Shocked and Persuaded

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Separating Fact From Fiction

Quotes of the Day II:

“Defense…has become this mantra…and once people hear the word defense they stop thinking.” Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Rabbis for Human Rights, Israel

Israel’s Dick Cheney

Noticed primarily in the middle east extended during Israel’s recent election was the ascent and legitimization of Avigdor Lieberman Israel’s equally bellicose and more blatantly racist answer to Ol’ Dicko. This is a man who unlike his counterpart here in McLean, Virginia has only recently been granted the opportunity to perform on the world stage. Boy has he taken advantage of it. This man’s hawkish nature would make even Rummy and Paul Wolfowitz blush! Thus far he has categorically ruled out returning to ’67 borders in the West Bank (http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/05/24-1), proposed a loyalty oath for all with the aim of cleansing Israel of 1.45 million Arabs (http://www.thestar.com/article/639832), and according to a report in The Independent Netanyahu “…has made it perfectly clear there will be no two-state solution; and he has planted a tree on Golan to show the Syrians they will not get it back. And now he’s brought into the cabinet a man who sees even the Arabs of Israel as second-class citizens.”

This man has openly pondered “…drowning Palestinians in the Dead Sea or executing Israeli Palestinians who talked to Hamas.” (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-why-avigdor-lieberman-is-the-worst-thing-that-could-happen-to-the-middle-east-1647370.html) These are just a handful of the acts Lieberman has been associated with and this all comes with the understanding that he has catered to the religous right of Israel as it were, mostly members of the Likud and his former Kach party. However, he is a self-described secularist and like the agnostic-at-best Roves, Rumsfelds, Negropontes he feeds on the unquestioning sheepishness of his devoitly Jewish flock.

This is shameful given his zionist and racist objectives. He very easily conflates Judaism with nationalism, which yields poorly informed and quite maleable constituents similar to those that were shaped in the image of the aforementioned Neocon Order constructed by the now defunct Plan for a New American Century (PNAC) AND reborn Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). Oh yeah and the latter were the ones that framed the position regardin a “surge” in Afghanistan that the Obama adminstration adopted whole-heartedly (http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/03/26-7)! Lieberman is a favorite of AIPAC and we all know how well they are connected as you will recall the first place President Obama stopped after being declared the Democratic nominee and shortly after John McCain was AIPAC’s annual meeting last year (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/us/politics/05aipac.html?scp=11&sq=Obama%20AIPAC&st=cse; http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/us/politics/02cnd-mccain.html?scp=3&sq=McCain%20June%202008%20AIPAC&st=cse) Mr. Lieberman has cited our treatment of Japan during WWII (ie Nagasaki and Hiroshima) as potential tactics in the war against Hamaz, Hezbollah, and Fatah. This man is a perfect synthesis of Cheney and Rumsfeld’s bluster mixed with the cunning and intellect of Henry Kissinger…pretty dangerous cocktail if you ask me! (hitchens_harpers_kissinger-2001; ) I think as a nation we need to stop consuming ourselves with fear of the next 9/11 or related retribution and start concerning ourselves with the very real and growing trend towards geopolitical replication, both from a policy/strategy and a personality perspective. Lieberman was given clout by spreading fear and intolerance of descent. Both of which were in full-effect under the Bush/Cheney regime. I don’t take much solace in knowing that at this time we have only to turn to the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Steny Hoyer. It is time for President Obama to stand up to intra- and inter-nation bullying, fear mongering, and use of religion for what can only be described as nefarious motives. Avigdor Lieberman is not a cause but he sure is a symptom and the only tool to fight the spread of his disease is education and compassion. The Israel of Lieberman/Netanyahu tolerates dissent about as well as the Republican party of Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Toomey, and Shaun Hannity as is evidence from the latter’s as of yet refusal to form a coalition with the more centrist Kadima party and it’s leader Tzipi Livni (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/11/israeli-elections-2009-israelandthepalestinians2). This again is the blind and more importantly arrogant pursuance of hegemony – whether it be local in the case of Israel or global in the case of the Bush administration – with no concern for > 10-20yr ramifications. The most violent and scary byproducts of such policies will not be retaliation but rather replication. Monkey see monkey do!