Bring On The Clowns

It’s hard following an election campaign when all three candidates are openly dishonest and hypocritical. The recent spat between McCain and Obama over ‘talking to Hamas’ proves the point, though Clinton deliberately walks a similar path.

Yet again, America’s political system is degenerating into a circus.

All three have, at some point in their careers, intimated they would talk with Hamas. When in appropriate company i.e. addressing Jewish audiences, all three are quick to demand Hamas recognizes Israel’s right to exist, rejects violence, and accepts a two state solution, before any talking could even be considered.

This latter is just a “do as you’re told or face the consequences” approach guaranteed to produce a backlash, whether from Hamas, or the Iranian government – another troublesome administration America is trying hard to bully into line.

It is this blatant hypocrisy by each candidate that is seized on in turn by their opponents, converted into ammunition, and fed to the blind and stupid via the party’s favorite media outlets.

It’s short-sighted, dishonest, and does no-one any good; not the American people, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, or the people of the Middle East generally. In fact, it highlights quite sharply the deficits of the American political system, the ignorance of most Americans towards foreign affairs, and the inadequacies of all three candidates standing for the job of President of the United States.

The American people don’t just accept lies from their politicians, they demand them. They require their favorite political hero (or heroine) tell them exactly what they want to hear. Given they have little or no knowledge of the true state of affairs in the outside world, generally their demand is for a substantiation of last night’s ‘political commentary’ on CNN, Fox, or MSNBC, something all three candidates happily supply, to the elated cheers of a satiated gathering.

Nowhere else in the Western world are leaders elected entirely on their ability to put down an opponent, except perhaps, in Italy.

It is often quoted that ‘we get the leaders we deserve’. Interestingly, the US president frequently turns out to be as lacking in knowledge, and the ability to deal diplomatically with the outside world, as those who elected him to office.

It’s true that America will never elect an honest politician, even if it could find one. That’s a pity, for it is only honesty that will solve the problems of the world, many created in the first place by the dishonesty of those who’ve held high US office in the past.

Blind allegiance to Israel, against an Arab world for a century frustrated and embittered by Western control, will never bring peace to the Middle East. Taking sides is a puerile concept when it is obvious both parties are in the wrong. What’s needed is honest diplomacy without threat or coercion.

America’s high-handed attitude towards both Iran and Hamas is that of a righteous nation determined to bring both parties to repentance and a final, supplicatory, acceptance of the political dogma of Western democracy and capitalism. Given the religious self-righteousness prevalent in the United States, that attitude is hardly surprising, though profoundly erroneous. At best, success in this aim will ultimately result in the death of cultures and a world reduced to pseudo-Americanism; great for the corporates, but Hell on earth for everybody else.

Hamas refuses to accept Israel’s right to exist because the Jewish state represents pseudo-Americanism imposed on the Arab culture. Israel is viewed, both by Hamas and Ahmadinajad, as America’s proxy in the region.

Resolution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine is only difficult because the Palestinians feel impotent against the might of the West, always dictating terms favorable to their Jewish ally. Hamas recognizes this to be the case and has sworn to rectify this disparity by the only means open to it – violence.

Demanding an end to bloodshed is not inappropriate, provided both sides agree to comply. So far, Israel and the West have not been party to any such agreement.

It will take an honest US president, one who realizes military might is diplomacy’s subordinate, to overcome the problems in the Middle East. Judging by the recent track records of the three contenders up for the post, optimism is truly not an option.

Once one stops rooting for one’s hero and instead observes the circus, it becomes clear any prospective ringmaster will likely end up as just another clown.

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3 Replies to “Bring On The Clowns”

  1. I wonder whether all the world’s empires were as inward looking as we are. I have the feeling that they were.

    Most people in this country know so little about the world outside our borders it is shameful.A simple question such as name the capital of Canada will usually elicit a blank stare or Toronto as an answer. If we don’t know the basics of geography (at least as I was taught it in the Dark Age), how can we possibly understand other cultures?

  2. I can’t entirely disagree with your views about this, RJ.
    All three candidates can be found wanting – but the perfect candidate doesn’t exist……anywhere. Voters will have to play the hand they’re dealt, and I guess the banker will be the winner – for sure!

    I’m a virtual ignoramus on the Middle East. I’ve always considered Israel and Palestine equally at fault for the mess they are in – but I’ve never studied the history of it all in any detail. I agree with you that talks, then more talks, then more…as happened in Northern Ireland, is the only way to go. Eventually, after many more decades something sensible might ensue.

  3. Brilliant piece, RJA, it’s a question of who’s the most honest clown not to mention the most skilled diplomatically.
    But I really still believe the biggest bully in schoolyard is going to get the prize.
    And don’t you often get the feeling, as I do, that this is all pre-arranged by the real capos?

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