Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook 3 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend 2 (7 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   3 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

In Praise Of Richard Falk -- An Analysis

By       Message Lawrence Davidson     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Valuable 3   Must Read 2   Well Said 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 5/6/13

Author 79840
Become a Fan
  (14 fans)
- Advertisement -
Source: To The Point Analyses

 

PART I -- Richard Falk Tells the Truth

- Advertisement -

Shortly after the 15 April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian territories, published an analysis of the episode entitled "A Commentary on the Marathon Murders."  

In this analysis, Falk pointed out that there are "serious deficiencies in how the U.S. sees itself in the world. We should be worried by the taboo ... imposed on any type of self-scrutiny [of U.S. foreign policy] by either the political leadership or the mainstream media." This taboo essentially blinds us to the reality of our situation. Falk continues, "The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. ... Especially if there is no disposition to rethink U.S. relations with others ... starting with the Middle East."  

It seems obvious that if Washington wants to prevent future attacks, it is not enough to  pursue alleged terrorists and beef up "homeland security." It seems logical that one needs to also perform a foreign policy review, preferably in a public manner, to determine if any American policies or behaviors are unnecessarily provoking animosity. For instance, will continued unqualified U.S. support of Israeli oppression of  Palestinians increase or decrease future violent anti-American episodes at home or abroad? 

Yet, this critical aspect of any response to terrorism has apparently never been performed. As regards the administration of George W. Bush, this comes as no surprise. Bush and his neoconservative supporters were (and still are) ideologically driven, and so are incapable of the objectivity necessary for such a self-critical review. That is why Bush came up with a range of cockamamie reasons, including the famous "they hate our values," for the 9/11 attacks. President Obama, on the other hand, seemed, at least at first, capable of corrective insight.    

- Advertisement -

Back in 2009 Obama went to Cairo and made a speech which suggested that a rethinking of American relations with the Muslim world and the Middle East in particular, was in order. Yet the theory represented in the speech was never turned into practice. Why not?   

Falk explains that "the strong push-back by Israel" caused Obama to backpedal. As a consequence the "politics of denial" continued. In Falk's opinion, "As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy." 

Part II -- Attacking the Messenger 

When it comes to policies that might provoke terrorist attacks, U.S. complicity in Israeli belligerency, racism and colonial expansion is just the tip of the iceberg. Washington's mistakes go deeper. The unprovoked invasion of Iraq following years of devastating economic sanctions, the  ill-conceived stationing of troops on Arabian soil, the unnecessary occupation of Afghanistan, and the collateral-damage-prone-tactic of drone warfare now actively pursued in places like Yemen and Pakistan have all, unbeknownst to the American public, seriously alienated hundreds of millions of people around the globe. It has driven some of this number to violent actions which, from their perspective, represent counterattacks and revenge.  

Thus, looked at from outside  of the self-justifying perspective of the United States government, everything Richard Falk says is accurate. However, from the inside of the official government worldview, Falk is a heretic and his message dangerous verbal poison. Therefore, the reaction of those dedicated to customary policies and alliances has been shrill.  

For instance, Washington's ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said that she was "outraged by Richard Falk's highly offensive Boston comments. Someone who spews such vitriol has no place at the UN. Past time for him to go." Similar statements came from members of Congress who are collecting signatures on a letter demanding that President Obama "take action" against Falk. 

The British mission to the UN. released a statement to the effect that "this is the third time we have had cause to express our concerns about Mr. Falk's anti-Semitic remarks." This is an embarrassingly ignorant statement that confuses criticism of Israel with hostility to Jews generally. By the way, Richard Falk is Jewish. For its part, Israel has long barred Falk from even entering the Palestinian territories for which he has responsibility. Finally, Zionists have accused Falk of being "an anti-American and pro-radical Islam activist." This is another statement that is both factually incorrect and ignorant, because Falk is a deeply knowledgable American trying to talk some sense to politicians leading the nation toward a dangerous cliff, and because it confuses criticism of Israel with actively supporting "radical Islam." 

- Advertisement -

Part III -- Conclusion

The ugly fact is that, most Americans have been kept dangerously ignorant of the wanton damage caused by their government's foreign policies, and those who would prevent them from knowing the truth are, at the very least, indirectly responsible for terrorist attacks launched in reaction to those policies.  

Richard Falk's crime is to be a person of note, an esteemed academic and a respected servant of the United Nations, who is trying to break through with the truth. It is all the more frightening to the U.S. and its allies that, in this effort, Falk has access to an independent platform. He regularly reports to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, where he has the ear of many of the 47 nations that make up this body. Unfortunately, the one group most in need of Falk's wisdom, the American public, remains beyond the range of his voice.  

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Valuable 3   Must Read 2   Well Said 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

http://www.tothepointanalyses.com
Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign
Policy Inc.: Privatizing America's National Interest
; America's
Palestine: Popular and Offical Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli
Statehood
; and Islamic Fundamentalism. His academic work is focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He also teaches courses in the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

His blog To The Point Analyses now has its own Facebook page. Along with the analyses, the Facebook page will also have reviews, pictures, and other analogous material.


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Domestic Terrorism American Style -- An Analysis

Who is Right in Syria?

Australia and the Fight for Justice in Palestine

Nationalism vs. Capitalism: Guess Which One Wins?

More On Savage Israel -- An Analysis

Global Warming Revisited: Reality vs Republican Theology