Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Obama Critic Deported: It's a Plot, of Course

Jerome Corsi, who wrote a book about Barack Obama called "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality," seems to have been deported from Kenya. That's what the news says. So does the Kenyan government and Mr. Corsi, for that matter.

Oh, No! Not Politics Again?

As I've written before, this isn't a political blog, but America decides who gets to run the country by a political process. And, who is in the White House and Congress next year will have an effect on the War on Terror: for good or ill.

So, like it or not, I wade into American politics from time to time.

Conservative Author Thrown Out of Kenya!

"The Obama Nation" is full of what anti-Obamaites call 'the truth' and FOXNews calls "innuendoes [!] and false rumors."

I checked around this morning, and didn't find hysterical liberal posts about Mr. Corsi's experience. (Some) conservative posts were another matter. No surprises there. It's been my experience that people often take good news better than bad. And, Jerome Corsi's run-in with Kenyan immigration was eclipsed by the American presidential debate last night.

"Liberal," "Conservative," and Labels

How a person refers to an idea can be be just as important as the idea itself. Some words and phrases carry a lot of emotional punch, and mean different things to different people: like "liberal" and "conservative."

I think that people who hold strong views on either side tend to see the other as extreme. Back when I was growing up, 'those people' were:
  • Commie-loving, bleeding-heart liberals
  • Heartless, greedy conservatives
True enough, there were people on both (all) sides of the issues who were, to be polite, extreme in their views. "Crackpots" might be a more accurate term.

I've been around the block enough times to realize that if there's a viewpoint, like 'vegetables are good for you,' 'we shouldn't mistreat criminals,' or 'it's okay to earn money,' there will be people who take the idea, and run with it: straight off the edge of sanity. And they're likely to be the ones shouting loudest about the idea.

Which may be why it's so easy to see the extremes.

After a while, "conservative" and "liberal" lose their meaning as major political viewpoints. They become words that evoke images of the least-rational, most-radical, members of both groups.

Back to Barack Obama, Jerome Corsi, and sinister plots.

Obama Truth-Teller Silenced! It's A Plot!

Or, not.

I don't think that "OBAMA SILENCED CORSI," as the post title said. I do think that either Mr. Corsi is very sloppy about getting the right sort of visa for a business trip, the Kenyan government is lying through its teeth, or Mr. Corsi has quite good marketing skills. The attention his deportation gave his new book might boost sales more than enough to pay for his trip to Kenya.

That idea wouldn't sit well with people who believe that Obama is a Muslim, a radical left-wing danger to America, and (in one case) the Antichrist.

I don't think that Barack Obama is the best candidate, but that's based on his apparent stand on issues, and voting record: not because I think he's an emissary from Hell.

And, I realize that some people with America's best interests at heart think he'd make a fine president.

What I find annoying about Jerome Corsi's Kenya jaunt, the publicity it gave his book, and the hysterical reaction the news provoked, is that it's a distraction from serious issues.

But, I'm pretty sure that we'll see more of this. The election is November 4, and this is traditionally when the worst mud-slinging happens.

Nobody's Got a Monopoly on Nitwitery

Although this post, and one I wrote yesterday, are about an anti-Obama crackpot who's selling a book, the conservative view isn't the only one to spawn chauvinists. A couple of months ago, Russia's invasion of Georgia was presented as a neocon plot to get McCain elected. I'm not making that up. My post about the San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, "Georgia war is a neocon election ploy," back in August, includes excerpts and a link to the source.

"Just the Facts..."

One of the resources I use to find information about political claims is This outfit says that it "aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics" - and pops enough balloons from both sides to make the claim plausible.

Coming Attractions: Corsi Held Incommunicado, Starved

I think it's possible that some of the anti-Obama crowd will come up with accounts of Jerome Corsi being held in a secret Kenyan prison, where he's being starved. I've highlighted elements of one article that could get stories like that started, in the "News and views" list below.

I think I can understand why some people believe that Corsi's deportation is a plot by the Obama campaign to silence a critic of the 'radical Muslim;' and others feel that the CIA blew up the World Trade Center. There's a hysterical, angry critter in me, too. But I keep him locked in a padded cell, far back in the corridors of my mind, where his screaming won't disturb the front office.

News and views:
  • "Sendoff to Corsi: 'See you in hell'"
    Soldiers with automatic weapons detain author of 'Obama Nation'
    World Net Daily (October 8, 2008)
    (I've put what I suspect will be fodder for conspiracy theories in bold.)
    • "NAIROBI, Kenya – WND senior staff reporter Jerome Corsi yesterday was refused permission to hold a scheduled news conference about his investigation into Barack Obama's Kenyan links by Kenyan immigration officials and soldiers armed with automatic weapons who then took him to his departure flight and made it clear he was not welcome to return.
    • " 'Don't ever come back. See you in hell,' Corsi reported an unidentified official told him as the author of the No. 1 best-selling book 'The Obama Nation' was delivered to a flight departing from Nairobi for London....
    • "...Late yesterday, Corsi was able to communicate surreptitiously with WND in Kenya after being held incommunicado by immigration officials who at one point claimed his was being held because of a paperwork mixup....
    • "...In addition to being held incommunicado, the two also were held without food.
    • " 'We were offered no food until Tim began feeling a problem with his blood sugar, then around 2:30 p.m. the head immigration people allowed one of the immigration officials to accompany us so we could have "no more than 15 minutes' to buy something to eat," ' Corsi wrote...."
  • "Obama Critic Arrested In Kenya, Deported"
    The Rabbit Hole news blog (October 7, 2008)
    • "On Tuesday morning, Jerome R. Corsi was all set to bash Senator Barack Obama on his ancestral soil. Mr. Corsi, a right-wing author who specializes in attack books, came to Kenya to publicize his newest work, The Obama Nation, which raises pointed questions about Mr. Obama’s history of drug use, his 'extensive connections' to Islam and his relationships with Kenyan politicians, among other things - allegations that Mr. Obama's campaign and others have widely disputed. The chairs and microphone were all set up in one of the biggest hotels in Nairobi, the capital. Many journalists had crowded in to hear what Mr. Corsi would say about Mr. Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate whose father was Kenyan and who is adored here like a native son. But it was not to be....
    • "...Mr. Njeru [a Kenyan immigration spokesman] said that Mr. Corsi had arrived on a tourist visa, which made it illegal for him to work. But Mr. Corsi’s aides said the authorities were simply trying to muzzle him. 'They just didn’t want him to talk about Obama from Kenya,' said Peter Mbae, Mr. Corsi’s publicist in Kenya...."
  • "Jerome Corsi deported from Kenya-the (real) true story!"
    C3 Fun - Comics, Comedians, and Clips (October 7, 2008)
    (No, I don't think this is meant as serious news (From C3 Fun?!). But I do think that this post illustrates a set of attitudes and assumptions.)
    • "It has been reported on the Fox website that author Jerome Corsi has been deported from Kenya. Kenya Reportedly Deports American Author of Anti-Obama Book. Actually, the reasons that the story insinuates are just not the case. (Whoa! Fox News' reporting isn't accurate?!)...
    • "...Joseph Angwenyi, a Kenyan police officer, reported that both Corsi and Ted were causing a "ruckus" in a small restaurant. 'Some of the restaurant's patrons kept smelling something most foul' Angwenyi said through an interpreter. 'The people kept smelling this horrible smell. As some walked near the table where Corsi and Ted were seated, they noticed that was the smell's strongest point.' 'It was them.' (meaning Corsi and Ted) 'They were giving off a sulfur-like was overpowering!' So overpowering was the stench that Corsi and Ted were asked to leave the restaurant. Soon after, due to the continuing 'odor issues' at their hotel, they were politely asked to leave the country....
    • "...So, the moral of the story is, if you want the real story on some issue, whether that be the Presidential election, the economy, politics, or some right wing nut jobs causing a stink in Kenya, don't trust Fox News! Trust me!
  • "Anti-Barry Author Jerome Corsi Arrested In Kenya"
    Stop the ACLU (October 7, 2008)
    • "...Had the person been an anti-Bush, McCain, or conservative author, do you think the headline would have been similar to Anti-Barack Obama author detained while promoting his book in Kenya?...
    • "...Controversial. Snort. But any of the dozens and dozens of books and movies constantly coming out that smear the president and the troops are typically called 'relevant political discourse.'...
    • "...If he did it wrong, sure, he should be busted and deported. I bet, without even needing to look, that many on the Left are thrilled that this happened to Corsi, and hope he gets deported. If only they would take the same attitude towards illegal aliens in this country...."
  • "Kenya Reportedly Deports American Author of Anti-Obama Book"
    FOXNews (October 7, 2008)
    • "NAIROBI, Kenya - The American author of a controversial book accusing Barack Obama of seething with 'black rage' and of being unfit for the U.S. presidency was kicked out of Kenya on Tuesday.
    • "The deportation of Jerome Corsi came just hours before he was to launch his book in a country where the U.S. Democratic candidate for president is wildly popular...."
  • "Anti-Obama author questioned by Kenyan officials"
    CNN (October 7, 2008)
    • " NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Kenyan immigration officials on Tuesday questioned the author of a book that is highly critical of Sen. Barack Obama, Kenyan police said.
    • "Jerome Corsi, who wrote 'The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality,' left the immigration building in Nairobi several hours later and went to the airport, his publicist Ken Bueler told CNN....
  • "Crossing the Globe to Bring Down Obama"
    LISNews Librarian And Information Science News (October 7, 2008)
    • "When Jerome Corsi (Obama Nation and Unfit for Command) decided to attempt to create problems for Obama in Kenya, the homeland of the candidate's father, Kenyan authorities applied the local laws to make his visit less profitable than he had hoped.
    • "According to the The New York Times, "the conservative gadfly who wrote 'The Obama Nation,' in which he attacks the Democratic presidential candidate, was being held Tuesday because he was trying to work in Kenya without a valid work permit, according to local media reports. The reports said that Mr. Corsi would likely be deported. Elias Njeru, a spokesman for Kenya’s immigration department, said, 'His immigration forms were not in order.' ..."
  • "It's A Small World, After All"
    Six Meat Buffet (October 7, 2008)
    • "Especially when the B. Hussein Osama machine is trying to intimidate its opponents....
    • "...According to Corsi, when he arrived in Kenya, he had a series of meetings with Kenyan officials and his activites were well-known to them. Perhaps the Dim-O-Crack Party’s head thug had some of his boys make some phone calls to his Kenyan comrades....."
    Kenya-Somalis (October 7, 2008)
    • "NAIROBI, Kenya - The American author of a best-selling book attacking Barack Obama as unfit for the presidency was being deported from Kenya on Tuesday, a criminal investigations official said.
    • "Jerome Corsi, who wrote 'The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality,' was picked up by police Tuesday for not having a work permit, said Carlos Maluta, a senior immigration official in charge of investigations...."
    myEbuzz (October 7, 2008)
    • "The well known Jerome Corsi has been locked up in Kenya! He is well known for his top selling book the Obama Nation
    • "Barack Obama stepped onto the national political stage when the then-Illinois State senator addressed the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Soon after Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, author Jerome Corsi began researching Obama’s personal and political background...."

Update (October 8, 2008)
Feeling are running very high, about the American election. And not just in America:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.