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October 30, 2008

Comments

All the racists I know who are Gen X and younger are voting for Obama. With one exception, and he lives in KY.

Save a little bit of the outrage for people on the left who think an adequate response is to point out that McCain also has ties to Khalidi, like that Huffington Post writer that you linked. That angers me almost as much as what McCain and Palin are doing, because they're letting the racism slide, or worse, tacitly accepting that it's bad to have links with a Palestinian and just pointing out with some glee that look, McCain gave money to this guy. I watched that jackass Olbermann last night and that was his response.

i found it interesting that when palin brought up khalidi's connection to obama at her rally yesterday, her mob began booing as soon as she said "rashid khalidi", before even finding out why it might be a bad thing. obviously, for this crowd, just having the name "rashid khalidi" makes you, by default, a bad person.

You know what would be nice? If a Republican could manage to point out that being Muslim and/or Palestinian is not inherently a bad thing.

Colin Powell is still a Republican.

And while I'm at it, it's a sad moment in American history when we have to wait for a liar like Colin Powell to make the point that not only is it factually incorrect to say that Obama is a Muslim, but more important, it shouldn't matter unless one is a bigot.

I dunno DJ. I don't see it as an either/or but a both.

First, there's nothing wrong with Khalidi. Further, even if there was, McCain himself was a big supporter.

No, the outrage will be saved for the people hurling these scurrilous attacks, even if some on the receiving end don't react perfectly.

For them, explanations and reason will do the trick.

Mike: True, but he's supporting the Democratic nominee. Perhaps I exaggerated, but I wonder to what extent he considers himself a Republican any more. If he has any real aspirations for elected office, he most likely will have to jump ship.

Buddhabop, I hear you, but to be fair you should remember the context to the crowd's response. If in her rally Palin had instead denounced Obama's ties to Santa Claus or to Betty Crocker (or me, or you) in a similar fashion, the crowd would have booed these people as iconic figures of evil, perhaps with equal enthusiasm, and the next Palin rally would have featured "clever" signs about Satan Claws or whatever. The Two Minute Hate isn't actually predicated on either prejudice against or information about its target, it's about the joy of the hate itself.

Eric--

I liked your post. My complaint is about those who focus on the fact that McCain also has links to Khalidi, while letting the racism slide. I'll backtrack on saying they deserve outrage--maybe they just need to have someone point out (very firmly)what's wrong with their response.

Agreed DJ.

My impression of those who attack McCain's connection to Khalidi is not that they are playing to a racist audience, rather they are trying to point out the reckless incompetence of McCain and his campaign.

If you're going to try to paint someone as being a dangerous supporter of terrorism, you shouldn't use as an example someone you've financially supported. It just shows the poor staff work on his campaign.

not only is it factually incorrect to say that Obama is a Muslim

are you sure?

cause he's the son of Malcom X, ya know. and those kind of apples don't fall from the tree. knowimsayin...

cause he's the son of Malcom X, ya know. and those kind of apples don't fall from the tree. knowimsayin...

That. Is. Awesome.

This too.

Warren, I don't think that's entirely accurate. This association is a win for McCain with his base simply because the name is Arabic. Nothing else matters.

"Rashid Khalidi" = Terrorist.

" It just shows the poor staff work on his campaign."

See my comment above. McCain gets to yell "terrorist-ties!" with this slur, and the follow-up tying him to the same guy—even from "responsible media"—is page A23 stuff.

This is all about fueling a couple days worth of Hannity and Rush. In that venue, there will be no clarification forthcoming.

While this guilt-by-association-to-the-innocent-but-Muslim is the latest degradation, the McCain campaign has truly distinguished itself from its predecessors for its pervasive dishonesty, demagoguery and willingness to use race and religion repeatedly in the most insidious and divisive ways. It's worse than Willie Horton ...
Honestly, I can't distinguish the McCain campaign from any hotly contested Republican effort of the past two decades, except that the operatives seem to have decided against wasting any creative energy on subterfuge - they're simply lying out in the open, repeatedly, and ignoring retorts, corrections, and fact-checking. Joe the Not-Actually-a-Plumber is a case in point.

Charlie Black and his cohorts seem to be in charge. The entire campaign has become an ongoing experiment in Luntz-sheiß. The Khalidi business is just the latest attempt to target a key demographic - Jewish voters - and is, characteristically, being essayed without regard for accuracy, decency, or relevance.

Bill Hicks deconstructed the breed nicely.

I think pointing out that the Son of Cain himself gave Khalidi a lot of money is a necessary part of the response. That Khalidi is not teh eeeevil terrahrist will have exactly no effect on the audience the attack is made for. But some of them may be moved by the "the Son of Cain gave tons of money to that Khalidi guy"* to at least stay away in disgust from voting. Ripping apart the Son of Cain's campaign over the overt racism is the other part.

*Ad: According to tSoC's campaign Khalidi is a dangerous terrorist. So, why did tSoC give XXXX$ to him? Whatever you think about Obama, tSoC's shows himself to be hyprocrite who thinks that YOU are a [insert term for easily fooled person].
Does he deserve your vote?

I might be more moved by this argument if you didn't use Juan Cole to make it, a man responsible for implying that journalist Steven Vincent brought violent death upon himself in Iraq via unprovable innuendo:

http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/002697.html

Speaking of guilt by association ...

cause he's the son of Malcom X, ya know.

God help me, I read through the whole thing.
MALCOLM F-ING X?! Its more plausible that Obama has a time machine and learned his crowd control hypnotism from Hitler.

If this is what the next 8yrs will be like, I'm both relieved and amused.

This association is a win for McCain with his base simply because the name is Arabic.

Which is to say there's no upside to this for McCain, because wins with his base are meaningless at this point. To paraphrase James Carville, if what you're doing five days before the election is "solidifying your base," that means you're getting shelled into your bunker.

No pleasure but meanness.

You know about Obama's hypnotic powers, right?

Popcorn futures: *way* up.

Bill sez might be more moved by this argument if you didn't use Juan Cole to make it, a man responsible for implying that journalist Steven Vincent brought violent death upon himself in Iraq via unprovable innuendo

Juan Cole has told a bunch of other whoppers, like when he likened Palin to the Hamas and ran a conspiracy story without comment about Ahmadinejad being targeted for abduction by America while he was in Iraq. I'm willing to agree that the Khalidi-Ayers-Cobra Commander connection is a stupid campaign trick, but it's harder to buy into the "racist" line of attack just because Juan Cole said so.

but it's harder to buy into the "racist" line of attack just because Juan Cole said so.

LT:

The evidence is what it is, and the case most certainly does not rest on "because Juan Cole said so."

Neither you, nor I, rely on Cole to tell us something is so. However, the evidence provided speaks for itself.

Other evidence, from a prominent Jewish orgnization:

http://blogs.jta.org/politics/2008/10/30/2643/khalidi-and-the-plo/

Eric,

I don't agree with the attack on Obama, but the McCain campaign is pushing for the ties between Khalidi and the PLO, however misleading that may be. That doesn't necessarily come off as entirely racist. Just that Obama might have ties to a guy who might have ties to a guy that might've been a terrorist.

LT Nixon--

I read the Juan Cole link you provided where he compares Palin to Islamic extremists. I don't see the problem. For one thing, Palin seems reluctant to call it terrorism when an abortion clinic is bombed--

Link

The PLO are our allies. They are the group that we are supporting in Gaza and the West Bank. They are the group that the Israeli government has been negotiating with, and prefers as an interlocutor.

Not only does Khalidi only have nominal ties to the PLO, even if he did, so what?

Unless all Palestinians are now suspect, this line of attack doesn't make sense since the PLO are now our preferred allies.

Unless, we would now argue, that Tzipi Livni has close ties to terrorists? Or George Bush? Because their connections to actual PLO leaders is infinitely stronger than Obama-Khalidi-PLO.

Which leaves the racism hanging in the air.

Bravo, Eric, I've been waiting for someone to condemn this in the blogo-world. Sadly, the middle east studies field in the USA is well accustomed to this, but it does reflect very badly on a country that a bigoted neanderthal like Sarah Palin is allowed to run for high office while hurling racist innuendos at American scholars she knows nothing about (for Khalidi is an American, despite the regular 'Palestinian scholar' epithet that seems to be used even in high-profile news outlets).

"The evidence is what it is, and the case most certainly does not rest on "because Juan Cole said so."

Two points about disparaging the Juan Cole connection:

1. I was disparaging your choice to utilize ("associate" with) him as an analyst while making the point about anyone associating with (apparent) GOP racism and xenophobia. I'm sure that characters as excreble as Michael Moore or David Duke have been right ("the facts speak for themselves") on rare occasion, that doesn't mean I will make them my standard-bearer when I agree with them. (No, Juan Cole isn't as bad as David Duke, but the general point stands)

2. Regarding you denouncing associating with "Republican Racism," I in turn denounce YOU as a racist-associator, given your support of the Democratic Party after their shameful anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, xenophobic spectacle of Dubai World Ports:

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2006/09/14/democrats_and_the_irony_of_dub/

You know what would be nice? If a Democratic lawmaker could manage to point out that being Muslim and/or Arab is not inherently a bad thing in relation to port security contracts.

(BTW - I don't REALLY denounce you, I'm just offering perspective)

Dr. S -- You know about Obama's hypnotic powers, right?

All hail the Hypnotoad.

Or, in the immortal words of that old TMBG's spiritual, "This is where the party ends / I can't stand here listening to you / And your racist friend".

Also: "Istanbul, not Constantinople."

Hmmm, maybe the wrong direction to go with this one.

McCain's attacks on Khalidi are over the top -- but Juan Cole countercharge of racisim is equally irresponsible and wrong. Cole's claim that "McCain's and Palin's attacks on Khalidi are frankly racist. He is a distinguished scholar, and the only objectionable thing about him from a rightwing point of view is that he is a Palestinian" not only suffers from several logical flaws, but is flat-out incorrect. Khalidi does not deserve the treatment that he's getting. But it takes a particular kind of hypocrit to argue that "the only objectionable thing about [Khalidi] from a rightwing point of view is that he is a Palestinian." In fact, the "the only objectionable thing about [Khalidi] from a rightwing point of view" is Kahlidi's views.

I agree that the race card is and has been played on McCain's behalf, and McCain has passively accepted the benefits. That's one reason why I have concluded that I won't vote for McCain this election season: the Republican party has been corrupted by some of its worst elements. It needs to redeem itself, but it won't do that until the last remnant of its Southern Strategy has completely and utterly failed. But that does not make Cole correct in his claim that the only racism can explain opposition to Khalidi.

@Bill:

Democrats are not above racist or xenophobic framing, mostly opportunistic, and particularly when the targets are Arabs. Other Democrats call them out on it.

Republicans have made racist, xenophobic appeals the basis of their presidential campaign. Only when it gets as outrageous as now, and only when it's not working with the voters, do other Republicans call them out on it.

The PLO are our allies. They are the group that we are supporting in Gaza and the West Bank. They are the group that the Israeli government has been negotiating with, and prefers as an interlocutor.

Eric, not to quibble, but the PLO are not our allies. We don't agree with their views. The PLO does not agree with our views. The PLO is not going to come to our defense. The PLO does not support the US. 'Tis true, the PLO are the best of a bad lot, so we support them to achieve our (and our allies') interests -- but that's something quite different.

Regarding you denouncing associating with "Republican Racism," I in turn denounce YOU as a racist-associator, given your support of the Democratic Party after their shameful anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, xenophobic spectacle of Dubai World Ports

Right. Except I denounced it at the time. As did Juan Cole and many democratic pundits and politicians (Marc Lynch, Matt Yglesias, Ackerman, Marshall, Drum, ie).

But let's be clear: I'm not denouncing Republicans, en masse, for their party affiliation in that it somehow links them to the racist acts of the GOP leadership and the Party's nominee for POTUS.

The language I chose clearly indicated that not all Republicans are included in my critique, and that some non-Republicans are likely in the mix as well. I said:

"the McCain campaign and far too many of its supporters"

Thus, I'm not sure I get your point here.

No, not all Republicans are racist, or should be denounced. Rather, the McCain campaign and its supporters that trade in this racist fare should be denounced. Republicans that object should be praised for their principled stand, which isn't always easy to do when partisan preferences are included in the mix.

Just as the Dems that capitalized on racism and xenophobia re: Dubai Ports deserved, and got, criticism.

Von: I accept that parsing on "allies."

BTW: The post title comes from a Specials song.

In fact, the "the only objectionable thing about [Khalidi] from a rightwing point of view" is Kahlidi's views.

Which views?

And if they are so objectionable, why did McCain give his organization so much money?

I don't see the association as having to be racist. This seems to be the favorite defense of the Obama camp which is kind of reverse-McCarthyism.

Khalidi is not a terrorist and denounces suicide bombings. However, he certainly is partisan on the Palestinian question and supports or at least finds a basis in international law for armed resistance. Didn't he dedicate one of his books to Arafat? Protestations about him not being a "spokesman" for the PLO are a bit too much. He appears to have been at least informally even apart from his participation in the Madrid peace talks. And there has been controversy in the past about Columbia being a sort of Palestinian mouthpiece anyway and Khalidi being brought in to keep the fire burning.

Which brings me to the attacks. I understood the "attacks" to be be a cry for the videotape to be released. That tape, as I understand it, has some not very nice comments regarding Israel on it by two other speakers, accusing the Israeli government of terrorism and comparing Israeli settlers to Osama bin Laden. And this was at Khalidi's farewell party which Obama attended. The tape would apparently not reflect very well on Khalidi's moderation not to mention Obama.

So if Obama is running as a friend if Israel, isn't it fair game to question his appearance at such events (apparently according to the LA Times article it was more than one event)even independent of his association with Khalidi? And can't this be discussed without calling somebody "racist"?

Sure, Obama can defend himself saying he was there because he associates with people he doesn't exactly agree with and it's just an example of his bridge building abilities. Fine. Probably a good explanation.

Me, however, I believe that Obama's feelings regarding the Palestinian question are probably not quite as favorable to Israel as he lets on. Nothing wrong with that. Let the American people judge. Get it out in the open.

And McCain's IRI donation doesn't change things. Supporting academic studies of the Palestinians is something good all around. A donation to the AAAN from Obama, Khalidi and Ayers isn't quite the same thing.

I think it's a bit more than Eric says. It's not just which of Khalidi's views are objectionable. It's which of Khalidi's views are so objectionable that he should be shunned by all polite society, and being friends with him merits condemnation.

It is not sufficient to simply disagree with him, von. Find me a non-racist reason for claiming that he is unworthy of society.

So if Obama is running as a friend if Israel, isn't it fair game to question his appearance at such events (apparently according to the LA Times article it was more than one event)even independent of his association with Khalidi? And can't this be discussed without calling somebody "racist"?

Wait. So, now we're going to hold Obama responsible for not only the people whose parties he attends, but also hold him responsible for all of the other guests at those parties? Is this really the standard you want to set? Can I start reviewing the guest lists at every event McCain has attended?

Me, however, I believe that Obama's feelings regarding the Palestinian question are probably not quite as favorable to Israel as he lets on. Nothing wrong with that. Let the American people judge. Get it out in the open.

So Obama is lying about his position on Israel, but let's hear what he has to say? Are you familiar with the fallacy known as "poisoning the well"?

I understood the "attacks" to be be a cry for the videotape to be released.

No. You should watch what Palin is saying. And McCain. McCain compared Khalidi to a "neo-Nazi." That's a little different than asking for tapes to be released.

And McCain's IRI donation doesn't change things. Supporting academic studies of the Palestinians is something good all around.

Wait. Attending a party where Khalidi speaks is supposedly revealing about Obama's policies with respect to the Israeli/Palestinian issue, but donating money to Khalidi's organization is meaningless?

Huh.

But that does not make Cole correct in his claim that the only racism can explain opposition to Khalidi.

When Palin says his name and the crowd boos? Before they even know who he is -- just that he has one of "those" names. Opposition to Khalidi is deeply, obviously racist. At lweast the way that McCain-Palin are "opposing" him.

No no no. You see, Obama's attendance at the Khalidi party is a small piece of a larger puzzle, part of a "mosaic", if you will, which, when combined with other pieces of the mosaic, such as his associations with Ayers and Wright, his mysteriously muslimy nature, can be put together to reveal the larger truth: Obama is Mothra.

It is not sufficient to simply disagree with him, von. Find me a non-racist reason for claiming that he is unworthy of society.

There are plenty -- not that I necessarily agree with them. Khalidi has been a prolific commentator on one of the biggest disputes in modern history. His comments regarding Palestinian armed resistence were controversial, even granting Khalidi's claim that they were misunderstood. His perspectives on the two-state solution are controversial. His perspectives on Israeli and US attitudes toward Palestinians are controversial, particularly to those who believe that the US's and Israeli responses to the Palestinias is justified.

You may not share any of these perspectives, but there are a sizable number of folks who despise Khalidi's policy views with at least the same fervor that you despise Sarah Palin's.

But no one is saying that to show up to a party where Sarah Palin speaks somehow taints you and that you are guilty by this association.

You may not share any of these perspectives, but there are a sizable number of folks who despise Khalidi's policy views with at least the same fervor that you despise Sarah Palin's.

Yes, but I won't say that being a friend of Sarah Palin, or attending a party in her honor, calls into question someone's morals. As I said, finding a disagreement is not sufficient. I want a reason that justifies shunning.

Your answer seems to say that, though you would disagree, it is okay for someone to decide that any association with someone who takes the side of the Palestinians makes one unfit for office. You are wrong; that is not justifiable. Turn it around. Are you prepared to say it would be justifiable to say that any association with someone who supports Israeli government policy makes one unworthy? I mean, there are a sizable number of folks who despise Ehud Olmert's policy views with the same fervor that I despise sarah Palin's.

I just want to make sure I'm understanding Von when he says the criteria for not being worthy of society is making controversial statements.

Hmm. According to McCain, Obama has never been "south of the border". But our secret files show that as part of Nation of Islam controlled community organizing, Barack "Hussein" Obama frequently made surreptitious "trips" to Argentina, paid for by the Malcolm X trust fund in Switzerland, to meet with the few remaining ex-Nazis and learn how Hitler controlled the "gullible" Germans. He used these techniques to sway prominent conservatives including "Jamaican"-American Colin Powell, crypto-leftist George Will and others, to "endorse" him. In addition he was able to capture 10% of the population by broadcasting a 30 minute variety show where he used these techniques to suppress the white true american patriot vote.

It's all becoming clear!

When the Obama victory is announced on Tuesday, wingnut heads are preprogrammed to explode.

"Colin Powell is still a Republican."
Not if the true believers have their way. No one who considers himself a Republican can ever support anyone but another Republican, or he becomes a RINO.

When the Obama victory is announced on Tuesday, wingnut heads are preprogrammed to explode.

Wouldn't that be fun.

When the Obama victory is announced on Tuesday, wingnut heads are preprogrammed to explode.

One can only hope that this will literally happen.

"That tape, as I understand it, has some not very nice comments regarding Israel on it by two other speakers, accusing the Israeli government of terrorism and comparing Israeli settlers to Osama bin Laden. And this was at Khalidi's farewell party which Obama attended. The tape would apparently not reflect very well on Khalidi's moderation not to mention Obama."

But the Israeli government is guilty of war crimes--when speaking polemically that slides easily into "terrorism". As for the settlers, some of them are violent racists, though the comparison to Osama is over the top.

Anyway, to my own disgust, Obama has repeatedly distanced himself from any hint of criticism of Israel's more disgusting actions, such as the bombing of Lebanon in 2006, where I think he claims to believe all the civilian deaths occurred because Hezbollah hid behind civilians. I actually wouldn't mind seeing him embarrassed a bit by his association with Palestinian activists in the past, though I'd like the embarrassment to be about how a politician running for President runs away from honest human rights criticism of an ally. The rightwing critics, of course, seem to think that any sympathy whatsoever for Palestinians is the scandal.

Is this really the standard you want to set?

Depends. I think this particular party is relevant to an issue Obama is using to get elected. He opened the door. He's purportedly pro-Israel.

McCain compared Khalidi to a "neo-Nazi." That's a little different than asking for tapes to be released.

Although the comparison was not direct, point taken. Wrong of McCain to even indirectly use a racist analogy. Maybe something like "back in the day had I attended a party where pro-IRA slogans were being shouted . . . ."

but donating money to Khalidi's organization is meaningless?

I really don't know much about the AAAN and the CPRS. However, it appears that the AAAN is a lot more controversial than CPRS ever was.

Yes, but I won't say that being a friend of Sarah Palin, or attending a party in her honor, calls into question someone's morals.

Really? If you're of the view that Khalidi is an apologist for terrorists (at the least, he has justified attacks on the Israeli Army), showing up at a party for Khalidi and praising his views is not unlike showing up at Strom Thurmond's birthday party and praising his run for president.

For the record, I don't view Khalidi that way. (I don't agree with his views, but I see nothing wrong with associating with him, working with him, or yes, even praising those views of his that I find praiseworthy.) But the fact that people disagree with me does not make those people racists. They may be wrong. But not racists.

Taken at face value, Cole's statement is outrageous. You can defend someone from an unjustified attack without making unjustified (and, frankly, stupid and counterproductive) attacks in return.

By the way, this is what makes debates over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict so boringly predictable. One side compares the others to the Nazis. The other responds with charges of racism or anti-Semitism.

Then the two sides flip. (No, you're the Nazi! No, you're the racist!).

"When Palin says his name and the crowd boos? Before they even know who he is"

There's a bit of a leap of logic there; Is Palin the only conceivable source the crowd could have for knowing anything about the dude? Hardly.

In fact, the McCain campaign is so commonly tardy about picking up any new talking point against Obama that, generally, it's already common knowledge among politically engaged Republicans, (You know, the sort who attend rallies.) by the time anybody directly connected with McCain mentions it.

Anyway, as to the subject of the post, the only racist friends I have are liberal supporters of racial preferences, and while I do find that support offensive, I try to be understanding about it: They're being told by people they trust that it's not really racism...

"By the way, this is what makes debates over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict so boringly predictable. One side compares the others to the Nazis. The other responds with charges of racism or anti-Semitism."

Funny. I didn't know there were just two sides and from what I've read, there is a broad spectrum of views and people aren't entirely predictable. Look at Olmert recently. But in the US political spectrum, either you defend Israel wholeheartedly or you don't.

"But in the US political spectrum, either you defend Israel wholeheartedly or you don't."

More accurately, either you defend Israel's actions wholeheartedly or you are a terrorist sympathizer.

von: If you're of the view that Khalidi is an apologist for terrorists (at the least, he has justified attacks on the Israeli Army)

Yes, but you'd have to be a complete right-wing nutter to equate "attacking the Israeli army" with "being an apologist for terrorists" and obviously a complete right-wing nutter is going to think that any Palestinian is evil. You know: the kind of people who still want John McCain to be president.

Funny. I didn't know there were just two sides and from what I've read, there is a broad spectrum of views and people aren't entirely predictable.

This doesn't respond to the point, but, anyhoo: Yes, lots of people hold contingent, nuanced, or moderate views on Israel and Palestine. But those folks typically ain't the shouters of the bunch -- which is too made. More importantly, they ain't the folks to whom McCain or Cole is appealing.

Assuming they know who Khalidi is (he's a pretty obscure figure), they may have a nuanced view of him. Possibly, like me, find McCain's and Cole's positions to be equally distasteful.

Sorry, "which is too made" should be "which is too bad." I don't know what that was.

"Yes, but you'd have to be a complete right-wing nutter to equate "attacking the Israeli army" with "being an apologist for terrorists" "

I think you'd have a better case there, were people typically attacking the Israeli army by means other than terrorist attacks.

To flesh out my reference to Olmert above, here's a link.

What bugs me about von's predictability comment is that the predictability he mentions only reflects the sort of idiocy one commonly finds in American discussions of the problem, where anyone who expresses as much sympathy for the Palestinians as Olmert has done in the past year would probably be considered dangerously anti-Israel in our political context. Imagine if Obama had ever said what Olmert says in the link I provided--McCain and Palin would accuse him of being the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler (or in Palin's case, the antichrist.)

Anyway, that's enough ranting for one night.

Okay, von--I accept that you were talking about McCain's target audience. I don't think Cole is at the opposite pole, however. You'd have to go looking for people who defend Palestinian terrorism while comparing Israel to Nazi Germany for that.

Assuming they know who Khalidi is (he's a pretty obscure figure), they may have a nuanced view of him.

He's actually not obscure at all if your interest in Palestinian history goes beyond burning a-rab effigies at Palin rallies, he's a very big name who also writes books for the broader market in the trade press.

von, just a couple quick points, and this is not a pile on because I do respect your point of view.

First would it be accurate to say that you hold views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that some people would consider controversial?

Secondly, if I were to justify attacks by Iraqi insurgents on US troops would I be an apologist for terrorists?

How about if I justify attacks on German troops by the Frech resistance?

How about if I justify attacks on Russian troops by the Afghans?

I can do all of the above very easily. Does that mean that any one who meets me or has a drink with me is unqualified to be President? Actually, you have not made that statement about Obama so consider the last question as addressed to bc.

The point of all this, DJ's rants aside for a moment, is that it is hypocriticazl for the McCain campaign to somehow hold Obama attending a going away party for a colleague as somehow nefarious when McCain was able to think highly enough of the man to award his group that much money.

hypocriticazl fo shizzle

Are we really being visited by the only Golux in the world (and not a mere device)?

supports or at least finds a basis in international law for armed resistance.

Well, of course there is a basis in international law for armed resistance (which is not the same thing as terrorism). What, do you think George Washington was a war criminal?

von sez: Really? If you're of the view that Khalidi is an apologist for terrorists (at the least, he has justified attacks on the Israeli Army)

and the inimitable Brett sez: I think you'd have a better case there, were people typically attacking the Israeli army by means other than terrorist attacks.

So it would appear both that von believes that Palestinians fighting for statehood should attack some party other than the Israeli Army, although he doesn't specify who, exactly; and that Brett believes that terrorist attacks -- which, by definition, are waged against a civilian populace -- can be carried out against a military.

Are you both actually that silly, or would you like to try again?

Anyway, as to the subject of the post, the only racist friends I have are liberal supporters of racial preferences

Uh-huh. Tell me some more about how the US government should ignore aged former members of the Nazi Party, but the very fact of being in this country while brown and without papers should result in ceaseless prosecution. I don't know, maybe in your circles hating brown people isn't racist, or something?

I think you'd have a better case there, were people typically attacking the Israeli army by means other than terrorist attacks.

OT: I think, definitionally, any attack on an army can't be called "terrorist".

But aren't we off topic here? What does or does not constitute a terrorist attack is irrelevant. Khalidi is not a supporter of Israel. Any association with him of any significance that has a characteristic of anti-Israeli sentiment brings into question Obama's bona fides as a supporter of Israel. To bring that up is simply not racist.

And sorry, Jes, this right wing nutter has a (slightly) more nuanced vision of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

By the way, this is what makes debates over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict so boringly predictable. One side compares the others to the Nazis. The other responds with charges of racism or anti-Semitism.

Yes, von, and you're justifying it.

bc: Khalidi is not a supporter of Israel. Any association with him of any significance that has a characteristic of anti-Israeli sentiment brings into question Obama's bona fides as a supporter of Israel.

That's hardly a "more nuanced" vision of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Unless you just mean "more nuanced" than John Hagee's...

ral: Are we really being visited by the only Golux in the world (and not a mere device)?

Your guess is quite as good as mine, there are a lot of things that shine, but I have always thought she did, and I will always think so.

A point worth making -- this kind of reflexive bigotry coming straight from the Republican standard bearers is an example why we simply cannot get Middle East policy right.

Someone who is basically an ally for our goals becomes demonized simply because he has a funny name. This bigotry cannot help but seep into thinking. Maybe it helps explain why McCain cannot bother to remember that Iraqis are divided into Sunnis and Shia.

Think about the countless mid or low level troops we send into the region, and expect them to have some degree of sensitivity in order to implement a COIN strategy. Who at the same time are fed a diet of bigotry by the leaders of the Republican Party.

Which has the lasting impact on people -- the truly good tact taken by Bush post-9/11 to preach against demonizing Arabs, or this behavior in the election season?

But aren't we off topic here?

Yes.

What does or does not constitute a terrorist attack is irrelevant.

To this particular discussion, yes.

Khalidi is not a supporter of Israel. Any association with him of any significance that has a characteristic of anti-Israeli sentiment brings into question Obama's bona fides as a supporter of Israel.

With respect, that's a pretty wacky statement.

You can be completely supportive of Israel while, simultaneously, being highly critical of Israel, and being supportive of the perspective of Palestinians.

People do it every day. Lots of them. Lots of them are, for example, Israelis.

To bring that up is simply not racist.

That is true. I agree with this, and with von's criticism of Cole for his conflation of criticism of Khalidi with racism.

All of that said:

IMVHO, comments from the McCain campaign associating Obama with Khalidi are intended to exactly one thing: associate Obama with Arab terrorists.

It doesn't matter if Khalidi is not a terrorist, and doesn't support terror. He is a scary brown man and has one of those freaky Arabic moon-man names.

This is an electoral tactic comparable to putting out the idea that Obama is a Muslim, that he "pals around" with Bill Ayers, etc. The intended audience will not drill down any further than Scary Brown Man With An Arab Name.

John McCain is likely not, himself, a racist, but he is perfectly happy to exploit racism in order to be elected President.

And that, my friends, is all I need to know about the man.

You never know how these things will turn out until they actually happen, but I sincerely hope the Republican party is thoroughly and decisively ground into the dirt in this election cycle, because utter defeat and humiliation is probably the only thing that is ever going to make them stop going back to the damned "Scary Dark Man" and "Liberals Hate You" wells once and for all.

They richly deserve to be driven from office and denied a place in public life.

I'm not talking about people who happen to be conservative in their beliefs. I'm not not even talking about everyone in public life with an (R) after their name.

I'm talking about the institutional, capital-R Republican Party. They are a gang of criminals, liars, thugs, and creeps, and have been since I was a mere lad.

Rumor is that they weren't always so, and perhaps they will stop being so someday, but that is what they have been, and are right now.

Thanks -

It doesn't matter if Khalidi is not a terrorist, and doesn't support terror. He is a scary brown man and has one of those freaky Arabic moon-man names.

This is an electoral tactic comparable to putting out the idea that Obama is a Muslim, that he "pals around" with Bill Ayers, etc. The intended audience will not drill down any further than Scary Brown Man With An Arab Name.

John McCain is likely not, himself, a racist, but he is perfectly happy to exploit racism in order to be elected President.

I think this is a very accurate summary.

Russel wins the week. Again.

He's on his way to this year's Thullen Award for Excellence in Commenting.

"There are 12 Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset,"

There are 12 Arab members of the Israeli Knesset. Either Palestine is a separate nation, or it isn't.

"Khalidi is not a supporter of Israel."

What on earth does that mean?

Define what is and isn't a "supporter" of Israel, please.

And don't say "oh, you know what I mean." Because no, I don't. Every Israeli I know is critical of one thing or another about every Israeli government. Are they not "supporters" of Israel? It's clear that if you say that Israel has no right to exist that you're not a "supporter," but that's not, so far as I know, Khalidi's view; below that, what does it take to be a supporter or not a supporter?

What Russell said.

With respect, that's a pretty wacky statement.

Really? I disagree (on the wacky part). I don't mean that being around any anti-Israel sentiment or being critical of the government NECESSARILY means one is anti-Israel. I am in agreement with you on this. But don't be surprised if your general support of Israel is brought into question. Especially when you are trying to get the Jewish vote in Florida based in part on your stated support of Israel.

My understanding is that there are many Jews that find Khalidi to be anti-Israel for no other reason than he has turned towards a one-state solution and he legitimizes armed resistance (although not terrorism). I'm sure there are many others that found the comments at Khalidi's farewell and Obama's presence there, shall we say, troubling.

What on earth does that mean?

Obama put it very well:

"My view is that the United States' special relationship with Israel obligates us to be helpful to them in the search for credible partners with whom they can make peace, while also supporting Israel in defending itself against enemies sworn to its destruction."

At least rhetorically Obama is a supporter of Israel.

From what I know of Khalidi, he seems to be in accord with the first part (special U.S. relationship and finding credible peace partners) to a significant degree but I'm not so sure on the last bit. The last part assumes Israel's right to exist and it's own right to self-determination. Not so sure Khalidi is on board with that.

I don't have a strong opinion as I haven't read his books. And I don't necessarily think that support for a one-state solution ipso facto means you don't support Isreal's right to exist. But there are many Jews that do because they see the practical implication is the loss of the right to self-determination.

So back to my basic point. I think you can question Obama's commitment to Israel based on his association with Khalidi without being racist.

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