Soniah Kamal

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'Islam is not Pakistan's religion; Marriage is'

Monday, October 20, 2008

Two Exchanges, and Letterman and McCain, and Colin Powell Endorses Obama

On NBC's Meet the Press Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President but just as --even more-- importantly he set forth and endorsed a view that was, it seemed, sadly, sorely, despicably missing from American politics. And all the nonsense is not now okay just because one Colin Powell has good solid common sense to speak up against bigotry but it's a start and how nice if Obama had come out and said, that is if he believes so, the same thing "So What if I Were a Muslim? Why should being a Muslim imply my also being a (fill in the blank)..." Obama is an African-American, but he is also half-white, his mother was white and she and her parents raised him. Obama is a Christian, but his deceased father was Muslim. Sure, you may not lurve the places you come from but you sure understand them because you come from them. And though accidents of birth should not make us special they do make us different especially when all we've seen so far is White Man for Presidents. Not that this means of course that African Americans and Brown People or Yellow or Red or Green do or should automatically stand in solidarity. In fact they should automatically do nothing at all.

I teared up when I heard both the below exchanges-- at the Sense with relief and at the Nonsense with incredulity and anger.


Woman at McCain rally:
"I can't trust Obama. I have read about him, and he's not he's not he's a uh he's an Arab".
McCain :
"No Maam No. He's a decent family man citizen."
Yeah Arabs are just....Arabs are just.... (fill in the blanks) but certainly not decent. family. man. citizen.

Of course I was argued with that since Arabs are so rascist themselves therefore.... To that I say two wrongs do not make a right. That's like when people inform me that 'if America has problems would you want to live to Saudi Arabia or Iran?' I'm always baffled by this logic. So my house may be dirty but since it's not as dirty as (fill in the blanks) the dirt is ok.

Not okay says Colin Powell on Meet the Press.

"I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say, and it is permitted to be said. Such things as 'Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.' Well the correct answer is 'He is not a Muslim, he's a Christian, he's always been a Christian.' But the really right answer is 'What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?' The answer is 'No. That's not America.' Is there something wrong with some 7-year old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she can be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo-essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in you can see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have a Star of David. It had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Karim Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American, he was born in New Jersey, he was 14 at the time of 9/11 and he waited until he can go serve his country and he gave his life."

Letterman's exchange with McCain is also stellar for hammering Mr. McCain with tough questions"Assigned to demonize the opponent, Palin works the campaign trail as a politician with mud in her hands and a gift for slinging it. Palling around with GOP dirty tricksters, she slanders McCain's opponent, a sitting U.S. senator, as a fellow-traveler of "terrorists who would target their own country." Her "terrorists" is a lone and long-since reformed William Ayers, who, when Barack Obama was a youngster growing up abroad, helped found a radical anti-Vietnam war group blamed for several domestic bombings in the '60s.

Pressed about Palin's exaggerations of Obama's relationship with Ayers - both men deny they've ever been pals - Sen. McCain supported her. However, when Letterman linked the Arizona senator to his friend and fundraiser - and convicted Watergate burglar and domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy - McCain recoiled. After the break, he admitted: "I know Gordon Liddy. He paid his debt, he went to prison. ... I'm not in any way embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy." Liddy, who plotted to kill newspaper columnist Jack Anderson and firebomb the Brookings Institution, hosted a 1998 fundraiser for McCain's re-election. On Liddy's radio show in 2007, the senator spoke proudly of the ex-con's "adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."

It's not likely that we'll hear Sarah Palin preaching that McCain also is "palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."
read rest here

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