Friday, May 09, 2008

Mike on Burma, Lebanon and Campaign '08

Here's Mike Williams' letter today.


Things are going from bad to worse in Burma:

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's junta seized U.N. aid shipments headed for hungry and homeless survivors of last week's devastating cyclone, prompting the world body to suspend further help on Friday.

The U.N. said the aid included 38 tons of high-energy biscuits and arrived in Myanmar on Friday on two flights from Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.

"All of the food aid and equipment that we managed to get in has been confiscated," U.N. World Food Program spokesman Paul Risley said. "For the time being, we have no choice but to end further efforts to bring critical needed food aid into Myanmar at this time."


At least 65,000 people are dead or missing and entire villages are submerged in the Irrawaddy delta after Saturday's cyclone. Many of the survivors waiting for food, clean water and medicine were crammed into Buddhist monasteries or camped outdoors.

Aid groups warned the area is on the verge of a medical disaster and that thousands of children may have been orphaned. The U.N. estimates 1.5 million people have been "severely affected" and has voiced "significant concern" about the disposal of dead bodies.

"Many are not buried and lie in the water. They have started rotting and the stench is beyond words," Anders Ladekarl, head of the Danish Red Cross….

Things aren’t so hot in Beirut, either:

As many among us have warned several times over the past year, and many articles later, Hezbollah has indeed waged its expected blitzkrieg against the democratically elected Government of Lebanon. Within 24 hours, the pro-Iranian super-militia blocked all accesses to the Beirut International Airport, established an exclusive security zone around the organization’s headquarters in south Beirut, deployed its forces into several Sunni neighborhoods in the capital and erected check points across the country.

Within 48 hours or more the “Party of Allah” may be in control of large areas of the Lebanese Republic. In short, this could mutate into a slow motion coup d’Etat. What’s behind the blitz?

The big picture was very predictable. The Syro-Iranian “axis” which is flaring up various battlefields in the region, from Basra to Gaza, has instructed its local “force” on the Lebanese battlefield to surge against the pro-Western Government of Fuad Seniora.

Hezbollah is a disciplined Iranian asset on the Eastern Mediterranean. All of the arguments advanced by its secretary general Hassan Nasrallah in his last press conference and grievances against the Government have always been raised since the summer of 2005. These criticisms of the cabinet are invoked when a large scale action is ordered by the Tehran strategists….

That’s Dr. Walid Phares writing. For an on the ground report from Lebanon, go here.

In Campaign ’08, Obama tells CNN that McCain is “losing his bearing.” The comment was related to this:

Barack Obama accused John McCain of “smearing him” by claiming that Hamas wants Obama to be President. But this isn’t a smear, it is fact. A spokesman for Hamas, you will recall, did endorse Obama. This report is fairly straightforward….

As for the McCain camp, this will be an early test of their willingness to go toe-to-toe with Obama. Will they let this Obama remark pass? Or set the record straight and make clear Obama is, as he did in the “100 year” fight, fudging the facts?

And we can expect more of this. Every bad fact for Obama or questionable association is a “smear” and every attempt by the McCain camp to set the record straight is “gutter politics.” It is up to McCain’s team to decide whether they will play along or call foul.

Team McCain did indeed cry foul on this one:

First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama's attack today: He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning.

We have all become familiar with Senator Obama's new brand of politics. First, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him, distort his record and send out surrogates to question his integrity. It is called hypocrisy, and it is the oldest kind of politics there is.

It is important to focus on what Senator Obama is attempting to do here: He is trying desperately to delegitimize the discussion of issues that raise legitimate questions about his judgment and preparedness to be President of the United States.

Through their actions and words, Senator Obama and his supporters have made clear that ANY criticism on ANY issue — from his desire to raise taxes on millions of small investors to his radical plans to sit down face-to-face with Iranian President Ahmadinejad – constitute negative, personal attacks.

Senator Obama is hopeful that the media will continue to form a protective barrier around him, declaring serious limits to the questions, discussion and debate in this race.

Senator Obama has good reason to think this plan will succeed. [...]

At least it’s a start for Team McCain.

Ed Morrissey calls Obama Neville Chamberlain, without the umbrella.


Anonymous said...

John -

I think Team McCain has it just right. Any criticism of Obama will be off limits because it will be considered racist; any criticism of McCain will be OK because it will simply be considered politics. Obama has clearly figured out how to be the affirmative action candidate for President of the United States.

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

John -

Please remove one of my comments. I thought I was having trouble with my browser which is why the comment is duplicated.

Jack in Silver Spring

JWM said...

To Jack,

Team McCain may have it right, but that has to change.

If it doesn't, millions of Americans will have lost their freedom of speech.

Just as we had to speak up when the Raleigh N&O, Nifong, Duke leaders and others working and enabling the frame-up kept telling us we shouldn't be trying to destroy "the victim's credibility," we need to speak up now and let the Obama supporters know we won't let them silence us by doing the Jackson-Sharpton race card routine.

I took care of the double comment. No problem.