Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is it Time to Ditch Barack in Favor of Michelle Obama for President?

Since I have no intention of ever voting for Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, or anyone else the Tea Party controlled GOP throws up for election, it just may be time for me to launch a Draft Michelle Obama for President Campaign. It is true that voters seldom turn to the spouse of a living politician unless the elected official has disgraced himself beyond repair. But with so much at stake, why wait for our fading president to disappear into the Twilight Zone? 

President Obama has clearly lost his way. For one thing, the Israelis keep publicly humiliating him.   CNN reports: 

Jerusalem (CNN) -- In a move that will further complicate international efforts to get Middle East peace negotiations restarted, the Israeli government Tuesday approved the construction of 1,100 new homes in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood that was seized by Israel in 1967.

 However, it seems that the more the Zionists bully the president, and parade his impotence before the world, the more our man in the White House takes out his frustrations on his most loyal constituents -- blacks.  In a controversial speech before the Congressional Black Caucus, the President dismissed the criticisms of black leaders distressed by the explosive unemployment rate in the African-American community,  declaring: "Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We've got work to do, CBC."

But  Atlantic editor  Ta-Nehisi-Coates notes that "Far from merely "complaining" they [the Congressional Black Caucus have] been doing exactly what they should be doing -- pressing the president from the left, and then organizing actual programs to help their constituents. I don't really know how, in any fair sense, you can criticize them for merely grumbling and crying."

However, the President does not take the same condescending tone he used with the Congressional Black Caucus with the corporate leaders who brought the global economy to the brink of collapse in 2008, or to recalcitrant Israeli leaders who are torpedoing America's strategic interests in the Middle East.

I'm not expecting miracles, especially since this quick post will probably be all the time and energy I put into my new campaign.  But Mrs. Obama is a remarkable woman.  And I suspect the only reason her husband has held on this long is because of the courage and strength of her personality.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is Obama 'Damaged Goods' for Jewish Voters?

Muslim world turning against Pres. Obama 

President Obama won a first term in office because he had formed a winning coalition of young liberals, blacks, Jews,  union members and independents fearful of Sarah Palin's know-nothing style of politics.   But why would 85% of the Jewish electorate give their vote to an African-American with a Muslim sounding name?  Actually, that may be precisely the reason.  Obama campaigned on a solid, pro-Zionist platform, showing greater support for Israel than many in the Jewish community, who had become weary of that nation's embrace of right-wing settlers intent on expropriating as much of the Palestinian territory as they could get away with.

Nevertheless, the thinking within the American Jewish community had been that what Israel needed most, was a friendly face in the White House, a man whose background and credentials would also appeal to the Arab Middle East.  All went well for a year or so because the newly elected President wowed the Arab world with charismatic speeches and the personal narrative of having a Muslim father.

But then something unexpected happened -- the Arab Spring.  The overthrow of America's dictatorial allies in the Middle East radically changed the power equation within the region.  Arab public opinion, suppressed by leaders like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, had never stopped being hostile to Israel.  So within this new more democratic climate it is being heard, and will soon be acted upon. Obama's political unwillingness to sacrifice the American Jewish vote by supporting the Palestinian U.N. initiative for statehood has shocked and embittered many in the Arab world.  They feel betrayed that this American president with the Muslim name would push the same Zionist agenda as his predecessors.

Obama has lost his value to the Zionist cause, because he is now reviled in the Arab world, more so than his predecessors.  There was no reason for Arabs to expect anything else from conservative Republican upholders of the status quo. 

While political commentators have dismissed the loss of Anthony Weiner's 75% Democratic district in New York to an unknown Republican challenger, there is indeed a message in all this.  It is true that  the primary constituency of that district is conservative Jews, whose views remain on the fringes of  the larger, more secularized Jewish community.   But it is also true, that Obama may have undercut his usefulness to the Zionist cause by, ironically, doing their bidding and thus enraging the Arabs.  That  anti-Obama vote in New York could very well become a harbinger of things to come.

RELATED POST:  After Humiliating UN Performance Obama Should Mail Back Nobel Peace Prize

Thursday, September 22, 2011

After Humiliating UN Performance Obama Should Mail Back Nobel Peace Prize

President Obama speaking at U.N.
When the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to President Obama in 2009, I defended him against detractors who insisted that  he didn't deserve the prize because he hadn't done anything of note.  Still euphoric over the election of America's first black president, I saw this man of international stature bringing intelligence, courage and good sense to the most intractable foreign policy issues of our times. How wrong I was. President Obama's speech before the United Nations on Wednesday rejecting the Palestinian petition for statehood, will surely go down in history as one of the most humiliating moments in American diplomatic history. The damage has been done whether the U.S. exercises its veto in the Security Council or not.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Conversations with Philosopher & Kenpo Master ( Sifu) Alvin Mack: On Self-Defense, Bullying & Being a Single Black Male

Sifu Alvin Mac,
Kenpo Master & Philosopher
Last month I had the pleasure of spending an hour with one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. Dr. Alvin Mack, known by martial arts students around the world as "Sifu" (the Chinese honorific for Teacher), reflected on a host of timely subjects. What role if any can the martial arts play in empowering the victims of bullying or of battered spouse syndrome? What is intimacy, the true Biblical meaning of “helpmate,” what it means to be a single black male, the technical differences between kempo and kenpo karate, tapping into the greatness hidden within all of us, and much more.
Sifu Mack is a world-renowned master of kenpo karate and a 7th degree black belt. As an actor he has worked as an extra in such films as Blade & Blade II, Necessary Roughness, True Friends, Pearl Harbor, and Shaft. Dr. Mack has also appeared in the TV series Walker Texas Ranger (1990-2001), Sons of Thunder, and The president's Man, as a featured extra for stunts. He has coached the US National Team in international competition and been inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts "Hall of Fame," “The Hall of Heroes” in Los Angeles and the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Israel's Future: a Premonition

 When my latest book, Does Israel Have a Future? came out in the Fall of 2009, the first shoots of the "Arab Spring," which swept away Egyptian dictator and friend of Israel, Hosni Mubarak,  had not yet pushed their way above ground.  An Egyptian mob had not yet invaded the Israeli embassy in Cairo and forced Israeli diplomats to flee.  Turkey had not yet expelled the Israeli ambassador in a row over a raid launched in Tel Aviv last year, which killed nine Turks on a flotilla bound for Gaza.  And Palestinian leaders had not yet presented a resolution to the United Nations calling for recognition of the state of Palestine, which is predicted to pass in the UN General Assembly.

However, Israeli society will never agree to a militarized Palestinian state on its borders, whatever the UN decides. Nor will the Palestinians accept a Jewish neighboring state, which controls Arab borders, their capability to engage in military actions, their airspace and their water rights.  As tensions mount, a growing number of Americans will be forced to contemplate for the first time what may be the only option left when the two-state (Israel-Palestine) solution begins to unravel. It is Israel's transformation into a multi-ethnic, secular, democratic state, more reflective of American society and its values. Journalist Ali Abunimah's latest book, One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, grapples with many of the details of creating one state shared by two peoples.

Related Post: האם האנטישמיות המערבית הרעילה את עתידה של ישראל

Monday, September 12, 2011

Japanese Women's Football Victory (なでしこジャパン) Stunned the Non-Sports World (But Shouldn't Have)

Japanese Women's Football (Soccer) Team
Win World Cup

I wish to congratulate the Japanese Women's national football team, or Nadeshiko Japan (なでしこジャパン), for winning the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.     In a nail-biting penalty shootout, they beat the Americans, becoming  the first Asian team to win the FIFA Women's World Cup. 

But their victory expanded far beyond the soccer fields. In American culture Japanese women have often been stereotyped as demure, delicate, petite and passive.  But all stereotypes, even those that appear on the surface to be positive, are dehumanizing, because they attempt to stuff multi-faceted human beings into a slender mail slot.

Is it possible that in the final World Cup match between the Japanese and American women, the U.S. team underestimated the talent and drive of their opponents, falsely perceiving them to be geisha dolls in short pants?   In any case, the Japanese Women's Team did not just win the World Cup, they demolished a corrosive stereotype at the same time.   Good job!

Related post:  Weight-Loss Secrets I Learned from Japanese Women

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Will 9/11 Observances Remember Iraqi Civilians Killed in Misguided U.S. Response?

I wrote this post last September 11th, but don't see any change in the American understanding of this tragedy's true dimensions.  

If only I could confine the wound in my heart to the 2, 988 men, women and children who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.    But unfortunately, my emotions don't work that way.  They refuse to be switched on or off depending on whose flag is draped over the victim's coffin.

U.S. Army field reports record that 66,081 Iraqi civilian deaths between January 2004 to December 2009 are attributable to the U.S. invasion of their country.  This war of vengeance, launched to perk up American spirits after 9/11 has cost this country $3 trillion, according to a September 5, 2010 article in the Washington Postand sent the U.S. economy into a downward spiral, from which it has still not recovered. The number of American soldiers killed in Iraq (4,287) has surpassed the number of people who lost their lives in 9/11.   And Senator Harry Reid, (Democrat Nevada) now declares this war to have been "the worst foreign policy mistake in the history of this country."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Has America Learned Nothing from 9/11?

I won't be watching television or listening to the radio on Sunday.  In fact, I turned them off this afternoon, unable to bear one more second of the media barrage, gearing up for the 10th year commemoration of the 9/11 tragedy.  I am not heartless.    I too mourn the deaths of its innocent victims.    But my sadness at the tragic loss of lives on September 11, 2001 is matched by another kind of grief.  It is that America may have learned little if anything from this watershed tragedy.     9/11 was not an unfathomable act of nature -- a hurricane- earthquake-tsunami-tornado event.  Rather, the September 11, 2001 attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon were masterminded by a former ally of the United States.   And why did the U.S. ally itself with Osama bin Laden, a man who never once hid the fact of his religious fanaticism?  It is because the White House deduced at the time that extremists would fight harder against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan than normal, mentally-stable Muslim leaders.  Like U.S. support of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and and other known psychopaths, these were Cold War tactical decisions.  Only, they backfired, or in U.S. intelligence parlance, they generated  "blowback."  

Of course none of us could have predicted the occurrence of the 9/11 tragedy.  But what price did we expect to pay for igniting proxy wars faro from America's borders and supporting sociopathic dictators?  Hundreds of thousands of civilians in these far off places have been bombed, tortured, or shot to death.  Did our leaders ignore the potential threat, assuming that nobody in those third world countries would have the technological-savvy to fight back on our home turf? 

Perhaps it's easier for America to sacralize its victimization, to build a national religion of martyrdom from the ashes of 9/11,  than find out why it happened in the first place.