The story made a powerful impression on me. I had grown up without a sense of roots. My father was black, he was from Kenya, and he left us when I was two. My mother was white, she was from Kansas, and I'd moved with her to Indonesia and then back to Hawaii. In many ways, I didn't know where I came from. So I was drawn to the belief that you could sustain a spiritual, emotional and cultural identity. And I deeply understood the Zionist idea - that there is always a homeland at the center of our story.

Political Zionism is not what the Torah and its Exodus are about.

You see, my great uncle had been a part of the 89th Infantry Division - the first Americans to reach a Nazi concentration camp. They liberated Ohrdruf, part of Buchenwald, on an April day in 1945. The horrors of that camp go beyond our capacity to imagine. Tens of thousands died of hunger, torture, disease, or plain murder - part of the Nazi killing machine that killed 6 million people.

Well, the Jews say it was 6 million Jews. The story has always been that it was 11 million people. The numbers are in dispute, but if he's going to hold with the number stressed by the neocons, at least he could recognize the other 5 million souls. They matter just as much. Let's not forget everyone else who died from the war in all the other ways too. The Russians lost 20 million they say. (Tolstoy put it at around 10 million by the Nazis and 20 million by Stalin and the NKVD.)

When the Americans marched in, they discovered huge piles of dead bodies and starving survivors. General Eisenhower ordered Germans from the nearby town to tour the camp, so they could see what was being done in their name. He ordered American troops to tour the camp, so they could see the evil they were fighting against. He invited Congressmen and journalists to bear witness. And he ordered that photographs and films be made. Explaining his actions, Eisenhower said that he wanted to produce, "first-hand evidence of these things, if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to propaganda."

People who deny that anything happened are as bad as those who would inflate the numbers to milk sympathy. The Nazis murdered countless people. Why the Jews don't openly address every question about the figures makes no sense.

Look, people are arguing all the time about how many victims there have been due to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. The numbers disagree by upwards of a million. Who's right? Who's closer to right? There's nothing wrong with debating the methodology used in making the estimates is there? I say there is not.

I for one, suspect anyone who refuses to be challenged and to debate and show his or her reasoning.

It was just a few years after the liberation of the camps that David Ben-Gurion declared the founding of the Jewish State of Israel. We know that the establishment of Israel was just and necessary [meant "necessity"], rooted in centuries of struggle, and decades of patient work. But 60 years later, we know that we cannot relent, we cannot yield, and as President I will never compromise when it comes to Israel's security.

Now why was it a necessity when there were so many Jews in the world in London and especially in America for instance who said it was not at all necessary or even desirable? Why uproot the Palestinians for the crimes of others? Where is Obama's mention of the Palestinians' suffering, oppression, and persecution? He didn't dare, because he was sucking up to the Likudniks for votes and even more so for money and positive media coverage.

Hamas now controls Gaza. Hizbollah has tightened its grip on southern Lebanon, and is flexing its muscles in Beirut. Because of the war in Iraq, Iran - which always posed a greater threat to Israel than Iraq - is emboldened, and poses the greatest strategic challenge to the United States and Israel in the Middle East in a generation. Iraq is unstable, and al Qaeda has stepped up its recruitment. Israel's quest for peace with its neighbors has stalled, despite the heavy burdens borne by the Israeli people. And America is more isolated in the region, reducing our strength and jeopardizing Israel's safety.

Wow, that's right out of the neocon playbook. Iran is upset about Palestine. I'm upset about Palestine.

The question is how to move forward. There are those who would continue and intensify this failed status quo, ignoring eight years of accumulated evidence that our foreign policy is dangerously flawed. And then there are those who would lay all of the problems of the Middle East at the doorstep of Israel and its supporters, as if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of all trouble in the region. These voices blame the Middle East's only democracy for the region's extremism. They offer the false promise that abandoning a stalwart ally is somehow the path to strength. It is not, it never has been, and it never will be.

Sorry Obama, it isn't the either/or you've laid out here. "...all of the problems" is a transparent evasion. Israel accounts for many of the problems, not all. Look, you don't back evil against evil. You tell both sides where they are wrong. That's truth. That's strength and authority. Everything else is weak.

I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat - from Gaza to Tehran. Defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a model of success, and must be deepened. As President, I will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade - investments to Israel's security that will not be tied to any other nation.

Israel has enough money on its own. There are starving people all over the planet, and here's this guy going to give people who don't need it $30 billion. That's not change.

The long road to peace requires Palestinian partners committed to making the journey. We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements. There is no room at the negotiating table for terrorist organizations. That is why I opposed holding elections in 2006 with Hamas on the ballot. The Israelis and the Palestinian Authority warned us at the time against holding these elections. But this Administration pressed ahead, and the result is a Gaza controlled by Hamas, with rockets raining down on Israel.

Hamas is the Palestinian people wanting there land back, Barack. They are fighting people who stole their land.

...any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.

So Obama says that it was right and proper for the Jews to move in and take the land and throw the Palestinians out and not let them return to their land. Well, that's terrible. It's evil. He should be ashamed of himself. Even Moses will testify against it.

The threats to Israel start close to home, but they don't end there. Syria continues its support for terror and meddling in Lebanon. And Syria has taken dangerous steps in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, which is why Israeli action was justified to end that threat.

He has zero proof of that. The Syrians acted suspiciously, but the video provided by the CIA is very suspect. There are parts of it that look fake. Anyway, all nations have an equal right to nuclear weapons or no nation has a right to them. The only nations that mundanely wouldn't have a right would be those that started illegal wars, such as the U.S. Iran hasn't done that. Also, Israel sure didn't have the right to attack Lebanon based upon the story Israel gave.

And success will require the full enforcement of Security Council Resolution 1701 in Lebanon, and a stop to Syria's support for terror. It is time for this reckless behavior to come to an end.

There is no greater threat to Israel - or to the peace and stability of the region - than Iran.

Bull. The biggest problem in the region is the U.S.

The Iranian regime supports violent extremists and challenges us across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race, and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists. Its President denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.

You will notice that he didn't say nuclear weapons. That's slippery. Also, Obama knows that Ahmadinejad hasn't threatened Israel with anything but retaliation. Ahmadinejad believes Israel is losing the moral debate in the world, and so it is. It's too bad Barack Obama is on the wrong side of that point.

Only recently have some come to think that diplomacy by definition cannot be tough. They forget the example of Truman, and Kennedy and Reagan. These Presidents understood that diplomacy backed by real leverage was a fundamental tool of statecraft. And it is time to once again make American diplomacy a tool to succeed, not just a means of containing failure. We will pursue this diplomacy with no illusions about the Iranian regime. Instead, we will present a clear choice. If you abandon your dangerous nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives - including the lifting of sanctions, and political and economic integration with the international community. If you refuse, we will ratchet up the pressure.

They aren't going to be dictated to about nuclear energy. They can't prove a negative, just as Saddam Hussein couldn't prove that he didn't have WMDs. They can't prove they aren't supporting terrorists ever. The burden of proof is on the accuser, mister lawyer. That's fundamental. Where were you when that was covered in your law classes? Prove you aren't a terrorist, Obama. You can't. You're being stupid. You aren't qualified to be the ruler of the world.

...the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, whose Quds force has rightly been labeled a terrorist organization.

Barack Obama is no better than George W. Bush when it comes to leveling accusations that he cannot back up.

Sometimes there are no alternatives to confrontation.

He calls himself a Christian. You're no Christian, Barack Obama.

You're an imperialist, Barack. You're coercive. You think you have the right to bully Iran and other nations so you can be elected president (Caesar) for awhile. You're a dangerous person. I don't want you heading this world. I don't want John McCain heading it either. Neither one of you is right minded.

...Israel has maintained a vibrant and open discourse, and a resilient commitment to the rule of law.

Please tell the truth. Israel has broken international law after law. It is holding some 11,000+ Palestinians in prison without trial. It has bulldozed homes and olive orchards. It has built the illegal Apartheid Wall and Jewish-only roads criss-crossing Palestine. It has built numerous illegal settlements. It's still doing it. It has dumped its raw sewage into Palestine. It has indiscriminately killed untold Palestinian civilians, including unarmed old people, women and children, babies, and the pregnant. That's just for starters. It's all illegal, just as stealing the land was and remains illegal.

Now, I'm not judging or condemning Barack Obama or John McCain. I'm just telling the truth here to the best of my ability. I don't punish. The measuring staff is the truth of Jesus Christ. We need to work at measuring up just as much as possible — with all our individual and collective strength. Nothing else is good enough to push for. Obama and McCain push for a standard that is way, way too low. It's dark, very dark. It's wholly unenlightened.

Tom Usher

About Tom Usher

Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.