Friday, October 31, 2008

Rashid Khalidi: Let's roll tape?

So a friend of mine who's still conservative argues that if the American public just saw that video - saw Obama partying with that dangerous extremist Rashid Khalidi - they'd turn against Obama.

This begs a rather interesting question: What does Rashid Khalidi look like? Is he such a scary individual that you'd immediately think he was a bomb-throwing terrorist?

Um, not so much:

Actually, he kind of looks like my Dad... or me, come to think of it. My wife thinks he looks like a well-groomed Dennis Kucinich. He really looks like a Columbia University history professor who went to Yale. This is probably because he's a Columbia University history professor who went to Yale.

Of course, it's not his face that's scary. It's his name. He's a Muslim, and that's enough for the madding crowd who wants the tape released as a rule. Mind you, Khalid's written some unabashedly pro-Arab, pro-Palestinian books. They also seem to be well-written, well-argued books. I doubt I'd agree with them all that much, but if I was a man who had to determine American policy in the Middle East I'd sure want to read them, just so I could hear all the arguments.

Indeed, his Wikipedia writeup mentions in passing that Khalidi argues that the creation of the Jewish state was unfair to Jewish communities in the Middle East - ones that had built stable relations with their Arab neighbors. I don't know if this argument is facetious or now, but it's not one I'd heard before, and as an inveterate news hound I'd thought I'd heard all of the relevant arguments.

Leaving aside the silliness of the argument that Obama's somehow unfit for office because he's "pallin' around" with Arab history professors... I'd be a lot more nervous electing a president who didn't know who Prof. Khaldi was than one who had met him and understands his arguments.

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