Saturday, June 7, 2008

"Change We Can Believe In"

See below Obama's remarks, excerpted, before AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) on June 4, 2008, his first major remarks after wrapping up enough pledged delegates to secure the Democratic Party nomination.

For those who continue to hope that Obama can be believed when he promises "change," note what kind of change he means.

Obama makes indisputably clear below (after all, he was auditioning before AIPAC) that he accepts in their entirety the Bush White House's fraudulent claims that Iran is building a nuclear program, that this constitutes a justification for military attack upon Iran, that Israel's attack on Syria's alleged nuclear facility was fully justified, and that Iran's military constitutes a terrorist organization.

Where in any of this is there any glimmer of a difference between Obama's views and that of Sen. Joseph Lieberman, John McCain, or George W. Bush, except the color of Obama's skin, and the fact that Obama can write books?

Where in any of this can one find an acknowledgment that, according to international law, attacking another country that has not attacked us - or Israel for that matter - constitutes the gravest war crime of all?

"In 1946, in Nuremberg, an American Judge wrote: 'To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.'” (Dahr Jamail, "The 'Free Fire Zone' of Iraq," p. 76, in Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney. The quote from the American Judge comes from Judgment of the International Military Tribunal for the Trial of German Major War Criminals—Nuremberg, Germany 1946.)

Claiming that another country poses a threat to you, or that it pursues - Bush claims that even the knowledge of how to make a nuke is verboten for the Iranians - or possesses WMD, therefore represents nothing but the sabre rattling that precedes the commission of war crimes.

Obama: "That is the change we need in our foreign policy. Change that restores American power and influence."

This is as clearly and cogently as anyone can state it. What Obama means by change is that which "restores American power and influence."

His problem with Bush and Cheney, as he has repeatedly stated as a senator and presidential candidate, isn't that they launched an unjust, illegal and immoral war on Iraq.

His problem is that they have done things to harm "American power and influence."

What is the actual content of that power and influence? What does Obama mean by that?

He makes this crystal clear: he supports military attacks on countries that pose no real threat to us in order to "restore American power and influence."

Obama is preparing American and Israeli public opinion for more war crimes committed upon people who have done us no harm.

Is this a change that YOU believe in? Is this the kind of power and influence that you have in mind?

If it isn't, then think again about supporting and voting for this man.

Think again about whether or not this man represents any kind of change.

Think again about whether voting is really worth anything.

Think again about whether, if you really mean it that you want change, you need to do something yourself and support the actions of others who are acting directly to influence public opinion by publicly declaring their views - speaking out, writing letters and OpEds, wearing and spreading orange, doing everything you can to prosecute war criminals such as Bush, Cheney and John Yoo, everything you can to stop the military recruiters, everything you can to expose the fact that the Democratic candidates are not the solution.

Here's Obama:

" I’ll be speaking from my heart, and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow, and forever.

Syria continues its support for terror and meddling in Lebanon. And Syria has taken dangerous steps in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, which is why Israeli action was justified to end that threat.

We know that the establishment of Israel was just and necessary, rooted in centuries of struggle, and decades of patient work. But 60 years later, we know that we cannot relent, we cannot yield, and as President I will never compromise when it comes to Israel’s security.

That starts with ensuring Israel’s qualitative military advantage. I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat – from Gaza to Tehran. Defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a model of success, and must be deepened. As President, I will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade – investments to Israel’s security that will not be tied to any other nation.

Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper – but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.

There is no greater threat to Israel – or to the peace and stability of the region – than Iran.

The Iranian regime supports violent extremists and challenges us across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race, and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists. Its President denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.

We knew, in 2002, that Iran supported terrorism. We knew Iran had an illicit nuclear program. We knew Iran posed a grave threat to Israel.

We will finally pressure Iraq’s leaders to take meaningful responsibility for their own future.

...the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, whose Quds force has rightly been labeled a terrorist organization.

Finally, let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel.

That is the change we need in our foreign policy. Change that restores American power and influence." [boldfacing added: DL]

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