on 130 controversial issues] when faced with some tough issues. Farrakhan, in a strictly political sense, may be a tough issue for him. This time, though, 'present' will not do."
Steve says: Hillary Clinton has accused the press -- correctly -- of not pressing Obama on difficult matters, including Farrakhan's strong support of him. Specifically, media types have refused to ask Obama where he agrees with Farrakhan -- and where he doesn't. Why exactly should the Senator and, for that matter, his controversial wife, be immune from the hard questions posed to every other candidate.
Obama has mentioned that he can't be anti-Semitic because he has gained strong support from Jews in Illinois and nationally. However, his Jewish supporters, such as his national finance Chair Penny Pritzker, are far-Left types who tend to blame Israel for many of the problems in the region. .
Obama's heavy financial support from MoveOn.org's anti-Israel legions.
(Note: Ms. Pritzker, from Chicago, is one of the wealthy financial speculators who bears responsibility for the subprime mortage crisis.)
Richard Cohen describes Obama as "a fog of a man." In other words, it's often hard to tell where the incredibly glib, but insubstantial, Illinois Senator stands on any issue.
Consider Obama's recent statement (in the last debate) that he might re-invade Iraq if al Qaeda "establishes a base" there! That from the critic of George W. Bush's invasion of Saddam's nation. As John McCain pointed out, it apparently comes as news to Obama that al Qaeda already has a base in Iraq. Obama's response was to talk about mistakes made in 2002, which tells us nothing about what he would do in 2008 and 2009.

With Obama ready to invade our ally Pakistan, a country with nuclear weapons, and to re-invade Iraq, he doesn't sound much like the anti-War candidate. In fact, he sounds like someone making it up as he goes along.

2 comments:

Christopher said...

Steve,

The American Conservative, a magazine I rarely agree with, had an interesting article in their current issue about how Obama isn't an anti-war candidate just an anti-this-war candidate. Regardless it's not enough to say we shouldn't have gotten into this war. You need an actual plan to get us out so we don't have to go back or as McCain says- winning.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Obama's recent comments about re-invading iraq if al Qadea "establishes a base there," which of course it has already done, illustrate a man who's extremely confused about Iraq . . . and al Qaeda.

steve