Saturday, June 5, 2010

How Far Gone Our Government Is

One thing that's great about having a Democratic administration is it becomes easy to see what a sham our government is. If you have a Republican President and Congress and you have an incident like what happened to the flotilla approaching Gaza (Greenwald has has great commentary here and here), you expect a Republicans to just rubber stamp everything Israel does as acceptable. Supposedly Democrats are leftists and doves. Your Democratic friends will be outraged at Republican acceptance of this behavior when they are in charge. Democrats would have objected had they been in power they tell you.

But of course that's false. There's world wide outrage, but Harry Reid and Joe Biden are looking like standard Republican war mongers. Obama regrets the loss of life. He wants a full, impartial, and credible investigation. To be conducted by Israel. It's just silliness.

The Goldstone Report that investigated the crimes of both the Palestinian side and the Israeli side in the Gaza "War" is another case in point. There were lots of reports on the incident. Amensty International put out several. Human Rights Watch put out a few. Palestinian and Jewish human rights organizations put out some. Finally Richard Goldstone put one out. According to Norman Finkelstein, who read every single one of these reports, the Goldstone report was the most judicious and "even handed" in the sense that it tried to heap some blame on the Palestinians. But largely all reports came to the same conclusions. Israel probably committed extensive crimes and should be brought up on charges in international courts.

There wasn't nearly as much said about the human rights organization's reports. Focus was on condemning Goldstone? Why? His credentials are impeccable. He considers himself a Zionist. He's a Jew. He entered human rights legal matters due to the Holocaust. A key jurist in South African apartheid matters. Why is his more nuanced report which is more favorable towards Israel than any other major report, why is his report producing such outrage and condemnation?

Precisely because of his impeccable credentials. People try and dismiss the human rights groups as hater's of Israel. Same with the UN. None of that can work on Goldstone. So there's only one reason he'd reach the conclusions he did. He believed they were true. So the only thing you can do is jump up and down and yell and scream. So this is what Israel did. The whole thing is silly.

But what's sad is our supposedly dovish Democratic government went out of there way to go along? Where is the outrage from Democrats? I don't see it. So when a Republican comes to power and wreaks violent havoc throughout the world I don't want to hear the outrage from the Democratic party's cheerleaders. You're fine with reflexive support for Israel's crimes when it's given by Democrats. Don't object to Republicans doing the same thing.


HispanicPundit said...

But Jon, they are merely following public opinion:

REmember, Democracy and all that.

HispanicPundit said...

Better link here.

Jon said...

I do prefer democracy of course, but this does not mean I think the public always has correct views. This is due to the "manufacture of consent" that dominates our media. Our media is far more propagandistic and subservient to the power centers. Even more so than in Israel, which is why in Israel there is pretty harsh criticism of this raid, but in America the narrative is that it was the fault of the peace activists. America is the only place in the world pushing this narrative, and propaganda does work.

There's a reason our media is more propagandistic. Other countries don't matter. We do. We're the ones that control these decisions. We're the ones that decide if there will be peace in the Middle East. We're the ones that decide who will head the investigation into this attack. That's why we are subjected to propaganda and Israel itself can have a more free press.

I was reading the Toledo Blade yesterday. The headline was "Experts differ on the legality of the blockade." The first "expert" was a US State Department official. The next "expert" was an aid to Netenyahu. Finally at the end the quoted some nobody that said it was illegal. Here are the facts. Amnesty International has a team of lawyers that evaluates questions like this and they recently called the blockade "a flagrant violation of international law." We don't even hear from the real experts that might be expected to be impartial. We hear from the US and Israel, the two parties most committed to the blockade. That's the narrative in our media and that kind of propaganda works.

HispanicPundit said...

Im killing the Failed States audio book, should be done in a couple weeks. Not as bad as I thought, much I agree with (especially the nuclear war stuff).

I tend to agree with your view on the "Manufacture Of Consent". Cuz alot of the stuff you told me is completely new, never heard it before. Not even from Fox News. ;-)

So maybe your right. It certainly makes intuitive sense.