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Archive for September, 2012

“The Strongest Weapon”

President Obama addressed the anti-Mohammed hate video yesterday in his speech to the United Nations. I feel that he got the balance just about right.

Limits to Free Speech?

In defending the right to make a film insulting Mohammed, are Americans merely sticking up for our principles? Or are we picking and choosing?

We Are the 47%

“”All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims…. And they will vote for this president no matter what.”

“Beware the False Fury”

“This is a different season—this is the season of the Green Movement and the Arab Spring—do not be fooled by these zealotries of the fanatics who are trying to steal the revolution.”

Manipulation: A Case Study

Obama now faces a battle on two fronts: first, to calm things down in the Arab world before the protests spiral out of control; and second, to figure out how to deal with a virulent Islamophobic network at home that is doing all it can to stir up trouble.

Tragedy All Around

The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, is dead today. Photos taken by the attackers themselves show not an image of hardened fighters but a group of youths, exulting at what they had done. This only adds to the tragedy in my mind. Did they know they were responsible for the death of a man who had been working for their own freedom just a year before?

Netanyahu, Make My Day!

Get it over with, already. Attack Iran! Just don’t drag President Obama into it.

Do Kings Have “Special Legitimacy”?

The argument about the special legitimacy of kings is one often heard in Morocco, when explaining why Morocco has known comparatively little unrest since the Arab awakening began. However, the recent controversy over the bay’a, or ceremony of allegiance to the king, might be saying something different.

Elections Do Matter

The Romney campaign knows it can’t win without firing up white racial resentment on the one hand, and suppressing the turnout of poor and minority voters on the other. Their policies don’t have the support of the majority of the American people, so they have to tweak that majority. This makes me wonder: if nothing is at stake in this election, then why this willingness to win dirty?

Do Elections Matter?

All change is bound to hurt someone, and this in itself is a limit on the type of candidates we get, who are sponsored by two large political parties that aspire to represent the broad majority of American public opinion. But it does raise the question of whether elections serve any purpose at all.