The “greater good” will be defined in different ways by different people. In my estimation—an estimation that we few, we happy few, we band of brothers will share—the definition of the greater good in our time contains a deal-breaker: However it is defined, it must include a clearly expressed openness and a readiness to progress to a rational analysis of the danger of Islam and of all Muslims who support Islam, and from there to a rational policy regarding that danger.
The problem with our choice of candidates this election is that neither of them fits the model of a proponent of the greater good as defined. Nevertheless, for all his shortcomings with regard to this greater good, McCain is the lesser evil. Obama is not merely slightly worse than McCain, but shows signs of being positively inimical to the progress we need to reorient our society towards, with regard to shedding our PC prejudice in favor of Islam while waking up to the mountain of evidence indicating that Islam and all Muslims who support Islam are forces for injustice and increasing danger around the world and within America.
Today’s essay will list the reasons not to vote for Obama. This will be a long and detailed list. It will be followed by a very short discussion of McCain.
The reasons not to vote for Obama are more substantive, flagrant and egregious, while the reasons to vote for McCain are, unfortunately, rather flimsy and elusive. Nevertheless, it is really largely the problem with Obama’s positive signs of hindrance to the greater good as we defined it that make McCain’s ambiguity sufficiently strong to tip the balance in his favor.
With one or two exceptions, the reasons not to vote for Obama which I list all revolve around the greater good as defined above, and therefore to the problem of Islam and to the problem of the problem—namely, Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism (PC MC), as well as its more virulent progenitor, Leftism. Even the one or two exceptions will be seen to be related, if only peripherally, to those problems.
1. Obama's Muslim background:
a) Missing the chance to use this as a springboard for change: With his Muslim background and upbringing, Obama has had the golden opportunity to turn this in his favor by using it to articulate a skepticism with regard to the prevailing PC mantras that guide our attitudes and responses to the problem of Islam. Instead, Obama has more often than not chosen to ignore his Muslim background, implying that it, and therefore by logical extension Islam, pose no problems at all
b) Lying at worst, disingenuous at best: When Obama does not simply try to ignore his Muslim background and upbringing, he has a habit of issuing disingenuous statements, such as “I am not a practicing Muslim”. At other times, he issues more blanket denials reminiscent of Bill Clinton's soberly finger-wagging denial of ever having had “sexual relations” with Monica. However, Obama's denials fly in the face of the evidence: This AP photo of Obama's school registration form while he attended an Islamic madrassa (under the name of “Barry Soetoro” after his step-father's name) in Indonesia as a boy clearly shows that under “Religion” (Indonesian Agama), Obama or his Muslim step-father who enrolled him wrote in pen “Islam”. This evidence is even more damning when one considers the fact—ironically stressed by the Obama camp themselves in order to try to dilute the Islamic aspect of having attended an Islamic school as a youth—that this Islamic school under a relatively enlightened policy in place in Indonesia at the time, admitted boys of different faiths, including Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. If other boys were attending the school, but retained their Christian, Hindu or Buddhist faith, why did Obama and/or his father feel the need to officially designate his religion as “Islam”? One of his responses to this general question—“I am not a practicing Muslim”—is strangely sophistical: it sounds like he is trying to be meticulously accurate without disavowing a lingering status of being a Muslim. Does his response mean he is still a Muslim, but simply doesn't “practice” it? Why not just say “I am not a Muslim”? There is also the avowal of Obama's Indonesian half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, who is on record saying of those days when her half-brother “Barry Soetoro” (i.e., Obama) was living with her in Indonesia that: “My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim.”
c) This leads to the telling signs of embarrassment in the Obama about the whole issue of his Islamic heritage—including his insistent denials of ever having been a Muslim when it would be more consistent with his claim of being a refreshingly honest candidate for him to just admit he once was a Muslim. Other examples of this embarrassment include.
2. Muslim and Pro-Islamic Bedfellows:
Closely related to #1 are Obama's disquieting connections to, and sympathy with, dubious Muslims and Islam apologists:
a) Ingrid Mattson: She spoke at the Democratic Convention in Denver (and received warm applause, of course) and participated in an “interfaith gathering” there. She is a Canadian convert to Islam who wears a bizarre outfit combining the traditional Islamic hijab for women with something that looks like something out of Star Trek. More importantly, she is president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The ISNA was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding case. The ISNA was also named as a “friend” of the Muslim Brotherhood in the infamous May 1991 Brotherhood memorandum that spoke of Muslim organizations in the U.S. being dedicated to “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands. . . so that. . . God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”
Ms. Mattson is also, according to this fine article by Frank Gaffney, “director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. Her program is used to credential Muslim chaplains for U.S. prisons and our military.” In this capacity, one of the classes she teaches on the Koran uses texts by two Islamic scholars who have inspired modern Islamic terrorists: Syed Abul A'la Maududi and Sayyid Qutb. About Maududi's work, Ms. Mattson has said that it is “probably the best work of [Koranic commentary] in English.” Here is what Maududi has written:
"Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the Earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and program, regardless of which nation assumes the role of the standard bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State. . . Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single State or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution."
b) Joe Sandler: A lawyer who works for CAIR. He is helping Obama fend off a lawsuit brought by Philip Berg to compel him to produce his birth certificate. Previously, Joe Sandler, as Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch has documented, “sent a letter to the Young America's Foundation in August 2007, threatening them with legal action if they let me speak to their national student conference.” So a lawyer on Obama's side has tried to squash the very constructive and educational free speech of Robert Spencer in his capacity of trying to inform the public about the dangers of Islam.
c) James Yee: Muslim chaplain who served at Guantanamo Bay among the Muslim prisoners there. He works for the Obama campaign as a delegate from Washington State. A few years ago, Yee was accused of pro-jihadist espionage. In 2004, his conviction was dismissed by the US government for cryptic reasons: “. . .in dismissing the charges, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, which operates the detention center, cited 'national security concerns that would arise from the release of the evidence' if the case proceeded.”
As Robert Spencer noted: National security concerns would arise from the release of the evidence if Yee's case proceeded? That's a very strange statement, and it cries out for an explanation (none was ever forthcoming, to my knowledge), but it is not quite the same thing as saying, "This man was completely innocent, and should never have been charged."
Furthermore, Yee is on record as repeatedly criticizing the very foundations of the institution of the Guantanamo prison, insinuating (if not openly declaring) that all the Muslims in there are innocent. In pursuit of that lie, he has played with the facts—for example, claiming he witnessed guards physically disrespecting the Koran, then later admitting that he never saw such actions with his own eyes, but only heard rumors about it. Is this the type of Muslim one wants officially supporting a Presidential campaign? Apparently, Obama thinks so.
d) Hiam Nawas: in the running for the position of Muslim liaison for the Obama campaign. Nawas is on record as subtly and oh-so cleverly excusing the mistreatment of women under Islamic law: “We need to recognise that the social structure in the Muslim world is very different from America's. American women need to understand that what is best for them is not necessarily what is best for Muslim women. Advocacy of women’s rights in the Muslim world must show sensitivity to local political realities.” Nawas was eventually not chosen for the position, according to this report. Of course, Obama didn't reject Nawas for the right reasons. In place of Nawas was chosen another Muslim with problems (what Muslim doesn't have problems?)—Mazen Asbahi.
e) Mazen Asbahi: He was hired for the position of Muslim liaison or outreach advisor, then voluntarily resigned in August of 2008 when allegations came up that he was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and to a “fundamentalist” Islamic imam of an Illinois mosque. A month later, it was reported that apparently he hadn't really quit:
Asbahi has not stopped working on behalf of Obama, though. He appeared at the luncheon to say that despite his official exit he was still "110%" behind Obama and that he was participating in campaign conference calls on Muslim outreach. Stepping down was a "strategic decision," he said.
Translation: It might have looked bad for him to stay on in an official capacity, so he will continue to do approximately the same job
Update: Robert Spencer has published on Jihad Watch today (Oct. 16) a good summary of Asbahi
Penny Pritzker: Obama chose her as Chair and Treasurer of his campaign finance committee. She owns the Hyatt hotel chain. The New York City Hyatt hosted a dinner for Iranian President Ahmadinejad on September 25 of this year during his visit to the U.N., three days after a protest against Ahmadinejad took place at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
j) Rashid Khalidi: a radically pro-
For a President who will be dealing with the important problem of Israel surrounded by a sea of ravenous Islamic wolves, a more damning supporter would be hard to find. Why doesn't Obama formally denounce Khalidi? Probably because he finds his own views on Israel and the
k) Keith Ellison (Muslim Congressman from Minnesota): Ellison officially supports the Obama campaign. Meanwhile, Ellison has been a friend of Nihad Awad, co-founder of CAIR, for decades, and received support during his own bid for his Congressional seat from Awad. Furthermore, Awad in 1994 expressed his unequivocal support for the terrorist group Hamas whose members before 1994 murdered Israeli civilians. Ellison's troubling connections and associations are more numerous, as can be gleaned from this story on his attendance at a November 2006 meeting of Muslim-American clerics, some of whom themselves have connections to Islamic supremacism that is antithetical to Western democracy.
l) George Galloway: Labour minister of British Parliament, who toured the world informing various media outlets on the greatness of Saddam Hussein, and who has expressed solidarity with Muslim clerics such as Qaradawi and Tantawi, both of whom are on record justifying suicide-bombings and execution of gays. And now, of course, a supporter of Obama.
m) The terrorist group Hamas: In this context, Obama in an interview published by The Atlantic magazine website tried to squirrel his way out of this problem with double-talk, on the one hand affecting to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization, on the other hand telegraphing signals of an openness to concretize his mantra of
n) Hatem El-Hady: former chairman of the Toledo, Ohio-based Islamic charity, Kindhearts, which was closed by the US government in February 2006 for terrorist fundraising and all its assets frozen. Now he's a supporter of Obama and had a dedicated page on the official Obama site, but apparently it has been scrubbed clean. (Many more disturbing details and links available at the Obama Files site, scroll down or search for his name.)
o) Raila Odinga: A Marxist politician and member of Obama's Kenyan African tribe, who advocates Sharia Law
According to this report:
Mr. Odinga promised the Muslim leaders that, if elected, he would establish Sharia courts, not only in the northern and coastal regions where Kenyan Muslims are concentrated, but throughout the country.
He also promised to impose Muslim dress codes on women, ban alcohol and pork, indoctrinate children, ban Christian preaching, and dismiss the Commissioner of Police “
who has allowed himself to be used by heathens and Zionists.”
Update: Daniel Pipes has published an article today that mentions two additional names of concern in this regard: Kenny Gamble (aka Luqman Abdul-Haqq) and Antoin "Tony" Rezko.
3) Obama on the problem of Islam:
Next are statements and/or positions by Obama demonstrating his more or less clear intention to do the wrong thing with regard to our progress toward managing the problem of Islam:
a) The need for Muslim profiling. Obama is firmly on the wrong side of this issue. One can almost hear and feel his wrongheaded passion from the following speech in Michigan described and reported in the L.A. Times:
On Monday in Michigan, Obama became exercised when talking about the need to give even suspected terrorists legal rights.“We may think this is Mohammed the terrorist,’’ he said at a campaign rally, but “it might be Mohammed the cab driver. You might think it’s Barack the bomb-thrower. But it might be Barack the guy running for president.’’Continuing, he got more heated, his voice booming. Referring to the Constitution, he said:
“Don’t mock the Constitution! Don’t make fun of it! Don’t suggest that it’s un-American to abide by what the founding fathers set up! It’s worked pretty well for 200 years!’’
He finished with a sigh:
"In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."
These three positions of Obama by no means exhaust the problem. There are many more examples of his wrongheadedness about the problem of Islam, a wrongheadedness that surpasses that of the normative PC MC of Bush or McCain, and in the spirit of going above and beyond the call of duty, dips perilously into the wellsprings of radical Leftism in this regard, which at best would have the effect of promoting a Chamberlain-type policy of appeasement with regard to the global revival of classically bloodthirstly Islam. I shudder to think what it portends at worst.
4) Anti-American supporters:
Indirectly related to the Islam issue are Obama's associations with influential individuals who are not merely somewhat critical of America, but who have a record of being virulently anti-American:
a) Pastor Wright: We all know Pastor Wright's unforgiveable and positively dangerous hatred for whites and America, and we all know that Obama has no excuse for his association and support of Pastor Wright for over 20 years
b) Bill Aye
Update: In today's Wall Street Journal (Oct. 16), Sol Stern discusses the continuing ostensibly seditious radical Leftism of Ayers, including this statement from 2006 which he has used pedagogically in his classroom and maintains on his own website:
I went to Camp Casey [Cindy Sheehan's vigil at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas] in August precisely because I'm an agnostic about how and where the rebellion will break out, but I know I want to be there and I know it will break out.
In this statement, we can see the nexus between radical Leftism and the pro-Islam movement, since Sheehan's anti-Bush activism developed into a supportive relationship with various radical Muslims.
c) The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR): a coalition of over 80 lawyers who have been defending Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo
d) The Communist Party of Illinois supports Obama, as does the organization Communist Party USA, because he represents
e) A group called the
f) Pro-Castro idiot Carl Davidson
g) Shepard Fairey: a famous counter-cultural poster artist who supports Obama and plans on underwriting a major poster campaign for Obama's candidacy, for which Obama sent him a personal and glowing thank-you note. His campaign furthermore had Fairey create a new poster that became the inaugural offering in an “Artists for Obama” section of the official Obama website online store. Fairey's posters
Instead of sending Mr. Fairey a thank-you note, Obama should have repudiated any support he might offer his campaign, and he should have articulated the reason why:
Farrakhan is known for spouting such gems as calling Judaism a
j) The Progressives for Obama (PFO) organization: comprised of radical Leftist Tom Hayden; pro-Castro and pro-Chavez Hollywood actor Danny Glover; Barbara Ehrenreich, chairwoman of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA): Bill Fletcher, Jr., former Maoist, current DSA leader and founder of the Black Radical Congress which has ties to the Communist Party USA. Their position on the danger of Islam is essentially that it has been manufactured by the American (and now
I.e., there is no essential danger from Islam, and any dangers we notice coming from Islam are all due entirely to our mistakes combined with nefarious agendas pursued by right-wingers in high places amongst us.
k) Frank Marshall Davis: Communist member of the Communist Party of USA and mentor to Obama, about whom Obama wrote glowingly in his 1995 book Dreams From My Father. Davis was a friend of Paul Robeson, a flaming supporter of Joseph Stalin. According to this article:
In 1950 Edward Berman, a member of the NAACP'S Honolulu branch, testified to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that Davis had “sneaked” into local NAACP meetings to “propagandize” the organization's members about America's “racial problems,” with “the avowed intent and purpose of converting it into a front for the Stalinist line.”
Also, Falk for years publically expressed his suspicion of the official version of 911.
Richard Falk is an Obama supporter: he has donated $500 to the Obama campaign.
Update: More on Bill Ayers in this article, and on other radical Leftists involved with Obama
4) Support from anti-American leaders abroad:
And of course we have a list of unsavory characters around the world professing their support, if not even their admiration, of Obama: Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez, Moammar Khadafy, leaders of Islamic terrorist groups Hamas, the Al Aqsa Brigade and Islamic Jihad.
1) On the debit side:
b) Speaking of Huma Abedin, the highly influential Muslim aide to Hillary during her campaign, McCain said:
2) On the plus side:
Indications of at least the possibility of a healthier, more rational wariness of Islam:
a) McCain’s close friend and war buddy from his Vietnam days, Bud Day: “The Muslims have said either we kneel or they’re going to kill us.” (Source)
Of course Bud Day incurred the hypersensitive complaints from Muslim leaders who called it “bigoted”. The McCain camp did not see fit to comment—which at least is better than trying to smooth over Bud Day's brusquely perceptive candor by saying, as one Republican Party spokeswoman anxiously said that Bud Day “made an unfortunate mistake”.
b) Founder of the American Arab Institute, James Zogby, said (cited in the same article as (a) above) that the “rhetoric” of Bush and McCain have furthered misunderstanding of Muslims by frequently pairing Islam” and the words “terrorist” and “fascism” in stump speeches. Thanks for the unintentional commendation of McCain’s approach to the problem of Islam, Mr. Zogby!
c) Sarah Palin’s association with a black African Christian pastor from Kenya, Thomas Muthee, has been of course exploited by the media for his own beliefs in the power of prayer to overcome “witchcraft”. However, more importantly than that is the insight he might have been able to impart to Palin with regard to the danger of Islam—a constant and pressing concern for black African Christians.
And as I indicated above, notwithstanding his signs of PC MC deformation, McCain also shows indications of at least a possibility of seeing through the cracks of it to a more rational perspective on Islam.
Obama, on the other hand, shows many signs of tilting profoundly in the wrong direction on this problem—from his insistent promises of solicitude to the potential need to protect Muslims in the future if the “tide” turns against them; to his wrongheaded approach to profiling for our safety; to his excessively unctuous admiration for Islamic prayer and Islamic culture in general, having apparently learned all the wrong lessons from his Islam-steeped childhood both in Indonesia and from his second paternal family among Kenyan Muslims; to ominous indications that he favors the process of criminalization of “hate speech” which translates into any substantive criticism of Islam; and finally to his overarching posture of a geopolitical appeasement of the Muslim world—when what we need in the years ahead from a President is a tougher stance.
Deeper than this—and very likely to be providing an amorphous yet powerful nourishment for his pro-Islamic tendencies—is the remarkably, deeply Leftist nature of his politics. As I researched this essay here, this Leftist nature hit me like an epiphany. Of course, I had heard from the anti-Obama critics the frequent charge that he is a radical Leftist if not a “Marxist” and/or “Communist” of one sort or another. But charges like those are common in a heated political contest, and I tended to chalk them up as exaggerations. I can do so no longer.
Obama’s mission and his astoundingly broad popularity and support reveal—when one takes the trouble to track down the threads of its many-splendored tapestry—an astounding immersion into the wellsprings of radical Leftism in the American sociopolitical culture of the latter half of the 20th century and into the first decade of our own. A vast and motley coalition of Communists, Maoists, Socialists, Islamists, anarchists, and former terrorists—both American and from around the world—have joined the Obama bandwagon, enthusiastically and even reverentially, if not positively Messianically. Imagine if a major contender for the Presidential nomination had a major groundswell of enthusiastic support from all manner of white power individuals and organizations, including Aryan Nation, the KKK, Stormfront, the neo-Nazi party, etc. Would this be dismissed as casually as Obama’s support from radical anti-Americans and anti-Westerners is being treated by the mainstream media? Obviously not.
And the reason for this is that the mainstream media (and mainstream culture in general) deems the tiny minority of white power fanatics as far, far worse and more dangerous than the far more numerous radical Leftists among us. That is because the mainstream is riddled with disaffected ex-Hippies who had a dream in the 60s, then went through a process of “Yuppification” in the late 70s and through the 80s and 90s of “selling out” to “the System” and “the Man”. They have felt a gnawing sense of guilt about this ever since, as well as a deep depression about the general loss of the golden era of the 60s Revolution, when utopian hope and the transformation of the Evil Land of Our Bad Parents was palpable in the air. The Reagan years were an affront to these millions who represent this major subculture in America—but by that time, the vast majority of them (aside from a few recalcitrant professors here and there in long hair and sandals still trying to indoctrinate their students in the dogma of how evil America is) resigned themselves to the sad fact that apprently “the Revolution was over”. It was time to lower their sights to the more bourgeois goals of a “Yuppie” existence, which didn't take long to insinuate its seductively materialistic and rational tendrils into their hearts and minds—and wallets.
The Presidency of Bill Clinton provided a “safe” alternative to the Reagan years—safely Democratic and liberal in many respects, but firmly ensconced in the Washington-insider culture of having sold out the “Revolution” long ago: the formula for Leftist progress became cynical compromise, and most Leftists had softened up enough to swallow this willingly, and even with some pleasure. Meanwhile, Leftism had been winning a subtler victory through its more amorphous and atomized influence in the general acquiescence to PC MC—Leftism “Lite”—by which the vast majority of those on the Right and in the Center had become believers in a certain laundry list of non-negotiable, politically correct dogmas. Among those dogmas was Reverse Racism, and the irrational “respect” for Muslims that follows inexorably from that.
If Reagan’s Presidency caused grumbling consternation among the ex-Hippie and/or post-Hippie (if not also retro-Hippie) Yuppies, the Bush Presidency served to concentrate that consternation and radicalize it into a fanatical, almost cosmic, hatred of Bush and by extension of all “neo-cons” who must be like him. By an unhappy coincidence, this Bushbashing mania became fused with the complex policy position with regard to the problem of Islamic terrorism which he adopted and stubbornly, and more often than not ineptly, has defended.
Therefore, broader than the radical Leftist support for Obama is the sociopolitical phenomenon of the much larger and more influential swath of “Leftists Lite” in America who have regretted their more or less necessary choice of diluting their 60s Revolutionary passion and selling out to capitalistic materialism. This swath includes many highly influential members of the cultural intelligentsia, including Hollywood elites, billionaires (Soros), and high-placed individuals who still regret the Fall of America after the tragic assassination of John Kennedy a half century ago and who now see in Obama a way to save America after its 50-year slump.
What we see in the unprecedented adoration of Obama out there is a fixation and focus upon him as the new Messiah of the Dream of the 60s: by voting for him, by pulling out all the stops to ensure his victory—even if that includes influential millionaires and billionaires and other assorted intelligentsia pulling strings to make sure the mainstream media treats him with kid gloves while going after his opponents (whether Hillary or McCain/Palin)—they feel viscerally, and not only intellectually, that he will save them from the betrayal of that counter-cultural dream they left behind so long ago.
And the price we might well have to pay for satisfying their emotional desire if he wins is a vertiginous vulnerability to the rise of a global Islamic revival that threatens not only America, not only the West, but the entire world.