Saturday, March 29, 2008

Uri Avnery On The American Presidential Race

Over at Uri Avnery has written Obama and the Process of Elimination. It is filled with some interesting thoughts. Here are my favorites:

Gradually, I lost my illusions. Joe McCarthy helped me along the way. I learned that with depressing regularity, the US is seized by some hysteria or other. But every time, just before the brink of the abyss, it draws back.
My friend Afif Safieh, now the chief PLO representative in the US, argues that there are two Americas: the America which exterminated the Native Americans and enslaved the blacks, the America of Hiroshima and McCarthy, and the other America, the America of the Declaration of Independence, of Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt.

In these terms, George Bush belongs to the first. Obama, his opposite in almost every respect, represents the second.

One can arrive at Obama by a process of elimination.

John McCain is a continuation of Bush. More attractive, probably more intelligent (which doesn't mean much). But he is more of the same. The same policy - a dangerous mix of intoxication with power and simple-mindedness. The same world of the Wild West myth, of Good Guys (Americans and their stooges) and Bad Guys (everybody else). A macho world of sham masculinity, where everything is seen through the sights of a gun.

McCain will go on with the wars, and may start new ones. His economic agenda is the same "swinish capitalism" (Shimon Peres' phrase), which has now brought disaster on the economy of the US, and the economy of all of us.

Eight years of Bush are enough for us. Thank you.
I spent some years struggling against Golda Meir, the worst Prime Minister Israel ever had. Almost all recent female leaders of countries have started wars: Margaret Thatcher started the Falklands War, Golda Meir bears the responsibility for the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, Indira Gandhi made war on Pakistan, the current presidents of the Philippines and Sri Lanka are conducting internal wars.

The usual explanation is that in order to prevail in a man's world, a woman politician has to prove that she is at least as tough as the men are. When she comes to power, she wants to show that she, too, can make war and command armies. Hillary has already acted tough by voting for the disastrous Iraq war.
Hillary is a run of the mill politician. If McCain is a continuation of Bush, Hillary is an extension of the entire present American political system, the present policy and the present routine. But the world needs another America.
You can read the entire article at

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