Congressman Blumenauer Fails to Respond to Concerns About Lebanon
Awhile back, someone posted to this site that Earl Blumenauer was refusing to admonish Israel even as they dropped bombs down on little sleeping babies in Lebanon. I could not believe that it was true. So I contacted the congressman's office. And sure enough. He not only refused to speak out against the violence, he was actually going out of his way to support Israel in this. I just couldn't believe it, and I told his staffers so. This week, I received his response. I am so saddened by it that I want to share it with others, in the hopes that they, too, might make their voices heard by the congressman.
I do not have the text for the original letter that I sent to him, nor do I remember what I said word for word. I only remember that I told him how upset I was to learn that he was refusing to condemn Israel for what it had done, and how dismayed I was to read his statement of support for Isreal in the face of little dead babies lying in the rubble in Lebanon. I was crying when I wrote it, as we all should be crying for what has been allowed to happen in this world. Here is the cold, disembodied reply that I received. Note that there is almost no mention at all of the deaths in Lebanon that were the focus of my letter to him.
"Dear Ms. Jones: Thank you for writing to me about the ongoing
tragedy in the Middle East. Since 2000, Oregonians have watched closely
with both hope and concern at the long series of events that have caused
such momentous changes in the Middle East and in the lives of its
people. However, one fundamental principle remains the same: without
political processes that aim for peace, violent events and the acts of
extremists can overpower the desire of people across the region to live
in security. When President Bush entered office, he pursued a policy
that eschewed diplomacy and discussion - backed up by the strength of
the U.S. and our allies - for ultimatums and unilateralism. Almost 6
years later, America, Israel, and others in the region have been made
less safe by this failure of leadership. As a member of the House
International Relations Committee, I have advocated for stronger United
States involvement to advance the vision of a secure Israel and an
independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace by working to
rebuild a Palestinian Authority that can prevent terrorism and promoting
negotiations for a two-state solution. I also opposed the war in Iraq
from the very beginning, believing that our presence there would weaken
the U.S. and make it more difficult to be a positive force in the Middle
East. I support starting the redeployment of our troops from Iraq
immediately and the development of a political and diplomatic strategy
that allows the Iraqis the greatest chance to stabilize their country
With a fragile cease-fire in Lebanon, I believe it is more important
than ever for forceful U.S. diplomatic re-engagement to support peace,
democracy, and a more secure regional dynamic. I support the appointment
of a high-level special envoy who can assist Israeli and responsible
Palestinian leaders back on the path towards peace. We must also
undertake the difficult, yet critical, task of engaging directly and
honestly with Iran and Syria, despite their often destructive and
destabilizing roles. The lack of serious diplomatic relationships
strengthens those who seek chaos and isolation, while leaving the U.S.
with fewer levers of influence and more blind spots than we can afford.
Faced with the prospect of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, President
John F. Kennedy said, "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us
never fear to negotiate." For the United States and our friends in the
Middle East, the prospect of continued terror, violence, and instability
is too dire to do otherwise. Sincerely, Earl Blumenauer Member of
Congress For more information on my work in Congress and to sign up to
receive electronic updates about these and other matters, please visit
my website at http://blumenauer.house.gov.
As you can imagine, I find this response less than satisfying. Can ANYONE help Mr. Blumenauer to rediscover his soul???
Here is what I wrote back to him today.
Dear Congressman Blumenauer,
Thank you for your response to my letter to you. Yes, I am aware of the fact that you have always been opposed to the war in Iraq. I appreciated that very much about you, which is why it pains me so much to have to withdraw my support from you now.
I have always believed that you meant well, I have always had faith in your ability to justify my many votes for you over the years. Until I watched little babies bleeding into the dust, from way too far away to help. You could have helped them, Congressman. And you
did not. Instead, you made excuses for their oppressors, their tormentors, their bloodthirsty killers. You blatantly and nonchalantly continued with your inexplicable and inexcusable support for the genocidal state of Israel. I can never support you again. Not unless you somehow manage to see the light, and stop supporting Israel.
This is not an anti-semitic request, congressman, and you should know that. It is only the most reactionary imbecile who would equate support for the state of Israel with the support of the Jewish people. Please stop trying to obfuscate the two. That is blindly disrepectful toward the thousands upon thousands of Jewish people who, unlike yourself, have found the courage and the character to stand up and demand an end to Israeli violence. Israel, like the US government, has become an imperialist, genocidal maniac on the world stage, and you cannot be forgiven for refusing to stand up to them even as their (US made!) bombs exploded over frightened little babies in their
nightgowns. Their blood is on your hands, congressman. I don't think you will ever come clean again.
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