Archive for September, 2008

Explosion from Pakistan: On watching SNL and coming to terms with being an inbred redneck.

An analysis of the 2008 Presidential Campaign

September 20, 2008

by Joe Snuffy

You might not think that incest and Pakistan have much in common, but I think I may be on to something here. First, calm down and take a deep breath. Unlike SNL, I am not trying to argue that people I have political disagreements with are incestuous. The connection has nothing to do with Islam or the people of Pakistan. With that in mind, let’s walk through the thought process. 

The recent bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan has again turned our attention to that troubled country. Most Americans have no idea of what it must be like to live in a country like Pakistan and we are left with very few solutions to offer to stem the violence. This, apparently, is not the case for one of our Presidential candidates. Good for us right? Senator Obama claims that his connections with Pakistan give him valuable insights that his competitors lack. Not familiar with the Senator’s Pakistani connection? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Wondering what in the heck any of this has to do with Saturday Night Live? You must not be paying attention to the 2008 Presidential Elections.

On April 6, 2008, at the San Francisco fundraiser that gave us the infamous “clinging to guns and religion” sound-byte, the Senator revealed that while in college he took a three week trip to Pakistan with his friend Wahid Hamid to visit the family of another college friend Mohammed Hasan Chandoo. He told the crowd of fundraisers and supporters gathered in San Francisco that: “Foreign policy is an area where I am most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain” and that: “I knew what Sunni and Shia were before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.” He seems to have based these claims on these friendships with Hamid and the Chandoos, on his time living in Indonesia, and on his previously unrevealed trip to Pakistan as a college student. I would be interested to ask him that since he claims this trip had such an impact on his foreign policy credentials, why did he fail to mention it in the two memoirs he published?

Larry Rohter of The New York Times questioned the Obama staff about the trip and reported that: “Mr. Obama visited Pakistan in 1981, on the way back from Indonesia, where his mother and half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, were living. He spent ‘about three weeks’ there, Mr. Obama’s press secretary, Bill Burton, said, staying in Karachi with the family of a college friend, Mohammed Hasan Chandoo, but also traveling to Hyderabad, in India.” Given this information, why has no one followed up to find out anything about the Chandoo family? They have been contributors to Obama’s campaigns and Hasan Chandoo is a major bundler for Senator Obama’s presidential campaign. Why have the media not followed up with any investigative reporting and why, when asked for a comment from Fox News, did Hasan Chandoo refuse to comment?

There could be a few reasons for their silence. One reason might be that the Chandoo family has a number of websites full of anti-American, anti-Semitic, and sexist commentary declaring America to be a fascist state full of rednecks and another proclaiming the virtues of the practice of ‘muttah.’ Look it up sometime. It is a short term marriage contract that amounts to what many of us would consider prostitution. It is also a way that men can sell their daughters’ services to tourists for a little extra cash. A few muttah candidates from their Khoja News Network website include Cindy Crawford, Kamal Sidhu and MTV India’s VJ Shenaz.

I hope everyone takes a look at the Chandoo brothers’ websites. Better do it fast too before they take them down (don’t worry, I have them archived). On the Politics page there is a photo of President Bush as Hitler with a list of the characteristics of a fascist. The Bush News Network has as its banner: “Operation Iraqi Liberation: Mission Accomplished.” Then scrolling down the page I find another OIL entry:

George W. Bush Receives Key Endorsement from Rednecks

The Organization for Incestuous Living (OIL) threw its firm support behind President George W.  Bush in his bid for a second term.

OIL said that the President was just like them:

“We’re both from the south; we love beer; we love our families (only we love them literally); and we have the same IQ.”

I think I see their point. OIL is OIL. Even a dumb Army guy like me can see it. President Bush relied on a bunch of inbred rednecks to get elected and then sent a bunch of us inbred rednecks to invade Iraq for the oil. I wonder if I would still be considered an inbred redneck today if I had listened to Senator Kerry in 2004 and avoided the military by getting a better education? Or are we all (or at least 59,054,087 of us) inbred rednecks by association?   

Are these gentlemen, gentlemen who compare our President to Hitler and call us a nation of inbred rednecks, the kind of people we want our Commander-in-Chief counting among his longtime friends and financial backers? Do you want to see them at Presidential events, maybe even getting a chance for a night in the Lincoln bedroom? I am fairly certain that if I had friends like these that I would not have gotten a security clearance when I joined the Army. The Senator recently saidthat he thought about joining the military, but I wonder if he would have passed the screening process, even as a young man.    

The New York Times and many other news agencies have recently descended into Wasilla, Alaska to find anyone looking to trash Sarah Palin in front of the national media. The American media thinks that the experience and associations of the Republican vice presidential candidate are that critical. We must know what the librarian, the hairdresser and the guy who serves beer at the local tavern think of Sarah Palin. We can’t be too careful with someone a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Investigating the experience and background of candidates for the presidency and vice presidency is part of the media’s job, so why have they not given Senator Obama the same treatment? 

Senator Obama says that his international experience, both living in Indonesia and traveling to Pakistan, are important components of his foreign policy expertise and give him an insight into dealing with Islam that trumps his competitors. Why do we not know more about the people he travelled with, the people he has called friends for many years, the people who still provide financial backing to his campaigns?  The only thing we have heard is “no comment.” Yet their websites indicate that they have a horrible opinion of our country and many of our people. 

On the bright side, the Chandoo brothers may have provided the American people some insight into the current campaign for the Presidency. The views espoused on these websites seem to match the campaign strategy of their friend Senator Obama. This is where the SNL stuff comes in. Wait for it. Obama has been running his campaign against George Bush. Let’s face it, Senator McCain is the Republican nominee, but all we hear from Senator Obama is Bush, Bush, Bush. Anyone who has followed politics in the US knows that Senator McCain and President Bush are not quite the same, no matter how many times Obama says it. At first I thought that he was just running against an unpopular President and trying to take advantage of the situation. After seeing these websites and looking at the close ties between the Chandoos and Obama (the brothers reportedly attended his 1992 wedding) I think he may have such a pathologic hatred of George Bush that he is incapable of running against anyone else and in his mind he is taking on his nemesis and needs to win at all costs. Which leads, finally, to the SNL connection. 

On Saturday, September 20th, Saturday Night Live ran another skit in their efforts to smear Governor Sarah Palin. In this latest attempt,  in a mock interview the reporter asks: “What about the husband? You know he’s doing those daughters. I mean, come on. It’s Alaska.” The assignment editor responds:”He very well could be. Admittedly, there is no evidence of that, but on the other hand, there is no convincing evidence to the contrary. And these are just some of the lingering questions about Governor Palin.” This skit is clearly distasteful, but it may have shown us how far Senator Obama is willing to go in his quest for the White House. The Chandoo brothers websites look like a roadmap for the course the Obama campaign is taking in this election. They will obviously deny any connection with smear campaigns and the use of their netroots organization to spread them. They will deny, in their now signature passive-aggressive fashion, that they have anything to do with the constant themes being repeated over and over again in the media barrage against Governor Palin. They will swear until their last breath that John McCain is George Bush, But as I watch SNL, read the editorial pages of our national papers, and look into the Chandoo brothers, I think they are full of it. The evidence is mounting that there has been a concerted effort by people associated with the Obama campaign to spread the smears. It looks like the Chandoo brothers’ provide the underlying motivation (Bush is evil, Americans are inbred rednecks), Saul Alinsky provides the tactics (force your message to crowd out all others), David Axelrod spins the message (divide people using race and class-warfare), and Barack Obama delivers the speeches (reads a teleprompter like no one else).  

So, why the apparent lack of interest in these guys who seems so interesting? One reason for the lack of interest in the media may be that they are not really concerned. To them, this is just another group of the Senator’s friends or associates who dislike America and Americans. To the sophisticated, urbane rulers of our media these men are just another part of the group of people who the Senator sought out and cultivated as friends so that he could have a more ‘nuanced’ approach to dealing with the world as our President and Commander-in-Chief. This may be why he released the information to his backers in a private meeting in San Francisco. He needed to let them know his bona fides as well as to warn them about the Chandoos in case the issue became public knowledge. I would imagine that the conversation the Senator had with the Chandoos and Hamid before his latest campaign went something like the conversation he had with Reverend Wright. An article in The New York Times from March 6, 2007, reveals the following:


In Monday’s interview, Mr. Wright expressed disappointment but no surprise that Mr. Obama might try to play down their connection.

“When his enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli” to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, Mr. Wright recalled, “with Farrakhan, a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell.” Mr. Wright added that his trip implied no endorsement of either Louis Farrakhan’s views or Qaddafi’s.

Mr. Wright said that in the phone conversation in which Mr. Obama disinvited him from  a role in the announcement, Mr. Obama cited an article in Rolling Stone, “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama.”

According to the pastor, Mr. Obama then told him, “You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”


One wonders which Reverend Wright the Senator was talking about in March 2007, the one he later claimed was “not the Reverend Wright I know,” or the one he gave a “shout out to” as “a friend and a great leader?” Someone may need to find the Reverend Wright and ask him if there is any room under the bus for a few more of Senator Obama’s friends.


Hat-tip to for pointing me in the direction of the Chandoo website. You can also read a few nice things about Mohammed Askari Chandoo. He apparently wants us to view him as a financier, philanthropist and political organizer.

Sources (all accessed on 9/20/08):

Fox Story:

The New York Times, April 10, 2008, ‘Obama Says Real-Life Experience Trumps Rivals’ Foreign Policy Credits’

Newsweek Magazine, April 12, 2008, ‘Obama’s World’

Chandoo websites:

Bundler Statistics and FEC documents: do a search for ‘Chandoo’

The New York Times, March 6 2007, ‘Disinvitation by Obama is Criticized’

Senator Obama Praising Reverend Wright

The Associated Press, May 16 2008, ‘Old friends recall Obama’s college years’

Obama to Stephanopoulos: The Democratic Nominee Considered Joining the Military:

Uproar over Kerry’s Remarks

The New Republic, Wednesday, February 27, 2008 Race Man: How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary Clinton.

The Boston Globe, August 31, 2008, Son sees father’s handiwork in convention

The Times, September 12, 2008, Obama the speechmaker is being rumbled

Rolling Stone, February 22, 2007, Destiny’s Child


©this kind of war, again.  2008