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N.O. displays of nut cases won't get country's sympathy

Some may argue that with Ray Nagin as mayor of New Orleans, the city already has a reputation of harboring wackos. But the city’s nuttiness increased exponentially last week with a crew that just gives the rest of the more-balanced country reason to shake its head and dismiss it and its prospects.

Some of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s policy preferences no doubt are caricatures of reasoned intellect, bereft of substance or any connection to the real world. However, being a seasoned politician it’s questionable just how much of it she truly believes when more likely these ideas are just political tools to achieve power. By contrast, some of the people accompanying her to the “The State of the Black Union” event in New Orleans last weekend make her look centrist and reasonable.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, representing the District of Columbia in the House of Representatives, supports increased gun control, a moratorium on the death penalty, and the U.S. unilaterally disarming itself of nuclear weapons, while being against school vouchers. Rep. Maxine Waters of California has voted consistently against support of American military forces in the Middle East, defended action of race rioters after the O.J. Simpson trial verdict, and praised on more than one occasion the action of recently-retired Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Prof. Cornel West has preached Marxism from Ivy League campuses combined with the ignorant mantra that the U.S. is a "racist patriarchal" nation where "white supremacy" continues to define everyday life. I don’t suppose West’s pal Rev. Al Sharpton or Rev. Jesse Jackson need any explication of their nuttiness. (Poor Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu must have gotten roped into this out of obligation both to the state’s tourism industry which he nominally oversees and his sister Mary’s reelection chances.)

Yet, incredibly, these weren’t the most colossal moonbats to hit town last week. Preceding them by a few days was one Hussein Ibish, who passed himself off as a representative of the Islamic community said America’s view of it is steadily deteriorating under an onslaught of “bigotry” on cable news shows, newspaper op-ed pages and in the blogosphere. He got the chance to say this at a forum provided by some useful idiots at the Payson Center for International Development and Technology Transfer at Tulane University.

Ibish, founder of the Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation for Arab-American Leadership, has made a career of accusing American culture of oppressing Muslims. As Communications Director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, prior to the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks he accused the weak counter-terrorist measures than employed as an assault on civil liberties, praised and defended the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hizbollah, condones suicide bombing as long as “civilians” aren’t hurt, and claimed the Iraqi prison controversy was a product of Hollywood and certain intellectuals and their organs (note: all presumably Jews or run by them). One of these is academician and journalist Daniel Pipes who has written critically about Ibish and demonstrated his lack of moral standing to assert his self-anointed role as a spokesman for American Muslims.

Despite his hateful rhetoric, incredibly Ibish still had the audacity to call these opponents’ comments “bigoted.” To say the religious-hating Ibish has any moral or intellectual capital to presume to diagnose feelings about Muslims, the relation of this to public policy in the U.S., or feelings of his opponents is laughable. Similarly, to hold him out as a representative of Muslims in America is like arguing the proxy for American womanhood is Bratney Spears. Saddest of all, however, is that Tulane didn’t appear duped at all by this charlatan, but actually took him seriously. “Dr. Ibish is a fearless and tireless advocate for Arab Americans. He has the ability to distill issues to their essence, and brings to the fore something that most Americans have little if any awareness of — hate crimes and discrimination against Arab Americans,” a starry-eyed graduate student remarked with a statement surely to give pause to anyone who thinks much if any learning goes on at Tulane’s Payson Center.

And given that it’s about as infantile to suggest that Jackson, Sharpton, Waters, Norton and West know anything about what typical black Americans go through, the rest of the country has to look at these events in New Orleans and simply conclude nothing intellectually serious is occurring there. Which is going to make it all the more difficult to convince America that taxpayer dollars should go to help rebuild the place.

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