Archive for June, 2009

Part 1 of 4 on the Obama Speech in Cairo


It’s always hard to criticize those who frame their ideas in popular terms like peace and change, but the reality is that when people evoke these emotional issues, it is necessary to look beyond the surface and ask the questions that nobody wants to ask, Obama’s promises appeal to the so called Muslim world, this series asks “What price this peace, and can we afford it ?”

american flagThere are two things in politics that everybody loves. Two things as well, that defy criticism and jaded cynicism. Two things that that stand above the general skirmish of ideas that slither around the very murky puddles of international political ideology. Two things that Obama has hitched his wagon to. Two things that now preoccupy the media and the circus of ideas that we call international opinion. Two simple ideas, easily promised and more elusive than the Holy Grail.
Neither concept is new. In fact, these two ideas have been tossed around the ring of our circus of political thought by ringmasters from Marx to  Nixon, and then some in between. IN fact, it’s not being melodramatic to suggest that they are two things that have dominated the political intent of everyone from social reconstructionists to fascist with communists in between.
Peace and Change.
Now whilst neither is new, what should catch your attention here, is that while we have been hearing about these two things for millennia, we seldom hear them together. We  never see them in the same sentence. And it’s probably a good thing, for peace and change are rarely bedfellows, especially not in international politics.
Until now.
Most people who want peace, settle for no change, and as well, most who seek change, are always ready to sacrifice peace.. For peaceniks, change is less important than human life, and for changelings, well life is less important than change. In fact a cursory reading of history will reveal to you that peace and change are  mostly ideological enemies. From French Revolution to Chamberlains Appeasement, the two ideas appear to be mutually exclusive.
Which is what makes Obama’s speech in Cairo so very, very interesting.
Mr. Obama wants both.
Indeed he promises both, not just to his electorate, but also to the world.
Now if you had the opportunity to live in Africa, like myself, you too would have stumbled upon the power inherent in the utterance of either of these two words. In fact, without the slightest bit of cynicism, you could conclude that  a campaign on either of these two ideas would be very successful. God  knows, every failed regime in Africa came to power with the promise of either peace or change. From Idi Amin to Robert Mugabe, from Mabuto Sese Seko to Charles Taylor, its always either peace or change than have justified the blood that colours African soil so red.
american_jihad_300x300As a politician the very beauty of evoking these emotive ideas lies in the general response thereto. In our world, where violence and war are common place, and to where the more things change, the more they stay the same, these two points have massive appeal. They do so because they can be presented as absolutes. They can too, stand in the ring of political criticism alone and proud, for who would dare to oppose them, peace and change, they are the staple of what we need. They are too the staple of fascism, communism, anarchy, liberalism, conservatism and any other ism you might like to add. They work for Nazi’s, Popes, Scientologists, and Humanists. Everyone knows we need peace. Everyone is desperate for change.
Peace and Change.
The simple problem here, dear reader, is that the world so aches, for whatever reason for these two things, that when they are offered to us, everyone, in their delirious desire for these two things, always forgets to ask the crucial questions.
What kind of change ?
What price this peace ?
Which brings us to Obama in Egypt, with his olive branch and his promises of a new world order.NaziIslam2
All of a sudden, Mr. Obama is promising both. It’s unprecedented. Even Gandhi was not so presumptuous .  Change, in our western societies from Martin Luther King to Nelson Mandela, has been linked to violence, defiance and revolution. Mr. King lies dead, and Mr. Mandela languished under the violence of incarceration and armed struggle. Change has been fed by blood.
When you view it in context, its understandable. Hell, we make an issue of it. Here in South Africa we remember the slain in Soweto, in the US they remember the death of Mr. King. IN country after country, we honour those who gave lives for change. When the poppies stick their head above the soil we remember the blood shed for change from Madrid to Tajikistan.
Even the founding fathers of the mantle Mr. Obama wears remember bloodshed.
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
The first problem with this newly found, hugging, loving and self-deprecating American attempt at peace and change was evident from the starting block. Mr. Obama, still intoxicated by his own personal shoulder rubbing with Islam, after setting himself up as “better” equipped to deal with them than “anyone else” made the astonishing and mind-blowing conclusion that it was time for America the Nation, to engage with Islam, the Idea.
This is where the world should have paused for thought. What was Mr. Obama suggesting here? Must Nations engage with ideology ? Now, nations are required not just to engage with other nations, they must find common ground with ideology.
America, founded on principles of individuality, freedom and independence, must now find common ground with an ideology?
Before you rush to answer the question, consider for a moment the following, Mr. Obama was not suggesting that America should find common ground with Christian Scientists, nor Scientologists, nor Communists, nor Fascists, nor Spiritualists, not even with Marxists, nor Anarchists. No requirement for common ground with egoists, or Narcissists, nor Plaeoconservatives nor Atheists ad infinitum. But, and it’s a very big but, he wants common ground with Islamists.
You may notice that all the above can be found in America, but the president does not fly top their strongholds to emphasise common ground. That’s because there is no common ground. Countries are not ideologies. They allow ideologies  to exist within them, but they are not in the same business.
Surely ?
Nevertheless, Mr. Obama waxed lyrical, betwixt quotes of Quran, about common ground.
Please man, if you try hard enough you can find common ground between Mass murderers and Mother Theresa.
american flagCommon ground is irrelevant… what matters is uncommon ground !
What does Mr. Obama call common ground ?
“…principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
Really now ? Exactly who are we trying to kid?
America believes in fair trials, the presumption of innocence, freedom of speech etc.
This week Dubai officials arrested a woman for being in the same house as a married man. They stone adulterers. They incarcerate people who kiss in public. They mutilate thieves for public entertainment. They force their women to walk around in dustbin bags and they issue death threats to writers and thinkers who dare to question them.
But Obama finds common ground ?
Justice, progress and dignity ?
That would give common ground between Nazis, Stalinists, and Vegetarians. Never mind anarchists and pedophiles.
Please man.
When it comes to common ground let Obama draw a cartoon of Mohammed and post it on u tube.
Funny that.Islam15
Mr. Obama caged his kowtow appeasement offer in the terms of us and Islam. He went to Cairo to address the “Muslim World.”
Which beggars belief, for if you wanted to talk to the Chinese, you would go to China. Similarly if you wanted to talk to Russians you would go to Russia. It’s a simple point, but you go to where  the people you want to talk to are.
While most Arabs are Muslim, most Muslims are not Arabs. It’s a terrible indictment on our Globetrotting, Muslim Hugging leader of the free world. If he had wanted to address the Muslims, he should have gone to the place where most of them could be found, surely ?
Mr. Obama wants you to believe he was talking to the Muslim “world”, but he chose to go to the Arab world. He chose to talk to them as if they were representative of Islam. It’s like going to India to talk to Mormons.Boston Mosque
There are 570 Million Muslims living outside the Middle East, and some 200 Million living in the Middle East.
So why go to Egypt ?
Well the answer is simple.
This has nothing to do with Islam.
It’s about Arab fascism.
So why is Obama pretending that its about common ground with Islam ?
Its so obviously not.