Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bridge to Muslims, or Bridge Club Meeting?

On last Tuesday Obama sent a couple of his staffers to Southfield, to meet with Arab Americans “to shore up support from a pivotal community in a key swing state.” (“Obama campaign meets with Arab Americans”).

But he didn’t show up himself. Never does. Obama so far hasn’t shown up to meet with a group of Michigan’s Arabs yet in person. Last year, he sent only an adviser to a conference in Dearborn of the Arab American Institute. ("The Arab American Institute's Hezbollah Shish Kebabs").

Then, when Obama addressed 20,000 supporters at Joe Louis this June, he pointedly failed to meet with local Muslims leaders. ("Obama addresses diverse Detroit crowd").

He did meet with Hezbollah-supporter Imam Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, but he did so secretly, miles outside of Dearborn, and well under the radar, which was easy because local media kept radar turned off anyway.

So how many Arab Americans showed up in Southfield to meet with Obama’s “high-level campaign figures” last week?


In southeastern Michigan. In the the Muslim capital of North America. In a banquet hall that can hold ten times that number.

Thirty. A far cry from Berlin’s 200,000 Obama-Jugend, or even the 84,000 shoehorned into Invesco Field for Barack’s coronation.

According to my calculations, the Southfield turnout makes about 15 Arab Americans per high-level campaign figure.

Looks like Obama’s bridge to the Muslim community is turning out to be a real, (sorry), bridge to nowhere.

At least the Alaskan bridge to nowhere was aimed at an island with at least 50 people on it.

According to the Arab American News, “The meeting was cut short after a limited number of questions from the group because of time constraints as [Obama foreign policy advisor] Rice scrambled to squeeze in time with women's groups during her trip to Michigan.”

Translation: the crickets were chirping at this bomb. So foreign policy advisor Ms. Rice slung her oversized purse and said, “Thanks for coming out everyone! Gotta go talk about abortion now with the real voters!”

Four years ago, when ripping out the American eagle carpet from the Oval Office was still just a glint in Michelle Obama’s eye, Barack said this during his keynote address to the Democratic National Convention:

"If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief - I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper - that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. 'E pluribus unum.' Out of many, one."

The bit about the Arab roundup was pure Obama-brand horsehit, we all know. The operative word in that first-line’s bad knockoff of Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath was that little preposition, “if.” As in, if there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process.”

As a longtime resident of Dearborn who comes and goes to work each day through the heart of Arab East Dearborn, I am extremely touchy at casual charges that the streets of our fair city are blocked night and day with black Marias hauling off entire extended families to incognito detention, NKVD-style.

But, at least in 2004, Obama was willing to lie to get the Muslim voters to turn out for John Kerry. Media fact-checking of keynote convention speeches of non-candidates is much slacker, and Obama knew it.

Now they do check every fact, and Obama no longer has a thing to say about whole families being muscled into paddy wagons and disappeared. I wonder why?

He’s still willing to fib, that hasn’t changed. But the level of scrutiny of what he says has been heightened exponentially. He can’t just say anything now, because folks are going to check it out.

And he definitely can’t come to the capital of Muslim America, Dearborn, and makes statements about Arab American families being rounded up without attorneys or due process, because he’s talking about something that doesn’t happen, and never happened here.


And if he ever dared to say those things were happening, especially if he said it to media cameras arm in arm with Imam Qazwini or Dawud Walid, the stink wouldn’t clear up until the media---even Barack’s own private media at MSNBC and the New York Times--had finally gotten to the bottom of the whole Islamophobic “siege” myth once and for all--even if they didn’t want to get to the bottom of it.

That’s just what happens during presidential campaigns. Nowadays, when fights get picked over alleged facts, those fights don’t end till some actual facts coms out and somebody says “uncle.”

That’s why Dan Rather’s gone. That’s why John Kerry, in spite of the still continuing slander of the facts brought out by the Swift Boat Veterans, was shown up in 2004 as the opportunistic chickenshit that he was. That’s why Sarah Palin is no longer being accused of being the grandmother of her own baby, Trig.

And Obama doesn’t want the truth about the disappearing Arab families to come out, either, for the bald reason that there are no disappearing Arab American families.

But there are a lot of lying Islamic leaders who keep telling their constituents that there are.

And you know who else doesn’t want the truth of that coming out? CAIR, or the ADC, or Osama Siblani at the Arab American News.

None of them wants CNN or Frontline to do a documentary entitled “Islamophobia: Fact or Fiction?” because even two days of serious investigation, by even the most partisan reporters, will reveal what all of us in Dearborn have known all along--that the whole Islamophobic-siege thing is nothing more than a wicked slander meant to silence criticism of jihadism in America, and to intimidate law enforcement from pursuing evidence of terrorist links wherever it leads.

CAIR would be finished without the myth of Islamophobia and American Muslims under “siege,” but they need it to remain a low, throbbing drumbeat that keeps people on edge, not a splashy front-page exposé. It has to work almost unrecognized in the back of the head, without ever quite making people stop to find out where the sound is coming from. Unexamined, it keeps lots of half-informed Americans convinced they’ve actually witnessed “Islamophobia,” when they’re actually only showing symptoms of having the term repeated into their subconscious thousands of times. (The same subliminal technique has convinced 45 million Americans that they personally heard Bush say Iraq was an “imminent threat,” and makes them swear they watched the speech where he said he was deposing Saddam’s regime because “God told me to.”).

Once anyone actually examines the issue of the siege on Muslims in America, they find there’s nothing to it. So CAIR doesn’t want it examined. And as for Obama, he just doesn’t want to get busted repeating unsubstantiated CAIR talking points.

Because Obama’s under the bright lights now, he can no longer afford to say the ridiculous things he could say to the Democrat faithful in 2004. He can no longer compare himself, Tom Joad-like, with disappeared Arab American families buried deep in the Bush/Cheney gulag, because there is no gulag, and there’s no family in there to find. And he knows it. He always knew it.

And that's why his current "fact sheet,' the one that even his Arab supporters rely on, doesn’t mention a word about Islamophobia, families being rounded up, or even Arab Americans.

Instead, it cites some statistics about arrest rates for blacks and Hispanics, and prattles about another racial myth, Jena, and recaps the history of the black civil rights movement. It doesn’t even pretend to address Islamophobia, because it can’t seriously do so, and still stand up to scrutiny as a fact sheet.

So both parties have a problem. Obama can’t give CAIR and Qazwini and the other Islamist leaders what they want, which is a platform for their accusations of Islamophobia, nor will he risk his campaign to promise them that, if elected, he'll bestow on their kind law enforcement immunity under an Obama Justice Department. In return, Obama can’t see hazarding his fragile campaign for the sake of winning Arab American voters.

No comments: