One more thought about the oil industry’s role in American politics. Right now Barack Obama is beating up on an oil company, BP, and implicitly I guess on Halliburton too (when there’s a lot of blame to go around–including on the American people). It’s good politics to beat up on an oil company. But Obama has never said one critical word about Gaza. He was silent throughout the onslaught, which did more damage to Gaza than BP has done to the Gulf coast, and he’s sandbagged the Goldstone report. If corporate interests are so determinative of US policy, then how come a president can bash the corporations all day long? Obama’s silence on Gaza completely echoes my own experience in another precinct of the discourse, mainstream media: we can’t go near this, we can’t criticize Israel. Our politics are broken on this question.