Oct 29, 2008

On Professor Rashid Khalidi, Dangerous Radicals, and Xenophobia

AP photo of Governor Sarah Palin by Kichiro Sato

The mindless mantra of knuckle-dragging, fear-based rhetorical idiocy from the McCain presidential camp sank to an even lower level today with Governor Sarah Palin's assertion that "there is yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama."

The "radical" scholar in question is Professor Rashid Khalidi, who is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. Professor Khalidi is the author of seven books and dozens of academic articles on the Middle East, and is a frequent commentator on national and international news programs.

Oh - and he has a funny-sounding name, the kind of suspicious Arabic name that sends shivers down the spines of Neanderthalic xenophobes like Governor Sarah Palin.

Over the past three weeks I have observed the McCain campaign descend into an ever-deeper chasm of malicious fear-mongering, and what respect I once had for John McCain has evaporated. Yet today's episode into the realm of doltish elocution shocked even me, a jaded and cynical observer of American politics who has witnessed many a brutal political campaign.

But at what point will thinking people stand up and denounce these asinine, divisive, and McCarthy-esque tactics? Are we so afraid of repercussions that we will sit idly by and permit this sort of know-nothing thuggery to go unanswered? Professor Rashid is an American citizen, a person born in the state of New York, and a respected scholar. Yet because he has the audacity to speak his mind about the Palestinian people, he is somehow a dangerous radical?

Of course, given that this is a campaign that utilizes Joe the Plumber as a foreign policy expert, nothing should surprise me any longer.

By the way, here are some facts Governor Palin should know about me, should she wish to continue in her list-making of possible terrorists and radicals. I put the dangerous-sounding words in boldface to assist those who are on the lookout for dangerous radicals:

1. I once had a childhood friend named Mohammed, a Lebanese kid in my neighborhood who was a practicing Muslim.

2. Every evening during Ramadan my neighbors, who are practicing Muslims, bring my family the food that they prepared for the twilight feast. And - get this - I enjoyed every meal cooked by these practicing Muslims.

3. I own copies of the Qu'ran (English and Arabic). Of course, I cannot read enough Arabic to save my own life, but one of these days I will tackle this language.

4. I own dozens of books on the history and politics of the Middle East.

5. I have taught world history, devoting entire lectures to discussions about the Muslim world, and I am teaching a course this fall on the history of the Middle East. And check this out: I often draw historical parallels between the concept of jihad and the Crusades, a sure sign that I am filling the heads of the next generation of with radical ideas about the nexus of religion and violence.

6. Coincidentally, I will be appearing on the Al Jazeera network this weekend, discussing the American election with their news correspondents. Al Jazeera is based in the Arabic-speaking nation of Qatar, which probably has a few radical Muslims. Truth be told: I might have turned down the gig were it not for the fact that today's attack on American citizens of Middle Eastern ethnicity so nauseated me that I felt compelled to present to the world an American face that was not spouting calculated ignorance (Buckeye Cablevision channel 220 carries Al Jazeera English, and I will be on some time between 12 noon and five o'clock, should you be bored and surfing cable).

So, with all of these mounting pieces of suspicious evidence, I nominate myself to this emerging list of "dangerous radicals" who "pal around with" people with Arabic names and who have a fondness for tabbouli and hummus. I suggest that Governor Palin immediately contact every federal agency to keep an eye on "dangerous radicals" like me, lest we join up with such security threats as Professor Rashid Khalidi and start - I dunno - doin' weird stuff, you betcha.

Silliness aside: I am an independent voter who has pulled the lever for a number of Republican candidates in the past, and I even donated money to local Republican politicians in the 1990s. These moronic attacks only serve to drive me even further away from the GOP, a party that once seemed to speak for me.

Not any more.


Anonymous said...

Whoa! Somebody put cayenne in yer drawers, Mikey???

Anonymous said...

Wake the fuck up, you liberal weenies!! Nobama said "Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine" and Nobama screamed there was "genocide against the Palestinian people by Israelis."


How much more proof do you need that this socialist scum will wreck this country?

historymike said...

Anonymous #1:

I am fed up with ignorant, quasi-nativist drivel replacing honest political debate in this country.

historymike said...

Ah, I am a "liberal weenie," eh?

A few thoghts:

1. So far your "quotes" are from an anonymous tip to a blogger. No news outlet has yet confirmed this.

2. Putting that aside: do YOU believe that Israel has a "God-given right to occupy Palestine"? How about the tens of thousands of dead Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli defense forces and militia groups since 1948, or the millions of Palestinian refugees? Are you okay with this sort of human misery?

Now, perhaps "genocide" is too strong of a termn to describe the slaughter of innocent civilians, but the Israelis are hardly blameless for such atrocities as occured at Deir Yassin, Sabra, and Shatila.

And yes: Palestinian groups are just as culpable for killings, and I condemn the targeting of innocent civilians by any group (even my own government). The death toll from Israeli forces against Palestinain civilians is far, far higher than that perpetrated by Palestinian militants. Moreover, can you show me a single Israeli village or kibbutz subjected to the sort of ethnic cleansing like that to which the Palestinians were subjected in 1948-49?

dr-exmedic said...

You aren't the only one with more than half a brain feeling a cold shoulder from the Republican party. I forget which columnist pointed out that in this election cycle, investment bankers donated to Democrats over Republicans by a 2:1 margin, and that when the Republicans lose the bankers, they're in a world of hurt.

Barb said...

Ex doc --did you retire?

If the bankers are democrats, what does that tell me? That the democrats are responsible for the mess we are in. Many of our richest, most corrupt CEO's are also social liberals as evidenced by their political donations--even while they were laying off their workers. Elite, Ivy League Leftists, MBA's with socialist and socially liberal sentiments.

As for Khalidi, isn't it a speech by Obama of farewell to this prof that the LA Times is hanging on to, obviously because the content is problematical for Obama?

Palestine and its neighbors do not want Israel there. When Israel ceded Gaza to Palestine, the palestinians weren't satisfied but just lobbed bombs over the new border. They won't quit until Israel is destroyed. I hate to be pessimistic, but that's their centuries' old response to "enemies" --always getting even. It's the Islamic way. And Israel also believes in "an eye for an eye." But they, at least, see the value of peace --and the fact that an eye for an eye leaves everyone sightless.

Mad Jack said...

Mike, I don't think you're a liberal weenie. You're more like a conservative bratwurst.


Get it? Weenie? Bratwurst? I kill me.

This presidential campaign has enough mud being slung to fill fifty dump trucks. Both sides are doing the slinging, and every time I look at one candidate, I find a good reason to vote for someone else. The very thought of either VP candidate becoming president scares the life out of me. I'd almost take another four years of King George II over a Palin or Biden regime.

In general political arguments, invariably some genius will point out that "at least he's better than Bush". Sweet Mary on a pogo stick, I'd make a better president than Bush! I could find six people from SwampBubbles that would make a better president than Bush!

This whole election is incredibly poor. I can't decide who to vote for, and my vote matters. I'm in Wisconsin, you see, and in spite of what you hear from the media Wisconsin is far from the liberal garden of earthly delights they'd have you believe it is.

I think I'll go have a martini.

Anonymous said...

From Engineer of Knowledge
Hello History Mike,
As a Republican, I too have had enough of this mindless misleading bull crap. This is the perfect example of the problem within the Republican Party today and the type I am trying to purge and discredit their non-rational thinking from the Republican Party here in the 1st Congressional District of Maryland. The types that just regurgitate the mindless and inaccurate statements from blowhard radio hosts that have spent most of their own life burning out their minds on drugs but have somehow become the voice for the radical right that has had too much influence within the Republican Party. Now here’s a thought that just came to me, Joseph Goebbels was also a burned out drug addict wasn’t he?

The Republican Party at this time is experiencing the greatest loss of membership and many are so disgruntled that they are just filing as Independents. Maybe after this next eight years as the moderate Republicans that are leaving the Party in droves will start a new political party like those who left with Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party. The other scenario is that those Republican’s with clearer minds will be successful in pushing out the radical right nut jobs and return this party back to what it once was during Nelson Rockefeller’s years. (Social moderates, Financial Conservatives) Better yet, let's just hope the radical right nut jobs start a party of their own. I think Nazi Party would fit them just fine. If we had not let this same group like those who replied to my “Social Experiment” posting on Mudrake’s site, we would not be in the devastating financial mess that has in essence driven this country into a third world status. Ether way, the Republican Party would be better off without these ignorant, mouthy, misguided, losers.

Below are some words of wisdom from a truly good Republican. These goose stepping radical right nut jobs should educate themselves and stop ruining my Republican Party with their ignorance and lies.

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, November 21, 1864

Barb said...

The lincoln quote: seems to be saying that we will all be poor except for a very few because they exploit "the prejudices of the people."

Class warfare and socialism, the sense that all should receive equally according to their "needs" whether or not they work as hard or as skillfully --by confiscating the workers' earnings for the non-workers --

It's one thing to be so prosperous as a nation that we can vote all sorts of social programs to meet the needs of our citizens WHICH WE ALREADY DO --and quite another to speak disparagingly of those who create wealth and jobs for the nation, giving the have lesses the idea that the have mores OWE them something by force, not charity.

This nation should be GRATEFUL to the top 5 per cent who pay 60 percent of their income taxes --and the 10 percent who pay 71 percent of all the income tax and the top one of four who pay 86 percent of all the income tax.

Why didn't Obama share his campaign earnings with McCain? or his broadcast the other night? Why shouldn't we apply the principle of "sharing the wealth" as he calls it -to the campaign? And see how HE likes it.

Ridiculous? Absurd --except, it seems, when we are talking about taxing people's earnings.

read Maggie thurber on the subject.

Excellent piece:


microdot said...

I published the facts on the Khalidi/Obama connection...the depth of their real relationship and the depth of the McCain/Khalidi relationship.
McCain is the chairman of the International Republican Institute which was founded in 1993, the same year as Khalidi as a Columbia University professor founded trhe Center for Palestinian Research and Studies.
In 1998, the IRI (International Republican Institute) donated almost $500,000 to Khalidi and again in 1999, donated almost $400,000. This is documented and the actual tax returns documenting this are on display over at Huffington Post.
The Khalidi/Obama connection is a tenuous one made by the McCain campaign due to a donation by the Woods Institute of $70,000 in the early 90's and the fact that Khalidi held a seat at the University of Chicago. Obama went to a going away party for Khalidi and there was a (gasp) video tape of the event.
Now for a last minute fantasy "Hail Mary" play, The Palin/McCain campaign tries to label Khalidi their terrorist of the week so they can flesh out Sarah Palins huperbolic semantical error of saying terrorists instead of terrorist when they refer to his supposed relationship with Ayers.

This is one more example of why a campaign devoid of ideas, inspiration, wallowing in tragically miserable choices and strategy has to rely on pure hate and fear mongering smears to win votes.

I think the post by what's her face makes all of these points abundantly clear

steve said...

Hey did anyone notice how nice it is out today (Friday afternoon, 10/31), I'm definately going to go for a walk at swan creek after work!

dr-exmedic said...

If the bankers are democrats, what does that tell me? That the democrats are responsible for the mess we are in. Many of our richest, most corrupt CEO's are also social liberals as evidenced by their political donations--even while they were laying off their workers. Elite, Ivy League Leftists, MBA's with socialist and socially liberal sentiments.

In the media, you are most likely to see the leaders of corporations doing things approved of by the media, which is clearly giving you the wrong impression. The vast majority of corporate types are not the least bit socialist or liberal economically--and as for socially, some of them care about business so much that they really don't care one way or the other about other things in politics; many are "small government" conservatives who may abhor things like gay marriage or drug use but see no reason the federal government should be wasting its time and money preventing it.

This latter group, the "small government" group, is clearly the part of the Republican party feeling most left out lately. I'm no friend of the Democrats, but I will no longer allow my Republican friends to accuse the Dems of being the party of big government. :)

Barb said...

However, Doc, the way we got to be "big gov't" was through GW's compassionate conservatism --if you mean big spending --AIDS in AFrica, blank checks for every natural disaster we got hit with--more than usual, I think, in his 2 terms, unlimited generosity from he gov't after the 9/11 disasters, much overseas relief --and of course, the wars in the Middle East.

The continued growth of entitlement costs.

And then there is the bail-out and the Earned Income Tax Credits and the stimulus packages.

HUGE generosity.

YET, the economy pulled ahead under Bush after the tax cuts-- and unemployment improved -- after the Clinton's 8th year recession and stock market drop --when many fortunes were lost in 1999-2000.

So what happened? Personal debt and the unscrupulous lending business helping to get people in over their heads --also, the gas price crisis. And 9/11 itself precipitated the wars that have cost us so much.

I looked it up on Google once --CEO's are more often than not liberals and democrats. Surprise surprise. And the biggest corps have benefitted the social liberal causes --with domestic partner recognition and support for gay rights politically.

I've always thought they were a more corrupt party --and the more atheistic party --and no, I didn't read Ann Coulter's book --or Newt's or listen to Limbaugh. All I need to do is follow the bloggers!

Barb said...

Yes, Steve --a beautiful day! Double birthday party for dear people today --before during and after their trick or treating.

microdot said...

Mike, you might find this interesting.
Here is a link to the front page of the Onion from 1993 that you might find highly amusing.
It is another case of how political satire can only be a few steps ahead of reality even at its very best....


dr-exmedic said...

I looked it up on Google once --CEO's are more often than not liberals and democrats.

Now that I'm done laughing hysterically, I can point you to this analysis of campaign finance disclosures. Money quote:

"The presumptive GOP nominee has received $208,200 from the chief executive officers of the 100 biggest Fortune 500 corporations, according to a review of campaign finance reports. Obama has taken in $20,400 from the same group of people."

ProfessorSeal said...


Even though I almost always disagree with you, I have valued your thoughtful input.

Then you tell us that "All we have to do is follow the bloggers."

That is like my students quoting Wikipedia as honest, reliable, refereed sources.

dr-exmedic said...

Bonus statistic: the political donations of about 200 CEOs in general, and 78 billionaries, split by Dem/Rep vs non-political-candidate donation. Counting donation splits of 3% or less as a statistical tie, the CEOs went 64-133 in favor of Repubs (5 ties), the billionaires were closer at 31-41 in favor of Repubs (6 ties).

Barb said...

"The presumptive GOP nominee has received $208,200 from the chief executive officers of the 100 biggest Fortune 500 corporations, according to a review of campaign finance reports. Obama has taken in $20,400 from the same group of people."

OK-- what about the other 400 of the biggest Fortune 500 corps? Whom do THEY support??? You say the top 100 are smart enough to vote Republican; I guess that's why they are the TOP 100 -- what about the others?

For sure, we've seen corporations lead government in social engineering, furthering the gay agenda --like Disney, McDonalds, Levi, Ford, etc.

Madjack --you must be mad! to contemplate voting, as a Christian, for a presidential candidate who voted 4 times against BAIPA in Illinois. He saw the testimonies of those who were horrified when babies who survived abortion were not helped --though they could have lived if the hospital had intervened. Obama said the mother's choice was more important --and has said he will sign FOCA (freedom of Choice Act) which will undo all the progress made by pro-lifers since Roe vs. Wade. I understand FOCA says a woman has a right to abortion for any reason, anytime.

Prof Seal --when i said "follow the bloggers" --I was referring to my impression that liberals and democrats tend to be atheistic and corrupt - by how they present themselves in blogging. Generally vile and rude. Granted, it isn't all of them. I seem to have a knack for stumbling over the vilest examples of liberal-think in cyberspace --who are so hateful. I'm always glad to meet a friendly, kindly, tolerant liberal who likes to discuss without going ballistic and sadistic.

It was democrats who said the president didn't need to step down for Monica-gate (though it would have set up Gore to be the next president.) It was GOP who made Nixon and many other GOP step down for their sins. There have been a few exceptions of Republicans re-elected despite their misdeeds --but many more examples of dems who are kept in office despite scandal, corruption and outright crime.

Atheism and corruption are bedfellows --as in Soviet Union where crime and corruption were said to be so high even after the dissolution of USSR. Some American forefather once said democracy will only work for a religious people --because people who lacked faith would also lack self-control and need to be controlled by authorities.

If people don't fear God, I believe they are less likely to be honest --and more likely to commit election and fund-raising fraud, too. Granted the occasional honorable agnostic.

Barb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barb said...

Michael K Beran wrote, "Dissatisfied and profoundly isolated, confined, in Tocqueville's image, 'with the solitude of his own heart,' the modern man...who comes from the well-to-do and predominatntly agnostic classes, seeks consolation in the various and always inadequate intellectual and spiritual opiums on sale in the philosophical markets--Marxism, psycholanalysis, multiculturalism, Weatherman-style radicalism, the pharmaceutical eucharist of the anti-depressant tablet."

"Obama is, if not quite the messiah of this new culture, certainly an artifact of it...Obama's healer-redeemer qualities, which find so warm a reception in the hearts of the elites, make Joe Six-Pack unesasy. Were it not for the coincidence of his candidacy with a stock-market panic, the Democratic nominee's campaign for the White House would almost certainly end in failure. But the stock market crashed, and as a result, Obama is...the front runner."

He said Historians will some day say that, in Obama, people "embraced a mirage because they lost their faith in the traditional remedial institutions of their culture."

Referencing Trotsky, no conservative hero, he points out that "shamanism flourishes in the bowels of a decaying oligarchy, when the languishing elites crave the stimulus that only a certain kind of Messianic figure can give."

Finally he notes that the core subjects at Obama's alma mater, Columbia U., seem not to have influenced Obama in his own book, The Audacity of Hope--that for Obama, the west is not best.

Beran concludes that "McCain's experience has given him a keener sense of history and of the world."

(National Review, Nov.3, 2008)

Sunday, November 02, 2008 10:56:00 PM

Barb said...

For Dr.exmedic:

"Do you know which special interest has given more money to the Obama campaign than any other?

If you guessed "trial lawyers" -- well, okay, that's too easy. But can you guess which special interest came in second?

Labor unions? Nope. The Green Lobby? Nope. AARP? Wrong, again. NEA? Nyet.

Give up? Okay, here's the answer: Wall Street.

That's right. According to CNNMoney.com, Wall Street securities and investment firms have given over $35 million to Democratic candidates this election cycle. And the amount they've given to the Obama campaign is nearly five times the amount they've given to McCain.

If you've been wondering why the financial industry has been in meltdown -- and taking your 401(k) or investment portfolio down with it -- now you know.

Let's face it: The former frat boys who populate Wall Street today understand economics about as well as the pinko professors whose courses they snored through.

That's why betting their entire industry on "subprime" loans to people with no jobs and no collateral made sense to them -- and why betting the entire U.S. economy on the likes of Obama makes sense to them now.

These jokers don't even know what's in their own self-interest, much less yours. Trusting them with your money is like trusting Bill Clinton to babysit your underage niece."

by Ann Coulter

Anonymous said...

From Engineer of Knowledge
Oh Barb,
You need to follow the middle path. Neither extreme will make you happy. The purpose of an education is to replace an empty mind with an open one. Your heavy desires only allow you to see what you are looking for.

You are coming off so sadly with you postings on this topic and only you are the one who has not cought on yet. When you are standing in a hole, put down the shovel.

Barb said...

"Your heavy desires only allow you to see what you are looking for"

What in heck does that mean??? Translation? I'll bet you don't have an explanation, Engineer, because it doesn't make sense.

"The purpose of an education is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

According to Allen Bloom, in The Closing of the American Mind, students today are both too open-minded and empty-headed -lacking any convictions or certainties about anything--too morally relativistic to make any value judgments.

Well, that's not me, is it?

Middle Aged Woman said...

Don't forget the shwarma. I am a liberal armed with shwarma. Cranky crowd you got here.

BTW, the verification word? Is hesse.


Barb said...

and what is schwarma?