The Choice: Obama, Romney or Who Cares?

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The Choice: Obama, Romney or Who Cares?
By Ray Hanania
Southwest News-Herald Fri. October 26, 2012
I’m not getting much inspiration from either of the presidential candidates, but I don’t think I — as an American Arab who served in the U.S. military — am the target audience of either President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.
That’s one reason why I thought this week’s third and final “debate” on American foreign policy was such a worthless joke.What did the two candidates say? They both support our American troops. They both oppose “terrorism,” the new contemporary boogieman. They both really, really love Israel and clearly would sacrifice American interests on Israel’s behalf. They both dislike Iran although one might send American soldiers to fight there on Israel’s behalf faster than the other might. And, they both foresee an American military presence in Afghanistan for a long time to come.

What I didn’t hear from either was any real substance. Why would they discuss substance when substance is the last thing the average American voter wants to hear?

Americans don’t want substance. They want reassurance that what we are doing is right. They don’t want anyone upsetting the applecart and questioning the Holy Grail of Patriotism or wonder too loudly why we are still in Afghanistan, or worse, why we are still in Iraq, which we really haven’t left.

Neither Romney nor Obama were really speaking to me, because I don’t buy the BS that’s been fed to the average American about our so-called “war on terrorism.” I don’t buy the excuses of our failure to properly defend this country. Why didn’t we stop the terrorists on Sept. 11? We had enough information to do something but we just didn’t believe people “living in caves” could dare to strike this “great country.” Believing so would be unpatriotic!

I don’t accept the claims that America acts on the basis of democracy and a U.S. Constitution, especially after reading volume after volume of how we tortured and even murdered innocent men and women and even children who we captured after Sept. 11. We couldn’t tell the difference between a real terrorist and an innocent civilian caught up in the war. And we still can’t.

Better to just kill them all and “let God sort out who is good and who is evil.”

We’d never hear Obama or Romney debate those issues because it would upset Americans, and neither wants to upset Americans and lose a lot of votes. The election is close enough.

We won’t get a real debate about how Israel is draining our resources or how American soldiers are risking their lives in Afghanistan — for what, exactly? It’s been more than 10 years since we invaded the country and we only recently took out bin Laden. And the terrorist threat is still out there.

Americans don’t want the frightening and disturbing truth. They prefer the comforting lies. That’s why our culture is built around an audience that sits around the bonfire of fiction watching TV program after TV program to reinforce the lies.

Americans want entertainment. They prefer life in a fantasy world where they feel safe, when in fact the world remains an extremely dangerous place.

It doesn’t matter whether Obama wins or Romney wins. In the end, Americans will be in the same place where they have always been, in a fantasy world of brainwashed expectations, politics driven by spin rather than facts, and a society in which a fortunate few own everything. The middle class is brainwashed into accepting mediocrity, and the growing poor continue to starve.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. You may reach him at  — City & Suburban News-Herald

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This post has already been read 2870 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania