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Bogies at two o’clock

Barack Obama made one thing very clear in his “debate” against John McCain on Friday. There are frightening things rising up again in the world. Which things? Why, Russia for one:

Russia is in part resurgent and Putin is feeling powerful because of petro-dollars…

…a resurgent and very aggressive Russia is a threat to the peace and stability of the region.

This differs from poor Sarah Palin’s vision of Russia only in that Palin thinks Vlad Putin can actually fly, and that he makes regular stealthy trips to Alaska, flapping his great wings all the while:

As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska.

Um, yes. Anyway, back to Obama. According to him, something else is also “resurgent”, and it’s more terrifying even than a Vlad Putin who can actually fly. It is, of course, “al-Qaeda”:

bin Laden is still out there. He is not captured. He is not killed. Al Qaeda is resurgent.

al Qaeda is resurgent, stronger now than at any time since 2001.

Trying to scare voters into supporting you by invoking a supposedly increased threat from Osama bin Laden is, of course, just the sort of breath of fresh air one would expect from a revolutionary new kind of politician like Obama, who transcends politics and is a beacon unto the world, etc. At least “resurgent” is a classy new option, carrying energetic connotations of “surge”, “insurgent” and so on, while remaining usefully vague about the extent or nature of the rising-again that “al-Qaeda” is allegedly doing. Perhaps they are training themselves in yogic flying so as to bounce merrily along the ground under Vlad Putin’s flightpath, on the way to destroy the USA.

My favourite part of the “debate” was this exchange:

MCCAIN: And Senator Obama is parsing words when he says precondition means preparation.

OBAMA: I am not parsing words.

MCCAIN: He’s parsing words, my friends.

OBAMA: I’m using the same words that your advisers use.

It is good to see that both candidates share a healthy indignation at the decadent and vicious practice of parsing words. What more fundamentally anti-American activity could be imagined?

  1. 1  Gregor  October 3, 2008, 10:07 am 

    ‘As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska.’

    ‘His’…’they’? When I read this I heard Ennio Morricone’s music for ‘The Thing’ in my head.

  2. 2  Steven  October 3, 2008, 12:57 pm 

    Palin seems to have a phantastical obsession with rearing heads. Last night she talked about the mortgage companies rearing that head of abuse. Whatever that means.

    She also seemed to refer to “Barack Obama and Senator O’Biden”, which was nice.

  3. 3  Gregor  October 4, 2008, 12:27 pm 

    Not very relevant, but on a linguistic note, I see that there is an ad to the right of the page saying ‘get funky’ (so you’ll know how to talk about drugs to your kids). The last time I saw the word ‘funky’ in print, it was Peter Hitchens describing David Cameron in the Daily Mail. Maybe it’s making a comeback.

    Still, I notice that Barack Obama seems to have inherited George Bush’s mindreading capabilities concerning Vladimir Putin. I just hope he’ll be able to mind-read Medvedev as well, seeing that Medvedev is now the President of Russia.

  4. 4  Aenea  October 4, 2008, 5:25 pm 

    I love you guys. I often wonder does anyone in the world outside the “old world” have any perpsective left all all… :(

    I mean us Euros are just kind of hunkering down at this point… holding each other and waiting for the meteor winds to pass.. it feels like.

    I mean it’s so obvious that Russia and China and Iran are just doing what they’ve always done… repel foreign invaders.. defend their lands and loves… Broker peace if at all possible.

    And America has basically half-turned into an emotionally retarded autistic child or something. And we don’t know which half will win :(

  5. 5  Aenea  October 5, 2008, 1:23 am 

    Btw, what else would u have Obama do? You have to play to the crowd don’t you?

  6. 6  Steven  October 5, 2008, 2:42 pm 

    Obama supporters who excuse him on that basis are rarely disposed to extend the same understanding to Republicans.

  7. 7  richard  October 7, 2008, 5:44 am 

    I guess it depends on which crowd you’re playing to. It seems like in the US wherever you start you have to move to the right come election time.

  8. 8  Steven  October 7, 2008, 10:15 pm 

    For “balance” (and we’re all about “balance”) here, see this excellent piece of Palinography.

  9. 9  Alex Higgins  October 7, 2008, 11:14 pm 

    Is “resurgent” unspeak? Does it carry hidden assumptions or conceal anything?

    That the Russian regime has become more capable of asserting its great power interests on its neighbours or that Bin Ladenists are in a better position to launch attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and on US interests in South-West Asia than in previous years seems like a fair assessment. “Resurgent” doesn’t seem to me to be too bad a word for that.

    On the other hand, the statement that Russia has become “very aggressive” strikes me as seriously misleading and fear-mongering.

    More irritatingly, both campaigns have insisted that they do not want a new Cold War with Russia while simultaneously restating the worst interpretation of Russia’s war with Georgia and promising to isolate and encircle Russia with hostile forces as far as is feasible (i.e. they do want a new Cold War).

  10. […] le octobre 20, 2008 par ibnkafka View PollPour vous dire à quel point Barack Obama est un candidat révolutionnaire (McCain le traite de socialiste, ce qui aux Etats-Unis est l’équivalent ailleurs dans le […]

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