ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

©2015 jbjd

I am Jewish. After much searching, I found the perfect Star of David necklace on-line. It was sold by a military supplier, and is made of stainless steel. I purchased two, one for me, one for my son. He tucks his in; I wear mine outside of my clothing. This bothers him, especially when I am riding the train to school, and even more so once I’m there. He worries that one of my Muslim students will hurt me. I told him, sometimes, I am concerned about advertising my Jewishness, too. But I explained, if I am not brave enough to wear my Jewish Star in public, here, now; would I have lifted a finger in Nazi Germany, to try to forestall the Holocaust?

My landlady, also Jewish, drove me to the store today. She brought up the subject of her grandson Joey, who is spending a college semester abroad studying in Israel. Given the current turmoil there, she lamented she  constantly fears for his safety. I did not bite my tongue.

You voted for Barack Obama, twice. Elections have consequences.’

I recounted that during the 2008 primaries, I investigated the candidates. Inasmuch as my most important consideration for the Commander in Chief is foreign policy; I began by focusing on their foreign policy advisers. That’s when I found this pronouncement by Samantha Power, now U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., who advised the Obama campaign (emphasis provided by jbjd):

I actually think in the Palestine-Israeli situation there’s an abundance of information and what we don’t need is some kind of early warning mechanism. What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line in helping the situation. And putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import. It may more crucially mean sacrificing, or investing I think more than sacrificing, really billions of dollars not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine; investing billions of dollars it would probably take also to support I think what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old, you know, Srebrenica kind or the Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence.

Because it seems to me at this stage–and this is true of actual genocides as well, and not just major human rights abuses which we’re seeing there–but you have to go in as if you’re serious. You have to put something on the line. And unfortunately imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful, it’s a terrible thing to do, it’s fundamentally undemocratic. But sadly, we don’t just have a democracy here either, we have a liberal democracy. There are certain sets of principles that guide our policy–or they’re meant to anyway. And there, it’s essential that the same set of principles becomes the benchmark, rather than a deference to people who are fundamentally, politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people. And by that I mean what Tom Friedman has called “Sharafat.”

I mean, I do think in that sense that both political leaders have been dreadfully irresponsible, and unfortunately it does require external intervention which–very much like the Rwanda scenario, that thought experiment, if we had intervened early–any intervention is going to come under fierce criticism, but we have to think about lesser evils, especially when the human stakes are becoming ever more pronounced.

And that was a couple of months before the Rev. Wright fiasco. I pointed out, if I put my arm around Adolph Hitler and call him my spiritual adviser for 20 years, it’s safe for you to conclude, I  am not too crazy about the Jews.

P.S. In general, I am not a fan of Henry Kissinger. For me, the Nobel Peace Prize lost most of its  luster when it was awarded to him. But he wrote a brilliant article about the current Middle East mess: A Path out of the Middle East Collapse. One of the ‘talking points’ in the piece is his rejection of the favorable comparison between the nuclear deal with Iran, and President Nixon’s opening diplomatic relations with China. (Kissinger was then Nixon’s National Security Adviser, later his Secretary of State.) In short, for reasons stated, he declares these two are ‘applies and oranges.’ And, at least on this account, he would know.

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My mind is a terrible thing to waste.

 

 

 

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