Monday, August 25, 2008

The Neo-Cons hit new lows in their 'Stop Obama' campaign

"Obama's strongest card is that he represents young America, the future in other words, against John McCain who speaks for the past. So the Republicans are now attacking the notion that he is, in reality, even an American."

writes The Exile, in his brilliant post about the anti-Obama smear campaign being waged by neo-con Republicans.

A good example of what The Exile describes can be found in today's Daily Telegraph.
Uber neo-con columnist and fanatical supporter of the Iraq war, Janet Daley (above), a writer who has attacked Obama repeatedly in the last few months, claims that the Democratic candidate won't lose because he is black, but "for not being American enough".

"His problem is not so much that he is an African-American in the modern political sense of being a black American. It is that he is an African-American in the literal sense of being half African and only half American."

Well, I read the Daily Telegraph almost every day, and for the life of me, I can't remember a more disgusting article that has appeared in its pages than Janet Daley's. Rather than openly playing the 'race card' she is playing the 'Obama is only half American card'.

It's cynical and totally disgusting. Let's hope that come the first week in November, John McCain, the '100% American' candidate that Daley and her fellow neocons want so desperately to get into the White House is heavily defeated.

UPDATE: There's a great response to Daley's vile piece in the Daily Telegraph comments section from 'Lisa'

How exactly is Obama someone who didn't "grow up American"? He was born and raised in America, but for 4 short years abroad in his early childhood. How does that make one "not American"? John McCain was born in the Panama Canal zone. Many other Americans have spent several years of their childhood abroad, mainly among military families stationed overseas. This is not an unheard of situation. So how can you fool yourself that this is not about race at its core? The "not American" smear is a flimsy cover for some nasty prejudices.


Martin Meenagh said...

And the irony is that John McCain was born in Panama. By some tortured legal reasoning with which not all scholars agree, an act passed after his birth made the military base he was probably born on formally American soil. He is advised by people with dual nationalities, famously including a Georgian lobbyist, and a few years ago was loathed by his own side.

The Telegraph has been a link for the American right for a long time, however. Think about when Clinton's advisers had a chart in a press conference detailing how the Lewinsky coup was meant to work; US tabloids to the Daily Telegraph to US discussion of foreign opinion, a bit like the abdication crisis here.

I'm glad that Obama didn't pick Hillary as a Vice-President despite the huge push to get her on the ticket. The race at the moment is still very close; if you go to the Real Clear Politics website, and play with the electoral map, you will see that if held today it would come down to Virginia and possibly Ohio.

This sort of stuff from Daley will not be seen as damaging from the right; remember the furore when Kerry and Gore, or even Obama, were lauded by ordinary Europeans and Canadians?

I hope people have the sense to elect Obama-Biden. Sorry for the long post.

KNaylor said...

Whether McCain or Obama will be President makes not a whole lot of difference, at least as far as foreign policy goes.

Both the neoconservative Republicans and Democrats share the same geostrategical goals in Central Asia and in isolating and "containing" Russia through staging designer revolutions and expanding NATO into Georgia.

Barack Obama's foreign policy advisor is none other than Zbigniew Brzezinski who is has a no less visceral hatred of Russia based on essentialist notions of its unchangeble nature as an inherent threat to the world.

Sensible commentators such as Anatole Lieven have drawn attention to the "Russophobia" inherent in his approach and which is little different to intellectuals such as Richard Pipes, father of Daniel, who was mentor to neoconservatives like Wolfowitz.

Wolfowitz and Pipes were part of the B Team set up as a rival intelligence group in the 1970s and were key in the development of neoconservative though. The messianic blend of realpolitik and democracy promotion and 'regime change' is shared by Brzezinski.

The key difference lies in divisions about how best to ensure US global hegemony over the oil and gas of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian basin.

Brzezinski was against the Iraq War because only by dealing with Russia first and reducing it to a powerless client as it was under Yeltsin can US power be extended deep into Central Asia and act as a 'guardpost' over control of the oil in the Persian Gulf.

In reality, it is only the clumsy and vacillating foreign policy of Bush between treating Russia as a potential ally and then enemy whilst trying to go it virtually alone in Iraq that distinguishes the Republicans from the Democrats.

In Second Chance, Brzezinski refers to 'catastrophic leadership' but not to a foreign policy that perpetuates what Micheal T Klare calls in his Blood and Oil the US's dependency dilemma, the fact that it imports 54% of its oil and must diversify its oil supplies and use pre-emptive measures to ward off potential challenges from Russia and China.

Obama is needed in order to promote the view of the USA as an 'international nation', one devoted to the liberty of all humanity and a beacon of the universalist currents of the Enlightenment.

Bush has damaged the notion that the USA is such as nation but, in fact,Obama will not make much difference unless the USA seriously reconsiders its addiction to petroleum. That ensures the potential for rival alliances and geopolitical psychopathology will increase and not diminish.

Tittle-tattle about Obama's Americanness is nether here nor there. Like much US politics, it is just another PR offensive, desinged to win back European liberals to US world leadership and get the French and Germans back on board for US leadership of NATO and the policy of creating pliant vassals and clients in Central Asia.

Anonymous said...

My fear for Obama is that eloquent as he is, he is too nuanced; and, electorates tend to like clear, crisp positions (even if the world is anything but clear and crisp).

I remember Kerry answer a question on abortion during the last election that outdid the subtlety of the most slippery Jesuit - and lost the audience after the second sentence!

We need more of 'its the economy stupid'if he is to win, pained as I am to admit that!!!

Anonymous said...

More low moves from the Republicans. What a bunch of degenerates they are.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that Obama was half Arab since the only people in Africa who would name their son "Hussein" are Arabs.

Roland Hulme said...

There is nothing funnier than European newspapers and Europe-based reporters and journalists attempting to be knowledgeable about the US presidential election.

For people actually living in the states, some of the articles printed in newspapers (even the good old Telegraph) inspire a lot of chuckles. Many 'well informed' journalists are astonishingly ignorant.

Ken said...

I suspect that Obama will become the Al Smith of our day. Smith lost the 1928 election for a variety of reasons, but I suspect that his Catholicism was what lay at the root of most of it.

People seem to be looking for a reason not to vote for Obama and all this stuff just gives them those reasons.

Tommy Schmitz said...

I don't know Janet Daley, but from her comments I could only say she must be an extraordinarily stupid woman. Her comments are less intelligent than what I hear from fifth grade bloggers here in the States. Simply amazing. And she gets published? I wonder who she's paying, so to speak, to finagle that bit of magic?

Anonymous said...

I left a comment here a few months back that Obama v. McCain would be a landslide victory for Senator Obama, because Senator Obama's supporters were so energized, and Republicans were so divided and disspirited. But so much has happened between then and now.

The American people believe that the mainstream media is committed to getting Obama elected.

McCain came out as the more focused candidate in the Saddleback Civil Forum.

And while selecting Senator Joseph Biden as his vice-presidential candidate may lock up all of Delaware's 3 electoral votes, it was an instance of poor judgement in my opinion. Many others think so too.

So the point of all this is that Senator Obama has done plenty of things to sabotage his presidential chances without Republicans doing anything particularly sneaky.

The Exile wrote that Obama could lose for the same reason Kerry lost, that he was unwilling to confront Republican smears. I say Obama will lose for the same reason Kerry lost, in that they are both arrogant, elitist Europhiles.

I suggest reading Peggy Noonan's comments on the Saddleback Civil Forum. If you don't like her comments, you might find Frank J.'s writing about McCain invoking Satan, Cthulhu and Skeletor amusing.

David Lindsay said...

Something like 10 years ago, I remember asking the then Editor of The Catholic Herald, who had lately appeared on The Moral Maze, how he had got on with David Starkey. Fine, he replied.

"But Janet Daley is just vile", and her idea of conversation over dinner was to have photocopied her Telegraph column in order to distribute it between courses, so that it could be discussed once the food had arrived.

KNaylor said...

The fact remains that nothing will change unless there is a shift both in politicians priorities and the consumer habits of average Americans and Europeans with regards their use of oil.

Every time you fill your car up with petrol to go pick up the lazy kids, go to the shopping mall or fly on an easyjet flight for a stag nite in Bratislava or Prague, then you contribute towards war in the Caucusus.

Bush has been an oil man's president, but those who think Obama will be courageous or able enough to tackle the USA's and Europe's basic problem-dependency on oil outside its territory- might be in for the usual disillusionment because they can't see the root causes of the world's problems.

Then all the ills Neil writes about will continue-wasteful egocentric consumption, deracinated cities deconstructed into traffic zones, more pollution, instability and regime change, terrorism and the psychopathology of nations, managed PR democracy and micromanagement

Then the descent into a new era of war and barbarism will descend upon us once more and will make the present time look retrospectively like a Golden Age of peace.

What do people think is really driving the crisis in the Caucusus right now?