Archive | December 24th, 2011

Dorothy Online Newsletter


Hi Everyone,

And to those of you who celebrate Christmas, a very happy holiday.  Being that it is the 24th, meaning that many of you will very likely not be at the computer much today, and also the fact that you have ½ an hour video to watch, there are but 3 items below.  I begin with the happier of the items—Christmas in Bethlehem, which is not quite as happy as it might have been had there not been a wall surrounding the city and occupation bearing down on the Palestinians.  Still, there is/was a celebration, and I hope that at least it brightened the day a little or much for Palestinian Christians.


Item 2 is very brief.  It is another example of Palestinian freedom of movement.


Item 3 is ‘Today in Palestine.’  I got so upset with the news in the first several sections that I almost left off reading the remaining summaries and articles.  But the final 2 sections are lighter.  Demolitions and all the rest that Palestinians have to put up with do not brighten my day!  Sorry to send you these on a holiday, especially one whose theme is peace.  Would that we had some.


Again, wishing all my Christian friends a very happy Christmas.  I have always liked the holiday, even though I’m Jewish and secular.  But one does not have to be Christian or religious to enjoy all that goes with the holiday—the carols, the lights, the tree, the decorated store windows, and in Austria and Germany the Christmas stalls with wonderful hot cider and roasted chestnuts.  Enjoy.




 1  Haaretz

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thousands gather to celebrate Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

Holiday expected to draw 90,000 visitors to Bethlehem, with the climax being the midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity, Christmas Eve.

By Reuters and The Associated Press

Thousands of pilgrims, tourists and local Christians gather in the biblical West Bank town of Bethlehem on Saturday to celebrate Christmas Eve, where Jesus is said to have been born.

By early evening, the Israeli military, which controls movement in and out of town, said some 55,000 visitors, including foreigners and Arab Christians from Israel, had reached Bethlehem.

Palestinian officials in Bethlehem said that with local tourists included, overall turnout was 120,000 – about 30 percent higher than last year.

The number was expected to rise throughout the evening.Israel’s Tourism Ministry said it expects 90,000 visitors for the holiday.

Ministry spokeswoman Lydia Weitzman said that number is the same as last year’s record-breaking tally, but was surprisingly high considering the turmoil in the Arab world and the U.S.­and European economic downturns.

Bethlehem Mayor Victor Batarseh said he hopes this year’s celebrations will bring Palestinians closer to their dream of statehood. With peace talks stalled with Israel, Palestinians this year made a unilateral bid for recognition at the United Nations and were accepted as a member by UNESCO, the UN cultural agency.

“We are celebrating this Christmas hoping that in the near future we’ll get our right to self-determination our right to establish our own democratic, secular Palestinian state on the Palestinian land. That is why this Christmas is unique,” Batarseh told The Associated Press.

Bethlehem is today surrounded on three sides by a barrier Israel built to stop Palestinian militants from attacking Israel. Palestinians say the barrier damaged their economy.

Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the Roman Catholic Church’s head clergyman in the Holy Land, crossed through a massive metal gate in the barrier, in a traditional midday procession from Jerusalem on Saturday.

“We ask the child of Bethlehem to give us the peace we are in desperate need for, peace in the Middle East, peace in the Holy Land, peace in the heart and in our families,” Twal said before heading to the Church of the Nativity, where he was to celebrate Midnight Mass.

The number of Christians in the West Bank is on the decline, and many speak of persecution by the Muslim majority, but always anonymously, fearing retribution.

Christians have even lost their majority in Bethlehem where more than two-thirds of the some 50,000 Palestinian residents are now Muslim.

“It’s really hectic, but everybody is happy so it’s really nice to be here,” said Emily, a tourist from Denmark.

“And, well, it’s just so nice to experience everything with people who believe in the same thing.”

The number of foreign visitors to Bethlehem has risen steadily in the past few years, encouraged by a decline in the Israeli-Palestinian violence that often marred the occasion in the past.

“Obviously it’s very special to be at this place where Jesus was born, as part of a tradition of the Christian church,” said Ted Settle, an American pilgrim.

“It’s very meaningful to be here with the people of Palestine who have endured so much hardship, to be here where Jesus was raised and taught about justice and peace.”

Local Palestinian police with automatic weapons patrol the streets of Bethlehem, with Israeli troops controlling the nearby concrete wall and checkpoint on the road to Jerusalem.

In Manger Square, tourists mingled with locals, many of whom wore red and white Santa caps as an Arabic rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” played over a sound system.


2  Forwarded

by Sam B

Just another day


3.  Today in Palestine

December  23, 2011


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Fanatic Zio-Nazi Rabbi Who Teaches “Goyim Slavery” Comes to US


Zio-Nazi Rabbi who teaches that “the sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews” plans to tap support of Sephardic Jews in US


The Forward, Nathan Guttman


Shas Rising Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, right, wants to raise the profile of Sephardic Jews worldwide.

Washington — In its 30 years of existence, Shas has evolved from a marginal ethnic political group to Israel’s fourth largest party in the Knesset and is today the unchallenged kingmaker of Israeli politics.

Its leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, as quoted in Israel’s Jerusalem Post, teaches:

The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews, according to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the head of Shas’s Council of Torah Sages and a senior Sephardi adjudicator.

“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel,” he said in his weekly Saturday night sermon on the laws regarding the actions non-Jews are permitted to perform on Shabbat.

Now, Shas — or in its full name, the Sephardic Torah Guardians Movement — is attempting to establish a beachhead among American Sephardic Jews and, it hopes, replicate its success in Israel. On December 4, the group launched its United States affiliate, American Friends of Shas, based in Brooklyn.

The new organization’s goals are still in flux and, while activists agree its main mission should be raising the profile of Shas in America, some are also calling for active fundraising to support the party’s operations in Israel.

Beyond these goals, the affiliate’s founders also hope to unite Sephardic American Jews under the leadership of Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, Shas’s founder and spiritual leader, who is revered as the most important rabbinic authority in the Sephardic world.

American Friends of Shas activists believe that such a consolidation of leadership could help elevate the standing of Orthodox Sephardic Jews, who often feel left out of the Ashkenazi-dominated American Jewish organizational world.

Jewish Supremacist – Rabbi David Algaze – “Jerusalem is Not a City of Three Religions”

“Associating with a very powerful leader and a very powerful organization can give us a sense of pride,” said Rabbi David Algaze, who chaired the founding meeting of American Friends of Shas.

Rabbi Algaze added that while he did not believe there is prejudice against Sephardic Jews in the U.S., there is a “subconscious bias” that has made members of the community almost entirely absent from the Jewish communal leadership.

Calls to join the new organization were posted in recent weeks on billboards in Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn and New Jersey.

The official launch took place, as first reported by the Jewish Star, a Long Island-based newspaper, with Rabbi Ovadia Yossef’s personal aide, Zvi Hakak, greeting participants on behalf of the 91-year-old sage.

“The dream,” Hakak said in the meeting, “is to raise the image of Sephardic Jews.”

[Editors Note: Before the end of WWII, other Jewish Supremacists, the Irgun, were actually running coast to coast fundraising tours to fund their killing of British soldiers in Palestine.

The British Embassy complained bitterly at the time that while Tommies were dying to free Europe and save those left in the camps, that we allowed this terrorist organization to raise money here. But U. S. Politicians gave the poor Brits the bad news, “We are sorry, but as a political reality there is nothing we can do.”

Hear some Hebrew Klan gospel straight from the horses mouth, a horse with a suit…  Jim W. Dean]

YouTube – Veterans Today – – Rabbi Algaze

 The group plans to incorporate as a tax-exempt charitable organization.

Shas Knessett Member – Nissam Zev

The driving force behind the initiative, Israeli Knesset member Nissim Zeev, was among the original founders of the Shas party in Israel.

“Our main goal was to have a channel in which Shas’s political views could be expressed in America,” Zeev told the Forward in a December 13 phone interview. “It is also very important for us to unite Sephardic communities in the U.S. around the party and around our rabbi, Ovadia Yossef.”

Shas started off in Israel as a social-issue party, focused on the needs of its key constituency — Sephardic Orthodox Israelis, many of whom were from the struggling classes in Israeli society.

Shas established its own government-funded school network, which gained marked popularity in poor Sephardic towns. This, in turn, increased the party’s popular support.

[Editors Note: So what these hustlers are going to do, of course, is launder tax deductible funding from here into the Israeli political process. Don’t hold your breath for a Justice Dept. investigation. They won’t do it. But we will at least get them on the record by officially asking them to…Jim W. Dean]

The party initially held centrist views on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and supported the Oslo Accords. But Shas has since moved to the right. As a member of the ruling government coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, the party has opposed any freeze in Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.


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Palestinian Peace Vigil


Saturday, 7 January 2012

12:00 until 13:30


Outside Waterstones, near the Bull Ring, High Street


Palestinian Peace Vigil to commerate the victims of ZIO-NAZI HOLOCAUST in Gaza.

Three years ago on this date Zio-Nazi’s launched a devastating HOLOCAUST on the people of Gaza which resulted in the deaths of nearly 1,500 Palestinians.

Zio-Nazi called it Operation Cast Lead, in the Arab and Muslim World they called it the Gaza HOLOCAUST.




Foreign Ministry sources describe outrage in wake of what they call a European-led assault on IsraHell, interference in IsraHell’s internal affairs.

Ed note–readers of this site will remember that we here at TUT have maintained from the beginning that all Israel’s ‘noise’ concerning the ugliness of the nutcase settlers and the violence they perpetrate against Palestinians was just that–noise–designed to contrive the appearance that Israel is a tolerant, liberal society where bigotry has no place.

The following story from Haaretz is proof that indeed this is the case. Remember that what is at issue here is the same violence being perpetrated by nutcase Jewish settlers, but when SOMEONE ELSE (non-Jews) is criticizing it, it becomes ‘disgusting’. As we have stated previously, the nutcase settlers are ‘good Jews’ in the sense that they are doing EXACTLY what their religion dictates, which is to purge the ‘promised land’ of impurities, meaning non-Jews, and anyone who states that Judaism makes no such demands is either a fool or a liar.


The diplomatic faceoff between Israel and the European members of the United Nations Security Council began as soon as Tuesday night, following the UNSC’s monthly session on the Middle East.

A senior Foreign Ministry official told Haaretz that what would have been a mundane discussion turned into an “attack on Israel,” lead by Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin along with the Indian, Brazilian, and South African representatives.

However, sources said that the assault wasn’t limited to the representatives of those nations, with European UNSC members joining in as well. The only country reportedly not engaging in the unusual bout of criticism was the United States.

The discussion’s focal points were the so-called “price tag” attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank; continued settlement construction; and claims that Israel refused to provide the Quartet with its stances on issues such as borders and security arrangements in a future peace deal with the Palestinians.

“The whole debate was conducted in a disgusting manner,” a Foreign Ministry official with knowledge of the UNSC proceedings told Haaretz, adding that “Israel was assaulted with every minute detail, mentioning every mosque that was torched and arguing that state authorities weren’t doing anything to stop settler attacks against Palestinians.”

Foreign Ministry officials said that the EU representatives “hijacked” the session, when, following it, they decided to release a joint statement detailing the contents of the sealed meeting.

In the statement the diplomats criticized the council’s failure to take action against escalating violence by Israeli settlers and urged a speedy resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Britain’s UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, also speaking for EU members France, Germany and Portugal, said “Israel’s security and the realization of the Palestinians’ right to statehood are not opposing goals.”

The envoys called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s denouncement of the acts a “step in the right direction,” adding, however, that they were waiting to see real results.

On Wednesday, Foreign Ministry director general Rafael Barak held a special ministry session following the statement, with one source saying that the Germany and U.K.-led maneuver managed to enrage even the most moderate among ministry officials, who usually disagree with Foreign Ministry Avigdor Lieberman on his tough stances regarding the Palestinians.

“The Europeans pulled out the horn and turned up the volume to a thousand decibels,” one official said, adding that the move was “unacceptable and unfriendly.”

Most of the Foreign Ministry indignation was over a portion of the statement that dealt with the price tag attacks, and which hinted that the Israeli government wasn’t acting to apprehend the perpetrators.

“It’s a blatant interference in Israel’s internal affairs,” one ministry official said, adding that that statement is “a veiled threat that if Israel doesn’t prosecute the perpetrators the EU will drag it into international courts,” he added.

According to a senior Foreign Ministry official, Israeli embassies in Germany, U.K., France, and Portugal were instructed to submit a harsh protest to their local foreign ministries by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, an unprecedentedly severe official response was made, in which Israel attacked the three most powerful nations of Europe, considered Israel’s closest friends on the continent.

However, even with that backlash against the U.K., France, Germany, and Portugal, the Foreign Ministry has decided against publically or diplomatically appealing to Russia, whose UN envoy lead the anti-Israel attack.


Levi Aron’s Lawyer Claims “Inbreeding” Led to Murder


The lawyer for the murderer of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky blames marriage patterns among hassidim for his client’s horrifying crime.

In a desperate attempt to prove to the court of public opinion that his client is clinically insane the attorney for the murderer of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky told reporters on Wednesday that “inbreeding” was the root cause of the brutal slaying.

Howard Greenberg, a lawyer representing Levi Aron, the accused murderer of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, told reporters outside of Brooklyn Supreme Court after a brief hearing on Wednesday, December 21st, that “inbreeding” led his client to brutally murder of the Borough Park boy in July.

Atty. Howard Greenberg described his client, Levi Aron, as a diagnosed schizophrenic who suffered a head injury in his youth. Greenberg then claimed genetics gone awry was a contributing factor in the gruesome murder. Asserting that relatives sometimes marry and procreate in Hassidic enclaves resulting in a higher risk of genetic defects amongst their offspring.

Greenberg said, “There’s inbreeding in that community. That’s an aspect of his (Aron’s) familial history. It’s something that needs to be investigated down to the ground.” He refused to elaborate.

“It’s a very simple case: Levi Aron is either evil or he’s crazy. There’s a history of schizophrenia,” said Greenberg.

Snatching little Leiby Kletzky off the street last July in Borough Park as he got lost after leaving his day camp, Aron, 35, is also accused of holding him captive for more than a day, feeding him psychotropic drugs, smothering him and then dismembering his body as he kept his feet in his freezer. Aron claimed he “panicked” after becoming aware of the massive search for the child.

After being examined by a team of psychiatrists, Aron was determined mentally fit to stand trial and in the coming months a judge will appoint experts to further evaluate Aron. The sensational arguments espoused by Aron’s defense team will most likely by rebutted by prosecutors who will be relying on extensive confessions Aron made to police indicating he knew his actions were wrong as well as testimony from mental health professionals.

“My opinion is this guy would admit he shot Kennedy if you spent enough time with him”, said Greenberg.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind who has represented the 48th assembly district in Borough Park for decades and is in close touch with the Kletzky family called Greenberg “a pathetic figure” Of the inbreeding remark, Hikind said, “It’s an insult to the community. It’s degrading. None of this is relevant. It has nothing to do with the situation and is only meant to distract us from the reality of this horrible act.”

The defendant was not in the courtroom last Wednesday, but appeared via video hookup from jail. Appearing catatonic, Aron was dressed in all black. If acquitted by reason of insanity, he’ll be committed to a mental institution for life. If the insanity plea was rejected, Greenberg said, “You can quote me on this. I will quit the practice of criminal law if Levi Aron is not found insane.”

Prior to Greenberg joining the team, Aron’s lawyers Pierre Bazile and Jennifer McCann were reprimanded by Judge Neil J. Firetog for engaging in highly unprofessional conduct regarding the trial and its details. Firetog censured the two for discussing the case on their personal Facebook pages and leaking information to the press.

Aron is due back in court in March and his trial is not expected to start for at least another year.

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Haifa resident Maor Yisrael, who is serving time for hitting his girlfriend and another man, sentenced to additional year-and-a-half behind bars for beating two Arab-Israelis while serving in military


The Haifa Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday sentenced Maor Yisrael, 27, to a year-and-a-half in prison for assaulting two Arab men. This is the third time that Yisrael – who served as a police officer during his military service – is sentenced to jail time, after previously being convicted of hitting his girlfriend and another Arab. 

The incident occurred in 2008, while Yisrael was on a motorbike patrol with another police officer. The two spotted two Arab men sitting at a bus station in Haifa’s Neve David neighborhood and decided to stop and search their vehicle.

During the procedure, Yisrael beat the two men, and later called a police vehicle, led the victims to a police station and filed a false police report in which he wrote the two Arab men were sorry for their acts.

Judge Yechiel Lifshitz ruled that there is no dispute over the graveness of Yisrael’s acts, who while on duty as a police officer “employed arbitrary violence against two innocent people.”

Lifshitz addressed Yisrael’s former record, saying that it testifies to the defendant’s character, and shows that “it is not a one-time event, but rather a violent man’s regular pattern of action.”   The judge convicted Yisrael of assault, breach of trust, disruption of legal proceedings and abuse of his power as a police officer, and sentenced him to one-and-a-half years in prison. He ordered Yisrael to pay NIS 2,500 ($663) in damages to each victim. 

The police officer who was patrolling with Yisrael was also convicted and sentenced to three months probation, a fine of NIS 1,500 ($398) and NIS 2,500 in damages for each of the complainants.





Zio-Nazi Settlers attacked a Palestinian choir bus returning from a carol concert in Nablus on Saturday evening.

The singers, from Bethlehem Bible college, said five men attacked them on a quiet road outside of the northern West Bank city.

“A rock smashed through the window, and glass shattered everywhere inside,” chorister Saleem Anfous, adding that none of the 25 carol singers was injured.

“We kept driving and starting singing to cheer ourselves up and encourage the choir members,” he said.

“Tomorrow we will continue our carol tour of the West Bank in Jenin, using the same road, and we are afraid. But we are trying to convince the families that God will protect us.”

Hardline Nazi settlers have torched mosques near Ramallah, Jerusalem and Salfit since last Wednesday.

Zio-Nazi  prime minister Benjamin Naziyahu  rejected a recommendation to classify Zio-Nazi  Jewish extremists as terrorists, and Zio-Nazi lawmakers were set to discuss a law to legalize illegal Zio-Nazi settlement outposts built on land owned by Palestinians on Sunday.

Extremists amongst 500,000 strong Nazi settler population in the West Bank and Jerusalem reference IsraHell’s measures against outposts in their revenge ‘price tag’ attacks, usually directed at Palestinians in the West Bank. 




UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Russia’s U.N. envoy on Monday demanded there be a thorough investigation of civilians killed in NATO air strikes during its military operations in Libya, which led to the ouster and death of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was reacting to news reports about civilian deaths caused by NATO. Reuters reported on Friday that human rights groups estimated over 50 civilians were killed by the air strikes, while the New York Times published on Sunday an estimate of 40 to over 70.

Churkin told reporters the NATO alliance has so far failed to provide the U.N. Security Council with details about civilian casualties.

“Unfortunately NATO adopted a pure propaganda stand, claiming zero civilian casualties in Libya, which was completely implausible, first of all, and, secondly, not true,” he said.

Churkin said he would raise the issue in the 15-nation Security Council on Thursday.

“We hope that NATO is going to revisit this entire problem, is going to investigate this matter,” he said, adding that the United Nations could help with the investigation.

Churkin also criticized U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for suggesting last week that NATO had fully complied with its U.N. Security Council mandate to protect civilians in Libya.

“We expect the (U.N.) secretariat to be more careful when it passes its judgement on very important issues which the Security Council is dealing with,” he said.

After abstaining from a March 17 vote on U.N. Security Council resolution 1973, which authorized U.N. member states to enforce a no-fly zone and use “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians, Russia and China repeatedly accused NATO of overstepping its mandate by seeking to oust Gaddafi.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said last week that the alliance had no figures for civilian casualties its bombing campaign may have caused but took “every possible precaution to minimize the possibility of civilian casualties.”

She said it was impossible to entirely remove the risk to civilians but the alliance “deeply regrets any loss of civilian life and if there is credible evidence it is for the Libyan authorities to take the lead in dealing with any such claim.”

Libyan U.N. envoy Ibrahim Dabbashi told Reuters last week he saw no need for a NATO investigation. He said that more than 40,000 Libyans died in the civil war and that a few civilian casualties due to the NATO attacks, however unfortunate, were inevitable.




by Philip Giraldi

Nearly all the Republican presidential candidates are showing their muscles, supporting the war on terror and a robust military while also vowing to do whatever it takes to disarm Iran. They know that it is essential to play the jingoistic“American exceptionalism” card, and they understand that being president also means becoming commander in chief of America’s armed forces with the responsibility for committing U.S. soldiers to die for their country. But how are they qualified to do that? Of the sorry lot on display, only Ron Paul and Rick Perry have ever served in the military in any capacity, Paul as a U.S. Air Force medical officer and Perry as an Air Force pilot. The dramatically bellicose Newt Gingrich, who wants to coordinate a joint military operation with Israel to attack Iran, did not serve during the Vietnam War. He received deferments because he was a student and because he was, at the time, married to his first of three wives. Other candidates, including Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, are too young to have been subject to the draft, but neither volunteered for military service. Santorum entered a law firm, and Huntsman went to Indonesia as a Mormon missionary before stepping into the business run by his father.

But perhaps the most spectacular chickenhawk of all is Mitt Romney, frequently cited as the likely Republican candidate, who alone among GOP aspirants to the highest office in the land has advocated increasing the size of the Defense Department. Romney apparently is not aware of the foreign policy misadventures of the past 10 years and is eager to double down on a formula that has not worked very well. He believes that the correct response to the many threats in the world is to throw more money at the Pentagon. He also apparently has not noted the sinking economy, which might suggest to anyone but the politically ambitious that retrenchment would be preferable to more interventionism. But as an experienced self-described “businessman” he is not afraid of running up a little more debt.

Romney has several times declared that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon if he is president, suggesting that the other candidates are pusillanimous on the issue and implying that he alone will attack the mullahs “preventively” if such a development appears to be imminent. The willingness to start a war with a country that can hardly threaten the United States is the cornerstone of his foreign policy, which he describes as dealing with the world from a position of strength. If that sounds a bit like the Bush Doctrine, it should.

Romney’s personal history suggests, however, that his hawkishness might well be a recent affectation, carefully crafted to suit the presidential persona that he would like to present to the voting public. In particular, he has never been inclined to place either himself or anyone close to him in harm’s way to advance the wars that his country has been fighting, wars that he defends both in principle and in detail.

Mitt Romney was born in 1947, the son of George Romney, a former senior General Motors executive and governor of Michigan. The birth date means that he was eligible for the Vietnam War draft when his student deferment ran out upon graduation from Brigham Young University. But, before he graduated, instead of being drafted or enlisting in one of the military services, he obtained a two-and-a-half-year deferment to leave school temporarily and go to France as a Mormon missionary. The deferment described him as a “minister of religion” even though he had received no formal training as a clergyman. At the time, large numbers of young Mormons avoided military service in that fashion.

While in France converting the heathen Roman Catholics, Romney clearly learned a lot about foreign cultures, something that undoubtedly will stand him in good stead as president. He recently described his astonishment when encountering an old-style toilet that had the tank up on the wall and was activated by pulling on a handle connected to a chain that released the water. Romney had never seen such a device, which probably means he had never traveled to New Jersey or other backward regions during his formative years.

Toilet hydraulic engineering aside, Romney managed to avoid the Vietnam draft. His father, George, apparently had become an opponentof the war, though he did not speak out openly against it, and Mitt might have also quietly opposed it. He then went into business and founded Bain Capital, which is certainly worth a separate story all by itself. He went from being a rich man’s son to becoming a very rich man in his own right. Eventually, he followed in his father’s footsteps and wound up in politics, first as governor of Massachusetts and later as head of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Committee. Now he wants to become president.

Along the way, Mitt fathered five sons: Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben, and Craig. You might have thought that at least one of the sons of a man with national political ambitions would opt for either a tour in the military or government service of some kind. At a minimum, it would demonstrate a tad of respect for and engagement in the state’s institutions. None did. Mitt was challenged on the campaign trail about the lack ofnoblesse oblige exhibited by his offspring, and he replied that“one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected.”

All of this is not to pick on Mitt Romney, though his family’s avoidance of military service is notable particularly when measured against the candidate’s own willingness to use force around the world when the United States is not actually threatened. It has often been suggested that if the children of leading politicians and neocon pundits were required to take up arms to carry out the schemes concocted by their parents, the desire to engage in frivolous wars would quickly vanish. Be that as it may, Romney is far from unique in that one does not see the children of Huntsman, Santorum, Bachmann, and Gingrich rushing off to enlist either. To give Sarah Palin her due, her eldest son did join the Alaskan National Guard and did do combat duty in Iraq, so she, at least, put her money where her mouth most assuredly was.

One can easily argue that President Barack Obama is even worse than the Mitt Romneys of this world, because he was elected in large part by antiwar voters but he has brought more war and a frightful expansion of the state security apparatus, including the indefinite military detention and even assassination of American citizens. But that is to avoid the issue of how a country that so desperately needs peace and reconstruction can produce so many clueless but hawkish politicians who are themselves completely ignorant of war and soldiering except insofar as they follow the Gingrich model of reading about it in books. Nevertheless, the poor fools persist in mouthing the slogans of empire. And it has consequences. Constant warfare might well mean the end of our experiment in republican government and could quite possibly bring about the impoverishment and death of many of us.




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