Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Obama to Choudhury: No, We Can't

Via Hot Air, here is the latest video contribution to the Barack Obama personality cult. It manages to be creepily Orwellian and unintentionally hilarious all at the same time:

In the meantime, there is one individual who is probably somewhat less than impressed by Obama's gloriously vague paeans to hope and change. His name is Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury and I have written about his situation a number of times.

Choudhury is a Bangladeshi journalist arrested in 2003 and charged with sedition, treason and blasphemy, offenses that carry the death penalty in that country. His real crimes consisted of speaking out in defense of Israel and condemning the spread of radical Islamism in Bangladesh. Richard Benkin, an American friend of Choudhury's, began to lobby members of Congress on his behalf. In a March 28 piece for The American Thinker web site, Benkin explains how his efforts drew a positive response from every lawmaker he lobbied, with one exception:

In fact, I approached about 15 percent of the House and a handful of Senators: Democratic, Republican, left, right, moderate; you name it. And every one of them reacted with support; every one of them, that is, except one. Who was the one lawmaker that took a pass on saving the life of an imprisoned US ally and opponent of Islamist extremism? That's right, my own Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

I first met with his staff in April 2005 in his DC office. Keep in mind this was the same week that Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) spent hours learning about the case and then met well after "working hours" in a very difficult meeting with the Bangladeshi ambassador and me to secure Shoaib's release. I brought Obama's staff extensive documentation of the injustice, as well as other evidence of Shoaib's activities; we spoke for quite a long time, but they never called back. In fact, they ignored all my subsequent follow-up contacts. But it was, after all soon after his election; perhaps early disorganization was to blame.

Yet, I spoke personally with Obama 13 months later at a general meeting hosted by Obama and Durbin. To my delight, when my name was mentioned, Durbin responded immediately with praise and support, saying that it was "an important human rights case," and asked to see me privately about the matter. I spoke with to both him and Obama, who at his best moments looked quizzical and confused. While Durbin later sent a formal protest to the Bangladeshis, Obama never responded; nor again did he or his staff reply to my subsequent entreaties.

I spoke with Obama one other time about Shoaib's case, less than six months later. I reminded him or our last encounter, gave him an update on the case, and asked for his support in one of any number of ways. He hesitated a moment then held out his hand and said, "Well, we're sure happy for all the work you are doing." Propriety prevents me from verbalizing what I was thinking then. I offered to send him more information, which he asked me to do. And, guess what, I never heard back despite the reams of evidence I did send.

(Emphasis added-DD)

In a recent post, Irshad Manji proclaimed Barack Obama to be an "Agent of Moral Courage". Yet said agent of courage cannot be bothered to take the simplest of actions on behalf of a Muslim dissident facing possible execution for his beliefs. "Yes, we can"? Apparently not if you're a persecuted Muslim freethinker.


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