Review: “Becoming” By Michelle Obama – Mainstream Lying, Genocide Ignoring &  Holocaust Ignoring

Becoming By Michelle Obama

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama is an inspiring, feel-good story of how a working class African-American woman became a Harvard graduate,  corporate lawyer, perfect mother and thence  First Lady of the US. However “Becoming” has numerous  extraordinary  absences e.g. the Harvard Law School years, Black felony laws, the Israel Lobby, 130,000 US veteran suicides and 30 million preventable US deaths since 9-11, pro-Apartheid America, who killed Osama, and egregious US violation of 12 countries under Obama.

“Becoming “ by Michele Obama [1] is well written but it has also been very well edited to the point of massive lying by omission, genocide ignoring  and holocaust ignoring. Michelle Obama comes across as a strong, smart, family- and community-oriented  caring person, a hard worker, a  good wife, a pragmatic idealist and an excellent mother. Her book will no doubt be an inspiration for both Black and White American children,  girls, women, mothers, husbands and families.  It is a feel-good, rags to riches story that attempts to validate American capitalism and the American Dream – no matter who you are and from where you come, work hard, keep your nose clean,  and you too can rise to the top of the pile. The only catches are  the societal realities and the statistics – thus it took 240 years after American Independence in 1776 for  an African –American man to become President of the United States (POTUS) and for  an African –American woman to become First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS).

And of course this didn’t happen, on top of ability and hard work, simply by serendipity, accident and good fortune. The real story of how and why the neoliberal, One Percenter American Establishment chose Barack Obama to be president will very likely never be told, notwithstanding the authoritative insider pretensions of “Becoming”.

Indeed in the stuff of legend, “Becoming” has it that crucially Barack Obama asked his 8 year old elder daughter Malia in mid-2015 for her opinion on whether he should run for president: “To this day, Malia and I still crack up about the fact that she’d  been eight years old when Barack, clearly feeling some sense of responsibility, posed the question one night when he was tucking her into bed. “How would you feel if Daddy ran for president?” “Sure, Daddy!” she replied, pecking him on the cheek. His decision to run would alter nearly everything about her life after that, but how was she to know? She’d just rolled over then and drifted off to sleep’ (page 255 [1]).

Indeed, in relation to family approval for Obama running for president, Michelle Obama further states: “Barack and I talked the idea through, not once, but many times, right up to and through our Christmas trip to visit Toot in Hawaii. Some of our conversations were angry and tearful, some of them earnest and positive. It was an extension of a dialogue we’d been having over seventeen years already. Who were we? What mattered to us? What could we do? In the end,  it boiled down to this:  I said yes because I believed that Barack could be a great president… I said yes because I loved him and had faith in what he could do. I said yes, though I was at the same time harboring a painful thought,  one I wasn’t ready to share: I supported him in campaigning , but I also felt certain he couldn’t make it… Barack was a black man in America, after all. I didn’t really think he could win” (page 226 [1]). In similar vein she commented: “And so I gave my approval to his first run for office [for the Illinois Senate] (page 183 [1]).

The first half of “Becoming” was a terrific and inspiring account of the childhood, family, education and friends of an African American woman from the impoverished South Side of Chicago. One has nothing but admiration for Michelle Obama the child and  young woman, for her wonderful parents and grandparents,  her music teacher Aunt Robbie (in whose house they lived), her brother Craig , her school teachers and mentors. A crucial event was  Michelle Obama’s mother responding to Michelle’s complaints about a hopeless teacher by getting her school to shift Michelle to a better class with a competent  teacher. A further key event was going to a good high school as a teenager.

However ”Becoming” makes clear  the economic disparities between the largely and increasingly African-American South Side of Chicago and the rest of Chicago, the real obstacles to advancement for African Americans, and the escalating gang violence in the South Side that is tragically exampled towards the end of the  book by the shooting killing of  15 year old school girl , Hadiya Pendelton,  shortly after she had attended the second inauguration of Barack Obama as a band member (pages 380-382 [1]). ( A professional person very dear to me had to attend an interview at the University of Chicago but as a non-American he  was not aware of the deadly violence in the immediately  adjacent South Side and innocently booked a room at a conveniently located  South Side hotel. However the hotel  would only take cash but gave him an armed escort to a nearby automatic  teller machine. Throughout  the night he heard the sound of gunfire).

The “political” second half of “Becoming” is an interesting “behind the scenes” account that presents Michelle Obama as  a very good mother (very protective of her daughters Malia and Sasha in the bizarre but necessary presidential and political security environment ), as an honest  campaigner (upset by variously false and unfair denigration of her husband and even of herself by partisan commentators), and as a community-oriented person who used her position as First Lady to advance several key causes (better nutrition and exercise for American children,  child ambition, child education, and better back-up for the veterans and their families).

However while “Becoming” is a feel good and inspiring account, it must be criticized for resolutely sticking to the Mainstream American narrative involving massive lying by  omission, genocide ignoring, holocaust ignoring and the ignoring of a veritable Herd of Elephants in the Room. Neocon American- and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)- subverted US Mainstream media and US- and Zionist-subverted Western Mainstream media in general have a dominant culture of censorship, self-censorship, lying by commission and massive lying by omission. Of course lying by omission is far, far worse than repugnant lying by commission because the latter at least permits public refutation and public discussion [2-5].

Extremely pertinent here are the words of Margaret Atwood  (Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, environmental activist and  author) on the unacceptability of silence (2009): “Powerlessness and silence go together. We…should use our privileged positions not as a shelter from the world’s reality, but as a platform from which to speak. A voice is a gift. It should be cherished and used” [6].

Barbara Kingsolver (American novelist, essayist and poet) in her great novel “The Lacuna” (lacuna meaning hiatus, blank, missing part, gap, cavity, or empty space) has  Russian Communist revolutionary and theorist Leon Trotsky (Lev) and his assistant Van having the following discussion about media (2009): “”But newspapers have a duty to truth”, Van said. Lev [Trotsky] clicked his tongue. “They tell the truth only as the exception. Zola [French novelist of “J’accuse” fame] wrote that the mendacity of the press could be could be divided into two groups: the yellow press lies every day without hesitating. But others, like the Times , speak the truth on all inconsequential occasions, so they can deceive the public with the requisite authority when it becomes necessary.” Van got up from his chair to gather the cast-off newspapers. Lev took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. ” I don’t mean to offend the journalists; they aren’t any different from other people. They’re merely the megaphones of other people” … [Trotsky observes to his assistant Shepherd] “Soli, let me tell you. The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don’t know”” [7].

The numerous gaping  absences, holes or lacunae  in Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”  narrative are  succinctly set out below.

(1). The missing Harvard Law School Years, 1981-1984.

Michelle Obama got her first degree from  Princeton University and deals at great length with her connections with Princeton – starting with her brother Craig’s Princeton basketball scholarship  –   in Chapters 5, 6 and 7, encompassing pages 59-91. However this is in stark contrast to the almost nothing  that Michelle Obama has to say about her 3 years at the prestigious Harvard Law School: “I was bound for law school – Harvard Law School, as it turned out – the affirmation was overwhelming. I was applauded just for getting in, even if the truth was I’d somehow squeaked in off the wait list. But I was in. People looked at me as if I’d made my mark on the world.  This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path – the my-isn’t-that –impressive path – and keep you there for a long time. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people’s high regard can feel too costly. Maybe you spend three years in Massachusetts, studying constitutional law  and discussing the  relative merits of exclusionary vertical agreements in antitrust cases. For some, this might be truly interesting, but for you it is not. Maybe during those three years you make friends you’ll love and respect forever, people who seem genuinely called to the bloodless intricacies of the law, but you yourself are not called. Your passion stays low, yet under no circumstances will you underperform. You live, as you always have, by the code of effort/result, and with it you keep achieving until you think you know the answers to all the questions – including the most important one. Am I good enough? Yes, in fact  I am. What happens next is the rewards get real . You reach for the next rung of the ladder , and this time it’s a job with a salary in the Chicago offices of a high-end law firm called Sidley & Austin… [much later] Next to your name [on a mentoring list] is another name, that of some hotshot law student [Barack Obama] who’s busy climbing his own ladder. Like you he’s black and from Harvard” (pages 91-93 [1]).

The book’s  missing Harvard Law School Years of 1981-1984 [1, 8] overlaps  with a similar “lacuna” in Barack Obama’s interrupted academic training between graduating from Columbia in 1983 and commencing law at Harvard Law School in 1988  [9, 10].  Wikipedia: “He graduated with a BA degree in 1983 and worked for about a year at the [CIA-linked] Business International Corporation, where he was a financial researcher and writer,  then as a project coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group on the City College of New York campus for three months in 1985… Two years after graduating from Columbia, Obama was back in Chicago when he was hired as director of the Developing Communities Project, a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale on Chicago’s South Side. He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988” [9]. Wikipedia informs that “Business International Corporation (BI) was a publishing and advisory firm dedicated to assisting American companies in operating abroad. It was founded in 1953. It organized conferences, and worked with major corporations. It had ties to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)” [11]. In his book “Dreams from My Father” Obama makes scant reference to Columbia, Harvard, and British atrocities in Kenya, and no mention at all of his stint in 1983-1984 with the CIA-linked Business International Corporation.

(2) American Apartheid – wealth-based racial Segregation and Felony Laws disenfranchising African Americans.

Michelle Obama  qualitatively describes the  outrageous inequities of opportunity, employment, housing, income and wealth applying to African Americans (notably to her parents,  grandparents and other relatives) and recounts how Barack Obama was active in Black voter registration in Chicago via Project VOTE! (page 180 [1]). However what is missing is quantitation of these inequities.   Thus she describes but does not quantitate the enormous implicit wealth differential (housing is the biggest wealth asset,  African American wealth is about 5 times lower  than that of  Whites, a $75,040 average home value for Black Americans versus $217,150 for Whites (2013) and $154,285 average household assets for Black Americans versus $783,224 for Whites (2013) [12-14]).

Indeed the Black-White discrepancy in America has been locked in for 50 years with (i) 2 times higher unemployment rate for African Americans than for Whites since 1963 (in the range  from 1.8 times higher  to 2.7 times higher) [14],    (ii) 11.6% average unemployment rate for African Americans (1963-2012) ( 5.1% for Whites, 6.7% American average during recessions) , (iii) $55,000 – $32,000 = $23,000 White-Black household income gap (2010) versus $49,000 – $28,000 = $21,000 (1972), ( iv) 6-fold White/Black wealth disparity in the period 1983-2010, (v) 42%/11% Black/White “below poverty line” (1966) to 23%/7% (2000) and to 28%/10% (2011), and  (vi) 45% of African Americans children living in areas of concentrated poverty (poverty rate  30% or greater) versus 12% for White, 21% for Asian and Pacific Islander, 35% for Hispanic and 39% for American Indian children [12-14].

“Becoming” describes the demographic shift in the South Side of Chicago (and in schools) as White and some wealthier  Black families fled to nicer, richer and safer suburbs, but the words “Segregation”, “Apartheid” and “Educational Apartheid” are not used. Thus in 2009/2010,   74.1% / 38.1% of African Americans children were in in Segregated  (50-100% non-white)/ Intensely  segregated (90-100% non-white) schools versus 76.6% / 64.3% in 1968/1969 [12-14]. Notwithstanding the great move to school desegregation in the 1960s due to John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, African American children today are subject to huge Educational Apartheid [15, 16]. Adam Sanchez: “One would think that the first Black president of the United States might shift course against the privatization of public education and toward desegregation and equity in our public schools” [15, 16].

“Becoming” observes that Barack Obama benefited in his various election campaigns from Black voter registration, but what is missing from Michelle Obama’s narrative is what Dr Michelle Alexander has described as “the New Jim Crow” in America  based on differential wealth and disenfranchising Felony Laws. Thus  5-6 million Americans have been disenfranchised because of felony convictions and more than a million of these disenfranchised Americans are black. Felony convictions restrict 13 percent of the country’s black male population from voting. Other restrictions may prevent African Americans from voting  [17-19]. Dr Michelle  Alexander ( author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” [18],  and former director of the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU in Northern California): “If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas have been labeled felons for life. (In the Chicago area, the figure is nearly 80 percent.) These men are part of a growing undercaste—not class, caste—permanently relegated by law to a second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits, much as their grandparents and great-grandparents were during the Jim Crow era.” [19].

African Americans  and Hispanic Americans  have  about half their “fair share” of representatives  in Congress and 5-6 times less Congressional  representation than  Jewish Americans. Thus the ethnic mix of the United States (2010 data) is as follows: Whites (72.4%), non-Hispanic White (63.7%), Hispanic (16.4%) , White Hispanic (8.7%) , African American   (12.6%) , Asian American (4.6%), Jewish (1.7% to 2.6%), and  Native American (0.9%). In 2012, the American Jewish population was estimated at between 5.5-8 million, depending on the definition of the term, with this constituting between 1.7% to 2.6% of the total US population [20].  Of the 113th Congress (100 Senators  and 435 Representatives) there were 12 Jewish Americans in the Senate (12.0%; 11 Democrats, 1 Independent) and 22 in the House of Representatives (5.1%; 1 Republican, 21 Democrats) or 6.4% overall [21, 22]. However, during the 113th Congress (commencing in 2013), the Congressional Black Caucus had 1 Senator, 41 voting Representatives i.e. 7.9% of total [23]. Thus African Americans have about half their “fair share” of representatives  in Congress and roughly the same representation in Congress as Jewish Americans while having a 5-fold greater population [12].

(3) No mention of Israel, Apartheid Israel, Zionism, Palestine, the Palestinian Genocide or the hugely disproportionate Jewish make-up of the Obama retinue.

Through hard work and ability (the latter possibly selected for by a millennium of persecution and pogroms in Europe) Jewish Americans  (about 2% of the US population) are disproportionately represented in US government  and business.   Thus in 2013 Jews represented 6.4% of the US Congress (12.0% of the Senate and 5.1% of members of the House of Representatives )[12, 21, 22]. While numerous anti-racist  Jewish intellectuals are resolutely  critical  of the  ongoing Palestinian Genocide [24-28], Western Mainstream Media variously  censor  or white-wash  the nuclear terrorist, genocidally racist, and grossly human rights-abusing conduct of Apartheid Israel.  A part  explanation for this huge moral discrepancy is that the American 60% of the world’s 30 biggest media companies have a disproportionately high  Jewish Board membership. Jews and females represent 2% and 51%, respectively,  of the US population but average 33% and 19%, respectively, of Board members of the top 18 US media companies [29]. 48% of U.S.  billionaires are Jewish [30], there are 10 Jews in the Forbes list of the top 50 billionaires [31], and in 2013 the World’s 165 Jewish billionaires were worth a combined $812 billion [32].

Now America has always  been a  very flawed Democracy that has transmuted into a Kleptocracy, Plutocracy, Murdochracy, Lobbyocracy, Corporatocracy and Dollarocracy – all terms, apart from Democracy, totally absent from the Index of Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” [33] –  in which Big Money purchases people, politicians, parties, policies,  public perception of reality, judicial perception of reality, votes, more power and more personal wealth.  The One Percenters who  control 50% of the wealth of the world are disproportionately powerful politically.  Numerous  anti-racist Jewish activists,  academics,  and American humanitarians resolutely oppose the crimes of nuclear terrorist, genocidally racist, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel and its ongoing Palestinian  Genocide and Palestinian Holocaust ( 2.2 million Palestinians killed by from violence, 0.1 million, or by imposed deprivation, 2.1 million, since the British invasion of Palestine in WW1) [27, 34]. However Lobbyocracy America, US Mainstream media  and indeed Western Mainstream media  are dominated by immensely rich Neocon American and Zionist Imperialists (NAZIs) . As with “Becoming”, US and Western Mainstream media largely ignore the horrendous genocidal crimes of Apartheid Israel in its ongoing  Palestinian  Genocide and Palestinian Holocaust [34].

Astonishingly, given the high proportion of Jewish aides (and most likely fervently pro-Zionist) aides  in the Obama Chicago and Washington retinue, “Becoming” only mentions the term “Jews” once in relation to comments by his political opponents  in Chicago: “From the start of the campaign [Chicago Democrat primaries for Congress], Barack’s opponents and their supporters had been propagating unseemly ideas meant to gin up fear and mistrust among African-American voters, suggesting that Barack was part of an agenda cooked up by the white residents of Hyde Park – read, white Jews – to foist their preferred candidate on the South Side . “Barack is viewed in part to be the white man in blackface in our community,”  Donne Trotter told the Chicago Reader. Speaking to the same publication, Bobby Rush said, “He went to Harvard and became an educated fool. We’re not impressed with these folks with these eastern elite degrees.” He’s not one of us, in other words. Barack wasn’t a real black man , like them – someone who spoke like that , looked like that, and read that many books could never be… In March, Barack lost the Democratic primary in what ended up being a resounding victory for Bobby Rush” (pages 197-198 [1]. (Elsewhere in the book Michelle Obama recounts a fellow school child asking her why she didn’t talk like them).

While “Jews” gets one disputational mention in “Becoming” and “bar mitzvah” gets 1 mention, there is zero (0) mention in “Becoming” of anti-racist Jews, Apartheid Israel, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Gaza Concentration Camp, Genocide, Holocaust, Israel, Israeli Apartheid, Jerusalem [Al Quds],  Jew, Jewish, Jewish Holocaust, Netanyahu, Palestine, Palestinian, Palestinian Genocide, Palestinian Holocaust, Passover, Seder, pro-Apartheid, Zionism or Zionist.

Yet Jewish American writer Jodi Kantor in the New York Times describes an annual Passover Seder held in the White House by the Obama’s with their children and Jewish staff (2010): “In the Old Family Dining Room, under sparkling chandeliers and portraits of former first ladies, the mostly Jewish and African-American guests will recite prayers and retell the biblical story of slavery and liberation, ending with the traditional declaration “Next year in Jerusalem.” (Never mind the current chill in the administration’s relationship with Israel.) Aides like David Axelrod [Jewish] and Valerie Jarrett [African-American] will attend, but so will assistants like 24-year-old Herbie Ziskend [Jewish] . White House chefs will prepare Jewish participants’ family recipes, even rendering chicken fat — better known as schmaltz — for just the right matzo ball flavor. If last year is any guide, Malia and Sasha Obama will take on the duties of Jewish children, asking four questions about the night’s purpose — along with a few of their own — and scrambling to find matzo hidden in the gleaming antique furniture” [35].

Jewish American writer Donald Harrison comments on the Jewishness of the Obama Administration (2018):  “As a Jew, I empathize with the feeling that Mrs. Obama enunciates, that to members of a minority group, it feels as if one must do twice as much to go half as far.  As I read her classifying people into categories of black (friendly) and white (possibly hostile), I realized that through my Jewish eyes, the world often takes on a similar dichotomous appearance.  There are Jews (understanding, understandable) and non-Jews, be they Christian, Muslim, or some other religion (all possibly anti-Semitic). I read the “Becoming Me” chapter warily, especially when I learned that one of her earliest exposures to politics was through her girlfriend Santita Jackson, whose father was the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who unfortunately will long be remembered by Jews for describing New York City as “Hymietown,” notwithstanding anything else that may commend him.  Add to that name, in the “Becoming Us,” section, that of her and Barack Obama’s minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Trinity Church, whose outbursts against white people and Jews were so well reported that they overshadowed anything good that he may have done. However, I learned from this memoir that the Obamas also had a wide network of Jewish friends, advisers, and, in the “Becoming More” section, a considerable group of Jewish aides during their White House years.  These Jews were not simply tokens; they were trusted friends and advisers, people who meant a lot to the Obamas. Reading about such people, peppered throughout the book, I found myself relaxing.  If these people, whose names and roles I shall enumerate, found their way into the Obamas’ hearts, then clearly the Obamas, far beyond any ceremonial Chanukah greeting,  had felt real friendship for Jews, even if, as we all know, his feud with Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was epic (and not mentioned in the book” [36].

Here is a short list based on references  in “Becoming” [1] of the Jewish retinue and Jewish key associates of Barack Obama (BO) and Michelle Obama (MO) (with some White House Seder attendees also  included [35]):

David Axelrod (Chief Strategist for BO’s presidential campaigns and Obama Senior Advisor);

David Brooks (influential  conservative Jewish journalist with the New York Times, considered the Obama White House’s favourite columnist e.g. for “Run, Barack, Run” (page 223 [1]);

Arun Chaudhary (has a half Indian and half Jewish family, BO videographer);

Neil Cohen (husband of Susan Sher who was MO’s chief of staff);

Rahm Emanuel (son of an Irgun Zionist terrorist, member of the US House of Representatives from Chicago between 2003 and 2009, Obama White House Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2010, thence Mayor of Chicago);

Sarah Hurwitz (senior speechwriter for BO and author of  “Here All Along: A Reintroduction to Judaism”);

Valerie Jarrett (deputy chief of staff for MO; senior adviser to the Obamas; her great grandfather was Jewish);

Sam Kass (BO’s Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy, Executive Director for MO’s  Let’s Move! campaign, an Assistant Chef for the Obamas in the White House)

Vanessa Kirsch (social entrepreneur and founder of Public Allies that employed MO in Chicago);

Michael Kors (fashion designer patronized by MO);

Eric Lesser, (former BO baggage handler and organizer of the annual White House Seder, thence assistant to David Axelrod);

Susan Sher (MO’s chief of staff);

Molly Stern (edited “Becoming”);

Art Sussman (in-house legal cousin for University of Chicago, employed MO’s  mother, helped MO get a job at the University of Chicago);

Diane von Furstenberg (Jewish Belgian fashion designer patronized by MO);

Melissa Winter (MO deputy chief of staff, former aide of rabid Zionist  Senator Joe Lieberman);

Patricia Winter (the mother of Melissa Winter, and gave matzo ball instructions to White House chefs);

Herbie Ziskend (former White House advisor and one of the founders of the Obama White House Passover Seder).

Very roughly, of people named as Obama connections  in the “political” latter half of “Becoming”, about one third are Jewish, about one third African Americans, and  one third non-Jewish White, Asian  or Hispanic Americans.

We will consider the Jewish Zionist Lobby below in the section entitled “Pro-Apartheid US”, noting that there is a large body of decent, anti-racist Jews (including  anti-racist Jewish Americans) who speak out about the horrendous crimes of Apartheid Israel and its ongoing  Palestinian genocide [24-28].

(4) 7,000 US war dead, 130,000 US veteran suicides, and  30 million preventable US deaths since 9-11 (3,000 killed).

Michelle Obama initiated  4 good causes during her time  as FLOTUS, namely “Let’s Move” (an anti-obesity message of  good nutrition and exercise, especially for children), “Reach Higher” (promoting ambition for school children), “Let Girls Learn” (promoting female education) and “Joining Forces”  (promoting better support for veterans and their families).

However missing from “Becoming” were the appalling statistics relating to 1.7 million preventable American deaths annually from “lifestyle choices” and “political choices”, the breakdown (with some overlaps)  including (as of 2015):   (1) smoking-related (440,000), (2)  adverse hospital events (440,000), (3) obesity-related causes (300,000), (4) air pollution e.g. from coal burning, vehicle exhaust, or carbon burning in general (200,000), (5) alcohol-related (75,000),  (6) lack of medical insurance (45,000), (7) drug-related deaths, this including  21,000 US opiate drug-related deaths annually from US restoration and protection of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry (38,000),  (8) motor vehicle accidents (33,000), (9) gun-related deaths (31,000),  (10) suicides,  with 7,000 being US veterans (30,000),  (11) avoidable under-5 year old US infant deaths (21,000),  (12) homicide  (15,000), (13) deaths from jihadi attack in the US (4) [37-44]

Michelle Obama laudably promoted a healthy diet and exercise to combat American obesity in her “Let’s move” activism, but there was no mention in “Becoming” of the 0.3 million American obesity-related deaths per year x 17.75 years = 5.3 million Americans who have died  from obesity since 9-11 (3,000 deaths).

Similarly, Michelle Obama laudably promoted child education through “Reach Higher” and “Let Girls Learn” but there was no mention in “Becoming” of the horrendous existential realities of 15 million avoidable deaths from deprivation each year on Spaceship Earth with Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist  (NAZI)-dominated America in charge of the flight deck (266 million such deaths in this Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust since 9-11) [45]. Nor was there any mention of how a fundamentalist , state terrorist and non-state terrorism-supporting America has trashed secular governance, modernity, democracy, women’s rights and children’s rights in the Muslim world [46] , this being associated with an ongoing Muslim Genocide and Muslim Holocaust in which 32 million Muslims have died from violence, 5 million, or from imposed deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity [47-51].

Michelle Obama laudably promoted better care for veterans , their spouses and families through “Joining Forces” but there was no mention of the circa 7,000 veteran conflict zone deaths in the War on Terror [52], nor of the 20 veteran  suicides each day since the 1960s [54], this corresponding  to 7,300 veteran suicides per year and 130,000 veteran suicides since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity (3,000 deaths) [37-44].  There was no mention of the 72 countries  invaded by the US since 1776 (52 since WW2)  [55] nor of the $6 trillion long-term accrual cost of the War on Terror [56, 57] –  this huge fiscal perversion has involved committing $6 trillion to killing over 30 million  Muslims abroad at the cost of 7,000 US military deaths in conflict zones, 130,000 US veteran suicides, and the preventable deaths of 30 million Americans at home from “lifestyle” or “political” choices .

(5) Pro-Apartheid America.

Michelle Obama and Barack Obama visited anti-Apartheid hero Nelson Mandela in South Africa (pages 367- 369 [1]) but there is no explicit mention in “Becoming” of  “Apartheid America” per se. Indeed the message of the first Black POTUS and FLOTUS  is denial of the continuing appalling reality of an Apartheid America based not on discriminatory laws but on the harsh  realities of wealth inequity in a  ruthless neoliberal society.

Nelson Mandela and many of his anti-Apartheid associates have condemned  Israeli Apartheid as just as bad and indeed worse than South African  Apartheid. Thus Nelson Mandela in an address at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (4 December, 1997):  “The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” [58].  Anti-racist Jewish anti-Apartheid hero Ronnie Kasrils on Apartheid Israel and Apartheid South Africa: “ The [Israeli] occupation reminds me of the darkest days of apartheid, but we never saw tanks and planes firing at a civilian population. It’s a monstrousness I’d never seen before. The wall you built, the checkpoints and the roads for Jews only – it turns the stomach, even for someone who grew up under apartheid. It’s a hundred times worse” [59].

Yet in “Becoming” there is no mention of Israel, Apartheid Israel, Israeli Apartheid, Zionism, Palestine, Palestinian human rights, or the  Palestinian Genocide and  Palestinian Holocaust ( 2.2 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or from imposed deprivation, 2.1 million, since the British invasion of Palestine in WW1 [27, 34].

The Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 involved the killing of 69 Africans and the World responded with Boycotts and Sanctions that eventually brought down Apartheid in 1993 [60].  By way of comparison, the Israeli Gaza Massacre in 2008-2009 involved 1,400 Palestinians killed and 5,300 Palestinians wounded, as compared  to 13 Israelis killed and 518 Israelis wounded  [61].  The 2014 Gaza Massacre  involved 2,256 Palestinians killed, and 17,125 Palestinians wounded, as compared to  85 Israelis killed and 2,629 Israelis wounded [62]. According to Wikipedia, the 2018-2019 Great March of Return involved 183 Palestinians killed and 9,204 Palestinians wounded, as compared to  1 Israeli killed and 11 Israelis wounded [63], but  Al Jazeera estimates  266 Palestinians killed and 30,398 wounded [64].  Notwithstanding Zionist-driven Western hysteria, Palestinian rocket attacks on Apartheid Israel killed 32 Israelis in the period 2004-2014 [65].  Gaza has been devastated with massive destruction of homes and infrastructure to the point that in 2018 the UN reported that it is now “unliveable” [66].

There are now 7 million Palestinian refugees, and  of 14 million Palestinians (half of them children, three quarters women and children) about 50% are forbidden to even step foot in their own country on pain of death, only 1.9 million  Palestinian Israelis  are permitted to vote for the government ruling all of the former  Mandated Palestine, and 5 million Palestinians  have zero human rights [67] as Occupied Palestinians in West Bank ghettoes (3 million) or in the blockaded and bombed Gaza Concentration Camp (2.0 million). However the “lucky” Israeli Palestinians are Third Class citizens subject to over 60 Nazi-style,  race-based laws [68, 69]. The land of Palestine has now been 90% ethnically cleansed [27,  70-73].

While Indigenous Palestinians represent 50% of Apartheid Israeli subjects, nearly three quarters of them cannot vote for the government ruling them – egregious Apartheid  that is declared by the UN to be a crime against Humanity [74].  Personal disclaimer – I am an anti-racist Jewish Australian humanitarian and was happily married for 52 years to a non-Indigenous Black Australian resident and thence citizen. We were , of course, utterly opposed to racism and to Apartheid in particular for obvious humanitarian reasons but also for personal reasons – if we had lived in Apartheid South Africa  we would have been prosecuted for miscegeny and jailed. When we worked in the US in the late 1960s we would have been persecuted in the Deep South of Apartheid America.

The Obamas must have been aware of Israeli Apartheid and the gross violation of Palestinian human rights but political pragmatism (and indeed political  survival) demanded that they go along with the fervently pro-Zionist narrative of Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist  (NAZI)-subverted America. For Obama the fanatical demands of the ferocious Israel Lobby wore thin when he was publicly humiliated by Apartheid Israeli PM Netanyahu when this serial war criminal addressed Congress and received 29 standing ovations (not mentioned in “Becoming” as noted by Jewish American journalist  Donald Harrison [36]).

The public humiliation of Obama by the Israel Lobby and Apartheid Israeli PM Netanyahu is described in detail by anti-racist Jewish American Peter Beinart,  a self-styled “liberal Zionist” (oxymoronic because Zionism is genocidal racism) and of Sephardic Jewish South African origin, writing in his book “The Crisis of Zionism”  [75, 76]. He describes how Obama was influenced by the liberal Jewish tradition that was heavily involved in Black civil rights and desegregation (see Chapter 5, “The Jewish President” [75]) but when he made noises about civil rights for Palestinians he was bullied, humiliated and whipped back into the racist Zionist fold by the powerful ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and their overwhelmingly supportive Congressional lackeys. Serial war criminal and genocidal racist  Israeli PM, Netanyahu, in a speech attacking the president of the United States (Obama) received 29 standing  ovations (see Chapter 7, “The Clash” and Chapter 8, “The Humbling” [75]). Obama found some courage in one of his last acts by refusing to veto and merely abstaining from  UN Security Council Resolution 2334 that otherwise unanimously condemned the gross Apartheid Israeli violations  of International Law  in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Trump America and US lackey Australia opposed Resolution 2334) [77-79].

Michelle Obama utterly ignored Apartheid Israel and the ongoing Palestinian Genocide in “Becoming”, this astonishing omission thereby adding greater weight to the perception of the Zionist tail wagging the American dog since Apartheid Israeli acquisition of nuclear weapons in 1967 [80-85]. Senator J. William Fulbright, Chairman of U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (1973):  “Israel controls the U.S. Senate. […] The great majority of the Senate of the U.S. – somewhere around 80 percent – are completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants Israel gets” [80].

The mendacity of Zionist-subverted Mainstream media hides the deadly realities that the per capita GDP for Occupied Palestinians is a dire $3,000 as compared to  $40,000 for the Israeli Occupiers [86], that Israelis kill ten times more Israelis in Apartheid Israel than do terrorists [87], and that 2.2 million Palestinians  have died from violence, 0.1 million, or from imposed deprivation, 2.1 million, since the British invasion of Palestine in WW1  as compared to 4,000 invading Zionists dying at the hands of Indigenous Palestinians  since 1920 [88, 89]. Princeton and Harvard graduate and First Lady of the US for 8 years, Michelle Obama somehow didn’t notice.

(6) Who killed Osama bin Laden?

The mendacious and serial war criminal Bush Administration – that according to the US Center for Public Integrity told 935 lies about Iraq between 9-11 and the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 [90] – claimed that the 9-11 atrocity  (3,000 killed) was executed by Al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden i.e. men in caves were responsible for this massive atrocity. Pertinently, Al Qaeda was backed by the US against  Russia and Serbia; the FBI had Osama bin Laden on its most wanted list but not for 9-11;  none of the 19 Bush-asserted 9-11 perpetrators were from Iraq or Afghanistan (the first Muslim countries war criminally invaded by the US after 9-11); and numerous science, architecture, engineering, aviation, military and intelligence experts conclude that the US Government was responsible for 9-11, with some cogently arguing for a key involvement of Apartheid Israel and Saudi Arabia in the atrocity [51, 52].

Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)-subverted Mainstream media throughout the world rapidly fell into line with the lying Bush “official version” of 9-11, brooking no dissent from the version offered by this mendacious war criminal – indeed a  UK BBC TV journalist in New York with an intact World Trade Center (WTC) building  7 (WTC7) behind her, reported the  demolition of WTC7 (not hit by planes and suffering only minor fires) 15 minutes before it actually happened [51]. Even President Donald Trump and former Vice President Al Gore hold blame US intelligence failures for 9-11, with Al Gore stating : “These affirmative and repeated refusals to listen to clear warnings constitute behavior that goes beyond simple negligence. At a minimum, it represents a reckless disregard for the safety of the American people” [51].

Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” scrupulously and absurdly avoids commentary on world affairs  but makes an exception in relation to Apartheid South Africa  (pages 367- 369 [1]) and the Barack Obama-asserted  extrajudicial killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011: “I knew it was coming… seven thousand miles from the White House and under cover of darkness, an elite team of U.S. Navy SEALs had stormed a mysterious compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, looking for Osama bin Laden… Barack was coming out of our bedroom… “We got him,” he said. “And no one got hurt.”. We hugged. Osama bin Laden had been killed . No American lives had been lost. Barack had taken an enormous  risk – one that could have cost him his presidency – and it had all gone okay. The news was already travelling across the world… I’m not sure anyone’s death is reason to celebrate,  ever. But what America got that night was a moment of release, a chance to feel its own resilience” (pages 363-364 [1]).

However  leading figures with expert inside knowledge dispute the Bush-Obama narrative parroted by US Mainstream media and thence by Michelle Obama. Thus  former US-installed Afghan President Hamid Karzai (10 September  2015): “[Al-Qaeda] is for me a myth […] For us, they don’t exist. I don’t know if al-Qaeda existed and I don’t know if they exist. I have not seen them and I’ve not had any report about them, any report that would indicate that al-Qaeda is operating in Afghanistan…. [re the Bush version of 9-11] That is what I have heard from our Western friends. That’s what the Western media says. There is no doubt that an operation, a terrorist operation was conducted in New York and in Washington… I neither believe nor disbelieve something that I don’t know about. I can tell you that Afghanistan was as much a victim of terrorism as was America, as were the people who were killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks” [51].

Seymour Hersh (famed American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist who exposed the Mylai Massacre) on the Obama-asserted killing of Osama bin Laden:Do you think Obama’s been judged by any rational standards? Has Guantanamo closed? Is a war over? Is anyone paying any attention to Iraq? Is he seriously talking about going into Syria? We are not doing so well in the 80 wars we are in right now, what the hell does he want to go into another one for. What’s going on [with journalists]?… Like killing people, how does [Obama] get away with the drone programme, why aren’t we doing more? How does he justify it? What’s the intelligence? Why don’t we find out how good or bad this policy is? Why do newspapers constantly cite the two or three groups that monitor drone killings. Why don’t we do our own work?” and re the Obama-asserted killing of Osama bin Laden: “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true” [51].

Dr Paul Craig Roberts (an economist, academic, former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Business Week, nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate, and author of numerous books, he served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration, earning fame as the “Father of Reaganomics): “Americans live in a rigged system in which propaganda determines the public’s awareness and consciousness. Americans, or most of them, live in the Matrix… Washington’s phony wars based on lies and phony economy based on rigged statistics”[91].

Dr Paul Craig Roberts re the Obama-asserted killing of Osama bin Laden: “I do not believe Hersh’s story for three reasons. One reason is that bin Laden was suffering from disease that no one can survive for a decade. His death was widely reported in 2001. One reason is that even Hersh’s “true” account of “what really happened” is contradicted by eye witnesses and the initial Pakistani TV interviews of eye witnesses. One reason is that Hersh’s story is too convoluted for an assassination raid, a routine event. He exposes lies within lies, indecision within decision, payoffs within payoffs, and reports such a huge number of people with advance knowledge of the raid that it cannot possibly have been kept a secret. I could add a fourth reason–the US government’s lack of credibility. Washington lies about everything. For example: Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, Russian invasion of Ukraine. If, as Hersh reports, lies comprise 99% of Washington’s tale of the raid in Abbottabad, why believe that 1% of the story is true and that bin Laden was killed. It is difficult to have murder without a body. The only evidence that bin Laden was killed is the government’s claim. In my opinion, Washington’s disinformation agencies have finally managed to deceive Seymour Hersh with a concocted “inside story” that saves Washington’s claim of having murdered bin Laden by proving that the US government is an extraordinary liar and violator of law. Hersh’s story does prove that the US government is a liar, but it does not prove that a SEAL team murdered Osama bin Laden” [92].

On 2 November 2007  Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto ( 2-time PM of Pakistan in 1988-1990 and 1993-1996 and leader of the Pakistan People Party in 1982-2007)  was interviewed by Sir David Frost at Al Jazeera shortly before her murder on 27 December 2007. In this interview she said: “And he had also dealings with Omar Sheik, the man who murdered Osama Bin Laden.” The same interview was published on the BBC website, but that key sentence was removed [93].

Washington lies about everything [92]. Who should we believe, President Hamid Karzai, Pullitzer Prize-winning Seymour Hersh, famed Dr Paul Craig Roberts, 2-time Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto … or Michelle and Barack Obama?

(7). Egregious US Alliance violation of 20 countries under Peace Nobel Laureate Barack Obama.

For all that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama has an appalling record of violence against numerous countries as outlined below.

(1) Afghanistan. Obama continued the Afghan Genocide and Afghan Holocaust in Occupied Afghanistan (started by his predecessor, serial war criminal  George Bush) in which  Afghan deaths from violence or deprivation  total 7.2 million [48, 50].  The most fundamental human right is the right to life. While legitimately criticized for the one party state, the death penalty, censorship, urban air pollution and harsh treatment of dissidents, China has been hugely successful in radically reducing infant mortality and maternal mortality in Tibet and in China as a whole. In stark contrast, the war criminal US Alliance occupation of neighbouring Afghanistan continues to be associated with an under-1 infant mortality and maternal mortality incidence that is 7 times higher and 4-12 times higher, respectively, than that in Tibet [45, 94, 95] – evidence of gross violation by the rich US Alliance countries of Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention [96] and of Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War that unequivocally  demand  that an Occupier must supply its conquered Subjects with life-sustaining food and medical requisites “to  the fullest extent of the means available to it” [97]. The GDP per capita is $60,000 (US), $58,000 (Australia), and $40,000 (UK) as compared to $9,000 (China) and $600 (Occupied Afghanistan) [98]. Obama and the other  leaders of the US Alliance need to be taken to the International Criminal Court over passive mass murder in Occupied Afghanistan and Occupied Iraq.

Also utterly ignored by Neocon American and Zionist  Imperialist (NAZI)-perverted and subverted Western Mainstream media are the 1.2 million people who have died world-wide since 9-11 due to US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry from 6% of world market share in 2001 to 93% in 2007, the breakdown (as of 2015)  including 280,000 Americans, 256,000 Indonesians, 68,000 Iranians, 25,000 British, 14,000 Canadians, 10,000 Germans, 5,000 Australians (7.2 million Afghan deaths from violence, 1.4 million, or  imposed deprivation, 5.6  million, 2001-2015) [48, 50].

(2) Egypt. Apartheid Israel, Afghanistan and Egypt are the biggest recipients of US military aid and this continued under Obama  after the 2013 military coup that removed Egypt’s first ever democratically  elected president ever, Mohamed Morsi, who died in prison in 2019 [99] (Egyptian deaths from deprivation 1.3 million, 2012-2019)..

 (3) Honduras. The US has a longstanding and appalling record of interfering in Latin American countries through subversion, coups or invasions, with Honduras serving as a base for such deadly operations [45]. Under Obama the US-backed military removed the democratically-elected government of Honduras in 2009 with consequent gross human rights abuses (Honduran deaths from deprivation 40,000, 2009-2019).

(4) Iran. Sanctions against Iran  by the US and its US Alliance lackeys date back to the Carter Administration response to the Iranian Revolution that  overthrew the US-emplaced Shah regime in 1979 and the subsequent US hostage crisis. Agreement with Obama America and other US Alliance powers for the Iran Nuclear Deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA) resulted in substantial lifting of sanctions in 2015. However Trump abrogated this treaty in 2018, has re-imposed sanctions, increased sanctions and threatened “obliteration” of parts of Iran [100, 101]. While Obama deserves credit for the Iran Nuclear Deal , he must  wear the egregious racism tag of imposing  deadly sanctions against non-nuclear weapons Iran (that has no nuclear weapons, has not invaded any other country for centuries, wants a nuclear  weapons-free Middle East, and does not occupy the territory of any other country)  while lavishing scores of billions of dollars of military aid on a nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel (that has up to 400 nuclear weapons, has invaded 13 countries and occupies  the territory  of 3 other countries, namely Syria, Lebanon and Palestine) [45, 102] (Iranian avoidable deaths from deprivation averaged 74,000 per year and totalled 1.3 million in the 21st century)..

 (5) Iraq. US forces left Iraq in 2011 under Obama,  leaving a devastated country  and a bitter Sunni versus Shia divide that gave rise to IS in Iraq, thence in  Syria and thence around the world. US Alliance countries (notably Saudi Arabia,  Turkey, Apartheid Israel, the US, the UK, and France) variously supported jihadis (and hence IS) in their war against the Assad regime in Syria (4.6 million Iraqi deaths from violence, 1.7 million,  or deprivation, 2.9 million, and 6 million refugees in 1990-2011) [48, 49].

(6) Libya. The France, UK and US (FUKUS) Coalition invaded Libya with UNSC sanction in 2011, effected regime change,  and devastated what was formerly a secular state and the richest country in Africa (0.2 million Libyans killed through violence, 0.1 million, or deprivation, 0.1 million, and 1 million refugees) [48].

(7) Pakistan. Despite unanimous opposition from the National Assembly of Pakistan , the US since 2004 and under Obama has hit targets in Pakistan with drone-fired bombs targeted via the Australia-US joint electronic spying base at Pine Gap in Central Australia ( 6,000 Pakistanis killed with 1,000 being civilians [103] and 11.4 million avoidable deaths from deprivation, 2004-2019).

 (8) Palestine. For all his disingenuous  talk of a “2-state solution” in Palestine (now impossible because of the ethnic cleansing of 90% of Palestine by the genocidally racist Zionists of Apartheid Israel ), Obama finished his second term as president by granting $38 billion in military aid over the next decade to nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist–run, genocidally racist, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel [104].  Obama is a major player in the American Holocaust in which there have been 30 million untimely American deaths since 9-11 that are inescapably linked to the $40 trillion long-term accrual cost of Apartheid  Israel to Americans [40]. Just as those supporting Nazi Germany can be reasonably considered to be “pro-Nazi”and those supporting Apartheid South Africa were considered to be “pro-Apartheid” , so those supporting Apartheid Israel can reasonably be condemned as “pro-Apartheid” and hence utterly beyond the pale for decent humans.

(9) Philippines. By 2009 the US had 600 military plus CIA operatives involved in counterterrorism in the southern Philippines [105] (827,000 avoidable deaths from deprivation, 2015-2019).

(10) Somalia. The US invaded Somalia in 1992 and the US Alliance occupation of a starving Somalia continues,  variously involving the US, Ethiopia, and Kenya, with US lackey Australia involved in waters offshore ( 2.2 million Somali deaths from violence, 0.4 million, or from deprivation, 1.8 million, in 1992-2011) [48].

(11) Syria. US Alliance countries (notably Saudi Arabia,  Turkey, Apartheid Israel, the US, the UK, and France) variously supported jihadis (and hence variously IS) in their war against the secular Assad regime in Syria.  Under Obama the US invaded Syria without permission from the Syrian Government (1.0 million Syrian deaths from violence, 0.5 million, or from deprivation, 0.5 million, in 2012-2019 and 11 million refugees).

(12) Yemen. Since 2015 the US has been involved with drone strikes, weapons and advisers together with other US Alliance partners in the Saudi-imposed Yemeni Genocide in starving Yemen (70,000 killed, 225,000 deaths from deprivation in 2015-2019, 3 million refugees)  [106].

The above is a partial list because the US Government subverts every country on earth including the US. The US has invaded about 72 countries (52 since WW2) [55], and has about 800 military bases in more than  70 countries and territories [107]. John Pilger: “Should the CIA stooge Guaidó and his white supremacists grab power, it will be the 68th overthrow of a sovereign government by the United States, most of them democracies” [108]. 15 million people die avoidably from deprivation each year on Spaceship Earth with the US in charge of the flight deck [45], and 120 million died thus during the 8 years of the Obama presidency. Obama has continued the War on Terror with sanctions, invasions and illegal drone strikes on 7 countries (Libya, starving Somalia,  starving Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan). It is estimated that 32 million Muslims have perished from violence, 5 million, or from deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity in 2001 [47, 51].

It is hardly surprising  that Michelle Obama  should have ignored these horrendous atrocities of Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama in her feel-good biography “Becoming”.

Final comments.

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama is  an inspiring, feel-good story of how an African American woman from the impoverished South Side of Chicago graduated  from  Princeton and Harvard, worked in a top law firm and thence in different roles in community leadership and the University of Chicago Medical School, and then as a splendid mother of 2 daughters helped her African American  husband Barack Obama to achieve 8 years as president of the United States.

Barack Obama was stymied by a hostile congress but managed some action on climate change and nuclear proliferation (the existential threats facing Humanity [102]). He also managed a limited recognition of Palestinian human rights (by abstaining from UNSC Resolution 2334), and saved the lives of scores of thousands of Americans through Obamacare (45,000 Americans die annually from lack of medical insurance [37]). Unfortunately these limited achievements of Barack Obama are all being wantonly undone by  his crude, ignorant, stupid, mendacious and bullying successor, Donald Trump [37].

Michelle Obama’s feel-good “Becoming” is remarkable for its niceness and the paucity of personal criticisms.  Thus she very briefly refers to a really bad teacher, a boy her punched her at school , a girl who bullied her, incorrect detractors  in politics (e.g. Chicago politicians Donna Trotter and Bobby Rush and  various media critics such as pro-Iraq  War Christopher Hitchens ). However the only people she criticizes at length are journalists who quoted her unfairly and questioned her love of America (pages 262-269 [1]) and the misogynist reactionary Donald Trump (pages  407-419 [1]). The evidently very well edited “Becoming” is a book that (absences aside) could be read with pleasure and utility by people from the Democratic Left to the Republican Far Right (excepting Donald Trump) – it is a triumph of endless, feel good  niceness and smart, market-informed  editing. A wasted opportunity for courageous truth telling.

Famed anti-racist Jewish American writer I.F. Stone (Isidor Feinstein Stone, an outstanding US journalist, publisher of the newsletter “I. F. Stone’s Weekly” and author of numerous books, including “The Hidden History of the Korean War, 1950-1951”), told journalism students: “Among all the things I’m going to tell you today about being a journalist, all you have to remember is two words: governments lie” [109, 110].

More specifically, in relation to American mendacity, Gore Vidal (a great American writer) stated in an interview with Melvyn Bragg) (2008): “Unlike most Americans who lie all the time, I hate lying… This is a country of hoax. P.T. Barnum is the god of this republic, which is no longer a republic alas. It is an oligarchy and a rather vicious one” [111].

The extent of that neoconservative American Establishment deception has been cogently described by Professor Noam Chomsky (linguistics at 85-Nobel-Laureate MIT) and  Professor Edward Herman (finance, University of Pennsylvania) (1988):  “In sum, the mass media of the United States are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship , and without any significant  overt coercion. This propaganda system has become even more efficient in recent decades with the rise of the national television networks, greater mass-media concentration, right-wing pressures on public radio and television, and the growth in scope and sophistication of public relations and news management” [112].

The most important things in history are often those that are not stated, the absences, holes or lacunae. Michelle Obama’s  feel-good autobiography “Becoming” has many extraordinary, Elephant in the Room   absences that reflect the One Percenter-dominated Mainstream American media  culture of lying by omission, genocide ignoring and holocaust ignoring that profoundly deceives ordinary Americans, including Michelle Obama, and indeed most of the West. However “Becoming” can nevertheless serve the interests of Humanity if decent folk tell everyone they can about its shocking absences.


[1]. Michelle Obama, “Becoming”, Viking, 2018.


[2]. “Mainstream media censorship”:  .

[3]. “Mainstream media lying”:

[4]. Gideon Polya, “Fake news: “fake realities”  and “lying by omission””, Global  Research, 18 April 2018: .

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[53]. .

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[71]. Gideon Polya, “Apartheid Israel’s Palestinian Genocide & Australia’s Aboriginal  Genocide compared”, Countercurrents, 20 February 2018:  .

[72]. Gideon Polya, “Israeli-Palestinian & Middle East conflict – from oil to climate genocide”, Countercurrents, 21 August 2017: .

[73]. Gideon Polya, “End 50 Years Of Genocidal Occupation & Human Rights Abuse By US-Backed Apartheid Israel”, Countercurrents,  9 June  2017: .

[74]. John Dugard, “International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the crime of Apartheid”, Audiovisual Library of International Law: .

[75]. Peter Beinart , “The Crisis of Zionism”, Melbourne University Press, 2012.

[76]. Gideon Polya, “Book Review: “The Crisis of Zionism” – Racist Zionists Ponder Substantial Or Total Palestinian Genocide”,  Countercurrents, 14 July, 2012: .

[77]. United Nations, “Israel’s settlements have no legal validity, constitute flagrant violations of international law, Security Council reaffirms.   14 delegations in favour of Resolution 2334 as United States abstains”, 23 December 2016: .

[78]. Gideon Polya, “Is UN Security Council Resolution 2334 the beginning of the end for Apartheid Israel?””, Countercurrents, 28 December 2016: .

[79]. Gideon Polya, “UN Security Council Resolution 2334 – beginning of the end for Apartheid Israel?”, Uprooted Palestine, 27 December 2016: .

[80]. Laurent Guyénot, “Kennedy, the Lobby and the Bomb”, Voltairenet, 2 May 2013: .

[81]. L. Michael Hager, “When dual citizenship becomes conflict of interest”, The Hill, 30 April 2015: .

[82]. Michael Hager, “Dual citizens in Congress”, Counterpunch, 12 November 2014: .

[83]. Gideon Polya, “Dual Israeli citizenship & Zionist perversion of America, Australia, India & Humanity”, Countercurrents, 30 July 2017: .

[84]. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt ,  “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.

[85]. Gideon Polya, “Apartheid Israel buries serial war criminal, genocidal racist & nuclear terrorist Shimon Peres”, Countercurrents, 1 October 2016: .

[86]. “List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita”, Wikipedia: .

[87]. Gideon Polya, “Israelis kill ten times more Israelis in Apartheid than do terrorists”, Countercurrents, 1 March 2017: .

[88]. Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Terrorism deaths in Israel – 1920-1999”, 1 January 2000: .

[89]. Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Victims of Palestinian violence and terrorism since September 2000” : .

[90].  “Study: Bush, aides made 935 false statements in run-up to war”, CNN, 2004: .

[91].  Paul Craig Roberts, “The attack on gold”, Information Clearing House,  17 April 2013: .

[92]. Paul Craig Roberts, “Seymour Hersh Succumbs To Disinformation”, Countercurrents, 11 May, 2015: .

[93]. BBC censors Benazir Bhutto’s 2007 Frost TV interview assertion about “Omar Sheik, the man who murdered Osama Bin Laden”, “Censorship by the BBC”: .

[94]. Gideon Polya, “China’s Tibet health success versus passive mass murder of Afghan women and children by US Alliance”, Global Research, 7 January 2018: .

[95]. UN Population Division, “World Population Prospects 2017”: .

[96]. “Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention”: .

[97]. “Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War: .

[98]. “List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita”, Wikipedia: .

[99]. Farah Najjar, “Why US aid to Egypt is never under threat”,  Al Jazeera, 3 October 2017: .

[100]. “United States sanctions against Iran”, Wikipedia: .

[101].    Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”, Wikipedia:  .

[102].  “Nuclear weapons ban, end poverty & reverse climate change”: .

[103]. “Drone strikes in Pakistan”, Wikipedia: .

[104]. Kevin Lamarque, “Obama touts $38 billion military aid package in meeting with Netanyahu”, CBS News, 21 September 2016: .

[105]. “Operation enduring Freedom – Philippines”, Wikipedia: .

[106]. Bethan McKernan, “New fighting in Yemen threatens UN deal”,  Guardian, 17 May 2019: .

[107]. David Vine, “Where in the world is the US military”, Politico, July/August 2015: .

[108]. John Pilger, “John Pilger: The war on Venezuela is built on lies”, Consortium News, 26 June 2019: .

[109 I.F. Stone, quoted in “Two words – governments lie. Iraqi oil, climate change and Tony Blair”, Media Lens, 22 January 2003: .

[110]. I.F. Stone, quoted in Gideon Polya, “Iraqi Holocaust”, ConScience, Australasian Science, 2 June 2004: .

[111]. Gore Vidal interviewed by Melvyn Bragg on the South Bank Show”, 2008: .

[112]. Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, “Manufacturing Consent. The political economy of the mass media” , page 306, Pantheon, 2002.

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007:

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see:  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others:  ;  Gideon Polya:  ; Gideon Polya Writing: ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: and  .


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