Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obama’s Chicago Interview: Something Old Nothing New Somethings Borrowed Same Old Blues

Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn in using his full legal name, he stated in an exclusive interview with the Chicago Tribune. In the interview, Obama downpl

ayed the significance of his usage of his full name saying

“I think the tradition is that they use all three names, and I will follow the tradition. “I’m not trying to make a statement one way or another. I’ll do what everybody else does.”

What is significant in the interview is Obama’s stated attempt to revise America’s image in the Muslim world. The Chicago Tribune reports his remarks as follows.

“I think we’ve got a unique opportunity to reboot America’s image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular,” Obama said Tuesday, promising an “unrelenting” desire to “create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership in countries and with peoples of good will who want their citizens and ours to prosper together.”

The world, he said, “is ready for that message.”

He further expressed the desire to“recalibrate relations around the globe, through a new diplomacy that emphasizes inclusiveness and tolerance as well as an unflinching stand against terrorism.”

Reading the article about Obama’s plans called to mind the expression “reinventing the wheel.” It further reminds me of the “NEW AND IMPROVED” l

abel that graces many products whose improvements are all in the labeling. America has been inclusive and tolerant as never before seen in world history. When the World Trade Center was destroyed by Muslim terrorists, the country braced for a wave of anti Muslim violence that never materialised. I would be amazed if there were no verbal harassment, but un acountry that has had riots, that has had lynchings and other forms of civil unrest, there was preemptive concern that Muslim citizens and residents be able to go about their business undisturbed. It is hard to imagine what America could do to be more tolerant than it already is towards Muslims.

George Bush, Obama’s predecessor took pains at all times to exclude Peaceful Muslims from his condemnations of terrorists. Some argued that he sacrificed truth for good relations with some governments in Islamic countries.

A violent strain of Islam that is wreaking havoc in the world today has declared war on the Jewish people. Some of its victims are Jews who do not even recognise the State of Israel. An ironic casualty of their war on the west is the full range of Islamic history. The Islamic name for Jews and Christians as well as some other monotheistic faiths is “People of the Book.” One thing that Jews preserve religiously is historical memory. Even at a time when Jews are targeted around the world by Islamofascist bigots, Jews faithfully preserve chapters of our history in which Islamic governments showed kindness to Jews. The Spanish Inquisition is vividly recalled in the teaching of Jewish history, as is the welcome extended to jews by the Ottoman Empire. It is a debt of gratitude that has never been and never will be erased from the Jewish historical ledger.

There is a place for history and a very important one in the study of the human presence on our planet. Everything from our language to our style of attire to our cuisine can be understood in the context of history.

But a time comes to put down the book and to take up arms. Powerful and well funded enemies are attempting to destroy America and other western countries. The Muslims who killed in Mumbai have no right or title to the achievements of tolerant forms of Islam. Barack Obama speaks of creating a goodwill that already exists. If he wanted to find a textbook in which Muslims are treated favourably, he could look at Jewish history books covering the expulsion from Spain in 1492. Unfortunately, any honest history book will have to record the expulsion of Jews and Christians from Arab countries. Honest history is a package deal. If you cut and splice inconvenient facts from a history book , you are left with propaganda.

Let’s be realistic. There is no use in having dialogue with people who saw the heads off of innocent civilians and make video tapes of it. Against such individuals, the only fitting language is deadly force. It is insulting to those who remain peaceful to treat them the same as war like people.

There is a commandment in the Torah that appears in the Old Testament read by Christians as well.

“You must not keep in your pouch two different weights, one large and one small.
Similarly, you must not keep in your house two different measures, one large and one small.
You must have a full honest weight and a full honest measure. If you do, you will long endure on the land that HaShem is giving you.
Conversely, anyone who is dishonest and has dishonest weights or measures is repulsive to HaShem . ” (Deuteronomy

Israel has been facing for years the sort of terrorism that is now making its way to the America, Asia and Europe. Israeli children, women and innocent citizens are willfully targeted. Israel is piously told to “take risks for peace.’ It is told to give its enemies land from which they then launch attacks upon it. It even has made release of murderers a “goodwill gesture for peace”.

Should America follow such a suicidal path? Or should it fight enemies sworn to destroy it with ruthless determination?

Most Americans want to extend the hand of peace to those who live in peace. They also want to be relentless in their pursuit of those who would do our country harm.

There should be one set of weights and measures for judgment in Israel , America , India and the entire world. Terrorists should be wiped out and NEVER released.

Americans as individuals and as a society have been peaceful and tolerant under the most trying of circumstances. Barack Obama has no right to claim credit for this profound decency in the American character. The eagle that is our national emblem clasps both olive branches and spears, symbols of peace and of war. Both peace and the use of deadly force to defend it have their place in our national character and our national focus. In the trying times that await us, it would be wise to reflect upon the lessons of our nation’s emblem.

We are a peaceful people that has widened its circle of inclusion and opportunity over the course of our history. Of that we need not be ashamed, and for that, President elect Obama should salute the people who elected him

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