Monday, October 20, 2008

Powell Endorses Obama

I'm also troubled by, not what Sen. McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said, such things as, "Well, you that know Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is: What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
I could not help but applaud when I saw this video and this statement of Colin Powell in his endorsement of Obama. Make no mistake, this is no black solidarity. Powell is a strict Republican. But at his heart, he is what we call in Canada a "Red Tory", a fiscal conservative, center-right, someone not comfortable with the hard, right-wing, evangelical turn that the social conservative Republican Party has become. And so the endorsement of Obama.

However, Powell went further than that. In his explicit, well thought-out, statement, not only did he defend Muslim Americans, he even raised the story of the soldier who served, and died for America.
I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. - [Full transcript here]
Powell was referring to this photo (photo #16 on the link).

One can have opinions of his support for the Iraq war and his role in the Bush administration. By the same token, when the man takes guts to say the right thing, one can only say bravo.

By the way, completely unrelated, and strictly for 'entertainment' purposes, here's a study on Playboy models and recession.


Ahmad said...

I saw the whole interview yesterday because rumor had it that he will endorse Obama. After listening to the interview, I might actually forgive him (Powell) for serving the Bush administration.

Shahrzad said...

Powell talked very good. I liked very much the paragraph you quoted. Even if in this way, Obama can take the votes of american muslims too.

Anyway, actually America is land of mysteries. Nobody knows what's behind the scene. I've not forgotten the previous presidential election there and the events yet..Who knows? Maybe a hand behind the scene chose McCain.. Unpredictablly..

Suroor said...

I was so happy with Powell for the first time in my life (because I am a very proud British) I wished I was American.

boba said...

Powell endorsing Obama was surprising, but oh so awesome. He actually did something that made sense for once.

mezba said...

Ahmad: he was the one decent man in the Bush administration and they hounded him out after using him.

Shahrzad: America is indeed a land of contrasts. And ultimately - one has to say their convulated system works - I am yet to see a minority (say a Hindu guy) elected to the top office of a Muslim country.

Suroor: be careful with that statement it got Michelle Obama into trouble! :-D

boba: I can almost forgive him for parotting the official Bush line on Iraq.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm a little late on this one. But, I wanted to respond to the question, "what if he was a muslim". If he were muslim he wouldn't be President of the United States. If a Muslim, by religious decree has to incorporate Islam into the government (because the tow can not be separate), then why would any freedom loving American (especially a woman) vote for a Muslim as President of the United States?

mezba said...

anonymous: that's a bunch of bullshit.