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North Bay / Marin | Government & Elections

Golem News And "Running For Congress To The Left Of Obama
by Peter Byrne
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2012 10:11 AM
Norman Soloman is running real "liberal" in the North Bay to replace Lynn Woolsey

Golem News And "Running For Congress To The Left Of Obama
A Letter To Mary Moore

Running for Congress to the left of Obama
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012

Dear Mary, I do not doubt that Norman is sincere in his personal politics
about Occupied Palestine, and the IPA is, indeed, a fine information
resource on that and many other issues. In Marin-Sonoma, however, it is
obvious that being tagged as "pro-Palestinian" would present a fundraising
problem for any Congressional candidate. Unfortunately, that means that when
it comes time to run for RE-ELECTION in two years, it will still be a
fundraising problem. So it is very unlikely that Norman will take a strong
stance on the Middle East while in Congress, such as calling for defunding
the Israeli military, or upholding the UN's 1967 mandate against
settlements, or protesting the Israeli murder of peace activists (since he
did not raise his voice last year when such protest was really needed).

Political courage means having the guts to resist the status quo, to support
the unpopular issues (usually issues of life and death importance to
oppressed people). As the Chron article points out there is not much
difference between any of these candidates on many issues: so it is not an
act of political courage in our district to oppose Vampire Squids and the
current wars on Iraq and Afghanistan (just common sense, in fact).

Reading through the issues section of Normnan's web site, I find that I
applaud most of his stands. But then comes the rub: "I support a two-state
solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, with genuine
security for all." This is the standard AIPAC-lite line: two-states means
continuation of the current oppressor state/oppressed state model. It means
eating away at at what remains of Palestinian lands with more illegal
settlements. It means exploiting Palestinian labor and invading
Palestinan-populated concentration camps using the doctrine of collective
punishment as a brutal rationale for bulldozing houses, shooting children
and adults with American-made fighter jets and depleted uranium bullets,
blockading food and medicine, ad infinitum. It means the continuation of
hell on earth for these poor people, and it is mealy-mouthed politics to
pretend that there is a such a thing as a genuine two-state solution as long
as America hands Israel $3 billion a year to squash the Palestinians and
wave its nukes at the Iranians and arm right wing dictators around the
globe.

So: one has to decide whether or not to vote for Norman (or anyone of these
folks), considering that they are either political cowards on Palestine or
satisfied with the status quo. Can one in good conscience vote for Norman
(or publicly support him) because he is good on just about all of the other
issues? Well, there is no guarantee that he will actually push forward on
those issues if he is spiritually constituted to value his own (re)election
above taking unpopular stances on the really hard issues. There is no
guarantee that he will not just be another cog in the Democrat Party War
Machine. If he was to take a courageous position on Occupied Palestine, I
would be inclined to believe that such courage would extend to other issues,
too, and I would walk precincts for him. But I am distressed by Norman's
suggestion that we should (wink, wink) "trust" him to do the right thing on
Palestine because of his past writings. And I can't forget his support of
Candidate Obama when Obama was clearly funded by the War Machine and Wall
Street.

Actions do speak louder than words. And the take home lesson here may be
that Norman values winning the election above publicly supporting the
liberation of the Palestian people in such a way that would at least draw
attention to the issue and help a just cause. Without monetary and political
support from American congresspeople, including Woolsey, the Israeli state
would not be able to continue is veritible pogram on the Palestinians, since
a half century of this oppression disgusts most people in the world.

It would be honorable to lose an election because of one's support for the
oppressed. It is not honorable to win high office on their backs. The
Democractic Party cannot be "reformed" in a way that is acceptable to life
on Earth, anymore than Chevron can be reformed to be "green". We need new
parties, new organizations from the grassroots. We need people who
demonstrate courage through action, not by trying to climb aboard the neck
of the imperial juggarnaut which currently rules this country (and much of
the world). A single mouse cannot put a bit into the jaw of a dinosaur and
cause it to halt. But a million mice can.

Let us put our efforts into organizing the millions (or, locally, the
dozens), not into perpetuating the historic crime against the Palestinians
by putting faith in the unspoken promises of politicians. Power corrupts, it
seems, even in the seeking of it. I will vote in this election: On my
ballot, I will write in the name of a living Palestian child.

Peter Byrne pbyrne(at)sonic.net