ALI ABUNIMAH: Obama’s ambiguity – What it reveals about Mideast ‘peace’

13 November, 2008

Sons are not responsible for the racism of their fathers. But they do have a responsibility to let others know that they disagree vehemently with such sentiments. This is certainly the case for individuals in public service, particularly the man President-elect Barack Obama has chosen as White House chief of staff. Yet, Rep. Rahm Emanuel has not said a word regarding the troubling statement his father made to the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv.

In a recent interview, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel asserted that his son’s appointment would be beneficial to Israel. “Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel,” the elder Emanuel said, according to the Jerusalem Post. “Why wouldn’t he be? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.”

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Jeff Halper: A BONE IN AMERICA’S THROAT

Even before the voting began, Israeli politicians and pundits were asking: Will an Obama Administration be good for Israel? “Be good for Israel” is our code for “Will the US allow us to keep our settlements and continue to support our efforts to prevent negotiations with the Palestinians from ever bearing fruit?” For Americans the question should be: Will the Obama Administration understand that without addressing Palestinian needs it will not be able to disentangle itself from its broader Middle Eastern imbroglios, rejoin the community of nations and rescue its economy?

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Friends of Lebanon – One Week On, a letter to Barack Obama

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12 Nov 2008

Dear Mr Obama:

lebanon.jpgTell me we haven’t been bamboozled.  We need the change you promise, but something just doesn’t seem right.  After eight years under a Bush administration that engendered misery at home and around the world, the United States had found itself distrusted, scorned and despised.  And so it seems—correct me if I’m wrong here, please—the US did what the US does best: sell.

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Media Lens: Obama – Wiping The Slate Clean

13 November 2008

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

November 13, 2008

Appearance And Reality In The Relaunch Of Brand America

In 1997, the British media filled with talk of “historic” change. Blair’s victory that year “bursts open the door to a British transformation,” the Independent declared. (Neal Ascherson, ‘Through the door he can begin to create a freer land,’ The Independent, May 4, 1997)

A Guardian leader saluted the nation: “Few now sang England Arise, but England had risen all the same.” (Leader, ‘A political earthquake,’ The Guardian, May 2, 1997)

The editors predicted that, by 2007, Blair’s triumph would be seen as “one of the great turning-points of British political history… the moment when Britain at last gave itself the chance to construct a modern liberal socialist order.” (Ibid)

The Observer assured readers that the Blair government would create “new worldwide rules on human rights” and implement “tough new limits on arms sales.” (www.antiwar.com/orig/pilger.php?articleid=5063)

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Barack Obama — a wolf in sheep’s clothing or just the shepherd? By William Bowles

13 November 2008

“There is no doubt that the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is historic. But does framing him as America’s “first black president” show that we have not come nearly as far as we’d like to think?” — How Far Have We Really Come from the “One-Drop Rule”? by Judith Siers-Poisson, The Weekly Spin

programA triumph of image over substance

Well, depending on your politics, it seems that either Obama is the best thing since sliced bread (or Mandela, take your pick) or, he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I lean toward the latter but with a lot of reservations and not just because of what he, Obama is but simply because of how and why he got to be prez. Thus I view Obama more as the shepherd, who, to paraphrase is instead leading the sheep to slaughter.

Vast forces were set in motion some time ago, a decision was taken at the very highest level, that an entire new reality had to be constructed if the gangsters were going to hang onto their ill-gotten gains. Bush and his half-arsed megalomaniac cronies had really fucked things up, it was time for the construction of a ‘break with the past’. And I said it at the time of Obama’s selection, that it was a stroke of pure genius, but one not without its opponents in the ruling political class who we might well term the ‘old guard’, witness the evil rantings of Hillary Clinton, who really blew her ‘feminist’ cachet, copious tears notwithstanding.

“Obama Wins! … Ad Age’s Marketer of the Year” — Advertising Age, November 5, 2008 and beating out Apple no less.

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HUNDREDS CLAIM CREDIT FOR NEW YORK TIMES SPOOF

12 November, 2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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“SPECIAL” NEW YORK TIMES BLANKETS CITIES WITH MESSAGE OF HOPE AND CHANGE
Thousands of volunteers behind elaborate operation

* PDF: http://www.nytimes-se.com/pdf
* Ongoing video releases: http://www.nytimes-se.com/video [unfortunately this link doesn’t work]

* The New York Times responds: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/pranksters-spoof-the-times/

Hundreds of independent writers, artists, and activists are claiming credit for an elaborate project, 6 months in the making, in which 1.2 million copies of a “special edition” of the New York Times were distributed in cities across the U.S. by thousands of volunteers.

The papers, dated July 4th of next year, were headlined with long-awaited news: “IRAQ WAR ENDS”. The edition, which bears the same look and feel as the real deal, includes stories describing what the future could hold: national health care, the abolition of corporate lobbying, a maximum wage for CEOs, etc. There was also a spoof site, at http://www.nytimes-se.com/.

“Is this true? I wish it were true!” said one reader. “It can be true, if we demand it.”

“We wanted to experience what it would look like, and feel like, to read headlines we really want to read. It’s about what’s possible, if we think big and act collectively,” said Steve Lambert, one of the project’s organizers and an editor of the paper.

“This election was a massive referendum on change. There’s a lot of hope in the air, but there’s a lot of uncertainty too. It’s up to all of us now to make these headlines come true,” said Beka Economopoulos, one of the project’s organizers.

“It doesn’t stop here. We gave Obama a mandate, but he’ll need mandate after mandate after mandate to do what we elected him to do. He’ll need a lot of support, and yes, a lot of pressure,” said Andy Bichlbaum, another project organizer and editor of the paper.

The people behind the project are involved in a diverse range of groups, including The Yes Men, the Anti-Advertising Agency, CODEPINK, United for Peace and Justice, Not An Alternative, May First/People Link, Improv Everywhere, Evil Twin, and Cultures of Resistance.

In response to the spoof, the New York Times said only, “We are looking into it.” Alex S. Jones, former Times reporter who is an authority on the history of the paper, says: “I would say if you’ve got one, hold on to it. It will probably be a collector’s item.”

CONTACT:
writers@nytimes-se.com
917-202-5479
718-208-0684
415-533-3961