With political backstabbing at a domestic level, America is at war with itself.
For those of us on the left in America, it is really nice to see real betrayal of country exposed on the right. I am no big fan of President Barack Obama, for way too many failed moments when confrontation with the right would have served the nation better than some lame attempt at reconciliation.
I hope he finally gets it: Right-wing Republicans will do anything to undermine his leadership, regardless of whether or not that leadership is taking the nation to a better place. They hate him and they hate him because he is a black guy who twice rubbed their white faces in defeat at the polls. Racism is alive and well in America and now driving an effort to further undermine governance at every turn. Significantly and sadly, the latest affronts are part of an ongoing right-wing betrayal of the foundation of governance that predates Obama and will continue until openly confronted for what it is.
It is important to understand that we have been watching a historically profound disintegration of the political process in America. The latest betrayal captured the moment only because its brazenness puts more at risk than the political process. Forty-seven Republican senators somehow decided that it was a good idea that they attempt to undermine sensitive US negotiations with Iran, designed to prevent Iranian access to nuclear weapons and to avoid a US war to ensure that those weapons are not acquired. They did this by publicly and directly communicating with the government of Iran in a treasonous open letter, suggesting that whatever agreement the president reaches with Iran will be trashed by the Republican Congress and their colleagues before the ink is dry.
It is critical to note that there is no nuclear agreement yet with Iran, and there are five other sovereign powers involved in the negotiations: Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. The leaders of those countries must be wondering if there is a lower point to which the right-wingers can go to try embarrass an American president, and whether or not they can trust the dysfunctional US government to join them in enforcing any agreement reached.
As a backdrop to this latest show, there was John Boehner and his Republican Party buddies opening the recent betrayal bidding by inviting Prime Minister Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu of Israel to lecture Congress and the rest of us about an as yet unspecified and unsigned nuclear agreement with Iran, which he believes will be a disaster for America, for Israel and for all free-thinking supporters of a world in which only America and Israel can have nuclear weapons without meaningful inspection.
Now the curious part of this is that Iran, the putative nuclear proliferator, has no nuclear weapons and has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while Israel, the loudest screamer on the planet about Iran’s potential proliferation, already has nuclear weapons but won’t sign the treaty designed to prevent the proliferation of those weapons.
As we speak, there is only one place to find nuclear weapons in the Middle East: Israel. And the Israelis want to keep it that way, yet they will neither publicly acknowledge the weapons they have, nor agree to non-proliferation. The utter hypocrisy of their position seems to escape notice in both Israel and the US. Now, to make matters worse, the Israelis seem happy to advocate a war with Iran fought by the US to enforce that hypocrisy.
On another note, the US government shared critical and undoubtedly classified information with Bibi and his government, which he then disclosed to the world and used in his attempt to undermine the potential agreement with Iran. So we can add Bibi to the list of betrayers. Edward Snowden must be turning over in his Russian igloo — Bibi gets a speech to adoring Republicans, while Snowden gets a lethal injection from that very same crew.
Not to be outdone on the betrayal front, how about Gen. David Petraeus (which conveniently rhymes with “betray us”)? Here he is rutting with his chosen biographer instead of his chosen wife, sharing with her a few black books chock full of heroic stuff that just happens to be highly classified. Then, to up the ante, our “hero” lies to the FBI about the whole thing. So what happens? He gets a jaywalking ticket and actually pleads guilty to a single misdemeanor — “retaining classified information.” It seems the government will let Petraeus escape even minimal jail time so he can quickly get back to being the hero he still thinks he is. Somehow, the hot biographer seemingly skates entirely. (Maybe Snowden needs to find a hot biographer to help him out.)
It bears noting that Petraeus and Bibi share at least a couple of things in common: Killing comes easy to them as long as others do it for them, and each is so awash in self-glory that betrayal never intrudes on their self-delusion. It is the rest of us who remain at risk.
Make no mistake about it: America is at war with itself. It is only very recently that some of those who share responsibility for shepherding the nation have begun to identify the real enemy within. However, there is only limited evidence that President Obama and others in the Democratic Party have begun to understand the depths to which those on the right will sink to create a world in which their vision of an “exceptional” America reigns supreme.
If these recent betrayals of country give some of today’s “leaders” the spine to resist and openly confront ongoing betrayal, there is some hope that America can begin to rebuild a government capable of addressing the crippling poverty and economic disparity within, and capable of driving a new constructive approach to confronting the poverty, disease and poisonous ideologies that bedevil the world at large.
*[A version of this article was also featured on Larry Beck’s blog, Hard Left Turn.]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
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