Monday, November 19, 2012


Hal Pepinsky,,
November 19, 2012
Dear Mr. President,
                I was pleased to see you standing by An San Suu Kyi this morning as her guest in Myanmar.  Thank you for this historic tribute to making global peace by making Southeast Asia a safe buffer between us and East Asia, committed to making it safe for Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, indigenous peoples like the Karin, and welcoming to a president who represents crossing the color line, on this your first trip abroad since reelection.  I take you at your word that in your lame duck term, you want historians to remember you well for steering our government well through turbulent, politically polarized times.  And I thank you.
                I felt slapped when I heard your unqualified defense of Israelis’ right to counterattack when missiles have killed their civilians.  Are you saying that because Palestine/Gaza is not a country, its people have no right to complain about a disproportionate, still escalating counterbombardment by Isrealis?  Are you saying that the Israeli government was entitled to broadcast its assassination of Gaza Hamas military leader Jabari, who was ready to sign a truce, because Gaza doesn’t belong to any country and Hamas is therefore not a government?  And when Prime Minister Sharon’s son has a column published proclaiming that Gaza ought to be razed, is that not a call to genocide because the USG doesn’t recognize that Gazans have any nationality?  Can no prolonged killing and burning of Gazan children by Israeli forces ever become a war crime, become terrorism, because Gazans have no nationhood?
                In 1967, Secretary of State Rusk told a small group of legal interns I was among that the primary reason to fight another war to the end was not to appease Communist invasion of South Vietnam as Chamberlain had appeased Hitler’s invasion of the Sudetenland.  I don’t buy the analogy, but I am wary of appeasement.  Ironically, as Chamberlain’s appeasement morphed into a Jewish genocide, so, sir, I fear that your continued appeasement of the Israeli government only feeds the blood lust of a government that presumes to speak in defense of Judaism.  I trust that you don’t want military appeasement of an outlaw government to remain a legacy of your entire time in office.  The Israeli government sure has a way of undecutting your Southeast Asian peace initiative.  They piss me off.  How about you?  Love and peace—Hal Pepinsky 

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