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How Obama’s Support of Israel Undermines U.S. Foreign Policy

Blasting Gaza into rubble has affected the average American in ways that U.S. politicians will learn to regret.  The result will be more than simply bleeding hearts for dead Palestinian children (430 at last count).  There is a deeper political effect happening, as young and old alike realize for the first time the cancerous lies coursing through the veins of the U.S. media and political system.

The U.S. government’s support of Israel—which includes Obama and all 100 senators— further exposes the gigantic clash between the unpopular foreign policy of the U.S. versus the wishes of its residents.  The government will be further pushed by corporate interests to pursue these unpopular yet profitable overseas policies, which are teaching millions of people about the reality of their government, consequently undermining the future basis for an elite-driven foreign policy.

Merely glancing at the casualty statistics was enough for most Americans to know their T.V. was lying to them: 1900 Palestinians have died, 10,0000 have been injured— 80% of them civilians.  Meanwhile, 3 Israeli citizens have died, zero injured.  There is typically more damage from a Super Bowl victory party than Israel has suffered from Hamas’ fireworks.

Americans reacted in horror to Israel’s massively disproportionate violence— an obvious war crime as defined by the Geneva Convention.  And even more obvious war crimes were committed: the high profile Israeli missile attacks on Gaza hospitals, schools and UN bomb shelters.

During this carnage American viewers were endlessly told by ‘experts’ that “Israel has a right to defend itself”, a completely meaningless phrase when entire Gaza neighborhoods were obliterated while the U.S. media searched in vain for ANY damage caused by the “terrifying” Hamas rockets.

Obama’s disgraceful acting job throughout the conflict showcased another big lie for American viewers: he pretended that the enormous American influence over Israel didn’t exist, as if the $3 billion plus in annual U.S. aid wasn’t “leverage” that Obama could have used to stop Israel’s blitzkrieg.   The U.S. is literally the only strong ally of importance to Israel.  And the world’s sole super-power— however fading—pretended to be impotent in order for Israel to continue the killing.

Worse still was when millions of Americans watched Obama blather about a ceasefire while simultaneously re-supplying Israel with weapons in the middle of the conflict, which Jon Stewart mocked to his mostly-young viewing audience of millions.

The obscene U.S. media behavior was possible during past conflicts because there was nowhere else to go, but now the U.S. media monopoly stands busted, with truth leaking out from a thousand pores.  Millions of Americans get their news from Facebook or other social media outlets, which allows those passionate about an issue to share their perspective with hundreds or even thousands of their FB “friends”, who in turn “share” the news with their friends.

Furthermore, cable and internet providers now put Americans in direct contact with the new state-sponsored media outlets of other countries, who’ve copied the U.S. media’s flashy professionalism and now provide competing English speaking news with wildly clashing perspectives that often expose the U.S. media’s incompetence.   Some examples include Russian Television (RT), Press TV (Iranian), al-Jazeera (Qatari), and Venezuela recently created an English speaking news service from its Telesur network.

The consequence of all the pro-Israeli propaganda is that millions of Americans are learning quite a lot, simply by comparing what they see on Facebook versus the garbage spewed on CNN or MSNBC.

A pew research poll showed that younger Americans, aged 18-29, were more likely to blame Israel for the violence in Gaza than Hamas.  This is astonishing given the media spin onslaught, and proves that younger folks simply don’t believe CNN, Fox News, MSNBC or President Obama anymore.  The younger generation prefers truth.

This distrust in media and government is more consequential than first appears. Realizing that your government and media are lying is a huge political step to take; especially when it’s the entire Congress who are voting to support Israel—including so-called “progressive” Democrats Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

This radical skepticism removes a mental dam that allows new ideas to flow in, while spotting the stupid propaganda that previously went unnoticed.   This is how political consciousness is born, and thousands of people will remember the invasion of Gaza as ‘the moment’ they became politically aware, if not also the first protest they attended.   As Obama stands by his “close ally” Israel in the face of Nazi-like atrocities, his is giving birth to thousands of newly-conscious people every day, undermining the base of support for future military adventures abroad.

And there can be no doubt that new U.S. military campaigns are on the horizon.   As Obama ignores Israel’s obvious war crimes he’d like us to pay particular attention to Russia, and China, or push us back onto the war path with Syria.

The snowballing unpopularity of U.S. foreign policy will not stop the corporate-influenced U.S. government in attempting to lie its way into a new war, since the ultra-rich rightfully fear their profits are threatened by the rising economic powers of China, Russia, and other countries.

As political consciousness rises among new layers of Americans they will become less susceptible to the lie that there is “ no money” for jobs, schools, health care, and social services in the U.S., since they are watching hundreds of billions of their tax dollars find expression in the Israeli demolishing of Gazan’s homes, with families buried under the debris.  This U.S. sponsored war—as well as future ones—are laying the foundation for the end of wars, based on the political awakening and consequent action of the next generation.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org). He can be reached at shamuscooke@gmail.com 

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Shamus Cooke is a member of the Portland branch of Democratic Socialists of America. He can be reached at shamuscooke@gmail.com

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