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Don’t Blame the Left if Obama Loses


6- Israel: Obama has completely subordinated America’s interests, not to mention social justice, to Netanyahu. The idea that he is preventing Israel from launching a strike against Iran is a ridiculous piece of theatre. Such a strike would be folly and everyone knows this. Obama has empowered the Israeli right, way beyond anything Bush ever dreamt of, just as he has empowered the Japanese right through his Asia policies. The heart of the matter is Israeli racism toward Arabs, and everyone in the Arab world knows this.

Conclusion: Obama’s biggest failure is none of the above. His biggest failure is to have discounted the hopes he raised in 2008. Electing the first African-American President was a fantastic achievement, and because it coincided with the discrediting of Bush’s economic and foreign policies, it opened terrific possibilities for a new path. Obama has not only not moved in a new direction, he has subtly encouraged the idea that those hopes were overstated, and that the obstacles he faced were structural, overwhelming, etc– a series of vacuous excuses. I for one want to reaffirm the hopes I had in 2008– the desire to break with neo-liberalism both domestically and in foreign policy. Obama’s refusal to attempt such a break is the main reason for his weak electoral position today.

Eli Zaretsky is the author of Why America Needs a Left.


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