Feb 5, 2008

Islam's Battle For The White House

In an article entitled "World Captivated By US Presidential Race", William J. Kole with the Associated Press writes that a mantra for "transformational change" is resonating across the rest of a planet desperate for a fresh start. And while Barack Obama is the candidate generating most of the buzz abroad, Kole interestingly enough, makes no mention of Obama's popularity here in Southeast Asia. Instead Kole focuses mainly on Obama's popularity in Europe and Japan. One might consider that omission a bit strange considering the fact that Obama spent his childhood years growing up in Indonesia. But make no doubt about it, the "transformational change" is already happening here.

Almost a year ago, in an unprecedented and strongly worded foray into US politics, Australia's Prime Minister John Howard said an Obama victory in the presidential election would be disastrous for the war on terrorism. John Howard went on to state that if Barack Obama wins "Al Qaeda will trumpet it as the greatest victory they've ever had, and that will have implications in our region because of the link between Al Qaeda and JI (Jemaah Islamiyah)."

For those who believe that Barack Obama's campaign promise to "put an end to the war in Iraq" and to let our adversaries know that "we are willing to come to the table" will have the desired effect, they need look no farther than Australia.

Last December, Kevin Rudd defeated John Howard on a campaign promise to withdraw Australia's troops from Iraq, a platform now embraced by Barack Obama who has promised to withdraw US troops from Iraq.

Al Qaeda linked insurgency groups in the Middle East and here in Southeast Asia wasted no time in declaring John Howard's loss to Kevin Rudd as a major victory declaring that they have "shot down the crusader Howard". Accused of "fleeing like a cornered mouse", Kevin Rudd's Iraq policy has lent credence to Roosevelt's eternal aphorism that - "No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb and that we can only have peace with Al Qaeda at the price of total surrender.

An Obama victory in the US presidential elections will be disastrous for the war on terrorism and the mere prospects of that becoming a reality have already begun to raise red flags here in Southeast Asia. To say that Obama is popular among Muslims in Southeast Asia would be an understatement. Almost all Indonesians see Barack Hussein Obama as one of their brethren. His childhood in Indonesia, his Muslim heritage, his Muslim name, his black hair and brown eyes, his opposition to the War in Iraq and his sympathy towards the cause of Muslims around the world convinces Indonesians that Obama is one of their own. For Indonesians it is simple, if he walks like a Muslim and talks like a Muslim, then he is a Muslim.

The results from my own empirical research on Obama's popularity over here are disturbing to say the least. Of over 100 Muslims interviewed from both Indonesia and Malaysia who had an opinion in the US presidential election, only two individuals chose Hillary Clinton over Obama.

Not only is Obama popular though, but his popularity transcends the theological divide between the moderates and the extremists and thus provides a focal point of unity for the two groups. It is this "focal point of unity" which has the dangerous potential to inhibit any further attempts to ostracize the extremist elements and as such thwart our efforts at deradicalization. It's one thing to be known as a uniter, it's another when you are uniting the very individuals that we are trying to isolate and ostracize.

To suitably prejudiced Indonesians Obama's pledge to "rid the American mind-set of militarism" substantiates the position of the Islamic militants by rekindling the prophecies of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. That America is a decadent and vile ogre, bloodied with the guilt of imperialism and inescapably tainted by an anti-Islamic history. It is this symbolically violent imagery that Indonesia's fundamentalist orators will use to radicalize a new contingent of militants from the ranks of Islam's moderates. Individuals who are mesmerized by the phantasmagorical image of one of their own now inhabiting the White House and who will see it as a sign of America's impending submission and our nation's acquiescence to the superiority of Islam.

To put things into perspective, imagine if you will that in 1945 a war-weary America had elected Harry S. Yamamoto as president. An inexperienced and young president who's campaign promise was to "put an end to the war in Pacific" and to let our adversaries know that "we are willing to come to the table". What would be the reaction in Japan?

Unprecedented as it might have been there are those of us here in Southeast Asia who see the prescience and veracity in John Howard's ominous warning.

Related Posts

Defeating Islamic Extremism 101.


  1. It's a simple question folks.

  2. I'm glad you left our country. Please don't come back. Perhaps you coudl go work on John Howard's farm. We'll be here in the States working on repairing the severe damage done by George Bush, the worst President since Carter.

    You have the reasoning power of a simpleton.

  3. Now what does that say when you find yourself having to resort to name-calling and ad hominem attacks?

  4. It's a valid question and the answer is obvious.

    We would never had elected or considered electing an individual who had such a background and ties to our enemies (either an Adolf Rittmeyer, or a Huriaki Yamamoto) in World War II as Barack Hussein Obama has to Islam.

    It would be a foolish risk in a time of war against fanatics that we could never have countenanced.

    Here are 13 true facts about Barack Hussein Obama that everyone should research on their own:

    1) Islamic father.
    2) Islamic step-father who sent him to islamic schools.
    3) Admitted marijuana and cocain user.
    4) Admitted friend to weathermen underground domestic terrorists.
    5) Opposed bill in Illinois outlawing live birth abortions.
    6) Traveled to Kenya in 2006 and supported a fundamental islamic candidate for that country.
    7) Has a preacher whom, he will not seperate from who has given a life-time achievement award to NAtion of Ilsam leader Louis Farakahn.
    8) Has been endorsed for President by Nation of Ilsam leader, Louis Farakhan.
    9) Rated most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2006 and 2007.
    10) Would precipitously and immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq, snatching victory in exchange for defeat.
    11) Would pick extremely liberal activist judges for the Supreme Court.
    12) Believes wearing an American Flag on his lapel is "false" partiotism.
    13) Would negotiate, without condition, with the most vile terrorist leaders in the world.

    I know those caught up in his current super-star mold will scoff at all of this...but that does not change the truth of it.

    Thanks for your care and for your opinions and thoughts.

    Particularly coming from that part of the world, they are much appreciated.

  5. Thank you for posting this important view from another corner of the world.

    I myself was taught that if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all. I can actually find several positive things to say about Barack Hussein Obama.

    He is young, handsome and inspiring. He is articulate, intelligent and an extraordinary public speaker. He is quick-witted and able to respond without benefit of a speechwriter. He has the ability to motivate young people and a surprising spectrum of undecided voters, even jaded Republicans. He looks and sounds Presidential. He transcends race, although black voters overwhelmingly choose him for understandable reasons. He is a pretty nice guy and a fresh face. He embodies Change.

    I love listening to his oratory, but I know enough about Obama to know that he is the WRONG sort of change for this country. I don't think he even realizes the consequences of his own election. Radical Islamists, the Nation of Islam, racist Afrocentrists and violent protesters from eco-terrorists to communists would see his "change" mantra as an opportunity to go, go, go. We may wake up one morning and find that "change" has bitten us in the ass.

    Once again, thanks for your perspective, it is spot on.

  6. I'm astonished at the absurdity of this comparison and its racist overtones. I'm even more astonished by how many commenters seem to have taken it seriously. The historical analogy that seems to follow is a proposition that we inter in concentration camps everyone with even a vague muslim background. After all, even if only a tiny percent of worldwide practitioners of the muslim faith are terrorists or otherwise criminally-inclined, there are 1.7 billion people that can't be trusted, right? Isn't that the crux of your logic?

    I don't understand what sustains the Obama paranoia on conservative sites and blogs such as this. It seems to be such a failure of reason, even if one does persist in hating or fearing muslims in general, because there's just no evidence that I've seen that he was ever muslim. There are rumors, innuendo, and a great deal of hyper-fretful speculation. The notion that he's some kind of secret muslim, that he's hid it successfully for all his years in politics, in this age of media. . . this is tinfoil hat stuff. And I love a good conspiracy theory. But please.

    If there's an issue with Obama's religion at all I submit that perhaps he's exaggerated the degree to which he's religious at all. His mother was evidently an atheist and a student of cultural anthropology (not an "islamophile," whatever that means). His past writings reveal a pretty secular worldview and his Christianity is admittedly "non-dogmatic." He's certainly not a Christian in the mold of America;s evangelical Bible-thumpers.

    I can see from the links on the right that we're not exactly on the same end of the political spectrum. But bear with me. There's a larger and more important issue here. The hysterical fear of Obama's alleged muslim past by some belies the larger frame within which they view the United States' current struggle. They think that our so-called "war on terror" is a war against all Islam, that the Muslim countries represent a global threat akin to Fascism or Communism and that only unlimited might on the part of the US military will deliver us from this threat. Well, the facts show that the current US foreign policy is a disaster. I love my country but she's killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims so far, most of them in a country that didn't attack us, and we're certainly not safer for it. Several NIEs in the last couple of years have confirmed that the Bush Administration's response to 9/11, especially the invasion of Iraq, has worsened the terrorist threat. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda regroups and the many of the perpetrators of that monstrous crime elude us. Where's Osama? Bush has said he "doesn't spend much time on it."

    Obama's foreign policy plan has promised a more aggressive targeting of the Qaeda network and its leaders and a greater focus on Afghanistan and gradual disengagement from Iraq, not the precipitous and sudden withdrawal that the commenter above suggests. (Jeff Head also says that Obama "Would negotiate, without condition, with the most vile terrorist leaders in the world." That's ridiculous. Obama has simply said that not talking to our adversaries in the region is getting us nowhere.)

    America's current situation is nothing like World War II. Maybe it's tempting for some to view it in such easily familiar, sentimental terms. But looking at the "war on terror" in this way is dangerous. The more we make this a war against all Islam, the more Muslims will want to make war on us. (Or do they just "hate us for our freedoms?") We've been led for 8 years by warmongers and sycophants and fools and war profiteers. Americans want change.

  7. I am an american who lived in NYC most of her life. I lived there when Dinkins, the first and only black man was mayor. He was a racist and alined himself with people like Farakan, Sharpton & jackson - all racists haters of whitie. Dinkins had 4 years and then he was cast out of office - thankfully not to serve another 4 years.

    It was told to an american reporter in 2004 that Al-quida would get a Muslim American into the American White House as president in 2009. Barack Hussain Obama is that man. He has been cultivated as the Manchurian Candidate for years before he was to become a US Senator. I urge the people of the US NOT TO VOTE FOR OBAMA - it is a vote in the wrong direction - McCain is not a great choice either but at least he is an AMERICAN - and WHITE. We cannot have a black president who's background is Muslim, the very people who we are fighting against abroad.


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