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The Return of Gary Hart

by ANTHONY GANCARSKI

“We must not let our role in the world be dictated by ideologues with their special biases and agendas, by militarists who long for the clarity of Cold War confrontation, by think-tank theorists who grind their academic axes, or by Americans who too often find it hard to distinguish their loyalties to their original homelands from their loyalties to America and its national interests”

— Gary Hart

Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, of CNN’s CROSSFIRE, are booked to take diametrically opposite positions on every imaginable issue. When discussing Hart’s above comment, however, the usually discordant duo settled into sweet harmony worthy of Peaches & Herb.

“He’s talking about Jewish-Americans”, the dapper Carlson declaimed. “Loathsome”, cooed the former Clinton adviser. Yet another manufactured controversy in which the airbrushed prostitutes of the corporate media attempt to get over on a politician for voicing an inconvenient sentiment. Never mind that old saw about a man being unable to serve two masters; the lapdog media is so cowed that it can’t be suggested that the folks advocating the US Conquest of the Middle East should be tried for treason.

It’s disgusting that neither Begala nor Carlson is unwilling to deal with the stark facts surrounding Israel’s status as an adjunct of a superpower. Stephen Zunes, of FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS, lays the matter out plainly:

“The pattern of U.S. aid to Israel is revealing. Immediately following Israel’s spectacular victory in the 1967 war, when it demonstrated its military superiority in the region, U.S. aid shot up by 450%. Part of this increase, according to the New York Times, was apparently related to Israel’s willingness to provide the U.S. with examples of new Soviet weapons captured during the war. Following the 1970-71 civil war in Jordan, when Israel’s potential to curb revolutionary movements outside its borders became apparent, U.S. aid increased another sevenfold. After attacking Arab armies in the 1973 war were successfully countered by the largest U.S. airlift in history, with Israel demonstrating its power to defeat surprisingly strong Soviet-supplied forces, military aid increased by another 800%.”

Quid pro quo, as any student of history realizes. It’s fanciful to assume that folks like Pat Robertson ever had any real influence in our government’s decision to adopt Israel as a dependent. Israel showed its ability to be the “cop on the beat” even before Dick Nixon was the frontrunner for his party’s 1968 nomination. The subsequent conflicts Zunes mentions were successful; US funding for the Chosen People turned Killing Machines increased exponentially just as the US was shedding the gold standard. Perhaps the lesson there is that a debauched foreign policy goes hand-in-hand with a bastardized currency.

So much else in America has changed since those heady days of Nixon. On black radio, you can hear the resigned voices of broken women issuing dedications to their strong black men in lockdown. In places like DC’s Anacostia, serving time has come to be seen as a rite of passage. You’re not a man, the logic goes, until some cops rough you up, spitting in your ear as they shove you into the car, all bumps and bruises accidental of course.

So-called free love has been exposed as the fraud it always was, replaced by various forms of exploitative sex. A nation of men were taught to shave their chests and arms, as they learned to expect women with small breasts to procure enhancements. Women instinctively understood how devalued womanhood was becoming, and have learned that they’ve had to fight for their very survival. Because men weren’t fighting for them; those shiftless bastards who claimed to be unemployable, who claimed that there were no jobs, who claimed that it was dehumanizing — like slavery, even — to be told when they could piss and what they could smoke before coming to work.

Zany proposals like the one to establish a federal minimum income aren’t even on the table at this point. Because we have to protect freedom and democracy. Democracy, when the House districts are gerrymandered to stretch through as many separate media markets as possible. Freedom, when we have come to expect random searches, frisks, and even arrests from officers of the law. So there’s no way to do right by all those who have lost jobs in the last few years, who have lost benefits they were taught to rely on by this government that can print twenty billion dollars to pay off the Turkish leadership and billions more to subsidize “Real World: Gaza Strip”, “Road Rules: Kandahar”, “Cribs: Yassir Arafat”, and the hardy perennial, “Leave It To Bibi”. This government that can transform the blood, sweat, and wasted bodies of its people into armaments for thugs around the world, but can’t be bothered to do anything for its poorest citizens except pat them down and chuck them into concrete cells.

But what government doesn’t pull off that trick? There are all sorts of pretexts for “robust” law enforcement activities, and a reasonable person would expect to be introduced to them in the next couple of weeks. Some commentators feel comfortable predicting that the US will lurch headlong into totalitarianism by early March, expecting that the beginning of the ground war with Iraq will coincide with terrorist attacks and even more invasive security measures. But it’s all eminently worthwhile, of course; rumor has it that no less a figure than Christopher Hitchens has anecdotal evidence from his personal stylist that Baghdad has a number of unauthorized catapults.

And isn’t Hitchens a fine advocate for American wars? It’s hard not to find a bit of irony in the fact that so many of the loudest voices in favor of US domination of Muslim nations emigrated to the United States, to earn tidy livings and to get spread disinformation on so-called public airwaves. They talk of the atrocities the US government inflicts on the people of Iraq clinically, with language as shallow as it is technical. It’s not for them to know what it is to watch family members explode or burn. It’s not their concern that Iraqi women give birth to babies with facial parts transposed onto nether regions, and vice versa.

And none of them will ever face questions from Tucker & Paul about why it is they moved here to plan and pimp wars in which American men and women kill and die. Unless a mainstream politician asks them, that is. If Gary Hart were to take up that challenge, he may actually have a viable shot at the nomination.

ANTHONY GANCARSKI, the author of 2001’s UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS, welcomes comments at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

 

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ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular CounterPunch columnist. He can be reached at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

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