FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Nader the Best Antidote to American Imperialism

 

We want to express our strong support for Ralph Nader’s presidential candidacy.

There are several reasons. The first is a response to the many who say that, because Obama cannot be seen to sympathize with the Palestinians or criticize Israel during the campaign, we should all lie low for now, not even press him on the issue, get him nominated and elected, and then work on him to change after he becomes president. With all due respect to this position, which we recognize as legitimate, and to those who believe this, we feel it is a pipe dream to expect that Obama will ever change after being elected on a platform of unquestioning support for Israel and its oppression of Palestinians. He will have huge debts of gratitude to the Jewish community, and particularly to his very pro-Israeli political endorsers as well as huge monetary debts to pro-Israeli contributors, that will keep him from ever looking honestly at what Israel is doing to the Palestinians and particularly from ever speaking out forthrightly against this oppression.

Secondly, Obama has taken an extremely immoral stand on the Palestinian-Israeli issue by, among other positions, actually applauding Israel’s siege and starvation of 1.5 million innocent Gazans, and by mourning Israel’s losses to Palestinian rocket fire (12 people in seven years) without bothering even to mention the approximately 2,600 Gazans killed by Israeli rocket fire, airstrikes, and assassinations in those same seven years. He made one reference last year to Palestinian suffering, was immediately dumped on by Jewish leaders, and has since said nothing honest about the occupation — not even expressing support for the two-state solution.

This is so distasteful that it ought to be totally unacceptable to anyone who works for peace in the Middle East, not just in Palestine-Israel but also in the broader region. Many responsible people have said that Israel is committing or is nearing the commission of genocide against the Palestinians. How in God’s name can we just sit back and wait for the Israel lobby to work its will before we complain to Obama about his silence?

There might be some mitigating factors here if Obama were truly committed to really ending the Iraq war, but his position on this is ambiguous and uncertain enough to make us believe that here too he is at least partly in the pockets of Israel and its supporters. Anything short of an immediate withdrawal from Iraq constitutes, in our view, a perpetuation of the militarism initiated by the Bush/Cheney/neocon/Israel conglomerate and backed by the centrist DLC. This is horrifying. We also see little hope elsewhere: although Obama is not bad on Iran, he wants to attack Pakistan!

Our concern about Palestine-Israel, and about the way that oppression of the Palestinians is always put on the back burner in the interests of not antagonizing a key voting bloc, is not overdrawn. U.S.-supported Israeli oppression of the Palestinians is the principal root cause of anti-American terrorism and of hatred of the U.S. around the world, particularly the Arab and Muslim worlds. However often Mubarak and the Kings Abdullah and Abbas assure us that there is nothing to worry about, that it does not really matter if Palestinians are oppressed, we should never forget that their people, the proverbial “street throughout the Arab world, do care and care very deeply. One day, the U.S. will pay dearly — again — for our obliviousness to Palestinian suffering. And that is quite apart from the hatred that Iraq and Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo arouse.

We feel that Ralph Nader offers an alternative for anyone who longs for a candidate with principles, and we urge those who simply hope for the lesser of evils please not to interfere to limit our choices by denying him the right to run for election. Nader spoke very directly about Palestine-Israel and Iraq when he announced his candidacy on February 24, 2008, and we applaud him heartily. It’s about time we saw a candidate with the courage of his convictions, the honor to speak out against injustice no matter how politically risky, and the guts not to sell his soul for the Jewish vote — to say nothing of a readiness to speak out against the corporate interests that strangle us and limit our democracy.

As Nader himself said, if the Democrats can’t win this election in a landslide, then they should fold their tent and reassess. He will not win the election, obviously. But if enough of us who care about the Middle East were to vote for him because he stands for a set of principles that greatly concern us all, then maybe we could send a message that cow-towing to Israel in order to get elected is not good enough. Some of us want some principle in the U.S. political scene, and only Nader offers this.

We will vote for him if he stays in the race. If he does not, we will probably — and very deliberately — not vote for president at all.

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on Middle East issues for 30 years. She is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession. She can be reached at kathy.bill.christison@comcast.net.

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence officer and as director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis.

They can be reached at kathy.bill.christison@comcast.net.

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. Kathleen Christison is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession.

September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savoir
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail