A Gentle Voice of Reason for America
by Eric Margolis: We
Donít Need an Endless State of War With North Korea
come back, at least politically, to where it was in the far-off
1950ís when Communist-scares and the American fascism of Wisconsin
Senator Joe McCarthy kept the republic in a state of anxiety and
under our beds" was the slogan in those days of paranoia and
witch-hunting. Today, the new scare mantra is: "Muslims under
our mattresses," and "Iran threatens the world."
In the McCarthy
era, the Republican Party was run by East Coast moderate conservatives
from New York, Boston and Washington who were well educated and
worldly. McCarthy was a GOP black sheep from the political badlands
of the deep Midwest.
and their fellow travellers were a real danger in that era, but
not to the absurd degree of McCarthyís fevered claims. But for a
while, his anti-Communist campaign intimidated America and held
it in thrall. Being accused of pro-Communism was then as ruinous
a charge as being called "pro-terrorist" today.
elite eventually became sickened by McCarthyís lies and alarms that
the government was filled with Communists and Soviet spies, and
worried that they were fast losing control of the party to the populist
McCarthy. Sixty years later, the GOP indeed fell under control of
the rural heartland.
In recent months,
we have witnessed the rebirth of McCarthyism in the Iowa presidential
caucusas five Republican candidates struggled to outdo one another
in warning of the perils of Iran and Islam Ė the new Red Menace.
The only Republican
candidates who spoke responsibly about US foreign policy were Congressman
Ron Paul and former Ambassador Jon Huntsman.
The other Republicans
issued blood-curdling threats against Iran, and salaamed Israel
without relent, and called for continued US domination of the globe.
didnít care about the ghastly image of war mongering and imperialism
they were projecting abroad. Prostituting oneself to special political
interests may have been good politics in rural Iowa, but it was
and remains bad, bad medicine for the nation these politicians claim
Obama has caused great disappointment abroad by following many of
George Bushís aggressive policies, but at least he somewhat improved
Americaís tattered global image. Now, the Republican far right has
largely undermined this improved image and has sparked a resurgence
of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism in many nations.
Over the past
30 years, the Republican rightwing has become joined at the hip
with Israelís hard right Likud Party. Hence the emergence of so-called
"Christian Zionists" who are cynically exploited by Israelís
rightwing Likud Party even though a generation ago the fathers of
these Christian militants may have belonged to the racist, violently
anti-Semitic Ku Klux Klan.
In short, fertile
ground for the Republican partyís far right. We are reminded of
the great American writer Sinclair Lewis, who wrote in the 1930ís
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag
and carrying the cross."
The calm, reasoned,
sensible words of candidate Ron Paul were barely heard thanks to
a conspiracy of silence by the mainstream media which bitterly opposes
his calls for an end to foreign wars and big government built on
a mountain of debt.
The 76-year-old Dr Paul speaks for many Americans, particularly
younger ones, who are sick of war, propaganda, the growing police
state, and seeing government dominated by Wall Street and special
Dr. Paul asked
me to Washington to brief him on Afghanistan. After, I wrote that
Paul was the most honest and bravest political leader Iíd met in
strong finish sends a potent message of anti-war, rebellious sentiment
to Washington and to President Barack Obama.
signing of a bill over Christmas that allows the Pentagon to indefinitely
lock up American citizens accused of "terrorism" without
trial has deeply alarmed many Americans. Even George W. Bush didnít
seems likely to win the GOPís reluctant nomination. He looks as
believable as the old Camel billboard in Times Square of a man blowing
smoke rings. But compared to his rivals on the right, notably the
mountebank Gingrich and the odious Santorum, he seems the sole hold-your-nose
of course, the soft-spoken Dr. Paul. The Republican establishment
continues to look over its shoulder in fear of the good doctor.
Paulís powerful placing in conservative Iowa shows that his call
for a return to traditional American political and economic values
has great resonance among many Americans, young and old.
When my non-North
American readers write to express their dismay, or even horror,
at the current stable of GOP candidates and their imperialist bombast,
I remind them that there is a real American running for president
who inspires admiration rather than contempt or fear.
him mail] is the author of War
at the Top of the World and the new book, American
Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the
West and the Muslim World. See his
© 2012 Eric Margolis
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