By now, no one has any doubt that John McCain’s campaign is in direst of straits. If you didn’t know this, you would after hearing him utter the words in the title of this post. Even stranger, McCain indirectly likened the Chicago dinner that Obama attended to honor Rashid Khalidi to a “neo-Nazi” gathering. In addition, McCain gets a terror twofer with this one because Bill Ayers, that master criminal 9/11-supporting terrorist (meant ironically), attended the same event. I wouldn’t believe this if I hadn’t read it with my own eyes:
“We should know about their relationship, including, apparently, information that is held by the Los Angeles Times concerning an event that Mr. Ayers attended with a PLO spokesman. The Los Angeles Times refuses to make that videotape public,” McCain said. “I’m not in the business of talking about media bias, but what if there was a tape with John McCain with a neo-Nazi outfit being held by some media outlet? I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different.”
Now, why did John have to go and forever spoil America’s image of him by making us imagine him goosestepping with a swastika on his arm. Yuck!
Rashid Khalidi, by the way, is not and never was a “PLO spokesperson.” In fact, he’s a respected professor of Middle Eastern politics at Columbia University. And even if he was, has McCain forgotten that the PLO is our supposed ally in Palestine against Hamas? Returning to Khalidi, as an academic, he’s a critical observer of events in the Middle East and is able to be critical of each side including the Palestinian. And since when is being a Palestinian academic in this country a criminal offense? This is the rankest Islamophobia and I’d like to see some sensible Republicans step forward and tell McCain to knock it off. If anyone thinks this will motivate a single American to vote for McCain, they all need to have their heads examined. In fact, it may do just the opposite. Certainly, McCain has lost every possible Arab-American Republican who might have voted for him. Not to mention independents who will be disgusted by this smearmongering.
I’m happy to say that after this election Rashid Khalidi will have his reputation intact, while John McCain’s will be in tatters. I keep saying this every day, but the depths to which his campaign sinks gets lower every time he opens his mouth.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.