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Total number of comments: 6 (since 2013-11-28 16:55:43)


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  • Donald Trump Tries To Backpedal But Can’t Stop Saying Racist Things
    • There is some hope. The American public doesn't like racism. Whatever our political system's faults are, it's kept him out of power too.

  • Netanyahu's Victory did us the favor of ending the Charade
    • What is the best path for a nonviolent popular resistance in the region?

      Successful nonviolent resolutions to war and seige go back to Mozi of ancient China, who called it a tragic betrayal of humanity, "Heaven attacking Heaven." He was basically a human rights lobbyist going to each of the warring states and appealing to their humanity. Another example is the Liberian women's antiwar sex strike which was incredibly brave and effective, staunchly humanist with a strong female role. But a fair nonviolent settlement is not only ethical because of its ethical means, but because even a small success in that direction would peel off support from these corrupted political forces. Today there is no shortage: the fundamentalist Al Qaeda and ISIS, zealous settlers and fevered Anglo emigrants who are being courted by Christian fundamentalists in living room talks in the Holy Land. A nearer and more recent example is Algeria. Though violent, scholars looking back on the indepdendence movement found its success was ultimately via diplomacy. The strength of international diplomacy is that it is not only an alternative to inhumane war, but also to dogmatism, whether it's the dogma of assimilating into one state (which failed in Algeria), or the dogma of state power, or religious totalitarianism overall. It makes one question his responsibility, rather than attack the character of the enemy. It can be dizzying but these extreme forces must be taken together as complimentary, feeding each other. (I want to make clear it does us no good to denounce them all at once, a cheap handwashing tactic. One must try to denounce first the ones you have a responsiblity for).

      The Palestinians are finally challenging this beehive by going to the UN with a threat to go to the ICC. This is creating real concern in Washington.

      Supposedly the Washington opposes the extremist forces, at least in rhetoric. Yet it has been US policy as it is in most empires to find a nice excuse to suppress democracy that could shrink its domain of rule.

      This is why the Israeli criticisms of Hamas are so hypocritical, they're a minature version of the much larger US/Israeli monopoly on force. The US maintains a huge distraction from this imbalance: an Israel continually under threat of extinction, to support the "family owned gas station" dictatorships. Because their citizens will forever try to resist this arrangement, those pro-US "moderate" dictatorships in turn keep democracy under control. And the US elites make this pretty clear this is why they undermine even Israeli interests, which we're stupidly cheering right now in petty shadenfreude. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Golda Meir to expect what she complained was "the end of Israel" -- before she talked up UN 242 to the Knesset. Kissinger being a student of Machieveli of course believed a "just and lasting peace" were a charade.

      Beyond Samantha Power's selfie with Kissinger, a recent article in the New York Times on Amnesty International shows this conflicting posture is clearly still encouraged. It points out that Israel has attacked civillians, citing their report. Yet the Amnesty report also concluded that the US is implicated, which the Times left out. Why the omission? We aren't supposed to question our war postrue as proud manly men dedicated to freedom. The US/Israeli elites fear being implicated on humanitarian grounds for war crimes, true, but also, a "Peace offensive" will show that military rule is not necessary, and this is the preferred controversey. Those in the world who might feel sympathy and a tinge of national resistence still must be kept in check. Indeed, the famed Washington insider Jeffrey Goldberg, with the help of YNet, has pre-emptively attacked the United Nation's assessment of women under the occupation as being anti-Semitic. It is simply taken as a given that the US and Israel are entitled to govern by force.

      There's always arguments about how You Can Only Trust Us and that's more of an artifact of power plays within institutions, whether they're movements or states. Most violence and brutality is done by ordinary people, who could choose other paths, which the Indian independence movement proved when they pulled many of their countrymen out of the British army (hint hint Israeli Jews). This is starting to be understood as a form of deterrence to crimes by international organizations, preferable to that of threatening punishment, which requires overhwelming violent force. A diplomatic solution takes away the credibility of force, and so is a threat to those who have the most guns. We already have Algeria and the Good Friday in Ireland to show, it's our responsibility to prove it again, to Palestinians and future victims of power's abuse.

      So Palestinian independence requires more than a Palestinian Nelson Mandela or recognition of racism. It requires confronting US imperial doctrine that created Hamas and yes Netanyahu in the first place. It requires creating alternative media. The US military and corporate media have obscured the betrayal even of its own resolutions holding Israel accountable. Unfortunately, there is little room for mistakes, and so harsh truths must be told. The peace movement has its work cut out for it. Somehow we must make a gesture of peace and resistance at the same time: inroads into the US government's imperial Middle East policy while also gaining international recognition. It requires more than a civil rights movement. Martin Luther King was assassinated while trying to attempt this himself. US business interests, particularly oil and military interests must be challenged and disrupted.

  • Article withdrawn
    • The Associated Press Hebrew news wire got an admission from the Israeli army that the flooding was intentional.

      Shameful of AFP to give in to the CAMERA flak machine.

  • Palestinians say Israel trying to Silence Media, by Attacking Journalists
    • If we're being clear, we should ask what the definition of terrorism is. The US uses violence against civillians for a political purpose. Netanyahu's election is coming up. Isn't that a political purpose? Are civillians getting killed by the IDF or not?

      It's definitely understandable to be scared of chaotic rockets. But they're not as chaotic as IDF propaganda argues. They're predictable, just as all terrorism is. It works on political uncertainty. That's a reason to support violence less, not to balance it with more and draw distinctions where they don't exist.

      Can Palestinians prove that Israel is responsible for all the violence against them? No. Can you provide evidence that Hamas is responsible for all the rockets? I doubt it. In fact, I think there's some evidence to suggest they target IDF when they can. It seems they can cut rockets to 1/20th the amount when they want to, but not completely. It seems some rocketers choose to attack IDF directly while some shoot randomly. Shouldn't we ask on what authority each attack was done before categorically labeling each group?

  • Is Anti-Immigrant, Islamophobic Campaign Rhetoric fomenting Antisemitism in France?
    • Yes, it is a fact that Anti-Semitic attacks happen more in France than anywhere in Europe, which isn't surprising considering its awful record towards Jews, from pogroms to siding with the Nazis. But terrorism is not the problem of any one nation, political body or representative. Just as there is no Muslim fascism and Jewish fascism, the mature, moral response here starts with recognizing that the excuse for terrorism is a historical constant. Humans aren't all that versatile. The American revolutionaries tarred and feathered the British when they lacked control over their economy. The undemocratic power gained by the Nazi party came in a time of just awful depression and humiliation, and political uncertainty, for example, a coup. A scholar studying the Muslim Right in Egypt recognized the tribal virus when looking at the influence of Nazis. The first group's tribalism encouraged the second to produce the same in itself more strongly. The racist propaganda that they welcomed was not just a case of appealing to racists, it was useful to nurse their vengeance. Terrorism comes as a result of any human's exploitation of its own tribal instincts that overwhelm moral reasoning.

      But why look at all this nuance when you can yell at someone to fix the problem? I know who to boo and who to cheer right? Don't do that. That's what someone does who has given up. Violence puts you on the same side as your enemy. Those tribal emotions give us only one option: we can fan the flames. Where does that get you? Hitler was cheered in the US as a "conservative" because the Communists were committing terrorism in Germany at the time. That's just what government is going to do, live only in the nirvana of tribal rage.

      So what's the correct response? Call to stop the wars and the insistence on focusing only on the crimes committed against your own group. We can easily arrive at this conclusion by asking what's necessary for cross-cultural understanding that will lead to a security. Even to start with a quite sympathetic bias, so long as we follow through logically, gives us this solution: Terrorists and potential terrorists do not deserve encouragement to focus only on crimes committed against their own group. The leading Jewish organization in France obviously has realized this, and it has to be why they consider the way to prevent these attacks to be a political settlement between Israel and Palestine. The attacks are responses, you can find them occurring together going back decades.

      This is basic morality, but tribal emotions make it unbearable once they are part of the reasoning. This logically means countering them is where most of our efforts belong.

  • Why don't we have better Reporting on the Afghanistan Army? It is our Best Hope for Getting Out
    • The Obama administration surely realizes they can really just get away with any kind of crap in Afghanistan since it will be blamed as a character flaw of the government (this feeds the nationalist, tribal logic that Red and Blue can agree on).

      Recall what happened as we left Iraq. The bombed out country kept people from organizing there, and the government played power games, inciting terror from their followers.

      This story was successfully carried off as an internal problem, with government officials trying to hold each other accountable for their alleged crimes, and the US was seen as a peacemaker -- between Iraqi government officials. In other words, any discussion about the US's contribution to this problem was maybe not even discussed. (It's surely worth a research project).

      We are already seeing this story leech its way into today's discussion on Afghanistan. US lawmakers and candidates are condemning Karzai, not for his complicity with the illegal occupation, or his general thuggery, but for his occasional outburst against the US. The US diplomat managed to speak out of both sides of his mouth, covering for Karzai by seeing his own humanity in his anger, and mentioning his own ability to get over it. Maybe I'm wrong but it looked to me like a clear message to Karzai that he's not a problem as long as he doesn't push it.

      The replay of the Iraq pullout story will make sure the effects of war on the society and infrastructure of Afghanistan are suppressed. That would include things like schools, the capability of police. It's fine to see victims obviously, as long as our role in their victimizing is not known.

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