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Here we are at November 4th Election Day, order azulfidine as I continue to procrastinate walking around the block to vote. Why? There are a number of reasons, order azulfidine perhaps the main one being the fatigue from all the media pageantry and propaganda. I continue to wonder who exactly are these candidates I'm supposed to be voting for and do they represent the best interests of Americans and/or our country at large? Perhaps another reason stems from watching what I could of the debates.   I realized that 'Houston really had a problem' when I observed Joe Biden and Sarah Palin falling over each other, order azulfidine competing for who was more pro- Israel. It seems to me our candidates used to compete for who was more pro-American than the other. I'm not necessarily saying that either was any more or less sincere, order azulfidine other than at least they were focusing on the correct country where the election was being held. I have been involved in the world of politics for years now.   In these years I've learned a lot about our political system and how it works, order azulfidine and/or how it doesn't. I have come to wonder that, order azulfidine when and if I vote, order azulfidine am I enabling a corrupt and broken system, order azulfidine by placing my vote (on a ballot that may or may not be tabulated), order azulfidine for a candidate I cannot place any adequate, order azulfidine necessary trust? How do we remedy the lack of trust in our system that is so increasingly pervasive? I believe and know there are solutions. However, order azulfidine those solutions will require that Americans wake up and take an even more direct participation and activist stance, order azulfidine as with other citizens around the globe who are experiencing the same problems and issues with their elections as well. Of course my friends will be angry if I choose not to vote - as I have been in the past when I felt my friends who didn't vote, order azulfidine were either being apathetic or 'bitter' by not placing a vote. How I understand such an alternative position today. I wanted to share an article by a woman whose work I came across a few years ago and who has been someone I've grown to admire for her courage and for her own journey and awakenings into the world of Israel and it's increasing power and dominance over our own country and political system. I like most Americans was virtually unaware of the power such a small area of land encompasses over our nation, order azulfidine however the more I have learned, order azulfidine the more I realize how important it is for all of us to become more aware of the issues and policies dictating so much of the direction our nation is headed. I ask that you don't take my word or even Kathleen Christison's word for it, order azulfidine but begin searching and researching the issues surrounding Israel and Palestine, order azulfidine along with the Israeli Lobby, order azulfidine for yourself. I think this article is important because, order azulfidine even in its rather blunt tone (one gets tired of beating around the bush after years of being diplomatic*) I believe it reveals how we as Americans are  offered by our media what are solely, order azulfidine rather gross mischaracterizations and demonizations of individuals (primarily Muslim) and issues which call Israel and its policies into question. The level of accusatory, order azulfidine vendictive and hostile actions targeted at those who question the role of Israel and its policies is unprecedented. Order azulfidine    In addition, order azulfidine when any distortions of truth and fact are allowed to be promoted and perpetuated, order azulfidine I believe it is a dangerous and destructive precedent that is at the very, order azulfidine very least, order azulfidine not serving Americans in any way, order azulfidine shape or form. xoxo Connie McCain, order azulfidine Obama and Khalidi By KATHLEEN CHRISTISON I know Rashid Khalidi.  You, order azulfidine Senator McCain, order azulfidine are no Rashid Khalidi. And you, order azulfidine Senator Obama, order azulfidine are most certainly no Rashid Khalidi either. I don’t know Khalidi very well, order azulfidine but I interviewed him in 1989 for a book on Palestinian political views, order azulfidine and I’ve talked to him on the phone a few times since. I know that he is a superb scholar, order azulfidine as anyone else who has met him, order azulfidine listened to him speak, order azulfidine or read any of his many books knows. He is non-polemical, order azulfidine his tone in both writing and speaking is measured, order azulfidine he writes nothing except what can be backed up by solid evidence. He does not “bash” Israel, order azulfidine and does not “bash” the United States for unquestioningly supporting Israel; he writes only about Israeli and U.S. Order azulfidine policy in terms of how these policies affect Palestinians living under Israeli domination and Middle East peoples living under U.S. Order azulfidine hegemony. His criticism of Israel is reasoned, order azulfidine unemotional, order azulfidine and balanced.  He has frequently criticized the policies of the Palestinian leadership -- that PLO that McCain personally equated to neo-Nazis, order azulfidine that Sarah Palin mocked, order azulfidine and to which the McCain campaign has linked Khalidi -- in similar terms. It would dignify the charges against Khalidi too much to deny specifically that he is a terrorist or an anti-Semite or an Israel hater. Khalidi himself is wise to have ignored the charges, order azulfidine referring to the political atmosphere today, order azulfidine in his only statement on this imbroglio, order azulfidine as “this idiot wind.” The irony in this entire mess is that Khalidi has never been a PLO spokesman -- in fact, order azulfidine was chosen to advise the Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Madrid peace conference specifically because he was not linked to the PLO.  Israel’s condition for attending the conference – which the United States, order azulfidine as always, order azulfidine bowed to – was that no member of the Palestinian delegation be associated with the PLO.  It is a further irony that it would matter little even if Khalidi had been and were still a PLO spokesman. Do these idiot politicians not know that Israel recognized the PLO 15 years ago, order azulfidine that the U.S. Order azulfidine has been talking to the PLO ever since, order azulfidine that the PLO heads the recognized leadership of the Palestinians, order azulfidine the semi-governmental Palestinian Authority, order azulfidine that Bill Clinton hosted PLO leader Yasir Arafat and many of his PLO lieutenants in the White House 13 times during his tenure, order azulfidine that George Bush has hosted Mahmoud Abbas, order azulfidine current PA president and PLO leader, order azulfidine several times at the White House, order azulfidine that Israel is negotiating (after a fashion) with Abbas? It is perhaps easy to dismiss the McCain-Palin rantings as the desperate hate speech of rightwing nuts who have no other means of attacking Barack Obama.  The charges against Khalidi are obviously in the same vein as the “Obama is a Muslim/Obama associates with terrorists” charges. But what is totally unconscionable and unacceptable is Obama’s own reaction to the anti-Khalidi ravings. Although it is not surprising from a man who repudiated Jeremiah Wright, order azulfidine his pastor and friend for 20 years, order azulfidine Obama’s betrayal of Khalidi is outrageous and, order azulfidine frankly, order azulfidine quite slimy. After the McCain charges, order azulfidine Obama’s campaign hurried to issue a statement affirming, order azulfidine as its first order of business, order azulfidine Obama’s fealty to Israel and following this up with an assurance that Obama does not agree with Khalidi’s views. No denunciation of the anti-Semitic or the neo-Nazi charges against Khalidi; no recognition of Khalidi’s very reasoned, order azulfidine moderate scholarship; no indication of any loyalty to a friend.  Just a frightened, order azulfidine expedient, order azulfidine Obama-must-never-be-associated-with-criticism-of-Israel reaction. Thus have U.S. Order azulfidine politics fallen utterly and completely into the hands of Israel and its vociferous and moneyed supporters in the United States. This sorry episode is clear testimony to how abjectly U.S. Order azulfidine political discourse and virtually all U.S. Order azulfidine politicians have been absorbed into the Israel lobby’s pro-Israeli and specifically anti-Palestinian agenda.  It is also testimony to Barack Obama’s cold, order azulfidine calculating, order azulfidine and highly dishonorable political expediency. However much his political supporters might contend that he will change once elected, order azulfidine he continues to give the lie to that hope. The original article can be found at www.counterpunch.org Kathleen Christison is the author of two books on Palestinians and U.S. Order azulfidine policy on Palestine-Israel, order azulfidine and has a book forthcoming next year from Pluto Press, order azulfidine co-authored with Bill Christison, order azulfidine on the Israeli occupation and its impact on Palestinians.