Obama, the Biggest Threat to Al-Aqsa in 90 Years?
Long article but worth the read, please click on link to read morehttp://www.occri.org.uk/Articles/Obama-Aqsa.htm
The Obama Pro-Muslim Smoke Screen
Owing to the fog of multiple and conflicting pictures painted to depict Barack Obama, confusion remains in the minds of many as to what the new President of America really represents and where exactly his loyalties lie. As the weeks and months of his presidency pass by, inconsistent messages and contradictory positions on major issues have become a standard feature of the regime. An executive order is signed to close Guantanamo Bay and end the military trials of its inmates, but then the military trials are revived and Guantanamo remains open. Renditions are ruled out in public, but then ruled in by stealth. The war in Iraq was to be ended in 2009, but instead of any substantial withdrawal of troops, we have the construction of the "small-city-larger-than-the-Vatican" sized US Embassy in Baghdad. Indeed, war continues, as in the previous administration, to feature at the top of the White House agenda, with thousands more troops committed to war in Afghanistan - but then Obama receives the Nobel Peace Prize. An insightful young Muslim sent me her reaction to the prize in these words:
"The Nobel Peace Prize has always seemed in danger of being more ridiculous than sublime. Who can forget such former laureates as that bastion of realpolitik Henry Kissinger or Yitzak 'Break their bones' Rabin? Despite this, I listened with a mixture of astonishment and disbelief when I heard the news that Barack Hussein Obama was this year's recipient. It seems strange indeed that aside from his desk job in the White House this year's recipient is also the Commander in Chief of the world's largest army, which is currently fighting wars in two separate countries, and presides over the largest defense budget in the world, which is estimated to total somewhere between $925 billion and $1.14 trillion in 2009. This is not to mention the 40,000 extra US troops he has pledged to send into Afghanistan or the tacit support he has given the despicable practice of secret rendition. This award seems all the more astonishing when one takes into account the type of individual that Alfred Nobel had in mind for the recipient of the award, namely it should be awarded to 'the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.' It seems that in 2009 we are closer than ever to 1984: 'Then the face of Big Brother faded away again and instead the three slogans of the Party stood out in bold capitals: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.'"
The sense of confusion is widespread among large swathes of people from diverse backgrounds, including even some from his own black community (e.g. Rev. Jesse Jackson who had to apologise publicly after being caught on camera saying that he wanted to castrate Obama). However, the Obama confusion is most profound among Muslims. While some Muslims insist, against all the evidence to the contrary, that he is a Muslim, others see him as a saviour of sorts and a messiah of peace. This, of course, is a picture Obama himself has sought to project to the Muslim world through a variety of means. He ensured that, as president, the first phone call he made was to Mahmoud Abbas, his first television interview was on the Dubai-based channel Al-Arabiyya (extending a "hand of friendship" to the Muslim world), and he also made sure that his first major overseas speech was to a Muslim audience in a Muslim country.
These gestures of friendly intent towards Muslims are further reinforced when Muslims remember the highly-publicised anecdotes of antagonism towards Obama from the American Right and its media outlets during the early stages of the presidential campaign. Most notably among these was the "madrasa graduate" accusation from Fox News and, of course, the famous emails warning the Jewish electorate that he was a closet Muslim.
Seeing that the pro-Israel Fox News and members of the US Jewish community were antagonistic towards Obama reinforced the idea among many Muslims that "the man is probably on their side".
The frequent bouts of petty conflict between Fox News and Obama did not damage either party. In fact, these conflicts serve, as we can see in the latest round, to boost audience figures while simultaneously increasing the president's credibility, depicting him as someone who can stand up to the right wing media.
What most people do not realise is that the Fox Network played a larger role in creating acceptability for a black president in the minds of the US electorate than any other network in the US. The high profile Fox TV drama series 24 did not only serve to soften the public attitude towards torture by portraying it as a necessary evil, but it also played a major role in promoting something (i.e. a black US president) that was until then considered, even among blacks, as absurd. This phenomenon was dubbed "The Palmer Effect" by commentators such as Lucia Bozzala. In her article of early 2007 "The Palmer Effect: Has '24' Made the US Safe for President Obama?" she wrote:
"In 24, the Palmers are elected. Fancy that. In those off years and months between terrorist crises, David Palmer wins elections, and Wayne Palmer wins because he has the right last name.... The point, though, is that they win because they got enough votes. They don't enter the office on a technicality. They are president because people like them. They really really like them. In other words, the minds behind 24 (right wing or not) were able to conceive of the idea of a black man being elected by the general public, and not toss it out as patently absurd i.e. if Jack Bauer has no fear of a black president, then maybe we won't either." (The Palmer Effect: Has "24" Made the U.S. Safe for President Obama? Lucia Bozzola, 30 Jan 2007.)
The Fox Network controversy is not the only example of one story in public and another in private. There is a pattern of projecting public conflict while maintaining private friendship. In the public arena, the Right and the Neocons were criticising Obama but then it was revealed that a week before his swearing in, he was attending secret dinners with George Will and William Kristol. The news shocked his many supporters. A Washington Times reporter, describing the reaction when the news of the secret dinner emerged, wrote "The lefties are mystified. So are a few of the righties."