Monday, April 27, 2009

The United States Verses Democracy

The United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been instructing the citizens of Lebanon about who should get their votes.

I may be a naive purist, but that's not democracy. Clinton isn't Lebanese, and she doesn't live there. She has no right to tell them what to do.

In that same thread, I don't approve of the United States or any other country interfering with Israeli politics. I don't even like diaspora Jews telling us whom to vote for.

I live in Israel and have lived in Israel all of my adult life. Most of that time I have lived in Shiloh.

I'm still an American citizen. I keep an up-to-date passport. According to American Law, I have the right to vote in United States Elections. But I don't vote. I don't vote because I live here in Israel.

Yes, I admit that I blog my opinions about American elections, but I don't instruct anyone about what they must do. I don't claim to know American needs better than those who live there. OK, part of the reason is because I'm a cynic, and I know that no matter who gets elected, they may "transform" into someone else's policies.

There's something extremely insidious about Clinton's telling the Lebanese for whom to vote. She doesn't want "the Islamic militant group Hezbollah " to prove its popular support. The New York Times, may call Hezbollah "militant," but we all know that they are terrorists and they want to destroy Israel. During that disastrous Olmertian Lebanese War a couple of years ago, the world kept trying to paint a picture showing Israel attacking innocent civilians, when we were trying to get at the Hezbollah terrorists who hid in civilian settings.

Clinton's "technique" bodes ill for world peace. You can't fix things if your diagnosis is faulty.


Michael W. said...

I was born in Israel and lived there till I was 10 years old (half my life). I now live in the US. I think that in a country that faces serious threats on the civilian population all the time such as Israel, citizens residing abroad (unless you are military or in the foreign service) should not vote if they are not there to face the consequences.

That's why I would never seek the right to vote in Israeli elections when I live in the US.

But what pisses me off is when European and American lefties leave comments on Haaretz articles saying "why isn't this man PM?", especially on Gideon Levy editorials.

Keli Ata said...

Hillary Clinton is trying to use her celebrity (and I use that word deliberately) to sway foreign elections on behalf of her boss, Barack Obama.

Obama as all other presidents is playing a high stakes game of chess, trying to move the pieces for some sort of military strategy that will not, with Obama at the helm, be in the best interests of the United States or Israel.

Batya said...

Michael, yes, we agree.

Keli, Obama doesn't have a stake there, and I don't think he understands the situation. The State department wants to fudge things. They want to separate between the terrorists and "civilians," but it's not so simple.

josh said...

When is the US going to understand the reverse psychology of its actions. In our neck of the woods, it's support of the Mazen, Abbas and PLO/FATAH, just makes the Arabs on the street suspicious of the preceived American puppets.

What would happen if Clinton came out supporting Hezbollah? Would not that take the wind out of their rhetoric? Would not that be a 'cool' and 'homey' way for Obama to warm up to new friends?

Kae Gregory said...

Sort of a tangent - sorry. There is a saying, "Don't be quick to attribute to malice when incompetence will do." Quite a few of Obama's appointments, while often brilliant, have displayed some pretty overwhelming incompetence. I don't like drawing this parallel but the risk of losing all traces of credibility with whomever might read this, the same could be said of early Nazi Germany. Early Nazi Germany successes did not come because of the brilliance of Hitler's associates, it came in spite of their incompetence. It came because he managed to inspire Germans to be true believers in Germany's greatness. Make no mistake, there are many, many true believers inspired by what the Obama phenomenon promises. Many of those true believers are adamantly anti-Israel.

Batya said...

josh, don't hold your breath. The United States doesn't listen, it just gives orders, and it thinks it smartest of all.

Kae, I remember reading some 1st person story of when jfk took office and how totally confused and idealistic some of his staff were. Actually, they got nothing accomplished, and lbj passed his laws.

The problem is that Obama has some very canny and experienced people running his show. That's why they included Clinton, who's just acting very Bush.