Why Wright’s outrages don’t turn off Obama supporters

Moss Blachman sent me (and a bunch of others) a copy of a piece from The Jewish Week Web site that sorta, kinda expresses my attitude about Obama and his pastor — what Rev. Wright said was utterly beyond the pale, and yet it doesn’t turn me against Obama. An excerpt:

    The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama’s longtime pastor, says
some things that really offend me.  As a passionate Zionist I take
offense at his cruel reference to an apartheid regime going on in
Israel. As a patriotic American I shake in disgust at the “God Damn
America” sermon he gave soon after the tragic events of 9/11. His
ongoing association with Louis Farrakhan troubles me deeply, since
Farrakhan is a bigot. Indeed, I once led a group of protesters into the
office of Anthony Williams, former mayor of Washington, D.C., and
begged him not stand with Farrakhan. 
    At the same time, I do not view Rev. Wright’s remarks as a reason not to vote for Barack Obama. I may or may not decide
to vote for him, but not on the basis of his longtime pastor’s politics.

Of course, Obama’s relationship with this guy doesn’t help him with me, but it’s not a deal-killer, any more than it is for Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, who wrote the piece.

Another thing I liked about the piece — and for me, this is a separate point from the whole Wright/Obama thing — was this statement:

A congregation should not identify itself with a specific political
party, but a religious leader should feel free to express himself on
issues that he deems of social and political significance.

As I wrote before, I was impressed at the political moral teaching I heard from the pulpit (is "pulpit" the right word?) at a synagogue up in Greenville several months back. Of course, the difference between that and the inexcusable stuff that comes from the Rev. Wright are very, very different.

56 thoughts on “Why Wright’s outrages don’t turn off Obama supporters

  1. bill

    Take hatred out of the churches,and there won’t be many “Christian” churches left in SC.
    This one should really drive up the traffic for your advertisers.

  2. Brad Warthen

    You don’t think I’ll get more traffic from the “kicking a**” post?
    Of course, what you say about churches is utterly untrue, but that’s not the subject at hand, and if you can say something like that so blithely you probably won’t be influenced by my observations to the contrary, so…

  3. wtf

    How outspoken were you of George W. Bush when he accepted the support of Rev. Falwell or Pat Robertson after they openly blamed the attacks on September 11th on Americans themselves? I don’t see you criticizing John McCain after he accepted the support from the controversial Rev. John Hagee? What gives? By my count that three religious nutjobs for the GOP to only one for the Democrats. Shouldn’t you be going after the GOP three times more often than you are Obama?
    But alas, you keepers haven’t given you anything new to spew about so you have to rehash material that is weeks beyond being anything other than a dip in the road. Or is it the race card your playing and you’re just tweeting your dog whistle for the naive?
    Eitherway, its a pitiful existance for which you clearly are well equiped for the the naivite that is needed to sustain such thoughts.
    I kinda feel sorry for you. But then again, I think for myself.

  4. Nathan

    Jesus was not a patriot…if that means anything to Christians…in fact, he preached against the established government

  5. Willy

    Obama supporters are not voting for a man, they are voting for a dream.
    Wright is not in the dream…he just does not matter to those with the dream.

  6. Mike Cakora

    As it happens, Obama has several other controversial spiritual advisors in addition to Rev. Jeremiah Wright. By now you’ve certainly heard of James Meeks, and you may know a bit about Father Michael Pfleger. All, including Obama, are or were fans of Minister Farrakhan.
    That’s all well and good, but for the life of me I can find little substance in Obama. Obama’s come around at the right time with his empty message of “hope.” That a man of so little accomplishment has come so far is a tribute to his quick mind and silvery tongue. I think Spengler has nailed it with this quite sharp assessment:

    Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics.
    There is nothing mysterious about Obama’s methods. “A demagogue tries to sound as stupid as his audience so that they will think they are as clever as he is,” wrote Karl Krauss…
    Be afraid – be very afraid. America is at a low point in its fortunes, and feeling sorry for itself. When Barack utters the word “hope”, they instead hear, “handout”. A cynic might translate the national motto, E pluribus unum, as “something for nothing”. Now that the stock market and the housing market have failed to give Americans something for nothing, they want something for nothing from the government. The trouble is that he who gets something for nothing will earn every penny of it, twice over.

    Obama is so smooth that I wish he were devoid of substance but believe he’s as radical as his connections indicate. Spengler spends a little time examining the two women closest to Obama, his wife and his mother, and finds both radical and the wife quite angry. How can one spend time with the likes of William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn — unrepentant bombers both — unless one is either completely vacuous or radical?
    How much of that is within Obama only time will tell.
    Politics is strange. Obama’s not too well known but widely liked. Clinton and McCain are disliked, even by some supporters, because they are too well known.

  7. Laura West

    Well, I don’t hold Obama accountable for anyone else’s views, so I didn’t care about the Rev. Wright thing.
    But also…Obama wrote about Wright and his church is his first book Dreams from My Father. While Wright is kind of caught in a time warp but he is neither racist nor anti-American and I think if they would just play his comments in context, people would realize that. But beyond that, having read his book I wasn’t at all shocked by Wright’s comments, nor did I think they reflected badly on Obama. But if I hadn’t read the book? Maybe I would have felt differently. In other words, I am just amazed that this hasn’t hurt him more.
    I think it speaks to the authencity of Obama as a person that people can sort of intuitively see his decency and really understand where he’s coming from.

  8. P. Phillips

    Why Wrights outrages do not turn off Blacks
    We, the sons and daughters of the sons and daughters of the sons and
    daughters of slaves; the living embodiment of “the hope of the slave” –
    Maya Angelou – enjoy today, the full measure of our rights as human beings and
    citizens and for that we owe such an enormous debt to those who have gone
    before and especially to those of Rev Wrights generation. The freedoms enjoyed
    today were paid for in so much blood, so much sweat and so many tears. The scars
    such men and women carry are deep and sometimes, just sometimes they vent their anger
    and frustations and old wounds begin to bleed again. We honour their
    sacrifice by allowing them to express their outrage, we the beneficiaries of their
    sacrifice do not judge them. We bind their wounds and embrace them. We may not agree
    with them because we know better now, but we can never, ever disown them.
    Do they demand that we seek vengece on their behalf or do they themselves exact
    revenge on whites ? Of course not. Does their anger and pain get misinterpreted
    as hate, most definitely.

  9. MrUniteUs

    I first heard about racism in Israel from an
    Sephardic Jew from Iran. He was excited about going to Israel but very upset by the discrimination against Sephardic from North Africa and middle east by European Ashkenazi Jews.
    Several years later I ran across this article.
    Racism Inside Israel
    Phyllis Bennis is interviewed by Max Elbaum
    Colorlines Magazine, 15 December 2000
    Posted at globalresearch.ca 29 August 2001
    Excerpt below.
    CL: You are painting a picture of an Israeli government, with the support of a substantial part of its Jewish population, which aims toward permanent subordination of Palestinian Arabs within its borders, along with domination over something that might be called a Palestinian state but what would really amount to a dependent Bantustan.
    Essentially the same vision that motivated apartheid South Africa.
    PB: Yes. And there are even more complexities. Within Israel there are really four levels of citizenship, the first three being various levels of Jewish participation in Israeli society, which are thoroughly racialized. At the top of the pyramid are the Ashkenazi, the white European Jews. At the level of power the huge contingent of recent Russian immigrants–now about 20 percent of Israeli Jews–are being assimilated into the European-Ashkenazi sector, though they are retaining a very distinct cultural identity.
    The next level down, which is now probably the largest component of the Jewish population, is the Mizrachi or Sephardic Jews, who are from the Arab countries. At the bottom of the Jewish pyramid are the Ethiopian Jews, who are black. You can go into the poorest parts of Jewish West Jerusalem and find that it’s predominantly Ethiopian.
    This social and economic stratification took shape throughout the last 50 years as different groups of Jews from different part of the world came, for very different reasons, to Israel. So while the divisions reflected national origins, they play out in a profoundly racialized way.
    The Yemeni Jews in particular faced extraordinary discrimination. They were transported more or less involuntarily from Yemen to Israel. On arrival they were held in primitive camps, and many Yemeni babies were stolen from their mothers and given for adoption to Ashkenazi families. In the early 1990s a high-profile campaign began to try to reunite some of those shattered families.
    Beneath all these layers of Jews come the Palestinian citizens….
    (Full Article below)

  10. Wanakee

    Reverend Wright’s comments offended me too. But they are Wright’s words. Obama does not hold those views, despite being a member of that church. I have sat through many uncomfortable conversations, speeches, and comments every time I heard the ads on television when Ronald Reagan and George Bush ran on the “welfare queen” and “Willie Horton,” respectively.
    Obama is not Wright. He did challenge us to confront racial divides and work to bridge them. That’s good enough for me!

  11. david

    What a ridiculous and profane old windbag Maya Angelou is. Anyone who enjoys her “poetry” should be strongly encouraged to vote for BHO.
    BHO has a minister and mentor who shouts G*D D*mn America and tells black folk that they oughtn’t aspire to the middle class, while he himself buys a 2 million dollar home and secures a 10 million dollar line of credit. BHO consorts with and considers a close friend an admitted terrorist who bombed government buildings in the 60’s and declared as late as 2001 that he hadn’t done enough.
    BHO is a spectacularly unqualified, undistinguished flaming liberal back-bencher in the senate, whose promises are as empty as his resume.
    And yet, Brad can find no reason not to vote for him to be our next president. This will be good to know the next time I have a couple of quarters in my pocket and am considering the purchase of a newspaper. David

  12. JSmith

    I am sure Jesus must have faced calls to denounce and disown the prostitute he saved. I am sure some people might have also questioned the faith that Jesus was the son of God, suggesting murkier things.
    Such people always exist in every society and every time. They dont believe in ideals, they dont believe in hope, they are cynics, critics, put downers, hate mongers, war mongers…..
    2000 years and human nature has not changed.

  13. Randy Ewart

    There is nothing mysterious about Obama’s methods. “A demagogue tries to sound as stupid as his audience so that they will think they are as clever as he is,” wrote Karl Krauss… – Mike Cakora
    You have no substantive points to make about issues so you resort to some straw man, MaCarthy like analysis. Pathetic.

  14. Mike

    Brad, as wtf says above you have a full buffet of pastors to go after (or to have gone after) on the Republican side, yet you ignore them while riding the Wright hobby-horse about as hard as you do and have the hobby-horse concerning Sanford as a possible Veep for McCain.
    You, or at least your editorial board, still have a link available on the main Opinon page from your primary endorsement titled “Obama most likely Democrat to unify America”. Yet, somehow, you also seem to feel that Wright’s statements should automagically disqualify Obama from running for President, and you can’t understand why the rest of the world Just Doesn’t Get It.
    Now that it’s much more likely that Obama will be the Democratic nominee, are you now suffering from Buyer’s Remorse, or have your superiors ordered you to hew closer to the Faux News line concerning the general election? Your paper’s left hand doesn’t seem to know, nor care, what its right hand is doing.

  15. brian

    The reason that Wright’s comments do not bother the Obama supporters is because they are racist.
    ’nuff said’.

  16. Mike Cakora

    Randy, baby, I was quoting the words from a fuller article that I’d linked to and thought were rather well supported as an argument, but do acknowledge ownership since I did link and quote them.
    On another of Brad’s blog entries I asserted that Obama had little in the way of legislative accomplishments. One commenter provided a list of bills for which he’d been a co-sponsor, as if that would go down in history as the big O’s contribution to mankind.
    I guess my point is that while his voting record is the most liberal in the US Senate, even surpassing that of the Hero of Chappaquiddick, we don’t know much else if anything about what he’d do were he of the mind and in the position to make policy. He’s a tabula rasa upon whom each of his supporters writes what they think he stands for.
    He’s got some super advisors (with whom I disagree) who say loads of apparently smart things, but he regularly contradicts what they tell reporters. Putting the contradictory messages about NAFTA and Colombia trade pact aside, what I find amazing is his assertion that he’s a foreign-policy wiz because he lived in Indonesia as a youth. Add to that his eagerness to speak with the nutcases that run Iran and we have a disaster in the making.
    I write so because I negotiate for a living. Before one negotiates one must understand what’s being negotiated, the perspective of the opposing parties, what’s at risk, and all sorts of other stuff that may not be readily apparent. I’m a great listener and am perceptive enough to understand when I’m faced with cultural, ego, and other issues, and they arise right here in Vespucciland, not to mention with foreign enterprises.
    Obama’s assertion that he wants to meet with Iranian leaders strikes me as idiotic for a host of reasons. To bash Bush for just a moment, W thought that by charming Putin he could massage the guy’s considerable ego and get him to play a constructive role in international relations. He was wrong because he did not realize that Putin had already decided to transform Russia into an energy juggernaut — by seizing control of all domestic resources — that could force European nations to accede to whatever it demanded. Who needs diplomacy when you can shut off the gas to folks who don’t cooperate? We’ll see more Russian strong-arm tactics as time progresses because folks need their heat in winter.
    How does the West deal with a national leadership motivated by notions of apocalyptic transformation? Our diplomacy — our government — is fundamentally based on empiricism, on reason. How do we negotiate with an entity that believes that a hidden being will appear after cataclysmic destruction clears the way? The carrots and sticks normally applied won’t work, no?

  17. Akhenaton06

    Wright’s comments (specifically, the “God damn America” part) do not bother me because they are true. I think it’s funny that people with very little to no knowledge of the biblical prophetic tradition attempt to discredit his statements.

  18. weldon VII

    “… my attitude about Obama and his pastor — what (the) Rev. Wright said was utterly beyond the pale, and yet it doesn’t turn me against Obama.”
    You know, Brad, the first time you posted something like that, I argued with you.
    But now I understand.
    The idea that the radical, illogical, fact-starved pronouncements of a black presidential candidate’s racist pastor somehow don’t dissuade you from backing that candidate makes sense only if one of the following is true:
    1) You work for a black managing editor.
    2) You’re trolling for page views and responses, not truth.
    3) You were born in South Carolina, but you know less than nothing about the place, because you grew up somewhere else, and when you came back, you did it for a job in a town that has no discernible soul, but, ironically, happens to be the state capital, and, of course, because you had lived elsewhere and even somewhere else, you felt, and still feel, especially when you’re sitting in your op-ed crow’s nest immune from the squalor of Columbia’s matchless urban wasteland, that you’re better than your fellow South Carolinians, especially the ones who never wear sleeveless sweaters.
    I have wasted a lot of time here trying to get you to be forthcoming, so I am going forth, Herr Brad.
    May the facts humble you, those like you and your sycophants, too.

  19. Lee Muller

    Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell had no relationship with George W. Bush.
    Racist Reverend Wright is not only the mentor of Barack Obama, he is not the worst of the friends of Obama – terrorists, criminals, communists, all sorts of anti-American low-lifes.
    Anyone who still supports Obama is either too ignorant to vote, or shares his hatred of America, his hatred of whites, and his socialist zeal to enrich himself by robbing those who earned their wealth honestly.

  20. Jack Twist

    Brad is race baiting again. Still have not seen Brad blog about Hagee or the Robertson/Falwell comments of 9/13/01.
    Go put your sheet/hood on Brad. You have crosses to burn.

  21. Barry

    Good Point Lee. Robertson nor Falwell were mentors or pastors of George Bush. They aren’t even in the same religious demonination.
    Rev. Wright is Obama’s long time pastor and mentor.
    That is a large difference.

  22. david

    Mike, given your link I suspect that what Rush has said is true: Both Clinton and Obama need white males to win.
    I don’t necessarily think they need white males to win the democrat nomination. The Democrat party is, after all, little more than a loose and fragile association of a bunch of nut-job interest groups and factions.
    I think that they definitely need white males to win the general election however. So does McCain. But it is interesting to see Obamas’ flying monkeys being so brazen about picking just the right skin tones to sit behind Michelle “Mama” Obama. David

  23. zeke

    Rev.?? Wright is an example of subversives and anarchist and radicals that are allowed to exist in the USA under the guise of the “free speech” listed in the Constitution! This is not the purpose or intent of that article! It is not to allow any joe blow to wear a KKK shirt or for that matter a black power shirt! It is for the prevention of the government to prohibit the media or any individual from disagreeing with the government! The Second Ammendment is for the purpose of guaranteeing the individual right of gun ownership to prevent the government from being tyranical with absolute power! Look at the countries that banned personal gun ownership and how their citizens are mistreated by thyranical rule! CUBA, RUSSIA, CHINA, N. KOREA and now England! The crime levels grow astrnomically in the countries that are not dictatorial when law abiding citizens are prohibited from owning personal weapons for protection!

  24. bud

    Has anyone mentioned that Rev. Wright passed on his college deferments to join the United States Marine Corp?
    Brad, enough has been said about Wright. It’s time to focus on issues or at the very least point out that John McCain actively sought an endorsement from the Catholic Church hating Rev. Hagee.
    Speaking of the Catholic Church. I find it highly offensive and extremely hypocritcal to continue membership in the Catholic Church in spite of it’s tacit support of pedophile Priests and then turning around to condem a man (Wright) for making a few offensive comments. This whole line of discussion is completely out of balance.

  25. Lee Muller

    Barack Obama talks of his time at Occidental College in California.Here’s a quote from pages 100 and 101:
    To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.The foreign students.The Chicanos.The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets.At night,in the dorms,we discussed neocolonialism,Franz Fanon,Eurocentrism,and patriarchy.When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake,we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints.We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure.We were alienated.

  26. Barry

    I’ll post this again for the folks that can’t quite see the obvious difference
    Robertson nor Falwell were mentors or pastors of George Bush. They aren’t even in the same religious denomination.
    Rev. Wright is Obama’s long time pastor and mentor.
    Obama did the right thing by rejecting his comments. It was very late, but I give him credit for doing so.

  27. Karl Evans

    Jeremiah Wrights comments don’t turn me off Barack Obama at all. Wright and thousands of other preachers have said such things since preaching began. Korah, Amos, Isaiah, Jesus,many popes, and even a few Methodist bishops speak out against injustice in the nation.
    I have heard the outcry in Black churches, White churches, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, every manner of church. Wright’s words were nothing new for the church or for America. They were both a statement of faith and a request to God. What’s new about that?
    The only issue is that they came in a strident voice I can not match, and in a historically Black congregation, from a Black pastor to a Black man running for President.

  28. bud

    Brad, as a member of the Catholic Church you certainly must understand that for many of us we find it simply astounding that anyone could continue to associate with that institution after the abominable revelations about the priest-pedophile incidents.
    The same logic applies to Obama in the Rev. Wright incident only that is far less serious in my opinion. Wright’s comments simply were not all that outrageous to me. A bit over the top perhaps but nothing of a treasonous nature.
    Personally I would NEVER become a member of the Catholic Church because of the pedophile scandal; it’s a deal breaker, period. Yet I don’t condemn folks who choose the Catholic Church for whatever reason. In fact I voted for John Kerry in the last election.

  29. Brad Warthen

    Actually, bud, no it doesn’t.
    But bud’s observations don’t bother me so much as those of knee-jerk reactors such as “wtf” and “Jack Twist.” Such people are what’s wrong with politics. They don’t even read a post before responding to it with their pre-fab, partisan views. They are utterly unaware of the fact that I support Obama. Such a thing cannot be in their simple world, which is one organized according to the most blind, unthinking dichotomies. If you see how outrageous Wright is, and do not shrink from the fact, then you must hate Obama. Since Obama is a Democrat, you must hate Democrats. Since Obama is black, you must hate blacks, too.
    How messed up do you have to be to answer the statement “Wright is beyond the pale, but I still like Obama,” with such an idiotic retort as, “so how come you don’t criticize this or that Republican” — when I wasn’t criticizing the Democrat?
    These people represent the opposite of what I stand for, which is the honest examination of issues without reference to whether it advances the status of this or that political party or ideology — a sort of examination and discourse that our country MUST learn to encompass, or I believe our whole experiment in representative democracy will come tumbling down, leaving nothing behind but a few malignant fools yelling at each other on 24/7 TV “news” channels…
    You want to contrast Democrats and Republicans? OK. I often have occasion to decry the attitudes of such reflexive Republicans as “weldon,” but at least in this case he has gone to the trouble to read what I’ve said, and critized me for it. These other people can’t be bothered with reading what I actually wrote. This is in its way as pathetic and destructive as the rhetoric of Mr. Wright — perhaps more so, actually.

  30. Lee Muller

    The Catholic Church has ousted the handful of pedophile priests, because they were anathema to the beliefs of the mainstream membership, as well as to church doctrine.
    By contrast, the racism and hatred for “white America” expressed by Reverend Wright and other friends of Obama were cheered by the congregation, showing just how demented the hard-core Obama supporters really are.
    Obama DID NOT REJECT the hate-speech of Jeremiah Wright – he tried to justify it by examples of “moral equivalence” and “black liberation theology”.

  31. bud

    Brad, what exactly is your point. It seems like everyone has moved on, and rightly so. Let’s move on to the issues.
    Yesterday we had General Petreaus defending the indefensible continued occupation of Iraq, yet again. Under what conditions would he agree that it’s time to withdraw? The American people want us out of Iraq soon but in spite of continued disruptions in services, lots of death and and ongoing inability of the Iraqi government we stay on and on and on spending 2-4 billion dollars a week. Why? It simply makes no sense to continue with this madness.

  32. Brad Warthen

    Actually, bud, it makes complete sense, and it isn’t madness. Gen. Petraeus explained his position clearly, and what he recommends is probably going to be what happens, political posturing aside.

    My only question would be, is he sure it’s safe to reduce to pre-surge levels? But we all have good reason to believe the general knows what he’s doing. (I actually did have a thought for one post on the subject — I feel sorry for a dedicated professional such as the general having to keep a straight face and answer “yes, sir/no, sir” to a lot of politically loaded questions from ALL sides. In fact, the thought occurred to me by reading an exchange between him and Lindsey Graham, with whom I happen to agree on the subject.)

    Meanwhile, the Wright stuff bears on a political question that — once Hillary is out of this — the voters of the country will have before them from now until November.

    You’re quite mistaken that “everyone has moved on,” rightly OR wrongly. The piece that was the basis of this post was sent to me over the weekend by Moss Blachman, a strong Obama supporter (whose son is up in Pennsylvania working full-time on the campaign). I shared it with y’all because the writer did a good job of expressing some thoughts I had had myself.

    FYI, on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal TODAY was another piece taking the opposite tack, that a voter CAN’T just disapprove of what Wright says and still support Obama. Of course, the piece was written by a Clinton supporter, so consider the source, but he offers legitimate points worth considering as well. By the way, the piece was sort of balanced by one above it from another Democrat that was critical of Hillary.

    Oh, and speaking of the WSJ — you won’t often find me citing their editorials (although I like a lot of the op-eds), but they had one today that, in my opinion, is a pretty fair rebuttal of the points you raise about Gen. Petraeus’ testimony.

  33. Karen McLeod

    What I want to know is, if we continue in Iraq, how can we continue in Afghanistan? We just plain do not have the troops to sustain this forever.

  34. Mike Cakora

    The really good news for Obama is that he’s retained the support of the people who count: billionaires, folks who apparently don’t thing that Wright was wrong. He spent Sunday, April 6th, cruising around ‘Frisco collecting campaign donations in the wealthiest neighborhood in the world.
    I don’t mean to imply that Obama is an elitist; if you read the link you’ll see that even millionaires were allowed in to the fundraisers, but through the servants’ entrance.
    No wonder he’s jettisoning the promise he made to rely on public funding for the general election. Pragmatism — the loot the rich can bring to his campaign — trumps principle, when the change he’s been talking about is cash and not the ways of Washington.

  35. bud

    I feel sorry for a dedicated professional such as the general having to keep a straight face and answer “yes, sir/no, sir” to a lot of politically loaded questions from ALL sides.
    Oh for crying out loud Brad, please spare us all these crocodile tears for this disgusting peace of crap serving as chief appologist for the Bush administration. The utter nonsense he spouts with his charts and graphs makes me want to barf. Thousands of Iraqis have been slaughtered since the start of the surge in an utterly useless campaign to try and subdue the people of Iraq and turn that into a puppet state of the United States. This defense of the worthless General Betray Us is beneath the dignity of civilized people everywhere. Our imperialistic ambitions in Iraq are crystal clear and we need a way out of that ridiculous quagmire. Anyone that continues to buy into the foolish reasons for continuing to stay is stupider than Hell. Bush and his cronies simply want to occupy this hapless nation and steal their oil. Isn’t it completely obvious by now? If things are going badly we need to stay because we can’t abandon the Iraqis. If things are going well we can’t leave until the job is finished. It just makes me sick to hear all the damn lies. We’re in Iraq because of oil and to enrich a handful of corporate elitists. Why is that so hard to understand. Anyone with even half a brain could understand the truth. Just check out the price of oil. Corporate America is getting rich because of this quagmire while the working class suffers through a depression. And of course with 500+ Iraqi civilians slaughtered every month it’s impossible to even suggest we’re helping them out. 2 hours of electricity per day. Millions of refugees in Syria and other places speak to the utter, and I do mean utter failure of this Bush misadventure. Enough is enough. Soon ALL the American people will see through this charade. Hopefully the world will eventually get over this act of naked aggression. But first we must elect a Democrat to the White House with some b**** to do the right thing.

  36. Mike Cakora

    Bud writes “But first we must elect a Democrat to the White House with some b**** to do the right thing.”
    I might be mistaken, but I think that Hillary has many more than Obama.
    As for Obama’s tale of his political education, this take from The New Republic about a year ago is worth your while. His mastery of the methods and tribute to Saul Alinsky are put into context, as is his initial meeting with Wright and involvement in Wright’s church.

  37. Mike Cakora

    As for bud’s main point, the situation in Iraq can be quite confusing, but some folks are keeping track pretty well. Hotair’s Ed Morrissey has a nice summary of who’s working with whom in Iraq, and it looks like the Shia Iranians have been assisting the Sunni al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    The leader of the Iraq chapter of Hamas, which has tried to reach out to their potential Sunni insurgent allies in the western provinces. Ahmad Salah al-Din told a Qatari newspaper that al-Qaeda in Iraq has received most of its funding, weapons, and training not from fellow Sunnis but from the Shi’ites of Iran. They have fought AQI and discovered the evidence themselves:
    Salah Al-Din stated, in the name of Hamas-Iraq: ‘The U.S. is our main enemy, but a more dangerous enemy is Iran. The U.S. wants [our] oil, and possibly it wants to establish military bases [on our soil], or to remain [in Iraq] for many years to come – while Iran wants to rule, [and] to eradicate and change [our] beliefs and ideas, [and] aspires to alter the demography of the Sunni regions, particularly Baghdad.’

    Morrissey’s summary is from a MEMRI translation of a March 26, 2008 interview by the Qatari daily Al-‘Arab with the spokesman for the Iraqi Sunni jihad organization Hamas-Iraq.
    It’s a shame too that bud forgets that we’re still in Japan and in Germany, more than a couple of years after we taught them a lesson in the big one, WWII. Heck, among the awards I got during my active duty stint 1971-1977 was an Army of Occupation medal for service in Berlin as part of the force still hanging around after a war that ended five years before I was born. (Could I have put that more inelegantly? I think not.)

  38. rick campbell

    robertson and falwell and all other religious nuts are in FACT mentors to dumbya…they have been to the whitehouse and use their pulpit illegally to tell their kool aid drinking sheep like muller and others who to vote for!…they have used them to gain votees and anyone who thinks that they are not mentors is as dumb as herr muller and the other liars on this blog..

  39. Candid

    Not a Warthen fan, but totally support his rejection of the hate expressed to whites in the wright sermon hate speech.
    barack and michelle are affirmative action afro marxists, filled full of it at harvard and princeton by intellectual self hating whites.
    Hating capitalism but living like fat cats.

  40. anne arbor

    “Anyone with even half a brain could understand the truth.”
    You shouldn’t write things you can’t back up, bud.
    Somebody might write something like “Then why can’t you?”

  41. Jay

    I think the reason people are ok with Obama in spite of Wright,( and even though it hasn’t gotten as much attention, the same for people like Hagee and Rod Parsley to McCain) is that they don’t square with what we see and here from the candidates themselves. They clash with what they say and do and people are smart enough to figure that out. So you can believe that Obama is either telling the truth or pulling a fast one. 90% of the attacks here on this blog are not direct ones, they’re either ad hominem or it’s just what some other dude said that they don’t like that happens to know Obama. So it’s just not persuasive. I support Obama, but is there some part of me that wonders if there is something, somewhere that he’s hiding, that he might have in his past that might sink him? Yes, but I think it’s pretty natural to think that about all politicians. They have a way with pretending to be something they’re not, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, that is not a sole failing of the left. So it is about choice and, to borrow Obama’s word, hope. I hope that he’s not corrupt, as far as being a ‘radical’ or an ‘afro marxist’ (is afro or marxist the bad word? I’m just wondering.), those are just labels that do nothing for anybody but the person saying them. I choose to believe, because really, there aren’t many choices, that he’s the right one.

  42. Brad Warthen

    Hmmm. I believe that, with the “disgusting peace of crap” reference, bud has managed to outdo MoveOn.org’s “Gen. Betray Us.”
    It presents me with a dilemma. Clearly, it breaks my civility rules — it’s way beyond the pale. But it apparently reflects the honest attitude of a regular correspondent on this blog, and to delete it would make the rest of my readers less aware of bud’s state of mind on this issue.
    So for the moment I’m making an exception. Is that the right call? Or is it actually unfair to bud to leave it up (just to bend WAY over backwards trying to be fair)? Is it something he would regret at another moment? Is it truly reflective of his attitude toward this officer?

  43. david

    Bud is a leftist nitwit Brad. Passionate, but a nitwit nonetheless. Fr’instance, if Bush and his cronies truly only wanted to invade Iraq to steal their oil (as is so obvious to Bud), why aren’t Bush and his cronies getting rich? Or, why aren’t our gas prices coming down? Can Bud prove that Bush and Cheney are getting rich, or gaining any personal enrichment whatsoever from our invasion there? Of course not, because they aren’t. And our gas prices clearly aren’t coming down either. Where is all this “stolen” oil going I wonder? But Bud is passionate AND a regular contributor to these pages, so he’s golden in your eyes.
    I mean I guess he is…you left his last, ridiculously stupid comment up there. He must be your guy. He’s guzzling the leftist koolaid and you’re enabling it.
    Ain’t it grand? David
    (By the way, I fully expect that my post will be either heavily edited or killed outright. You can allow Bud to spew inanities, but I can see where calling him on his BS might not be something you’d want published here…can’t have the other side presented forcifully now, can we?)

  44. bud

    Here’s where right-wing logic breaks down. The fact that oil/gasoline prices have gone up does not disprove the claim that our invasion of Iraq was motivated by greed. Quite the contrary. The mission in Iraq has been a failure and hence the attempted oil theft has not worked out as planned. But in the end the oil companies have come out smelling like a rose as oil company profits have soared. Bush and company have managed to give oil companies a tax break for some inexplicable reason and that has further enriched the oil barrons.
    Then we have companies like Blackwater and Halliburton who continue to make huge profits off the taxpayers. Not to mention the big companies that manufacture tanks, Humvees, body armor, transport vehicles and aircraft. Clearly the upper class has profited from this continued occupation. And as a member of the upper crust the Bush clan figures to benefit.
    Again, why is the profit motive for this war so difficult to understand? It’s the only thing that makes sense given the lack of WMD, the long-ago elimination of Sadam, continued high death tolls (though a bit lower than a year ago), and the obscene cost of this mis-adventure to the taxpayer. At what point do we quit the place? It’s way past time to answer that question.

  45. david

    er…that would be forcefully, not forcifully.
    Look, Bud’s not a bad guy. Calling him a nitwit wasn’t a good thing to do, but he’s a liberal kook (is that better than a being a nitwit? I’m attempting to be nicer than I was being above…not sure it’s a success). Anyway, Buds’ hatred for conservatism finds expression in every single thing he writes on these pages, no matter what the original subject of the string is or was. And as often as not, he lets the ‘real’ Bud shine through when he spews foolishness like the above about what he believes are Bushs’ personal motives for war. This completely unsubstantiated rot is what Bud is all about, and you have allowed him to post it repeatedly, and generally without challenge.
    I mean really…the ‘disgusting piece of crap’ thing is what finally put you over the top? I say let it stand. His talk about disgusting crap is no more offensive than anything else he writes, and crap is certainly something he seems to have a corner on. David

  46. bud

    David, this post originated with yet another discussion about the Rev. Wright. Frankly that topic has worn out it’s welcome. I would prefer to talk about economic issues since that seems to be the single most important issue on the agenda come November. But it really is hard to ignore Iraq whenever someone like Petraeus continues to recommend we stay longer. He needs to answer the very specific question:
    Given that many other ranking officers in the military suggest our army would have great difficulty engaging another enemy because of the continued drain on our military assets (in Iraq), what, and be specific, has to occur before you will recommend bringing our troops home from Iraq? After 5 years that question needs an answer.

  47. Jay

    Seems to me if you want to talk about something other than the topic of the post, then either post it somewhere else or get your own blog.

  48. david

    Bud, I have been addressing my posts to Brad, since I have pretty much given up on either reading whatever it is you’re spewing or on attempting to answer it.
    Brads’ question was whether to remove your post in which you evidently called someone a piece of crap. I don’t know, I didn’t read whatever psychotic, liberal inanity it was that you wrote. As I said, I no longer care what you think. I am sure the feeling is mutual and I am happy for it to stay that way.
    But as for Brad, I was recommending that he allow your offending (aren’t they all?) comment to stay. Your posts always say much, much more about you than they do about whatever subject you’re ostensibly addressing. David

  49. david

    Also Bud, I gather from glancing at the last line of your last post that you’ve asked me some sort of question.
    See, here’s the deal: In my world, which I believe is the sane one, anyone who screams that “Bush and his cronies only want to occupy the hapless country of Iraq to steal their oil” is a loon. You, Bud, are a loon. And I don’t dignify or legitimize loons by attempting to give rational answers to their ridiculous, loony and liberal-hack talking-point void-of-thought questions.
    So in your loon world, I’m sure that you believe your question needs an answer. Especially after five years, whatever that means. In my sane world, I know without a doubt you aren’t looking for an answer from me, you’re instead waiting for my next pause after I say whatever I say so you can go on another loony rant.
    This is why I’ve given up on you Bud. Dave

  50. Richard L. Wolfe

    But Bud and Karen, if one of those mideastern countries offered one of our G.I.’s a cigarette, wouldn’t we just have to bomb their butts? Ha!

  51. Karen McLeod

    No one has yet to reply as to how we sustain our presence, and our continued losses in Iraq, and continue to fight in Afghanistan. In case you haven’t heard, the Taliban are again regaining control of areas in Afghanistan, the fighting is escalating as we pull troops out of Iraq. The armed forces are having a lot of trouble finding new enlistees, and our present troops are exhausted from serving multiple rotations to the war zones. Again, how are we going to do it?

  52. anne arbor

    To sustain our presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I propose we introduce a toll on travel between counties so we can lure people into the military with enlistment bonuses.
    If you travel from one county to another, expect to pay one dollar per person per vehicle wheel. Every time you cross a county line, no less. This could fund the military, reduce gasoline usage and gut our economy, so the mainstream media and Democrats should line up behind the idea like goslings behind a goose.

  53. Lee Muller

    Those who want to abandon the Mideast to Muslim terrorists have the same mentality as the socialists and liberals of the 1970s who cut off aid to South Vietnam and watched the communists murder 4,000,000 Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodians.
    When the victims are of a different race and culture, it makes it much easier for white liberals to consign them to mass extermination.

  54. sdw2is

    You’re right- this doesn’t bother me either. I would vote for anyone who said the following about any other gorup. God damn jews, god damn israel, warthen- the hook nose- has never been called goyim, or shiksa, or shaggetz. It was jews that killed our savior, the jews are nazis, why should american soldiers be fighting for jews, why should we be giving money to jews? jews started cancer, inadequate health care, etc. etc. etc.
    Looking forward to your (familiar by now) future travel outside the US. Wander on, your no longer wanted here.


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