There is one thing that Barack Obama seems incapable of ever getting right. According to Times, Obama's new pastor, Carey Cash, is Islamophobe and intense supporter of the war in Iraq. In his book published in 2004, the pastor called Islam a violent faith that "from its very birth has used the edge of the sword as a means to convert or conquer those with different religious convictions". Another pearl from the book is the pastor's belief that a wall of angels protected US troops that stormed Baghdad in 2003 (Cash was a chaplain in one of the first units to reach the city). This is of course highly ironic given that Obama was elected in part riding the wave of popular discontent with the war in Iraq.
Obama's previous pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has deeply embarrassed the president by his his bizarre anti semitic allegations. At one point Wright alleged that Jews were preventing the two from meeting each other. Obama had to disavow Wright and since then went paranoiac about choosing a new pastor, so much so that he started switching churches to avoid getting accidentally associated with another nutty pastor. When he finally dared to praise Cash and express admiration for his powerful sermons, this was quickly revealed as a mistake of colossal proportions. Times says the pastor and his family have refused to be interviewed by the Washington Post on the grounds that they were instructed by the White House to keep their mouth shut and not to talk to the newspaper.
Obama certainly could do better. For example he could easily compensate for his lack of touch for pastors by asking one of his aides to at least browse through the book before telling reporters how excellent Mr Cash is. Now this episode, if given publicity, may sweep the Arab and global Muslim media and annihilate whatever successes on the PR front Barack Obama has achieved with his Cairo and other appearances. As Obama is about to soon embark on a search for a new pastor, based on the president's previous selections and his obvious talent for doing it, I would bet that Obama's next pastor will be promptly revealed as a white supremacist.
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