on deleting palestine and other debate observations

In my previous post about Palin I noted that the debate format was altered so that the Vice Presidential candidates cannot have as much time or follow up on questions asked. I also noted that white privilege and racism is a key part of the subtext that most mainstream media outlets don’t want to discuss. Apparently, McCain’s people started saying that Gwen Ifill, the moderator, might not be fair because she’s African American and therefore must obviously support Barack Obama. Or that she has a book coming out in a few months about the racial politics of the campaign, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, so obviously she’s biased. Did Obama’s campaign make complaints about Jim Lehr saying that because he’s white he would be secretly biased towards John McCain?

A quick browsing of the news this morning seems to suggest that Biden won if you’re a “liberal” and Palin if you’re a conservative (there is no real left in the U.S. any longer and, yes, “liberal” is a dirty word in my book). The great entertainment I stayed up for last night was not there, unfortunately. I was waiting for Palin’s ignorant blunders. She certainly destroyed the English language every time she opened her mouth, but it was not Palin who made serious mistakes about facts, history, the world last night when she spoke. No, that honor goes to Biden.

Robert Fisk last night on Al Jazeera, thank God, posted most of these out, but I’m sure most people watching Al Jazeera would have recognized these huge mistakes and realized that he has not been boning up on his knowledge areas of the world related to foreign policy as much as he should (all quotes come from CNN’s transcript, though, regrettably it does not transliterate Palin’s idiosyncratic use of the language–there are no “you betchas,” for example.

Biden’s mistake #1: If you’re going to use an Arabic word, don’t you think you should learn what it means first?:

There have been 7,000 madrasses built along that border. We should be helping them build schools to compete for those hearts and minds of the people in the region so that we’re actually able to take on terrorism and by the way, that’s where bin Laden lives and we will go at him if we have actually intelligence.

المدرسة, or madrassa, literally means school in English. Religious school, private school, public school: it does not matter. Like the word school in English, madrassa applies to all sorts of schools including Islamic religious schools. Oh, and as Fisk, thankfully, makes it clear that there are not 7,000 schools on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Biden’s mistake #2: Neither the U.S. nor France ever “kicked out” Hezbollah from Lebanon. And may I ad thank god they didn’t? Hezbollah, which was created in response to the state of Israel’s illegal invasion and occupation of Lebanon emerged precisely because Lebanon’s army could not defend the country. It still can’t. That’s why the Lebanese government is working on a way to get the army and Hezbollah to work somehow collaboratively:

When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.”

Now what’s happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.

Biden’s mistake #3: To be fair, I suspect this next mistake of Biden’s may not be related to his ignorance, but rather the seeming fact that it seems to be forbidden for candidates to mention the P word at the debates (PALESTINE). So I’ll give Biden the benefit of the doubt and expect that he really does know it is Gaza where Hamas is in power and not the West Bank:

Here’s what the president said when we said no. He insisted on elections on the West Bank, when I said, and others said, and Barack Obama said, “Big mistake. Hamas will win. You’ll legitimize them.” What happened? Hamas won.

So these were Biden’s factual errors. But, there were other problems last night (or for me the way-too-wee-hours of the morning). One of them was the way the candidates misled the voters on several different issues. First among them is this notion that either one of these candidates is somehow just like, to use Palin’s redneck phrase, “Joe six pack.” (By the way: I find it disturbing that this phrase along with its adjunct “hockey mom” has seeped into the discourse here about the election.) Sarah Palin is NOT middle class:

But the Palin family income reached comfortably into six figures in her 2007 declaration, capitalising on valuable salmon fishing rights and a series of property deals. Her governor’s salary brought in $125,000 (£71,000), while her husband Todd earned almost $100,000 from his part-time job at BP, combined with income from commercial fishing. The couple appeared to be worth at least $1.2m, including a $500,000 lakefront home, a Piper float-plane and two holiday getaways.

That probably does not seem like struggling to the average American family living on less than $50,000 a year and trying to pay off credit card debts of $9,840 (Mrs Palin has none).

All points to the contrary, though Palin made sure to promote this fabrication when she said:

Now you said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that’s not patriotic.

On the subject of climate change, Palin simultaneously tried to cover up her previously held position that she doesn’t believe in climate change and whitewash the fact that the U.S. has been the worst nation on the planet when it comes to joining the international community to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Palin stated:

We’ve got to become energy independent for that reason. Also as we rely more and more on other countries that don’t care as much about the climate as we do, we’re allowing them to produce and to emit and even pollute more than America would ever stand for.

The reality is: not only does Palin think that climate change is not man-made, but she also supports “research” in the subject by corporations contributing to the problem like Exxon Mobil:

Last month Palin agreed that the Alaskan climate was changing but added: “I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.” She later tried to retract the statement.

Too, her attempt to fool Joe six pack (okay, this is the only post where I will ever repeat these nauseating phrases) into thinking that the U.S. is somehow the leader on climate change fails to take into account that the U.S. has continually refused to sight the Kyoto Protocol:

President Bush is holding fast to his rejection of mandatory curbs on greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming, despite a fresh report from 300 scientists in the United States and seven other nations that shows Arctic temperatures are rising.

Biden, too, tried to fool the average voter by suggesting that Obama was somehow not a part of the problem of sub-prime mortgage lending crisis:

Well Gwen, two years ago Barack Obama warned about the sub prime mortgage crisis. John McCain said shortly after that in December he was surprised there was a sub prime mortgage problem. John McCain while Barack Obama was warning about what we had to do was literally giving an interview to The Wall Street Journal saying that I’m always for cutting regulations. We let Wall Street run wild. John McCain and he’s a good man, but John McCain thought the answer is that tried and true Republican response, deregulate, deregulate.

I quoted Dennis Bernstein on this the other day, but it bears repeating once again. Obama’s Finance Chair, Penny Pritzger, helped manufacture the problem to begin with:

Though Superior Bank collapsed years before the current sub-prime turmoil that is rocking the world’s financial markets – and pushing those millions of homeowners toward foreclosure – some banking experts say the Pritzkers and Superior hold a special place in the history of the sub-prime fiasco.

“The [sub-prime] financial engineering that created the Wall Street meltdown was developed by the Pritzkers and Ernst and Young, working with Merrill Lynch to sell bonds securitized by sub-prime mortgages,” Timothy J. Anderson, a whistleblower on financial and bank fraud, told me in an interview.

“The sub-prime mortgages,” Anderson said, “were provided to Merrill Lynch, by a nation-wide Pritzker origination system, using Superior as the cash cow, with many millions in FDIC insured deposits. Superior’s owners were to sub-prime lending, what Michael Milken was to junk bonds.”

In other words, if you traced today’s sub-prime crisis back to its origins, you would come upon the role of the Pritzkers and Superior Bank of Chicago.

So both Biden and Palin misled, lied, in other words both are quite adept at performing the role of politician. But they also deleted as Fisk also pointed out in his analysis last night. What did they delete? The word Palestine. (For the record, Ifill mentioned the word Palestinian once.) Certainly they talked around the subject, but only in their battle to show who loves the Zionist state more. This was perhaps the most nauseating part of the debate to watch not just for their wholesale erasure of a people, their history, their context but also for their uncritical, absolute, and unconditional support for the Zionist state. (I should add that no matter what state we are talking about it is asinine to uncritically support any state or anything absolutely.) First, here is Palin on her unconditional support for Israel:

Israel is our strongest and best ally in the Middle East. We have got to assure them that we will never allow a second Holocaust, despite, again, warnings from Iran and any other country that would seek to destroy Israel, that that is what they would like to see.

We will support Israel. A two-state solution, building our embassy, also, in Jerusalem, those things that we look forward to being able to accomplish, with this peace-seeking nation, and they have a track record of being able to forge these peace agreements.

They succeeded with Jordan. They succeeded with Egypt. I’m sure that we’re going to see more success there, also.

It’s got to be a commitment of the United States of America, though. And I can promise you, in a McCain-Palin administration, that commitment is there to work with our friends in Israel.

Now, here is Biden concurring:

Gwen, no one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never, ever joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion.

And Palin expressing her happiness over the fact that they agree on their unequivocal support for the Zionist state:

I’m so encouraged to know that we both love Israel, and I think that is a good thing to get to agree on, Senator Biden. I respect your position on that.

Can you imagine any country with a leader whose brain is bigger than the size of a pea lending its support for any state without reservations? Without question? Moreover, not only did we never hear the word Palestine mention. By not mentioning Palestine, Palestinian people, a Palestinian context many other things were deleted as well. Occupation. Illegal settlements. The 60th anniversary of an nakba. Palestinian political prisoners. Palestinian refugees. The siege on Gaza. The hyperbole Palin invokes with her reference to a so-called second holocaust and Israel as a “peace-seeking nation” is preposterous and shows the level of myth making involved in their Israel love-fest. Israel is a war-seeking nation and has been so since before its creation. Of course if Rosa Clemente and Matt Gonzalez (Gonzalez will be on Democracy Now! today offering his take on the debate). had been invited to participate (in other words, if the U.S. actually had a democracy where all political parties and candidates had a voice) we would have seen something very different in the discourse on this issue among others (see Ralph Nader’s policy statement on Palestine, for instance or this article by Nader on the siege of Gaza).

I take Palin at her word, unfortunately, when she expresses her affection for a nation-state that practices state terrorism on a daily basis. At the same time when she mentioned her love of Israel (about six or seven times) for her American Jewish voting audience (most of whom, by the way, do not support the state of Israel unconditionally), she made it clear that she doesn’t really know or understand the issues at stake. Likewise, there were many moments when she clearly did not understand the words, the language, the question, the concept and in turn either ignored it or injected the word “energy” into her response. It seems that this energy crutch of hers was the only subject she seemed to feel comfortable with (of course, only in the context of “drill, baby, drill”). She used the word “energy” 29 times. For instance, when Palin was asked what promises she might not be able to keep, she responded:

I want to go back to the energy plan, though, because this is — this is an important one that Barack Obama, he voted for in ’05.

In response to Ifill’s very specific question about the economy:

Sen. Biden, you voted for this bankruptcy bill. Sen. Obama voted against it. Some people have said that mortgage- holders really paid the price.

Biden replied with an answer and directed specific criticisms of McCain within it. Palin replied to Biden’s answer with this:

That is not so, but because that’s just a quick answer, I want to talk about, again, my record on energy versus your ticket’s energy ticket, also.

She never got around to answer the question. What is disturbing about the way energy was talked about last night–for instance both support “clean coal,” an oxymoron that rivals Bush’s “healthy forests” or “no child left behind. But also is the phrase “energy independent” that Palin used ad nauseum. This phrase in its current parlance should be understood as: we are Islamophobic, Arab-phobic and do not want to engage in economic trade with Arab and Muslim countries. This is the conventional wisdom, the subtext here. But let’s look at where it actually comes from:

Of course, since there was no depth or substance last night we can’t expect the candidates to register such facts–especially when those facts get in the way of the desired xenophobic effect. After all, they want to appeal to those soccer moms.

The very first question of the debate was about the recent bills moving through Congress about the economy (see yet another important petition to sign, by the way, from Code Pink asking to fire Henry Paulson). Biden responded by talking about McCain’s work in deregulating the banking industry among others. But it seemed as if Palin didn’t know what the word deregulation meant. Her response didn’t touch the issue and seems rather delusional:

Now, John McCain thankfully has been one representing reform. Two years ago, remember, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform measures. He sounded that warning bell.

People in the Senate with him, his colleagues, didn’t want to listen to him and wouldn’t go towards that reform that was needed then. I think that the alarm has been heard, though, and there will be that greater oversight, again thanks to John McCain’s bipartisan efforts that he was so instrumental in bringing folks together over this past week, even suspending his own campaign to make sure he was putting excessive politics aside and putting the country first.

As I show above both candidates certainly need to bone up on their history of the Middle East, which is why I found it rather ironic when Biden had this to say about Iraq:

John McCain voted to cut off funding for the troops. Let me say that again. John McCain voted against an amendment containing $1 billion, $600 million that I had gotten to get MRAPS, those things that are protecting the governor’s son and pray god my son and a lot of other sons and daughters.

He voted against it. He voted against funding because he said the amendment had a time line in it to end this war. He didn’t like that. But let’s get straight who has been right and wrong. John McCain and Dick Cheney said while I was saying we would not be greeted as liberators, we would not – this war would take a decade and not a day, not a week and not six months, we would not be out of there quickly. John McCain was saying the Sunnis and Shias got along with each other without reading the history of the last 700 years. John McCain said there would be enough oil to pay for this. John McCain has been dead wrong. I love him. As my mother would say, god love him, but he’s been dead wrong on the fundamental issues relating to the conduct of the war. Barack Obama has been right. There are the facts.

Or, alternately, here is Palin showing just how deeply delusional she is with respect to Iraq:

Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that’s for sure. And it’s not what our nation needs to be able to count on. You guys opposed the surge. The surge worked. Barack Obama still can’t admit the surge works.

We’ll know when we’re finished in Iraq when the Iraqi government can govern its people and when the Iraqi security forces can secure its people. And our commanders on the ground will tell us when those conditions have been met. And Maliki and Talabani also in working with us are knowing again that we are getting closer and closer to that point, that victory that’s within sight.

First, clearly Palin had to look at her notes to remember Maliki and Talabani’s names. Second, it is deeply problematic to talk about victory or is the surge working or troop withdrawal without defining victory for one thing. For another thing neither one of them mentioned the American contractors or mercenaries who are in Iraq and even with an Obama time line for a troop withdrawal, I suspect those contractors are there to stay (so too with the U.S. military and its some sixteen permanent military installations around the country). Here is what Jeremy Scahill has to say about the likelihood of an Obama presidency removing these private security firms from Iraq:

Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky, one of Congress’s sharpest critics of the war contracting system, says of Schmitz’s remark, “That’s why some of us have been really careful about not just talking about a troop withdrawal but a contractor withdrawal as well.” Obama, she says, should make it impossible for Schmitz and others “to think that Barack Obama would be creating new opportunities for Blackwater after our troops are withdrawn.” The clearest way for him to do that would be to endorse legislation banning the use of Blackwater and other mercenary firms in Iraq. In November Schakowsky and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the Stop Outsourcing Security (SOS) Act, which mandates that US personnel undertake all diplomatic security in Iraq within six months of enactment. The bill has twenty-three co-sponsors in the House and one–Sanders–in the Senate. Sanders said he’d “love” it if Obama and Clinton signed on. “If either of them came on board, we’d certainly see more Democratic support,” says Sanders. Will Obama do that before November? “The answer is no, in all candor,” says the senior Obama adviser. “Obviously it’s a dynamic situation, and he’ll continue to analyze it.”

When Biden said earlier that we should be building schools not schools (i.e., see above in his incorrect usage of the Arabic word madrassa) in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Palin made sure to tell the voters that in addition to a victory being in sight (by the way, at a rally after the debate she literally said we have already achieved victory in Iraq), she also said something equally delusional:

That’s not what we’re doing there. We’re fighting terrorists, and we’re securing democracy, and we’re building schools for children there so that there is opportunity in that country, also. There will be a big difference there, and we will win in — in Afghanistan, also.

Okay, let’s get this straight here. Not only is the surge not working, we are definitely not building schools or democracy. First of all, last month the numbers show that things haven’t changed much with respect to Iraqi people killed:

The number of Iraqi civilians and security personnel killed in insurgent and militia violence in September was 440, little changed from August, security officials said on Wednesday.

At least 359 civilians, 26 Iraqi soldiers and 55 policemen were slain in September, according to figures collected by the interior, defence and health ministries, officials who had the access to the data said.

In August, 383 civilians, 18 Iraqi soldiers and 30 policemen, a total of 431 people, were killed.

I know, Americans don’t care if Iraqis die, but try, just for a minute to consider these losses–casualties if you prefer–just for the sake of considering whether or not the surge is working. Juan Cole made this point early on about the lie of the troop surge as working:

I saw on CNN this smarmy Bush administration official come and and say that US troop deaths had fallen because of the surge, which is why we should support it. Just read the following chart bottom to top and compare 2006 month by month to 2007. US troop deaths haven’t fallen. They are way up. Besides, they would be zero if the US were not occupying Iraq militarily, so if we should support a policy that leads to fewer troop deaths, that is the better policy.

Here are the US troop death via Icasualties.org.

8-2007 77 8-2006 65

7-2007 79 7-2006 43

6-2007 101 6-2006 61

5-2007 126 5-2006 69

4-2007 104 4-2006 76

3-2007 81 3-2006 31

2-2007 81 2-2006 55

1-2007 83 1-2006 62

Dahr Jamail explains the reason why this troop surge isn’t working/won’t work:

In his final State of the Union address in January, George W. Bush proudly held up the newly formed “Awakening Groups,” known locally in Iraq as the Sahwa, as examples of both Iraqi cooperation and independence. Members of these groups now total nearly 80,000, and are paid $300 of U.S. taxpayer money a month to not attack occupation forces. These groups are referred to as “Concerned Local Citizens” by the military, as though they are comprised of concerned fathers and uncles who suddenly became keen to collaborate with members of a foreign occupation force which has eviscerated their country.

In reality, most of the Sahwa are resistance fighters who are taking the money, arms, and ammunition, whilst biding their time to build their forces to move, once again, against the occupation forces which now support them, in addition to planning to move against the Shia dominated government. Furthermore, it is widely known in Iraq that many of the Sahwa are al-Qaeda members, the irony of which is not lost to Iraqis, who heard the U.S. propaganda as to the reasons the Sahwa were formed: to drive al-Qaeda from Iraq and to promote security so as to enable political reconciliation within the government in Baghdad by providing the space for this to occur.

Although there is no surge in Afghanistan yet, Iraq, like Afghanistan is suffering because we are indeed killing innocent civilians, though Palin rejects this notion:

Now, Barack Obama had said that all we’re doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians. And such a reckless, reckless comment and untrue comment, again, hurts our cause.

The statistics above speak for themselves. Also, Palin comes dangerously close to conflating Shi’a resistance fighters and al qa’eda:

We cannot afford to lose against al Qaeda and the Shia extremists who are still there, still fighting us, but we’re getting closer and closer to victory. And it would be a travesty if we quit now in Iraq.

Another sign she is way too uninformed on the issues, the history, the context. As much as Biden if this debate is any judge. But in spite of her pro-surge, pro-war mentality, Palin has a “passion for diplomacy” after a brief meeting with war criminal Henry Kissinger recently:

No and Dr. Henry Kissinger especially. I had a good conversation with him recently. And he shared with me his passion for diplomacy. And that’s what John McCain and I would engage in also. But again, with some of these dictators who hate America and hate what we stand for, with our freedoms, our democracy, our tolerance, our respect for women’s rights, those who would try to destroy what we stand for cannot be met with just sitting down on a presidential level as Barack Obama had said he would be willing to do. That is beyond bad judgment. That is dangerous.

In a word: delusional. (Also: notice her use of the word “also” throughout the debate: mostly incorrect, mostly contributing to the incomprehensible nature of her speaking.) The level of nausea I have to deal with to hear those Bushisms like those she quoted above. What democracy? What freedom? We cannot even have a real debate that includes all the candidates! What tolerance? The way we lock people up who are poor and brown as Randall Robinson puts it, a modern-day form of slavery:

The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world: two million people. The country with one-twentieth of the world’s population has one-fourth of those in prison. One out of every eight prisoners in the world is an African American. We are warehousing people as a profit to shareholders or for benefits to communities that get to host federal prisons. It is modern slavery. The whole future of America’s black community is at risk. One out of every three young black men in Washington, D.C., is under one arm or the other of the criminal justice system. These are the continuing consequences of slavery.

Or are we tolerant in our use of torture? Extraordinary rendition? Our occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq? Our recent invasions of Pakistan?

Just as Palin (and Biden) seems to be woefully clueless when it comes to historical matters affecting our current realities, Palin’s inability to comprehend the English language remains a huge stumbling block from me. If I hear the word “elite” one more time when people criticize her not only for her ridiculously inept style of speaking (her so-called “folksy” style which includes nail-on-the-chalkboard phrases like “darn right,” “you betcha,” “bless their hearts,” “near and dear to my heart,” “say it ain’t so Joe”) coupled with her inability to understand key questions or words thrown at her is appalling. It is not elite to be proficient in the English language, especially when you are running for such a high-profile position. Although people seem to be writing this morning about how well she performed (mostly due to low expectations), I saw one of her hallmark problems a number of times; that is, when she doesn’t understand a word or a question or when she doesn’t know the answer she fills her sentences with burdensome prepositional phrases that lead one to have no idea what she said or what she meant. Worse, I suspect she didn’t know what she meant as well. In a nutshell her use of prepositional phrases is whack. Here are just a couple of her grammatical errors, but there are numerous errors:

What I want to argue about is, how are we going to get there to positively affect the impacts?

But here, again, there have — there have been so many changes in the conditions of our economy in just even these past weeks that there has been more and more revelation made aware now to Americans about the corruption and the greed on Wall Street.

The way she spoke that phrase, I suspect she meant effect instead of affect. Also, her use of “impacts” shows that she cannot tell the difference between a noun and a verb. And what of the phrase “more and more revelation made aware now”? What does that even mean? Note to Palin: stringing more words together does not help you bulls*&^. Bulls*(&^%$# requires at least a little bit of knowledge–of both the language you’re speaking in and the subject matter.

Likewise, I think someone needs to tell Palin what a maverick is. John Nichols has a column today that talks about Biden defining the term in the midst of the debate because he, too, noticed her problem. The word “maverick,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary means:

an unorthodox or independent-minded person : a free-thinking maverick. a person who refuses to conform to a particular party or group

If you just listen to or read anything coming out of McCain or Palin’s mouth it will be clear that neither is a maverick. Nevertheless, Palin used the word 6 times as if to suggest that if she used it enough it would be true (that must be something she learned from her Zionist friends). But, unfortunately, I don’t think Palin got an English grammar lesson because when Biden explained maverick he did so indirectly and I don’t believe Palin is bright enough to infer from the context. Here is what Biden said about what a maverick is not:

He has not been a maverick in providing health care for people. He has voted against — he voted including another 3.6 million children in coverage of the existing health care plan, when he voted in the United States Senate.

He’s not been a maverick when it comes to education. He has not supported tax cuts and significant changes for people being able to send their kids to college.

He’s not been a maverick on the war. He’s not been a maverick on virtually anything that genuinely affects the things that people really talk about around their kitchen table.

Can we send — can we get Mom’s MRI? Can we send Mary back to school next semester? We can’t — we can’t make it. How are we going to heat the — heat the house this winter?

He voted against even providing for what they call LIHEAP, for assistance to people, with oil prices going through the roof in the winter.

So maverick he is not on the important, critical issues that affect people at that kitchen table.

On pronunciation I wonder if it would be possible to write in a new law in the Constitution requiring all elected officials to take elocution classes. In particular, I think they should have to learn how to say properly the names of countries and leaders around the world. For the love of god: you do not say “EYE-rack” or “EYE-ran” when talking about the countries Iraq and Iran. Here is how you pronounce them:

|iˈräk; iˈrak; īˈrak|

|iˈrän; iˈran; īˈran|

I actually hope that Palin doesn’t see that above pronunciation key, however, because I don’t know if she would understand enough about linguistics to decipher it.

The final question of the night, Ifill asked yet another question that Palin didn’t understand and so she dodged it:

Let’s talk conventional wisdom for a moment. The conventional wisdom, Governor Palin with you, is that your Achilles heel is that you lack experience. Your conventional wisdom against you is that your Achilles heel is that you lack discipline, Senator Biden. What id it really for you, Governor Palin? What is it really for you, Senator Biden? Start with you, governor.

Instead of discussion her weakenesses or flaws, she rambled on incoherently about her so-called experience (read: she talked about energy again). One of her so-called qualities that makes her qualified to be Vice President, and possibly President? She’s a mom. Since when does being a parent (a mother or a father for that matter) qualify one to lead a country? I much prefer Nader for this very reason: he’s not a parent and has devoted his life to public service instead of contributing to overpopulation and seeing his DNA reproduced. Palin tops off her response by demonstrating hubris, another word she proved she didn’t know when Charles Gibson interviewed her:

But even more important is that world view that I share with John McCain. That world view that says that America is a nation of exceptionalism. And we are to be that shining city on a hill, as President Reagan so beautifully said, that we are a beacon of hope and that we are unapologetic here. We are not perfect as a nation. But together, we represent a perfect ideal. And that is democracy and tolerance and freedom and equal rights. Those things that we stand for that can be put to good use as a force for good in this world.

There is no humility here. She said it herself: “we are unapologetic.” Is this leadership? If she wants to use her folksy wisdom here about families around the kitchen table: is this how families behave? No apologies? No humility? In fact what we need from leaders is exactly that: apologies, reparations. And, perhaps most important of all: a quest for justice–not just for Americans, but for all those nations in the world we have caused harm through our historic and current imperial endeavors.

One thought on “on deleting palestine and other debate observations

  1. As a student of Arabic, I am so sick of seeing the word “madrassa” tossed around the way it is.
    And don’t even get me started on “Eye-rack” and “Eye-ran”. “Eye-ran” is the past tense, first person of the verb [i]to run[/i], it is not the name of the modern state of Persia.

    I really like the points you made about language. Although seemingly minor, the fact that our politicians can’t even pronounce words properly or use them correctly shows the complete and utter disdain we have for certain cultures. Aside from being arrogant, that’s bad from a purely strategic viewpoint as well.

    I didn’t see the parts of the debate about Israel (I got too naused from what I did see), but it sounds like they were both falling over each other to declare their love for the American proxy state over there.

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