Some one million Arab and Muslim Americans, including some
in my own family, voted for Obama in the primaries. I was not one of them and I
will likely vote for a third party candidate in November.
I believe Obama is a shrewd politician who knew his
political weaknesses (his contacts with Muslims, his middle name, his
friendship with Chicago Arab community leaders, etc.), knew his strengths (coalition
building, motivational speaker, intelligence), but most importantly knew how to
manipulate the US political system. Thus he shunned most special interests but
worked closely with the Zionist lobby very early when he decided to run for
In the past three years, he did not shy from supporting
Israeli war crimes in Lebanon in 2006; Israeli collective punishment of the
Palestinians; Israeli extrajudicial executions; Israeli settlement activities;
maintenance of US occupation forces in the Middle East (although like Israel
with Gaza, it will be redeployment not withdrawal), and most recently a strong
stance against Iran to serve Israeli interests.
Obama excluded advisers who may want him to ask Israel to
obey International law and hired the services of people like Dennis Ross who
was and remains an employee of an Israeli lobby group (WINEP).
Rabbi Michael Lerner explained: "Jewish voters are only
2 percent of the U.S. population, but they are mostly concentrated in the
states with the highest number of delegate and electoral votes (New York,
California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois), they contribute
financially to politicians disproportionately to their percentage of the
voters, and they are often in key roles as opinion shapers in the communities
in which they work or live."
Shlomo Shamir wrote in an analysis in Haaretz
(in Hebrew not English version) that establishment Jews in the US supported
Obama financially as a replacement to the aging black leaders, such as Jesse
Jackson, which were not trusted.
A compliant US media quickly marginalized and did away with
candidates who got the lowest scores on "friendliness to Israel"
(e.g. Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich). Those with the highest scores
were elevated in a media that are populated heavily by those to whom Israeli
interests are number one (e.g. Wolf Blitzer was Washington Bureau Chief for the
ultra-right Zionist, 'Jerusalem Post,' and before that he was an employee of
and a staff writer for AIPAC before becoming an exalted CNN anchor. [See 'Territory of Lies']
The fact that Obama spoke to AIPAC the day after clinching
the nomination is in itself telling about the power of lobbies. For many US
citizens, the political system in the US had become a theater play with
predictable script and changing actors but well-known gatekeepers in the form
of special interest lobbies. Script-writers/gatekeepers will not allow anything
beyond differences in tactics of advancing the "white man's burden"
of "civilizing" and "improving" the world. That is why
candidates will not question why US troops are stationed in 140 countries (no
other country has such an empire). That is why they will insure a continuous
flow of billions of our taxes to Israel and many more billions to support
conflicts perceived to help Israel (e.g., Iraq and Iran). That is why
candidates will not seriously address slavery, genocide of Native Americans,
support of brutal foreign dictators, genocide in Iraq and Vietnam, mass
terrorism as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, growing economic injustice, global
warming etc. That is also why we will not have proportional representation or
instant runoff elections.
The pathetic "stimulus package" (with minor
variations) will give some $600 tax rebates to 117 million Americans so that
"they can spend it" and supposedly stimulate the sagging economy.
Yet, gatekeepers will ensure no discussion of the real minefield of the future
economy: the trillions in private debts (corporate and individual), the nine
trillion in government debt, the multi-trillion dollar mortgage debacle
involving large scale fraud, the scandal of a raided/depleted Social Security
safety net, the collapse of the fiat currency otherwise known as the US dollar,
and an unchecked �free market� system that even Alan Greenspan argued cannot be
sustainable without checks and controls on corporate greed.
Cleared candidates for presidential elections will never
have to answer any really difficult questions about these matters or about the
equally important legal and social matters. When was a candidate really
challenged about the violations of the US Constitution and of international
agreements signed by the US (violations that they implicitly or explicitly
supported)? Gatekeepers make sure that cleared candidates are not challenged on
taking legal action (including impeachment) against a corrupt administration
1) Violated domestic laws and International treaties that
are part of US law.
2) Violated the constitution by eliminating habeas corpus
and engaging in warrantless spying on US citizens and sought retroactive
immunity for companies that helped and immunities for officials who did this.
3) Engaged in massive lies and distortions (now attested to
by members of the inner circle including Paul O�Neill, Richard Clark, and most
recently Scott McClellan).
4) Engaged in massive corruption and favoritism. Examples in
the justice Department firing of US attorney and in Zionist Michael Chertoff
awarding no bid contracts to Israeli companies for US-Mexico border security
while denying them to US consortiums.
Ron Paul articulated that the Republican Party of today
bears no resemblance to the party of Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln for example was
against the war with Mexico). But the media gatekeepers did not give Paul much
airtime or exposure. Dennis Kucinich was similarly shunned, especially since
both he and Paul realize the danger of the �special relationship� with
The US with 6 percent of the world population spends nearly
the same amount as all other countries combined on the war machine. With
military industries, bases, and other outlets spread in just about every
congressional district in the US, it is politically impossible to tackle this
issue with logic. When the Soviet Union collapsed of its own weight, the
scriptwriters found it convenient to latch onto the newly invented �threat of
Billionaires like the Zionist Haim Saban (the largest single
contributor to the Democratic Party) invest abroad more than in the US. Rupert
Murdoch is buying European media. Halliburton relocated its headquarters to
Dubai (the same Halliburton which bilked taxpayers of billions supposedly to
rebuild Iraq and ended up with no completed projects in Iraq). There are
literally hundreds of other examples.
So what can be done beyond voting for the lesser of two
evils and ignoring the role of special interests in vetting candidates for national
offices? We must remember that real social change occurs from grassroots
movements. We all know that that is what achieved civil rights, women's rights,
labor rights, ending the genocidal war on Vietnam, ending the support for
Apartheid South Africa, etc. We all know that freedom is never freely given;
that it must be demanded. Even the simplest things would help like leafleting
and speaking out at all candidates' appearances, challenging a supine media, or
using your $600 tax rebate for activism. The alternative is far too disastrous
and is becoming clearer every year above the constant din of all the talking
heads in the corporate media.
Qumsiyeh is on the board of Peace Action Education Fund and is author of
�Sharing the Land of Canaan.�