I heard a recent speech by Ralph Nader to an Arab-American convention yesterday on Pacifica Radio. Once again, I was impressed and pleased by what this great man had to say. I cannot help but think how different the world would be today if Democrats had not wasted their votes on Al Gore and had joined the Greens in electing Ralph Nader and Winona La Duke. Gore would have been more or less like Bush (controlled by the corporate interests); whereas Ralph Nader and Winona La Duke would have worked for the public interest, as both have spent their careers doing.
In his speech, Nader made several very fine points, and made them strongly. I would love to see the text of that speech made available to all interested parties. But here are a few points I remember from the airing on “Democracy Now”!”
1) The invasion of Iraq was based on lies, prevarications, and deceit. The invasion of and war against Iraq is unforgivable. (American MUST reflect this reality in the next election — in my opinion).
2) The American flag has been disgraced by corporate-influenced politicians and defense contractors who wrap themselves in the flag while begin for huge financial handouts that now total 1/2 of all discretionary spending of the U.S. government. The flag was not intended to be a gag against freedom and justice for all, including free speech.
3) Hatred of Arabs and Middle Eastern Jews by other Jews is “the other anti-Semitism”. The word anti-Semitism has been disgracefully used as a mechanism for censorship of criticism of the government of Israel. Only Jews seem to be allowed to criticize the Israeli government, and non-Jews cannot even get an op-ed published in major newspapers criticizing the government of Israel. This is improper and wrong.
4) The U.S. government has utterly failed to link with the substantial Israeli citizen peace movement, which is documenting injustices by all sides and sees many Israelis taking a stand against the illegal occupation of Palestine. A “refusenik” movement of Israeli combat veteran soldiers is growing and refusing to serve in occupied areas and oppress an entire people, while still being willing to defend Israel proper. The U.S. Government and Corporate Media act as is these Israeli peace groups do not exist, when collaboration with them would be a big boost for peace.
5) Israeli leaders for decades have made statements that indicate full knowledge of the unfairness of Israeli occupation and Palestinian resistance. The root of the problem in Palestine is not Palestinian “terrorism”, which is completely understandable to astute Israelis when then full situation is pondered honestly. David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Dayan, and others were quoted by Ralph Nader to validate his point.
6) Violence should be a non-preferred means of solving disputes. Violence creates its own rationale for all sides in any dispute, and thus becomes cyclical and never-ending. Yet, the disparity of raw military power between the combatants in the situation in Palestine makes the situation grotesque. Israel has no incentive to alter its methods when it continues to have overwhelming military superiority over its disputants over land, water, and basic human rights issues of the Palestinian people. Clearly, Israel is in the historical wrong, but violence cannot bring the needed final solution for the benefit of the Palestinian people.
There were a number of other points in this speech. I hope the text can be published widely.
The writer is a member of several falconry and ornithological clubs and organizations. He contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from California, USA.