The question is why doesn't President Obama fight back?
The coding in the Obama-is-a-Muslim charge is tricky. On one hand, it is rooted in racism, specifically a fear of Africans and African-Americans that dark foreign "seed." While on the other hand, it's saturated with xenophobia and the post-911 hatred of Islam.
Obama certainly has the stand-up chops to come out swinging against the Muslim slur against him. With a straight face, he could mourn how the "seed" that spawned Franklin Graham had been friendly to previous Christian Presidents. So how did Franklin veer so far from the DNA in his father's "seed"? Then, on "Meet The Press," he could say, "I love the people of Kentucky so much I'll take Mitch McConnell at his word that he's not the hind quarter of an entry in this year's Kentucky Derby."
His problem seems to be, to directly respond to those gleefully propagating the absurd slur would mean ultimately engaging the entire complex of racist and xenophobic fears underneath the slur. This would make life difficult for him, since he would, by natural extension, end up having to oppose the very post-9/11 stigmatization of Islam that sustains the Bush War On Terror he has fully assumed as his own.
So, he's vague and "Clintonian" about it all. First, he supports the Manhattan Sufi cultural center then he sounds as if he's not so sure. He says he plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in July 2011, then he passively sits by as his commanding general tells everybody that's not going to happen.
Making the Pentagon position even clearer, the retiring commandant of the Marine Corp just told reporters at a Pentagon briefing that the July 2011 withdrawal plan was a cynical sop to the American public weary over the war. He was actually quite positive on the feign, since a small, token withdrawal, "in terms of the enemy's psyche," would be a positive military move when the enemy realizes our military is going to be "still there hammering them" for years to come.
If Obama assertively used his bully pulpit to turn the egregiously un-just and superficially asinine slurs to his African descent and his father's Muslim "seed" into a teachable moment, he would quickly find himself on a short and slippery slope to serious opposition to what many see as a massive, Pentagon-driven secret war against Muslim elements around the world.
Better to lay low in the Oval Office and let Biden handle Afghanistan.
CODA: For a complete run-down on the secret, unaccountable and "massive assassination program" General David Petraeus expanded in 2009 against Muslims in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, the former Russian Republics and other places, read Fred Branfman's chilling article  on AlterNet.
For the original of this article on This Can't Be Happening, go to: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/182
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