Obama-To Hijab or Not To Hijab

June 5, 2009

It should have been Hillary giving the speech, but it wasn’t.

ObaJunk on sale Egypt

ObaJunk on sale Egypt

But Uh Oh.  Looks like the Middle East is getting misty eyed over the same Obama speechifyin’ rope-a-dope  and pretend fire walking  American progressives are now used to.  From Alarabiya:

President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt is met in the Arab world with unprecedented wave of optimism and hope bordering on the fantasy and the ridiculous.

Does this BBC video mean at least somebody noticed the symbolic, short on solutions sophistry that’s Obie’s stock in trade?

Obama Aida size spectacle

Obama Aida size spectacle

On the way to deliver his umpteenth Lincolnesque, fanfared, speech-of-a-lifetime  with a backdrop resembling the elephant scene in the opera Aida, PrezObama stopped off in Saudi and Egypt, two of the Middle East’s most repressive regimes, and made  sure the speech porridge was just right for the decapitation King O’Oil Abdullah and President-for-life, Mubar-the-rack.  As a result of the friendly chat, he wiped his speech clean of all references to democracy, freedom, rule of law, human rights or women’s rights, all touchy subjects to our allies in that part of the world.

In case you missed it, here’s the text of the speech:

Blablablablablabla, Palestine,blablabla,Israel,blablablablablabla,rockets,blablabla, settlements. More blablabla defending Muslim rights,blablabla.

Then he came to his 6th (yup most important) point.  The right of women everywhere to wear the hijab, a scarf-like covering for the “hair”, required in Taliban country for keeping a woman’s head attached to the neck.  This topic, and the right of Muslim women to not be discriminated against in America was something every woman was hoping he would take a courageous stand on.  Brave words, Obama.

Hillary and Obie in Cairo

Hillary and Obie in Cairo

The Feminist Majority thought so.  They called his speech “revolutionary”.  Check out his pose, Hillary behind him in the approved hijab in the midst of a day-glo (vagina) pink frame.  For chrissakes, what is this picture telling us?!  Co-optation is good! See Hillary!

Again, he stepped out on thin ice to propose enough education for girls;enough so that they can count the change when purchasing a cow or a Kalashnikov, and for their privileges to remain in traditionally (oppressed) “female” roles without feeling the yoke of their Western sisters‘ scorn.  Yay, Obie, you really understand the tiny, minuscule aspirations of half of the world’s population!  And you can expertly play the divide and conquer game.  Jeezuz! Let’s stop bickering over petty bullshit like women’s rights and get on with the business of business.

Clearly, women’s liberty, for Obie, is wrapped up (no pun intended) in the hijab.  The hijab-the must have accessory for the high fashion Muslim female with nothing but time on her hands. It’s just a scarf, after all.  Something women wear to cover their hair, like if it’s windy or maybe they’re  driving their pink convertible  burkas down the road to Mecca, rocking out……

He alluded to Benazir BhuttoShe wore a hijab and only a BULLET stopped her from becoming once and future prime minister of Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto_image

PrezOdumbass swore he would go all the way to the supreme court to defend a woman’s right to wear one unless the wearer is parked in the picture at one of his rallies.

from the Detroit Press 6/19/08:

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign apologized Wednesday after volunteers asked two Muslim women not to stand or sit behind the candidate at a rally in Detroit this week out of concerns about the appearance of traditional Muslim dress in published and broadcast visuals of the events.

Wow.  He didn’t want an hijab within a hundred yards of him.  Someone might think he’s a Muslim.  Ouch.

But he wouldn’t cross the room to protect a woman, from a beheading, a bombing or a burial alive.

Women, our movement is over unless we take it back from these assholes.

Way to go, BO.

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It’s All About Oil.

March 29, 2009

To quote the French:  The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Change you can believe in.

On January 28, 2009, Obama appointee, retired 4 star Admiral Dennis Blair was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Director of National Intelligence.  The DNI chief reports directly to the president and defense department chief and co-ordinates all other national intelligence agencies. It prepares the National Defense Estimate annual report to congress.  The office of DNI was created by the Bush administration in response to the 9/11 attacks.

Admiral Blair has an impressive resume: Rhodes Scholar, Russian speaker, attended East-West Center at the University of  Hawaii in 1968, former Commander-in -Chief of U.S. Pacific Command:

PACOM area of responsibility

PACOM area of responsibility

From 2003 to 2007, Blair was president of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a nonprofit corporation that manages federally funded national security research and development centers. He stepped down in the face of concerns that his positions on the boards of major defense contractors presented a conflict of interest.

Excerpt from article by

Author:
Joanna Klonsky, Associate Editor

updated: February 9, 2009

Dennis Blair

Retired four-star Admiral Dennis C. Blair is President Obama’s director of national intelligence (DNI)–confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 28, 2009. Blair, a thirty-four-year Navy veteran, is the former commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific Command.

He also served as associate director of central intelligence for military support, coordinating intelligence and military operations under the Clinton administration. He was director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, and commanded the Kitty Hawk Strike Group aircraft carrier and the destroyer Cochrane.

Admiral Blair advised congress in 1999 that U.S.-Indonesian  military co-ordination should be resumed. The above article does not mention that Admiral Blair’s 1999 advice came  just one day after the outbreak of an Indonesian Army massacre of civilians in Dili, East Timor.  Blair has contended that he was not aware of the Indonesian army’s  massacre, although evidence has been produced indicating that he did.  The army killings in Dili increased after the congressional approval of the new pact.  What is clear is that for some time the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have had a cordial relationship with Indonesia’s murderous dictators.

The massacre in Dili was about oil.

USPACCOM unified command

The top U.S. officer in the Pacific (unidentified, not Blair) met with Indonesia's president to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the region and applaud Indonesia’s role in security initiatives.

Blair Senate Appearance.

In a 2007 appearance before the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation,  retired admiral Dennis Blair urged the U.S. to pursue increased automobile mileage efficiency among the major auto makers in order to relieve stress on the military in the security of oil supplies.

Blair clearly emphasizes, throughout his senate testimony, that a large part of U.S. military commitment in the Pacific theater and Central Asia and the Middle East is the protection and preservation of energy (oil, natural gas) supplies.  In my post of March 1, 2009 I noted that the U.S. interest in Afghanistan and support of the Taliban throughout Afghanistan’s war with the invading Soviet Union  (which began in 1979-1980), included  an interest in extending an oil pipeline connecting the Middle East and Asia.  An effort to build the pipeline with the aid of trained Taliban workers was discontinued due to pressure from American feminist groups over the Taliban’s treatment of women.  Unocal attempted to take over the pipeline project from the U.S. Government but dropped the proposal.

It’s about oil.

Here’s an excerpt from Dennis Blair’s committee presentation:

In the late 1970s two serious threats to Persian Gulf oil were identified by the Carter Administration, which became seized by the issue. The first was a potential Soviet invasion from the north into the oil regions around the Gulf, a concern heightened by the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The second was an aggressive and fundamentalist Iran, which was led by a regime that had permitted and then exploited the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran. In response, the department of defense created the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, the RDJTF, a planning headquarters and contingency force that could quickly deploy to the Gulf to defeat a major land invasion.  In 1983 as part of its general military build up against the Soviet Union, the Reagan administration upgraded this task force to a regional command like the European Command and the Pacific Command, where I served and where I ultimately commanded. So this Central Command had full time responsibility for U.S. interests in the region.

U.S. interests in the region – does that mean oil?

This article has an interesting timeline of events for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.  I can’t vouch for all the facts but it is tantalizing.

Obama plans to send 17,000 additional troops into Afghanistan to beef up the “war on terror”.  Along with this change comes an offer by his administration to “negotiate” with the “moderate” factions of the Taliban.  Thus Obama can argue that he will have two options for bringing peace to Afghanistan, a carrot and stick approach, if you will:  more troops and more bombing, or a settlement of differences.  In addition to bringing peace, the carrot and stick will also help build a new pipeline.  I doubt that feminist groups  this time will be able to stand in the way of the pipeline — not under a “progressive, feminist friendly” president.

Recall Ann Dunham Soetoro’s resume of helping poor women:  with microloans in Pakistan and Indonesia, cataloging various native crafts during major massacres in Indonesia under the auspices of the Ford Foundation (working for Peter Geithner, the Treasury Secretary’s father), USAID, and the World Bank (all of which are widely believed to have CIA associations).  Ann Dunham Soetero’s connection to these mineral rich regions is Barack Obama’s connection to these mineral rich regions.

Here’s a little bit of history about past DNI chiefs:

George W. Bush’s first DNI chief was John Negroponte, who previously held a position under Condaleeza Rice when she was NSA chief.  Negroponte served under Ronald Reagan as ambassador to El Salvador during Reagan’s dirty wars in Central America in the 1980’s, and was implicated in the training of death squads and the cover-up to congress of their barbarous activities.  A staunch anti-communist, he was appointed ambassador to Mexico during the populist Chiapas uprising, and suspected of using ruthless countermeasures against them. George Bush’s second DNI chief was Mike McConnell, a member of the controversial and influential quasi-governmental body, the Carlyle Group. Recall that the Carlyle Group is a conglomerate of American defense department chiefs, the two Bush presidents, and Saudi oil interests, among others.

Dennis Blair is Obama’s new DNI chief –another man with a strong resume protecting oil.

The more things change … the more it’s still about oil.


Was Obama’s Mama a Spook?

March 1, 2009

Yes, I said it.  Do I have your attention?  Spook. From Merriam-Webster, ghost, undercover agent or spy.  Tip of the hat to Cinie’s World (2-27-09). An interesting post by this blogger, donning a tinfoil chapeau and heading where the bread crumbs crumble caused me to rush to my own way back machine to take a look at the  political connections of Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, aka S. Ann Dunham, Ann Soetoro, S. Ann Dunham Sutoro.

Obama’s maternal line, the Dunham family has been dredged ad nauseum by Obama in his two autobiographies, Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope. It has been discussed and analyzed by the MSM, in an effort to “acquaint” the electorate with a portrait of a non-threatening biracial man, palatable scion of an all-American, middle class family, roots planted firmly in the American mainstream. However, it seems the frequency of the retelling of Obama’s family story ensures only a repetition of a superficial, shopworn, schmaltzy story; a short-on-facts narrative of struggle courage, racial confusion, family contradictions  and mother love.  There’s a de rigeur narrative around Obama’s maternal grandmother but since she refused to give any interviews and is now  deceased, much is unknown.

Let’s go back to the early 1960s, the height of the Cold War. The Dunhams moved to the state of Washington and enrolled their daughter in a “progressive” high school where she stood out from the other students as quietly mature, a quirky free thinker and proto “feminist”. Ann next studied anthropology at the University of Hawaii. There, in a Russian language class, she met Barack Obama, Sr., a polygamous and already married Kenyan Muslim. Six months later Barack Jr. was born.

Barack Sr. soon abandoned Ann to continue earning his economics degree at Harvard University, later returning to Kenya and employed by Shell Oil. At some point Ann was employed by the Ford Foundation.

The Ford Foundation is alleged to have had connections to the CIA. Current Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner’s father, Peter Geithner was:

director of the Asia program at the Ford Foundation, a New World Order operation. Peter Geithner oversaw the “microfinance” programs developed in Indonesia by Ann Dunham-Soetoro, Barack Obama’s mother. Geithner’s maternal grandfather, Charles F. Moore, was an adviser to President Eisenhower and vice president of Ford Motor Company.

See here. Ann Dunham went to work in the microfinance department headed by Geithner.

Skip ahead in time a couple of years to 1966. The U.S. has stepped up its involvement in the war in Vietnam. Lyndon Johnson is President. Civil Rights activists, from SNCC to women’s liberation, are exploding into the streets. Cointelpro has been reformulated to infiltrate and undermine such protests.  But here is where it gets weird, requiring a tinfoil hat.  S. Ann Dunham has been tagged by the political right as a leftist, even a communist. There is no evidence that I know of that links Ann Dunham to any civil protest organization, political group or foundation.

Instead, Ann Dunham married foreign student, Lolo Soetoro, a well-to-do Indonesian Muslim she met upon her return to the University of Hawaii and in 1966 moved with him and seven year old Barack, to a newly Americanized Indonesia, finishing the throes of a human rights disaster.  Ann made no comment about the  massacres that had taken place the prior year, but continued to catalog local crafts.  Barack was officially adopted by Soetoro and remained in Indonesia for two-four years.

Indonesia is the fifth richest nation in the world in natural resources. It has abundant supplies of natural gas, copper, nickel, and oil. It is also the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Sukarno, Indonesia’s communist-leaning leader, had been overthrown the previous year and been replaced by a western leaning general, Suharto. Here’s an excerpt of the article describing the events surrounding Sukarno’s fall.

The situation varied across the country; in some areas the army organized civilian groups and local militias, in other areas communal vigilante action preceded the army.[16] The most widely accepted estimates are that at least half a million were killed.[17] Many others were also imprisoned and for the next ten years people were still being imprisoned as suspects. It is thought that as many as 1.5m were imprisoned at one stage or another.[18] As a result of the purge, one of Sukarno’s three pillars of support, the Indonesian Communist Party, had been effectively eliminated by the other two, the military and political Islam, although of the two, the military were in the position of unchallenged power.  According to Amnesty nternational, life went from bad to worse for the peasants of Indonesia.

Ann’s new husband, Lolo Soetoro, an army geologist, went to work for Mobil oil. Ann had one more child, Maya. Soetoro, a devout Muslim, wanted more children. Ann wanted to continue her work teaching English and to continue her anthropological studies. She returned to Hawaii with Barack and worked toward her PhD. Years later she returned to Indonesia to complete work on her dissertation. Barack, now a teenager, chose to remain in Hawaii.

Here there is a muddle. It isn’t clear to me, from anything I have read so far, what Ann Dunham Soetoro did for a living during this and subsequent trips other than teach English, or catalog native handicrafts. This is what confuses me: if Ann Dunham was a “leftist” and the Ford Foundation would certainly have been aware of her background, why would they hire her to work in a sensitive position? Would she, as a leftist, been willing to reside in a country that had just massacred hundreds of thousands of other leftists? Would she be willing to live with a former army landowner returning to a position with Mobil Oil?  Would she have two husbands who worked for oil companies?

Jump into the time machine again, and reset it to 1986. Ronald Reagan is the U.S. president. G. H. W. Bush is the V.P.  The White House is embroiled in the Iran-Contra affair. Here’s an excerpt of the article, describing other middle eastern the political complications involved in this scandal:

It began as an operation to improve U.S.-Iranian relations, wherein Israel would ship weapons to a relatively moderate, politically influential group of Iranians; the U.S. would then resupply Israel and receive the Israeli payment. The Iranian recipients promised to do everything in their power to achieve the release of six U.S. hostages, who were being held by the Lebanese Shia Islamist group Hezbollah. The plan eventually deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme, in which members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of the American hostages.

The Russians remained mired in Afghanistan battling the Mujahadeen following their invasion of that country in 1980. 1986 was the year that the Afghan branch of the Taliban established hegemony in Afghanistan with the help of  Taliban operating in Pakistan. This is the year Ann Dunham arrived in Pakistan. This is also the year Osama Bin Laden was given sanctuary in Pakistan.  An Dunham Soetoro worked for microfinance departments of USAID, underwritten by the CIA.

Once again, the U.S. (as it had in indonesia) backed Islamic fundamentalists against communism. And, once again, Ann was employed as a USAID bank specialist in “microfinance” for poor women. I don’t know Ann Dunham’s level of skill in reading and speaking Russian, but there is an odd convergence for her

trip with her young daughter along the Silk Road in 1986 and

  • Russian language studies,
  • work for the Ford Foundation and USAID (also widely believed to be connected to the CIA)
  • work financing projects for poor women in an exceedingly volatile anti-American period
  • a detailed knowledge of Islamic cultural norms.

Not only was this dangerous duty, but must have been perhaps more hazardous  for a white Western woman in  fundamentalist Pakistan. Again, the same question: If Ann Dunham was a known and unrepentant leftist would USAID have hired her to perform services under these sensitive conditions?  Would the Ford Foundation have hired her and employed her for years as she cataloged handicrafts?

Back to the time machine. Reset the time machine backward to 1981. Barack Obama, Jr., before he moves on to Harvard University, travels to Pakistan to “visit friends”, although travel to Pakistan for American citizens is severely restricted. Does he travel on an American or an Indonesian passport?

I am puzzled by Ann Soetoro’s arrival in Indonesia and Pakistan during these very turbulent years.  This contact with two very divergent countries, and her son’s travel there in 1981 raise my eyebrows.  Maybe something there, maybe not.  Security conditions for a woman and a small girl child seem questionable. Here’s an excerpt from Windfalls of War

For 10 years, the Center received most of its Afghanistan education project funding from USAID. But after Congress ended government-sponsored aid to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, USAID stopped funding the Center. Still, it wasn’t without funding for long.

In 1997, Unocal, an American oil company, stepped in with an offer.

Unocal hoped to facilitate a business relationship with the Taliban in order to promote a natural gas pipeline project. The company was the development manager for the seven-member Central Asia Gas pipeline consortium that also included Saudi Arabia’s Delta Oil, Indonesia Petroleum, three other companies and the Turkmenistan government.

Unocal offered the Center an up-to-two-year contract worth as much $1.8 million to train Afghan men to build pipeline, which would run from Turkmenistan through a Taliban-controlled portion of Afghanistan to Pakistan, where it would be marketed. The pipeline could also be extended into India.

Well, both of Obama’s father figures were oil men.  Obama’s peculiar mixture of corporatism, pragmatism and tolerance for a weird combination of rightist and leftist political thinking come from somewhere.

Whatever Ann Dunham Soetoro thought about two of the huge political theaters of our time, she said nothing.

Jump ahead in the time machine to Obama’s sojourn at Harvard, his father’s alma mater, home of east coast movers and shakers, his do nothing tenure as editor of the Harvard Law Review and his selection as go-to guy by some of the biggest and most powerful investment bankers in the world.  But that’s another story.