Pepperdine University’s poll of Syria

Saudi and Qatari media have been touting a “poll of Syria”. It got my attention because I try to follow public opinion surveys in the region. Then I heard on a Saudi news channel (Al-Arabiyya TV, owned by King Fahd’s brother-in-law) that it was conducted by Pepperdine University. Of course, Arab viewers don’t know anything about this university (it has a great campus in Malibu by the way). They don’t know that it is a fanatically right-wing university with ties to Zionist evangelists. This is the university that hired Edwin Meese and Ken Start, for potato’s sake. So I got more curious because I know that the university has no background in Middle East studies whatsoever. I then learned that the poll was conducted “in secret” (don’t tell anyone) by Pepperdine University in conjunction with a Zionist outfit in LA, called Democracy Council.

The best part of the CNN report (see link) about the survey is the reference to James Prince (a Zionist non-expert of the Middle East) as “leading expert on Arab civil society”. If that does not get you a chuckle, Family Guy is not your show. Regarding the results? They don’t matter.

The entire affair is suspect, and the notion that they were able “to train” a staff (that reads to me that they are Lebanese right-wingers) and send them to Syria is not credible.

Did they survey people in Dir`a for example? And how did the face-to-face interview go?

My favorite part of the bogus survey is that a mere 5% of Syrian had negative opinions of the protesters. That is really delicious. So according to the survey, the regime has fallen and all `Alawites are now opposed to the regime. We need to establish a center to monitor and critique Middle East news analysis in the Western press and point out the daily dosage of trash.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Mary Dejevsky: Will Israel Still Exist in 2048?

By Mary Dejevsky
This time last week the diplomatic world was on tenterhooks, as President Mahmoud Abbas prepared to make Palestine’s claim to recognition at the UN General Assembly. Seven days on, his historic demand languishes in a vague limbo, as Americans and Europeans try to pre-empt an ill-tempered stand-off in the Security Council and the US veto that would surely follow. The idea seems to be to try to deflect the Palestinians with a promise of revamped peace talks with Israel.

Whether or not this tactic works, however, there can be little doubt that one day, sooner rather than later, a fully fledged Palestinian state will come into being. There have been many mis-starts, including the 2006 elections that much of the West rejected retrospectively when Hamas emerged as the biggest party. But the momentum is inexorable. The Arab Spring, better described as the Arab awakening, can only speed the process along.

The bigger and longer-term question relates not to the existence, or even the viability of a Palestinian state – which should be a given. The demographics, economics and politics all point the same way. It relates to the future, and long-term survival, of Israel. In short, will Israel, as the Jewish state, still be around to celebrate its centenary in 2048?

Let me make it absolutely clear: the question is not whether Israel should continue to exist. That is beyond doubt. It is a legally constituted state with full UN recognition. It is a stable, albeit fractious, democracy and has survived more than 60 years in a distinctly hostile neighbourhood. It has created a thriving economy, with intensive agriculture and advanced industry, from almost nothing. It has a rich cultural life. It is not alone in having borders that are not finally demarcated and are regarded by some as illegal. The fact that it has enemies who withhold recognition does not negate its legitimacy.
No, the question is not whether Israel should survive, but whether it can and will survive. And here there must be room at the very least for doubt. A string of recent developments contains hints that the state of Israel, as currently constituted, may not be a permanent feature of the international scene.

One is the new porousness of its borders. Despite massive spending on security and recent, controversial, efforts to erect physical barriers along what Israel defines as its border with the Palestinian Authority, its other frontiers have become, or threaten to become, porous. On several weekends in May and June, Palestinians in Syria breached the border with Israel. They did not use overwhelming force. Numbers were enough, against Israeli troops – rightly – reluctant to mow down dozens of young people.

The incursions appeared to be encouraged, if not actually incited, by the Syrian authorities seeking a diversion from their own difficulties. They have since ceased; but the threat remains, and could soon escalate were the situation in Syria to deteriorate. If, in the worst case, Syria descended into civil war, chaos could present an even greater danger to Israel because there would be no one in Damascus with the authority to call the crowds of frustrated young Palestinians back.

Some hundreds of Egyptian activists demolish a concrete wall built around a building housing the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Egypt, to protect it against demonstrators, as they raise their national Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. Photo: Amr Nabil / APSomething similar, perhaps even less tractable, applies in the south, on Israel’s border with Egypt. Sinai is a vast territory and hard to patrol. Security on the Egyptian side has already deteriorated as a by-product of the fall of the Mubarak regime, and there have been attacks on Israeli convoys in the Negev. If unrest in Syria and Egypt were to extend to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, the consequences for Israel’s security could be even worse.

Add to these growing security problems the demographics – very young and fast-increasing populations in the countries all around – and it is clear that present trends will not easily be reversed. It is just about possible to imagine Israel resorting to the sort of impenetrable fortifications that extend along stretches of the US frontier with Mexico, but the investment would be huge, the message one of isolation, and the effect on daily life in Israel almost entirely negative.

A second reason why Israelis might be justified in having qualms about their future relates to the political aftermath of the Arab Spring. For a long time the fear was that any change in Arab countries would bring Islamist regimes to power, with fiercely anti-Israel agendas. That still cannot be ruled out. But what has happened so far could have more insidious consequences for Israel. Not only is the Jewish state losing its kudos as the sole democracy in the region, but those Arab leaders who actively supported peace have lost, or are losing, power, and the US is giving up on intervention.

One hope was that the emergence of more democratic regimes around Israel might foster a climate of normalisation and mutual respect. That may yet happen. But another effect is that leaders will have to be more responsive to the wishes of their people. As can already be discerned with Egypt, this may not bode well for stability in Arab-Israel relations. With the Arab Spring also bolstering the self-confidence of the Palestinians – a factor in Mr Abbas’s decision to take his case to the UN last week – the political balance in the region is shifting.

A third reason for doubt about Israel’s future lies within the Jewish state itself. With the early pioneering spirit fading, and even the Holocaust – dare one hazard – less of a unifying force, Israel is not the same country it was 60, 30, even 10 years ago. And demography means that it will continue to change, with the Arab, Orthodox Jewish and second-generation Russian populations increasing much faster than other groups.

The Israel of the next 30 years is likely to be more divided, less productive, more inward-looking and more hawkish than it is today – but without the financial means and unquestioning sense of duty that inspired young people to defend their homeland by force of arms.
Recent mass protests against inequality and the cost of middle-class living also suggest that the social solidarity that has prevailed hitherto could break down. In such circumstances, it must be asked how much longer Israel can maintain the unity it has always presented against what it terms the “existential threat”.

An Israel whose borders are leaky, which is surrounded by states that are at once chaotic and assertive, and whose citizens are less able or willing than they were to fight, could face real serious questions about its viability. The choice then might be between a fortress state, explicitly protected by nuclear weapons, and a state so weak that association, or federation, with the burgeoning independent Palestine would become plausible: the so-called one-state solution by other means.

In either event, those with other options – the younger, more educated, more cosmopolitan sections of the population – might well seek their future elsewhere, leaving the homeland of their ancestors’ dreams a husk of its former self.

The emotive call, “Next year in Jerusalem” would be the wistful vestige of a noble ambition overtaken by cruel demographic and geopolitical reality.

You can also read this article on The Independent.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Why I oppose Palestine Statehood Bid

By Sameh A. Habeeb


Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) – Not accidently, this is the third time we announce a Palestinian state. The first time to have a state announced was on September 1948. It was announced by the commons of Palestine government. The second time was in Algeria in 1987. And here we go, this September we announce it for the third time.
Many Palestinians are cheering up for the Palestinian Authority (PA) Bid. Many of them are well educated and even experts in their fields of law, politics and journalism. Yet, when it comes to the Bid, their knowledge and experience seems narrow. They get very passionate. Indeed, we Palestinians are emotional always and this might be the reason. Protests are taking place in the West Bank, where Fatah movement as well as the PA are asking people to take it into streets. In fact, many are participating zealously. Certainly, the feeling is inexpressible when one gets an independence and freedom. The prospect of it materialising on the ground will be a life-changing experience for all the Palestinians when, we all will be emancipated from the occupier’s oppression. However, this should not be done the way it has been within that Bid.

I simply oppose it because I was never asked what I want as a Palestinian. I was marginalised like millions of Palestinians in the Diaspora and the refugee camps. The PA and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) do not have the mandate to take such a bid to the UN. PLO created PA long time ago to self-administrate the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, PA pretends to represent all the Palestinians either in the occupied territories or in the diaspora. PA and its leadership have been managing the political arena since Oslo. People in the Palestinian territories made it clear in the elections in 2006 that they did not approve PA as their representative. PA is referred to as Fatah here.
Having said that, PLO is another story, it was the legitimate representative of the Palestinians but not anymore. I’m not adopting Hamas stance which calls on reforming the PLO. Rather, I’m suggesting my personal view based on facts. PLO used to be the sole representative of all Palestinians when once; it had its own parliament called “Palestinian National Council”. During that period, refugees’ own voice was heard through their representatives from Chile in Latin America till the refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria. It has been almost 16 years where the last elections of the PNC took place. Does not this put the PLO’s legitimately on the edge?
I think going to the UN without consulting the Palestinian People undermines the right of majority of Palestinians. The majority is being marginalized. It is apparent that a small group of people is monopolising the Palestinian decision. I clearly blame Fatah or call it the PLO or the PA, at the end they are all the same. I also, blame Hamas. Hamas was not clear on the Bid. Many of its senior officials supported the bid while others ignored it. Hamas has given the PA a cover to go for that Bid through the national unity deal signed in Egypt.

The nature of the Bid is really unclear to many people. But what is vivid here is that, Palestinians via PA are officially giving up on many of the principles of an entire nation. The bid adopts 1967 borders as the borders of that state. Why the PLO did not adopt other decisions to base its bid on? The PA /PLO are saying that they are in huge battle with Israel and the US to pass this bid. If it is that case, why cannot the PA base that bid on partition resolution 181? Sadly, the PA is being pushed in the corner for that bid. No one has pushed it. It has pushed itself because of the endless rounds of failure negotiations which have lasted for years. PA went to that Bid after realising that Israel is never ready for peace. The bid step was hasty and not profoundly studied. Even, us, Palestinians we are not familiarized about that Bid. We don’t know its contents, ramifications or its merits if there is any!

Obviously, the bid if passed will create new facts. Palestinians will officially adopt two state solution. Facts on the ground will make it hard to implement it and create that state. Yet, the whole cause will be limited to a dispute on borders. Israel will be asked to withdraw to these borders. Yet, major issues like Right of Return, Jerusalem, Water and other issues will not be addressed. The entire cause of a nation that has been ethnically cleansed will be an issue of a dispute between two people. Even, we will never see Israelis apologizing for us, same as the Germany did with the Jews.

Some experts consider the PA move as an intelligent plan to isolate Israel. They think the Bid will further seclude Israel after it has lost many key allies like Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia among other Arab regimes. Other experts suggest that this Bid is a move from the PA to regain its lost popularity on the Palestinian street. Without a doubt, there are many explanations on the issue. But the key element here is that the Bid does not represent the whole Palestinian nation. No mandate has been granted to the PA who lacks the legitimacy given by people.

PA and its spokespersons are counting on that step to reach peace. Whilst, facts on the ground put forward solid harsh realities. What will be the future of Israeli settlements on that state? Will we have our own real independence from Israel? Will Israel grant us sovereignty on that state? Will I fly one day from London to Gaza airport easily without being scrutinised by Israel? Will I visit the West Bank without any interrogation? All these questions and others will be left for the PA to answer, if the deliberation on the Bid is ever allowed to materialise in UN in the presence of Israel and the supposed peace broker the United States.

By Sameh A. Habeeb

Founder of the Palestine Telegraph Newspaper

Photo by Sameh A. Habeeb

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The Revolution Begins at Home: An Open Letter to Join the Wall Street Occupation

(Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/pweiskel08)
What is occurring on Wall Street right now is truly remarkable. For over 10 days, in the sanctum of the great cathedral of global capitalism, the dispossessed have liberated territory from the financial overlords and their police army.

They have created a unique opportunity to shift the tides of history in the tradition of other great peaceful occupations from the sit-down strikes of the 1930s to the lunch-counter sit-ins of the 1960s to the democratic uprisings across the Arab world and Europe today.

While the Wall Street occupation is growing, it needs an all-out commitment from everyone who cheered the Egyptians in Tahrir Square, said “We are all Wisconsin,” and stood in solidarity with the Greeks and Spaniards. This is a movement for anyone who lacks a job, housing or healthcare, or thinks they have no future.

Our system is broken at every level. More than 25 million Americans are unemployed. More than 50 million live without health insurance. And perhaps 100 million Americans are mired in poverty, using realistic measures. Yet the fat cats continue to get tax breaks and reap billions while politicians compete to turn the austerity screws on all of us.

At some point the number of people occupying Wall Street – whether that’s five thousand, ten thousand or fifty thousand – will force the powers that be to offer concessions. No one can say how many people it will take or even how things will change exactly, but there is a real potential for bypassing a corrupt political process and to begin realizing a society based on human needs not hedge fund profits.

After all, who would have imagined a year ago that Tunisians and Egyptians would oust their dictators?
At Liberty Park, the nerve center of the occupation, more than a thousand people gather every day to debate, discuss and organize what to do about our failed system that has allowed the 400 richest Americans at the top to amass more wealth than the 180 million Americans at the bottom.

It’s astonishing that this self-organized festival of democracy has sprouted on the turf of the masters of the universe, the men who play the tune that both political parties and the media dance to. The New York Police Department, which has deployed hundreds of officers at a time to surround and intimidate protesters, is capable of arresting everyone and clearing Liberty Plaza in minutes. But they haven’t, which is also astonishing.

That’s because assaulting peaceful crowds in a public square demanding real democracy – economic and not just political – would remind the world of the brittle autocrats who brutalized their people demanding justice before they were swept away by the Arab Spring. And the state violence has already backfired. After police attacked a Saturday afternoon march that started from Liberty Park the crowds only got bigger and media interest grew.

The Wall Street occupation has already succeeded in revealing the bankruptcy of the dominant powers – the economic, the political, media and security forces. They have nothing positive to offer humanity, not that they ever did for the Global South, but now their quest for endless profits means deepening the misery with a thousand austerity cuts.

Even their solutions are cruel jokes. They tell us that the “Buffett Rule” would spread the pain by asking the penthouse set to sacrifice a tin of caviar, which is what the proposed tax increase would amount to. Meanwhile, the rest of us will have to sacrifice healthcare, food, education, housing, jobs and perhaps our lives to sate the ferocious appetite of capital.

That’s why more and more people are joining the Wall Street occupation. They can tell you about their homes being foreclosed upon, months of grinding unemployment or minimum-wage dead-end jobs, staggering student debt loads, or trying to live without decent healthcare. It’s a whole generation of Americans with no prospects, but who are told to believe in a system that can only offer them Dancing With The Stars and pepper spray to the face.

Yet against every description of a generation derided as narcissistic, apathetic and hopeless they are staking a claim to a better future for all of us.

That’s why we all need to join in. Not just by liking it on Facebook, signing a petition at change.org or retweeting protest photos, but by going down to the occupation itself.

There is great potential here. Sure, it’s a far cry from Tahrir Square or even Wisconsin. But there is the nucleus of a revolt that could shake America’s power structure as much as the Arab world has been upended.

Instead of one to two thousand people a day joining in the occupation there needs to be tens of thousands of people protesting the fat cats driving Bentleys and drinking thousand-dollar bottles of champagne with money they looted from the financial crisis and then from the bailouts while Americans literally die on the streets.

To be fair, the scene in Liberty Plaza seems messy and chaotic. But it’s also a laboratory of possibility, and that’s the beauty of democracy. As opposed to our monoculture world, where political life is flipping a lever every four years, social life is being a consumer and economic life is being a timid cog, the Wall Street occupation is creating a polyculture of ideas, expression and art.

Yet while many people support the occupation, they hesitate to fully join in and are quick to offer criticism. It’s clear that the biggest obstacles to building a powerful movement are not the police or capital – it’s our own cynicism and despair.

Perhaps their views were colored by the New York Times article deriding protestors for wishing to “pantomime progressivism” and “Gunning for Wall Street with faulty aim.” Many of the criticisms boil down to “a lack of clear messaging.”

But what’s wrong with that? A fully formed movement is not going to spring from the ground. It has to be created. And who can say what exactly needs to be done? We are not talking about ousting a dictator; though some say we want to oust the dictatorship of capital.

There are plenty of sophisticated ideas out there: end corporate personhood; institute a “Tobin Tax” on stock purchases and currency trading; nationalize banks; socialize medicine; fully fund government jobs and genuine Keynesian stimulus; lift restrictions on labor organizing; allow cities to turn foreclosed homes into public housing; build a green energy infrastructure.

But how can we get broad agreement on any of these? If the protesters came into the square with a pre-determined set of demands it would have only limited their potential. They would have either been dismissed as pie in the sky – such as socialized medicine or nationalize banks – or if they went for weak demands such as the Buffett Rule their efforts would immediately be absorbed by a failed political system, thus undermining the movement.

That’s why the building of the movement has to go hand in hand with common struggle, debate and radical democracy. It’s how we will create genuine solutions that have legitimacy. And that is what is occurring down at Wall Street.

Now, there are endless objections one can make. But if we focus on the possibilities, and shed our despair, our hesitancy and our cynicism, and collectively come to Wall Street with critical thinking, ideas and solidarity we can change the world.

How many times in your life do you get a chance to watch history unfold, to actively participate in building a better society, to come together with thousands of people where genuine democracy is the reality and not a fantasy?

For too long our minds have been chained by fear, by division, by impotence. The one thing the elite fear most is a great awakening. That day is here. Together we can seize it.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Syria MP Khaled Abboud to Al-Manar Website: Conspiracy Reached Dead-End!

Hussein Assi
Syria MP Khaled Abboud to Al-Manar Website:
Conspiracy Reached Dead-End!
  • Greetings to Our Patriarch… Beshara Rahi!
  • US at Side of Armed Gangs against Army
  • Syrians Understood Conspiracy, Toppled It
  • Syrians Delivered Messages to US Ambassador
  • Americans Must Return to Their Conscience
  • Lebanon at Its Best Times, alongside Syria
  • Patriarch Rahi at One Trench with Resistance
  • Some Defeated Lebanese Seek to Be Ride

Syrian Member of Parliament Khaled Abboud declared that the statements made by President Bashar Assad, in which he said that the crisis has ended and that the Syrian cities started to restore stability, were realistic, and emphasized that Syrians have actually dismantled the scene and overthrew the conspiracy targeting them. He pointed out that the open war against Syria reached a dead-end.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Manar Website, Abboud spoke of a series of messages delivered by the Syrians to the Americans, including US ambassador to Damascus Robert Ford, to stop meddling in Syrian affairs. He said the Syrian accusations to American officials of encouraging violence against the army exceed denunciation to be a real warning.

While noting that Lebanon was an independent and mature entity, he expressed belief that the political map of Lebanon was today at its best times despite the existence of some remarks, and criticized at the same time those he called “fugitive constituents” who were internally defeated, in reference to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Abboud hailed Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi’s latest positions, noting that the patriarch became at the same trench with the Resistance, and thus turned to be the patriarch of Lebanese and Syrian people altogether.

CONSPIRACY ENDED…

Syrian MP Khaled Abboud told Al-Manar Website that the statements made by President Bashar Assad in which he said that the crisis has ended and that the Syrian cities started to restore stability were realistic. He pointed to the defense strategy set by the Syrians to deal with the issue, a strategy based on dismantling the scene by understanding all its aspects. He noted that it was not a secret anymore that the United States is standing at the side of armed gangs against the security forces and the army.

Abboud reiterated that there was an open war against Syria. “Otherwise, there would be no explanation for this political and media aggression, the decisions to besiege Syria at all levels and the clear threats against Syrian stability,” he said.

He declared that the Syrian scene was dismantled, and noted that the conspiracy has reached a dead-end after Syrians got rid of the violence acts.

MORE THAN DENUNCIATION…

Answering a question about the incident of throwing US ambassador with stones and tomatoes, Abboud said this incident was not isolated, and noted that this ambassador was targeted by the Syrian people because of his inciting role against the Syrian leadership, since the beginning of the crisis. While refusing to either legitimizing or condemning this aggression, he noted that there was an open space for people at legal and ethical levels to do whatever they think to be right.

Syrian demonstrators threw US ambassador Robert Ford and other US diplomats on Thursday with stones and tomatoes as they were visiting an opposition figure in Damascus. It was the second attack on US diplomats since the protests erupted in Syria in March. In July, following a visit by Ford to the city of Hama, Syrian protesters attacked the US embassy compound in Damascus.

Abboud spoke of a series of messages delivered by Syrians through this kind of acts. “Syrians are telling the Americans to stop meddling in their own affairs. They are telling them that, even if there was a conflict among Syrians, Americans have nothing to do with it. Syrians have understood the conspiracy. Thus, Americans and Europeans must return to their conscience and be assured that the Syrian leadership will remain solid.”

He noted that the accusations launched by an official source within the Syrian Foreign Ministry to American officials of encouraging violence against the army exceed denunciation to be a real warning. “It is a strong message to Americans. It is a direct accusation and a condemnation message. But it is also a clear warning.”

LEBANON AT ITS BEST TIMES

Commenting on the Lebanese stances from the Syrian crisis, Abboud said that the Lebanese entity was an independent and adult entity. “Lebanese are able to administer their affairs themselves. Lebanon is nowadays able to take decisions, and is stronger than ever,” he declared, as he noted that the political map for Lebanon, at both governmental and religious levels, was formed of solid forces committed to defend the region and its people, including the Syrian nation. He said that this map was at its best times, despite the presence of some remarks, given that Lebanese in general stand at the side of the Resistance and the government.

He highlighted that the meeting of Syrian President Bashar Assad with a number of Lebanese prominent figures comes in this framework. He criticized at the same time those he called the “fugitive constituents” who were internally defeated, in reference to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He said these sides will not be able to triumph, given that they are the exception.

PATRIARCH OF LEBANESE AND SYRIANS

To conclude, the Syrian MP hailed the latest statements made by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, and offered his greeting to this patriarch who became the patriarch of both Lebanese and Syrians at the same time. “When our nations are targeted, we see such people taking positive stances,” he said.
While noting that Patriarch Rahi’s stances were historic, he said that the visit made by the Syrian religious delegation came to confirm this national scene. He said that the patriarch proved to be at the same trench with the resistance.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Palestinians in the W. Bank: era of fear has gone forever

[ 30/09/2011 – 09:03 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Hundreds of Palestinian families have organized a sit-in at the center of Al-Khalil city, south of the West Bank, calling for the release of all Palestinian political detainees in the PA jails in the West Bank.
The sit-inners also expressed their disapproval for not implementing the Palestinian national reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo a couple of months ago, saying that hundreds of their sons and relatives were still under detention in harsh incarceration conditions.
They also shrugged-off the PLO-Fatah step for Palestine’s full membership in the UN, asserting that those who indeed want liberty for their people shouldn’t chase and arrest them without charges.
“Fatah movement should first release all Palestinian political detainees in the PA jails before urging the Israeli occuaption to do so? Indeed, Mahmoud Abbas should provide internal freedom for his people before flying to the UN and apply the statehood bid,” said the sit-inners.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

US Goes from Hero to Zero on Palestine Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 
      
From the Streets Paved with Gold to the Land of a Brow Beaten Populace That’s No Longer The Envy of the World    

USA Goes from Land of Freedom and Opportunity to Land of Bandits, Con Men, and Slave Traitors       

 In the summer of 1945 the USA was the hero of the world. We just finished “saving” the world from the expansionist plans of Adolf Hitler and his Axis buddies as we ushered in a new American century. It was the best of times!

During this time, in general, the global growth in freedom, liberty, and economic opportunity grew. Starting with a global population about 2 billion at the time ending in 2000 with a global population of 6 billion, the world saw amazing change and prosperity, mostly led by a USA who’s ideas and ingenuity dominated the dreams and aspirations of billions; rightfully so.

My own family, Palestinians living in a struggling war torn terrorized refugee camp always talked about coming to America. They believed the streets were paved with gold and they were right. After living in a refugee camp for 12 years with many brothers and sisters, through amazing fate in 1961, they came to America with nothing in their pockets but hopes and dreams.

After many years of hard work, the family prospered enjoying the American Dream they heard about back when bombs were being dropped on their heads by forces they did NOT understand. Each member of the family has their own tract house, car, jobs, and peace in their time; paradise with a some shish kebob on the barby! Not too bad!

It’s the story of millions of immigrants that prospered during the American Century that was our outstanding and successful 20th century.

Fast forward to 2000, we began a new path into the abyss that would see the American century decline and its influence around world knocked around without mercy.

In 2011, we see the results of the US inability to sustain it’s global leadership. The ultimate insult and climax is being witnessed this week as the US has been forced to trash it’s values and reputation in favor of becoming a pariah state as it VETOS the request for Palestinian Statehood at the U.N.

As 5 million plus Palestinians live in camps under occupation in the 4th most densely populated region in the world, the US stands alone with Israel as the only nations who refuse to acknowledge the right to self-determination lamely coming up with excuse after excuse. It’s pathetic and Anti-American!
How did the U.S. get so wrongly on the side of freedom, justice and liberty. What happened to the American Century and why was it abandoned for this pariah state status.

As it stands, America is no longer that land that my family dreamed of where the streets were golden. Instead, as Palestinians lay in their broken streets under guard by their Israeli masters, the global community is in shock that America would so poorly ignore what they once stood for and now abdicate as they embrace the greed mongers who force their hands to act so callously.

It’s shocking, disappointing, and frankly beyond sad because a successful America meant so much to so many. It’s always important to have that place to aspire to; a place to look up to and say “someday…..”.

In fact, I long for those days that our family once dreamed about. Instead, sadly, my kids face a new world order where the USA is just another country where the government no longer has the interests of its people at heart. Instead, the global predator highjackers rape and pillage the USA leaving, we the people, pointing fingers at one another looking for scapegoats wherever we can find them.

Now we’re left with the legacy of going from hero to zero and we don’t even know how it happened. We think the Mexicans are robbing us or some terrorist in Pakistan. We have no clue and we don’t even know what to do about it. It’s truly sad.

Hey, gotta go, my mindnumbing Snookie is on TV and I want to know what’s the situation! Urgh!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Johnny Punish is a musician, artist, entertainer, businessman, investor, life coach, and syndicated columnist. Educated at University of Nevada Las Vegas, his articles appear in Veterans Today and his Johnny Punish Blog. His art music is promoted by Peapolz Media Records and played on net radio at Last.fm and more.

2011 copyright – Johnny Punish

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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