Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Roger Cohen fails to find a quotable line in Obama’s Cairo speech
The charm and majesty of Obama is in his delivery before his captive mesmerized audience that laps it up as he goes along, word by word, phrase by phrase, line by line.
It is like a symphony performance that lingers in the inner recesses of the listeners’ soul, long before it has ended.
Roger Cohen is a prejudiced commentator. He is Jewish and for all it may take, a Zionist too and since for the first time in last 8 years of Bush years, Israel is getting it right and left, all Jewish lobbyists and media moguls are enraged. Cohen’s comments should be hardly a surprise, given his loyalties with Israel. Naturally, not only he personally would like to forget all Obama speeches, after Cairo speech, in a retrospectively castigation, Cohen would wish the entire world to forget that Obama had ever addressed the Islamic World, when in the same breath Obama not only patronised Israel but exhorted Israel to change course. In fact, if Cohen is fishing for a memorable and quotable line in Obama speech, Obama could have added: Israel, get off while the going is good.
Cohen’s advice to Obama to resort to ‘cunning and maneuver’ is a throw back to typical Jewish traits that better not despoil Obama’s straight talk and straight walk. As it is, he has just come out of the dark shadows of American Jewish Neo-cons cunning and maneuvering record of manipulating Bush and Cohen’s counsel could hardly be other than poison in the garb of a literary/political critique.
This reminds me of an Indian folk story, where a village verse writer had a gift of ridiculing his village friends in matching rhymes. He saw a Jaat, a farmer sitting on a cot – Khaat and called out to him: Jaat re Jaat, tere sar be Khaat. (Jaat, may this Khaat hit your head).
Now it so happened that this ‘poet’ was a Teli, a ‘lowly’ caste that crushes oil seeds to extract oil. They use the heavy oil grinder that is driven by bullocks.
The Jaat instantly replied: Teli re Teli, tere sar be kulooh (grinder).
Teli, in the same vein as our NYT columnist Roger Cohen, came out with the retort: but this does not rhyme.
Jaat said, rhyme or no rhyme, when the grinder hits your head, you will know, who hit the hardest.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai