It Can't Get Any Worse, Can It?
I first came to REALLY hate our Democratic senior senator from New York, Charles Schumer, for his ugly and belligerent conduct during the Waco hearings, where he berated Waco survivors as fools and liars and upheld the unquestionably righteous actions of the ATF, FBI, Janet Reno and the Clinton Administration. (I'm not a supporter of the Davidians or a militiaist or conspiracist. I just don't like self-satisfied lying and bullying, and generally take the victims side when a government firebombs a bunch of kids.)
Schumer was then a rookie senator, but the Waco hearings helped establish him as a loyal defender of the cops and US imperialism forevermore.
Now Schumer and other leading members of the so-called progressive "lesser-evil" Party are at it again - this time justifying a much more horrendous assault and lending their approval to fanatical pro-Israel supporters who call for "wiping out" the Palestinians in Gaza.
At a rally in support of the criminal Israeli war at embassy in NYC this Sunday, Schumer gave us this all-time-awful little nugget - "Israel has sent phone text messages to Palestinians in Gaza saying, “Leave your homes, because there are weapons inside them.” What other country would do that?"
Do what?! Text us, saying "Get out, we're bombing your building. If you and your family are murdered by our bomb, we will say we warned you and that you were either sheltering terrorists and being used as a human shield."
Thanks for the notice. Oh, how civilized of Israel.
Well, I'd like to hope that not many would say that, Chuck; I'd like to think there might someday be countries that don't spout lies about peace and freedom when, at the same time, they're bombing schools and homes, murdering hundreds of civilians and shattering a whole society.
At the risk of stirring up the online conspiracist community, there's another sickening analogy between the atrocities committed in Gaza and Waco - in both cases, the aggressor revises history however which way it wishes to maintain its cause. So, gas bombs and grenades (ATF/FBI issued btw) were used to blow up the Davidian's compound. Well, Chuck assures us that they started the Davidians started the fire themselves. (The evidence that suggests otherwise "goes missing", as they say, and is never available for the hearings.)
Israel bombs Palestinian schools and homes. Well, that means, obviously, that weapons were stockpiled and fired from them. (Sometimes though, the aggressors slip on their story, and we should note these occasions - like recently when Olmert or somebody said a certain bombing was "a mistake", with another Israeli official then using the 'stockpiling/firing' bullshit to immediately revise the official record and justify the murder.
Conscientious humans also retch when we hear the "human shield" stuff. Now, we all know that Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth, effectively an open-air prison or refugee camp in the desert. Any military action anywhere there will kill civilians.
Lastly, a comment on our movements and politics. One of most debilitating things about the Left these days is it's "issue-basedness"; meaning, we all work in noble campaigns and sectoral struggles, but at a bigger level I think this compartmentalization of politics represents a real victory for the Right. I know we can't imagine a hegemonic political justice movement out of thin air, but the lack of one is sorely felt these days.
We always talk about "connecting the issues" and it's hard to do this as part of building effective campaigns that can win the partial victories we constantly need. For instance, say Schumer and some other 'progressive friends of labor' get behind the Employee Free Choice Act and actually do some work to really support it (far-fetched, I know). How do we build a movement around that issue - which we should do on some level - while at the same time maintaining that Schumer and Co. are not OUR 'friends', but are in fact liars, dangerous demagogues, and staunch defenders of the murderous imperialist ruling class?
That's an open question.
One part of the answer is to go with where people in motion are at. Tens of thousands of Palestinian and Arab people and their allies here are organizing for an end to Israel's war on Gaza. There are rallies and direct actions almost everyday in all major US cities. At a recent NYC demo, with thousands of Arab youth, I saw a lot of signs that read "??CHANGE??", an obvious angry condemnation at Obama's silence on/endorsement of Israel's war. A comrade of mine poignantly said, "Well, here's definitely a group for whom the Obama and Democratic Party honeymoon is over."
Let's take the gloves off, and say who these "progressives" really are. Betrayers of justice, and thereby our enemy. Let's abolish that terrible title "lesser evil" - for people with principles and conscience, there is no "lesser" evil; it's still plain evil folks.
The honeymoon should be over for all revolutionaries, and people of conscience. Like, yesterday.