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8 Jan, 2012

TIME recognises “The Protestor”, Now the Lies Must End

Originally Published: 08 January 2012

When TIME magazine recognised “The Protester” as the Person of the Year 2011, my first reaction was: “What took so long?”

Protests have been raging all through the last decade, against U.S. military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, against crony capitalism, the IMF and World Bank, the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the lies about Islam, the double-standards and hypocrisy of global geopolitics, the fact that global military expenditure is running at US$1.6 trillion a year while millions can barely eke out US$1 a day, and many more issues.

The U.S. media, including TIME magazine, downplayed these protests, although they were heavily publicised in global alternative media and columns such as this. It is only when the protests began to strike dangerously close to home and threaten to derail U.S. interests and policy agendas that the U.S. media awoke to what was happening.

The real protest should be against this charade, how a once highly respected institution such as the U.S. media, which helped end the Vietnam War and brought down a president who lied over Watergate, fell asleep at the wheel and allowed its government to run roughshod over many key parts of the world, and never be held accountable.

Such a protest is even more important this year, when the world is again being subjected to the quadrennial U.S. election circus with no say in influencing the policies or views of an individual who has a global impact but who only needs to pander to local constituents.

It is truly loathsome, insulting and offensive to see the U.S. presidential candidates, most of whom are mono-lingual and dismally unfamiliar with global cultures, falling over themselves to show allegiance to Israel and animosity towards Iran.

One candidate has called Palestinians “an invented people.” Another says Palestinian culture “infused with resentment and hatred.” A third is a fundamentalist who has been described as the Judeo-Christian version of the Taliban.

Mark my words, the protests will gain steam, and the U.S. government is doomed to fail. Its own people will realise that being again tagged with the post-Vietnam war tagline of “The Ugly American” is not in their interests and that they themselves need a system change, not just a regime change.

Indeed, the next phase of global protests will be directed at making the U.S. government accountable, along with the string-pullers such as the Zionist lobby whose influence is on full display in the U.S. electoral process.

To consider this powerful lobby above the law and beyond reproach, virtually akin to a lese majeste status, is no longer an option. If trying to fool all the people all the time is impossible in this day and age, trying to silence them is even less so.

As this lobby pushes for more U.S. blood to be spilt to defend Israel’s interests, it may be useful to hear at least two U.S. politicians who are raising their voices in protest.

When the eight Republican presidential candidates faced off for a debate last November, only one, Ron Paul, had the guts to say frankly that if Israel wants to attack Iran, the U.S. should just get out of the way and let Israel “suffer the consequences.”

This is what he said: “They’ve just polled 40 major experts on foreign policy here by the National Journal. Not one of them said there should be a unilateral attack on the sites in Iran. So that’s not going to happen. And if you’re supposing that if it did, why does Israel need our help? We need to get out of their way,” Paul said.

“We interfere with them when they deal with their borders. When they want to have peace treaties, we tell them what they can do, because we buy their allegiance and they sacrifice their sovereignty to us. And then they decide they want to bomb something? That’s their business, but they should, you know, suffer the consequences,” Paul continued.

The vast majority of the U.S. mainstream media totally ignored this remark.

Then, there’s U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich who blasted what he called the “psychology of aggression which permeates our society.” He added, “We have become so enamored of war as a nation we can’t break from it.”

The comments were made in an interview with the alternative media website Truthdig, which along with others such as Truthout and AlterNet, are becoming the real crusaders against U.S./Israeli policies in the Middle East.

In the preamble, the interviewer praised Kucinich for “his refusal to accept shoddy arguments and distressingly repetitive rationalizations for entering into yet another precarious foreign entanglement.”

In calling for the U.S. government to “back off” from sabre-rattling against Iran, Mr. Kucinich reminded readers about the fact that no-one has been held accountable for the fiasco in Iran.

“And so I think from my perspective when these issues have come up in the past regarding Iran, I understood that the neocons have had extraordinary influence in keeping up the tensions, but someone has to say that they were wrong about Iraq. Someone has to hold the neocons responsible for the drumbeat for war that cost the lives of thousands of American troops and perhaps over a million Iraqis, that will have a long-term cost of about $5 trillion and that has further damaged America’s position in the world.

“The same people that brought us Iraq are changing the q to an n and advancing a whole new war based on the same type of flimsy predicate that brought us to war against Iraq.”

He added, “I led the effort in Congress in 2002 in challenging the march towards war. There was no evidence that Iraq had the intention or the ability of attacking the United States of America. There were no WMDs—it was all a put-up job to take us into a war. And the people who took us into it have never been held accountable, from Bush on down; members of Congress are equally accountable because they voted in favor of the war. We cannot break free of the hold that war has on our country.”

The protests against this will grow. A total whitewashing and re-writing history to wipe these lies off the map will not be possible. And unjust rulers will fall, as they always do.