Tuesday, January 9, 2007

George Washington Speaks Today

Here are pertinent portions of George Washington’s Farewell Address (quoted at length in my previous post) updated for relevance to the present day. I think you’ll find President Washington’s warnings about our current situation alarming and energizing.

“The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. Nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.

“A passionate attachment of the United States for Israel produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for Israel, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into the United States the enmities of Israel, betrays the United States into a participation in the quarrels and wars of Israel without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to Israel of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the United States by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to Israel), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity. . .

“Excessive partiality for Israel and excessive dislike of other nations cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of Israel are liable to become suspected and odious, while Israel’s tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.”


Yves said...

So please can you explain this. Why is a pro-Israel policy predominant in a country where Jews are in a minority? Is this a proof of the failure of democracy?

In any case I think it is rather a red herring. Why is US interfering in the sovereignty of other nations in this world? What right does it have? Why can't Nicaragua to name but one sovereign state, have its own government in its own way without USA so heavily propagandising?

I wish you would not be so hung up on Israel, but instead try to explain why it is that American foreign policy is toxic overall.

The theory that popped into my head today was that America considers itself to be the parent of the entire world. It has good children like UK and presumably Canada, but it does not regard them as equals, and treats their goodness as provisional.

It is a bad parent because to get its own way it bribes, threatens and cajoles, using power rather than wisdom or honesty to get its way.

Scapegoating is easy: "It's Bush, it's the Jewish lobby, it's the Republicans, the Neo-Cons, the big corporations . . . " But hold on, you are in the land of the free, the land of democracy. You cannot blame these problems on others.

Neither can I. Just being non-American does not let me off responsibility. You are my brothers and sisters. Part of the reason I blog is to reach out to everyone (who can speak English) to break down these barriers of misunderstanding.

One of the worst things about America---of course it applies to every country---is the boundaries behind which its people can remain insular & detached from what is going on. What I see is not America at the height of its powers, triumphant parent over the world, but an empire in an extraordinary rapid decline.

Now is not the time to be a patriot for America. Now is the time to be a world citizen.

Fleming said...

Yves, there is no possible way I can respond adequately to your comment in a “comment” of my own, and so I’ll reserve my reply for my actual blog posts. I appreciate your opening these issues.

Meanwhile, I will link you (and others, I hope) to the most informative recent publications I know. In addition to asking you to read those publications, I ask you to skim VIEW FROM THE MOON from the beginning if you haven’t already done so, because I believe I’ve discussed some of the things you question. (In passing, I remember writing, as you did, that America is in an extraordinarily rapid decline. I also wrote that democracy is not working.)

The publication I consider a “must read” is “THE ISRAEL LOBBY” by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.

First, here is an article ABOUT their paper: “Ferment over the Israel Lobby”, by Philip Weiss.

BTW, it fascinated me to notice in the Weiss article this sentence, which contains exactly the kind of language I’ve been complaining about: “The Anti-Defamation League called the paper ‘a classical conspiratorial anti-Semitic analysis invoking the canards of Jewish power and Jewish control.’” So much for a thoughtful and reasoned debate over the facts.

To read the actual paper, “The Israel Lobby”, you can go to the
Harvard University introductory page and click on the Adobe Reader icon to open the paper, or you can open the paper directly.

Please note: It takes a while to load; don’t give up.

Fleming said...

Regarding the links I posted in my comment to Yves, I find that they open in very small screens, and so I am going to post that part of my comment in a regular blog post so that full screens will open.