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Obama and Gitmo, &c.

Through the wire at Gitmo

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A wire-service report yesterday was datelined “GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba.” The report began, “Five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attacks returned before a military tribunal Monday . . .”

I was thinking about what Barack Obama and the rest of the Left said about Gitmo, before Obama was sworn in: what a hellhole it was, a betrayal of all America holds dear. Seconds later, it seemed, Eric Holder was praising Gitmo as an excellent facility. And Obama, of course, had the sense to keep it open.

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My question: Do you think Obama & Co. might possibly apologize to George W. Bush & Co. for all the smack they talked about Gitmo?

For that matter, remember the Patriot Act? Remember what the Left said about it, before they extended it? Think we could get an apology on that as well?

Let’s not wait up nights . . .

A short while ago, I saw Dinesh D’Souza’s movie, 2016: Obama’s America. I have a piece on the subject in the current National Review. I’d like to make some additional comments here.

In the film, we see Jeremiah Wright screaming about how America and al-Qaeda are the same: “We cannot see how what we are doing is the same thing al-Qaeda is doing under a different color flag, calling on the name of a different God to sanction and approve our murder and our mayhem!”

That is the full quote, as I found it via the Internet. How much of it is used in the film, I can’t remember. Anyway . . .

Days before I saw the film, al-Qaeda had raised its flag over at least one U.S. embassy — the one in Tunisia. I believe there were others.

As I listened to Reverend Wright scream, I had a conviction — a quietly burning one: No, the United States and al-Qaeda are not the same. Obama’s “spiritual mentor” may preach it. Professors from Bennington in the East to Reed in the West may teach it. But it’s a lie.

In the movie, Dinesh remembers what it was like to be an immigrant student at Dartmouth. Ignorant, hippie-dippie classmates were very pleased to meet him — because of his name, his background, his “otherness.”

“Oh, dude, India is so fascinating,” they would say. “Really?” Dinesh would reply. “What do you find fascinating about it? The dowry? Arranged marriage? The caste system? Poverty? Hopelessness?”

In the movie, Dinesh says that, if he had remained in India, he probably would never have gotten beyond a mile of where he was born.

Anyway, listening to him, I thought of something Tom Sowell said, in an interview with me. I wrote up that interview here. Let me lay the relevant passage on you:

Sowell is a veteran India-watcher. He classifies India as one of our “fictitious countries.” What does he mean by that? Well, “people in the West who discuss India, discuss an India that bears no resemblance to the country actually located in Asia.” We think of Indians as spiritual, peaceful, and gentle, unlike us crass and violent Americans. This is nonsense. “To think that India had the chutzpah to join the worldwide protest against apartheid in South Africa. If an untouchable in India had the choice to be a black under apartheid, he would take it in a New York minute.”

Sowell’s clarity of mind is a wonder to behold.

(All the same, with apologies to Dinesh: India is fascinating. Beset with problems, of course — deep, nasty problems. But fascinating all the same, to me.) (Like most places, actually.)

In his movie, Dinesh interviews George Obama, brother, or half-brother, of the president. George Obama lives in poverty, in a slum. Not long ago, he called Dinesh, asking for help: asking for $1,000 to cover medical treatment for his son. Dinesh asked why he had reached out to him. George said, “I have no one else to ask.” And then, “Dinesh, you are like a brother to me.”

(To read Dinesh’s account of this, go here.)

This got very little attention in the media. And family relations can be very weird and personal, that’s true. But imagine if a Republican president had a brother living in poverty, and that brother asked a left-wing journalist for help. Think it’d be a story?

I remember how the media knocked Reagan, for not seeing his grandchildren. That was a standard attack, for the eight years of the Reagan presidency. “Mr. Family Values won’t even see his own grandchildren!”



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