Whose name is being called? Or, changed?
Speaking before the Israeli Knesset, President Bush said, "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along." Jimmy Carter’s name came immediately to mind. After all, it was Carter who recently laid a wreath at the tomb of Yasser Arafat, the late Muslim terrorist whose widow is now in Paris spending the millions of dollars Arafat stole from U.N. food funds that were supposed to help the Palestinians -- AKA Philistines, the ancient Hebrew word for “invaders.”
Inexplicably, Barack Obama, whose name was not even mentioned, decided Bush’s rhetorical shoe fit and put it on, bringing to mind Carly Simon’s famous lyric: “You’re so vain; you probably think this song is about you.” The mainstream media took up Obama’s complaint. But that simultaneously reminded the public that foreign policy and military experience are Obama’s greatest weaknesses and are John McCain’s greatest strengths.
Was this a Bush-McCain rope-a-dope? No. Republicans aren’t that clever. Besides, there was a downside for McCain in that McCain had chosen to unveil his Four-Year-Plan during the same news cycle covering President Bush’s speech before the Knesset. Duh.
Perhaps, it was Obama’s intent to steal the news cycle away from McCain’s Four-Year-Plan by complaining that he, Obama, was suddenly the target of Bush’s no-negotiation rhetoric which, by the way, had already been used by President Bush in previous speeches. But is the Obama campaign clever enough to think of that kind of rope-a-dope? Perhaps.
Memo to McCain: Check the President’s speaking schedule before scheduling your major policy speeches. Memo to Obama: Distance yourself from your earlier, nationally-televised offer to negotiate, without any preconditions, with the Israel-hating, president of Iran.
Has anyone noticed that the mainstream media keep referring to the government of Burma (AKA Myanmar) as the “military junta” – with no mention that Burma/Myanmar has been under a communist dictatorship since 1992?
When the British freed Burma at the end of WWII, they left in place a democratic, parliamentary political structure that lasted until 1992 when General Ne Win (a committed Marxist) seized control of that resource-rich country. In Burma, the garden-spot of Southeast Asia, no one should starve. Yet the only people with full tummies are the generals, the opium-growing war lords in the Northern provinces, and the perverts who sell girls and boys into the international slave trade.
When communists take over a country, they not only still opposing voices, they often change its name. For example, the Belgian Congo became the Democratic Republic of Congo. When the Khmer Rouge (rouge is French for red) took over Cambodia, they changed the name to Kampuchea. The communist generals changed Burma to Myanmar. After scrapping the democratic institutions left in place by the British, their next step was to nationalize all the nation’s resources and place them under their personal control.
When the cyclone struck Burma on May 2, 2008, food and potable water from Uncle Sam were quickly available. But when the communist junta finally allowed in a few supplies, they confiscated them for their own use. Duh. What did we expect? Even so, it is the American nature to try.
Meanwhile, our mainstream media are missing a big opportunity to teach school children -- who rightly want to help people as those in cyclone-stricken Burma or earthquake-ravaged Red China -- that the “junta” is communist-controlled. And, that wide-spread poverty is always the result where there is a lack of freedom and free-market capitalism.
If you can get a visa to visit Burma, you can get a deal on a “slave-to-go.” You can buy sex with children, boys, girls, anything imaginable. You can buy enough opium to stun Los Angeles. Such is life in the “socialist paradise” run by a junta of communist-trained generals and their secret police. That said, the Burmese poor are victims who deserve help from the free world.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, created “Central View,” over 26 years ago for the SUN Newspapers of Lincoln, Nebraska – just 173.8 miles from the geographic center of the lower 48 states. Even so, Dr. Hamilton has traveled extensively. He spent two years back-packing across Southeast Asia.
©2008. William Hamilton.