Saturday, 24 November 2012

Obama, Israel & America's Problem



Change never came to America. Guantanamo was never closed, American support for dictators never waned, the Bush war crimes never made it to court and Obama added a few of his own. In fact, murder has been made legal by a man whose supporters oppose the death penalty.

On top of it America’s “unique (read shameless) defence partnership” with Israel continues at the cost of blown up children.

I think most American liberals realize this, even if they won’t admit it. The left in the US would have been appalled by all that Obama has done if it were John McCain doing it. So why haven’t they lashed out against Barack? The “our guy” mentality? Perhaps. But is there more to it?

Mitt Romney talked after defeat about Obama giving things to certain groups and, in a way, he was correct. Obamacare, birth control, gay marriage, immigration and taxing the rich, Obama has pushed, or at least talked about pushing, the right buttons for his support groups.

While the left counts it's victories, human rights and peace are the casualties and there’s no one left to talk about them. Where once an American liberal was criticizing the right for Bush bombing everything that moved, he would now say “See, our guy is bombing people too” pointing to Pakistan, Libya or Yemen.

Obama has thus single-handedly killed the “Let’s stop bombing people” argument from mainstream American discourse.

In the context of Israel’s latest killing spree, all of this looks particularly depressing, especially for people outside the USA. Obama had given hope not only to Americans, but also to many victims of US foreign policy. That got a boost recently with the frosty relationship between Obama and the Israeli Prime Minister. So to see Barack perfectly adapt to the role of Netanyahu’s bitch leaves us with one question.

What the hell happened?

Well, AIPAC is one answer. Money is the other.

The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee has been accused of spying for Israel in the past. Apart from that, AIPAC is the most prominent, and arguably most powerful, of the many PACs that lobby for Israel in Washington.

According to MapLight, Pro-Israel groups’ contribution to US Congressional campaigns in the last 2 years stood at $ 9.9 million. By contrast, Pro-Arab groups contributed a whopping $ 85,950 over the same period. These groups have considerable influence on US foreign policy, and use anti-Semitism propaganda against anyone who challenges the Israeli right wing narrative, stifling space for debate.

Still, they aren’t the root of the problem, or the decisive factor in formulation of American foreign policy. That crown goes to money.

How?

Obama wasn’t always the stout Israeli he is today. Before becoming a United States Senator he was actually very perceptive of the woes of Palestinian people. As you make your way up the American political ladder though you need some financing, and that is where the likes of AIPAC come in, along with banks, oil companies, defence contractors and other assorted do-gooders.

The American political system ensures that the financing bug catches you early, before you make an impact on the national stage. So the powers that be can mould any young aspiring politician in their own image before the general population catches a glimpse of him/her.

And it doesn’t end there. As a politician aspires for higher office, he needs bigger cheques and as the cheques get bigger, the conscience gets smaller. It simply doesn’t matter then who’s the guy running for office.

This is why despite stabbing America in the back, and then slitting her throat, the bankers were paid upwards of 7 trillion dollars by the US Government. Meanwhile, the much vaunted Dodd-Frank, a bill meant to regulate said bankers, never saw the light of day. Now these are people that hurt Americans, that have public opinion stacked against them enough to ignite the occupy wall-street protests. They got 7 trillion dollars.

That’s the power of money in the United States political system.

The foreign policy isn’t too different from the monetary policy in that it is also dictated by campaign contributors like AIPAC, oil companies and defence contractors. And while these are devastating for the rest of the world, they also harm the general American public.

The media machine can spin it as much as it wants, but when you support occupation and dictators, oppress the people and use holy warriors to fight the USSR, there is bound to be blowback. It is not because “they hate our freedom”.

Apart from global enmity towards Americans, which often has violent manifestations, there are other repercussions for them. Many freedoms that the American people fought hard to attain over decades have been forfeited as a consequence of their campaign contributor devised foreign policy.

Think the Patriot Act and what it has done to privacy in the United States, and of course President Obama now has the authority to murder any American he wants. Think the $ 1.3 trillion the US has spent on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while American schools face budget cuts and teacher layoffs.

Not a pretty picture is it. There are people in the US who realize all of this and are trying to push back. So far though, it’s not working.

This is because as much as money in politics is a curse, it does not hold a candle to money in the media.

The run-up to the 2012 US Presidential election threw up two candidates that could have changed things.

Ron Paul has been an outspoken critic of America’s foreign and monetary policy for a very long time. His supporters thought this could be his year, but if you oppose the system, it strikes back.

The media machine, subservient to money, did a tremendous and sometimes brutal job of destroying Paul’s candidacy. Even with Paul polling 2nd or 3rd in Republican primaries, the anchors at CNN, MSNBC and especially FOX, simply refused to discuss him. When he was given airtime it was to criticize, mock or dismiss his campaign.

His stances were against most power wielders in America, i.e. campaign contributors. In the end, Paul announced he would stop active campaigning, shockingly, because of a lack of funds.

The other candidate to challenge the system went straight for the jugular; money. Buddy Roemer didn’t mince words. He rejected the “Washington is broken” line, insisting that it was corrupted. The corrupter of course was money, so Roemer designed his campaign in a way that would protect him from influence.

According to his website, Roemer accepted no PAC or Super PAC money. He did not accept contributions from any corporation and not from lobbyists. Contributions were accepted only from the general public, fully disclosed and topped off at $100.

He really was asking for it. The GOP and the media never invited him to any of the 23 republican debates and if it wasn’t for an appearance on the Colbert Report, many people wouldn’t have known he was running for President.

Roemer and Paul looked like serious men and, whatever the merits of their positions, actually talked about policy. The media however spent more time promoting a candidate who didn’t know what Libya was and one who wanted the Moon to become the 51st American state.

This didn’t happen only because journos are stupid assholes, it happened because the media is corrupt. Everything on it is monitored and controlled by the people who pay the bills, and there are marked lines you are not allowed to cross. When the lines are crossed, retribution is savage.

Dan Rather was a CBS anchor for 24 years and probably bought his own lies about freedom in America. One fateful day he did the story about George W. Bush going AWOL back when America was bringing democracy to Vietnam. He was shown the door.

Rick Sanchez is another one. He suggested, and later apologized for suggesting, that Jews controlled the American media. He was proved wrong by a prompt firing from CNN.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that the media doesn’t provide information, it filters information. In doing so it protects the interests of those with money. Hence you see top CNN whore Wolf Blitzer running for cover in Israel as actual journalists are targeted and killed in Gaza.

There is still dissent that gets through, but the system works overtime to plug the gaps. With Obama, the establishment has found the way to shut up the increasingly annoying folks at Hollywood, and the Bill Mahers and the Jon Stewarts. And when the left isn’t going to call you out because you have bought their man, you can do whatever you want.

The politicians are under control on both sides, be it republican or democrat, in both houses, Congress and the Senate. The media makes sure that doesn’t change, it makes sure the focus is not on real issues and it obfuscates repercussions of money-driven policy.

Thus the policies don’t change and the atrocities never stop. In the end, what the American people get to choose is only the colour of the man who will do war crimes in their name.

Black just means lesser dissent.

"I’ve been in this business a long time and believe me there is essentially no difference from one administration to another no matter what the platforms.... The foreign policy stays the same, the monetary policy stays the same." – Ron Paul, on Obama and Romney.

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