Last week the newly elected Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, visited Washington to meet with George Bush in order to endorse America’s plan to attack Iran in his address to Congress. In his strident appeal to Congress, Olmert sought nothing less than to incite war between America and Iran. Prior to his stroke, Ariel Sharon was engaged in fomenting wars between America and Iraq, and he had promised his circle of admirers that he would move Iran into the cross hairs of America at the first opportunity. Olmert is Sharon’s political heir, and he has inherited a legacy of incitement and fomentation of wars in the Middle East between America and Islamic nations that are militarily weak and rich in oil.
To coincide with Olmert’s visit, the Democratic Leadership Council published a statement celebrating “Zionism” and condemning Islam. If their publication had not come from a man who purports to be a leader of the political opposition to the deeply unpopular right-wing Republican regime one might be inclined to surmise that it had been issued by the so-called Israel Lobby.
In what was meant to be a moving personal account of his fifth trip to Israel, Al From, the founding father and CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), defined Zionism as, “a good idea filled with hope.” On his journey, Mr. From visited the summit of Mount Hadar where he experienced a moving vision of Israeli ‘hope’ locked in conflict with Palestinian ‘anger.’
Inspired by this romanticized contrast of a black and white rendering of good versus evil, Mr. From witnessed what he described as the, “booms of Palestinian rockets and the Israeli retaliation.” From his lofty summit, Mr. From failed to see the mounds of corpses mounting upwards in Israel and Palestine, where four Palestinians are killed for every one Israeli.
Mr. From’s account is nothing more nor less than a paean to the Zionist faith that he sees as the force driving the engine of politics and shaping the culture of Israel. Nowhere does Mr. From pretend to deliver a balanced or objective analysis of the state of Israel or its lengthy and violent conflict with the Palestinian people. Quite the contrary, his account is dripping with disdain for Palestine and its people whom he describes as motivated by anger, dispirited and habitually driven to horrific acts of terror and suicide bombing.
Mr. From’s reverie on his faith in Zionism occurs against a stark backdrop. The organization that Mr. From leads, the DLC, is clearly on the wane, and the current issue of their magazine carries an appeal for an “entry level Development Assistant” to help them raise much needed funds. That said, to borrow a phrase from cricket, the DLC did have one long and grotesque inning characterized by the consistent loss of elections by its major patron: the Democratic Party which kept following Mr. From’s advice to move relentlessly to the right to conform to the demands of his blatantly Zionist agenda: security for Israel as a means of providing security for America or conversely security for America predicated on security for Israel.
For a decade and a half, the DLC dominated the Democratic Party more thoroughly than any pressure group had ever controlled any political party in American history. After ten years of failure to regain the majority in Congress and abject failures in the two previous presidential elections, Governor Howard Dean led a grassroots movement of party activists to reclaim the levers of power for traditional Democratic policies: constitutional democracy, the open society, multilateralism, social welfare, a national health service, national security and homeland security realized through diplomacy rather than by military confrontation and many more substantive and socially progressive policies besides.
While Governor Dean faced a broad field of DLC-backed opponents parroting Mr. From’s mantras redolent of neoconservative cant, each one crumbled like a rag doll before him. Today, Governor Dean is leading a through-going reorganization of the Democratic Party that relies on the energy provided by grassroots activists. At the same time, Governor Dean has de-emphasized the right-leaning consultancies and pressure groups preferred by the DLC.
In order to succeed with his plan for the reform of the Democratic Party, Governor Dean faces the stalwart opposition of Mr. From and his neoconservative cronies at the DLC and many powerful Democratic office holders as well, who are still under their sway. These neoconservative Democrats include: Governor Tom Vilsack, Senator Evan Bayh, Senator Joe Biden and Senator Hillary Clinton. These Democrats are committed to the DLC vision of America’s future as defined by Mr. From, most recently in his glowing account of Zionism and its Manichean conflict with Islam.
Inspired by Mr. From’s Zionist reverie and Prime Minister Olmert’s visit to the Bush White House, the DLC is in the midst of heralding and hyping the publication of a book titled, With All Our Might, which is little more than a collection of essays advocating a radically Zionist agenda. In their vision of America and its role in the world, it is ironic that Mr. From and his DLC differ very little if at all from the neoconservatives propping up the sinking framework the Bush White House.
For example, With All Our Might, advocates a plan of action that seriously proposes that the Democratic Party should support a swift and decisive increase in the militarization of American society. Another policy objective advocated by the authors of With All Our Might is the long-term, ongoing and open-ended continuance of the counterproductive US occupation of Iraq. Even though the latest polls indicate that the American people and most especially the Democratic grassroots would prefer a timely exit from Iraq, the authors of With All Our Might advocate that the Democratic Party, “should rally the American people for an extended and robust security and reconstruction presence (in Iraq).”
The timing of this proposal for extending the US occupation of Iraq could not be worse. Last week, Tony Blair went to Baghdad where he informed the Iraqis that he and George Bush will commence the withdrawal of 35,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year. If the policy outlined in With All Our Might were adopted, Democrats would be far to the right of the Republicans. That is correct. Mr. From and his staff are actually advocating that the Democrats move to a more hawkish, more right-wing, more neoconservative position on Iraq than that occupied by George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleezza Rice. Is that any way to run a political opposition? Is that anyway to win an election in 2006?
Throughout the DLC’s massive list of publications, there is no serious deconstruction of Bush’s failed policy in Iraq. Neither is there any substantive critique of Bush’s appalling conduct of his war in Iraq to be found in the pages of With All Our Might. What is provided is an explanation of how Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney could have waged a more intelligent occupation by sending more troops and charging them to be more brutal and more aggressive in their attacks, but there is no critical and sustained argument decrying the casus belli itself no lament for the fact that America went to pre-emptive war because we were led to believe that we were on the verge of a sneak nuclear attack. Nothing, nil, less than zero about the launch of the war for one simple reason: the DLC endorsed it wholeheartedly, and so did their obedient membership.
However, With All Our Might is saturated with prolific references to the dangers of Islam, its people and its culture as the sole and unique fountainhead of America’s problems with terrorism. No critique of Israel’s policy of targeted assassinations, military attacks on civilian populations or the killing of innocent civilians can be found in its pages. Do not look for any criticism of the Israeli policy that led to the tragic death of Rachel Corrie, an American aid worker who was crushed to death under the fearsome treads of a John Deere bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier. Like a protester in Tiananmen Square, Rachel Corrie placed herself between oppression and the oppressed, and she suffered the consequences when the bulldozer rolled over her. You simply will not find anything about Rachel Corrie on the DLC website. Not one syllable. Neither is there any reference to Tom Hurndall, a young British volunteer who was assassinated by an Israeli sniper. These atrocious events and others equally horrifying occur in a half-lit parallel universe, and the DLC appears to be blissfully unaware of their existence.
Worse. With All Our Might staunchly advocates the neoconservative doctrine of unilateralism the central policy of the Bush administration. At the same time, the DLC textbook repudiates multilateralism, the leading foreign policy doctrine of every previous Democratic administration up to and including those of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. “We must have no illusions that multilateralism can be a substitute for vigorous U.S. leadership,” we are assured by the DLC textbook.
Worse still, there is a frontal assault on the United Nations. The DLC is blatantly adopting the policies of the neocons populating the right-wing think tanks in Washington that produce such human anomalies as John Bolton, Richard Perle and Daniel Pipes, all rabidly Zionist neoconservatives who advocate a much more aggressive US military agenda aimed directly at Islamic nations and peoples everywhere.
It is obvious that the DLC offers not a dime’s worth of difference from the right-wing neoconservatives in the Bush White House. In defining America’s foreign policy objectives solely by its commitment to eradicate Islamist terror, the DLC and its Zionist collaborators would commit America to an endless cycle of war and terror, repression and suicide bombings ad nauseum and ad infinitum all predicated on Islamophobia.
As of today with the publication of his essay “Hope beats anger,” the political agenda of the DLC and its founder, Mr. From, are perfectly clear. Mr. From wishes to transform America into a unilateral system of government with both political parties equally committed to a radical Zionist interpretation of neoconservativism, i.e. holy war against Islam and Arabic peoples everywhere. This tactic is well known to many people in Israel and a growing number in the United States.
Noam Chomsky has recently drawn attention to the fact that the people of both Israel and the United States are far ahead of their leadership in coming to terms for a peace agreement in the Middle East. Chomsky states that 70% of Americans and Israelis are in favor of a two state settlement and direct negotiations to achieve that end. In contrast to Chomsky’s diagnosis, From’s vision would transform America into an Israeli-style battle zone of barriers, barricades, ramparts, roadblocks and checkpoints littered with tanks and jeeps, manned by machine-gun wielding flack-jacketed soldiers who would dominate our landscape.
An Israeli nuclear physicist was recently interviewed by The Hindustan Times. Professor Zeev Alfassi stated, “If the Iranians fire even one bomb, the United States will annihilate them. If we don’t create panic, the Americans won’t deal with it.”
Mr. From’s ringing testament to Zionism straight from the hinterlands of Israel confirms that the DLC is deeply and intimately involved in the manufacture of panic in America – a parallel project to that of the so-called Israel Lobby that curiously panders to and supports the policies and the political campaigns of George Bush and the right-wing Republicans.
While the Zionist ideals of the DLC will appeal to a narrowly limited band of followers, progressive Democrats who are seriously committed to regime change in Washington should oppose the DLC with all their might.
MICHAEL CARMICHAEL has been a professional public affairs consultant, author and broadcaster since 1968. In 2003, he founded The Planetary Movement Limited, a global public affairs organization based in the United Kingdom. He has appeared as a public affairs expert on the BBC’s Today Programme, Hardtalk, PM, as well as numerous appearances on ITN, NPR and many European broadcasts examining politics and culture. He can be reached through his website: www.planetarymovement.org
Hope beats anger, Al From’s ringing endorsement of Zionism
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