American Politics and the Gathering Storm

by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich(CASMII Columns)
Monday, October 6, 2008

Misinformation is all the more dangerous when it becomes a diversionary tactic by aspiring American Politicians.   The candidates and their running mates for the highest office in the land, unable to unite the people in a common goal, create a threat to divert attention from the gathering storm.   The Vice presidential debate between Senator Biden and Governor Palin was no exception. 


Govern Palin, and to a much lesser extent, Senator Biden, hold the false charge that Iran is a threat to Israel based on the mainstream media’s insistence to forgo the cannons of journalism --sincerity, truthfulness & accuracy,  reconstitute and deliver ‘facts’ through what has become familiar sound bites -- “wipe” and “map”-- unfounded, false, and effective.   


But Republican and Democrat have not given voice to the reality; the “evils of extremism” that Israeli Prime Minister spoke of.   As we distort the news about Iran to instill fear in American hearts, we ignore the fundamentalists in Israel who have become more prominent in society and government.  The Haredim (ultra-orthodox referred to as the “Taliban” by some) will have to play a role in Tzipi Livni’s new government is she is to sustain it[i].    Israel has over 200 warheads.  A 1997 article reviewing the Israeli Defense Force repeatedly stressed the possibilities of, and the need to guard against, a religious, right wing military coup, especially as the proportion of religious in the military increases.


Israel is a nation with a state religion; to date, its top leaders have not been religious Jews –but that is about to change.   Jewish religious politics and rabbinical law affect the politics and decision processes.  Of the two Jewish laws, one is obligatory and mandatory (milkhemet mitzvah) and the other authorized but optional (milkhemet reshut).   Interpretation of Jewish law concerning nuclear weapons does not permit their use for mutual assured destruction.  It does however allow their possession and threat of their use.  Interpretations of the law allow tactical use on the battlefield, but only after warning the enemy and attempting to make peace[ii].  How is that attempt interpreted? 


In spite of evidence to the contrary, Israel and its lobby have continuously misled Americans into believing that Iran and its peaceful nuclear technology are a threat to Israel.  But as Louis Nizer said: “When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.”  In the same vein, American policy makers and candidates should understand that they must put America first.  

[i] Financial Times 


[ii] Warner D. Farr, LTC, U.S. Army, The Counter-proliferation Papers, Israel’s Nuclear Weapons, Sept 1999