I guess it had to happen. At some point I was going to be disenchanted with Barack Obama. That comment is at the same time both an overstatement and an understatement. I am not, in fact disenchanted with him on the whole. He is still absolutely my candidate of choice, and that is not a matter of being the lesser of evils, I truly believe in this man and his potential. However, I am absolutely furious about the careless, reckless, and completely out of character (at least the character I have painted for him) comment he made in an otherwise good speech yesterday. The comment in question:
a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam
Mr. Obama, of all people, should not need to be educated in the problem of that statement. Lets ignore the somewhat debatable issue of whether Israel should even be considered one of our â€œstalwart alliesâ€ for the time being. It can be stated as fact that â€œperverse and hateful radical ideologiesâ€ are far from limited to Islam. This is a call to emotion, at best, and smacks more of fear mongering and political gamesmanship.
The low hanging fruit, of course, is to point to Oklahoma City, the Unibomber, even Columbine as examples of â€œterrrorâ€ from non Islamic sources. In Oklahoma City, two men, feeling powerless against what they viewed as a oppressive, omnipotent government (based on the handling of Ruby Ridge and Waco) tried to effect change in the only way they could imagine having an impact. Ted Kazinski (sp?) Was certain that the world was headed down a path of destruction based on the relentless pursuit of technology. He tried to have his voice heard in â€œthe land of the freeâ€ but it was not. Fearful for the future of the human race, while, again, feeling powerless, he tried to force people to see the error of their ways in a desperate attempt to â€œsave people from themselvesâ€.
Please do not confuse this as support for these people or their actions, because, it is not. I believe completely in non-violent protest or demonstration, and could not oppose these actions more ardently. However, the point is this. What they are, each and everyone, is an extremist with perverse (and maybe even hateful, the jury is still out on that one) ideologies.
From what I can tell, based on the slice of the evidence that I have been provided, Mr. Bin Laden is also an extremist with perverse ideologies. Some of the occupants of Palestine, and other Islamic nations (yes, I consider Palestine a nation) have also taken part in extreme activities (as have the Israelis and the United States, in my opinion). The fact that they are Islamic, however, has nothing to do with that.
Being identifiable as â€œblackâ€ and â€œmulattoâ€ and any number of other labels that come with generalities and stereotypes that do not apply to him, I would expect Mr. Obama to be more mindful his word choice.
Am I nitpicking a at minor undercurrent of his overall speech? Quite probably. However, I am staking a great deal on this man. A man I believe in greatly, a man who represents a promise to restore what this country once was, or at least what it is capable of being. In that context, I find this mistake/oversight to be egregious.