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How Republicans Became America’s Arabs

| October 24, 2010

The GOP that lurks beneath.

A few weeks after Israel crushed Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the 1967 Arab Israeli war, tripled its size and expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, Arab nations gathered for a summit in the Sudan and issued a petulant declaration: No recognition of Israel, no conciliation with Israel, and no negotiations. Rarely had Arabs displayed more concise and concerted stupidity. With Jordan’s and Egypt’s nominal exceptions, Arabs have pretty much stuck to the scenario, ensuring 43 years of paralysis. Palestinians’ fate is no more advanced today than it was in 1967. With Israel’s generous help, it’s worse.

Arab scorn for Palestinians, Israel’s imposition of a regime worse than apartheid on Palestinians under occupation (wanton and disproportionate massacres, of civilians especially, being an Israeli specialty more lethal than all suicide bombings combined), and Palestinians’ knack for making the wrong choice every time a compromise appears, have turned the Palestinian-Israeli conflict into a mutually-reinforcing obscenity. Israelis and Palestinians compete to look like the victim, the aggrieved, the just. The ploy worked for a decade and a half following the 1967 war (Israel was the winner in the United States, Palestinians elsewhere).

It’s not working any more. Neither side can claim the moral high ground, though Israel’s immoralities always manage the deeper dig. And Arabs, the world’s most cowardly spectators, carry on with their No’s in the air, refreshing the Sudan Declaration every once in a while for aging amnesiacs. Why should they change? The same repressive Arab regimes in place in 1967 are in place today, most of them with the help of billions in American taxpayers’ aid. Lebanon and Iraq’s parodies of democracy aside, there isn’t a single Arab democratic regime in existence. Some of them—Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria—are more brutal police states than China, where enterprise is at least rewarded. They all thank god for North Korea’s existence so they don’t come out looking like the world’s worst.

The Live Column

And for America’s existence: every one of those regimes is an American client state. It pays to say No. It’s not about improving lives or finding a home for Palestinians. It’s about power and pretending in simple declarations that it’s all for god, country and the greater good. It works. The masses may be angry. But their anger is channeled—at America, ironically, at Israel, at decadence, at Disney for all they care. Anger, too, works. If there’s an inspiration behind the Republican Party’s strategy of the last two years, it’s those Arabs.

The GOP’s recent “Pledge” to America is, beyond its plagiarism of a nobler Declaration, another Sudan Declaration. It’s a cacophony of No’s summing up the blare of the last two years’ tea parties, of Joe-the-Plumber sound-bytes, Sarah Palin pandering (to U.S. troops especially, a supreme hypocrisy), Glenn Beck tear-jerking. The running theme, the only theme, is No. No to taxes, No to health care reform, No to financial regulation, No to a less aggressive military, No to ending useless wars, No to equality in marriage, No to church-state separations, and of course the mother of all no’s, No to that Negro Muslim Socialist defiling not only the white in White House, but the red and the blue all around it too: “regarding the policies of the current government,” the pledge states, “the governed do not consent,” adding, for emphasis, its definition of Obamism in black and white: “An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites.” It appears that the 63 million Americans who voted for the guy in 2008 don’t count.

That’s just the point. In a black and white society, there are those who count and those who don’t. It’s what the tea parties are about. It’s what reactionary Republican ideology is about. It’s what Palin says at every stop: “Take back America” is slogan, cleaver and visa to the Right.

The language of fundamentalism doesn’t have to be explained. Its point is to make explanation superfluous and the rational suspect. That’s the strength behind the Republican No, as it is behind the Arab No, the Islamist No in particular: it appeals to some mythical, mass-marketable golden age. No proof necessary. Just pretty stories gilded in quotes from the founding fathers and images of Mt. Rushmore.  Not only can present reality not compete. It makes coming up with an actual, alternate reality unnecessary. That was Ronald Reagan’s secret: morning-again-in-America mythology even he believed in, as did a landslide of people in that perfectly Orwellian year of his reelection, 1984.

So there’s no need for details, no need for a business plan. Putting substance behind the rebellion would unravel the impossible math. You don’t want to have to explain how your anger at trillion-dollar deficits can be fixed with extending trillion-dollar tax cuts. Saying No to it all is simpler, and easier to understand for that provincial midriff of America where multi-syllable explanations are suspect and complexity (like pluralism) is for “elites.”

When I speak of Arabs I’m not referring to the rank and file, to the people at large, being an occasional Arab myself, but to the turbaned and titled, to that rung of party leadership and pashas indistinguishable from GOP leaders’ contempt for accountability and infatuation with false populism, with making appeals to ordinary men and women with whom they wouldn’t share a sidewalk. There’s a lot in common between the Saudi prince slobbing about in oil money and the Republican shill crying class warfare when the Obama administration tries to raise taxes on the richest 2 percent.

Republicans and their tea party uprisings should be as easy to dismiss as Coolidge and Hoover fan clubs in the 1930s, easier still to expose for the self-centered greedy mobs of gray they are.  But like Palestinians, Democrats are brilliant at making the wrong choices and blowing themselves up. They may have had the moral high ground at one point. They certainly did in 2008, when the country was in ruins. Instead of rebuilding it, they kept the old contractors. They tinkered with policies of the Bush administration but kept the essentials in place, from Wall Street to Guantanamo to Afghanistan. Then they feigned indignation at losing face.

That’s what you get when you refuse to hold the predators of the last decade accountable for the pillaging, when you refuse to hold truth commissions to bring the debauchery to light and maybe avoid repeating it all over again. In the name of conciliation, Obama embraced whitewashing, leaving it to Wikileaks occasionally to expose the farce.

He deserves the consequences, just as the country will deserve the coming paralysis: unlike Arabs, we get to vote for ours. Misinformation is no excuse when it’s easy enough to see through the con of the word “No.” This invitation to our beheading is our own.

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30 Responses for “How Republicans Became America’s Arabs”

  1. Merrill says:

    OK, Issa Nakhleh’s Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem reports discussions by Israeli leaders of the expulsion of Palestinians, but not that it ever occurred. Where did those “hundreds of thousands” of Palestinians go? Where are they today? What “wanton and disproportionate massacres, of civilians?” Where did they occur? When? What newspapers reported these massacres?

    Since 10% of Israel’s Parliament today is Arab, can we assume that 10% of South Africa’s parliament under apartheid was comprised of Black Africans? If those weren’t Israeli Arabs on the beaches of Tel Aviv, in the malls of Jerusalem, on the buses of Haifa during my last visit, who were they? Under Apartheid blacks couldn’t possibly share beaches, malls, buses or much of anything else with whites.

    Israel’s peaceful unilateral withdrawal from Gaza tells it all! Some of us believe that African-Americans should be permitted to live in Palm Coast and those of Asian descent should be permitted to live in Daytona. Methodists should be permitted to live in Bunnell and Catholics should be free to live in Flagler Beach. Some of us believe that Jews should be permitted to live in Gaza, in Bethlehem, in Ramallah and Jenin, too. But others prefer them to be “Judenrein” the word the Nazis used to describe areas that were “free of Jews.” We saw that happen once…….no way will we stand around and let it happen again.

    Benjamin Pogrund, author and member of the Israeli delegation to the United Nations World Conference against Racism, has argued that the petty apartheid which characterized apartheid-era South Africa does not exist within Israel:
    “The difference between the current Israeli situation and apartheid South Africa is emphasized at a very human level: Jewish and Arab babies are born in the same delivery room, with the same facilities, attended by the same doctors and nurses, with the mothers recovering in adjoining beds in a ward. Two years ago I had major surgery in a Jerusalem hospital: the surgeon was Jewish, the anaesthetist was Arab, the doctors and nurses who looked after me were Jews and Arabs. Jews and Arabs share meals in restaurants and travel on the same trains, buses and taxis, and visit each other’s homes. Could any of this possibly have happened under apartheid? Of course not!

    • Pierre Tristam says:


      The expulsions did happen, and have been documented by Israeli historians of the first rank (it’s where I get most of my evidence): Benny Morris, Tom Segev and Ilan Pappe, though Morris is the ground-breaker. Nakhle’s encyclopedia is dated. Morris and others among Israel’s so-called New Historians did their work in the latter 1990s and 2000s, after Israel opened its archives of the 1948 and 1967 wars, with plenty of evidence about those expulsions in both wars. In 1967 the expulsions are attested by the swelling of refugee camps by the hundreds of thousands in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The old argument that these fools left voluntarily doesn’t wash: there is no such thing as a voluntary refugee, though Israel did an admirable job of playing that story for a few decades.

      For wanton and disproportionate massacres of Palestinian civilians, let’s just cite one (thought there are many more): the attack on Gaza at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, in which Israelis killed more Palestinians, overwhelmingly civilians, in 24 days, than the entire death toll of Israelis, civilian and military, in 23 years of uprisings with Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. My personal favorite by way of Israeli massacres though is the one from 1982, when, during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, the Red Cross figures put the Lebanese and Palestinian death toll, again overwhelmingly civilian, at 18,000, in less than 20 weeks of fighting. Think about that: we lost 57,000 soldiers in Vietnam in 15 years, but about a third of that number in a matter of 20 weeks in Lebanon. Who cares?

      Regarding apartheid, I was not referring to Arab Israelis proper (though they’re second class citizens or worse, if David Shipler’s excellent analysis for The New York Times and in his book, “Arab and Jew,” is to be believed), but Palestinians under Israeli military occupation, where they’ve been since 1967, in the occupied territories. As Benny Morris, the Israeli historian, wrote in “Righteous Victims” (1999): “Israelis liked to believe, and tell the world, that they were running an ‘enlightened’ or ‘benign’ occupation, qualitatively different from other military occupations the world had seen. The truth was radically different. Like all occupations, Israel’s was founded on brute force, repression and fear, collaboration and treachery, beatings and torture chambers, and daily intimidation, humiliation, and manipulation.”

      It’s far worse than apartheid, a now-dated and anachronistic term, because the term apartheid diminishes the realities of occupation to a mere separation of races. It goes beyond that under occupation: blood keeps flowing. For those figures, I rely on Israeli human rights organizations, particularly B’Tselem, which maintains the grimmest statistics down to the last fatality. Here, for example, we discover that since that “Operation cast Lead,” as the Israelis termed their attack on Gaza, there’s been 102 Palestinians killed by Israelis (two of them by Israeli civilians), as opposed to 11 Israelis killed by Palestinians, four of them Israeli soldiers. The fact that the killings are spread out over time may make it seem like less of a massacre. Not in my eyes, though those are modest numbers compared with B’Tselem’s tallies of killings in the first and second uprisings.

      The peaceful, unilateral withdrawal from Gaza? The Israelis have kept Gaza in a state of siege, turning it into the most abject open air concentration camp on the planet. Here’s the United Nations’ latest report on that state of siege, “Between a Fence and a Hard Place,” released in August. Not that UN reports have much credence among Israeli supporters of the Aipac variety (I’m a J-Street type myself). It is UN Day incidentally.

      I could go on, as I’m sure you could. But I have a story about Flagler firefighters to put out, and this column is really about Republican massacres of evidence-based reality. Israelis and Arabs are merely the illustration. Nevertheless I don’t write those lines flippantly, though only in the United States, the last refuge of myths about Israel (thanks to the Morris generation and Haaretz’s continued laundry airing, Israel is past those self-delusions) are we required to put justifying dissertations to footnotes. I’m glad to do it: there’s more evidence where that came from.

      One last thing: that people share meals, roads, teachers, cops or hospital wards isn’t necessarily indicative of harmony, but of accommodation. One word close to home comes to mind: Bunnell. And what’s that about Israeli Arabs having to swear a loyalty oath to the Jewish state that Truman expressly refused to recognize as such?

      Always a pleasure debating with you all the same.

  2. Sean O'Brien says:


    A few things:

    1. How dare you label me as part of the “…mobs of gray…”! I’m only 24 years-young, sir! Republican? Hell yes. Greedy? Down, right. Self-centered? Occasionally. Old? F*%# you!!

    2. As a YOUNG Republican, I would like to take this opportunity to personally invite you (and anyone lucky enough to read this post) to the next meeting of the Flagler County Young Republicans Club at High Jacker’s this Thursday, October 28th, at 6:00pm. While our group is under a political charter, we sincerely strive to be a community organization. I’d like you to come be a witness to our fine young group and meet each of us on a personal level. As hard working, politically aware individuals, we really do have something productive to add to society. I promise!

    3. I’d rather be a Republican and a ruling class “American Arab” than a Democrat and a terrorist. “But like Palestinians, Democrats are brilliant at…blowing themselves up.” Yikes.

  3. czossima says:

    Sean O’Potty-mouth,

    The cooks at High Jacker’s might not agree with your stench. You might want to take some Rolaids for after you eat, you may need them. Caveat Emptor.

  4. DLF says:

    I think you have it wrong Pierre, Americans are tired of the liberals trying to run our lives, tired of the liberal elite making decision for all us because we are not smart enough to do so. It has nothing to do with black or white; no matter how hard you and the rest of your liberal friends try to make it out to be. Americans are tired of not having a job, not knowing how much more of our money your liberal cronies want to take. Yes we do want to to take America back, back from the free spending liberals. The liberals that want to take America down the socialism path that you want us to follow because that will make us more like the other nations that you think are doing so great. By the way how has Obama worked out for you and your goal of wiping the Jewish state off the map? Every source you refer to his is just another liberal take on what you beleive in, try reading some things that do not support your feelings, may be you will learn something. No matter how hard you and your liberal friends try, America will never fall under the spell that you are trying to sell, we will never give into a life where we are taken care of by the goverment from cradle to grave. We will never be the nation that you want us to be, nor follow your sick liberal way of thinking. Long live the USA, Israel, and Burnell. As you have said if you do not like the liberal way of thinking that you write about go some where else and get your news, I may suggest , if you do not like the way America is run move back to a place you like, or can you make a living there? Can you write your liberal crap there , will the bgoverment take care of your family, (which you made reference to when you still had a job at the news journal and were telling us what a great job the goverment does compared to big business). I think you like it here because of all the things you can do and you have not done anything to earn these freedoms, nothing at all.

  5. Maurice says:

    What liberal agenda are you conservatives so afraid of, what specific policy or policies? If anything Obama is Republican lite, you conservatives should be giving him highfives. If you think the new health reform law is socialism, it’s far from it, it’s not even universal coverage you can’t even draw a comparison to other health care models in the world. I’ll be waiting for a reply.

  6. DLF says:

    Pierre, after reading all the one sided information you were so liberal in sharing. I did some follow up and found an interesting fact, Israeli has a 20% Arab population, most of them Mulims. They are given the same right as all the other citizens, voting rights, property , religious and other rights. How does this compare with your one sided numbers, maybe they are members of the T Party?

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      DLF: Israel’s Arabs are treated as second-class citizens, or worse, as I noted in my comment to Merrill. As Shipler wrote on the subject, “Much of the discourse in Israel, whether on high questions of policy or matters of everyday life, contains an assumption that Arabs are unpleasant to the senses, uncomfortable in the social order, and impure as elements in the Jewish state. There is a faint parallel here between the Arab notion of the Jew as an alien cancer in the Arab world and the Jewish notion of the Arab as alien to the integrity of the Jewish nation.”

      I don’t expect you, given your Fox-colored glasses, to see past the abject myth-making about Israel as the poor victim in every regard, and Israeli Arabs as allegedly privileged in every regard (anymore than I expect you to remember, or know, that for 20 years after the creation of Israel, Arabs in Israel proper had no rights and were under martial law). Nor do I expect you to know that currently Israel is in the middle of a debate over that bigoted minister Lieberman’s demand that Israeli Arabs take an oath to the “Jewish” state or lose their citizenship.

      But I do expect you at least to make the difference between Israel and the territories it’s been illegally occupying since 1967, where Palestinians are dirt and Israeli martial law as bigoted and brutal as occupying forces usually are. (And no, Arab Israelis don’t have the same property rights as Jews: they’re barred from buying whole swaths of properties classified under certain Jewish auspices.)

      And go ahead. Keep missing the thrust of the argument above. Evading reality, at home and abroad, is just why we’re in the cesspool we’re in.

  7. DLF says:

    Maurice: I don’t think it is the agenda as much as it is on how we pay for all the the liberal socialism plans they have. If someone can tell me how we pay I may be a little more understanding. When I look at the othe nations( France Greece) that have now found out that these free programs do not work and they cannot pay for them I wonder why Obama and his crew of crooks on both sides want to follow this trail of failure. I do not want some goverment cronie making decisions for me on how I spend my money, what I eat ,where I bank and what kind of goverment car I drive, I am smart enought to screw it up my self, I don’t need help but I do want the freedom to do so.

  8. Kip Durocher says:

    ” we really do have something productive to add to society. I promise!”

    Is this below an example of what you promise Sean O’Brien? Your ” positive” help for the Nation?
    The politics of **** NO **** pushed by the current crop of Republicans is to my mind damn near treason by proxy. These big money donors are afraid to put their face where their money goes.
    They don’t care about this country or it’s residents – they just want to win, be in charge, and get richer. Rick Scott should be in prison, not running for our Governor! I could fill a trillion pages of this Republican sleaze. The Democrats are not off the hook by any means. Obama, so far, has failed. But I believe the Democrats are still pro-American. Sad to see young people so deluded.

    “American Crossroads and the related Crossroads GPS group have spent about $1.2 million on the Florida Senate race to boost Republican Marco Rubio”

    “Karl Rove’s PAC is funded by Murdoch, big business and foreign companies.”
    “American Crossroads, a Conservative PAC founded in part this spring by Karl Rove, has started airing a caustic ad attacking Scott Murphy.”

    These groups are the “clearest, easiest way to spend unlimited funds on an election,” says former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter, a Republican. The super PAC is the “holy grail” for partisan operatives.

    “A new political operation conceived by Republican operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie formed a spin off group last month that – thanks in part to its ability to promise donors anonymity – has brought in more money in its first month than the parent organization has raised since it started in March.”

    “When corporate heads meet with GOP operatives, Glenn Beck, and executive directors of right-wing foundations to plan a coordinated response to the 2010 elections, it’s evident that business in America is attempting a hostile takeover of not only politics, but democracy. It’s now abundantly clear that corporations have an ideological slant, and those favoring the right have an almost treasonous, definitely unpatriotic, affection for profit. The GOP has always been party above country, profits before people, and the sooner Americans wake up to that fact, the better off we’ll be.”

    “American Crossroads, a new conservative PAC getting a big push from Karl Rove, just spent more than $400,000 on a negative TV ad designed to wipe Michael Bennet’s campaign off the map.”

  9. DLF says:

    Pierre: I was just asking a question are there 20 % Arabs in Israel, how they are treated I don’t know and I don’t think you know only what you read in the liberal news. We are in a cesspool because of the liberal thinking for the last four years, but we will like , France and Greece get out of, without the help from , CNN, Fox or the New York Times. I can’t remember, did Israel start the war in which they won certain lands, were they granted the right to be a nation some years ago, correct me on these facts oh great knowledge one.

  10. Maurice says:

    @DLF: What specific liberal socialist plans are you speaking of, just a little specificity would help me understand. Please elaborate.

  11. Sean O'Brien says:

    Czossima, the stench of greatness is a hard thing to get rid of. I’m not terribly sure why cooks at High Jackers will be offended. Jealousy, perhaps?

    Pierre, you so graciously replied to other’s comments but you still have not replied to my invitation. It is a serious offer, you know. Come out and join us.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Sean, I could have done without the funny fuck you as the gild around your invitation. Not to worry: I’ll be happy to attend, but send me reminders.

  12. DLF says:

    Maurice: lets start with the bank bail out , the auto bail out, cap and trade and we don’ t know for sure about Obama care ,to quote the speaker of the house we need to read the bill to know what is in it and wnat the cost will be. I am sure there are more but they want to keep it under wraps until after Nov.election.

  13. NortonSmitty says:

    DLF, There’s no sense responding to you, you’ve ingested the kool-aid and are not about to let go of the beliefs that probably took you years to absorb. IE, Fox good, Liberals bad. Your just a normal Conservative, meaning your conserving your dozens of unoccupied brain cells for O’Reilly and Dancing With the Stars.

    I can’t wait until me and my brave Comrades finally take over true power! The first thing we do, confiscate all the remote controls! The Republican base will be helpless!!! BWaaaaaHaaaaHaaa!!!!!

    Gotta Go, Moose and that damn Squirrel are on to me!

  14. DLF says:

    Norton, things may change on Nov. 2. But I understand that liberals can do nothing but name calling when they have no facts to back up their lack of brains,. I am sure you are a big CN and ##@1 things my dad said, they tell you when, to laugh, I am told.

  15. Maurice says:

    The Bank Bailout also known as TARP was signed into law by Bush Jr. and that’s a fact. Cap and Trade never came to fruition, it stalled in the senate and the Auto bailout the first one happened under Bush Jr., I believe the amount was around $25 billion and there was a second amount which was under the Obama admin in the amount of $60 billion and to my knowledge that has been paid back. Fact check me if you will, I’m going by my memory. And Obamacare again is not even close to other so-called “socialist” health care programs around the world, there’s just no comparison.

  16. DLF says:

    Maurice I don’t care who the bail outs were under they are still a socialist program, who bailed out the auto industry? Who has been in powere in the houe, the senate for the last 4 years? There are socialists are both sides of the fence, anything to keep their job. I may have to agree with you on Obama care but we need to see what we have after the dust settles.

  17. Rick G says:

    Simply said, Thank you Pierre for an inciteful and educational piece. Anyone who thinks the Israeli Government is not the agressor need to read some books and stop watching Faux News. Progressive Israelis need to take back their country.

  18. Maurice says:

    Democrats didn’t actually take control of both the house and senate until 2007, before Obama even took office as president, prior to that Republicans held control for the past 12 years, you’ve got some weak arguments DLF, I’ll wait while you gather some conservative talking points.

  19. DLF says:

    Maurice, I stand corrected . Since the president does make laws I guess we can say that the dems have had the power for just about 3 years and what have we got besides a big bill. I missed your answer on the car bail out and no all the TARP money has not been paid back. My search said about 60% has been but the balance may be hard to recover . Your figure of the Republicans having control is off by 2 years and they did a good job of trying to dspend like the dems and it did not work, they still screwed things up. The only reason Cap and Trade was not passed was because of the up coming election the dems did not want to face the voters with another spending, job costing project. I guess if the have control they could pass anything, what happened ?

  20. Merrill says:

    Benny Morris speaks for himself in his open response to Henry Siegman as published in the New York Review of Books, April 8, 2004:
    In his article, Siegman repeatedly “cited” things I had said—with a consistency of distortion that is truly mind-boggling. Just to give one key example: I most emphatically never stated anywhere that “the dismantling of Palestinian society…and the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians [were] a deliberate and planned operation intended to ‘cleanse’…those parts of Palestine assigned to the Jews.” Quite the opposite. Had Siegman bothered to read my books, he would have discovered that mainstream (Haganah–JewishAgency) Zionist policy, until the end of March 1948—meaning during the first four months of the war—was to protect the Arab minority in the Jewish areas and to try to maintain peaceful coexistence. Intentions changed only in April, when the Yishuv was with its back to the wall, losing the battle for the roads and facing potentially politicidal and genocidal pan-Arab invasion. And even then, no systematic policy of expulsion was ever adopted or implemented (hence Israel’s one-million-strong Arab minority today). The Arabs have only themselves to blame for the (unexpected) results of the war that they launched with the aim of “ethnically cleansing” Palestine of the Jews

    Thus we are naturally led to the question of mass expulsions. Where did the current 3,937,309 Arab residents of Judea and Samaria come from if there were so many expulsions? Where did the 1,500,202 Arab residents of Gaza come from?

    The firing of rockets upon civilian populations is an act of war. The firing of 6,311 rockets upon civilians in Sderot, Israel surrounding areas, Ashdod and Ashkelon is more. All are welcome to claim that after the firing of 1000 rockets no retaliation might be expected. Some might claim that 2000 such rocket can be fired without the expectation of some retaliation. But 6,311? What if a foreign nation started raining down rockets upon the population of Flagler Beach? How many do you think should be endured?

    If the term Apartheid is outdated, then don’t use it. To claim that Nelson Mandela only moved the needle from a 10% black presence in South Africa’s parliament is to diminish his wonderful accomplishments.

    The Arab citizens of Judea and Samaria are only under occupation until a peace treaty is agreed upon. It’s a temporary condition just as it was with the citizens of Sinai. Then they can govern themselves as they see fit. I hope you’ll add your voice to mine and urge the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to repatriate these areas to the conditions under which they existed on June 1, 1967. But, in truth, nobody wants these people, as you imply when you speak of “Arab scorn for Palestinians.” It is well documented that Israel did not want to keep Gaza any more than the Sinai Peninsula–but the Egyptians refused to take it back!

    The tragedy of war includes civilian deaths. If you have any positive ideas to avoid the next war, to stop the violence, I’d be happy to hear them and to add your voice to ours. Ehud Barak, who, as Prime Minister offered the Palestinian Authority 95% of all it wanted, including a capital in Jerusalem (for which, in part, he was thrown out of office) and was rebuffed by Yassir Arafat put it best in his interview with Christiane Amanpour, when he said “We’re living in a touch neighborhood. Toughness is the language of this neighborhood. This is not North America with borders like those between the U.S. and Canada. A different reality prevails here.”


  21. NortonSmitty says:

    I didn’t mean to get carried away with this post. I just meant to say that giving Trillions to multi-national banks, insurance and investment companies out of the US treasury and putting working people in debt for it for the next thirty years to foot the bill can hardly be called Socialism, But I turned it int a History Lesson. Sorry. Bear with it or skip it, but I needed to get it out. NS:

    Dear DLF
    Calling the bailout of the largest banks, investment houses and insurance companies a Socialist program is to stand the definition of Socialism on it’s head. As is commonly understood, modern socialism is a system that attempts to funnel profits downward to benefit the working class, supplementing their income and expenses by a government taxing (taking) capital accumulated by business’ , stockholders and owners.

    The idea being that these profits are possible in large part to the fact that the corporations must operate in a stable society. Long-term investment in factories, infrastructure and an educated workforce will only exist where investors don’t worry that the proletariat , who always outnumber them, won’t burn the place down every few years. The workers need to be able to live and raise a family, reasonably sure that they are not going to die on the job, and see a future for their children that is at least as good as theirs. Not that much really.

    Social Justice, to use a term that will raise your hackles, but as good a term as any.

    At the start of the Industrial Revolution, the Golden Age of Capitalism, the Carnegie’s and Rockefeller’s proved that this wasn’t something they could bring themselves to do on their own. They hired their own armies (Pinkertons), bought the government they wanted and made a workingman’s life sort of Hell on Earth. Dickens, Sinclair and others documented it. These abuses gave were what gave birth to the theories of Marx and Engels, who were so sure that Human Nature (greed) would never let people give up the power this capital gave them voluntarily, so a revolution was needed to take it. Marxism was born. Just a theory, until the Russians turned it into Communism. They proved political power was just as evil and corrupting as money.

    This scared the ruling class and bankers so much, they started allowing trade unions here, and those nasty Gov’t regulations like no child labor, 40 hour work week, disability insurance, pensions. All the things that still drive the Republicans nuts today. They had to fight for it, but from this came the good life our parents and grandparents had. The heyday of what became known as the American Dream. Buy a house and pay it off in five, ten years. Paid vacations, pensions, insurance, college for the kids and a stay-at -home wife if she wanted. Ozzie & Harriet.

    Of course in the 50’s it helped that we pretty much flattened every factory on the planet in WWII, so competition was minimal and there was a huge market. But we thought it was our due, American Exeptionalism and all that.. There was so much capital to go around even most of the bankers and industrialists didn’t begrudge the workers a decent share. Besides, they spent most of it and that was booming the economy. Good times for all!

    Then Europe, Japan and Britain rebuilt and started competing with us. The Arabs said oil was theirs and had a free market value, and things started to slow down. Plus we spent most of the money we made on the military in Viet Nam and the cold war instead if infrastructure and education. The ’70 were tough and shocking for a country used to being on top and undefeatable, and the oil crisis was enough to put a stake the heart of what made us what we had come to believe we were as a nation. I mean my God, no gas! The Iran Hostage Crisis rubbed our nose in it, we were subject to the same rules as all those lesser Nations. Plus, the end of cheap energy caused upheaval in our aging industrial base and profits were way down. Investments are getting shaky. We need a change.

    Along came Ronnie, Morning in America, Hallelujah! Tax cuts for everybody, and The Experts say revenue will even go up! Voodoo Economics writ large! Big Military, De-Regulation, surpluses and lower taxes for all! A rising tide lifts all yachts! Absolutely no tax increases! Well, except we’ll transfer the Social Security withholding out of the general tax revenue to something called FICA, which will come directly out of your paycheck. Your rate will go down slightly, so we can say you got a cut, But if you actually work for your pay, you really got a big tax increase, but everyone else gets a cut. At least all the Real People he knew, who had to actually pay taxes on Capital Gains on the investments they made from the money they inherited, and we’ll cut that too! Corporations, who paid 33% of all taxes collected in 1960 to support the country that made them great, paid a whopping 6% by 1989 when Bush finished his third term. Good Times! Change the rich can Believe in!

    And those pesky unions, time to take care of them now that we know the USSR is ready to collapse. We really don’t have to coddle these greedy bastards anymore, who want to take food out of the mouths of our precious stockholders and executives to squander it on a better life than they deserve!

    So PATCO, the air traffic controllers, went on strike. Not for more money, but for modernization of the 1940’s radar and equipment they needed to cope with the booming air traffic that came from deregulating the airlines. The money was there, from the excise taxes we had been paying on our tickets for years, but it wasn’t being spent so as to offset the exploding deficit numbers from the tax cuts and budget increases for the military.

    Our Hero pounced, decertified the Union and fired them all. That;ll show those greedy commie bastards. The replacements with no experience, nobody to train them, and the outmoded equipment took over. And nothing bad happened! Well, at least if you watched the evening news and read the papers. Ronnie showed ’em!

    In reality, there seemed to be a plane going down every week or two. Hundreds if not thousands of people died as a result of this calculated political statement. But the Unions were broken, as much by the media and people cowed into ignoring the facts and real message here as the actual act.

    This was the beginning of the “Class Warfare” the Republicans love to talk about. In reality, we have had this fight since 1980. But the only ones fighting it have been the rich, the corporations and the Republican toady’s they put in control. The battle is against us, the middle class and the poor, the workers who dream of reaching the level their parents reached. My Uncles made $16.50 and hour in the Pittsburgh steel mills in 1965. This was when you could fill the entire back if a station wagon with groceries for $20. Full benefits, paid vacation, the works. I have a friend today who just passed his Journeyman’s’ Electrician test. He got a raise to $9.00 an hour.

    How can we live in a land that rewards the labor and knowledge of what by all standards is a model citizen, one we claim to honor and appreciate. The ones we use terms like “the backbone of our Country” and other hollow platitudes, and then pay him this paltry sum? How can we tell him his American Dream is to raise a family of four on the sum of $360.00 A WEEK! $18,720 a year. How are we not ashamed that the Baby Boomers that were supposed to lead America to new heights, instead allowed the rich and faceless corporations and international bankers to leave this new America behind for our legacy?

    Now, they aren’t worried about the workers rising up. Instead of going out and talking to your fellow citizens at work and in Taverns (where the American Revolution was started by people talking after work and saying “Ya know, I think we’re getting screwed here) we go home and cocoon. We watch the Tube, And not even the Tube the rest of the world gets, but the Americanized version. Where you constantly see these amazing airplanes, tanks and artillery in action. Dropping genius bombs, firing huge shells over the horizon, and Drones on patrol

    But we never see even one picture of where these wonderful devices land. Not one picture of a dead body. Soldier or civilian, Enemy or Hero. Target or Collateral. Not one. Not even one picture of an American soldiers casket or funeral. Not one. Ever. Why is this. The rest of the world does.

    We’ve got more Police and People in jail than and other society in history, way more than Russia or South Africa at their worst. And they have better weapons than the military. As soon as the problems begin, we can release all of the Drunk Drivers and small time drug dealers and fill them with anyone who tries to organize and demonstrate against us. If you think they aren’t ready, Google the G-20 protests in Pittsburgh or Toronto. Hitler would be envious.

    But the real thing they have on the Tube is for the first time in the history of this country, they have a 24/7/365 propaganda outlet that can twist this righteous populist anger to not only keep them in power, but strengthen it. That can take middle class angry people and channel their anger away from the people that are screwing them and their kids and the whole country and make them think the real enemy is the people that have always been there for them to improve their lot in life.

    Unions. Social Security. Unemployment insurance. Liberals. In the past., Democrats.

    Now, you believe that you have to cast your lot with the Banks, Wall Street, Insurance companies, the rich, and the alter of the Free Market.

    All of the things, people and entities that have been breaking it off up peoples ass since time began.

    It is the greatest propaganda machine in the history of the world. It only exists because the information that we have available on American TV is restricted to a ridiculous degree. And it works because it is run by the best psychiatric propagandists all the money in the world can buy.

    You people will vote against your own self interests to cater to your baser instincts when they push your core buttons. You vote against Defense cuts that suck up about 60% of our tax dollars because they tell you that it will make some hippie somewhere happy. You will let a pregnant mother go homeless because they hint that this will give your hard earned money to some nigger somewhere. You let your spite overrule your basic good instincts if it is presented in the right manner, and the know all the right manner.

    You are looking for something, they will tell you what it is, and they get stronger every day because of it.

    I would love to expand on this, but I’m out of steam. I’ll end with this:

    Our country is doomed.

  22. dlf says:

    Norton: well said and well written and I would agree with a large per cent of your thinking except ;for the following. You want me to beleive that unions, goverment entitlement programs, liberals and Democrats have always been there to help, but at what cost? I cannot buy into your reasoning that these groups are not part of the problem nad have been for a long time, not all of the problem but part of it. I agree, this country is doomed if we continue to not work together and say that we are all part of the problem and should be part of the solution. No one group or two groups have the answer but they may have PART of the fix.

  23. NortonSmitty says:

    Fox & Friends have but one agenda DLF and you and I are not part of it.

  24. NortonSmitty says:

    One more thing. Ask yourself what the cost will be if we turn over control of our country to the International banks, insurers and multi-nationals. We’re gonna’ find out, because that’s what we’ve done. Getting it back is going to take more than a ballot.

  25. t. paige says:

    That we have come to the point of honest hardworking Americans defending the people that are fleecing them and excoriating those that want to tilt the scales back in their favor is soooo disheartening, frustrating and totally dumbfounding.

    Someone please explain…

    Is it because liberals for years tried to force their social agenda on Americans giving rise to an unreasoning anger? Is it because since Ronald Reagan Republicans have found a way to disguise their agenda as gift to the American people, as Conservatism, or is it just a failure of democracy, a general apathy, a refusal to deal with real issues in an intelligent way, instead scapegoating, magnifying gnats to the size of camels that are then swallowed whole…a willingness to allow distortion to replace honest discussion. One has to be alarmed at an America that has become so distorted and inverted in the way it defines its values and what it considers morally and ethically acceptable. Tell a lie often enough and people will begin to accept it as the starting point for discussion. While we are wasting our time defending or refuting these lies, the real problems are under-addressed and real solutions for our country slip further and further from our grasp. For example the whole Clinton impeachment debacle, that left our country vunerable to the 9-11 attacks. And then the whole Wall Street debacle which made a few culpable people very rich and we STILL haven’t put them in jail, as a matter of fact they are still at large, still running this country much as Mexican drug lords rule Mexico.

  26. NortonSmitty says:

    Well said. I vote all of the above. I still laugh about Monica. Google Jennifer Fitzgerald, Bush the First’s girlfriend for decades. But THAT was personal and off-limits!

  27. William says:

    Seems dlf is suffering from a severe case of cognitive dissonance, as the entirety of his weak and unfounded arguments project the catastrophe of GOp policies onto the “librul democrats”. What a load of horseshit. The fact that you believe any of these distortions and outright lies spoon fed you by a nefarious, criminal cabal whose only interest is the continued enrichment of their elite ilk, at the expense of everyone else (including YOU), proves by example the dangers of drinking the kool-aid.

    Why do repugs run on “the deficit” as a campaign issue, when in practice they have proven to be among the most fiscally irresponsible cretins in US history? (see Raygun/Boosh tax cuts and the deficits caused by them)

    Why do repugs consistently place party and big business above “we the people”? Because a significant amount of the maximized short-term profits are invested (by way of campaign contributions) in the purchase of votes favoring their agenda. The teabaggers are worse still, an extremist right wing astroturf “movement” co-opted by deep pocketed pro-business interests (Koch Bros, Dick Armey, Rupert Murdoch, et al) who, collectively, are too stupid to realize they’re being played for suckers.

    Your fealty to the party of NO is exceeded only by your delusional perspective of where the problem lies. The missionary zeal for deregulation at the core of our financial crash was a rethug holy grail, realized with DINO assistance, and is completely anti-liberal/progressive.

    If you’re going to spew your your bullshit, it would be greatly appreciated if you kept it, at least minimally, based in reality. Your reactionary regurgitations of right-wing talking points and lies are far too easily fact checked, exposing you for the fool you are.

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