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Bigot Brothers Speak

March 2, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to make a big speech in the United States Congress, and has been invited to do so by the United States Speaker of the House John Boehner. (I know it looks like something crude, but it’s pronounced “bay-ner” for some reason). This invitation is seen as something of an act of political opposition to the American Chief Executive, Mr. Barack Obama—who, despite some people’s opinions, has not actually gone out of his way to offend Israel. I would love to say he had been that willfully stupid, but that is simply incorrect. In truth, Obama has only not made special effort to make Israel feel better about itself and its relationship with the United States. It is less a matter of doing something good than choosing not to do something bad. Besides the fact catering to a belligerent nation who also happens to buy American military manufacturing isn’t the job of the president, it would be unduly doting on a nation we have an unhealthy attachment to given its behavior. I’ll return to that later.

I suppose the most important question is: why should we commoners care about the issue of this Prime Minister making a speech to a bunch of overpaid, apathetic, two-face alleged “representatives” of the people, whatever the topic? It is a matter of the patricians, right? We plebians have bills to pay and it hardly affects us. Patricians make the bills high and we struggle to pay them. There are few, but rather critical reasons we should rise above the impoverished mindset for a moment to pay attention.

  1. We must keep apprised of the situation in which our supposed leaders consider themselves to be. Any intervention of a foreign leader in the American political system, from invasion of the homeland to something as slight as a speech to the Congress, is a matter of concern for the responsible United States electorate: here, simply because it is communication from one state to our leaders, and any such communication can tell us a lot about what the foreign state is doing, means to do, what our own state may do, and what it is inclined to hear in how our own government reacts to it. In the case of the United States, it also matters how the media react to any such address to Congress, since they program American reactions as they serve the sociopolitical system. If we watch the development from Netanyahu’s speech, we can learn how the system works and fails to work rather than solely reacting to the system using our votes and our taxes for its own, selfish ends.
  2. We, the people, should be aware of what other nations want from us to know what the U. S. is expected to give or do in the future. If the Prime Minister of Israel is traveling from halfway around the world to give a speech to our monied “leaders,” it is not for vacation. It is either a grand distraction from some important topic or a mechanism to wield influence over our government, if not both. Netanyahu seeks to make the U. S. rescind overtures of peaceful solutions with other countries Israel doesn’t get along with, and historically, we haven’t either. Given Israel’s past ties with us thus far, such a course is plainly biased and an idiotic long-term plan for the region. If we intend to be involved in the relations of the Middle East as much as we are—which we shouldn’t, but since we are anyway—it is wrong to assume too much credence to Netanyahu’s words, or anyone’s. We are right to hear him speak, however that situation arose. We are not right to side with him simply because Israel is a great buyer for American military contractors or because it’s tactically convenient. If we continue to ignore the rights and abuses suffered by other parties in the Middle East, we cannot justify our actions. We may deserve what we get. We certainly could set the stage for our own grief the same way we did with intervening with Afghanistan and helping… who was it… oh, yeah, some guy named bin Laden.
  3. The way our Congresspeople reply to a foreign dignitary’s speech is telling to their loyalty to their voter base. If the reader is lucky enough to be from a district where his or her Congressperson shows any interest in what the electorate wants, congratulations! Keep that safe any way you can without infringing the civil liberties of others. For the majority of American voters, however, Representative Clueless or Senator Avarice is much more attentive to campaign contributors and potential for increase of political power. The way to get these things when it comes to foreign speakers is to make it seem like one is representing the people of the U. S. when it is actually a guise to foster more income for the incumbent, the party, or support of a legal measure that has no regard for the rights or needs of the American populace. For the love of God, if this describes your Congressperson or legislator, VOTE THEM OUT!

If Netanyahu says any compromise with Iran is appeasement (which it isn’t, necessarily) and the Congress reacts by making any such discussions or solutions difficult without consulting the voter base or contravening it—or, for example, making any such compromise with Iran a matter of outright profit for the U. S. or Israel—it is proof the Israeli Prime Minister and/or simple greed have exerted more influence over our elected officials than the ones who elect them. If we don’t pay attention to the speech, then the reflex of Congress and the president afterward, we are clueless or self-destructive; in this case, as much as flunkies of the lobbyists filling seats at subcommittee meetings deliberately to prevent active voters from being informed. The word for obstructing democracy in a republic is treason, by the way…

The short version is any Speaker of the House is wrong for using this difference of opinion (in this case, an objective geopolitical stance regarding Israel versus its almost unconditional support and its policies, foreign and domestic) the way Boehner evidently has. His party is only the one currently monopolizing on dominance in Congress to stymie actual improvement of the common American’s well-being, incidentally. We can’t blame him any less than when Democrats were in power last and pulled all their own loads of bollix deliberately to thwart the Republicans, when both parties were (again) ignoring the needs of the people. It’s what happens in the Capitol. Bigotry has shifted from an emphasis on skin pigmentation to income. Isn’t American “democracy” great…?

That said, it’s also wrong for National Security Advisor Susan Rice to polarize the topic further by saying Netanyahu’s speaking in Congress on this matter would be so bad. He is a dignitary from an ally and the only “destructive” thing involved is presuming his words are so divisive without even hearing them first. The Prime Minister of Israel has right to speak to one of its most vital allies if he is invited to do so, and judging him for serving his country’s stated goals by doing this is not wrong of him, either. Rice and Boehner are both wrong.

Interestingly, Netanyahu is still wrong for another reason, as well. The politicking demonstrated here merely augments the hullabaloo about Netanyahu’s presumed topic of the speech: opposition to a peaceable solution to Iranian attempts at developing a nuclear program. The short version is Israel is officially opposed to any compromise permitting Iran from having nuclear capacity, and in theory, I agree Iran with the potential for nuclear arms is not an uplifting scenario. I am not excited to see another nation, especially one with as much violence in its history less than 100 years ago, given the means to make atomic weapons. (Never mind much of that was caused or precipitated by Western Powers meddling there, principally the U. S.)

Regardless of this, and disregarding the fact Israel has previously violated all international law by bombing Iranian nuclear programs in the past, what moral right does the West have to tell other countries they aren’t allowed to discover their own fate technologically, when we have done exactly that? The moral rectitude of our position is nil. The U. S. and any other Western power with nuclear arms is dead wrong to tell developing nations in other regions they may not have equal footing with us in any technical regard if they do not show obvious and imminent intent to employ such devices against us. Pakistan and North Korea both have atomic weapons, too, and while I am not pleased with that, neither of them—both of them being more temperamental of late than Iran has been since the 1980s—have harmed us or Israel yet with such devices, even if they have tried and we simply don’t know about it.

One little nation in a region rife with conflict already could definitely be made a little easier to deal with if we, the Western powers, actually put forth the minimum of effort to show Middle Eastern nations we are willing to see their perspective by not blindly or obstinately taking the position of Israel. One voice in the multitude anywhere should not be heeded so readily, even if we are at odds with most of the others; that applies to fair geopolitics anywhere.

Netanyahu may be serving his people’s best interest, as is his role, but his people are not the only ones who matter in the region. Our American devotion to Israel’s goals at the expense of others in the area, potentially with equally valuable input and trade, is (at least) vaguely bigoted. Israel’s treatment of Islamic populations in its borders is flagrantly bigoted, if not for religion than for social standing, and the “Jewish state” has a long history of ignoring due process in attacking and killing foreign nationals at sea when it perceives a threat to its version of law and order. I have never heard a sincere apology or accounting of these unconscionable raids, and Israel shows no sign of trying to desist in its overt militarism.

Human rights are clearly part of a message Israel doesn’t comprehend. Neither does the U. S. so long as we insist on detaining foreigners indefinitely, using drone strikes against any village temporarily housing a guy we don’t like, and using lethal injection as opposed to less painful and pharmaceutically-funded options like bullets or rope. Granted, some matters are state-level concerns versus federal-level ones. Still, we have issues.

Whatever Israel wants with regard to Iran, we should keep ourselves informed. Netanyahu and his government shouldn’t always be the primary voice we hear in discussions, although treating him as a damaging influence by virtue of his message is equally biased. Also, whatever American Secretary of State John Kerry says, the Human Rights Commission is right to condemn Israel for its behavior. He may have already dismissed that report out of hand, as any subjective mouthpiece of an imperial foreign policy is prone to doing, but we commoners ought to teach ourselves better. That way, at least we aren’t blindsided when the inevitable conflict arises from poor patrician judgments.

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