Rabin turns to lobbying of U.S. leadersIsraeli Prime...

the Forum

January 12, 1993

Rabin turns to lobbying of U.S. leaders

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin indicates that Israel is now a "freedom fighter" against the global spread of Islamic fundamentalism. Downplaying his deportation of Palestinians from their homeland, he wants to sell his ideas to Bill Clinton before Mideast peace talks reconvene.

Israel has been a "freedom fighter" for many years: supporting South Africa with arms during apartheid, selling arms to military governments in Central and South America, to fundamentalist Islamic Iran.

Rabin sounds like our heroic freedom fighters Ronald Reagan, Ollie North, George Bush, John Poindexter, et al. He presents (as did Reagan) the big emotional lie, pandering to our emotions and instincts -- rather than to our reason.

Public relations and lobbying is the tool of the accomplished sociopath. Sociopaths are persuasive and "cool" because they have no right/wrong "brakes" to curb them.

Usually the United States media hooks onto the best public relations ploy. The American people have been fed on half-truths and lies for too long now. Enough is enough. With American money and weapons, Israel is now one of the strongest nuclear powers on earth. Let's get on with the peace talks, recognizing Israel's and Palestine's right to co-exist, and fight terrorism in whatever form -- through the United Nations, etc.

Herbert J. Scism

Essex

Honoring Douglass

As we celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday this month, all Americans also should honor Frederick Douglass, the great black orator, abolitionist, journalist and father of civil rights who was born into slavery in Maryland during the month of February, 1818.

Largely self-educated and self-liberated, Douglass rose against formidable odds to become a great American leader not only in the fight for the abolition of slavery but in the wider cause of human rights.

After the Civil War, Douglass used his unique gifts as writer and orator to fight for equal rights for blacks as zealously as he had fought for emancipation.

He was actively associated with the campaign for equal rights for women and became a champion of free education for "every poor man from Maine to Texas."

In addition, he played an important role in the early black labor movement and was involved in the temperance crusade.

Gary Y. Davis

Baltimore

New direction for NAACP's Baltimore County branch

Being a life member of this grand old organization known as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, I enter into the year 1993 with a bit of skepticism, a bit of optimism and a lot of renewed energy about the prospects of the organization in general and our Baltimore County branch in particular.

The organization has served persons of color well over the years and now needs an overhaul of leadership nationally and locally to assure refocusing. This refocusing is badly needed so that this organization will continue to be a force in the greater community.

I wish to congratulate the newly elected officers of our Baltimore County branch and to wish them success in the coming year. Even though I have great concerns about the number of Baltimore City residents that were elected to the executive board of our branch, I only wish that they have the commitment, the determination, the energy and the steadfastness of purpose for the tasks before them.

I would be remiss if I failed to comment on the events that have taken place over the past year.

Our president, retired Col. James R. Pennington, was forced from his office after 14 years of dedicated service at the helm of our Baltimore County branch.

Several of those years were often stormy and confrontational for the colonel, but there was always an agenda and there was never a dull moment. Many of us did not agree with his style, but those of us who knew him never doubted his sincerity.

Allow me to say loudly, emphatically and unapologetically that TC the colonel's approach to many problems over the years, even though often misunderstood and sometimes purposely recorded incorrectly, were never directed to achieve any other purpose than that of improving the plight of the people of color he represented.

The colonel was not guilty of misconduct in office; he was guilty of being too committed to the cause. He was guilty of exacting too much from volunteers. He was guilty of expecting too much from others. He was guilty of caring for some who did not know how to care for themselves. He was guilty of not realizing that the era of direct confrontation on issues was waning.

And lastly, he was guilty of not realizing that the party was over, and that he had served beyond his time. Often leaders in our communities, politicians and bureaucrats alike, stay in power too long and harm their earned images and destroy their effectiveness. I wish personally to thank the colonel for his unwavering leadership provided to our branch over the last 14 years.

I wish him well, and only hope that the current leadership has taken good notes.

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