Vote 2008

Melanie Phillips and the droolers

After reading and hearing the likes of Ralph Nader and Alexander Cockburn excoriating Barack Obama for his alleged anti-Arab bias and aggressive military intentions, it’s like entering an alternate universe to read Melanie Phillips’s anti-Obama screed in The Spectator.

Under the alarming headline Is America really going to do this?, Phillips writes of a “fear that, if [Obama] wins, US defences will be emasculated at a time of unprecedented international peril and the enemies of America and the free world will seize their opportunity to destroy the west.”

She bases her fear of this apocalyptic result on a handful of quotes from people allegedly close to Obama, a few out-of-context quotes from the candidate himself and a series of flat-out phony assertions: “Obama tells the world he is ashamed of America… Obama thinks world conflicts are basically the west’s fault… For Obama, however, the real source of evil in the world is America. The evil represented by Iran and the Islamic jihadists is apparently all America’s fault… Obama dismisses the threat from Islamism… [He] thinks Israel is instead the source of Arab and Muslim aggression against the west… etc. etc. etc.”

In at least one way– his assertion of a right to attack al-Qaeda in Pakistan whether the government there likes it or not– Obama has proved himself more willing than McCain to confront jihadists.

If I wanted to use Phillips’s technique, I could assert that, because John McCain has welcomed the endorsement of James Baker, McCain’s support for Israel and his attitude toward American Jews are suspect. It was Baker who as GHW Bush’s secretary of state said (in a discussion of US policy toward Israel): “Fuck the Jews– they didn’t vote for us anyway.”

Phillips concludes:

There are, alas, many in the west for whom all this is music to their ears. Whether through wickedness, ideology, stupidity or derangement, they firmly believe that the ultimate source of conflict in the world derives at root from America and Israel, whose societies, culture and values they want to see emasculated or destroyed altogether. They are drooling at the prospect that an Obama presidency will bring that about. The rest of us can’t sleep at night.

Please, Melanie; provide us with a list of these alleged droolers. The more the better. And try to get some sleep.

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