[Marxism] Reuven Kaminer on Obama

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jun 10 13:19:15 MDT 2008

Scoop: Barak Obama Is Not Che Guevara

For some reason, it is difficult for many friends in the left to grasp 
two seemingly contradictory ideas in their minds without an avalanche of 
confusion at every turn in the road. Is the following truth so hard to 
understand?  Obama, who is not the candidate of the left, was the only 
suitable strategic choice for the left.

The left, with few exceptions, overwhelmingly supported the candidacy of 
Barak Obama for the Democratic nomination. The left, with few 
exceptions, understood quite well that Obama is not the candidate of the 
left. Of course, here and there, there are good people who can develop 
illusions in the heat of the battle. But the overwhelming majority of 
those on the left who supported him understood that Obama is another 
representative of the political establishment of the powers that be in 
corporate America.

Barak Obama cannot be thrown out of the ranks of the revolution, despite 
the thundering demand of many dear friends, for the simple reason that 
he was never there. Many of these dear friends are beaming with a sense 
of superiority after Obama’s disgusting AIPAC performance. But it is not 
clear to whom they are saying “I told you so.”

The left, despite cynicism regarding its weakness, does exist. Because 
of its weakness, it has nowhere enough strength to mount a presidential 
campaign. In these conditions and in the light of the hawkishness of his 
opponents and the racist overtones of the campaign against him, the left 
identified, worked with, and supported Obama.  This strategy was 
dictated by the circumstances and there is nothing wrong with it.

The Name of the Game

The name of the game is to stay in close contact with the grass roots 
elements of the Obama campaign and to contribute to the defeat of John 
McCain in November. At the same time, it is incumbent on those on the 
left, who remain to the left of Obama, to find suitable opportunities to 
voice their criticism from within the campaign camp and from outside it. 
The left must send its message to the millions who joined Obama because 
they felt instinctively that he was going in their direction. These 
millions are the potential constituency of the left on the rise.

Heaven Help Us From Military Logic

The official line goes like this: If the Hamas continues to dare to 
trade attacks with the IDF, if the Hizballah continues to promise 
revenge on Israel, if the Iranians refuse to understand that they are in 
line for obliteration  – all this is the result of one simple fact: 
Israel has lost its deterrent power. The generals, who form the 
hegemonic political-military think-tank in Israel’s perpetual state of 
emergency are in the media, hour by hour, day by day to explain that 
Israel as a matter of national survival must teach our enemies a lesson 
that they never will forget. Deterrence will thereby be restored.  Q.E.D.

Our attack, by all accounts, is pending. It has been in the offing since 
it became clear to all concerned that the Arabs – instead of just 
sitting there - are using the time at their disposal to improve their 
armory. They buy, they smuggle, they buy on the sly, they develop, they 
perfect and they improvise. Now this being the undeniable truth, it is 
completely imperative, since war is inevitable because of a failure of 
our deterrent power, that “business” be taken care of as soon as possible.

The rising tension in Israel’s ruling circles is not about whether to 
mount an attack. It appears that there are some difficulties regarding 
who can give the relevant ok and just who to attack.  The Prime Minister 
is actually disabled by some form of diminished capacity – he can 
collect taxes but not declare war.  There are so many Arab countries 
that are potential candidates for some “bang and its over” therapy, how 
is even a general to know which is the right one?  In these 
circumstances, compromises are inevitable. The current suggestion is 
that Israel invade Gaza, arrange the massive execution of every Hamas 
figure from Prime-Minister to traffic cop, and then, get this, Israel 
will agree to a  long term cease fire.

The second cause for indecision is how to evaluate the impact of 
simultaneous war on three fronts, politically and logistically. Will an 
attack Gaza make it easier or harder to launch an attack on Iran? At 
what stage, if any, will war in the north and in the south force 
Hizballah to enter the fray?

Somebody even cracked a joke and asked how a war on three fronts would 
influence the progress of the peace talks with Abu Mazen and Bashar Al- 

The accepted wisdom is that the only competent people in Israel are 
generals and the only thing they are competent about is war. However, 
many nations have paid the price of countless victims to learn the 
lesson that war is too important a matter to be left to the discretion 
of generals.

Reuven Kaminer
PO Box 9013
Jerusalem 91090
Phone: 972-2-6414632

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