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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/6/15

Reichstag or 'Planet of the Apes'?: Hooting American Yahoos on the Benches and Racist Israeli Demagogue on the Podium

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By Dave Lindorff

Two images, two legislatures, one ugly reality (
Two images, two legislatures, one ugly reality (
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There are some famous film clips of the US Congress that stand the test of time. One is of attorney Joseph Welch as s subpoenaed witness denouncing the redbaiting charlatan Sen. Joseph McCarthy during his hearings into alleged Communist infiltration of the military and the government. "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Welsh says angrily, as the senator from Wisconsin uses lies and innuendo to assassinate the character of a junior member of Welch's law firm who had shown the temerity to join the "commie front" National Lawyers Guild as a Harvard Law student.

Another such famous clip was the 1973 testimony of White House lawyer John Dean admitting to his knowledge of the criminal acts of President Nixon and his key advisors in the so-called Watergate scandal that led to Nixon's impeachment and resignation from office.

A third unforgettable clip shows when Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), in a packed Senate hearing room, read out the text of the Pentagon Papers, which the Nixon administration was trying to get a federal court block the New York Times from publishing.

Now to that list we must add to that the appalling video of a foreign leader, invited as a speaker by the Republican leadership of the House, denouncing the current negotiations of the State Department aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and in effect telling the US it should prepare instead to launch a catastrophic war against Iran. Whatever one may think of President Obama, the image of a packed House chamber, filled with slathering, mindlessly applauding Republicans and a majority of the feckless Democrats of the House and Senate (only 40 Democrats chose to boycott this treasonous address by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu), leaping up and down and clapping to Netanyahu's verbal garbage, is shocking. It also exposes the extent to which a tiny apartheid nation based upon a tribal ethic and a long history of genocide, has hijacked the foreign policy of the world's most powerful country.

As Uri Avnery, an Israeli peace advocate and former Knesset member, says, the image of Republican members of Congress leaping up as one and hooting and hollering at almost every line uttered by Netanyahu reminded him of nothing so much as the Reichstag members in the 1930s leaping up to cheer and salute each applause line of Chancellor Adolph Hitler.

Years or decades from now, if the US still exists as even a nominal democracy, this video will surely shock any citizens who view it every bit as much as do the above listed iconic videos"

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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