Monday, June 09, 2008

Obama : America's Historical Moment And Hillary Clinton & The Israeli Lobby

UPDATE: June 10/ 5:43 PM

Yes it is an historic moment for the United States as Obama becomes the presidential candidate for the Democratic party in the November election . If he becomes president will he be able to move the country beyond the politics and policies of the status-quo. Are those who represent the rich and powerful and the lobbyists too entrenched or embedded to be dislodged from the body politic in such a way that meaningful and profound change can take place. Will Obama as it were be able to re-invigorate America and American democracy or is it already too late. Or to put it another way will Obama change Washington or will Washington change him.

I cannot see how he would be able to accomplish much if he takes on Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Yes she is able and capable and an Obama-Hillary ticket might be winnable but at what cost. Hillary represents the old guard, the status-quo with a feminist twist. But I still don't see Hillary as a champion of the lower classes including lower class women . She also appears to believe that she and other members of her elite class can claim entitlement that is that because of their wealth and power and elitist education that they are the ones who are entitled to hold power and make policies I don't see Hillary as someone willing to approve of policies which may undermine her class or those who are the wealthiest and most powerful in America including the various Corporations and Multi-nationals for whom she has worked and I believe would continue to work. I further cannot imagine Hillary going up against the military industrial complex, the pharmaceutical companies or Big Oil or Big Coal or the Auto Industry.

I still believe that Obama would be better off with John Edwards or someone else whose politics are more progressive and a little bit radical when compared to Hillary. During this campaign I believe Hillary waged a nasty negative bitter attack campaign against Obama that cannot be easily over-looked. How can anyone get past the fact that she was more willing to embrace McCain as her equal as opposed to Obama. Obama didn't have the experience; Obama she characterized as too naive;Obama didn't understand how dangerous America's enemies are; Obama was too willing to be an appeaser to America's enemies; and further Hillary argued Obama made great speeches but had no real policies to put forth etc.

from Truthout"> One Historic Night , Two Americas 08 June 2008 by: Frank Rich, The New York Times

Remarkably, neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. McCain had the grace to offer a salute to Mr. Obama's epochal political breakthrough, which reverberated so powerfully across the country and throughout the world. By being so small and ungenerous, they made him look taller. Their inability to pivot even briefly from partisan self-interest could not be a more telling symptom of the dysfunctional Washington culture Mr. Obama aspires to mend.

Yet even as the two establishment candidates huffed and puffed to assert their authority, they seemed terrified by Mr. Obama's insurgency, as if it were the plague in Edgar Allan Poe's 'Masque of the Red Death.' Mrs. Clinton held her nonconcession speech in a Manhattan bunker, banishing cellphone reception and television monitors carrying the news of Mr. Obama's clinching of the nomination. Mr. McCain, laboring under the misapprehension that he was wittily skewering his opponent, compulsively invoked the Obama-patented mantra of 'change' 33 times in his speech.

Mr. McCain only reminded voters that he, like Mrs. Clinton, thinks that change is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. He has no idea what it means. 'No matter who wins this election, the direction of this country is going to change dramatically,' he said on Tuesday. He then grimly regurgitated Goldwater and Reagan government-bashing talking points from the 1960s and '70s even as he presumed to accuse Mr. Obama of looking 'to the 1960s and '70s for answers.'

and continues that Obama should not be underestimated :

The Obama forces out-organized the most ruthless machine in Democratic politics because the medium of their campaign mirrored its inclusive message. They empowered adherents in every state rather than depending on a Beltway campaign hierarchy whose mercenary chief strategist kept his day job as chief executive for a corporate P.R. giant. Such viral organization and fund-raising is a seamless fit with bottom-up democracy as it is increasingly practiced in the Facebook-YouTube era, not merely by Americans and not merely by the young.

You could learn a ton about the Clinton campaign's cultural tone-deafness from its stodgy generic Web site. A similar torpor afflicts, which last week gave its graphics a face-lift that unabashedly mimics and devoted prime home page real estate to hawking 'McCain Golf Gear.' (No joke.) The blogs, video and social networking are static and sparse, the apt reflection of a candidate who repeatedly invokes 'I' as he boasts of his humility.

Mr. Obama's deep-rooted worldliness - in philosophy as well as itinerant background - is his other crucial departure from the McCain template. As more and more Americans feel the pain of spiraling gas prices and lost jobs, they are also coming to recognize, as Mr. Obama does, that the globally reviled American image forged by an endless war in Iraq and its accompanying torture scandals is inflicting economic as well as foreign-policy havoc.

and concludes referring to McCain's three week planned inept response to Obama's win last tuesdayJune the third :

Anything can happen in politics, and there are five months to go. But Tuesday night's McCain pratfall - three weeks in the planning by his campaign, according to Fox News - should be a clear indication that Mr. Obama must accept Mr. McCain's invitation to weekly debates at once. Tomorrow if possible, and, yes, bring on the green!

Mr. Obama must also heed Mr. McCain's directive that he visit Iraq - as long as he avoids Baghdad markets and hits other foreign capitals on route. When the world gets a firsthand look at the new America Mr. Obama offers as an alternative to Mr. McCain's truculent stay-the-course, the public pandemonium may make J.F.K.'s 'Ich bin ein Berliner' visit to the Berlin Wall look like a warm-up act.

Though I have favored Obama over Hillary Clinton there are issues on which he is either not clear or is sending the wrong message . One of these hot button issues is the relationship between the United States and Israel. Is Obama as he recently said going to continue to support Israel unconditionally that is support Israel no matter what it does. Will Obama not object to The Israeli's abusive treatment of the Palestinians and ignore the human rights violations on the part of the current Israeli government. Will Obama not objecrt to Israel's ghettoizing of the peoples in the occupied territories . Obama unfortunately has also said that Jerusalem should not be divided and should continue as the capital of Israel. Further he appears to be making excuses for Israeli's extreme and illegal military actions against Syria, Lebannon Palestine etc.

So let's take a look at a video from The Real News Network of an analysis of Obama's speech before AIPAC last week. It makes one wonder if he can make real changes in foreign policies concerning the Middle East if he is unwilling to take a stance which might differ from that of the extremist who now run Israel who see nothing wrong with the Apartheid system they have set up in the occupied territories. Nor it seems is Obama willing to insist that Israel obey the hundred or so UN resolutions made which were not in Israel's favor. Are other country's to be given the same royal treatment as Israel by President Obama.

And in an article from Media With Conscience we also get a critique of Obama's policies in regards to Israel. Maybe Obama should read Jimmy Carter's informed and impassioned book on Israel and the Palestinians. Or does he too discount the human worth, value and aspirations of these people as opposed to all others. Simply put are Palestinians and Arabs in the Israeli sphere of influence to be treated as second class citizens as Black South Africans once were treated by the racist white South Africans . These white racist were often supported by American like the powerful Senator Jesse Helms and Barry Goldwater, J. Edgar Hoover and millions of other American racists and White Supremacists who saw South African Apartheid as part of the natural order and as a defense against Communism. Is this the sort of legacy which Obama as president would wish to continue. One hopes he will tone down his rhetoric and begin trying to mend fences in the Middle East rather than stoking the fires of religious and racial bigotry which is so prevalent especially in Israel by the Extremist Jewish groups such as the fanatical so called settlers and the Khanists.

Barack Obama at Israel lobby conference/No, I Can't!/ June 7, 2008 MWC

AFTER MONTHS of a tough and bitter race, a merciless struggle, Barack Obama has defeated his formidable opponent, Hillary Clinton. He has wrought a miracle: for the first time in history a black person has become a credible candidate for the presidency of the most powerful country in the world.

And what was the first thing he did after his astounding victory? He ran to the conference of the Israel lobby, AIPAC, and made a speech that broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning.

That is shocking enough. Even more shocking is the fact that nobody was shocked.

and the article goes on to explain how far Obama is willing to go to appease Israel

The outstanding thing that distinguishes him from both Hillary Clinton and John McCain is his uncompromising opposition to the war in Iraq from the very first moment. That was courageous. That was unpopular. That was totally opposed to the Israel lobby, all of whose branches were fervidly pushing George Bush to start the war that freed Israel from a hostile regime.

And here comes Obama to crawl in the dust at the feet of AIPAC and go out of his way to justify a policy that completely negates his own ideas.

OK he promises to safeguard Israel's security at any cost. That is usual. OK he threatens darkly against Iran, even though he promised to meet their leaders and settle all problems peacefully. OK he promised to bring back our three captured soldiers (believing, mistakenly, that all three are held by Hizbullah - an error that shows, by the way, how sketchy is his knowledge of our affairs.)

But his declaration about Jerusalem breaks all bounds. It is no exaggeration to call it scandalous.

NO PALESTINIAN, no Arab, no Muslim will make peace with Israel if the Haram-al-Sharif compound (also called the Temple Mount), one of the three holiest places of Islam and the most outstanding symbol of Palestinian nationalism, is not transferred to Palestinian sovereignty. That is one of the core issues of the conflict.

And the writer concludes with relating how similar the founding myths of Israel and America are in which both groups conquered a land occupied by a people whom they did not recognize as their equals but as inferior beings who lacked a soul or were possibly a little less worthy of being treated as human beings.

---The Mayflower passengers, much as the Zionists of the first and second aliya (immigration wave), fled from Europe, carrying in their hearts a messianic vision, either religious or utopian. (True, the early Zionists were mostly atheists, but religious traditions had a powerful influence on their vision.) The founders of American society were "pilgrims", the Zionists immigrants called themselves "olim" - short for olim beregel, pilgrims. Both sailed to a "promised land", believing themselves to be God's chosen people.

Both suffered a great deal in their new country. Both saw themselves as "pioneers", who make the wilderness bloom, a "people without land in a land without people". Both completely ignored the rights of the indigenous people, whom they considered sub-human savages and murderers. Both saw the natural resistance of the local peoples as evidence of their innate murderous character, which justified even the worst atrocities. Both expelled the natives and took possession of their land as the most natural thing to do, settling on every hill and under every tree, with one hand on the plow and the Bible in the other.

True, Israel did not commit anything approaching the genocide performed against the Native Americans, nor anything like the slavery that persisted for many generations in the US. But since the Americans have repressed these atrocities in their consciousness, there is nothing to prevent them from comparing themselves to the Israelis. It seems that in the unconscious mind of both nations there is a ferment of suppressed guilt feelings that express themselves in the denial of their past misdeeds, in aggressiveness and the worship of power.

HOW IS it that a man like Obama, the son of an African father, identifies so completely with the actions of former generations of American whites? It shows again the power of a myth to become rooted in the consciousness of a person, so that he identifies 100% with the imagined national narrative. To this may be added the unconscious urge to belong to the victors, if possible.

Therefore, I do not accept without reservation the speculation: "Well, he must talk like this in order to get elected. Once in the White House, he will return to himself."

I am not so sure about that. It may well turn out that these things have a surprisingly strong hold on his mental world.

Of one thing I am certain: Obama's declarations at the AIPAC conference are very, very bad for peace. And what is bad for peace is bad for Israel, bad for the world and bad for the Palestinian people.

If he sticks to them, once elected, he will be obliged to say, as far as peace between the two peoples of this country is concerned: "No, I can't!"
As this article points out it is difficult even for those who belong to an outsider group in society to be able to see beyond the predominant mythos of a society . America was first founded by adventurers seeking their fortune or a shorter passage to China or were minorities escaping persecution or martyrdom who wanted to create a theocracy and spread their version of Christianity and later to convert the native Americans and if they did not convert to exterminate or enslave them. The early Americans as it were were not champions of true democracy and equality. When America became a country it was ruled by white Christian males who were property owners. Women, Free Blacks or Slaves and other nonChristians were not given the right to vote nor did they have equal rights. It is not until the late 1960s that America could be said to be almost a true democracy in which the majority of adult citizens were given the right to vote and were granted equal rights. Even today there are those in the Federal government and in the state legislatures who push for legislation which for all intents and purposes disenfranchise large groups of Americans who belong to ethnic minorities or visible minorities and most White Americans have tended to defend such practices.

and so it goes,

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