portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

human & civil rights | imperialism & war

Earl Blumenauer's Betrayal

Earlier today, I read an article on this site ( http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/08/343750.shtml) informing us that Earl Blumenauer will not support House Resolution 450, calling for an immediate and unconditional cease fire from Israel. Many thanks to the author, because I almost made a terrible mistake. I almost continued to believe in the decency of congressman Blumenauer. How wrong I would have been.
I have to tell you, first, that I believed in Mr. Blumenauer. I did. It's sappy and hard to admit at this moment, but I have believed in him for a long time. I supported him as far back as I can remember, when he was still on the Portland city council, and even before that when he worked with Multnomah county. I remember him standing up for some difficult and unpopular issues that were politically difficult to support, but were the right thing to do. He came to marches that I was part of, he gave speeches that I liked, he voted the way I would have on issues that meant something to me. So I liked him. How shallow that seems now, now that I have his knife planted in my back. Now that I see the blood of babies on his hands.

I followed Joe Rowe's advice, and I read Mr. Blumenauer's statement on the current crisis, and I called his office. In his statement, he actually, in his words, "places the blame squarely on the shoulders of Hezbolla" for what has happened to little Lebanese babies, who died in the sand under a terrifying rain of bombs from Israel. He actually looked into the dead little eyes pleading from the morning papers, and he spit on them. He refused to speak up against their killers. Instead, he blamed HEZBOLLAH. He blamed the ONE group of people in all the world actually willing to stand up to Israel, actually willing to defend the dying Arabs from the madness and avarice of Israel. He failed to place the blame where it belongs: On ISRAEL. And, on us. Because we keep paying for the bombs, and we keep looking the other way when they are dropped on Palestinian homes and now Lebanese babies. How many innocent people have died, are dying, will die, because no one will stop Israel? If the United States stood up and made them stop dropping the bombs that, let's face it, WE paid for, it would stop. Good God, it's time. It's time to make it stop.

I thought it had to be some sort of mistake. I believed in Earl, and I thought surely he would use his voice, the power that he has, the power that we gave him, to MAKE it STOP. So yes, I called his office. I used my one small voice to at least do that. It's all I could think to do in this madness. It's so disempowering, so disemboweling really, to be in this strange place in history. It's a place where we must do anything we can do, however large or small. But it all seems so hopeless. It's so hard, so very hard to know what to do. Little babies have died before our eyes, with bombs we helped pay for, and all I could do was make a phone call to deaf and heartless ears. All I could think to do was call this congressman's office and beg him to make it stop because, after all, that is what we elected him for. To be our voice in congress, to do what is right, to use the power WE GAVE HIM to stand up and do what is right.

And he refused.

When I told the man who answered the phone how I had read Joe Rowe's article here, and how I read the statement that the congressman had allegedly made, and how that statement said that the congressman refuses to blame Israel for the bloodshed they have wrought, I wanted him to tell me that it was wrong. I wanted him to say that the statement was a fake, a lie, a forgery. But he paused, and then he said, "That sounds about right."

No. It does not sound right. It sounds as wrong as hell. It sounds evil.

No good and decent man could have spit on dead babies like that. No congressman who works for me would refuse to stand up and make Israel stop dropping those bombs. This is not Hezbollah's fault. It is Israel's fault, and Earl Blumenauer's fault for not making them stop, and it is my fault for ever voting for this man. My fault for not figuring out SOMETHING more to do than trying to change things by lamely calling my congressional representative like they tell me to do in civics lessons, foolishly thinking he would do the right thing.

God, I will NEVER vote for Earl Blumenauer again. I feel so very, very betrayed. And I still do not know what to do to stop the bleeding, to save the babies in Lebanon.

All I can do is ask you, if you care too, to please at least make a telephone call. It's not enough, I know. But I can't think of what else I could possibly do. If you can, please tell me. And in the meantime, please call and tell Mr. Blumenauer that his refusal to do the right thing today will be costlier than he thinks. His number is 503-231-2300. And please call your other representatives as well, and make them use the power we gave them to do the right thing. Make them understand that they are supposed to speak for US. Not for the money that flows from Israel, but for US. And we speak for the little Lebanese babies.
More from Congressman Blumenauer 02.Aug.2006 16:06

this is BS

"Hezbollah must be disarmed, either by the Lebanese government or by a multinational force..."

This is from his statement about the crisis. He says nothing at all about disarming Israel. Nothing. Children died in Lebanon, less than a month after a Palestinian family on a picnic was blown to bits by lying Israelis, less than a week after 4 unarmed UN workers were intentionally blown up by lying Israelis, and less than a decade after more than a hundred people were blown up by Israelis in a UN shelter in the same town, Qana, where these babies just died. And Earl Blumenauer can do no better than this? He refuses to demand that Israel take the blame and stop the blood? This is the very best he can do? Then we can do better than him.

run 4 office 02.Aug.2006 18:49

2 $/100

usa = war

r = usa

d = usa

d = r = usa = war

Do call 02.Aug.2006 20:12

***

I also called his office and the person I spoke to said, "It is hard to sort out the good guys from the bad guys in this." There ARE NO GOOD GUYS in this. Babies are dying. Children on all sides are dying. We cannot find another way to solve these problems????? How many babies must die? I also supported Blumenauer, and I am sick about how he has reacted to this. Will no one stand up and say ENOUGH!!!

I understand the anger directed at Earl Blumenauer 02.Aug.2006 21:03

Burro

And yes, this pisses me off too. But do you see Earl's name among the following?

DeFazio, Hooley, Walden, & Wu approve another $82 BILLION for War & Pork (May 5, 2005).  http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat?bid=1&pid=2391

DeFazio, Hooley & Walden approve $491 BILLION for Defense Budget including ANOTHER $49 BILLION for War (May 25, 2005).

DeFazio, Hooley, and Walden approve MORE BILLIONS for War (HR 4939 - March 16, 2006).

This is a man that we can work with. Please do not go ballistic on him! Who is there left that we can work with? You think that Kucinich is perfect? Why the fuck did he vote PRESENT on H. RES. 921?

H. RES. 921 - "Reaffirms steadfast support for Israel."

Nays - 8

Abercrombie
Conyers
Dingell
Kilpatrick (MI)
McDermott
Paul
Rahall
Stark

Present - 4

Kaptur
Kucinich
Lee
Waters

Not Voting - 10

Davis (FL)
Davis, Jo Ann
Duncan
Evans
Fortenberry
McKinney
Northup
Nussle
Sanchez, Loretta
Westmoreland

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/07/342970.shtml

My point here is that, yes, Mr. wonderful bicycle-supporter and anti-US-war-supporter screwed up, but please don't come down too heavy on him! He WILL come around with our pressure. After all is said and done, he's one of the very few sane ones left in Congress!

No, Burro 02.Aug.2006 22:13

former supporter of blumenauer

No. I disagree. He is not "one of the very few sane ones left in Congress." If he was, he would not in a million years have written that statement. He would never, in a million years, refuse to lay blame where it belongs, at the feet of Israel. Only a cold, insane person could have tried to blame the people of Lebanon for a pattern of assault that we are all too familiar with -- from Israel. It is insane to continue the blindingly obtuse policy of never questioning Israel. It is insane to continue to support a nation which has done nothing but spill the blood of others since its very inception. It is insane to continue to parrot the same old, passe, and starkly irrelevant line about supporting Israel's "right to exist."

Why are we talking about that? Why did he even say that? For God's sake. No one had challenged Israel's right to exist. No! Israel has challenged the right to exist of Lebanese children in their nightgowns. For God's sake! ENOUGH!

Earl, I know you are reading this. I feel it in my bones. Think about this, man. Tell me, if two armed soldiers from an enemy army -- one that had proven itself again and again as an insane aggressor -- if two soldiers from this army were discovered on American soil, you TELL me that the US would not detain those soldiers. Go ahead. Try to tell me that. Well, why is it different when Hezbollah discovers two Israeli soldiers in Lebanon -- and they were, in fact, in Lebanon -- why should they not have detained them? Why is all right, in your book, Earl, for rabid Israelis, foaming at the mouth, to kill BABIES over those soldiers? What were they doing in Lebanon, anyway? Were they trying to start this?

No, I too will never support Blumenauer again unless he comes to his senses IMMEDIATELY. I can't even believe this. I had expected better. Earl is no better than any war monger. In fact, he is worse because he should have known better.

why dont people get it yet?? 02.Aug.2006 22:37

max

Democrats = unconditional support for imperialism, war, and inequality.

The Dems will support the next war too, and the one after that.

the reality of 03.Aug.2006 01:35

politics

I saw EB speak at a Portland Peak Oil meeting, he seemed genuinely pained that he couldn't take a stance further in support of preparation for the end of cheap oil (as one example) without committing political suicide. He says there are reasonable voices in Washington, but many hold back because of what they perceive the consequences to be if they completely speak / vote their conscience. We've seen what happens to politicians such as Cynthia McKinney and Paul Wellstone who do what they think is right regardless of the political climate. It's not Earl so much as the whole system. The system makes sure that people who really are anti-war, etc., and outspoken about it either don't get in or don't stay in.

I'm still going to make the phone call, not just to his office but to other reps. A deafening outcry presents just as much a problem for them as the string-pullers above them.

I have a big question 03.Aug.2006 01:39

...

Do we have any mechanism for getting dangerous people out of power?
We ought to be able to set up a mechanism for doing that right here and now, just like an EMT has medical tools for saving someone's life, we should have social/political tools for saving lives.
This is 100% true, and for it to work and be real, it must be easy to use. Ease of use must be it's hallmark.
If anyone feels intimidated, confused, or overwhelmed by the idea of constructing such a social/political tool (such as an impromptu law) then you are not thinking of it properly. If you had medical training and you came upon a car crash victim, you would not even dream of anything other than springing into action. You would, for example, use your own golf clubs to make a splint, and your own shirt to bandage a wound. And anyone happening by would offer water, blankets, cell phones, etc.
Obviously in this common example, many laws and bureaucracy are just plain deadly, and ought to be formally recognized as enemies of the state.

Additionally, just think how people rally into action so naturally just to save an accident victim. If that's so natural, then what the hell happened to us that makes us silent on victims of man-made, not accidental violence? Especially civilians and mothers and children, etc.?!!

Something is seriously wrong, and it starts with us--why are we so intimidated, overwhelmed, and confused by something as simple as saving our brothers and sisters? Why do we think that we should pay attention to laws and bureaucracy when we are saving lives? What the hell are we, a whole nation of mindlses slaves, loyal to idiots that we don't even know and who don't care about us?
It's OUR lives, OUR friends, and OUR children, and we are obligated to ourselves and not idiots. If we let them get away with this mass slavery, then we will only make the same battle harder for our own children.
And by that time, it may be our own children who die in the sand....
Make a good law today. Don't worry about bureaucracy. If the law is good, it cannot be struck down.
Make good laws as a form of universal "currency" to trade with the still confused and intimidated--to "buy" their understanding, relief, and solidarity when they hear news of people cutting through social/political barriers to save lives. Make good laws for our brothers and sisters, so that they are informed and included. DO NOT make laws with the approval and processing of the lawyers and politicans.........that would be like having a murderer make laws about murder.
If they don't like it, then tough, that's America.

Who's FAULT is war, anyway? 24.Aug.2006 07:56

Sixpack wabc@mutualaid.org

Regarding Earl Blumenauer' "refusal to stop" the killing, I too am surprised by this. I am also not understanding why Mr. Blumenauer has not done more to stop the Irag war. Where I differ with you, is that the "fault" is somewhat misplaced. We could debate about whether it was the Israeli attempts to eliminate an entire people, or Hezbollah's attempts to retaliate, or simply protect themselves, that propagated the war, but the fact remains that it is truly our fault that the death continues. We, the people of the United States of America have failed to stand up and demand that our government stop it's current agenda. All who sit by playing xbox instead of taking the initiative to speak out, everyone who will not vote in the future, or is numb to what is going on in this country, is complicit in murder.

No matter how it began or WHO started it, or who thinks they are "right", the children surely did nothing to deserve to die so horribly. So to my way of thinking, Everyone who does not agree to death in their name, should stand up and say NO- everyone is wrong, and everyone must stop,NOW.

Any excuses are simply unacceptable. There is no appropriate excuse to obliterate children...no religious differences, no amount of oil, nothing makes it right. nothing.

NO MORE KILLING