Friday, August 20, 2004

Dirty campaigning

I do not watch much TV, so I hardly get to see the Bush/Cheney & Kerry/Edwards campaign ads. But, they're definitely making headlines. The latest controversy revolves around an ad about Kerry's story about the swift boat & the rescue mission. A Texas based organization helped put it up, although it is being discredited by many even Arizona Republican Senator McCain. An interesting development has been third party putting up ads either for Bush or Kerry - if it works for the candidates, great; if it doesn't, they can conveniently say they're not directly involved with the ad! Look here for some great satirical ads on Bush. Speaking of ads, Bush has used the Olympic Iraqi soccer team's success on an ad praising his "success in bringing freedom" to Iraq & Afghanistan. Sports Illustrated reports that the Iraqi team is not very happy about this.

A new report on Abu Ghraib does not bring any more good news. This article relays more top-down controversies. A University of Minnesota professor has been talking about how some military doctors aided in the torture or helped cover up cases of homicide.

Airport security has been a major issue for many Arabs, Muslims & other foreigners. My family & I were also "randomly selected" for a security check on our way to LAX in June. Well, guess what? Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy from Massachusetts was not spared either. NY Times reports that "between March 1 and April 6, airline agents tried to block Mr. Kennedy from boarding airplanes on five occasions because his name resembled an alias used by a suspected terrorist who had been barred from flying on airlines in the United States." I had to laugh when I read this - so much for effective security!

Living in the West as Muslims is no easy feat, especially after 911. However, the strained relationship between the East & West is not new, when one looks at the Crusades and more recently colonization. National Public Radio has initiated a series called, The Middle East & the West: A Historical View. Most of it is audio, but they do have text links - you can also request transcripts. The special series can be heard during All Things Considered around 5pm CST.

The situation in Najaf is raising a lot of confusion about whether the standoff in Imam Ali's shrine has ended or not. Looks like we'll have to watch the news as more developemnts are reported.

Have a great weekend y'all!