SUMMARY. This post surveys some of the public discourse on American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Algiers on 29 October 2012, looking at official statements and Algerian press coverage of the visit. It is the base from which this blogger’s recent article in the CTC Sentinel (‘An Algerian Press Review: Determining Algiers’ Position on an Intervention in Mali‘; the title is perhaps somewhat misleading) was written. As such it was mostly written in early November. This post is primarily concerned with the press coverage of the visit than with Algeria’s Mali policy as such.
Continue reading Clinton in Algiers: Coverage of the 29 October Visit
Shadi Hamid of Brookings (Doha) had an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor on 12 April looking at “nostalgia” for the Bush years among Arab reformers. It deserves some comment and consideration. Continue reading RE: Shadi Hamid on Obama & Bush “nostalgia”
Official and unoffficial reactions to Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo University are out, and the minds of many have been made up. Here are this blogger’s reactions to some of its major points, thematically, with emphasis on criticism, not genuflection (for the former is more valuable than the latter). Continue reading On Obama’s Cairo speech
After talking with various people and looking over several reactions to Barack Obama’s realization of the Democratic presidential nomination (as well as Mrs. Clinton’s shamelessly arrogant speech), I have decided to post a few of the ones I agree with or find interesting, along with some older statements that I think might be appropriate to the feeling of the occasion (one of which is clearly from the view of his supporters; the other is more ambiguous, and could come from his, Mrs. Clinton’s or John McCain’s supporters.) Continue reading Reactions to Obama’s nomination
A reason to take Hillary Clinton less seriously:
Desperate to get attention for her cause to seat Florida and Michigan delegates, Hillary Clinton compared the plight of Zimbabweans in their recent fraudulent election to the uncounted votes of Michigan and Florida voters saying it is wrong when “people go through the motions of an election only to have them discarded and disregarded.”
“We’re seeing that right now in Zimbabwe,” Clinton explained. “Tragically, an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people,” Clinton told the crowd of senior citizens at a retirement community in south Florida.
“So we can never take for granted our precious right to vote. It is the single most important, privilege and right any of us have, because in that ballot box we are all equal. You’re equal to a billionaire. You’re equal to the president, every single one of us.”
The Michigan primary vaguely reminded me of a Soviet-era election, with only the leader’s name on the ballot. Allow me to roll my eyes. Comments like this one make me want to buy into the argument that Barack Obama will offer Americans a more genuinely empathetic insight into the developing world. It is clear that Mrs. Clinton cannot.
Of course, Hillary is part of the problem, because she embraces this dichotomy and tries to use it to her advantage (taking photo-ops of herself doing shots in a bar, dissing economists, and so forth all while she withholds disclosing her 100 million dollar piggy bank). In her increasing desperation to remain in a race that she lost when it became apparent she didn’t have a strategy beyond Super Tuesday I, she has fed the media this narrative. It has gotten so bad that Bill had the audacity to make the following remarks in Indiana:
“The great divide in this country is not by race or even income, it’s by those who think they are better than everyone else and think they should play by a different set of rules.”
This is the typical stereotype that media and politicians peddle to the actual working class. Living in an Ivory Tower world, such people are somehow convinced that the average man is more affected by show-offs, than discrimination or lack of work. In fact, when one of the candidates stops and recognizes how dependent the current American system has made working class people on their jobs – to the extent that work is connected to dignity – he is the one that is smeared.
“Working Class Elitists,” Ali Eteraz, The Huffington Post, 7 May, 2008.
There is much truth in Eteraz’s posting. I would argue, though, that Hillary is not part of the problem simply because embraces this false dichotomy. Rather, she is a part of the problem because she is desperately selfish (or ambitious) and embraces anything that holds a remote possibility of offering her victory. The “working class” talk is a mere symptom of her campaigning style, which has led her embrace more than subtle bigotry, first against Senator Obama’s supposed Muslim leanings and then his racial background. The real crime here is shamelessness.
Over the weekend, I was alerted to the fact that John McCain had dropped a prominent Arab-American from its finance committe in Michigan, Ali Jawad. Jawad made comments about Hezb Allah which painted the Lebanese guerilla organization as less than evil, and as a result was dubbed a terrorist sympathizer by the ever moronic Debbie Schlussel, a Michigan-based blogger who specializes in badmouthing Arab-Americans, Muslims, blacks, “illegal immigrants” (read, Hispanics) and Barack Obama. Schlussel rushed to condemn the young men who were arrested for having purchased several hundred cell phones for re-sale in 2006 as “terrorists” and continued to blurber on along similar lines well after the two had been proven innocent. Her “citizen journalism” is of a moldy yellow, without scruples and of the lowest order. Her racialism is apparently influential enough to push the McCain campaign into tossing out “undesirable” personalities from its machine. Continue reading Hot potato?