Saturday, March 22, 2008

The chickens are coming home to roost

The above phrase features prominently in the collection of soundbites that get repeated over and over again on TV when it comes to the "controversial" sermons of Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright. What was he talking about? Well, in a sermon one week after 911 Mr. Wright suggested that American policies abroad are to blame for the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The broader quote reads:

"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant, because the stuff we've done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. Americans chickens are coming home to roost." (see the broader segment beyond the soundbyte here).

The definition for this very phrase given here reads as follows: "if you say that chickens are coming home to roost, you mean that bad or silly things done in the past are beginning to cause problems". Well that to me sounds pretty much like a definition of the, now familiar, term "blowback". Thus, the fiery delivery and the religious implications aside, what Wright said seems to be a rather reasonable political assessment to me. Of course you get called a kook for that. Others have experienced this before, which is the implication of the following video, featuring Ron Paul among others.

The referral to Israel/Palestine is a particularly delicate one, and it is no secret that Barack Obama has experienced lots of headwind coming from Israeli backers in the US (see for example Good for the Jews? on Newsweek). In his speech on race (which was undeniably great) he consequently addresses the issue. There it reads as follows:

"But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. .. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country — ... a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

And here we are again: They simply hate us for what we are. To suggest otherwise is blasphemy.

-- Johannes (from Chicago)

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