Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Deafening Silence

The article below was written by local activist Bob Kosuth, and first appeared in the Reader Weekly newspaper.

A deafening silence after Barak Obama's UN speech. And no wonder. The long history of unmitigated hypocrisy in US Mid East policy easily silences even a master rhetorician. First there was Operation Iraq Liberation (OIL, for empire past), most lately followed by Operation Independent Libya (OIL for empire present). In between there are demands for democracy in Bahrain, Yemen and Jordan, but Bahrain is the home port of the US Fifth Fleet, waiting to pop across the Persian Gulf for Operation Iran Liberation (OIL for empire yet to come), so negotiation--not NATO bombing--is the order of the day. Kingdoms and autocracies are not democratic, but their abuses are overlooked if they are oil rich (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait) or if they are US toadies (Jordan, Yemen).

Thousands have been murdered in the streets in Syria, but oil resources are minor and Israeli occupation of Syrian Golan has become virtually permanent, so economic sanctions and patience are the order of the day. Sorry, Syrians! No help with democracy for you. Afghanis, bad luck for you too because your homeland is where the good war is being fought. Switching the focus from Iraq to Afghanistan won the hearts--or at least the embarrassed silence--of liberals and most of all helped cinch the election of Obama in 2008. Losing a toady in Egypt was a blow, but Washington is working hard to manage the situation and keep the level of democracy confined to managed elections a la Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lastly, there is Palestine. Here more than anywhere Obama has gone from merely embracing the rotting corpse of US hypocrisy to becoming its greatest cheerleader. In front of the whole world he was actually able to tell the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table to endure yet more decades of lies, humiliation and oppression as their land and water are stolen, day by day, demolition by demolition, and settlement by settlement funded by the USA, including Israel bonds owned by the state of Minnesota.

It's all unraveling, Mr. Obama. It's clear to the world more than ever that your words mean nothing. You are nothing more than the latest in a long line of servile managers of the security state. Some courageous action on your part was still possible to salvage a legacy, but given your obsession with being reelected at any cost, we can expect the pandering to wealth and power to continue unabated. Alternatives will have to come from the streets. They have and they will.

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