Tehran, Iran - - In your opinion, why do both Trump and Clinton support Israel in their campaigns?

American election campaigns can turn up occasional flashes of truth. One of the few sparks of hope this time was the surprise nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate.

People are left with the spectacle of an unashamed puppet of bankers, whose 'no-fly zone' over Syria could well spark start WWIII, facing off against a lascivious buffoon. Whose antics nonetheless conceal moments of sanity.

Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let them get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?

Trump is a Democrat on social policy, and an old-fashioned Republican on foreign policy. He has moved back and forth between the two parties over his colourful history.

Obama promised change but came up with the 'same ole, same ole'. Clinton doesn't even bother with the pretense anymore. Trump represents the frustration of Americans caught in a deadend, which promises only war and war industry.

He is no pacifist, but neither is he an expansionist. In as much as he has a coherent philosophy, it is libertarian and isolationist. He wants good relations with Russia, and cooperation on fighting al-Qaeda's latest incarnation.

The peace logic has never been completely smothered, and now has an eccentric 'republican' on board.  Back in 2008 and 2012,  it was  libertarian Ron Paul. In a debate, he faced off with Rudy Giuliani, who called his view that US foreign policy contributed to anti-Americanism in the Middle East "absurd".

Paul held a press conference with the ex-CIA analyst and author of Imperial Hubris Michael Scheuer to explain the concept of blowback. He argued, "We should mind our own business," to enthusiastic applause.

Scheuer countered the accusation that Paul was following marching orders from Al-Qaeda. "It is all of the Democrats and the Republicans who are marching to Osama Bin Laden's drum."

In 2016, it's only the Greens Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson who want to turn around the war machine and even they are low-key on the issue of Palestine. Neither they nor Trump recognized how central Israel is to the US imperial war machine. There is virtually no room for debate in the US on anything that involves Israel.

Trump's willingness to work with Russia could potentially reverse the war machine. It could allow them together to confront Israel. That would make his presidency historic.

- Why do both Clinton and Trump beg the consent of Israeli lobby (AIPAC) in America?

The Israel lobby, headed  by AIPAC controls US politics through 'soft power'. No need to invade to conquer. Just control the media and have lots of money to pursue the goal--common to both the US and Israel--of world hegemony. Making all countries postmodern nations, without any foreign policy, subservient to the US and Israel.

Both Republicans and Democrats are caught in this web. At least Trump, in his naive worldview, sees no compelling logic in this lust for world domination. He wants to reduce world rivalry, work in harmony with Russia.

His bigotry on Iran is worrisome, but if he wins, and goes after Iran, he will simply further discredit US foreign policy, opening the way for Iran to work with others also fed up with the US. Mainstream Republicans are just as unhappy with him as Democrats, and not because of his ogling. His campaign exposes the bankruptcy of US democracy.

Think of Trump as The Joker in the film The Dark Knight (2008): I’m not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are. Trump knows the schemers--Hillary and "international bankers"--will sabotage his Quixotic mission to "make America great again." But he is undaunted. Chutzpah.

Do we want the Joker or the bankers' puppet to rule the world? Does it matter?

- Considering both candidates, is there going to be an improvement for Palestinian suffering in the future?

Just as Trump discredits US democracy, Israel's persecution of Palestinians eats away at its international standing.

There have been eloquent, muckraking books exposing the Israel lobby's stranglehold on the US. One that still stands out is Stephen Walton and John Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (2007), published when the whole nation was writhing from the nightmare of the Iraq war, allowing some critics to shed light on the truth.

Ending the [Palestinian/Israeli] conflict should be seen as a national security priority for the United States. But this will not happen as long as the lobby makes it impossible for American leaders to use the leverage at their disposal to pressure Israel into ending the occupation and creating a viable Palestinian state.

But it's an uphill battle in both the US and Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau is continuing Harper's policy of blind support for Israel. The resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign was a bitter pill for people concerned about Palestinian suffering.

The only way things will improve for Palestine is if North Americans stand up and fight to protest their governments' cowardice in the face of Israel's powerful influence on governments here. Public action and prayer are all honest people can offer in the West at this point.


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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html