Hellfire, Damnation And Rational Thought
It is difficult for many liberals to honestly discuss the current crisis in the Middle East for fear of being deemed anti-Semitic. This fear leads to an inability to address the issue properly, hell, I’ve fallen victim to this myself in the past. When asked to discuss Zionism and American foreign policy on a local political talk show a few months back, I quickly begged off not wanting to subject myself to live cameras and the potential for being misinterpreted or simply saying the right thing in the wrong way. It is a minefield and no thinking person walks into one of those willingly. But who else, besides liberals, will speak out about the wrong-headedness of Israel’s response to Hezbollah and America’s (not so tacit) approval of their tactics these last few weeks? Silence has its consequences too.
There is an amazing letter circulating that has been signed by some of our most respected liberal thinkers like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, that spells out a rational position (what should be the liberal position) in clear and unflinching terms:
The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.
That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources - most particularly that of water - by the Israeli Defence (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land alloted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.
Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?
Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.
This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognized for what it is and resisted.
That Israel has become an occupier and aggressive state due to circumstances that have forced them to seek security above all else does not negate the reality that they are an occupational and aggressive force in the region and have become so, largely with the help of the U.S. government, stepped up dramatically under the stewardship of GWB. I am not unsympathetic to the situation Israel finds itself in, but this latest inflammation of violence smacks of collective punishment, message sending and the beginnings of a much bigger conflict, one that is desired by the neo-conservatives that have a death grip on the governments of both the United States and Israel. This is not an “isolated conflict” but rather one that has roots in a philosophy that seeks to reshape the world in a way that is most beneficial to a very select few.
I believe in coincidence only up to a point, and the fact that the very same shady characters that brought us Iran-Contra are manipulating the chessboard again now for their own sick power play, tells me this is chaos by design. Bush hasn’t been silent because he’s too ignorant to know what to do (well, not completely anyway) and Condi hasn’t been kept on ice for so long without reason. We are letting the violence escalate and the tensions boil for a purpose. The neo-cons are hell bent on regime change in Iran and this is their shot.
There is a great article in Rolling Stone this week that spells out the neo-con delusions of ”re-making” the Middle East and their backroom (outside the boundaries of law no doubt) machinations to further that goal. Just as the invasion of Iraq was going to happen regardless of how many lies had to be told or how much intelligence had to be manufactured to make it palatable to an American public, so too is the toppling of the Iranian government, whether they were democratically elected or not. Hamas will tell you, we don’t give a shit about elections, not in the Middle East and not here at home. We only care about the outcome. You either buy into the corporatist agenda or you suffer the bombing until the corporatists take what they want by force. There is no resisting the God of Capitalism and the dollar is the only thing worthy of worship. The Iranians signed their own death warrant when they dared buck the buck with their proposed oil bourse that is set to begin trading oil in Euros instead of dollars in September. America simply can’t allow that to happen, there is a price to pay for such petulance. You will trade in the dollar, we’ll make sure of that, and we’ve got the (nuclear) weapons to back that threat up buster.
As hard as I try, I can’t seem to stop myself from seeing the bigger picture. The last remaining Bush supporters will call me a “conspiracy theorist” and an “America hater” but that doesn’t change the fact that they are willfully ignoring the facts on the ground. I accept that I may be wrong and that there is a slim chance that this cabal of neo-conservative freaks are not purposefully driving our ship of state straight into the resource wars in an effort to control the last remaining easy access, high yield power left on Earth, but at least I will be able to sleep at night knowing I paid attention and was a witness to the madness of the greedy men that destroyed life as we know it. If there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel, I’ll hopefully be well rested enough to reach it while the sleepwalking masses wonder what the hell happened. Of course if we’re talking about slim chances, there’s always the possibility that the Fundamentalist Christians are right and they’ll be raptured up while I burn in the fires of hell on Earth, but I’ve even made peace with that. Sitting at the feet of Christ for eternity never held any appeal for me anyway.