Belmont Club

When we beguine the beguine

Amir Taheri describes the reaction to his article in the NY Post alleging that BHO was trying to scuttle negotiations between the Iraqi government and the outgoing Bush administration in Standpoint Magazine.

When I quoted Obama’s own words opposing the SOFA, a second tactic was deployed. This consisted of personal attacks on me, with the help of material circulated by my enemies over the years: the Khomeinists, those nostalgic for Saddam Hussein, al-Qaeda and its imitators, and Islamofascists who hate me for reasons of their own. The addition of Obamists to the list of my enemies is regrettable but does not change the facts. Obama militants attacked my email accounts and used the marshlands of the internet to unleash the deadly mosquitoes of rumour and innuendo against me. … I was threatened with having my US citizenship – which I don’t have and have never applied for – withdrawn by a future Obama administration. Some Obamists, unaware that I do not live in the US, even threatened to reveal my address and expose me to physical violence. … The message most often conveyed to me was: withdraw and all will be forgiven.

That’s quite a charge. I imagine Taheri will be asked to describe these attacks in a little more detail. What’s interesting is Taheri’s defense. You can’t do this to me, I’m not an American.. The questions for me are 1) how can we substantiate or refute charges like this; 2) who are these “Obamists” that Taheri speaks of, if they exist? Are they his spontaneous defenders? Do they coordinate in some way? I think we are entering a period in which we really have to put our analytic hat on to get at the facts. Jim Lindgren at the Volokh Conspiracy says:

What we are unlikely to see over the next four years is progress on serious defects in the press and the electoral process that this election revealed. … First, we have never had so many illegal campaign contributions, including illegal foreign contributions, as we had this year. … Second, (in my lifetime at least) we have never had so much systematic election fraud …
Last, the press’s performance in 2008 has been appalling. Unfortunately, we have a mediated democracy, mediated by the press. Until the newsrooms are integrated politically, it is difficult for citizens to get the information they need to make informed decisions.

“Integrated politically?” Somehow I don’t think there will ever be affirmative action for conservatives. Nor should they seek it.

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