HANANIA: Can we “obliterate” the emotion-filled election pandering, please? For Immediate Release, May 4, 2008

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Can we “obliterate” the emotion-filled election pandering, please?
By Ray Hanania — I think I actually now prefer a president who can’t properly pronounce the word “nuclear” over someone who keeps using it like the theme in a “Get Out the Vote” election strategy. Hillary Clinton said she would “obliterate” Iran if the Persian nation were to use a nuclear weapon against Israel. My guess is Israel can take care of itself. But vowing to “obliterate” Iran sure doesn’t hurt when you face the very likely possibility that the only way to win the Democratic Party nomination is to steal it.


Clinton clearly believes she can broader her support among Jewish voters by pandering to them, and by throwing a Barry Goldwater mushroom cloud to Republicans who think John McCain isn’t quite fanatic enough.


I had to look up the word “obliterate” just to make sure I knew exactly what she meant.


It has several meanings, according to the dictionary I am sure Hillary is using, Merriam-Webster. It has a long history of applying racist definitions to Persian-looking and other Middle Easterners.


The M-W says “obliterate” means: “1a — to remove utterly from recognition or memory; 1b — to remove from existence, destroy utterly all trace, indication, or significance; 1c — to cause to disappear (as a bodily part or a scar) or collapse (as a duct conveying body fluid), to remove like a “blood vessel” obliterated by inflammation; or, 2 — to make undecipherable or imperceptible by obscuring or wearing away; or, 3 — cancel.”


I think Hillary means Option “1B,” to remove from existence, destroy utterly all trace, indication or significance.


Of course, I could never read the precise style of a dictionary definition. M-W defines an “Arab” as a “vagabond,” too.


The United Nations tried definition “2” on Saddam Hussein, but before they could wear away the dictator’s power, President Bush, who pronounces “nuclear” as “nuke-a-ler,” tried “1b” too.


That’s how we got into this Iraq thing, which is a war but technically isn’t a real war by Constitutional definition, I suppose, which is a conflict that has been going on for 4  and one-half years beyond the date in which we were told we had “prevailed.”

Frankly, I’d prefer to apply “1b” to the Iraq War. I just want to make it go away at this point. We can’t win. And I don’t see how bombing Iran will help us achieve what voters have clearly asked the next president to do: Get us out of Iraq.


But to “obliterate” Iran gets Americans into a potential conflict that has a certainty of allowing them to prevail in a real way, as opposed to the White House “spin” way.


Hey. Can’t get us out of Iraq. Obliterate Iran. It makes sense. Certainly more sense than even the lies we were spoon fed about Iraq in the first place.


“Obliterate” Iran and we don’t have to worry about Osama Bin Laden. Rising oil prices. The collapsing home mortgage market. The recession. What to do when social security runs out?


Maybe Hillary didn’t mean “obliterate.”


I mean, we can give Hillary, a First Lady who couldn’t remember whether or not the Serbs were firing bullets at her as she was running or walking from the helicopter during a tour of Kosovo, a little slack, don’t you think?


Maybe she meant to say, “obligate,” as in “We need to obligate Iran to adhere to international weapons treaties so they don’t threaten to fire weapons at Israel.”


Which is a good point since Iran’s off-kilter President Ahmadinejad hasn’t really threatened to nuke Israel.


Chances are even before Iran’s nuclear plants even get close to being weapons-grade facilities, Israel, using American-made fighter jets and bombs, will probably render the nuclear centers useless.


Is Hillary trying to disparage Israel, by chance? Maybe she is trying to act the way a man acts when someone suggests that a “woman” might fight their battle for them.


This could be a maybe too sophisticated strategy to appeal to male voters. You know. The “I don’t need my wife to fight my battles for me because I am a man.”


Maybe Hillary meant to use the term “obfuscate” rather than “obliterate,” which would make sense since she clearly has no idea how to handle foreign policy.


If the strategy of fiery rhetoric doesn’t bump up the polls the way she hopes, she can always fall back on her “get out of trouble” card again, and use the “dumb blond routine.”


It worked with the Kosovo bullets raining down on her head, her decision to stick it out with Bill despite his embarrassing infidelity, and the last time her polls started to slip.


(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and Chicago-based radio talk show host. He can be reached at www.hanania.com.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com