Cognitive dissonance

PUTNEY — I was struck by the cognitive dissonance in two side-by-side articles in the Dec. 6 Voices section.

Richard Evers writes of the "savage, horrific, racist vengeance" of Israel dropping U.S.-made-2,000-pound bombs on a hospital and other targets in Gaza. Elayne Clift tries to convince us that the 2024 election is about only one issue: whether the U.S. will survive as a democracy. She praises President Joe Biden's commitment to democracy and his achievements domestically and internationally.

Whatever happened to Martin Luther King Jr.'s admonition that the bombs falling on Vietnam - a concept we can now apply to Gaza - are exploding in American cities?

It is ironic that Burlington saw such an "explosion" with the shooting of three Palestinian youth in a state with a reputation for its compassion. My takeaway from King is that domestic and foreign policy issues are inescapably intertwined, that, as he wrote, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

How deep can Joe Biden's commitment to democracy be when he looks to fund an extremist, far-right regime in Israel? The $100 billion in taxpayer dollars proposed for Israel, Ukraine, and the Pacific could go a long way toward addressing our multiple U.S. crises in health care, education, housing, and poverty.

Comparing the presidential terms of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, you could reasonably argue that Trump is the peace candidate. I won't. He is, as Clift points out, a psychopath.

But what does it say about Biden that he is facing a lawsuit filed by the prestigious Center for Constitutional Rights, for "complicity in genocide"? CCR is the group that successfully brought cases against the U.S. government for violating the rights of U.S. detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

I will give the final word to the great American journalist I.F. Stone, who is best known for exposing the fallacies of the Vietnam War, long before the Pentagon Papers ever saw the light of day.

In 1967, Stone wrote that Israel was creating a kind of "moral schizophrenia in world Jewry." He pointed out that in the outside world the welfare of the Jewish people depends on maintaining pluralistic, secular, nonracial societies. But in Israel, he said, the ideal is "racist and exclusionist."

Now today, this moral schizophrenia extends well beyond Israel and Jews. It permeates most of the political establishment in Washington, D.C.

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

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