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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 10:51 AM
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Change: The parallels between the Civil Rights Movement and Obama's candidacy
The American right wing and media are currently whipping themselves into a frenzy over comments by Barack Obamas former pastor Jeremy Wright.

Obama responded by giving a speech on race in America: "A More Perfect Union"

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Pattons Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. Ive gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the worlds poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

Like any other right wing attack there has to be a wedge issue that can be easily linked to the candidate. In this case it's race, which is being used to further the right wings attempt to portray liberals as angry anti-Americans who do not have the best interest of the country at heart. Challenging the patriotism of prominent leaders on the left emboldens the right. They can run on the issues from the at vantage point: liberals hate America. The ultimate goal is repairing the damage done to the conservative movement by the Bush presidency. This cannot be done without protecting the status quo. Obama's journey to front-runner status has been remarkable, but it's pretty clear that the right wing is being aided by forces on the left, those people who are resisting change at all cost.

The genesis of the swirling controversy surrounding Rev. Wright is political, its objective is to divide and conquer. The hope is that while the public sees Obama as a black man, the media can replay the anti-American comments by Rev. Wright, a black man, continuously emphasizing guilt by association. The distortion in public perception is that this is being driven exclusively by racism, but the right wing (RW) leaders and pundits continue to inject the subtext of anti-Americanism. In the general election, that subtext, not race, will be used to lay claim to the issues in the name of patriotism. If you doubt this assessment, here is what Newt Gingrich said about Rev. Wrights comments:

NEWT GINGRICH, FMR. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, I think there's a different set of problems. I think Senator Clinton can't very aggressively go after left wing anti-Americanism, because there are too many people in her own party who share it. I mean, if you look at what Senator Durbin of Illinois said a year ago, comparing the United States to Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union, and Pol Pots Cambodia. Don't underestimate how far -- how many people there are in the Democratic party's left wing, who secretly share and agree with Reverend Wright, but wouldn't say it as vividly and as enthusiastically but they say it.

And they say it and they say it regularly. Susan Sarandon said the United States has raped every part of the globe. I mean, these kind of comments are not, you know, uncommon on the hard-line anti-American hard left that has probably 10 or 15 percent of this country.

(emphasis added)

Does Gingrich actually believe that black men, including Obama, are anti-American (because that would be the case if this was really about race)?

What we have here is a situation in which race is being used to further the RW agenda and to resist the kind of transformational change that Obama represents.

At a recent gathering of progressives, Take Back America, March 17- 19, Washington, D.C., I listened in on a panel discussion, Progressive Movement in a Democratic Era: The Lessons of King and the Civil Rights Movement, featuring civil rights leaders Reverend Jessie Jackson, Roger Wilkins, and historian Taylor Branch.

Their discussion put into context the current political movement and attempts to marginalize African Americans for political gain.

Make no mistake, racism is a key element. In the current Democratic primary we've seen series of accusations akin to which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which campaign engaged in race-baiting first? It's an interesting question because its based on the premise that blacks are voting for Obama because he is black. Although it has been mentioned, no one is accusing women of voting for Hillary because shes a woman. In fact, some are demanding gender loyalty, even as they criticize blacks for similar behavior. The point is Obama didnt have the black vote locked up. That changed as questionable tactics began to be employed, that is, the shift happened for a reason.

Watching the Democratic primary being pulled in the direction of dirty political campaigning is painful, but the current RW frenzy, while expected, has taken on a life of its own, feeding racial stereotypes. Even more painful to watch is the confluence of synergies within the Democratic and Republican parties as the status quo protectors on each side try to derail a movement toward change and the candidacy of a black man.

Since the TBA panel discussion was about Martin Luther King, drawing a parallel between the reaction to the Civil Rights Movement and the Obama-led transformational movement has to begin with Hillarys comment. Roger Wilkins provided the historical perspective.

There is no way, I was in the government from 62 to 69, there is no way that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would have been drafted, the drafting completed in the fall of 63, and be sent up in the fall of 63, lying there...for President Johnson to use the (President Kennedy's) death as a rallying cry to pass that legislation, said Wilkins. There is no way that would have occurred, Senator Clinton said well, you can make all the great speeches in the world, but it takes a president to pass a law. The fact is that the march on Washington was a huge element in making that bill come into being.

Wilkins made the point using the before and after effects of the March on Washington, August 28, 1963, which was a turning point in the movement:

  • Official Washington was scared to death about the 275,000 people descending on the Mall.

  • The crowd, in a good mood, like a church picnic and responding beautifully and wonderfully, changed President Kennedy's mind. He agreed to meet with the event leaders.

Then, as it is now, there were two crusades putting pressure of the political system: a war of imperialism, Vietnam, and a movement for social change. One was being waged by the American government and the other by its citizens. One was going to break the will of a people and the other was going to lift up a nation.

As Taylor Branch said, Citizen's movements are not just vital...they are indispensable for change in America.

Its already been said that Obama is a black man, like Jessie Jackson, and that point has been reiterated again on the pages of the WSJ and by Rush Limbaugh.

And yet, in the end, Barack Obama's candidacy is not qualitatively different from Al Sharpton's or Jesse Jackson's. Like these more irascible of his forbearers, Mr. Obama's run at the presidency is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on substance. Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson were "challengers," not bargainers. They intimidated whites and demanded, in the name of historical justice, that they be brought forward. Mr. Obama flatters whites, grants them racial innocence, and hopes to ascend on the back of their gratitude. Two sides of the same coin.


(emphasis added)

Qualitatively, there's hardly a difference between Jackson or Sharpton or Obama. For example, like both of them, "Mr. Obama's run at the presidency is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on substance. Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson were 'challengers,' not bargainers. They intimidated whites and demanded, in the name of historical justice, that they be brought forward. Mr. Obama flatters whites, grants them racial innocence, and hopes to ascend on the back of their gratitude. Two sides of the same coin." Barack makes whites feel good; Jackson and Sharpton did not, but his association with Reverend Wright now threatens this. The association with Reverend Wright has de-masked Obama, and now the speech today has taken him away from this transcendent on race position to a candidate of race.


(emphasis added)

RW alert: White Americans are being duped by black men!

Does anyone care who Rev. Jackson is? What does he have to do with Obama? What does he have to do with Dr. King? What does he have to do with change?

No one cared who Jeremy Wright was before they launched a smear campaign to most destroy his reputation.

I suspect these same rabid RW partisans, who accuse Jessie Jackson of the manipulation of white guilt, would have claimed Americans were being duped by Dr. King.

Since I am a preacher by trade, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision.* There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor -- both black and white -- through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated, as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So, I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years -- especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

For those who ask the question, "Aren't you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself until the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath --
America will be!

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.


They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence *in 1954* -- in 1945 *rather* -- after a combined French and Japanese occupation and before the communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony. Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not ready for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination and a government that had been established not by China -- for whom the Vietnamese have no great love -- but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.

For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam. Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization.

Ten days before his assassination, Dr. King spoke to an assembly of rabbis about The evil of racism:

Racism is no mere American phenomenon. Its vicious grasp knows no geographical boundaries. In fact, racism and its perennial allyeconomic exploitationprovide the key to understanding most of the international complications of this generation.

The classic example of organized and institutionalized racism is the Union of South Africa. Its national policy and practice are the incarnation of the doctrine of white supremacy in the midst of a population which is overwhelmingly black. But the tragedy of South Africa is not simply in its own policy; it is the fact that the racist government of South Africa is virtually made possible by the economic policies of the United States and Great Britain, two countries which profess to be the moral bastions of our Western world.

In country after country we see white men building empires on the sweat and suffering of colored people. Portugal continues its practices of slave labor and subjugation in Angola; the Ian Smith government in Rhodesia continues to enjoy the support of British-based industry and private capital, despite the stated opposition of British Government policy. Even in the case of the little country of South West Africa we find the powerful nations of the world incapable of taking a moral position against South Africa, though the smaller country is under the trusteeship of the United Nations. Its policies are controlled by South Africa and its manpower is lured into the mines under slave-labor conditions.

Dr. King spoke about "The scourge of poverty":

The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty. The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled and feed the unfed. The well-off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. The poor in our countries have been shut out of our minds, and driven from the mainstream of our societies, because we have allowed them to become invisible. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for "the least of these."

D. King spoke about "Finding an alternative to war":

So when in this day I see the leaders of nations again talking peace while preparing for war, I take fearful pause. When I see our country today intervening in what is basically a civil war, mutilating hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese children with napalm, burning villages and rice fields at random, painting the valleys of that small Asian country red with human blood, leaving broken bodies in countless ditches and sending home half-men, mutilated mentally and physically; when I see the unwillingness of our government to create the atmosphere for a negotiated settlement of this awful conflict by halting bombings in the North and agreeing unequivocally to talk with the Vietcongand all this in the name of pursuing the goal of peaceI tremble for our world. I do so not only from dire recall of the nightmares wreaked in the wars of yesterday, but also from dreadful realization of todays possible nuclear destructiveness and tomorrows even more calamitous prospects.

On the international stage, where American policies have caused so much hurt and disenfranchisement, race matters! Dr. King knew it. Robert F. Kennedy pondered it in his piece, Suppose God is Black, Look Magazine, August 23, 1966.

As Senator John Kerry said in a recent interview:

It would be such an affirmation of who we say we are as a people if we can elect an African American president, a young leader who is obviously a visionary and got an ability to inspire people, Kerry said. It will give us an ability to talk to those countries, to in some cases go around their dictator leaders to the people and inspire the people in ways that we cant otherwise.

The Massachusetts senator said Obama has an ability to perhaps even empower moderate Islam to be able to stand up against the racial misinterpretation of a legitimate religion. Asked by a reporter what gave Obama the credibility to do so, Kerry said, Because hes African American. Because hes a black man, who has come from a place of oppression and repression through the years in our own country. We only broke the back of civil rights, Jim Crow, in the 1960s here. Everybody in the world knows this is a recent journey for America too. And everybody still knows that issues of skin and discrimination still exist.

More from the original Kerry interview:

But more than that, said Sen. Kerry, leaders of Middle Eastern nations have expressed to him keen interest in the possibility that a black man could be elected president of the United States. "Their leaders are intrigued, he said. One of them, who Sen. Kerry did not identify, asked him, "Can you people really do this in America?"

"It would be an affirmation of who we are as a people," he said.

"It would give us an ability to talk to those countries," he said, adding that it might also enable the U.S. go "around their leaders and talk to the people" in places such as Iran where there is pro-American sentiment among the population but not among the leadership.

Should Hillary Clinton be elected, he said, it would also be a watershed moment. "Both of them break ceilings," he said. But despite the opportunity to elect a woman, he said, "I have a wife and two daughters, and all three of them are for Barack Obama."

Video Kerry on Obama

The challenge in trying to get beyond race is that it has to be confronted, but too often the confrontation is forced and disingenuous. This is one of those times, but it doesn't have to be.

The Wright controversy provided the impetus for Obama to deliver a historic speech on race. The controversy is forcing America to reexamine how far it has come and how much still needs to be done to bridge the racial divide.

If there is an irony in Obamas candidacy its this: coming off an election marked by historic levels of vote suppression and African American disenfranchisement, its fascinating to envision that Bushs successor will be Americas first black president.

This is one of those opportunities, and people desperate for change must grab it. That was the point of the TBA panel.

When the Selma bridge happened on March 7, Dr. King that night called for people all over America to come and march, not in a month, but two days later, said Branch. In that two days, you see what we are talking about here about the relationship between a movement and the government. The whole Selma movement was a petition to the government, just like the whole movement was. We will live out our dream meaning of the American creed through the American government and we're petitioning it to happen.

It did not happen without resistance. Johnson sent John Doar to get Dr. King to wait. He had a federal judge order Dr. King to wait. He had legislatures from the Senate and the House say we'll get a bill if you will wait, said Branch

Dr. King the philosopher was both prophet and politician, Jackson explained. He was not disconnected from the prophetic urgency of now and the process of political change.

Rev. Jackson said that in 1964, Dr. King campaigned vigorously for Lyndon Johnson because the alternative was Barry Goldwater. I wonder where Goldwater girl Hillary was on civil rights at that moment. Speaking of Hillary, Rev. Jackson said her comments about LBJ and MLK were sound bites, impying that the context of reality of events was lost! It took a combination of litigation led by the Thurgood Marshallsthe demonstration and the legislation, and King had that broad view, said Rev. Jackson.

"Dr. King started down the road of attacking the war, and stopped to reconsidered because he knew the weight of taking the country on in a popular war and your patriotism being challenged," said Rev. Jackson. "Guys like Julian Bond did not stop. Julian won his Senate seat and was not seated in the Georgia state legislature. Then Dr. King finally gave his April 4, 1967 speech and gave his seven reasons why he was against the war in Vietnam."

Dr. King had high hopes for the war on poverty, Branch added, and the budget for that was being diminished for the war in Vietnam.

Branch, who spoke about the events of Selma as they paralleled events of the Vietnam war, said, "Do not think that wars carried out a long way from here are not having a devastating impact on our country.

Its no secret the war devastated Vietnam and divide America. On the other hand, the Civil Rights Movement changed history far more broadly than we give credit. Branch equated it to our time and the Iraq war, adding that America needs another citizens' movement that understands the relationships of those working in the courts, legislature, presidency and on the street.

His point about the broad impact of the Civil Rights movement struck at the heart of how it came to be that the RW could successfully get away with comparing Jackson to Obama with the emphasis being negative. While the Civil Rights Movement is held up a defining moment for blacks, its leaders and those who have picked up its mantle for change, have yet to lay claim to the benefits of history that the Civil Rights Movement brought, said Branch.

He began with the 2000 years of rabbinic Judaism, saying it had only been a joke to have a female Rabbi until the Civil Rights Movement put the notion of equal soles and equal votes in people's mind. He continued:

  • We didn't lay claim to it because we were exhausted and tired and because the government that finally recognized this movement was the same one that went straight to Vietnam.

  • The country as a whole in still racial driven and is not ready to recognize that a movement led by African Americans fundamentally redeemed America across the board.

  • We are still not ready to see Martin Luther King and Jesse Jackson in the same mantle with Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson as people who confronted hierarchy and created freedom, set in motion equal citizenship, and until we see the movement people as founders, then we are going to try to diminish it.

  • There are some people in a wounded and unrecognized movement who are afraid that if you lay claim to its full breadth benefit to the world, from South Africa to Tienman singing We Shall Overcome when the Berlin Wall came down. We should be laying claim to that as the fruit of hope and victory of a movement.

The Civil Rights Movement lays claim to:

There was also the Poor People's Campaign, which never got off the ground because Dr. King was assassinated.

The fight against poverty is in focus again.

Rev. Jackson picked up on a point Branch made about running away from the word "liberal."

The idea of America is liberal. The idea of the land where people can come and on generation change languages, and go from poverty to president. The idea of give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of the invitation," said Rev. Jackson. The idea of universal education and equal opportunity, equal protection under the law. The idea that there is no royal blood.

When the RW reacts to change and puts a woman on the Supreme Court, that's a claim for Selma too, Rev. Jackson added.

The RW will readily accept that Reagan changed the Supreme Court by appointing Sandra Day OConnor as the first woman justice, but there is no doubt they want Americans to believe that this happened independent of the Civil Rights Movement.

Speaking of Reagan, its almost certain Jesse Jackson role as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement mattered more when he was tapped as an international hostage negotiator by Presidents Reagan and Clinton, than did the characterization by the RW of him as part of the anti-American left. It's certain that the qualifications for such a role wasnt manipulator of white guilt.

So what does all this mean: Change is coming whether or not you participate, approve or actively attempt to derail it.

You can watch the TBA program here.

As the movement around Obama's candidacy builds, the world is watching.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. Barack Obama: The Cost of War
Edited on Fri Mar-21-08 11:19 AM by ProSense
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 11:22 AM
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2. Thank-you Prosense.
You consistently provide us with OUTSTANDING research.

Prosense :yourock: :hi:
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Thanks!
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
3. K & R
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Thanks!
The nasty attempts to spin this should not be ignore!
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. You're welcome.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. Obama Fever in Europe
March 21, 2008, 11:17 am

Obama Fever in Europe

By Katrin Bennhold

If Renaud Bombard, the head of the French publishing house Presses de la Cit, had planned the timing of Senator Barack Obamas much celebrated speech on race and religion himself, he could hardly have done better.

On Thursday, two days after a speech that is being widely read and viewed in Europe, Presses de la Cit released the French translation of Mr. Obamas best-selling memoir, Dreams From my Father. It appeared in German bookstores the same day, after being published in Italy last November.

The hype surrounding his speech this week was quite something, Mr. Bombard said in a telephone interview on Thursday. Obviously thats great news for the book.

The fact that a black man may become the Democratic presidential candidate has intrigued Europeans at a time when such a prospect still seems far off in most countries on the Continent.


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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 01:29 PM
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7. Obama ad:
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Democrafty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 02:06 PM
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8. K & R for another excellent post! n/t
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ms liberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 02:30 PM
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9. KR&B - excellent research and links, ProSense! n/t
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 04:14 PM
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10. Updated and posted
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 04:29 PM
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11. Damn you do great wore ProSense!
thanks for all the information you have provided!
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks

Great session at TBA, well worth watching.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-27-08 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
23. Thanks. Some people need to become informed. n/t
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
14. And of course what was not said is that we can only hope that there are not too many parallels
Thank you.
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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 07:40 PM
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15. K&R
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 07:42 PM
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16. This is amazing work!
Prosense, you post some of the most well-researched and well-reasoned stuff on DU. Thanks for all this information. I will be sure to watch that panel that you saw, after this recommendation.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-22-08 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. Thanks! n/t
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blonndee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 07:53 PM
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17. K&R!!
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-22-08 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
19. Illustrating Kerry's point:

Obamas Race Speech and the Middle East

Posted by Shawn Brimley

A shout-out to fellow Democracy blogger Shadi for an excellent piece in today's Washington Post on Senator Obama's speech on race and what it could mean for the Middle East. Two of many great passages:

"We can call these people enemies and say they are lost to us. It would be easy, because these views are indeed reprehensible. Or we can articulate a new strategy, one which, without condoning violence, acknowledges their grievances and their very real sense of being wronged by history. We can seek to better understand why the Middle East has become a graveyard of shattered hopes and an open wound that threatens world security. And we can work to address the unacceptable fact that, while much of the rest of the world moves forward, many Arab and Muslim populations live in economic misery under brutal autocratic regimes -- many of which the U.S. supports with foreign aid."

"On Tuesday, watching his speech from Jordan, I felt for the first time in a while that we could begin coming to terms with the past and accounting for the injustices committed against those at home, and those abroad, who are waiting to see what America will do next."

Millions of Americans regardless of political affiliation were very impressed by the speech, and congrats to Shadi on explaining how and why what we say to each other here at home can help us abroad.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-22-08 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
20. Obama comments on the Taiwanese election

Obama Statement Congratulating Taiwanese President-Elect Ma Ying-Jeou

CHICAGO, IL Senator Barack Obama issued the following statement on the results of Taiwans Presidential election:

On March 22, the people of Taiwan went to the polls for the fourth time in 12 years to elect their President. I offer my congratulations to President-elect Ma for his victory, and best wishes for his presidency.

The people of Taiwan deserve our respect and admiration for this free and fair election, which is just the latest step in consolidating a democracy that has advanced over the last two decades. I hope the Peoples Republic of China responds to this election in a positive, constructive, and forward-leaning way. It is important for Beijing to demonstrate to the people of Taiwan that the practical and non-confrontational approach that President-elect Ma promises to take toward the Mainland will be met with good faith and progress. The PRC should reduce the military threat to Taiwan by drawing back the missiles it has deployed in southeast China and by other security confidence-building measures. And on issues such as Taiwans observer status in the World Health Organization, where the health of all Chinese people is at stake, it should allow Taiwan greater international space.

The United States should respond to Ma Ying-jeous election by rebuilding a relationship of trust and support for Taiwans democracy. The U.S. should reopen blocked channels of communication with Taiwan officials. We should continue to provide the arms necessary for Taiwan to deter possible aggression. And we should encourage both Taipei and Beijing to build commercial, cultural, and other ties, laying the groundwork for a closer relationship and ultimately movement toward resolution of their differences. We should maintain our one China policy, our adherence to the three U.S.-PRC Joint Communiques concerning Taiwan, and observance of the Taiwan Relations Act, which lays out the legal basis for our relationship.

March 22nd was a good day for the people of Taiwan, for the forces of democracy around the world, and for peace and stability in the western Pacific. I will do all that I can to support Taiwans democracy in the years ahead.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-25-08 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
21. Yep. She goes there.
Edited on Tue Mar-25-08 01:13 PM by ProSense
Yep. She goes there.

Why is Hillary ignoring her own past with Wright and pretending to be ignorant of the facts, here and here?

Puts the MLK comment in context!

Hillary has decided that reopening wounds that haven't full healed is less important than securing a win, no matter how improbable.

Hillary first, divide and conquer.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-26-08 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
22. Given her attacks on Wright, maybe
Hillary, the Goldwater girl, didn't learn anything from the Civil Rights Movement.

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