Friday, September 23, 2011

Obama Pledges Israel

CODEPINK's Rae Abileah and sisters protesting Rep. Barney Frank's slavish loyalty to the Israel lobby.
Back in the heady days of thinking that the people of the U.S. had voted for real change from the neocon nightmare of back-to-back Cheney administrations, a friend circulated a letter to the newly elected president calling for an end to war funding, and redirection of resources to universal health care and other worthy projects. A lot of us signed it. Other friends from the Chicago area were headed home for the holidays and had offered to deliver the letter via family connections to none other than David Axelrod, Obama's campaign manager. When they returned to the sobering cold of a new year in New England, my letter writing friend commented that people in Chicago must have been ecstatic over Obama's election. A few were, was the report back, but many were visibly skeptical, wondering aloud what kind of Chicago-style back room political deal had been made that vaulted Barack to stardom.

Fast forward to September 21, 2011. It's re-election season and the UN is in session in New York. The big dogs are speechifying, and it's Obama's turn to address the matter of justice for Palestine, coming to a head with application for recognition of statehood. World stock markets are tanking, and articulate 20-somethings are pouring into NYC to hold wealth accountable before the bell that opens trading on Wall St. each day.

It's a bully pulpit for Obama to pander to the campaign contributors with the deep, deep pockets, and he makes the most of it.
...America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. Our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day.
Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied.
The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine...
No mention of bulldozing Palestinian olive groves and homes, no mention of detaining and torturing minors, night raids by the IDF, Operation Cast Lead, the storming of the Mavi Marmara during the Gaza Freedom Flotilla -- with a U.S. citizen plus eight others gunned down by Israel's navy commandos, no mention of settlements, or robotic checkpoints where women give birth waiting hours to cross to hospitals, penned up in chutes like cattle. The Zionists who put Obama in office -- and who wined and dined 81 members of Congress in Israel during the August recess -- got what they paid for.
 It's impossible to say what a bright, articulate lawyer who grew up working class understands of the capture of his soul, and of the entire apparatus of U.S. government. Rahm Emmanuel is no longer his chief of staff, having moved on to be the chief executive of the city of Chicago in advance of NATO and the G-8 economic giants convening there next May. The Supreme Court is no longer above the money either: allowing the execution of a Black man, Troy Davis, on a flimsy conviction, thereby further underscoring their landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision establishing that corporations are the "people" that count in the empire.

I'm not a bit surprised, though. While he was still Senator Obama, and once he had clinched the nomination, he voted to extend immunity to the telecommunications corporations that had helped spy on me and thee during the trashing of the Constitution that ensued after 9/11. And voted for that year's war supplemental funding/borrowing, too.

It no longer matters to me that liberals will continue to defend Obama, the most war mongering president in my lifetime, on the basis that he spouts platitudes about peace. They think supporting our first Black president is a get-out-of-racism-jail-free card. They are wrong, but it won't matter much longer.  It also no longer matters that the false dichotomy party will run its two candidates in November 2012, spewing out hate messaging via advertising that will burn through millions in cash while 20% of children live in poverty a few streets over from the UN. (Actually the rate of child poverty in NYC is higher than the national average, most likely upwards of 40%).

Because you can't fool a child growing up in poverty, any more than you can fool a person in their 20's with thousands of dollars of debt for an education that did not produce a job with health insurance and a living wage. Just punitive measures if you fall behind in the payments.

You can fool a lot of the people a lot of the time, but only until their credit runs out. Then fool me twice -- well, you can't fool me again.

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