Posted on September 18, 2012 in Countdown
Mother Jones Magazine just released several videos, seemingly from a hidden camera at a private fundraiser, where Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was speaking candidly about various topics. What got the most media attention was Romney’s claim that 47% of Americans are hardcore Obama voters who “believe that they are victims” who are entitled to government help, and thus not worth trying to reach in this election. In another clip, Romney highlighted that some of the consultants working on his campaign also “work for Bibi Netanyahu in his race.” But in what is perhaps the most disturbing clip on the Middle East, Romney trashed the two-state solution, and aligned himself with those who oppose the creation of a viable Palestinian state. Is there anything that could make Mitt Romney’s opposition to Israeli-Palestinian peace ironic? Of course there is: he then blamed the Palestinians for allegedly “having no interest whatsoever in establishing peace.” Yes, Palestinians, with their pesky insistence on unreasonable desires like freedom and independence, clearly demonstrate that they don’t want peace. By the way, does Romney know that the Republican Party platform says that it “envision[s] two democratic states” as the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Way to go undermining the Party platform, Mitt.
Last week on September 11th, rioters, angry over an offensive and distasteful anti-Muslim video released online in the U.S., attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and Consulate in Benghazi. A militant group that had apparently preplanned an attack on the American consulate took advantage of the riots in Benghazi and initiated their attack, tragically killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, along with three other American diplomats. Ambassador Stevens was a model diplomat who served his country with grace, dignity, and the utmost respect for both the United States and those to whom he represented it. Our hearts go out to his and all the victims’ families who are enduring their loss. There is too much to be said about this for Countdown, so we encourage you to take a moment to read our official statement, and our more detailed blog about the tragedy.
In a recent set of TV interviews, Rep. Peter King showed his usual disdain for rational discussion. He has been making the rounds to push the talking point that Obama brought on the embassy attacks by “apologizing for America” (yes, we’re totally showing weakness). But when pushed by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien to back up his charges, after noting that fact checkers have disputed the allegation that Obama ever apologized for America, King lost his temper, declaring: “I don’t care what fact checkers say.” King is particularly upset about Obama’s foreign trips and speeches when he first took office. It seems to be lost on him that every new president upon their election introduces him/herself to allies and articulates their policy differences from their predecessor. On Meet the Press, King even went so far as to equate ending the war in Iraq with “apologizing for America.” Apparently on King’s planet, Presidents are committed to standing by the foreign policy decisions of each and every past President. Maybe soon, Rep. King will announce his new series of American history audiobooks that are devoid of any “apologies.” In it, Jim Crow and the Japanese internment camps won’t be mistakes our country made, just fun experiences that America learned from.
In August 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he was “tired of dealing with the crazies” on the right, who claim that American Muslims are trying to sneakily subvert American law and implement Sharia. But because in politics you must sometimes play ball with the crazies, Christie is now campaigning for Rep. Steve King (R-IA). A couple of years ago, when asked by an audience member at a rally about why Congress can’t stop President Obama from sneaking “small quantities of Muslims into this country,” Rep. King went along with the perverse line of thinking instead of distancing himself from it. More recently, King compared immigrants to dogs, suggesting that we should pick only the best immigrants the way we choose “the pick of the litter.” Even more recently, King piled on Michele Bachmann’s accusations and claimed that Huma Abedin’s family is “deeply entrenched in the Muslim Brotherhood.” Since Christie is letting crazy slide with an Iowa Congressman, could it be because he has his eye on a slightly higher office in 2016 and wants to build some Iowa support? We still love him, but we’re just wondering.
The U.S. has been trying hand over control of detainees in Afghanistan to the Afghans, but has run into a small problem. The Afghans, it seems, believe in due process of law. The U.S. wants many of these detainees to remain held indefinitely as enemy combatants without charge or trial, which Afghan authorities believe would violate their laws. This news comes as the Obama DOJ is vigorously fighting for the ability to indefinitely detain here at home. After the indefinite detention powers of the U.S. government we’re dealt an injunction by a federal court, the DOJ fought for and obtained the ability to continue the policy while the appeal process is carried out. Wasn’t the war in Afghanistan undertaken in part to teach this freedom-less part of the world about American-style freedom, democracy, and the rule of law?
This Is the Last Issue of Countdown
Well, folks, it was a good run. As we’re sure you were able to tell by watching American television, Obama is ahead in the polls, and the election is practically decided, so this will be our last edition of Countdown. Wait, are there really still SEVEN more weeks to go? And THREE debates? Then what’s all this “it’s over” nonsense about? Scratch that! Tune in next week for another edition of Countdown. By the way, that will be Tuesday, National Voter Registration Day, when we’re going to share with you fresh results for where Arab American voters stand in this election. There are some notable differences from 2008, so you won’t want to miss it.