More ideas of what others are writing regarding Sen.Obama and his Minister. Even in Israel, editorial writers are expressing themselves. (See 1 below.)
One from a fellow memo reader. (See 2 below.)
The more I reflect on the speech Sen. Obama gave Tuesday, and the more I read the mounting comments of others the more I believe his campaign can be summed up by an old song entitled: "Everything Old is New Again." In the final analysis Sen. Obama is a socialist, running a populist campaign and would have the government intrude further and further into our lives, our economy etc.. He offers more of the same old failed solutions as re-packaged change. Throw more government money at every problem it has proven incapable of solving having tried and failed innumerable times and do so by increasing taxes.
He made a brilliant speech by which he intended to heal the wounds his own campaign has sustained as well as recoup lost momentum regarding his "pitch" that he is the sole candidate capable of healing our nation's social ills.
He slipped all of this under the rug by highlighting the fact that: "we have a race problem which needs solving."
You don't go to Harvard, they say, without learning something and This Music Man politician gave a brilliant speech which, to some degree, he lawyerly sought to shift the debate from his involvement with a Minister, who made some over the hill comments, to you and me and the racial problem that needs to be solved. However, his concept of the solutions aren't new or changed. They are simply what is old being paraded as something new and now that he is reminding us about his vote against going into Iraq, we learn (as he admitted in his book) he has done some extensive wavering along the way. I suspect the pace of the air coming out of the Obama hot balloon could accelerate.
Would it not be ironic if after Obama finishes his silver oratory, dancing, bobbing and weaving the public begins to recognize, and perhaps elevate, GW's consistency. I know that's stretching things but GW has been steadfast in sticking to his guns, disregarding polls and finally seems to have gotten the right general in the right slot in Iraq just as Obama is having trouble getting it "Wright."
Is McCain saying what he knows the Israelis want to hear? (See 3 below.)
Once again security and cessation of terrorism gets in the way of reaching an agreement. How un-cooperative of Israel. (See 4 below.)
Dick Morris says Obama has won and soon the Democrats will realize unless they give Obama the nomination they will be eating their own. (See 5 below.)
There is always a potential price to pay when dealing with Islamic nut cases like bin Laden. (See 6 below.)
1)By Judith A. Klinghoffer
Obama: “Ignore my actions (that I sat listening to hate and exposed my children to it); listen to my speeches.” “Ignore the words of my pastor for he knows not about what he speaks. He is the victim of his generation” Black ministers: “Playing tapes Reverend Wright sells in his church equals lynching.” How more absurd can you get?! If this does not remind you of Muslim apologia for Jihadists, I do not know what will. Disgusting. CNN reports;
More than 50 black ministers from around the country participated in a 90-minute conference call Sunday with representatives of the Obama campaign, according to Dr. Frederick Haynes, one of the participants. Haynes said the pastors — some of whom were angry with Obama — felt something had to be done to address the concerns of African-Americans, particularly those in the black ministry.Haynes, pastor of the 10,000-member Friendship-West Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas — who considers Wright a “mentor” — said there was a sense of “outrage,” a feeling that Wright was “being lynched in the media” and reduced to sound bites by those “ignorant of black culture, black expression and the black church.”
.I called for moderate Blacks to speak out. Today, Shelbey Steele does:
How does one “transcend” race in this church? The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-traveled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life, failing to stand and challenge an ideology that would have no place for his own mother. And what portent of presidential judgment is it to have exposed his two daughters for their entire lives to what is, at the very least, a subtext of anti-white vitriol?What could he have been thinking? Of course he wasn’t thinking. He was driven by insecurity, by a need to “be black” despite his biracial background. And so fellow-traveling with a little race hatred seemed a small price to pay for a more secure racial identity. And anyway, wasn’t this hatred more rhetorical than real?
But now the floodlight of a presidential campaign has trained on this usually hidden corner of contemporary black life: a mindless indulgence in a rhetorical anti-Americanism as a way of bonding and of asserting one’s blackness. Yet Jeremiah Wright, splashed across America’s television screens, has shown us that there is no real difference between rhetorical hatred and real hatred.
Be that as it may. This is not a man who we should dare make president in peace time, let alone in wartime!
Obama at oratorical best, but Wright saga still not over
By Shmuel Rosner
Presidential hopeful says can no more disown minister who 'damned' U.S. than can 'disown the black community.'
Barack Obama continues to insist he is not naive. This indeed is what many fear as they hesitate about whether to vote for the Democratic presidential hopeful. He is certainly a liberal candidate, his advisors assert, but far from a dangerously naive one - in connection to the Middle East, and also regarding the fateful question of his skin color.
On Tuesday, for the first time, the Democratic presidential hopeful spoke about this at relative length - a late, although apparently unavoidable, product of the "Wright affair."
The harsh remarks by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the minister to whose church Obama belongs, continue to haunt the Illinois senator. Obama spoke in Philadelphia on Tuesday at the height of his rhetorical prowess, while walking on eggshells: "I can no more disown [Wright] than I can disown the black community."
He disagrees with the minister's opinions, but cannot spurn a man who has accompanied him for many years. "I have never," he said "been so naive as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle."
Some three weeks ago, at an event on the eve of his defeat to Hillary Clinton in the Ohio elections, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer climbed onto the speeding Obama bandwagon and became his supporter and advisor.
Quite a busy man, with his new book "Negotiating Arab-Israeli peace" out in stores, the former envoy is a sort of a decoder for Obama's future intentions toward our region. Kurtzer is a statesman accustomed to the serious discussion of problems in the Middle East, not in political altercations.
On Monday, however, when he represented Obama before a Jewish audience -at an assembly of the United Jewish Communities (UJC) young leaders group - Kurtzer found himself embroiled in just such an altercation.
While the Middle East and Israel were up for discussion, the former envoy was diverted by the audience to other pressing issues on the agenda. One of these, for example, was the exposure of the extreme language that Wright has used, which brought the Obama campaign its most severe crisis to date. As such, this certainly has a special meaning in front of a Jewish audience. Wright spoke against America, and against Israel.
The objects of the minister's esteem also undoubtedly would not be received well by this crowd: Louis Farrakhan, an open American anti-Semite, and the Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi. In any event, the "Wright crisis" is no longer just a crisis in relations between Obama and the Jewish community. The whole of America is reflecting today on the ties between the candidate and his spiritual leader.
And Kurtzer is stuck in the middle. He reminds the audience that Obama has already spoken, and already announced that he does not agree with Wright. He also mentions that this is not the first affair, nor the first slur.
Kurtzer also told the audience that there are "nagging doubts, there are e-mails, there are innuendos: These are the kinds of things which we [Jewish-Americans] as a community have suffered over the years at the hands of anti-Semites." By doing so, Kurtzer is attempting to characterize Obama as a victim, not an aggressor.
This claim is backed perhaps by a few previous incidents, but not in this instance. In the Wright affair, Obama is in real trouble. This is the reason for Tuesday's Philadelphia speech - an address whose main subject was the race question, but part of which also directly relating to his observers in the Middle East.
Obama described, in an enrapturing manner, Wright's position as expressing "a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; 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."
This was a hard week for the candidate, although his campaign staff hopes that the storm will pass. Such is the nature of campaigns - today's drama is quickly replaced by that of tomorrow. If Obama is lucky, this will be an affair relating to his rival Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was represented at the UJC assembly by her senior advisor Ann Lewis. Republican John McCain also had a representative: former U.S. secretary of state Lawrence Eagleburger. In their appearances, the trio reflected each candidates' abilities wonderfully, almost as if they had been coordinated beforehand.
Kurtzer was quiet and pensive, at times disconnected, or it at least appeared so. Lewis was methodical, mechanical, and to the point; although uninspiring and frugal with her use of humor. Eagleburger was lively, short-tempered and scathing. He branded the Christian right-wing of his party as a serious problem. Speaking of the Baker-Hamilton report on Iraq, to which he contributed, the former secretary of state said he made a mistake.
It may be that the mistake was in fact McCain's. A presidential campaign needs to be safeguarded from the way in which Eagleburger's tongue wags. If one needs evidence for the problems these spokespeople are liable to cause, Obama himself has provided that. Over past fortnight he has been forced to distance from his campaign Samantha Power, a close friend and important advisor. Now he is preoccupied with Wright's remarks.
One can feel a degree of sympathy in both instances, for in both Obama was forced to distance himself from people who had a real influence on him. And in both instances the brutal superficiality of the election system has been forced on complex human situations.
In one incident, Power did indeed speak "off the record," even if the newspaper was technically correct in publishing her comments. In the second incident she simply told the truth, that Obama can promise to leave Iraq - but may not necessarily keep that promise.
The case of Wright is also not clear and simple, as Obama attempted to explain on Tuesday. The extent to which he succeeded in doing so will be clear when the dust settles.
It is possible that Obama made a mistake by maintaining contact with Wright. But this is a mistake that clearly stems from Obama considering short-term political advantages, disadvantages and reservations over some of the pastor's positions against his esteem, loyalty, long person connection and social obligations to the m
2) So, Presidential "hopeful," Barak Hussein Obams, claims he found salvation in Trinity Church on Southside Chicago. He also discovered his political foundation as a black politician in a black community, one of the strongest in the country. South Chicago, after all, is the home base of Jesse Jackson, who also ran for president once.
BHO's "mentor" is the now discredited Rev Wright. Protestations to the contrary, does BHO subscribe to the crazy Wright Rants? Who knows? He did say that he would not only refuse to "disavow" his mentor, but he could not disavow "black America." What he said, I think, is that to disavow Wright would be interpreted by his black political base as disloyalty to black people in general. Can't do that, can he? Then there is the incredible comment equating Wright's racial and seditious insanity with BHO's white grandmother, who expressed a fear of encountering black males in the street, somehow suggesting that his grandmother is also a racist. Did not Jesse Jackson say exactly the same thing not so long ago? ( Felt uncomfortable if he heard footsteps behind him) What kind of moron have the Democrats recruited here?
He will win the nomination, you know. Astounding.
3) McCain in Sderot: Rocket attacks demand response
By Barak Ravid
U.S. Senator John McCain, visting the Qassam-battered Negev town of Sderot on Wednesday, said he understood Israel's tough response to Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on its communities.
"No nation in the world can be attacked incessantly ... without responding," he said.
"The fact is that I come from a border state, and if people were rocketing my state, I think that the citizens from my state would advocate a very vigorous response," he added.
The Arizona senator and Republican presidential candidate made the remarks during a joint press conference with Defense Minister Ehud Barak following a tour of the town. McCain was also accompanied by fellow senator and supporter Joe Lieberman.
McCain, whose visit to Israel comes as part of a fact-finding mission in the Middle East, expressed empathy for residents of Sderot. The town, situated close to the border with Gaza, has for years been a near-daily target of Palestinian rocket fire. Israel has responded to the attacks with frequent military raids in the strip.
The senator thanked Barak and complimented him on his bravery in defending the State of Israel. McCain added that the constant rocket fire on Israeli towns underlines the desperate need for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
McCain also voiced doubts that a peace deal could be reached by the end of the year.
"I am not sure whether it will succeed in that period of time," said McCain, referring to a U.S.-brokered peace process which Washington hopes will lead to a Palestinian statehood accord before George W. Bush leaves the White House in January.
"But I do believe that the administration is making every possible effort to do so," he declared.
When asked about possible negotiations with the Islamist group Hamas, who controls Gaza, McCain said that it would be difficult for Israel to negotiate with a group who openly declares its desire to destroy it, but the decision whether or not to attempt negotiations is Israel's.
Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told McCain that Israel can halt rocket fire from Gaza without a major ground offensive in the densely-populated coastal strip.
"It is possible to stop the Qassams without conquering Gaza," Olmert told McCain. "We will stop the Qassam fire by the creation of deterrence in the South which will make [Gaza militants] think twice before they shoot again," the prime minister continued.
McCain agreed with Olmert that the situation in the South is intolerable.
Answering a question by the presidential hopeful about what was going to happen in Gaza, the prime minister said: "I am skeptical about what appears like a temporary calm, and am doubtful about whether it will continue."
"Israel will not be able to continue suffering Qassam fire and the fact that hundreds of thousands of its residents are living under daily missile fire. In the end, we will stop the Qassam fire," the prime minister said.
Olmert also stressed in the meeting that alongside fighting the rocket attacks, Israel is continuing to build the momentum for a peace process with the moderate elements within the Palestinian Authority.
Earlier Wednesday, McCain told Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni that he believed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was committed to the peace process and opposed the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip.
At a press conference with Livni, McCain said he had telephoned Abbas, who is based in the West Bank city of Ramallah just a few kilometers away, because he was unable to meet the Palestinian president in person.
McCain said the Western-backed leader wants to move forward in peace talks.
"I again believe that President Abbas wants to get this [peace] process started," McCain said in Jerusalem.
McCain said he shared Israel's concern about the deterioration of security in the Gaza Strip and the cross-border rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled territory against Israel.
"I believe that [Abbas] does not support the kind of activity that is taking place in Gaza. I know that the United States government is fully committed to trying to stop this ... cross-border violence," McCain said.
A Palestinian official said on Wednesday that McCain told Abbas during their phone conversation that he was committed to a peace settlement after Bush leaves office.
Livni hailed McCain's support for Israel during their early morning meeting.
"I know we share the same understanding on the nature of the threats in the region," she said. I know where you stand on what needs to be done."
McCain was visiting Israel with his Senate allies Democrat-turned-Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham.
The 71-year-old ex-aviator and Vietnam war POW has denied seeking to improve his electoral prospects on this tour, saying he came as a top member of the Senate Armed Services Committee rather than as Bush's potential successor.
The presidential hopeful expressed concern on Tuesday about Iran's support for terror and its development of nuclear weapons.
Before his arrival in Israel on Tuesday, McCain said he supports Israel's claim to Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. He told reporters in Jordan: "I support Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."
Later, speaking at a meeting with President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, McCain said he was concerned by Iran's negative influence on the region - namely, the fact that it trains, finances and otherwise assists radical groups - and that his concern had merely been heightened by his current tour of the region.
Peres stressed that Iran is not Israel's problem only. "The combination of terror, nuclear capability and irresponsible leadership is a danger to the entire world," he said. "Even the region's Arab states fear Iran, and they need to say so out loud."
McCain and Leiberman were accompanied by Senator Lindsey Graham. Israeli analysts believe that Lieberman, a former Democrat turned independent who was one of McCain's early backers, is a likely choice for secretary of state should McCain be the next president.
4) Senior IDF officers oppose Egyptian cease-fire deal
By YAAKOV KATZ
Top members of the IDF General Staff have expressed opposition to the deal Egypt is trying to broker between Israel and Hamas in an effort to obtain a cessation of violence in the Gaza Strip.
On Tuesday, head of the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau, Amos Gilad, traveled to Cairo for talks with Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman, who has been mediating between Israel and Hamas on the deal.
Gilad, defense officials said, told Suleiman that Israel would not be able to agree to any type of cease-fire with Hamas if the border between Gaza and Egypt were not first sealed and the smuggling of weapons completely stopped by the Egyptian troops deployed there.
"A continuation of the smuggling into Gaza will defeat the purpose of a cease-fire," one defense official said.
Suleiman, the officials said, has for the past few weeks been trying to broker a package deal in the South that will include a cessation of violence, a Hamas presence at the Rafah crossing and the transfer of security over other crossings from Gaza into Israel to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Defense officials said that some of the IDF top brass were opposed to the deal since it would be interpreted as a "reward" for Hamas. The officials said that the IDF was pushing for additional operations in the Gaza Strip, such as the one in northern Gaza two weeks ago during which over 100 Palestinians were killed.
"Hamas suffered a heavy blow during that operation," one official explained. "Additional similar operations will be able to keep up the pressure instead of rewarding them for their Kassam rocket fire."
On Wednesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told visiting US presidential candidate Sen. John McCain that Israel would continue operating against terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip as long as Kassam rockets continued to fall on the western Negev. Islamic Jihad has been responsible for shooting close to 50 rockets this past week.
"Despite the relative calm over the last few days, at this stage, there is no cease-fire agreement with Hamas," Barak told McCain during a helicopter tour of Israel and its borders.
The IDF officers were said to be particularly opposed to the deployment of Abbas's Presidential Guards at the Karni and Erez crossings, a move that one officer said would also give Hamas a presence at the crossings. The Karni and Erez crossings repeatedly came under attack by Hamas when they were open and under the control of Fatah forces.
5)Wright's Rantings Won't Sink Obama
By Dick Morris
Will the Gospel According to Jeremiah Wright sink the Obama candidacy? Not very likely.
Let's start with two basic facts:
(a) Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has already won the Democratic nomination. It's over. Regardless of how the remaining primaries and caucuses go, including Michigan and even Florida, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) can never catch Obama in elected delegates. His current lead of 170 pledged delegates will not be overcome no matter what happens. Even if Clinton beats him by 10 points in each of these primaries, he will still lead among elected delegates by over 100. The superdelegates will not override the will of the voters unless Obama is in jail. They will not let themselves in for a civil war by overruling a black man who is beloved by the young by going over the heads of the electorate and naming the candidate that lost the primaries as the nominee. Regardless of how damaged Obama may be by the Wright tapes, it will not provide sufficient cover or cause for them to do so.
(b) Wright's rantings are not reflective of Obama's views on anything. Why did he stay in the church? Because he's a black Chicago politician who comes from a mixed marriage and went to Columbia and Harvard. Suspected of not being black enough or sufficiently tied to the minority community, he needed the networking opportunities Wright afforded him in his church to get elected. If he had not risen to the top of Chicago black politics, we would never have heard of him. But obviously, he can't say that. So what should he say?
He needs to get out of this mess with subtlety, the kind Bill Clinton should have used to escape the Monica Lewinsky scandal -- but didn't. As the controversy continues, Americans will gradually realize that Obama stuck by Wright as part of a need to get ahead. They will chalk up to pragmatism why he was so close to such a preacher. As they come to realize that Obama doesn't agree with Wright but used him to get started, they will be more forgiving.
While he lets this fact sink in, he needs to continue to distance himself from Wright by characterizing that kind of anger and animosity as a thing of a generation past. He needs to compare the progress of which whites are proud in discarding the racism of our forebears with his own pride at being a post-racial candidate. He needs, again and again, to reject what Wright says and emphasize his belief in America and the validity and morality of the American Dream.
As the controversy matures, he can increasingly depict those who fan its flames as trying to live in the past and re-fight the civil wars of race that have divided America.
All these themes were evident and articulately presented in Obama's Tuesday speech on race.
What Obama needs not to do is to resort to the kind of Clintonian fudging that animated his interview with Keith Olbermann. By saying "I wasn't there" and "I didn't know" and "I didn't hear him say it," he will invite contempt and derision. If he were to continue in that vein, he would buy himself a controversy akin to that which drowned John Kerry in the facts and allegations of his service in Vietnam. People will surface to say, "I sat next to him, and Wright said such and such," and Obama will be hostage to everybody's subjective memory.
But if he handles the situation with subtlety and lets what he cannot say -- that it was opportunism that led him to stay in that church -- sink in among the electorate, he can and will survive this battle.
And let's remember one other thing: The Democrats will increasingly realize that he will be their nominee and, in continuing this battle, they are eating their own.
6)Bin Laden warns Europe of “reckoning” for Mohammed cartoons
A new audiotape, purportedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, informs the “intelligence ones’ in the European Union that republishing the “insulting drawings” was a greater crime than Western forces targeting Muslim villages and killing women and children. And “the reckoning for it will be more severe,” he says - in reference to the reprint in Danish papers of one of the controversial Danish cartoons showing the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.
Released by al Qaeda’s publishing arm As-Sahab, bin Laden’s five-minute message is captioned “May Our Mothers Be Bereaved of Us If We Fail to Help Our Prophet.” He refers to a new crusade against Islam.
The audio track with English subtitles plays over a video image of bin Laden holding an AK-47 rifle. He has not been seen on video since October 2004.