Every week on Monday morning, the Council and invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: Whom would your choice be for Person of the Year?
The Independent Sentinel: This is an easy one for me. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for going to school has my vote. She has been speaking up for her rights since she was 11, knowing she was risking death. She is my hero.
The Noisy Room: My choice for person of the year would be Col. Allen B. West. He is a man that has not only shown the strength of his convictions in battle, he has shown leadership and responsibility for those under his command in the past and in the present. Now, back at home, Allen West shows the same depth of courage and the will to lead on the political battlefield in the name of conservatism and the Constitution.
This is a man who is unafraid to call a Marxist a Marxist. A man who, regardless of the fallout, is willing to call out radical Islam, corrupt politicians and those who lie for political gain. West is a man’s man… While the progressives have at every turn besmirched and belittled him, this man has stood his principled ground and never backed down. When he was defeated this last election, he fought voter fraud to the end and went as far as he deemed prudent.
If a man can be judged by his word and his actions, Allen West would be a giant among men in my opinion. I have not agreed with everything he has signed off on, but overall Allen West has stayed true to the principles of our founding fathers. He has bravely stood against the Keynesian spending run amok in our government. He has supported our bravest in the military and he has vociferously stood against terrorists. He is a warrior against radical Islam and unafraid of their threats and thuggishness. He is a friend to Israel and a Christian who is at peace with himself and G-d.
His crowning glory though, in my viewpoint, is the stance he took against progressives – including those in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He went fearlessly where few other politicians have dared to go… Into the Marxist den. There is indeed a very thin line between progressivism and communism. West has the intestinal fortitude to call out the enemies within and do battle with them. One day, he will most likely be president of the United States. For now, he is my person of the year.
The Colossus of Rhodey: My choice, as I noted briefly on Colossus a week or so ago, would be Barack Obama. Who would have thought that this man-child of a candidate could have been re-elected given the economic conditions that he faced? That he did shows 1) what a sub-par candidate Mitt Romney was, 2) how our political culture and demographics have changed, and 3) how skillful the president (and his team) are politically.
Being an optimist, I tend towards the positive and there was a lot of negative this year, wasn’t there? I couldn’t really make up my mind between a couple of folks… Sgt. Dakota Meyer, whose story I heard about from a friend or the courageous Canadian PM Stephen Harper, who along with Benyamin Netanyahu is apparently the leader of the free world now.
Both men show that there’s hope for the future. Take your pick.
Bookworm Room: If we’re talking about a person who was a force for good, no one springs to mind. If we’re talking about a person who had an outsized impact on the year, I’d have to say Barack Obama.
It is impressive that, despite a terrible economy and an increasingly unstable world, due in significant measure to his foreign policy approach, Obama was able to preside over the nastiest, most dishonest campaign in history, using a complicit media, violent unions and good technology, to retake the presidency. Obama is neither a good man nor a good president, but he dominated 2012.
David Gerstman, AKA Soccer Dad: Mohammed Morsi
Mohammed Morsi is person of the year, not just on the strength of who he is but what he represents.
Morsi, is the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated President of Egypt. In recent weeks, he has consolidated his hold on power (and by extension the power of his party). Only recently have the true liberal forces in Egypt started to push back. The latest I’ve seen is that Morsi’s backed off of a threat to implement martial law. But whether that is a victory for Egyptian liberals or simply a tactical retreat remains to be seen.
But what Morsi represents may be even more important in that he is likely to be another despot leading the most powerful Arab state. He represents a failure of the West’s political and academic elites to recognize the danger that the Muslim Brotherhood represents.
To anyone paying attention to the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization has been hostile to the West, not moderate. Specifically, there was no evidence that Morsi was moderate. It should have been little surprise that the day after the elites of American foreign policy and journalism praised Morsi for facilitating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, he continued his power grab.
The blindness that affects the West’s view of Islamists persists and Morsi if the most recent symbol of that failing.
Weekend Monkey: No question… my pal Elizabeth Warren.
Has there ever been a more courageous saga in politics, I mean, next to my own presidential campaign?
When I first met her, she was a gutsy class warrior, minority Native American college professor, battling the entrenched prejudice and right wing noise at Harvard and trolling the internet for kindred souls.
From there, she rises to being an underdog Democrat senatorial candidate running against a vicious Tea Party ReThug who will stop at nothing to knock her out of the race, even using a few innocent gaffes to try and trash her claim to privileged minority status. She’s downhearted. But she comes back, after her trusted adviser (namely me) on the eve of her speech at the Democrat convention tells her to be who she is…
There’s the scene, with her at the dais, opening for Bill Clinton and absolutely stealing the show, fists in the air, yelling: “If it’s socialism because I care, then call me a socialist, damn it!” The crowd goes wild, baying like baboons in heat.
And then the votes are counted, tick tock… and the puppetheads at MSNBC finally announce “Elizabeth Warren is the new senator from the State of Massachusetts!”
Scott Warren drives his pick up truck into the Charles, a symbol that the old prop’s days are over and so is the Tea Party.
Pan to a shot of her addressing her cheering supporters at her victory speech, waving a tomahawk in the air and yelling: “The kulaks must pay!” And “The East is Red!”
Fade out. Credits.
Is this a modern take on “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” or what? I got the script written already thanks to a little chemical assistance, now all I gotta do is get the Hollywood suits to bite. I’m thinking James Wood at his creepiest for Scott Brown, Joe Pesci for his mobbed up campaign manager and either Angela Jolie or maybe even Nicole Kidman (more mature look) for Liz. Maybe even Zollwegger.
Meanwhile, with my new DC gig as Senator Warren’s Special Adviser, I’m picking out my office and the decor I want and you’re paying for it, losers! Hee hee hee!
The Razor: That’s an interesting question. I’d say it’s a tie between Bashir al-Assad on the foreign policy front and George “judenrat” Soros on the domestic.
The rebellion in Syria has turned that nation into a mini-World War 1, drawing in all its neighbors as well as the EU, China, Russia and the United States. It has become the battleground between the Arab world and Iran, jihadis on a mission from g-d, an opportunity for Turkish expansion and a return to the glory days of the Ottoman empire, a possible opening for a Kurdish state, and a deterioration of relations between the EU and the USA on one side and China and Russia on the other. Fate has elevated this one petty tyrant to a decisive role to shape the Middle East for the coming decades. What’s ironic is al-Assad will likely not survive the outcome of the decisions he made during his 12 year regime and won’t see the aftermath.
Soros is the man behind the progressive movement in the United States. The billionaire has bankrolled liberal candidates and causes culminating in the reelection of Barack Obama and the election of numerous progressive candidates including Elizabeth Warren and Patrick Murphy, who defeated Allen West in the closely contested 18th congressional district of Florida. He funds Human Right Watch, ThinkProgress and MoveOn.org as well as several other political action committees dedicated to spreading a repackaged blend of socialism and crony capitalism in the United States. His success in the 2012 elections makes him my person of the year at least in terms of the US.
She’s a school student and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her education and women’s rights activism in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11/12, Malala wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Malala began to rise in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television and taking a position as chairperson of the District Child Assembly Swat. She has since been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu and has won Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize. A number of prominent individuals, including the Canadian Minister of Citizenship, are supporting a petition to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize.
On 9 October 2012, Malala was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to a hospital in the United Kingdom for intensive rehabilitation. On 12 October, a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her, but the Taliban reiterated its intent to kill Malala and her father, Ziauddin.
Former British Prime Minister and current UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown launched a United Nations petition in Malala’s name, using the slogan “I am Malala” and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015. Brown said he would hand the petition to Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari in November. UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon has announced that November 10 will be celebrated as Malala Day.
Well, there you have it.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
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