Like father like son?


rahmemanuel_tinyBenjamin Emanuel put his son in a little bit of hot water.  Rahm is one of the US congressmen representing a district of Chicago, which happens to be the home of one of the largest concentrations of Muslims/Arabs in the US, but that didn’t stop his dad, Ben from making statements like,

“Obviously he’ll influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House.”

Rahm, to his credit, did the right thing by apologizing to Arab-Americans and saying he’d like to meet with a representative of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee at some point in the future.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is Emanuel’s lame apology statement which included this caveat: “These are not the values upon which I was raised or those of my family.” Umm, Rahm….this is your father we’re talking about.  If you weren’t raised with his values then who raised you?  It’s clear what Emanuel the father expressed is what he and millions of others like him expect from Rahm’s appointment and that no doubt Rahm will deliver, that “he will influence the President to be pro-Israel” and there’s every reason to be believe Obama will be possibly the best friend Israel has had in the White House in a very long time.  He’s surely politically savvy enough to know the implications of his appointment of Emanuel to the post despite all the political baggage it brings, if in fact Obama was responsible for that pick at all, and it was surely meant to send a sign to all concerned that he would indeed by pro-Israel, but at least Rahm the son made the appearance of trying to smooth over his dad’s rough, blatant comments.  In the end however one must remember, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Advertisements

Obama, the affirmative action President


I really like the line of reasonsing of a fellow blogger, Xymphora when he/she says the old Washington guard wanted to take back power from the neocons, or the crazies as Ray McGovern calls them, and the only one giving them this chance was Barack Obama, so they backed him and he won.  The reasons why the old Washington establishment preferred Obama to a McCain ticket that would probably pack more certified neoconservatives is because the neocons have an in your face foreign policy attitude which is reckless and not in the best interest of the US, but rather of Israel.  Old Washington wants US and Israeli interests to coincide, converge and move forward whereas neocons toss all caution to the wind and conclude what’s in Israel’s interests automatically is in the US’ interests.

Obama sent a sign to both old Washington, the people to whom he is indebted and the neocons, those folks who are always lurking on the periphery of government that he is a faithful soldier of both camps, by picking Rahm Emanuel, and many have seen the sign and understand it’s ramifications. A Saudi Arabia newspaper, The Arab News noted, ‘Far from challenging Israel, the new team may turn out to be as pro-Israel as the one it is replacing.’

I’ve already mentioned how I don’t think his choice signifies much of a change in foreign policy.  Emanuel is certifiably insane, a true sociopath, with all the stories of him sending dead fish to people he doesn’t like or stabbing a table while shouting out the names of political opponents/enemies, who could conceivably be called terrorists.  Emanuel’s personal history is steeped in Zionism which means there is no way an Obama administration will realize Condolezza Rice’s claim that ‘a Palestinian state will be realized soon’.  Moreover, Obama asserts economical issues will take priority, as they should right now, in his Administration so there’s plenty of time for the territorial borders to be further clouded and more blood to be shed in Gaza and the West Bank.

As if to further solidify this notion comes word that an Obama Administration might include the likes of Dennis Ross, returning in his role as the Middle East’s peace envoy.  He is the nail in the Emanuel coffin for the notion of Palestinian statehood and the cessation of bloodshed .  As well as being a supporter of the Iraqi war, Ross is chairman of think tanks with a decidedly pro-Israel, pro Likud slant. You can read all about him here.  I’m still not seeing much change in an Obamanation’s policies?!! Suffice it to say if picked, Ross would compliment Emanuel very well.

So why are we happy that Obama is the new president instead of McCain?  Image.  Obama is an example of what can happen in this great Nation of ours.  He is an affirmation for us that America is the land of opportunity and that we as a people believe in the precepts on which the country was founded that ‘all men are created equal.’  He inspires us and makes us feel better about ourselves, that despite our flaws, which there are many, we can rise above them and be a better nation.  That’s why Obama is president, but none of that means anything to a people dispossessed and terrorized by an ally of the United States.  Old Washington’s claim to Obama is based on the former notion, without giving a damn about the latter.

Change?


Obama TransitionI found it more than a little curious that one of the first appointments Obama wants to make to his staff is that of Chief of Staff pick Rahm Emanuel.  The Obama campaign said it wanted change and no one wants to see change more than people in the Middle East.  The Palestinian/Israeli conflict has essentially gone ignored by the Bush Administration, but the killing between the two tribes has not abated at all.  Now comes Emanuel, the son of a former Irgun gang member who as an American citizen volunteered to serve in the Israeli military during the time of the first Gulf war when Itzhak Shamir was prime minister who will serve as chief of staff for Obama.  That means he controls the information the President receives, who gives it, etc.  It’s a very powerful position. Let’s hope his appointment is not Obama’s version of ‘neo-con lite’.