Random thoughts about Obama *UPDATED*

Obama made much of the fact that his father was an African immigrant from a small village with goats (or something like that).  Few people have made anything of the flip side of that little bit of bio, which is the fact that the first black president has no connection to America’s slave culture.  This is consistent with the fact that the blacks who get ahead in America tend to be the children of recent immigrants from Africa and the Carribean (think:  Colin Powell), rather than from blacks who trace their American roots much further back than I can trace mine.  I draw no conclusions from this; I just observe.

Obama’s decision to close Gitmo (sort of, maybe) in a year is nicely symbolic, but creates more problems than it solves (and what it solves is merely symbolic too, in that it placates the nutroots).  Closing Gitmo means shutting down a physical site, but one is still left with the problem of the prisoners.  American prisons don’t want them, especially because they’re already struggling with the rise of Islam in prisons, a rise that does not make for docile prison populations, but rather, one that increases the sense of aggression and entitlement.  Releasing these prisoners who, in their own minds, continue to be at war with us, simply puts them back on the field.  The 18th Century concept of a parole (which saw released prisoners promise to refrain from fighting for 18 months) really isn’t a workable concept today.  The most logical option is to build a new facility that’s like Gitmo in all ways except that it’s not called Gitmo — which would be a perfect triumph of form over substance, something I suspect we’ll see with increasing frequency in the “image is everything” Obama presidency.

Also on the subject of Gitmo, this is precisely what John Kerry promised back in 2004 — we’ll turn this icky, politically incorrect war into a police action.  Releasing Gitmo detainees into the criminal justice system is just the first step.  But as many commented back in 2004, police actions are ex post facto.  The person commits the crime and then you catch him.  Bush’s system, mercifully for Americans for all these years, was pro active, stopping terror before it started.  You’re right, Bob, about the inevitable consequences of Obama’s instant back-down.

One more thing:  Suek is absolutely correct that this decision is going to give American troops a much greater incentive to “take no prisoners.”  The POW concept, which is a fairly recent and humane one, removed fighters from the battlefield without killing them.  If the battlefield is going to be turned into a revolving door, the only way American fighters can assure themselves that they won’t find themselves staring down the barrel of the same gun a second time is to disable that gun (and its operator) permanently.

Are any of you surprised the Obama is refusing to speak to the press?  I’m not.  He was able to leapfrog from being a nobody to being a president thanks to the gift the press gave him during the candidacy, which was their willingness not to make serious efforts to speak to him.  He still has nothing to say, but he’s now in a position to impose the cone of silence from above, without being dependent on their slavering good will.

I notice that Obama is urging Israel to create a permeable barrier between itself and Gaza. In the same spirit, I think Obama should do away with the Secret Service.  Indeed, to the extent no one has yet tried to kill Obama (and I pray that no one will), he’s actually in a better position security-wise than Israel, which actually has concrete proof that the people in Gaza mean to put their murderous threats into effect.  To date, I’ve been less impressed with Obama’s much vaunted intelligence than others have been.  I have absolutely no doubt that his is a feral, not a thoughtful, mental strength.  This kind of stupid statement proves me right.

And on a totally un-Obama note, are you as impressed a I am with the progress they’re making in plastics (or is it wax) in Cuba?

UPDATE:  I like Laer’s Gitmo solution, which is sort of the mirror image of my suggestion about Obama, Gaza and the Secret Service.

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Comments

  1. gpc31 says

    Insofar as genealogy matters, Obama is half-Luo and half caucasian; East African with a muslim grandfather as opposed to West African (whence most African-Americans). You are absolutely right, not much familial or cultural similarity with “Roots” or classic African-American folkways or experience, and it is therefore somewhat ironic that he is hailed as the heir to Martin Luther King.

    Nothing wrong with that; I think back to Irish cultural and political heroes who were Anglo rather than Catholic.

    I think that Obama was infinitely more self-conscious and calculating in terms of constructing his own identity than most young Americans, given his exotic upbringing. He is his mother’s son: a practicing anthropologist who has figured out how to manipulate potent cultural symbols. Certainly he’s been successful in proving his racial bona fides to two separate but overlapping constituencies: the new multiculti left, by virtue of his story; and old style Chicago pols, thanks largely to his wife and her family.

    Symbolism is his metier.

  2. says

    It is rather ironic that Afrikans from the Dark Land are more motivated than blacks from an African American cultural background.

    It just goes to show the power of socialism in keeping a people down. They think it is the White Man keeping them down, but that is what they are supposed to think.

    Tribalism, in itself, is actually very motivating. It just suffers from a lack of cohesion and thus efficiency. Islam, on the other, is death to initiative and motivation and innovation. All that “Arabic numbers” stuff people talk about when they want to defend the “glories” of Islamic culture? That actually came from India or rather the Pakistan area when it was under Islamic occupation and control.

    It didn’t come from Arabia.

    So don’t take that kind of historical propaganda when the Arabs try to go whole hog along with their Leftist allies in trying to claim credit for a discovery that they only acquired through conquest, pain, and theft

  3. Oldflyer says

    The problem with the “take no prisoners” answer to freeing terrorists is that U.S. military personnel are more vulnerable to charges of murder than at any time in past wars. Oh, are we at war?

    I would speculate that if the release of significant numbers of Gitmo bad guys actually occurs it will have a chilling effect on enlistment and re-enlistment rates. Shoot too quickly for some sensibilities and you may face murder charges–ask the Haditha marines about that. On the other hand why risk your life to capture them if probability suggests they may be freed to fight you again?

    Truth is at this moment we no little more about what Obama will do in the security arean than we did six months ago.

    We do know from his first actions that he will fund abortions abroad; that he will allow fetal stem cells to be used in “experiments”; that he will restrict drilling offshore. We can surmise from his post-inaugural rhetoric that he will give tax rebates to people who do not pay taxes; and that he will spend hundreds of billions of dollars on make-work project that will likely not benefit the economy. It also looks as though there is strong sentiment among his advisors to re-instate “quotas” when handing out government goodies.

    Book, you cite Colin Powell and Barack Hussein Obama to support the notion that black people who rise to the top in America do not come from a slave heritage. I counter with Clarence Thomas and Condolezza Rice.

  4. Tiresias says

    It actually did come up, in the early days of the campaign about a year ago. It was (inevitably) Al Sharpton, back when he was a Hillary supporter, who pointed out that Obama “ain’t got no slave blood,” and therefore didn’t know his whatzit from his whoozit. He was never “down for the struggle,” as I believe Sharpton termed it.

    Sharpton did approve of Michelle, though, who does indeed have “slave blood,” and could therefore be counted on to remind her husband of… something.

    Perhaps this lack of connection explains why Obama is the first president in history to not bother with the bible when being sworn in. (Even LBJ, standing on the airplane beside JBK in her blood-soaked dress managed to locate a Catholic missal upon which to take the oath.)

    Perhaps Helen, who is a fervent believer and for whom both God and Obama are big deals, could explain this.

    I am not a huge believer – but according to every poll ever taken, 90%+ of the American people are. I wonder how many of them noticed this “oversight,” shall we generously term it.

  5. suek says

    Oldflyer…

    I agree 100%…

    The Dems want to destroy the military. They pretty much did during and after the Vietnam war.

    This is step one.

    Step two is eliminating the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and requiring that gays may serve openly in the military.

    Final step will be the draft. Today’s civilian population is culturally very far from those who are presently volunteers in the Military. Draftees will spell nothing but trouble, just as they did during Vietnam.

    Not as a step, but in the natural flow of things, those who are raised to the higher ranks will be those who are in tune with the administration. If we can get the Dems back out of power in ’12, significant harm will not result. If they stay in power for a full 8 years or longer, we’ll lose our ranking officers who have the disposition and experience to fight wars. The next one will be disastrous.

  6. Gringo says

    gpc31: Yes, the theme of Obama as anthropologist keeps coming up. As his Indonesia-Hawaii-Ivy League-South Side of Chicago experience is alien to much of the “normal” American experience, he often gives off the vibes of someone trying to figure out how to comport himself among the natives. Think of the bitter guns religion remark made to the faithful at the San Francisco dinner, where he was thinking out loud while among his wealthy liberal base: how do we deal with those yokels in the sticks? Think of all the different speeches he gave about Rev. Wright, all given not with regard to how he felt about the issue, but with regard to how he should present himself.

    Book’s remark about Fidel and progress being made in plastics reminded me of the lyrics of Tom Lehrer’s It Makes A Fellow Proud to be a Soldier.

    Our old mess Sergeant’s taste buds had been shot off in the war
    But his savory collations add to our esprit de corps
    To think of all the marvelous ways
    They’re using plastics nowadays
    It makes a fella proud to be a soldier

    A half century ago, the elite got drafted. Today, the army is an alien experience for the Ivy League elite. Would Obama have a different view of things had he spent two years in the Radioactive Reserves? ( Tom Lehrer’s term. ) (There are links for those who wish to read or hear more of the song. I grew up on Tom Lehrer, and I keep getting reminded of how his comedy songs remain somewhat topical even today. Though perhaps not this song.)

    Regarding Obama’s saying that Israel should open its borders with Gaza: I would like to have some enterprising reporter ask Obama if he has ever read the Hamas charter- or even excerpts of it. Mr. President, what is your opinion of the Hamas cleric who has said that the Jews should be exterminated? Most likely Obama would get rather huffy with such a reporter. How dare you ask me a difficult question!

  7. suek says

    “I notice that Obama is urging Israel to create a permeable barrier between itself and Gaza.”

    As others have pointed out – why not urge Egypt to create a permeable barrier between itself and Gaza? Why not encourage trade between other Arab nations and Gaza?

    We know the answer – the Palestinians are the outcast from the Arab nations as well – they just need them for publicity fodder.

  8. pst314 says

    “Releasing these prisoners who, in their own minds, continue to be at war with us, simply puts them back on the field.”

    I personally know liberals who do not see that as a serious objection. In their minds the only important fact is that we would be imprisoning people for an indefinite period of time. That would be cruel and immoral. (The immorality of not defending America does not seem to be something they care about. Everything will magically work out for the best if we all behave like a bunch of tie-dyed Unitarians on a picnic.)

  9. says

    The only way to be moral is to allow evil to use the tools of violence. If you use the tools of violence, you are sinking down to their level.

    Soft on crime, soft on terrorism, soft for all the same reasons.

  10. says

    Also, I’d like to draw people to the fact that Obama’s first Presidential instinct is to sign Executive Orders.

    Bush, charged with being a unilateral cowboy loose cannon, went to great extents to work with the other side, even supporting Ted Kennedy’s No Child Left Behind bill as “his”.

    Obama? Just signs orders. We have our orders, you see. And the Left celebrates, because just like children, all they ever wanted was a firm authority figure to tell them what to do. Bush gave them a choice and that was his mistake.

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