Excelsior, Mexico

Obama Quiets the 'Right-Wing Witch Hunters' ... for Now


"Confronted with a fact that undoubtedly strengthens his re-election prospects - if the economy doesn't betray him - we'll have to wait and see whether the right's passion for witch-burning persists - an art that rabid right-wing nationalists in the U.S. expertly dominate."


By José Luis Valdés Ugalde*


Translated by Jason Ross


May 5, 2011


Mexico - Excelsior - Original Article (Spanish)

The far-right's offensive against Barack Obama is multifaceted and crude. Until last week at least, before the liquidation of Osama bin Laden, it seemed there was no stopping it. Since before winning the presidency, and in less than subtle language, they've wanted to strip him of his legitimacy as a political person and now that he's a figure of U.S. power, also of his status and right to citizenship. This type of discourse, which seemed to have ebbed and been buried in the 70s by the U.S. multicultural political landscape, reemerged.


Thus, this sector of the establishment began to see his reforms as unacceptable and lacking in realism, and sometimes, a veiled racism was heard among his opponents. His estrangement came from the insinuation that it was unacceptable that a mixed race mulatto man of African and Caucasian descent - even if a result of the racial diversity that, according to many, honors the U.S. - had challenged a distinguished member of the WASP club with a proud war record. This, the implication was, distorted the "social contract," according to which minorities (mainly African-Americans) would receive full rights as citizens, but without meaning that the seat of power, the White House, could and should be occupied by a Black man. Even Lyndon B. Johnson would have asserted that the White House - built with a slave workforce - was destined to be occupied by White politicians, never a Black one.


The 21st century began with multiple shocks to the international order - September 11 to begin with, and the ascension of Obama, which perhaps signaled the rebirth of the U.S. as a multi-ethnic society alongside its decline as a global power. The paradox is that both domestic and international efforts to restructure the socio-political basis of society, centered on a new social consensus and the application of a strategy of smart power - more diplomatic than military - with the aim of positioning Washington at the heart of a new international order with new and powerful emerging players, is being driven by this man. A man whose possession of U.S. citizenship and right to identify himself as "American" is being questioned by the same recalcitrant elements that questioned his moral authority to preside over the United States.


Now his nationality is being questioned. With Cold War rhetoric and lapses into surrealism, Donald Trump, hotelier, media mogul and aspiring presidential hopeful, questioned Obama's citizenship and challenged him to prove that he was not a "non-American." That is to say, surrealism aside, he demanded that Obama, who has been in office for over two years, show that the entire United States wasn't mistaken in making him senator and then president. Obama relented and for a second time, released his birth certificate, which was in Hawaii.


Thus, the repeatedly confirmed Obama has unwound Trump and his media show, and neutralized an obstacle in his path to reelection. Now, with the elimination of bin Laden, Obama has strengthened his prestige and political capital in the face of an extreme right and the citizens of the U.S. and the world. The end of bin Laden is a transcendental blow to al-Qaeda that Bush, and even some of his allies, after dreaming of doing it themselves, now credit Obama with. Confronted with a fact that undoubtedly strengthens his re-election prospects - if the economy doesn't betray him - we'll have to wait and see whether the right's passion for witch-burning persists - an art that rabid right-wing nationalists in the U.S. expertly dominate. Osma's demise is a long-cherished achievement for Washington's entire political establishment. And therefore, one that the right will have to come to terms with, as if the Tyrian and Trojan horses were their own, however difficult it may be.



[Editor's Note: The term "Tyrian and Trojan horses" refers to backers of differing opinions, and was first popularized by the ancient Roman poet Virgil in his work about the Trojan Wars, the Aenied.]


Der Spiegel, Germany: Donald Trump and the 2012 'Campaign of Lunacy'
Izvestia, Russia: Osama bin Laden: From Abbottabad to Hollywood
Frontier Post, Pakistan: U.S. Raid Exposes Pakistan's 'Unnerving Vulnerability'
Al-Madina, Saudi Arabia: Osama Died, But those Who Gain from Terror War Live
Dar al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia: Osama and His Whole Way of Thinking - are Dead
Daily Jang, Pakistan: Operation Against Osama Spells Trouble for Pakistan
Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran: Obama Seeks to 'Vindicate Bush'
Outlook Afghanistan: U.S. Must Pursue Mullah Omar as it did bin Laden
Pak Tribune, Pakistan: Senators Call U.S. Operation a Breach of Sovereignty
Frontier Post, Pakistan: Osama Episode Puts Safety of Nuke Assets in Peril
El Pais, Spain: Obama 'Decapitates' the al-Qaeda Hydra
Folha, Brazil: Bin Laden's 'Second Death'
Folha, Brazil: Death Won't Kill Osama's Violent Ways or Speech
Dawn, Pakistan: The Urgent Importance of Showing 'Mutual Respect'
The Independent, U.K.: Killing of bin Laden 'Huge Blow' to Islamist Terror
The Telegraph, U.K.: OBITUARY: Osama bin Laden
Telegraph, U.K.: Taliban Commander Vows to Avenge bin Laden's Death
Guardian, U.K.: Hamas Praises bin Laden as Holy Warrior
Telegraph, U.K.: Death of bin Laden is Rough Justice, Wild West-Style
Dawn, Pakistan:
Pakistanis Hold Rally in Honor of bin Laden
Dawn, Pakistan: Pakistan Asks U.S. Envoy to Avoid bin Laden 'Spin'

Xinhua. China: Six Children and Two Wives of bin Laden Arrested By Pakistan
Daily Star, Lebanon: Prime Minister Hariri: 'Bin Laden Got What He Deserved'

Daily Star, Lebanon: Lebanese Muslim Preachers Hail Osama for U.S. Attack


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After a number of setbacks, Obama is enjoying a glorious moment that mitigates some of his recent losses after his attempts to reform healthcare, education and the economy. It will be a shame if, in light of this transcendental moment that he has given his country with the elimination of Osama, his place in U.S. history is now to be denied. For now, he wears the strategic and political badge of having implemented an act of smart power that due to its management, has begun to bear fruit both internationally and domestically.


*José Luis Valdés Ugalde is a political analyst, researcher and lecturer at the Autonomous National University of Mexico

Twitter: @JLValdesUgalde



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US May 6, 6:49pm]


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