Wake Up, America! Time to Set a New Course

Time to set a new course, America

Time to set a new course, America

b. traven

Israel is a big disappointment to many of us. Israel, once a David, is now a Goliath.

A former Israeli leader, Ehud Barack, had this to say about Israel’s situation: “We live in a dangerous neighborhood.”  So true.  Israel is surrounded by generally hostile and tribal regimes. Nevertheless, that is where Jews chose to live and build a state following World War II. After the Holocaust, in which many Europeans actively aided or passively stood by as Nazi Germany murdered millions, who can blame the Jews for wanting to leave Europe?

But that was then, this is now.  Now Israel is a nation among nations and must build an independent national and foreign policy that works. Israeli foreign policy toward the Palestinians is failing, requiring multiple military incursions into Gaza that sow the seeds of future conflict.  So why is the U.S. so reflexively supportive of Israeli policies?

To the U.S. foreign policy establishment, Israel appears to be just another minor piece on the board, along with Saudi Arabia, in the game of securing oil and profiting from it.  To the politicians in D.C. it is a life or death struggle to stay on the good side of the powerful and well-heeled Israeli lobby, AIPAC. To our citizens, who front the tax money that goes to Middle East states like Egypt and Israel and to fund our military ventures in the area, it is an absolute disaster.

As a country America has sold its soul and reputation with a distorted and self-destructive foreign policy to satisfy our craving for oil.  That more than anything else explains our subservience to the interests of Israel and the Sunni Gulf states.

I am not an idle bystander to events in the Middle East. I have relatives in Israel and while I was in the U.S. Army during WW II, I lost relatives to the ovens of Auschwitz.

I believe that by tying our policies to oil as well as Israeli and Saudi interests, our political leaders have been destroying our great democratic republic economically and politically.  It’s time to cut the Middle East adrift and tend to our own problems. To do this we must stop supporting both the Democratic Party’s neo-liberals and the Republican Party’s neo-conservatives.  Politicians like Clinton, Rand, Christie and the assorted ideologues whom we’ll be asked to choose from in the presidential election of 2016 will not serve the interests of our nation.

We must choose a new course with new faces.

10 thoughts on “Wake Up, America! Time to Set a New Course

  1. I could rant at length about Israel but will focus on the USA instead. Though potable water is said to be becoming increasingly difficult for a growing percentage of the world’s population to obtain, the most important, valuable commodity in the world will continue to be crude oil as long as we have internal combustion engines and electric power producing plants burning fossil fuels. This is the endless cycle that compels the US government (regardless of the particular faces it wears under this or that administration) to make “allies” of repressive regimes in the oil producing regions and compels Jew-hating politicians to vie with another for the title of “Israel’s Best Friend Forever.” At the same time this dependence on fossil fuels guarantees the further calamitous decline of the only environment we have to live in. Yesterday I heard Mr. Ward Churchill declare on the radio that “Israel controls the US government”!! (Oops, Israel snuck back into this post!) This is sheer nonsense. The government is run in the interest of the largest corporations. The pattern of oil corporations being tied in with the biggest banks (sharing members of their respective Boards of Directors/major shareholders) was set by the Rockefeller clan. These are the entities that control government. Changing the faces of politicians will not change a damned thing about the way The System operates. (“Change We Can Believe In,” anyone? When will we see that, on Obama’s last day in office?) If we put Tea Party types in the White House, with their talk of “isolationism,” will we suddenly NOT need to burn fossil fuels for energy?? Their promises, like those of all other pols, would go right out the window the day they were sworn in. The need for fundamental change–in a word, revolution–is one of those inconvenient truths America doesn’t want to hear about. “Wake Up, America!” Sorry, America has hung the Do Not Disturb tag on the doorknob. It’s too busy taking selfies to ponder such deep matters.

  2. I appreciate the author’s broaching of this subject. Normally, the citizens of the United States do not receive much in the way of historical context regarding historical events in the Middle East. And when it comes to the Apartheid Zionist Entity (hereafter, the A.Z.E.), American Jews who offer criticism find themselves labelled “self-hating Jews,” while non-Jews who criticize the A.Z.E. find Zionist apologists screaming “anti-semite” at them, despite the fact that the term “Semite” refers to both Jews and Arabs. Consequently, when my younger brother the California high school history teacher gets the “anti-semite” epithet thrown at him for condemning the depredations of the A.Z.E., he genially replies: “On the contrary, I like Arabs.” This usually results in the epithet-slinger drawing a confused blank, whereupon my brother advises them to “look up the meaning of the words ‘Semite,’ ‘Semitic,’ ‘Semitics,’ and ‘Semitism.'” Not that the typical A.Z.E. apologist would do any such thing. Many years ago, however, when I followed my brother’s suggestion, I found the following in my Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary (1966):

    Semite n. One of a people of Caucasian stock, now represented by Jews and Arabs, but originally including the ancient Babylonians, Assyrians, Arameans, Phoenicians, etc. 2. A person believed to be or considered as a descendant of them.”

    Semitic adj. Of or pertaining to the Semites, or to any of their languages. – n. A subfamily of the Hamito-Semitic family of languages, divided into three groups, East Semitic (Akkadian), Northwest Semitic (Phoenician, Hebrew, Aramaic, etc.) and Southwest Semitic (Arabic, Ethiopic, Amharic, etc.)

    Semitics n. pl. (construed as singular) The scientific study of the history, language, and literature of the Semitic peoples.”

    Semitism n. 1.A Semitic word or idiom. 2. Semitic practices, opinions, or customs collectively. 3. Any political, or economic policy favoring or thought to favor the Jews.”

    I also looked up the meaning of:

    Zionism n. A movement for a resettlement of the Jews in Palestine.”

    and:

    Apartheid n. Racial segregation and discrimination against nonwhites in the Republic of South Africa, especially as supported by law as an instrument of government policy.”

    Growing up in the United States, I always understood that the Constitution prohibited my government from adopting any policies that favored, or “established,” one religion or any combination of them. This goes for racist policies like recognizing “master races” or “chosen people,” too. So I have always opposed any U.S. government policy that favored Jews, Christians, Muslims, Zoroastrians, or any other group of persons professing a belief in Single Spook Animism (or “monotheism”) — certifiable Bronze Age barbarism, in my view, and completely outside the purview of government policy. So I guess that makes me anti-Semitic, anti-Christianist, anti-Islamist, and anti-Zoroastrian as regards the unconstitutional collusion of Church and State. Whatever Church. Whatever State. Guilty as charged!

    At any rate, as the death toll among the captive Palestinian Semites in Gaza mounts — yet again — worldwide outrage grows. Yet the Administration of President Obama and the U.S. Congress soil themselves and besmirch our nation’s honor with their bootlicking subservience to the Apartheid Zionist Entity and its obnoxious, belligerent AIPAC lobby in the United States. And since the medieval House of Saud sells its oil in U.S. dollars, thereby propping up America’s bogus currency which otherwise would collapse, the United States now finds itself looking like a metaphorical dog wagged unmercifully by two tails. How unedifying.

    The Palestinian Arab Semites have no state and the A.Z.E. and U.S.A. will not abide the creation of one. So the wanton abuse of these stateless Semitic persons will continue. They have nothing left to lose, however, and so will avail themselves of whatever desperate means they can devise to defend themselves against their Zionist Semite and Saudi Semite persecutors. The cynical attempt by the A.Z.E.’s rabid, racist “government” to split the elected Hamas from the U.S./A.Z.E. sponsored Fatah — formerly known as the Palestine Liberation Organization — will ultimately fail, at least regarding Hamas. But that will not stop the merciless killing of more Palestinian Semites for some time yet. The Zionist Semite, Benjamin Netanyahu, has not finished demonstrating to the world that he has President Obama and the U.S. Congress by the proverbial short-hairs — with them loving every minute of their abject humiliation. Ivan Pavlov would certainly understand the A.Z.E. and Saudi training of the drooling American dog. How “exceptional,” President Obama would boastfully proclaim, “with every fiber” of his lickspittle “being.”

    President George Washington warned us against “entangling alliances,” and unless the U.S. government promptly untangles America from the A.Z.E. and the House of Saud, the future of working Americans looks ever more Hobbsian: meaning, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

    • Michael–Of course the “strange coincidence” that both Jews and Arabs write and read their indigenous languages from right to left, practice circumcision, and even use spoken languages that sound similar is conveniently overlooked. Just as it’s an inconvenient truth to most “christians” that their beloved Savior was a Jew himself! The god his followers believe fathered him was, of course, the god of the Hebrew Old Testament. But I reject your characterization of the U.S.-Israel relationship (indeed, I had “pre-rejected” it in my previous post on b. traven’s column!). It is Big Oil that pulls the marionette strings of Obama and all the lower-ranking pols. When the last drop of retrievable crude has been sucked from beneath the Arabian Peninsula Israel will lose its cherished status as a U.S. protectorate. I’m sure you’re aware, by the way, that the current vilification campaign against Putin/Russia is believed by some independent analysts to be backlash against any attempt to shift the exchange medium for oil sales away from the U.S. peso (oops, I mean dollar!). And thus did a nest of apparent Nazi-wannabes come to be in charge in Ukraine, a region that a century ago proudly considered itself part of Mother Russia.

      • As Daniel Ellsberg said many years ago regarding the invasion and destruction of Saddam Hussein’s secular Ba’athist Iraq, “The United States invaded Iraq for three reasons: Oil, Israel, and Domestic Political Advantage.” Former Democratic Senator Earnest “Fritz” Hollings put it more bluntly. He said: “The United States invaded Iraq to secure the State of Israel, and everybody knows it.” For his part, Kevin Phillips, lifelong Republican party political analyst wrote an insightful book in 2006 entitled, American Theocracy: the Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the Twenty-first Century. Of course, Oil — or Energy — plays a big part in U.S. foreign policy. So does the role of America’s inflated fiat dollar as the World’s reserve currency: itself tied to [especially Saudi] Oil for its value instead of precious metals like Gold or Silver as in former times. No doubt about it. But that does not by any means exhaust the fundamental — or fundamentalist — primitive religious forces that drive American policy, both domestically and in the realm of foreign affairs. As Phillips wrote:

        “The world’s leading economic and military power is also — no one can misread the data –the world’s leading Bible-reading crusader state, immersed in an Old Testament of stern prophets and bloody Middle Eastern battlefields.”

        As ridiculous and nonsensical as many of us secular persons find religion in any of its forms — especially the virulent Single Spook Animist variety — American government policy both encourages and exploits its reactionary irrationalism for economic and political purposes (but I repeat myself). Hence the self-damaging and counterproductive American embrace of the Apartheid Zionist Entity owes principally to a deeply ingrained religious delirium that longs for the “End Times” and Armageddon when the Jews will all concentrate in “Israel” so that Jesus can “come back” and convert them all to Christianity or else roast them along with the rest of us free-thinkers. The cynical “leaders” of the Apartheid Zionist Entity of course do not believe in Jesus or have any intention of converting to Christianity. Nonetheless, they assiduously flatter and court the American fundamentalist Christians as a means of influencing American policy in their favor. Personally, I think the Apartheid Zionists play with fire, because when Jesus fails to show up after all that reflexive American support for the crusader A.Z.E., the seething, subconscious frustration will have to fall on someone close at hand. It appears to me that thoughtful American Jews understand this all too well and have begun to remember what happened in the former Crusades when rampaging Christian armies decided to save themselves the trouble of hiking all the way to Jerusalem to kill Muslim heretics when they had Jewish heretics even closer to hand. All that ugly sectarian shit going down in the Middle East right now has malignant roots in human history that precede by thousands of years any concerns with energy or oil. As Phillips writes:

        “In its recent practice, the radical side of U.S. religion has embraced cultural antimodernism, war hawkishness. Armageddon prophecy, and in the case of conservative fundamentalists, a demand for governments by literal biblical interpretation. … The evangelical, fundamentalist, sectarian and radical threads of American religion are being proclaimed openly and analyzed widely, even though bluntness is frequently muted by a pseudo-tolerance, the polite reluctance to criticize another’s religion. However, given the wider thrust of religion’s claims on public life, this hesitance falls somewhere between unfortunate and dangerous.”

        So, again, in my view, attributing American foreign policy strictly to Oil, or Energy, overstates only one important factor while ignoring the obvious racial xenophobia and religious hysteria now set loose in the Middle East and at home in America. Getting on this terrible sectarian tiger always looks easy and profitable. Unfortunately, getting off it without becoming the tiger’s dinner has never proven an easy or bloodless option. If every drop of oil on earth evaporated tomorrow, this primitive impulse towards Sympathetic and Contagious Magic — i.e., religion — would still remain, in the words of James George Frazer, “a standing menace to civilization.”

        Most importantly, as Phillips said, ignoring or failing to confront this political, military, and economic religious hysteria — by insisting on our constitutional protections against it — “falls somewhere between unfortunate and dangerous.” For my money, I lean far more towards the clear, present, and looming danger. Polite pseudo-tolerance for these hysterical “religious beliefs” can go pound sand or piss up a rope.

      • Mike–I have been convinced for a long, long time that the religious fundamentalist is the most dangerous individual on Earth, for he/she “knows” that “god” is on his/her side and cannot be reasoned with. But in my (self-directed, not a family heritage) Marxist education I learned that religion is often used to mask political-economic motivations. Oh, true enough, the human animal is prone to shunning deep thought in favor of “simple” explanations for the way of the world. (Sam Clemens knew!) But the GOP’s embrace of christian fundamentalism is anything but a sincere expression of spiritual “values.” It is markedly cynical exploitation of the more backward elements of the society. There is far more self-serving premeditated exploitation at work in their embrace of the Israeli state than literal belief in the stuff and nonsense of “The Judgment Day/End Times.” Let us not place the cart in front of the horse.

  3. Michael.. It was during the Nixon scandals that the scheme unraveled when they decided to “follow the money”. That’s a wisdom that will always lead you to the culprits. Let’s apply that to the matter under discussion. It’s certainly the AIPAC money that both buys and cows our politicians from the president on down to the congress. That’s “POLITICAL” pressure. And it works for AIPAC because not a single Senator voted against or had the temerity to abstain on the resolution supporting Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

    But, Michael, MONEY ( in the economic sense) trumps political expediency in making policies that effect what those in power feel is best for the powerful and their prime supporters. For generations our political leaders have grafted fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) to an official U.S. outlook that these products are essential for the well being of our national economy. In the last three administrations we have seen our government leaders make the trip to Saudi Arabia to pay obeisance to that corrupt, medieval, backward excuse for a ‘nation’.
    AIPAC is a bit player in this drama, and Israel is a pawn by giving the U.S. an excuse to say we are defending the one good democracy in the Middle East. OIL=MONEY and that is what turns the wheel of American foreign policy the rest is just kabuki.

    I do agree that many in the American Jewish community are fooled by this new love affair the evangelical Christians in our country have for Israel. They seem to have a very short historical memory because before Bush II’s temporary rapprochement with the evangelical fundamentalists, the whole bunch of them were virulent anti Semites. Keep on ‘truckin”.

  4. “After the Holocaust, in which many Europeans actively aided or passively stood by as Nazi Germany murdered millions, who can blame the Jews for wanting to leave Europe?”

    I can. Or at least, they may have wanted to do so – but they shouldn’t have actually done so, at the expense of doing to others what had been done to them. Hasn’t it been said (perhaps even by a Jewish philosopher) that it’s worse to harm others than to suffer harm oneself?

    Moreover, the people who passively stood by were no threat. The clue is in the word “passively”. I would be interested to see how many modern Americans, British, or Europeans would stand up and protest if their governments hauled “terrorists” or the like off to an unknown fate. Apart from anything else, it would be useless: they would merely share the same fate. Ethically perhaps better, but not really human nature.

    Interestingly enough, the USA and its allies have killed many millions of people since 1945. At least 3 million (maybe twice that) in SE Asia. Certainly at least 2 million (maybe many more) in Iraq alone – don’t forget the victims of the sanctions, including the quarter-million children to whose deaths Madeleine Albright admitted on public TV. Pretty soon you are getting up towards 10 million.

    Now how many US citizens (or British, or French, or even German) people have complained about those deaths, or tried to do anything about them? I can think of the anti-Vietnam war movement which helped end that war (but not before millions had died) and the anti-Iraq war rallies (which accomplished absolutely nothing, as they were completely ignored). We have ALL actively aided or stood passively by while millions of innocent people were murdered. That is the nature of governments: they kill wholesale, and they resist internal protest.

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