Archive for May, 2008

May 20, 2008

If this happend to an American Citizen…

The article I linked to above is about the Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami Al-Hajj who was held by our government for 6 years without a trial. To summarize the story… He was captured along the Pakistani border. He had a valid work visa and was covering our war against the Taliban. He was then held for almost a year without a charge and for 5 more years without a trial. He was released on May 1st of this year (still never having a trial).

This story has not received much attention from the US media. My question… if this were a journalist from the US captured by the Iraqi government… how would we feel? We are moving toward a world economy but we still engage in tribalism as if we were in feudal times. Why aren’t we outraged? By virtue of his nationality he doesn’t deserve the same consideration as an American? That saddens me… as a human. This is not an indictment on our government. This is an indictment against the people who allow our government to commit these acts while defending our actions as “furthering democracy”. Let’s all wake up!!! We make this country great… Let’s take it back from those who have kidnapped our way of life and continue to label this semi-dictatorship a democracy. Vote… please

May 1, 2008

Creating a straw man out of Reverend Wright

Much has been made out of the fact that Reverend Jeremiah Wright is Barack Obama’s ex pastor or current pastor. Who knows? Apparently your pastor isn’t allowed to have his own opinions if you are running for president since he might be a political liability.

Listen, I don’t agree with Reverend Wright or his opinions. But he has his right to express them. Its called a freedom of speech. It shouldn’t affect Obama’s qualifications to be president. Why is there such a double standard in this country? I am not going to go into George W. Bush’s history but suffice to say that he was friends with shadier men than Reverend Wright.

The issue here isn’t about Reverend Wright’s politics at all. Make no mistake about it, this is about Barack Obama’s candidacy. Obama has been hitting a note with a lot of people with his message of change and being a Washington outsider. He hasn’t been squeaky clean but none of the mud slinging has stuck so far. So what to do?

The old straw man tactic. The straw man argument is when a person can’t win a debate against you so they set up a weaker version of your stance and then try to attack it. In other words, they set up a straw man version of your argument and then attack the straw man. Reverend Wright has become Obama’s straw man. Of course, Obama’s opponents know that he doesn’t believe in the same ideas as Reverend Wright but maybe just maybe they can use him to create doubts about Obama. So far, they have been accomplishing just that.

Meanwhile, Reverend Wright isn’t helping the cause at all. He insists that he isn’t running for president. This is true so he should help Obama out by being quiet and staying low for now. But he refuses to stop. He seems to be enjoying the limelight. I have nothing against him but I just feel that he should help his friend and avoid controversy. For now.