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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Who will champion Liberty and oppose War?

by Paul Findley

© AP Images: Barack Obama
© AP Images: Protestors gather near Times Square in New York during the ‘Stop War on Iran’ campaign.
© AP Images: Ron Paul
© AP Images: Mitt Romney
© AP Images: Newt Gingrich

Former US Congressman and author Paul Findley finds fault not only with Barack Obama, but with the majority of the current Republican presidential candidates, in relation to their Israel / Iraq foreign policies

A shortened pledge of allegiance to the American flag may soon be in vogue.

The new version should delete the closing words ‘with liberty and justice for all.’

The change is a logical response to bad decisions made by President Barack Obama, as well as alarming pledges made by all the Republican candidates for the presidency, except the US Republican Ron Paul. 

All but the Texas congressman are endorsing the use of the misnamed ‘Patriot Act’. Truth in packaging requires it to be renamed the ‘Unpatriotic Act’. It breeds domestic spying, injustice and fear - not patriotism. Enacted in the panic caused by the horror of 9/11, the bill has spawned thousands of violations of civil liberties prohibited by the US Constitution.

Initiated by the George W. Bush Administration and embraced by Obama, it authorises the president to trash constitutional protections such as privacy, free speech, and free assembly.

It has led to cruel and unusual punishments and lengthy periods of detention without due process of law. Under it, Obama orders extra-judicial executions and renditions. 

This unpatriotic law has resulted in a vast army of domestic snoopers. They now fill office space equivalent to three buildings the size of the Pentagon and coordinate domestic spying through 10,000 local offices. Just one of the federal groups, NSA, stores tapes of nearly two billion private messages every day. It invites candidates pandering to Israel that are shameless, transparent and dangerous.

Despite all this, the leading GOP candidate – Newt Gingrich wants the act made tougher, meaning further ravaging of civil liberties.

No one seems to remember this Republican dictum: “Those who sacrifice civil liberty to gain security deserve neither.” How easily we forget.

Ignoring our costly disaster in Iraq, a war initiated by our government, mainly at the behest of Israel, Gingrich and second in command, Mitt Romney are committing themselves to another US - initiated war, this time against Iran.

Romney is promising as president, to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons and he has warned he will immediately ‘prepare for war.’

Gingrich alluded warmly to explosions that took place days earlier that killed Iran’s senior official at a nuclear facility. The Georgia candidate said his presidency would expand this “taking out” [killing] of Iran’s nuclear scientists. 

The risk that Tehran should launch a nuke against Israel is zero, because the Israeli response would certainly be to poison, if not to destroy, much of Iran.

As everyone knows, Israel is well supplied with nukes and the missiles to deliver them. If Iran builds nuclear bombs, it will be only for national prestige and deterrence. Nukes have no other value.

At the presidential campaign level, only the Republican – Ron Paul is resisting pandering shamelessly to Israel.

All the others seem oblivious to the fact that 9/11 was a bloody payback for the complicity of the US in Israel’s 1982 massacre of 18,000 civilians in Lebanon and its illegal, decades-long humiliation of the Palestinians and the conquest of their land.

Anti-American passions will not recede until a wise and resolute president ends the complicity of the US in such Israeli crimes. America’s political process is awash with jingoism. Who will end this nightmare?

Paul Findley is the author of six books, the latest of which is Speaking Out. He served 22 years as a Republican Representative in the US House of Representatives. He lives in Jacksonville, Illinois, in the United States.

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