Obama nominates neocon for Chief of Staff

A small portrait of the translator

November 6, 2008 @ 19:20 UTC

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Israel, Lebanon, Syria
Barack Obama
International Relations, Government & Politics

In another signal to the Middle East that Obama may not be all the change he claims to be, the US president-elect has nominated an Israeli-American, Rahm Emanuel, as Chief of Staff.

Emanuel, an Orthodox Jew, was an Israeli Army volunteer during the first Gulf War, while his father Benjamin M. Emanuel was an active member in an underground terrorist cell before the 1948 partition.

For more information on Emanuel's terrorist origins, click here.

American imperialism disguised with a black face and a Muslim name won't bluff the Arab world.

I came across the following comment on SyriaComment. It reflects the wide cynicism felt by many Arabs towards Obama's election.

By Sami D,

Blame Gore for not being able to defeat Bush, (not even in his own state where Nader had no effect), and blame the Democrats in general for becoming Republicans-light. Their policies are little different from the Republicans; like the Labor, Kadima, Likud, they differ mostly in style, but little in substance when it comes to empire/Palestinians. The Republicans say “the war is moral, just give us more time”, the enlightened Democrats say “the war is moral, but might be a mistake since we’re not sure you can win.” (Likud kills Palestinians with glee; Labor kills Palestinians with tears in their eyes). None of them says the Iraq war is an immoral crime of aggression. They both support empire and Israel, competing who will assist Israel in killing and dispossessing more Palestinians and Arabs. The statement above assumes that Gore was going to be really different from Bush, especially with 9-11 taking place on his watch and with his own version of Cheney along his side (remember the neocon warmonger Lieberman?) It is only when they’re unshackled from the strings of office that they dare speak out and act, assuming they have morals, like Gore on the environment and Carter on Israeli apartheid.

It might be wise to vote strategically in swing states, but in all other states a vote for a third party, like the Green, is an important wake up call to the Democrats who have shifted radically right away from their principals, becoming a shadow of the Republicans, and enablers of empire. Nor am I sad that Obama defeated McCain; anything is better than what the Republicans have become, especially the welcome historic symbolism of a black man finally leading America, let alone someone who has befriended Palestinians scholars.

Reducing Nader to consumer report writer belittles his indefatigable campaigns to bring to light, over many decades, the abominations of empire, of corporate controls, of Wall Street dirty dealings, of lack of democracy, of people’s and labor’s deteriorating rights, of environmental destruction, of the deterioration of civil liberties, of energy policies, of the torment of Palestinians. Has the Democratic party really done anything noteworthy on these issues? Instead, people are instructed to vote for the lesser evil, someone who’s beholden to the structures of power, and is funded by the same moneyed interests as evil himself, someone who largely votes the same way as the other party. And here’s none other than Mr Change, coming fresh from handing Paulson almost a cool $trillion of our children’s money, nominating another neocon, Rahm Emanuel for his chief of staff; makes those of us who “wasted their votes” on “the spoilers” third party proud. The only thing Obama might produce for the Middle East would be a Sadat-style, Dennis Ross mediated, “peace”. In short, let’s not raise our hopes too high or expect any radical change from Obama, unless one doesn’t mind getting greatly disappointed.

Another comment by poster Observer:

Since when did anyone think that the US president and the US congress are truly free of the AIPAC influence? It does not matter if it is Rahm Emmanuel or David Plouffe or David Axelrod. I do not believe that there will be a deviation from empire policies. They will have a different outlook and perspective but the pursuit of empire at the expense of the Republic will continue. The question is whether there are any financial possibilities for the empire to be sustained

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