Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Samuel Sheinbein Yes, Norman Finkelstein No

The government of Israel has had its revenge on Norman Finkelstein. The former college professor is a courageous critic of the Israeli government. That is how he came to be a former professor. Alan Dershowitz and other pro-Israel propagandists waged a successful scorched earth campaign to deny him tenure at DePaul university last year.

Finkelstein is Jewish and an American citizen and as such should have had no problem entering Israel. Not only was he denied entry into Israel last week, but he was banned from entering for another ten years. If Israel doesn't like being compared to apartheid era South Africa, it shouldn't act like it.

Israel's Law of Return gives Jews the right not just to visit Israel, but to show up at any moment and get citizenship. I guess the law doesn't apply to critics of that government.

It does however apply to cold blooded thrill killers. In 1997 Samuel Sheinbein told friends he wanted to rape or murder someone. When Alfredo Tello got into a fight with his friend Aaron Needles, Tello became the object of his violent fantasy. Sheinbein and Needles murdered Tello and dismembered and burned his body.

To make a long story short, Sheinbein got away with murder. Sheinbein's father was an Israeli citizen and Israeli courts saw fit to bestow the same right on the fugitive son too. At the time Israel did not permit its citizens to be extradited to any nation on earth, not even to the United States, their patron and partner in crime.

Sheinbein now walks freely in Israel, without fear of ever being brought to justice. If Sheinbein is acceptable and Finkelstein isn't, Israel has reached a new low.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wish I'd Said That

"Of course, the guy is an Obama supporter, which apparently gives him the freedom to question the motivations of blacks who complain just a bit too much about racism. Stop whining and assimilate!, he more or less told them through me. White people are sick and tired of listening to your crap! It was an astonishing moment, as I had not until that instant guessed that this guy harbored such feelings. But it further underlines my belief that Obama is the perfect candidate for race-challenged liberals, since Obama makes them comfortable in their grayish-pink skins, and does not pester them with tales of racism and oppression. This will become more evident now that Obama has nailed down the nomination."
Dennis Perrin, A Red State Son

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Kudos from Floyd and Silber

Aside from Black Agenda Report, my two favorite web sites are Chris Floyd's Empire Burlesque and Arthur Silber's Once Upon a Time, Power of Narrative.

Today Silber did me the great honor of quoting from a column I wrote last year. The subject of that column was the the book Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. Floyd in turn quoted Silber, and thus my name is linked with greatness in not one, but two places.

Silber and Floyd are heroes of mine because they tell the truth. They tell the truth about Bush, and Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They spare no one and they have no allegiance to either of our dreadful political parties. I am truly honored that Silber would give me some attention and put my name alongside that of Jeremiah Wright.

Wright is being pilloried because he is a truth teller. Black Americans used to be the most consistent truth tellers in the country, but the ascendance and possible presidency of Barack Obama has changed all that. That will be the subject of my next Black Agenda Report column to be published this Wednesday.

Thanks again Chris and Arthur. I truly appreciate you both in so many ways.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sami al-Hajj speaks of his Guantanamo ordeal - 02 May 2008

Sami al-Haj was an al-Jazeera camera man imprisoned on Guantanamo since 2002. He was never charged with a crime, he was interrogated more than 200 times.

Wright and Obama

"Almost every politician lies, and most politicians lie repeatedly. Yet in one sense, Obama's speech is exceptional, rare and unique -- but not for any of the reasons offered by Obama's uncritical, mindless adulators. It is exceptional for this reason: it is rare that a candidate will announce in such stark, comprehensive terms that he will lie about every fact of moment, about every aspect of our history that affects the crises of today and that has led to them, about everything that might challenge the mythological view of America. But that is what Obama achieved with this speech. It may be a remarkable achievement -- a remarkable and detestable one, and one that promises endless destruction in the future, both here and abroad." Arthur Silber

I didn't weigh in on the latest Obama/Wright contretemps because my personal life has been much too busy of late. You can as always check out Black Agenda Report, which keeps it very real as always. "In order for his race-neutral strategy to appear sane, Obama must constantly paint a picture of an America that does not exist. This cannot be accomplished without mangling the truth, assaulting the truth-tellers, and misrepresenting America's past and present."

I'll keep it short. Obama is still bad news for the nation and for the world. He wouldn't be a worse president than Hillary "we'll obliterate them" Clinton. But he wouldn't be any better. He is pledged to continue the dominance of the ruling class and the ever growing American empire. The best that can be said of him is that he will be no worse than anyone else who is acceptable to the ruling class.

But for black people he will be worse. Hillary Clinton would have been taken to task if she had said she would have a foreign policy "like Ronald Reagan's." Obama was allowed to get away with that and other outrageous remarks and it doesn't bode well. He will do what he said he would do. He will keep the empire intact, he will keep government lawlessness intact. After all, he still sees no reason to impeach Bush or Cheney. Obama will be very bad news indeed.

Remember you read it here first.
Sami al-Haj is Free

Sami al-Haj has been freed from Guantanamo and is now in his home country, Sudan. He was a camera man for al-Jazeera who was seized by Pakistani officials and turned over to the U.S. in 2002. al-Haj went through more than 200 interrogations, and was subjected to forced feeding. His family say that the 39 year-old now looks like a man in his 80s.

His interrogators offered al-Haj freedom if he would agree to spy for the U.S. but he always refused, hence the 6 years behind bars. Obviously goodness and nobility have nothing to do with his release. The U.S. government must have seen some advantage in releasing him now.

Sami al-Haj is a living witness to the criminality of the American government. His brother, Asim al-Haj, said it best. "Today, I'd like to urge the United Nations, international human rights organizations and the international press to bring a serious investigation into the case of Sami al-Haj, because we really have no idea what happened to Sami al-Haj while he was at Guantanamo." Asim al-Haj might have added the United States Congress to that list of investigatory bodies. Of course they will never investigate anything because that would mean taking some sort of action, like impeachment.