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Archive for the ‘McCain’ Category

Playing The Blame Game

Posted by imrananwar on November 14, 2008

The historic election of president-elect Barack Obama is complete. Jockeying has begun for positions in the new Cabinet and the new administration – which will take oath of office in early 2009. Democrats who have worked hard for Obama’s success are lining up.

On the Republican side, the blame game continues on who was responsible for the disastrous showing of the Republican Party in the recent elections. Not only did a relative newcomer to politics, but an African-American on top of that, manage to beat a far more established political rival John McCain, Democrats also increased their significant majority in Congress and now even the Senate. It’s going to be a difficult 2-4 years for the Republicans.

While the Republicans are still licking their wounds, they are still not an agreement on whether the defeated vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was an asset or a serious liability.

There are some who admit that Sarah Palin was a terrible selection. Even the unofficial mouthpiece of the Republican Party, and the ultra-right-wing as well as neo-con movements of the United States, Fox News Channel, had one of its reporters rattling off a litany of Sarah Palin weaknesses.

Of course this was done after the election. This included apparently amazing, and downright scary, facts like the candidate for vice president of the United States, one heartbeat away from the presidency if the physically challenged John McCain was to die while in office, could not name the three countries that make up North America! Canada is to the North of us Americans, and Mexico is to the South. She did not know that! She did not know that Africa is a continent and not a country. The list goes on.

What is even more shocking than such an apparent moron being a major political party’s candidate is that some people still do not seem to have learned a lesson from this defeat. It appears that some part of the Republican Party still does not get it. There are people who are already positioning Palin for a presidential run in 2012. They seem to think that extreme right-wing ultraconservative bible thumping hockey mom small town Christian mentality is what America needs. Heaven forbid!

These people are quite clear in their thinking that she was a great candidate who was simply defeated because the media did not like her. Blaming the media is nothing new, as we know in all countries. Most parties and candidates do it, especially if they are falling behind or defeated.

However, even as a writer who worked for a newspaper (Jang Group & MAG Weekly) in Pakistan that was constantly attacked by the left and right asking for greater coverage than the other side, I find the Republican Party’s blaming the media laughable.

I am all for being fair and balanced, for real, unlike just as a dumb slogan, and giving equal coverage to all parties – especially at the start of the race.

The media’s job is not to be a mouthpiece of either party, nor should it try to influence people in one way or the other, when the choice is between two equally strong candidates.

But, it is ridiculous to assume that the media should be giving equal coverage, or writing equal number of "positive stories" if one candidate is running an awesome campaign and the other just cannot seem to get his foot out of his mouth.

Another amazing thing that is happening now, post-election, is that the same Sarah Palin who was unavailable to do any interviews, or take any press conferences except with carefully chosen friendly journalists, is now all over the media.

One of my favourite TV anchors is Campbell Brown over at CNN. She is bright, beautiful and bold. That is why it is great to see her run a show called "No Bias No Bull". In a recent episode I loved it when she declared that during the elections they could not get Sarah Palin to speak to them and now, post-election, Palin does not ever seem to "shut up!"

Suddenly the same Republican Party that was attacking the media elite, while not making its candidates available to speak to them, is actively courting the media.

John McCain made his first TV appearance after losing the election on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". To his credit McCain has been a gentleman in defeat. He has been gracious and even funny. He told Jay Leno that after losing the election he has been sleeping like a baby. He sleeps for two hours, wakes up crying and goes back to sleep.

In the meantime Sarah Palin, who was calling Barack Obama a socialist, is now gushing with praise and kind words for him and his family. The same man that she was trying to label a terrorist-friend is one she is suggesting should be selecting opponent republicans to be members of his Cabinet. Nice try.

Only time will tell if the Republican Party will continue down this destructive path of courting the ultra-right-wing, fundamentalist Christian, extreme elements of American society.

I, for one, am hoping that the American public and the American media will continue to keep an eye on what and how the Democrats do in the next two years. If it looks like they are foolishly squandering the historic opportunity that American voters gave them, it would be an opportunity for the Republican Party to find its footing, and its place in history again. But that cannot be done just by playing the blame-the-media game.

As a member of the media, I also feel it is our responsibility, to now report accurately, fairly and with an eye to the future. America, and the world, stand together on the brink of disaster but with great and bright future days still within sight. It is up to us to work together to make that brighter future a reality.

[Continued…]

Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com . You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar

Posted in America, Barack Obama, Cabinet, Democrats, Economy, Elections, George Bush, Imran, Imran Anwar, Jang, McCain, Obama, Pakistan, Republicans, Sarah Palin | Leave a Comment »

Random Thoughts, Comments & Quips On FaceBook

Posted by imrananwar on November 13, 2008

Seema Kalia wants volunteers who want to answer my 6 yr olds Q’s on any of the following: Evolution, War, God’s absence in the face of poverty and Civil Rights. Anyone?
35 seconds ago – 1 Comment

Imran Anwar at 10:51pm November 12
I can’t answer but can tell you who can best answer:

Evolution: Sarah Palin
War: George W. Bush
God’s absence in the face of poverty: Prada wearing Pope
Civil Rights: Any millionaire basketball player.

Hope that helps.

Imran

Ziana Bethune is thanking God for the wisdom to accept that which she cannot change, and the power to change that which she can…and for the gift of great friends.
15 minutes ago – 1 Comment

Imran Anwar at 10:52pm November 12
God said “You’re welcome.” According to George Bush, coz God doesn’t call me directly.

Ninelle Efremova is excited to see a sky completely covered in stars. prettttyyy.
42 minutes ago – 1 Comment

Imran Anwar at 10:54pm November 12
A full moon here was making stars less visible but a short while ago I was enjoying looking at Orion’s Belt. Good thing stars are not like men, or that waist would be expanding. Wait a second, the universe is expanding. Does that mean Orion’s belt and waist are also expanding. OK, I give up. Back to seeing stars. LOL

Imran
http://www.flickr.com/photos/imrananwar/sets/

Malcolm Lawrence Begich leads Stevens by 3 votes with 10,000 ballots to be counted.
about an hour ago – 1 Comment

Imran Anwar at 9:37pm November 12
WOW. That’s close. Can’t believe Alaskans want a crook to keep representing them. Explains a lot

Malcolm Lawrence So satisfying to see “free marketers” try to fix YOUR mess with socialistic remedies before “socialist” Obama even starts his term. D’oh!
about an hour ago – 1 Comment

Imran Anwar at 9:37pm November 12
Yes, and making it worse by mucking up even the bailout. Is there a bailout possible for bailouts?

Steven Alexander : Can President-Elect Obama govern the way he Campaigned?
about an hour ago – 5 Comments

Imran Anwar at 9:38pm November 12
I just saw in my Inbox but didn’t read yet an article (summary appeared to be suggesting he ran a No Drama campaign but to get people to do their best he may want to mix things up.)

Jose Outtellect Guzman III at 9:40pm November 12
Obama will do whatever illuminati tells him to.

Steven Alexander at 9:43pm November 12
“illuminati”?

Jose Outtellect Guzman III at 9:48pm November 12
Illuminati it’s in the dictionary. Small group of wealthy individuals. Who own all the land, oil, gold, knowledge, information, corporations, media,resources, etc. Your rockefellers, buffets, murdochs,gates, etc.

Imran Anwar at 9:49pm November 12
I think supporters of current “administration” and Bush and Palin-2012 want dark forces (like Cheney), voices in the President’s head (preferably Jesus now starts calling next Republican instead of Bush), and obliterati (bomb anyone to divert attention from domestic issues).

Miles O’Brien On the US-285 btwn Roswell and Albiquirky. Road flat and straight speedometer reads 90. Cell service spotty. Stars about to emerge.
2 hours ago – 8 Comments

Lisa Farrell at 8:45pm November 12
are you texting while driving 90?
Show 6 more comments…

Imran Anwar at 9:40pm November 12
Be careful, if you see large shiny object hovering in the sky – it may be Sarah Palin’s halo.

Stephanie Green is disturbingly disorganized, and thinks Melissa Ethridge is a bad-ass. Power to the gays!
2 hours ago – 1 Comment

Imran Anwar at 9:40pm November 12
Maybe she has a constant craving to be organized. LOL

Harry McCracken Four words: WebEx on a Phone: http://tinyurl.com/59yltz.
2 hours ago – 1 Comment

Imran Anwar at 9:43pm November 12
Even better, 2 words – “WebEx iPhone” LOL

Malcolm Lawrence Gee, Detroit, maybe its time to start making Green cars and finally dealing with your labor costs mess. Immediately. Come on, get crackin’!
6 hours ago – Comment

Imran Anwar at 11:09pm November 12
Not until they get rid of the cancer of unions (which enable people barely qualified to flip burgers to make $100K) they can’t be saved and I don’t want my tax money going to bail them out.

Imran nytimesbusiness reports Glass Makers Fined $1.6 Billion for Price Fixing. High fine breaks glass ceiling? Glass half empty now? Cracks me up.via Twitter – 5:24pm – 5 Comments

Ziana Bethune at 5:47pm November 12
ROFLMAO! Cracks you up, Imran? Oh, God…maybe I’m twisted but I love your puns. lol!

Imran Anwar at 8:22pm November 12
Thanks, Ziana. It’s CLEAR to me that you can SEE THROUGH my humor. LOL. Of course, I enjoy your POURING on the compliments into my JUG sized ears – hopefully without my getting GLASSY-EYED. I know you are TWISTED. But, are you twisted enough to want to be the PRETZEL that a certain President choked on? LOL.

Ziana Bethune at 8:55pm November 12
ROFLMAO! Uh…maybe I’m twisted enough to be the President that the pretzel fell prey to. lol. 🙂 If you’re nuts enough to prey to pretzels, that is. *Groan.*

Seema Kalia at 10:17pm November 12
GAWD. This is so transparent.

Imran Anwar at 10:48pm November 12
I can see clearly now.

From Frank:
re: Redistribution of wealth in simple terms

Give it some SERIOUS thought! Not far off.

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with
a sign that read ‘Vote Obama, I need the money.’ I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a ‘Obama 08’ tie,

again I laughed as he had given away his political
preference–just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and
explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution

of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him

that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who
I deemed more in need–the homeless guy outside. The
server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to
thank the server inside as I’ve decided he could use the
money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I
realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not

earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money

he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in
concept than in practical application.

OR IS IT…REDISTRIBUTION OF SOMEONE ELSE’S
WEALTH IS A GREAT IDEA…..

Imran Anwar
November 4 at 1:14am
Frank, I am no Democrat, supported McCain in 2000 and proudly voted Obama in 2008. I am hoping my fellow Americans will vote to make history tomorrow. McCain’s already history unless my countrymen are racist at heart and give false info to pollsters.

Imran

Frank Profeta
November 4 at 10:29am
Imran
There is much more at stake than the Presidency, don’t forget about the supreme court, appx 2-3 justices. I just woke up, I’m our in Phoenix for another week. Weather is great out here.
Frank
Sent via Facebook Mobile

Imran Anwar
November 4 at 6:04pm
Like anyone could get bigger crooked judges like Roberts that Bush shoved in there. Enjoy Phoenix. My condolences (I hope 😉 ) to McCain. Weather cloudy in DC. I’ll be here another couple of days.

Be safe.

Imran

Imran Anwar
November 5 at 1:50am
I’m glad the rednecks racists bigots Bush lovers were defeated by great Americans. Looking forward to people staying engaged in politics and elections n throwing Dems out if they do bad things.

Bush now officially the used toilet paper of American history.
Sent via Facebook Mobile

Frank Profeta
November 5 at 8:55am
Imran
I wouldn’t call McCain supporters, “rednecks racists bigots Bush lovers,” we are all great Americans and participated in a very intense campaign for many months. This kind of talk is what divides America, not unites America. You might want to reconsider your comments.

Imran Anwar
November 5 at 12:35pm
Hahaha, Frank. Really – now as losers even the bigots and racists and other regular Republicans like you yourself are all great Americans but your beloved Sarah Palin said Obama supporters were not real Americans or America loving. LOL

Posted in Cheney, Elections, FaceBook, George Bush, God, Imran, Imran Anwar, McCain, Palin, Socialism | Leave a Comment »

New Day, New Dawn, New Era, A Renewed Nation

Posted by imrananwar on November 5, 2008

There are dark clouds on the horizon, as the damp chill of an early November rain looms over Washington DC. It is unlikely that anyone awake at this dawn hour will see even a single ray of light of sunshine. Yet, Washington, DC, as well as all the United States of America are bathed in a warm glow and bright light. It is the sunshine of a new day, a new dawn, a new era, and a new chapter in the history of a great nation renewed.

To paraphrase a recent advertisement, published by CNN in The New York Times and other reputed newspapers, the United States, as well as the rest of the world, were caught in a magical moment on the night of November 4, 2008, as the US elections came to a close.

The past was leaving, but still threatened to continue into our future. The future beckoned, the hope of a new day, but the dawn had not yet arrived and could still elude us. For a brief moment in time, you, I, the United States, as well as the whole world, were caught in a moment of curiosity, wonder, concern as well as sheer, innocent, daring hope.

Yesterday the nation stood at a crossroads, the brink of expanding disaster or a new beginning. As the election results came in, it became obvious that Hope had won the day. The past was going to be sent far into the past. In that brief period of time, between the end of polling in the United States, Senator McCain conceding defeat and President-elect Barack Hussein Obama giving his victory speech, many amazing things happened which many of us had not expected to see for a long time.

Americans themselves appeared to close the door on the jingoistic, brutal and bullying faux but failing empire that George W. Bush and his henchmen had tried to build over the last eight years. Americans of all colors, ages, races, religions, ethnicities and backgrounds came out in larger numbers to vote than at any time in the recent history. They also found that they had made a dream come true surprisingly quicker than they themselves had expected.

Dr. Martin Luther King, the black slain civil rights leader, was killed for his preaching equality for whites and blacks. His amazing "I Have A Dream" speech is known to all Americans, and I urge readers of this column to read, or even better, to hear it for themselves. (It is easily available on the Internet). Many Americans can even quote words from that speech. But few had believed it possible that they would see parts of Dr. King’s dream come true in such a real and shining manner.

Americans found their country once again beginning to be the bright beacon of light, hope, equality, justice, greatness and ideals that the rest of the world looks up to. Above all, Americans themselves woke up to realize that from being a good, yet imperfect, country overnight they had matured into a renewed nation, achieving greatness again, surprising themselves and the world in unison.

Let there be no delusions. We have not suddenly achieved some racial-nirvana, some miracle of overnight solutions to eons old human emotions. The results from various states, and parts of the country, including so-called redneck areas, show that despite the massive failure of George W. Bush, and his friends, voting for a black man was still too much for the Bush-supporting people to do.

No society in the world, at least in our lifetimes, can achieve the Utopian ideals of having no racism at all. However, with this vote Americans resoundingly proved that if there is any country in the world that can come close to living up to its own ideals, and the ideals of most human beings, it is the great nation of United States of America.

The country that had a history of slavery, abuse and even murder of black people today elected its president who is not only black, but is the son of a Kenyan immigrant, raised by a single mother, with an extended family of Africans, Christians and Muslims. And they did not install this man by some technical election, or by some narrow margin. They did so in such a resounding manner that there was no doubt left in anyone’s mind. It was clear. America had come back to its rightful place on the world stage – as a nation to be respected, admired, looked up to and – perhaps one day soon – loved again.

The irony is that this next to impossible election of Barack Obama was made possible by the disaster that was George W. Bush. It was hastened by the brink of disaster faced by the United States as well as rest of the world. Yet, the challenges that Barack Obama faces on taking the oath of office will make his getting elected seem like a walk in the park.

One of the interesting elements of United States elections is the significant time period between the results of elections and the new government taking over. In most circumstances it is a good thing – as it allows for a smoother transition from one administration to the next. However, in today’s serious geo-political and socio-economic meltdown situations, Barack Obama faces a new dilemma.

On the one hand he cannot be overly aggressive in pushing for his own policies while lame-duck George W. Bush is still in office. On the other hand, he cannot simply wait for 2 months for the situation to get worse, or the wrong policies or "solutions" from being applied or tested – by an administration already having seen itself rejected to the dustbin of history.

The major challenge that President-elect Barack Obama is sure to face is the issue of unrealistic expectations.

Being able to inspire people to believe that solutions are possible, being able to suggest that change is coming and getting people out to vote are far easier than solving the actual problems in some miraculously short timeframe. On top of that, as can be seen in any country where the party comes back into power after a long time, it’s supporters (jialas), power players and constituents expect to be rewarded for their support. The thing that can save Obama from this problem is the huge turnout in the elections and the very broad range of people who swept him into power. That makes it easier for him to resist the pressure or blackmail tactics of any particular constituent or support group.

An additional challenge that he and his Administration will face is that there are no easy solutions to the problems that are faced by the United States economy, as well as the global economy. Nor is it very easy to get out of the war in Iraq – if that is what people expect to be a short and easy fix to all problems.

Another thing to keep in mind is that one of Obama’s strengths is his ability to think coolly and rationally about issues, analyze the situation, make a decision and communicate his plan. The problem is that it can also lead to analysis paralysis, especially for a relatively young, inexperienced, new leader.

It is possible for Obama to also try to please as many people as he can and end up displeasing a lot more. Even worse, being someone who appears to want to be liked by everybody, it is possible that he may want to tiptoe around some of the tough decisions that need to be made. That, in my humble opinion, would be a disaster.

The biggest strength, the biggest advantage, the biggest opportunity that Obama can leverage is the huge mandate he was given in this landslide victory. It is for this reason that his first 100 days will be far more important in real terms than in the usual symbolic terms that they are looked at for new presidents.

If he’s smart, and a man of action, he will find a strategic way to have Congress, with its Democrat majority further strengthened in this election, influence and force George W. Bush’s outgoing administration to embark on the path that Obama would like to follow. This would enable him to get the ball rolling even before his inauguration, avoid the impression of imposing himself before he assumes office and also save him from any blame that can come about from George Bush and his team still screwing things up.

Another advantage I see is that this clear mandate, given to a visionary leader with the ability to inspire his nation, is just the right shot in the arm needed by the US consumer, business and stock markets.

As I have written in these pages before, there are serious threats to the United States and global economies, but the biggest threat is a crisis of confidence. Obama’s ascension to power is sure to help revive that confidence.

As I write these lines at 5 AM on November 5 in Washington DC, I am confident that, barring any external economic events, an economic resurgence, including a stock market rebound, shall start soon. More credit will start becoming available, thawing the economic freeze that had left Main Street shuddering and Wall Street with pneumonia. I even hope that a recovery and expansion may be on the horizon as happened when the last great American President Bill Clinton came into office replacing another weak economy under another weak Bush.

So, economic recovery will be of paramount importance to Americans and the whole world. The weak economy is what helped Obama get elected, but the biggest challenges before, during and even after an economic recovery will be foreign affairs and undoing the damage done by the Bush Administration.

My advice to President Barack Obama would be to therefore embark on aggressive efforts to resolve the Middle East and Palestinian, as well as the Kashmir issues. I would also encourage him to immediately start dialogue with Iran and other countries that George W. Bush was busy burning un-built bridges with.

But Obama has to do so in a friendly yet firm manner. It is time for America to assume its place as leader of the free world, willing, able and ready to use its power and influence to do good and effect real positive change around the world and achieving things that no past American President had the willingness or courage to do. That is the audacity of my hope for President Barack Obama.

Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com

Posted in America, Bill Clinton, Bush, Cabinet, CNN, Congress, Democrats, Elections, George Bush, Imran, Iran, Iraq, Kashmir, McCain, New York Times, Obama, Opportunity, President, Racism, Republicans | Leave a Comment »

America’s Choice: Brink Of Disaster, Verge Of Destiny – Election 2008

Posted by imrananwar on November 3, 2008

Brink Of Disaster, Verge Of Destiny

By Imran Anwar

The United States won victory in World War II, but 50 years later it was the vanquished Germany and Japan that won the economic war. The United States won the Cold War, but even fewer years later it is Communist China, and a Resurgent Russia, that are growing economies and global political players again.

The world today stands on the brink of an economic disaster of historic and global proportions. The United States today stands on the precipice, also on the brink of an economic meltdown but also with a historic opportunity. On November 4 Americans will elect their new president for the next four years. At no time in modern history has this election been of greater importance to the American people, as well as citizens of the world.

The clearly disastrous and mismanaged administration of George W. Bush will also be a factor. Under this most unpopular president in modern history, and the most reviled American leader in the world, America went from being the sole, respected, superpower in a unipolar world to one of the most despised, jingoistic, aggressive, yet weakened and threatened countries in the world.

The choice today that the American voters will make is actually one of historic importance and significance for everybody. The choice American voters will make shall determine whether America continues to pursue the same failed economic, foreign and domestic policies of George W. Bush or embark on a new road to peace and prosperity worldwide.

Americans have to choose between two candidates for our next President.

The Republican Party candidate is Senator John McCain, a man in his 70s, with health issues and a mixed bag of experience, respect, scandal and lack of personal ethics in his past. The Democratic Party candidate, Barack Hussein Obama, is the son of the Kenyan Muslim immigrant, a black male, born and raised in poor circumstances. He also has possibly the worst name any candidate could have to run for election in the United States in a post 9/11 America (with its fear and dislike for Muslims with names like Saddam Hussein and Osama)!

In general it has been seen that any election held during the time of economic crisis, especially one as serious as the current one, will most likely lead to the defeat of the incumbent party. Add to that the unpopularity of the current president and you would almost think the Democrats have it made. However, the unique, and interesting, twist in this election was the breakdown of several historic barriers.

Democrats set the agenda, and the new standard, when their final two candidates were Senator Hillary Clinton, a woman, and Senator Barack Obama, a black man. In effect, the Democrats knew they were going to make history through the first ever nomination of either a woman or a black man to be a major party candidate for president.

The entire Republican field, meanwhile, as usual, was comprised of the same good old white men’s club.

After a bitter, and tough, primary election fight Obama won over Hillary Clinton. A lot of Democrats were hoping for the “dream ticket”, in which Obama and Hillary Clinton would be the presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively. However, the bad blood between the two of them was too much to overcome until recently. Obama made a wise choice anyway – by selecting the experienced and well-liked Senator Joseph Biden to be his running mate as vice president.

On the Republican side, after many ups and downs Senator John McCain prevailed over many smarter and more desirable candidates. He waited to announce his running mate until after Senator Obama had announced his VP. One of the things John McCain likes to claim, and at one time had been, was a maverick. However, in this particular case he chose Sarah Palin, the poorly vetted, little-known governor of a sparsely populated state of Alaska, to be his VP. (She was recently found guilty of ethics violations, her underage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock, her husband belonged to an anti-America organization, but no one seemed to notice!).

In the end, America and American voters have to choose between two men and their running mates.

John McCain was relying on his non-stop support for the Iraq war, and his having been a “war hero”, as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War, as his strengths as a candidate. Running as a Republican candidate, which also espouses Conservative values, he of course would not like people to remember his adulterous background, his dumping his first wife as she was being disfigured by cancer, going on to marry a rich woman who makes her money from a booze distribution business. He wants people to ignore his getting involved with the well-known crook Charles Keating, and helping protect Keating while his fraud brought about a massive financial crisis 20 years ago.

Very few people also seem to remember that McCain was Fourth from the bottom of his class of almost 900 students. He was shot down as an air force pilot not because he was being a hero but because he was just not a good pilot. His poor piloting destroyed at least 4 planes that he was flying! Of course, Americans should honor him for having being a prisoner of war, and a decorated war hero. But, by that token, people should also have elected Senator John Kerry as president in 2004. We know that did not happen.

But the biggest thing, the alignment of external factors beyond John McCain’s control, which may doom his run for the White House ended up being something he had the least knowledge, confidence, and ideas on – the economy.

He was literally giving speeches declaring that the fundamentals of the American economy were sound and everything was fine – on the same day that Lehman Brothers, the large respected bank, collapsed and the economic meltdown began. Even during the three presidential debates with Senator Obama, Senator McCain has had no particular ideas, or proposals, other than a mantra of anti-democratic party rhetoric and trying to label his opponent through words of fear and innuendo.

While all this was happening John McCain was also losing one of his core constituencies, independent and fiscally conservative Democratic leaning voters. He lost them by chasing after and begging for the support of the very same people he had called “agents of intolerance” in his previous attempts at the White House. He went out of his way to cater to the needs, and demands, of the neo-Conservative, fundamentalist, right wing Christian and evangelical groups.

The more radically right he went, the shriller his attacks on Senator Obama became. The final nail in that coffin of the so-called original John McCain came with his selection of Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Initially seen as a breath of fresh air, the young, attractive, confident, well-spoken former beauty queen shook things up – especially in the core base of the Republican Party.

However, in just a few weeks, thanks to mismanagement, to saying the most ridiculous and foolish things during TV interviews, unsuccessfully trying to label her opponents as socialists or communists, she has ensured that she is now showing up in surveys as costing John McCain several percentage points of support among likely voters.

Senator Obama, on the other hand, despite belonging to the usually very disorganized Democratic Party, has run one of the most successful, and best managed campaigns of modern elections. He and his supporters have rewritten the book on fundraising, raising awareness, getting voters involved, staying on message, and exciting the electorate.

Despite coming from humble beginnings, Obama attended the prestigious Columbia and Harvard universities. He has been an excellent orator and came as a breath of fresh air to the American voter. Despite his having much lesser experience in politics, he literally burst on the scene in the 2004 elections, as a speaker at the Democratic National Convention. Most people expected him to one day be a national level candidate, perhaps 12-16 years. However, the historic opportunity came sooner than expected. First he got elected to the Senate and within two years he is within touching distance from the White House.

He has been able to focus on the economy and also on his best-known policy stand, which was his firm opposition to the war in Iraq. With his charisma, his speeches, his ideas, he was able to inspire great supporters and major respected adviser to join him. He was able to excite the electorate like few candidates have since Bill Clinton. He was able to raise money directly from the people, enabling him and his party to spread their message of hope, change, and a new beginning. This was like magic for the masses who were sick of George W. Bush and his policies. His campaign made McCain’s supporting Bush 90% of the time a major issue. In essence, they have made McCain’s candidacy a continuation of the Bush campaign. They have made the election a referendum on Bush – a man so unpopular even his own party candidates for any state or national seat have not invited him to even be in the same city as them!

Will this be a referendum on Bush? Will it be a victory of hope over status quo? Will it be the dawn of a new era or the same old same old?

While we wait for voting to begin, and the results to come in, we have nothing but polls, surveys and interviews with people who have gone for early voting. (Several American states allow people to vote early). By almost all polls it almost appears that the die has been cast. A huge, historic, unprecedented level of early voters has turned out. The vast majority of them are said to be voting for Obama for President. However, as they say, it ain’t done till it’s done.

There are many things that can go wrong during this election.

Polls can be wrong, especially in this case. The reason is that many people may claim that they will vote for the black candidate, but being racist at heart, will actually vote for the white candidate on election day. Another factor can be overconfidence by Obama supporters, who may decide not to go to vote because they will think they have already won the election.

Voting machine errors, especially in the new kinds of electronic machines being used in some states, also have people concerned. Fraud is a real possibility, as has been seen with so-called mis-calibrated voting machines. Even in areas not using electronic voting machines, who can forget the disaster that was Florida voting George W. Bush into power in 2000, because of poorly punched paper ballots. The fear of “hanging chads” still hangs over democratic heads.

In essence, America faces a choice. On the one hand it faces economic ruin and a disastrous war in Iraq continuing for years to come and more of the same by John McCain. On the other hand it faces overcoming its biggest challenges, including a history of slavery and racism. Most analysts and polls suggest that America is ready to make a historic decision. Most expect Obama to become the first black president of the United States and lead this country to a great destiny.

Brink Of Disaster or Verge Of Destiny? Which choice will the American voters make? It will become known to us in 24 hours. Stay tuned.


Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, investor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com

Posted in America, Bush, Clinton, Economy, Elections, Iraq, McCain, Obama, Palin, President, Sarah Palin | Leave a Comment »

Voter, Voter, In The Hall; Who’s The Brightest Star Of All?

Posted by imrananwar on November 1, 2008

I have always found it interesting the way politics and show business have mixed in recent years not just in Pakistan but also in America.

In the good old days, for example, when John F. Kennedy was President of the United States, the tendency was for politicians to have secret affairs with movie stars. Over the years the relationship between movie stars, TV actors, show business personalities and political leaders became more open.

It started with politicians getting married to show business personalities and eventually to movie actors entering politics and running for office.

One would have assumed that developing or so-called Third World countries like Pakistan were more likely to have movie stars, cashing in on their popularity and name recognition, become successful politicians. One would also have assumed that a supposedly more educated country, or society, like the United States would be less likely to allow such cashing in of fame and celebrity, especially at the national leadership level.

So it is interesting and ironic to see that in Pakistan, in general, movie stars, or even renowned celebrities (who also happened to be great people), like cricketer Imran Khan, were not truly able to make a successful transition to politics at the highest level and at the highest office.

Sure, respected and popular people like the late actor Muhammad Ali, did run for seats in parliament. Cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz, with his relationship to a movie star, also made a play for a seat in an Assembly seat.

Maybe there are a few other examples. But I do not recall anyone who was able to make a serious play for the highest office in the land, whether Prime Minister or President of Pakistan.

In the United States, on the other hand, the same forces of celebrity, fame, name and face recognition, as well as hero worship were at work – but surprisingly at a much higher level.

One does not have to see too far back into recent history to see how quickly American politics moved from having a president having an affair with a movie star (like JFK and Marilyn Monroe) to actually electing Ronald Reagan as president of the most powerful nation on earth.

On top of that, the same Ronald Reagan, that many people claimed to despise during his presidency, considering him nothing more than a talking head, all recognize that he ended up being one of the most powerful American presidents ever.

To this day almost every single American candidate for the presidency, especially from the Conservative or Republican side, has always gone above and beyond to prove how much like Ronald Reagan he or she is – even if they themselves had nothing in common with Ronald Reagan, or even having been closer to a movie studio than a visit to Universal Studios theme parks!

This hero worship was also apparent when Arnold Schwarzenegger, also known as The Terminator, was elected "governator" of California. The reason this is important to note is that California is more than just one of 50 states in the United States. Even as a stand-alone economy it would count as the 12th largest country/economy in the world. And Schwarzenegger is still running that state. So, quite clearly it is more than just a temporary bout of celebrity worship that puts and keeps people like him in office in America.

Of course, there are other cases of movie stars dabbling in a political activity, but more as activists than as candidates. Some of them do this even at great personal cost.

After all it is the public that gives them their wealth, fame and career, and the public can take it away. That is why I have such immense respect for showbiz personalities like George Clooney, Sean Penn, and others, like Oliver Stone. They have boldly spoken out against George W. Bush and his idiotic policies which have turned a global superpower like America almost into a Third World country, on the brink of economic ruin.

Who can forget the lovely, and talented, Dixie Chicks, a wonderful trio of singers from Texas, who apologized to the world for the idiotic Bush being from their state and country, USA. They lost Millions of Dollars in record sales for their bold action from the rednecks that used to buy their CDs.

One also has to acknowledge some of these movie stars and even their producers who not only speak their opinions boldly, they even put their money where their mouth is. Oliver Stone‘s latest movie, "W" is a clear attack on Bush and exposing his inner circle of crooks and cronies. I plan to watch that movie after the elections.

Most recent examples of such personal and business risk-taking in movies include the movie Syriana, in which George Clooney exposed the evil so-called foreign policy that the oil companies and Washington use to control regimes in the Middle East.

I am surprised that more Americans, more Pakistanis and more Muslims/Arabs have not seen that movie. If you haven’t I strongly urge you to rent it out on DVD. Your viewing it will not help the producer make his money back, but it will give you a great appreciation for such creative people who risked their personal, financial and career assets on the line for their beliefs and to speak the truth.

Coming back to the topic of politicians and their connection to movie stars or showbiz, by the time you read these lines a new president will already have been elected in the United States.

I wish I could predict right now the words I will be saying on November 4 while covering the US presidential elections for Geo TV and MAG. But one of the interesting things to see will be what role, if any, movie stars’ supporting presidential candidates will have had.

John McCain appears to be on the losing track. But, I do not trust the American masses to look beyond Barack Obama’s race and skin color, as well as Muslim sounding name, to elect him president.

To get more of that so-called redneck vote out in his own support, the Republican’s latest rally brought out Arnold Schwarzenegger to root for John McCain the white candidate.

On the other hand Barack Obama is no slouch in the celebrity endorsement department either. Not only does he have the support of movie stars like Mark Wahlberg, several of the above-mentioned celebrities, Oprah Winfrey, as well as having his own star power – he also has the charisma of Bill Clinton now apparently on his side. That does not even count the increasing number of renowned Republicans like non-movie star but multi-star General Colin Powell endorsing Obama. 

And, in another illustration of how things can go full circle, Bill Clinton’s "boring" vice president, and democratic party candidate in 2000, Al Gore, has gone from being almost the President of the United States to almost being a "movie star" himself  – with his very popular documentary on global warming. As you can imagine, Al Gore is also rooting for Barack Obama.

We will wait and see which candidate’s ideas, personal magnetism, or movie star support wins this election. So we have to ask the "VOTER, VOTER, IN THE HALL; WHO’S THE BRIGHTEST STAR OF ALL?"

We’ll find out on November 4, but stay tuned and follow my coverage on GEO TV November 3-5, 2008, live from Washington, DC!

Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com

Posted in America, Bill Clinton, Bush, Democrats, Elections, George Bush, Imran, McCain, Movies, Obama, Pakistan, Powell, President, Racism, Republicans | Leave a Comment »

Profit From The Meltdown: Part 2: Huge Profit Opportunities In The Coming Recovery

Posted by imrananwar on October 22, 2008

Profit From The Meltdown:

Part 2: Huge Profit Opportunities In The Coming Recovery

By Imran Anwar

In the previous column we discussed why the current economic crisis appears far worse than it actually is. Yes, grave dangers exist if the world’s economies are mismanaged. But, so far, it appears that all major governments understand the global implications and are working together to stave off global ruin.

It is for this reason that I argue this may be the best time in the world to start investing, to take advantage of the huge opportunities and bargains that surround us, before everyone else does. This is especially true of younger generations, young families, and dynamic people who can afford to take a long term view more than someone close to retirement or already retired (unless they have significant amounts available to invest).

I believe the recession, though painful, will be short lived and will end soon into the Presidency of the new American President. This is especially true if history is any indicator. A Bush in the White House always leads this country into war and economic ruin, and his exit always leads to a historic economic recovery and the opportunity to create great wealth. I can hardly wait for Inauguration Day, 2009!

I also believe we will not have a global Great Depression version 2 between now and then.

There are several reasons for this. One is that most of the world governments and nations had learned several lessons from that historic crash of 1929 – which is referred to as The Great Depression. (I am not sure what was so "great" about it). In that particular crash, the then American administration had made many bad moves. That included not responding, not responding in time, then responding in a parochial, inward looking, protectionist way and doing too little too late.

You are not hearing me say that George W. Bush or his team of incompetent henchmen have done anything right. However, because we live in the Internet age, and most of world economies are so tightly intertwined, in general most of the developed world’s governments are working in unison to avoid a global meltdown, even while they recognize a recession is already underway.

How to minimize its damage, and to prevent it from turning into a domino effect – that brings the planet to its knees – is what they are fighting for. Bush and his team, and even Presidential candidate Senator John McCain, showed their cluelessness on the economy. At 9 AM one day McCain was saying the economy was strong. Two hours later he was saying the country (America) was in a grave crisis, as if a sudden earthquake had just taken place.

Then Bush’s Treasury Secretary Paulson said there were specific steps that would be just plain wrong – like the government taking equity stakes in American banks in exchange for large sums of capital. But, when the British, Europeans and Japanese governments did exactly that and saved their economies, literally a day later he was doing the same thing. So much for having any competent person in the White House team! (Maybe Bush can now say, "You’re doing a heckuva job Pauly"?)

But, regardless of how incompetent these people are, fortunately they are not the only ones who have a stake in saving the American economy from imploding.

There are countries with huge amounts of United States dollars stashed away in their banks. This includes countries like China. Even the Chinese Communist government, regardless of how disdainfully it may think of the United States, is smart enough to know that the greatest source of its wealth in recent years has been from manufacturing cheap goods that the American market just cannot get enough of buying.

Also, as few people realize, an American meltdown, of its economy or its currency, will also mean financial ruin for China in several ways. China’s growing working middle class depends on feeding the American consumption beast for it to survive and grow itself.

On top of that, over the least few years, despite participating in a world economy, and benefiting from capitalism and open markets, China has always manipulated its own currency to ensure its goods do not become too expensive to export. As a result, for several years, America has had a huge trade deficit with China, leading, effectively, to America owing China a lot of money.

Now its policy of protecting its own currency is coming back to bite China. That is because China is possibly the biggest non-American holder of huge reserves of Dollars. A crash of the Dollar can effectively wipe out China’s current economic wealth.

America, just like Pakistan right now, is hardly in a position to turn down economic support from any quarter. Sure, it’ll be a shameful and sad day for the United States to go begging to China. The one remaining superpower in both military and economic terms, before George W. Bush came into office, would actually now be dependent on a communist country like China to help save it’s capitalist society!

China, previously the source of cheap socks and itty-bitty cheap plastic toys could be and, I would say also for its own self-interest, has to be America’s economic savior.I also see this as a huge opportunity for Middle Eastern countries, also slush in Dollars and Petro-Dollars, to offer their help but leverage it to increase opportunities for their businesses. But, sadly, I have not seen much strategic exploitation of that of any significance. Sure, we have the occasional deal worth Billions (e.g. when a financially suffering chip-maker AMD has sold off a majority stake to ATIC of Abu Dhabi, an investment arm wholly-owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

But, I do not see a concerted, strategic and financial effort on the part of Middle-Eastern, or Muslim, investors and entrepreneurs to exploit opportunities as I see Indian and Israeli companies doing. I can imagine us crying in 20 years about how not only do the Jews control Hollywood and the media but then how Indians and Israelis control Silicon Valley.

Yes, I do see that Arabs have started buying up real estate, the one business they understand well here in America (being among the biggest buyers of casinos and other entertainment properties also). But, can they leverage this to help establish a foothold for Arabs and Muslims in things like Venture Capital and other next-generation financial industries? Sadly, it does not appear that is even a goal for them. It seems real estate is already, correctly, being targeted for massive investments but not much else.

It is for this reason that I am quite confident that huge opportunities exist for Pakistani, Middle-Eastern and Muslim investors to benefit, not just from real estate, but also from many other opportunities to buy financial, corporate and technology company assets at bargain prices.

Even though, like everyone else, I took significant hits in the stock market during the last several months, I have actually increased my holdings, especially in stocks of Citibank, as well as Apple. I have also bought stocks of others, like Amazon, Pepsi-Cola, etc. that also got hammered a few days ago. But, the greatest upside I still see in the stock market is in companies like Apple, as well as other battered financial stocks.

Last but not least expensive desirable real estate is going to become even more expensive and more desirable as the market turns around, which is sure to do in the coming days. This will be true especially in the United States when my fellow Americans are smart enough to change the direction this country is headed in. It will happen even sooner if they elect a candidate who is not simply going to continue George W. Bush’s policies of economic disaster. We will find out on November 4.

But, don’t lose sight of the huge opportunity for real estate that exists in other markets too.

Major American institutions have created funds of several Billion Dollars to start buying real estate in countries including India. Thanks to the self-destructive tendencies of my fellow Pakistanis, people hardly consider Pakistan as a safe haven for their money (much less their bodies!), but as real estate investment takes off, there will also be a trickle-down or trickle-sideways (osmosis?) effect on Pakistani real estate prices.

I have been making my best efforts to interest American investors in also including Pakistan in the list of places that they invest in – but so far it has been a losing battle. I am hopeful in the new Administration in America (and some improvement in Pakistan’s war on terrorists) that the USA will feel a greater need to invest in Pakistan. But, similar huge opportunities exist for Pakistanis of means to invest in real estate in the United States and I am seeing that a lot more from clients that I advise on doing business in the USA.

All in all, I am not just hopeful, but certain, that the current recession will be a short one, though not without short-term pain. I am positive that savvy investors are going to start putting their money, and their instincts, to work before everyone else jumps back on the bandwagon. I am working to do that, and hope you will too!


Conclusion.

Posted in Amazon, Apple, Bush, Business, China, Citibank, Economy, Elections, Globalization, Imran, India, Investment, McCain, Opportunity, Pakistan, Pepsi, Politics, President | Leave a Comment »

Batman, Putin, Palin & The WoManchurian Candidate – Part 2

Posted by imrananwar on October 3, 2008

Part 2: The Hilarity of Waiting For Happy Endings

By Imran Anwar

Just like any movie that does well. This article is a sequel to the one from last week. If you did not read it, what are you waiting for, read it here first.

Let’s get back to the business of American business being driven out of business, by the perfect storm of perfect storms that partly formed, and partly were created by the Bush administration, that we discussed last week.

Thanks to Bush and Cheney the big oil companies were able to rape and plunder the American consumer for the last full year. They did this by causing prices to be higher than they had ever been. They brought the economic engine of the United States to a standstill.

Just as I had predicted, oil prices that were previously blamed on China and India buying a lot of oil, have suddenly, and miraculously, started dropping. I am, oh, so sure, that this decline in oil prices has nothing to do with the upcoming elections and the dire straits that the Republicans find themselves in.

During this same period, the United States dollar, which is as close to a global currency as there ever was one, has been in freefall. Sure, my fellow Pakistanis are hurting because the Dollar seems to be rising as the Rupee continues to fall against it. But in reality, the Rupee would have been even more significantly lower against the dollar, had the dollar itself not become so weak during the Bush administration.

In most countries a falling currency usually leads to greater exports. However, unfortunately for us Americans, we hardly have anything left to manufacture, so all we can export are Hollywood movies (that soon end up on pirated DVDs), some Boeing aircraft (that I can bet China is reverse engineering as I write this) and maybe some software – (that is not being pirated around the word already).

As a result, high oil prices first ground the American economic engine to a halt. Then, money that was being invested in real estate and the stock market started disappearing as that bubble started to burst.

During this time, due to extremely poor oversight of the banking and mortgage industries, some of the largest, oldest and most respected banks in America were caught with their pants down. Assuming that the good times would continue forever, they had been buying up bad mortgages hand over fist. This was also true of two government backed organizations, nicknamed Fannie and Feddie, that also just went belly up with the US government having to bail them out. Today, AIG, one of the largest insurance companies also got a government bailout. All this time, consumers, and ordinary shareholders are bleeding to poverty and financial death.

As a result, when the consumer cash flow stopped these banks found themselves holding billions and billions of Dollars of worthless paper representing real estate that had lost a huge portion of its value compared to the bubble prices that they purchased at.

Some of these stories may sound familiar to my fellow Pakistani readers, who suffered from stock market and real estate market manipulations, reportedly at the hands of the highest leaders of the previous understanding administration. Congratulations, you are not alone. You have something else in common with Americans. You too were ripped off by your leaders just as Americans were.

It is amazing to see the surreal way my fellow Americans are worried about totally insignificant things. They wonder whether Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama loves his country or not, because his plane does not have an American flag painted on it.

Others are wondering if the talented but increasingly unstable Lindsay Lohan will end back in rehab soon. Yet others are so excited that a new season of TV shows and trash reality TV is going to start soon.

Others are lining up to see the latest Batman or some similar blockbuster movies. Hundreds of thousands of others are busy discussing how good or bad a quarterback Bret Favre will be for the New York Jets. America’s future jetting towards disaster is far from their minds.

Thank God there are shows like Saturday Night Live, whose former star Tina Fey came back to do a skit on Sarah Palin. I encourage you to check out the NBC video of this skit. Or, see if you can watch some great comedy but done by real American media heroes like Jon Stewart with The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report, on Comedy Central. They, it seems, are some of the few people calling it as it is, but is anyone listening. Do check them out on Apple’s iTunes Store (where yours truly also offers a free podcast to listen on your iPod or computer) or at http://www.comedycentral.com/ .

And all through this, the neo-con evil manufacturing factory is in full swing – trying to instill and install a medically, and some say mentally, unfit John McCain as president.

It is almost as if they are making a movie called The WoManchurian Candidate. Many concerned and patriotic Americans are wondering if the game plan actually is for McCain-Palin to be elected by hook or by crook and then the neo-cons hope for a quick demise of John McCain.

He is already a very old man with high risk of stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, 6 types of cancer in his past, former chain smoker, who takes Ambien to sleep. The neo-cons are hoping he succumbs to his medical conditions, so that this woman can be remote controlled to literally control the United States, and the world, far better than could have been done under an incompetent and now lame-duck George W. Bush.

I shudder to think of this perfect storm of perfect storms, all eying the United States, and any state that happens to be of strategic importance to the USA, especially Pakistan.

It is a scary thought. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to withdraw cash from what is left of my stock market account, so that I can go with my fellow American friends to watch some football games and movies. I hear a great new funny horror flick called “The WoManchurian Candidate” is being filmed around the country!

The writer is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com .

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Batman, Putin, Palin & The WoManchurian Candidate – Part 1

Posted by imrananwar on September 30, 2008



Batman, Putin, Palin & The WoManchurian Candidate – Part 1

Batman, Putin, Palin & The WoManchurian Candidate

Part 1: Made In HorrorWood: The Perfect Storm

By Imran Anwar

For those of us who remember the great movie “The Perfect Storm” that is what it surely feels like here in the United States.

I am blessed to have homes in Lahore, New York and Miami in Florida. I was fortunate when, despite all of them being under attack by forces of nature, they all survived. Everyone in Lahore, including my family, as well as many other residents of Pakistan, felt recent earthquake tremors. That same week Long Island in New York was facing one hurricane, while Miami was threatened by the massive hurricane Ike, which later went on to hit Texas.

But, though I, and many others, were very lucky in all of these coincidental storms passing by without causing any serious damage to me or my property or endangering anyone in my family or loved ones, forces apparently even bigger than nature had a lot more in store for us.

One such force, seemingly bigger than nature’s fury, was nothing less than the Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who seems nothing less than God’s punishment for any wrongs America may have done.

She apparently is on a mission to do nothing short of God’s work, even more than the previous Bible thumper in the White House, George W. Bush was. She is seen on videotapes telling people that it is God’s work to drill for oil in Alaska. So, I can only imagine how much she will feel it is God’s work to attack Russia and be puttin’ Putin in his place. Or, as a gun-lover, moose-killer, what heat she may be plannin’ on packin’ on Pakistan – to do more God’s work here?

Apparently this vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is already acting more like the lead of the McCain-Palin ticket. Even more worrisome, she is said to be member of an even crazier group of Bible-thumping, Armageddon-seeking Crusading Christians than Bush was. John McCain and his campaign are doing a lot to try to hide all that is wrong with Sarah Palin and her candidacy. But, they need not bother. Apathetic Americans are what they are counting on most and my fellow Americans are sitting all over their increasingly large behinds to oblige.

Apparently, winning the elections at all costs, including shoving into power the most inappropriate, controversial, power-hungry, incompetent, nepotism practicing, family enriching, corrupt and partisan person available is not the provenance only of Pakistani politicians and Parliament members. They are not the only ones whose loyalty lies more with their political party than their own country.

It seems my fellow Americans, and the Republican Party, are quite capable of doing even more so to sell out their country just to win an election than my fellow Pakistanis and People’s Party “jialas” are. Lucky me, I belong to both countries.

There can simply be no other explanation for how quickly Sarah Palin has come to prominence and how much she is now driving the agenda. She is the beloved of the far right, fringe extremist groups of Christians in America. Yet, just like Bush, even more actually, she is the sweetheart of the Zionist, Israeli-agents, the repulsive, ugly, dangerous and secret enemies of America like Richard Perle.

That man, whose ugly face, and uglier agenda, you will probably remember was another so-called architect of the disastrous war in Iraq, alongside William Kristol. Perle was the leading voice of lies and deceit, which made up the complete fabrication that led to the war in Iraq. Together Kristol and Perle, and their Zionist hench-creatures, exploiting the fundamentalist Christians belief in helping the Israel mentioned in their version of the Bible, are back at it, shaping the agenda to suit Zionism.

These neo-conservatives, the so-called neo-cons, are the ones who had a global agenda of using American military might to shape the Middle East and then the rest of the word in the image that they see fit.

In Sarah Palin they have found a candidate of even more malleable, almost silly putty based, mental capability than George Bush.

The problem they had with George W. Bush was that he is so often appearing stupid, that he was as much a liability for their movement as an asset. His unique ability to make an ass of himself, as well as his disastrous management of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, led to these neo-con evil-doers being sidelined for a bit.

The Republican Party’s desperation to seek the far-right wing vote, and to hang on to power at any cost, including destruction of long-term American interests, has given these vile creatures the perfect opportunity to line up another perfect storm.

This second perfect storm is comprised of many things, all based on the need to ensure a Republican administration continues to run, and ruin, this country.

It includes the damage being done to world affairs and American interests by the outgoing administration off George W. Bush, including now almost starting to wage war on, and inside, Pakistan. It covers their desire not to be prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq, or being charged for economic frauds and rape of the American economy committed on their watch. And, for the right-wing Christians behind them, we have their not so secret desire to bring about a clash of civilizations.

With Sarah Palin, they have a nasty but seemingly likable, intellectually shallow but attractive, cunning but overall uneducated, tough sounding but moldable, gun toting cowgirl with lipstick, who is just ultraconservative yet hypocritical enough to be the perfect element to complete a perfect storm.

As if the United States needed any more trouble, on top of the latest bombing of an American Embassy in Yemen, shows Bush’s so-called War no Terror, did not protect American interests. A third perfect storm of perfect storms is brewing and now actually hammering the economic shores of the United States.

As if the full scale shipping of American jobs to India and other countries was not enough, as if the shipping of almost all medium-sized and even heavy manufacturing to China was not enough, the economically disastrous policies of George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney, led to a total economic meltdown which is currently underway.

As an American citizen, with 20 years invested in this great country, I am a one of thousands, if not millions, who have literally watched all their life savings disappear over the last few weeks, and especially just in the last two or three days. And this week, month and quarter are not even over. This definitely was not the week to be an American Gladiator in the stock market. Whether Noora-Kushti planned by politicians and big business, or just big bust-ness of the economy, we feel pummeled by this, yet another, “The Perfect Storm.”

The writer is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com .

Posted in Alaska, America, Bush, Florida, Hurricane, Kristol, Lahore, McCain, Miami, Movies, Neocon, Pakistan, Palin, Perle, Putin, Russia, Storm, USA | Leave a Comment »

Friends, Not Masters – A New Old Approach For Pakistan-US Relations

Posted by imrananwar on September 17, 2008

President Zardari, the whole nation and almost the whole world have congratulated you on your ascension to the highest office in our land.
Your political party also controls Parliament and most of the provincial bodies. The Armed Forces have, showing wisdom and loyalty to the Constitution of Pakistan, stayed out of the fray.
Past allies and even competitors have shown political civility towards you. For the first time in recent history of Pakistan there is not a group of politicians sitting outside the tent throwing rocks, claiming the President is illegitimate.
On top of that, you can even leverage your historic domestic opportunity to win advantages for Pakistan on the global affairs scene.
As a Pakistani writer, and later as an American TV and media commentator, I have always loudly complained about the way America and Americans want to see democracy around the world, but American policymakers love to deal with, and support, dictators, especially in Pakistan.
Even in this, fate is on your side, at least at present. As I said during a recent interview on the very popular and influential Fox News Channel, in having you as President of Pakistan, America and American policymakers can get what they both want; a democratically elected Pakistani President with almost dictatorial powers, but without the bad aftertaste of a military regime.
Talking about fate, it seems the alignment of the stars favors you in one more way. Thanks to the foolish, even America-destroying, policies adopted by President George W. Bush, the United States has turned its post September 11, 2001 surplus of global goodwill into a huge deficit. His actions have made and are making America, and my fellow Americans, widely reviled among the very people who once loved us.
Not content with destruction of America’s foreign goodwill, Mr. Bush has also taken the huge economic surplus left by ex-President Bill Clinton, and turned that into a huge, and growing, budget deficit. The result is the weakening of the sole-superpower, the United States of America, and enabling opportunities for other countries to rise up.
That is why puny dictators, like the one in North Korea, can play games of one-upmanship with Bush. It is also why Russia was so easily able to walk right into, and take over, parts of the former Soviet state of Georgia. They did it knowing full well that all Bush could do was send the Darth Vader of American politics, Vice President Dick Cheney scampering to the region. All Cheney could do was try to ensure the remaining states did not start quickly falling in line with the latest Russian expansionism.
What that means for America is the opportunity to work with a democratically elected President (and Prime Minister) of Pakistan, both belonging to the same party, which also enjoys a clear mandate by the nation to solve problems. What that means for Pakistan, under your government, is to exploit your position, not for further personal gain, or to benefit your friends and supporters, but to gain greater benefits for Pakistan and Pakistanis.
When I first heard about it, I thought you were doing well by heading to China, a supposedly stalwart Pakistani ally, but which recently has started building close relations with India. But now I hear that trip may be on hold. I still think you should not ignore China in this manner.
I also think it is imperative that you reach out to the Russians.
I have always been anti-Soviet, and am no fan of Russia or its grand designs. But, at this juncture in time and history, it is imperative for Pakistan to finally, and fully, exploit its geo-strategic opportunities. Former Communist and Socialist states are now more and more Capitalistic, at least in their economies. Therefore, it is even easier for you, and Pakistan, to build relationships with, what I call, a “Commutalist” China and a Resurgent Russia.
Let no one think for a moment that I have forsaken my lifelong disdain for Communism, Socialism and all things Soviet. I actually think Pakistan reaching out to Russia is in the interest of both countries I am citizen of, Pakistan and the United States.
How is that possible? Well, it is long standing US policy to exploit Pakistan as a willing satellite and then to walk away from it to go woo India, for example. Having a Pakistan that can as easily walk into the arms of China and Russia actually will help ensure American policymakers show more wisdom in dealing with Pakistan.
What this enables you to do is leverage the situation and work with America. It lets you gain back the trust we lost in the post-9/11 age. It helps you gain facilities that Pakistan has never enjoyed, despite being a loyal American friend for six decades.
During this time, a supposedly non-aligned, but Soviet-allied, India has gained incredibly huge business benefits. Even worse, it is now getting closer and closer to the United States militarily.
To add insult to an even bigger injury, it is India that is now getting civilian nuclear technology from the Bush government. The lame duck government of General Musharraf had ample time to prevent this terrible decision from being made by the lame duck administration of George W. Bush.
Despite having American policy being totally based on his persona, General Dictator Musharraf, and his lazy cohorts, hardly tried to do more than just get enough funds from America to keep them in power. Even if they did try, they failed miserably to stop India’s brilliant and confident march on to the world stage. India has managed to stand next to the United States as a democracy peer, and one day as a military one too. Even more brilliantly, India has done this without jeopardizing its relationship with the Russians.
What kind of slap in the face, kick in the pants, or punch in the nose does a Pakistani government need to see how quickly, and how effectively, Pakistan is being sidelined on the global stage?
The need of the hour from you, on the world stage, is to show that Pakistan means business; not that ruling Pakistan is just a business.
It is essential to insist that America immediately, sincerely and boldly increase its development aid to Pakistan. But you have to ensure transparency in linking such development funds to specific national level projects, be they dams, power plants or roads and infrastructure in underdeveloped areas of Pakistan. With your mandate, and the powers you are yet to show signs of relinquishing, you can easily push through long-stalled projects essential to national development and even survival.
Insist and demand that American nuclear power companies, with some of the world’s best civilian nuclear technology, be allowed to build, own and operate nuclear power plants in Pakistan. This is mutually beneficial. The American nuclear industry segment, which is very close to the Bush and his interests, gets opportunities to grow their global business. Pakistan gets the fastest possible mechanism for producing cheapest possible energy. And, this gets done while ensuring these civilian energy related nuclear projects do not get bogged down in nuclear non-proliferation issues.
Instead of increasing reliance on aging US-supplied military hardware, especially Zia-era aircraft like the F-16s, you must try to expand the horizons of Pakistan’s defense forces. To build our own capabilities, you must invite and encourage Pakistan’s private sector and technology entrepreneurs to build and provide military grade technologies to our armed forces.
At the same time, Pakistan must make sincere efforts to win America’s trust. You must leverage Pakistan’s geo-strategic location. Your government has to show solid results in the war on terror, which is now “our war” as much as America’s.
Your government should work to help stabilize Afghanistan and earn the right and privilege to be at par with, if not ahead, of the technologies America is giving India.
I can think of many reasons why my fellow Americans must realize that India is a long-term threat to US military and strategic interests in the region. I am sure your brilliant foreign affairs experts can give you many more.
Yet, India has all world powers falling over each other to sell it weapons and give it technology and business. Why can’t Pakistan do the same? Pakistan should reach out to European, Russian and American governments and defense manufacturers to seek the best they have to offer.
To exploit to the fullest the foreign relations opportunities you have been blessed with, I suggest that you reach out to, and visit, the largest powers that impact us directly. You must meet with the leaders of China, Russia, the United States as well as India.
Going to Dubai to take care of any kind of non-strategic, non-mission-critical, or personal business is a bad move. Blowing off China and rushing to our former colonizers in the United Kingdom at their slightest beckoning is a move Pakistan, and your government, will regret in the long run.
My suggestion is still to visit China, Russia, possibly Saudi Arabia. I would also add France, Germany and Japan to the list, while having your experts consider visiting a Muslim country like Malaysia that has done well on the global economic scene.
Yes, later, you should also visit the UK, and the USA and the UAE and any other country that you have an interest in.
But, now is not the time to rush there. When the time is right, when you have established a modicum of Pakistani sovereignty and independence, in the eyes of these countries, only then should you visit them. Believe me, you will find them more respectful and receptive to you if they know you are not rushing to their arms.
Ironically, even then, the loud and clear message you have to carry, as a democratically elected Pakistani President, is best summed in the words of a former dictator.
The people of Pakistan seek relationships with all these countries…. as our “Friends, Not Masters.”

Posted in Afghanistan, America, Anwar, Bhutto, Bush, China, Clinton, Constitution, Dictator, Dictatorship, Election, Elections, France, Germany, History, Jihad, McCain, Musharaff, Pakistan, President, Republicans, Security, Self Defense, Terrorism, Terrorist, USA, War | Leave a Comment »

Sex Appeal, Sax Appeal, American Idol, Idle Americans & The President

Posted by imrananwar on September 12, 2008

It is hard to imagine it was nearly 16 years ago that a brash, bold politician named Bill Clinton put his media-savvy personality, charm, good looks and sax-playing ability to good use on American television.
He showed up on TV as a guest of the now-defunct show with Arsenio Hall. (You remember him as the guy whose face flashes in the hit song “Straight Up (Now Tell Me)” by singer-dancer-choreographer, and now a judge on the hit TV show “American Idol”, the cute bundle of energy, Paula Abdul). Clinton did not do this while running for Mayor of some small town, but as a Presidential candidate of the United States of America.
Political analysts, and pundits, diverged in their views on the move. Some thought it cheapened the Presidency, making Presidential candidates act like actors or musicians hawking their latest books on late night shows of Jay Leno or David Letterman, or showing their tender sides on Oprah Winfrey’s show. Others thought it was a brilliant move. It enabled Clinton to connect with a politically disconnected youth population that was more interested in how high Madonna’s skirt was than in how low global opinion of America was.
In the end, Clinton won. This was partly for his savvy moves, and partly because George H. W Bush (father of the current lame-duck American President George Bush) was a clueless President who oversaw the US economy sliding into recession. (Like father, like son?)
And in the long run, American politics became even more inextricably mixed with show business, and the selling of candidates as products not leaders.
The victory of style over substance was visible all through the current Presidential election campaign now taking place in America. Despite not having too much experience, Barack Obama was able to use his star power and personality, his eloquence and some great ideas, to build a campaign. This has enabled him to overcome even the challenges of being inexperienced, Black and having a Muslim sounding name! He was able to beat out Hilary Clinton (who should possibly have learnt to play Guitar or Saxophone like her husband). Obama made a far more experienced and well-known Senator John McCain have to play catch up throughout the campaign.
But what advantage show-biz type political exposure giveth, so does it taketh away. John McCain’s campaign was in dire straits (some say it still is). But, more than any specific problems, it suffered the worst malaise in the world of politics today – it lacked “interestingness.”
There was just nothing exciting about a Presidential candidate who, despite being a war hero and long term senator, was seventy-something years old, and totally boring.
He had sided with George W. Bush in his disastrous policies on Iraq, and had no clues on how to solve Americans’ other major concern, the failing economy. On top of that he was jumping around from issue to issue.
He was weakly trying to appear relevant in a world driven by the star power of Barack Obama. His old guard Republican money machine, often selling out American interests to oil companies and the military industrial complex was being beaten by Obama’s money and public awareness juggernaut on the Internet. Youth was lacking in McCain and his campaign, while it was central in Obama’s campaign.
To make matters worse, McCain actually tried to cut into Obama’s mass popularity by implying that he was a mindless celebrity. In a now infamous TV commercial, McCain ridiculed Obama by comparing him to blonde bimbos like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton (previously my target of ridicule in another article). The only thing was, the technique backfired.
Paris Hilton (“famous for being famous” and infamous for her interesting “home videos”) was the wrong target to poke fun of. Not only was Paris Hilton’s mother a donor to McCain’s election campaign, to her credit, Paris Hilton played along and turned the tables. Enjoying being the center of attention, she turned that into her own political ad. You can see it on YouTube ridiculing John McCain, his campaign and so-called energy policies.
During all these McCain blunders, Hilary Clinton kept fighting Obama for the Democratic nomination. This time around, though, her very popular husband, Bill Clinton lost his groove, and was not able to swing support in her favor. Maybe it is because he said politically incorrect things while tooting his and his wife’s horn, but he also did not show up on TV to play the saxophone. That may have worked better than some of the things he said. Result: Hilary lost to Obama.
It seemed like a done deal for Obama to beat McCain. To top things off, Obama, whom the Republicans accuse of being inexperienced, chose quite a good candidate for Vice President. Senator Joseph Biden, while even more talkative than me after having four drinks of Pepsi and coffee, has vast foreign policy and Washington experience.
That is when the Obama campaign seems to have lost some momentum. Instead of building on this great candidacy they appear a bit rudderless right now.
There is also the question of race. When someone asked the question “Is America ready for a Black President?” one of my favorite TV personalities in America, John Stewart, reportedly said that before Bush’s election “No one asked if we were ready for a moron President!” But, whether Obama can turn his dynamic rise into a historical election remains to be seen.
That is when John McCain did the dumbest thing in the world – which just may put him into the running again to be President.
After ridiculing Obama for his lack of experience, seeing that Hilary’s loss had upset some women voters and people wanted change – he picked a very inexperienced woman governor of Alaska to become his Vice President.
How poorly selected was this woman, Sarah Palin?
After she was nominated it came to light that, despite the Republican’s often holier-than-thou attitudes and anti-choice agendas, Mrs. Palin’s underage daughter is pregnant. Now the Republicans are trying to sound more “open minded”. Instead of Palin’s daughter’s boyfriend being arrested for the crime of statutory rape, he was sitting front row at the Republican National Convention. What a joke.
But, wait, there’s more! Candidate Sarah Palin’s selected was so poorly vetted, it has now also been found that her husband belonged to some sort of militia or anti-USA organization that wanted Alaska to secede from the USA. Good old Sarah Palin also had used office funds for her personal use. On top of that, she used State funds to hire the lawyer to defend her in the case of that corruption. And we complain about Pakistani politicians!
You would think all these reasons would be enough even for a corrupt Pakistani political party to throw out the candidate in question. But, for the Republicans desperate to breathe new life into a comatose candidate like McCain, she is nothing short of a miracle.
She is not Virgin Mary, but she is their Hail Mary pass at scoring a touchdown this election. Sarah Palin is very attractive, as is McCain’s wife Cindy. This may be an election in which these two women’s looks may well decide the election.
Just like selling a new shampoo, the selling of the Presidential candidate to the American public now requires sex appeal, even more than sax appeal!

Posted in America, Anwar, Bill Clinton, Britney Spears, Clinton, Democrats, Election, Hilary Clinton, Imran, McCain, Obama, Paris Hilton, Paula Abdul, Politics, President, Race, Republicans, Sarah Palin | Leave a Comment »

 
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