Cindy Sheehan: International Pariahs – OpEd


I happened to be watching CSPAN today and was “treated” to a rebroadcast (From 12/2) speech by Leon Panetta, who recently was the head of the CIA, but now is Secretary of Defense for the USA (that info is important for this article).

The obsequious, Leon, was speaking at the Saban Conference (organized by a very modest Haim SABAN of Power Ranger fame and of the SABAN Center for Middle East Policy at the allegedly “liberal” stink tank, Brookings Institute). The conference was entitled: Strategic Challenges in a New Middle East. In Haim’s intro of Leon, he states (verbatim) that one of the challenges of Israel, in this “New Middle East,” is how to “sustain the occupation,” of Palestine.

Leon isn’t the first politician in the U.S. to pledge his/her undying love and fervent loyalty to Israel, in fact, I think it’s a Congressional right of passage, but clearly, recent uprisings in the Middle East have shaken the Zionist state of Israel and its shills to the core. Leon is just one of those shills—a Catholic who admits in his keynote address that, as U.S. Secretary of Defense, one of his “key priorities” is “strengthening the bond between the U.S. and Israel”, and “of course,” he takes his commitment to the safety of Israel very seriously and he meets with his Israeli counterparts frequently in their “shared efforts to strengthen Israeli security.” Maybe I am naïve, but isn’t the job of the SecDef of the U.S. to ensure the safety of the U.S? It’s been obvious for quite some time that the “special relationship” that the U.S. and Israel share has harmed the U.S. I don’t see any benefit that the U.S. receives from that special relationship.

In fact, Israel receives the most foreign aid from the U.S. than any other country and Leon assured the conference attendees that even though the U.S. has some severe economic troubles here at home, extra money and military hardware will keep flowing to Israel. Leon did receive a question from the audience about the possibility of foreign aid being reduced to Israel, and I swear, he was almost on the verge of tears over the remote likelihood that the U.S. government would actually do something for peace and that makes a little sense.

Israel’s oppressive and violent “occupation” (SABAN’S word) of Palestine with the support, encouragement, and protection of the U.S. (especially in the UN) pours gasoline on the flames of hatred towards this country. In his speech, Leon Panetta reiterated that one of the reasons for the U.S.’s oppressive and violent occupation of Iraq was for Israel’s safety in the region. Of course, U.S. regional violence combined with Israeli regional violence is a dangerous cocktail of provocation that only decreases regional stability–but I have a feeling Leon and his Israeli counterparts have never been interested in stability. Their actions speak so loud, the hollow words get drowned out.

During the Q and A period, many of the questions revolved around the Iran “issue.” Leon called Iran a “pariah state.” Seriously, I guess it takes one member of a “pariah state” to recognize another.

Look, I don’t know if Iran is a “pariah state” or not—I receive a lot of conflicting information. I know that I am uncomfortable with religious fundamentalism whether it be Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. I do know that I am certain that I oppose nuclear power and, most of all, nuclear weapons and will vigorously protest the usage of that technology; however, Iran is a sovereign state that is unfortunately situated not too far away from a state with hundreds of known nuclear weapons: Israel. And how many nukes and nuclear power plants does the country Leon lives in have? Hmm?

With many of Israel’s neighbors in internal/external turmoil, the Lebanon-ization of the Middle East is nearly complete. Also, many of the leaders who were critical of the regional hegemon, Israel; or the international, hegemon, the U.S.A., have been either killed or run-off. It’s called “divide and conquer” and occupiers have been skilled at using this strategy for millennia.

Iran has not been the aggressor in any wars for centuries, but the “pariah states” of the U.S. and Israel have. With Russia joining the saber rattling, it would seriously behoove the rest of us as members of humanity to look beyond our noses at the cauldron of instability and bloody wars that the Pariah States are stirring up.

In the meantime, I am going to register a complaint with my cable provider at the soft-core porn love affair I was subjected to between Leon Panetta and Israel that it rebroadcast today. Disgusting!

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed during his service in the Iraq War by the Mehdi Army on April 4, 2004. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch — a stand which drew both passionate support and angry criticism. More of her writings can be found at Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox: Writing from the Emprire.

4 thoughts on “Cindy Sheehan: International Pariahs – OpEd

  • December 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Charity begins at home unless the “decision maker” thinks otherwise. As a foreigner, I will never be able to understand dual citizenship-where is the loyalty? Why is the USA beholden and sub-servient to Israel? Is Congressinal financial support coming from outside the country? Pray tell.never be a slave to another country!That is my policy.

  • December 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    What an articulate, knowledge laden article you have written. It is short but it shows how deeply you can understand a complete alien situation so contrasted with what Americans are typically are exposed and are fed to. Please believe that there is no fundamentalism in Iran establishment. Shah and his father had fractured Iran society into a minority of Westernised middle class and higher class on one side and a majority of traditionally (religious) middle class and lower and rural class. That society needed to be fused together due to a historical background of having the Iranian identity. Mullahs helped that fusion not by forcing others to become like them, but by forcing themselves and majority of people to gradually synchronize them with realities of present time. Let me give you an example. Before revolution of 1979, religious people believed they should not have radio and television in their houses as they knew these tools satanic. Some in between families had veils to cover a TV in case the guest be too religious. From the beginning of new regime in Iran, frequently, efforts of Iranian to fuse together as a modern nation become disrupted by foreign interventions who seek to dominate Iran for plunder not for the prosperity of people. You know, Queen Victoria had scarf and believed people should cover even legs of chairs, let alone women. People of England gradually changed to what they are now without being bombed. During the Shah people did not allow their daughters get full education knew it similar to prostitution. Now, two third of the students are female and government has to impose equal opportunity quota for males in some branches such as dentistry and for females in engineering and science. These could not happen without ruling of Mullahs. Before 1979, Iranian traditional music the heritage of three thousand years of a nation was savagely becoming vandalized by a small rootless harsh imposed Westernised music. Thanks to ban of that music, again traditional music flourished to a climax of being used even in Iran-Iraq war front and also people become familiarised with European classical music. Shah under advice of Britain and US did not allow creating a lot of universities in cities far and near and did not allow post-graduate studies in Iran to force immigration of Iranian elite who were keen to, to abroad. Now every year Iran universities have hundreds of PhDs graduates with publications accepted by reputable international journals. US did not allow expansion of railways to keep Iran tribal structure to be used if deemed necessary against Iranian nation, as we can see in Kurdistan and Baluchistan. New regime has created thousands kilometres of new railways and has a comprehensive plan to increase them. Iran should be left alone to solve its problems without foreign intervention. I am a non-Iranian national, member of American Sociological Association that have studied Third World Development for forty five years.

  • December 8, 2011 at 3:31 am

    The truth hurts; hence your censorship of my comment(s).

    You are an anti-Semite, Ms. Sheehan. Deal with it.

    You aren’t worthy enough to carry an Israeli’s jockstrap, you despicable, hideous imbecile.

  • December 8, 2011 at 5:32 am

    It is a shame this nutcase didn’t stay in Cuba. When she first camped out in Crawford, I’ll admit I admired her expression of her First Amendment right. But then she was crowned Queen of the peace movement, and it clearly became all about her, and Casey was no longer relevant. Hard to believe that a woman who has so many hateful things to say was once the ‘face’ of the peace movement. Face it, Cindy as the leader of a peace movement is like having Lindsay Lohan as the spokesperson for a ‘Just Say No’ campaign.
    Peace on Earth
    Wendy Nelson


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