Dream, Baby, Dream !!!
08/08/2012 1 comentario
So now we know: Mitt Romney believes the 13 North American colonies caused needless bloodshed by rejecting British authority, declaring independence in 1776 and waging war rather than encouraging King George III to see the error of his imperial ways, go touchy-feely with the upstarts across the Atlantic and grant freedom to the United States of America. The revolution could have been a consensual, bloodless glide to liberty if only Washington, Jefferson and their cohorts had taken the time to convince the British monarch that empires were yesterday’s news and their “freedom agenda” the way to go. (source: Roger Cohen – NYTimes – 08/08/2012)
That, at least, is what I take away from Romney’s hilarious suggestion that Ben Ali, Mubarak, Qaddafi and Saleh, with almost 130 years of despotic rule between them, could have been transformed into democrats and their societies changed “in a more peaceful manner” if President Obama had stuck with his predecessor’s “freedom agenda” and gotten Mubarak “to move toward a more democratic posture.” We know what George W. Bush’s freedom agenda was in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, elsewhere: 2 vapid words no democrat could count on and every security goon could laugh at. We also know, look at Syria, dictators who have spent decades ruling through fear do not go quietly into the night any more great powers readily abandon their profitable dominions. And I thought these finance guys were hard-nosed realists laser-focused on bottom line. Dream on, Mitt, dream on! Even if your dreams, to use that word you let drop on the Olympics in London and then scrambled to retract, are “disconcerting.” I know, the presumptive Republican candidate is trying to become president, facing a cool incumbent who does have a laser focus, so his words, I was going to say rhetoric, are less prescriptions for future policy than ploys for gaining power. Still, Romney has been piling on the foreign policy foolishness. “The Arab Spring,” he reckons, “is not appropriately named.” Does Mitt want a more autumnal, wintry, even polar metaphor for the brave uprising of millions of Arabs against tyrants in the greatest push for freedom since 1989? He will only say that, “It has become a development of more concern”. Hmmm. Concern to whom? Mitt Romney suffers from S.C.I.P.S, sudden collapse into passive syndrome. As you try to pin him down, declarative, transitive sentences vanish as fast as vapor trails. Romney affects a first-person plural form dear to George III. He says “We’re very concerned in seeing the new leader in Egypt as an Islamist leader.” Well, there’s an alternative, Mitt: See Morsi as a president democratically elected by tens of millions of Egyptians who has committed to uphold all his nation’s international agreements (they include the peace with Israel) and declared, “We as Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, are preachers of civilization and building; so we were, and so we will remain, God willing.”
In Israel, where both Prime Minister Netanyahu’s terms as prime minister have coincided (to his chagrin) with Democratic presidencies in United States, Romney was rapturously received. As Uri Misgav noted in daily Haaretz, “Netanyahu doesn’t speak English or even American; he speaks fluent Republicanese.” Romney went through a de rigueur list of the ways Obama, in Israel he’s often called Barack Hussein Obama, has supposedly failed the Jewish state: public criticism of it, “usurping” Israel’s role as primary peace negotiator, alluding to 1967 borders as a basis for peace when “they are indefensible.” In fact, Obama has been a staunch supporter of Israel, vetoing a United Nations resolution that used his own critical words on the settlements, ceding to Netanyahu’s kick-the-can-down-the-road tactics, making clear there can be agreed territorial swaps in any two-state deal, and stating that United States will not allow Iran to go nuclear. But the heart of the matter lies elsewhere: Obama actually believes in a Palestinian state. Romney is loved by Netanyahu’s Likud party because he gives signals he does not. In Jerusalem he attends a breakfast fundraiser with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire American casino mogul and largest donor to Romney super Pac. Adelson is the man who said Newt Gingrich was right to call Palestinians an “invented people”. Romney then suggests Palestinians are culturally inferior, incapable of showing the “economic vitality” of Israel, as if a people under occupation without a port or an airport, controlling neither their territorial nor their air space, facing roadblocks, walls, barriers, fences, labyrinthine bureaucracy and capricious humiliation are somehow deficient in not turning themselves into Singapore. In fact, Romney missed the great cultural change in Middle East of which many Palestinians have been part: the shift from a paralyzing culture of victimhood encouraged by exploitive tyrants to a culture of agency in which Arabs are learning, with difficulty, that they can shape their own lives and that Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a distraction, often cynically used, from their ability to succeed. That is why the Arab Spring is appropriately named, was needed, just as the American Revolution was appropriately named and necessary.