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Israel, The Left, And History Don’t Mix

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Well, I've done it now; I've gone and screwed up so badly that it looks they're going to have to tear up my leftist/liberal secret identity card. I just can't seem to get my knee to jerk the right way anymore to be in step with the times. I'd better be careful or people are going to start thinking I'm some sort of closet fascist.

I guess I should have known better than to try and say anything impartial or that didn't paint Israel as a horrible villain considering the recent crises. I had the absolute gall to recite historical facts and just because it wasn't convenient to today's accepted left approved truth it hurt people's feelings.

It's not like I condoned what Israel is doing right now, because I don't, but I didn't compare them to Nazis or say how heroic the Palestinians are so that immediately put me in the camp of the enemy. Even worse was that I happened to say something critical about the Arab nations in regards to the current circumstances of the people on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

How could I have been so insensitive, what an unmitigated cad I am for even suggesting that it served the purpose of the Arab league forty years ago to have a bunch of people living on the border of Israel who would hate the Israelis. In fact I went so far as to say that the Arab countries refused to allow the Palestinians into their countries because they were afraid that they would start demanding they be allowed to govern the land that Britain had ceded to them on Partition.

No, Jordan and Egypt would never have occupied the land that was supposed to have been for the Arab people of Palestine, would they? Then who was ruling West Jerusalem and the West Bank prior to 1967? Who was ruling the Gaza strip prior the six-day war? It wasn't Israel, because they didn't occupy those territories until after 1967 and it wasn't the Palestinian Arabs because they didn't have any land or a country to live in.

If they had had a country or land to make a country out of than they wouldn't have been refugees would they. Like in India where the Muslims made Pakistan and the Hindus made India after partition, the Jewish people were given parts of the former British territory of Palestine for their country and the Arabs, the other parts. At the conclusion of the war that followed the formation of Israel in 1948 the borders remained pretty much the same as the British had designated, except for Israel taking a little bit of the Gaza strip.

When the five Arab armies decided that they weren't going to drive the Jews into the sea quite yet did they retreat back behind their own borders? Not quite. Egypt occupied the Gaza strip territory, which was supposed to have been for the Palestinian Arabs, and Jordan took the West Bank including half of Jerusalem.

Of course they couldn't risk the Israelis invading them so they had to occupy those territories as security buffers against a dangerous enemy. (Does that sound like a familiar excuse that everyone dismisses out of hand today?) Maybe, if and when the danger of an Israeli invasion passed they would let the Palestinians have some form of self government, but it wouldn't do right now. In the mean time they could just live in camps under their control, ah – protection.

Sure enough it was a good thing they did that, because for the next twenty-eight years Israel set about turning themselves into a country. Building desalinization plants to ensure a water supply, irrigating the desert to create farmland, and generally trying to create something out of nothing. In the meantime Jordan and Egypt made sure the Palestinian Arabs lived in squalid camps and cut them off from Western aid by continuing a policy of threatening to destroy Israel.

In 1967 when the Arab armies starting massing on the borders of Israel they staged a pre-emptive strike that drove them back, and allowed the Israeli armies to march into the West Bank and far out into the Sinai Desert including the Gaza strip. Almost overnight the people of the West Bank and the refugees in Jordan became oppressed, stateless individuals.

Somehow nobody had cared about them for twenty-eight years, but now they were a cause celebre for leftists the world over. Yes the Israelis have treated them, and still do treat them like second-class citizens and have made serious errors in judgement (in my opinion) with their policies towards these people. Just because others had treated them like dirt didn't mean they had the right to.

If Israel and the West had put an iota of the energy into helping the people of the West Bank and the camps that they had put into Israel, over the last twenty-eight years things might be different, but that's impossible to tell. By the time 1967 has rolled around and Israel took control of those territories they were inheriting a mess created by someone else. They could have dealt with it better, of that there is not doubt, but they were nor responsible for its creation.

Oops, I'm doing it again aren't I; I'm not blaming Israel for all the problems in the Mid East. Damn I'm going to get in so much trouble again. I've got to stop letting history and the truth get in the way of my critical reasoning; I never learn.

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About Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is the author of two books commissioned by Ulysses Press, "What Will Happen In Eragon IV?" (2009) and "The Unofficial Heroes Of Olympus Companion". Aside from Blogcritics his work has appeared around the world in publications like the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and the multilingual web site Qantara.de. He has been writing for Blogcritics.org since 2005 and has published around 1900 articles at the site.
  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Richard, I have to commend you. This is one of the sharpest pieces you’ve done. Not just the recounting of history, but your willingness to step away from the herd mentality and apply your own reason to the situation objectively. IMO this kind of thinking raises you above the ‘left’ you admit to being part of to that special status of ‘thinking being’ where discourse between those who are nominally of the self-described left or right can actually engage in meaningful discourse and find common ground.

    Dave

  • http://hawkeyeindia.wordpress.com Apollo

    Excellent piece Richard. Welcome to the world of Reason and for saying goodbye to the imaginary world of leftist-liberal kooks.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Damn it Richard, the Jews are evil. They’re…
    They’re worse than those beady eyed Canadians, is what.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    It’s all well and good having a personal revisionist moment but it all ignores the difficult business of dealing with the here and now we see today.

    As things stand, Israel can play a better role in resolving all the tensions of the area by getting out of occupied territory and simply getting on with the important business of living a normal life. As the dominant military power in the region, there is a greater burden of responsibility on it to live up to the standards of decency and democracy that it tries to portray itself as adhering to.

  • Les Slater

    Those that make up the ‘left’ are thoroughly confused. They are more likely to drift right than not.

    Some that personally resist this drift to the right become all hyped up, dreaming of conspiracies, etc., ending up going right all-the-more violently. This is where fascists get their recruits.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Les, I don’t buy into party politics as they all end up telling lies but, for the sake of balance, could you tell us the problems with those on the right too..?

  • Les Slater

    Christopher,

    The right?

    The capitalist system and its imperialism are ultimately to the advantage of a relative few. Many people support it for various reasons.

    Some resist it or some of its manifestations.

    Those that accept it are generally considered to be on the right and those who resist or protest are considered to be on the left.

    There is some claim of a middle ground or sometimes even, a common ground.

    In general, I think the left-right terminology is useless. When I criticize the ‘left’ it is those that consider themselves ‘left’.

    The right wing? Many consider Bush as an example of the ‘right wing’. I do not. He is a moderate in today’s political spectrum.

    There are those that actively support attacks on the working class. I suppose these might be considered the ‘right’. But even here it is not so simple.

    One has to distinguish between those that actually gain from the results of these attacks and those that blindly get caught up in them.

    The attacks themselves, the wars, etc., are the fallout, the necessary logic, of a deepening crisis of the capitalist system itself, and its imperialism. This is what is important.

    What we see in this blog is generally a reflection through middle class eyes of this crisis.

    Dave Nalle fancies himself above the partisan fray but somewhat on the right. His apparent libertarianism is just a middle class elitism that is ultimately impotent.

    I don’t know where Nancy considers herself on the political spectrum, she seems intelligent and reasonably well educated, but often blurts out the most reactionary shit, usually, quite consciously, and with a certain degree of pride, like a naughty child in mixed company.

    As the crisis deepens many will find themselves comfortable amongst fascist mobs doing what they think the government should be doing.

    Then there are those pitiful types, a couple that jump into this blog, who fancy themselves neo-nazis, white-supremacists, etc., who are nothing but zeros and are not to be concerned with.

    The real social force to be reckoned with is the working class. It has no clear leadership at the moment but I am optimistic. Do you realize that this year, around the date of May 1, we had the first mass, political, general strikes, ever in this country?

    Les

  • RedTard

    “The capitalist system and its imperialism are ultimately to the advantage of a relative few.”

    Like all the USA and western Europe, (Imperial) Japan, SOuth Korea, Taiwan, etc. Please show us those models of leftist greatness: The only place that punishing productiveness to make people feel better works is in countries with massive natural resources per capita: Canada, Norway, etc. They can sell productive countries their excess resources and use the money to maintain their crappy, egalitarian system.

  • Clavos

    Les writes,

    The attacks themselves, the wars, etc., are the fallout, the necessary logic, of a deepening crisis of the capitalist system itself, and its imperialism. This is what is important.

    Les, What is the nature of this crisis? Does it exist in all capitalist societies? Is it inherent in the notion of capitalism?

    Most capitalists would consider the system to be in ascendancy (though not without problems), particularly in light of the failure of communism in the Soviet Union, and the apparent drift toward capitalism currently taking place in the Chinese people’s republic.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Red, ya missed out on Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands….to say the least…

    a quasi-socialist environment appears to work for those cultures , giving them a high standard of living, education, healthcare and so on…while the people themselves have a high quotient of being pretty happy overall

    NOT advocating the System for all… but if it works for them, who cares?

    my point here is that “different strokes for different folks” (Sly Stone) is the Way of it… if folks are happy with the way it goes, then who outside of their Nation should have the Authority to give them shit over it?

    think about it a second…wouldn’t you get pissed if someone outside the US gave us shit over our System? of course! and rightly so…

    the Criticism you level at others “crappy egalitarian systen” is therefore, a non-sequitor outside of being your own , personal Opinion (which , of course you have every Right to hold), but without some Reasoning from you to illuminate your Statement, it appears to be nothign more than personal dislike with no substantiation, and appears to oppose the same right to self determination for a Nation that you espouse for the U.S.

    just sharing a Thought

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    aww…geeez…sorry Richard, i fergot to comment on the actual Article…

    /golfclap

    a well wrought Reminder of many of the facets involved in that region’s History

    add to it the mid-50’s removal of a democratically elected government in Iran by the CIA, with the Shah being placed in power and propped up (under the deal of BP getting 40% of the oil, Shell getting 40% and the Shah getting the last 20%, 10 of which went to his personal fortune making him one of the richest men in the world), and you can see how that plus the Factors mentioned in the original Article have combined into the root Causes of much of the Conflicts in the middle east right now….

    exacerbate that with the training in the 80’s of the mujahadeen in Afghanistan ( all the al Qaeda leadership, including bin Laden learned their chops there), and the subsequent abandonment of those fighters after the Russian pull out

    then add the abandonment of the Kurds who were excited by the CIA into uprising against Saddam after the first Gulf War, but were also militarily abandoned, and thus crushed by Hussein after the US pull out in 91

    these are all added and compounded together, stirred up by those who desire not only for there to be a new Caliphate, but who style themselves the Caliphs… with a dash of underlying greed and lust for Power, stirred by formenting fundamentalist fanatacism…

    bake in the hot desert sun for 50 years or so

    and you get the mess 0’potamia we have now

    but i digress…

    Excelsior?

  • Les Slater

    Clavos,

    “Most capitalists would consider the system to be in ascendancy (though not without problems),”

    I am not privy to what the capitalist think except what is refracted through some of their mouthpieces like the Wall street Journal, the Federal Reserve, and their choice of political leaders, and what policies are fought for and sometimes implemented.

    Productivity is up mostly by driving the wages and living conditions of the working class, and lower levels of the middle class, down.

    Monetary and financial stability in the most powerful of the capitalist states is maintained by massive lending from foreign entities. The fed uses bubbles to maintain some semblance of value in equities.

    There is a trend toward the reduction of the concentration of technological superiority in the U.S., to where it can be supported more economically.

    There is a severe imbalance between who produces and who rules. That’s why the inflated U.S. military and the wars it carries out and threatens. That imbalance must be maintained.

    Les

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Oh Gonzo, you’re going to explain modern dirtbags based on the justification of CIA activities from the 1950s?

    How about the more simple and obvious answer: a lot of Arabs and Muslims are wicked and evil, with shame based personalities. They hate the good precisely for being the good. They hate Israel for being able to make a thriving country out of what was previously just a huge litter box. They they add in anti-Semitism and general religious nonsense to justify their lives of hatred and shame for their own failures.

    Christopher Rose is as so often, talking stupid in saying “Israel can play a better role in resolving all the tensions of the area by getting out of occupied territory and simply getting on with the important business of living a normal life.” He should know better than that foolishness.

    That’s exactly what the Israelis have been TRYING to do, and of course the Arabs have shoved that right up their ass, for example by using the recently de-occupied territories as new and improved bases for attacks. They left Lebanon years ago, and have no desire to be there.

  • RedTard

    The only thing driving the US deficit is entitlement spending. Capitalism may not be perfect but it’s the best damn system we’ve come up with yet. The Les’s of the world are just the spoiled children of the system. Capitalism brought you that computer you’re writing on and the internet that serves it.

    Communism and pure socialism are complete failures. A definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result. Many on the left fit the definition to a T. The only ‘successes’ of socialism are those hybrid governments where social spending piggybacks on a dynamic freemarket economy. The long term effects of all that spending is massive deficits and an eventual push back farther to the right in order to rescue another failed leftist experiment.

  • Clavos

    Les,

    Productivity is up mostly by driving the wages and living conditions of the working class, and lower levels of the middle class, down.

    BLS statistics would not support this assertion. I realize that data from the BLS could be considered suspect and biased (I don’t believe it is, but for the sake of argument I’ll assume that momentarily). If true, it is occuring in this country mostly because jobs are being outsourced to other capitalist countries (either established as such or nascent).

    Note that in my original comment I did not refer to The US, but rather to the system of capitalism in general. On a worldwide basis, capitalism is growing (and spreading) exponentially.

    Monetary and financial stability in the most powerful of the capitalist states is maintained by massive lending from foreign entities.

    There is some lending (in the form of foreign purchasing of US government debt instruments, e.g.), but far more investment than lending, and it is coming principally from other capitalist societies.

    The fed uses bubbles to maintain some semblance of value in equities.

    That’s the first time I’ve heard of Fed monetary policy referred to as “bubbles.” Supporting evidence?

    There is a trend toward the reduction of the concentration of technological superiority in the U.S., to where it can be supported more economically.

    True. More evidence of the worldwide spread of capitalism.

    So Les, what (and where) is the “deepening crisis of the capitalist system?”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    big Al, you missed a lot of the points…

    i ain’t blaming shit on anyone , really

    all i was doing was giving a bit more fo the historical background which shaped the driving social/political forces in the mid-east and have allowed the general Situation there to deteriorate into the fucked up mess it’s in now

    was i factually inaccurate in any of the details ?

    since i made no conclusions, merely pointed out historical root causes for some of the attitudes manipulated by bad people into fanaticism of the rank and file… please show me an error?

    i will add in to the mix the Wahabist schools (mostly financed by the Saudi’s) which, under the guise of teaching folks how to read and write utilizing the Qu’ran, instead add in propagandist and hate speech towards chosen scapegoats…

    my point here is that there are quite a few reasons from near History for where we are at, and that Ignoring all of them leaves any analysis Incomplete… and hampers formulating any real and lasting Answer…

    but the last Straw and the nail in the coffin for a chance at Peace in the near term, was hammered into place by Arafat a few years ago when he looked at Israel sitting at the Table, with the best Peace options the Palestinians could even hope for, and Uncle Sugar sitting there ready to write the Checks to pay for the formation of a real Palestinian state under the very best Terms any could hope for… and the rat bastard Arafat walked away…

    THAT sounded the Trumpet, and let slip the dogs of War…

    just my one sixth billionths of the World’s opinion…

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior?

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Al, perhaps you could explain to us exactly how Israel has establised internationally agreed secure borders with all its neighbours, as laid down in multiple peace plans it seems to have blithely ignored?

    Furthermore, I’m about up to here with your general rudeness to a variety of people on here so I shall be expecting you to follow the comments policy from now on; you’ve been cut more than enough slack recently. And to think I was one of the people who stood up for you during the recent debates as to who should be a Blogcritic of the month…

  • RedTard

    Way to hide behind your authority position Chris. Why don’t you address his point about Hizbullah growing stronger and using the territory to lauch attacks after Israel got out of Lebanon. Israel and it’s supporters were right then about the Islamic nutjobs and they’re right now. Now there’s an ‘inconvenient truth’ for you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    side note to Red in #14

    have you compared the balance sheets of those “hybrid” economies i mention with the Treasury departments own report on the US’s? (remember the Treasury departments is done with real accounting rules, and does nto match the overly rosy ones from the WH)

    try it, and then come back and talk to me about Nations that are overborrowing, over spending , and who appears to get the most effecient and best bang for their buck…

    i’m NOT advocating other Systems for the US.. we are who we are, but i think it is Ignorant to toss aside other Ways that work for no good reasons…

    rather, i woudl think that Learning from anything that works, to make your own Efforts betters is the only reasonable course of action…

    Excelsior?

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    RedTard, if you can’t perceive the difference between Al’s spiky bearding of people and my reasonably stated perspective, I can only hazard a guess as to which half of your nickname is predominant.

    Furthermore, I separated my opinion from my observation as to his good manners, so I don’t see any way I was hiding behind any “authority” I may have, which I reckon to be about the same as Cartman’s.

    As to your point about Al’s observation, he didn’t write about Hezbollah attacking Israel from Southern Lebanon, he wrote Arabs, as though the two were interchangeable.

    As I have remarked more than once, I fully support efforts to establish true democratic control of all of the Lebanon and Israel’s right to exist.

    I don’t believe the Israeli government has been very smart in launching this current offensive as and when it did. It clearly underestimated the military strength of Hezbollah and has achieved little more than increase opposition to itself throughout the region.

    Thank you for your contribution to non-partisan thinking.

  • Les Slater

    Clavos #15

    “Note that in my original comment I did not refer to The US, but rather to the system of capitalism in general. On a worldwide basis, capitalism is growing (and spreading) exponentially.”

    I was the one that pointed to the U.S. because of its importance.

    Capitalism is growing but not exponentially, at least not in the amount of labor it is exploiting. It is in a saturation mode.

    “So Les, what (and where) is the ‘deepening crisis of the capitalist system?’”

    It is the imbalance between who produces and who rules, the necessity to maintain this imbalance through coercive means. This has been playing out within this country and others. This is why the growth in police, the prison population, and the attacks on democratic rights.

    Profits, on the whole, come at a greater expense. The risks are high and the trend is for investment in non-productive entities, mergers instead of new industries, various levels of leveraging, the extraction of wealth from the tiniest of spreads, etc.

    Les

  • Clavos

    Les,

    I have responses for your #21, but, belatedly I’ve realized we (I) have hijacked Richard’s thread, so I’ll save them for another opportunity.

    Richard, apologies for the hijacking.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Richard,

    Nice job. You laid out the facts for the Euro-philes who refuse to see them like good ole Chris, and Leninists like Les…

    Chris, the solution to all this is to blow HizbAllah to kingdom come, turn Damascus and Anjar into a rubble and to attack Teheran, preferably turning it into glass, before the Persian bastards do the same to us. Just because they prey to Allah five times a day doesn’t make the Persians friends. Even if they didn’t have mad mullahs shoving the Mahdi down their throats 24/7, they would still want an empire and they would still want to take their position in the neighborhood – DOMINANT MILITARY POWER – and run our lives from Teheran.

    Dealing with all these problems is not a job for little wienies like Olmert, who strike heroic poses in public and shit in their pants in private – it is certainly not a job for sadistic and sick traitors like Peres, who arrange for murder while drinking with “friends.” I will grant that Peres has the smarts for the job, but not the inclination. Peres follows the evil inclination.

    And that, young man, is the truth, whether you like it or not.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Ruvy sez…
    *the solution to all this is to blow HizbAllah to kingdom come, turn Damascus and Anjar into a rubble and to attack Teheran, preferably turning it into glass, before the Persian bastards do the same to us.*

    and thus show clearly why there is no clear Answer to the problems in the Region

    the same lack of sheer Humanity shown by this Statement is exactly the same as the inHumanity shown by the very Foe spoken of…

    Ruvy, i Wish you and yours…. as well as your Nation, only the Best… but again, your very own Statements reveal quite a bit

    Killing an Enemy who is attacking you is Justifiable… destroying innocents for the sake of such is not… deliberately targetting those innocents is a Crime, which is what is reprehensible about Hizb’allah’s behavior

    i would that you and yours do not become that which you so vehemently strive against

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    gonzo,

    To what point do you withhold fire in the name of humanity, when your enemy isn’t holding back, and who in fact will overwhelm you if not stopped?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Gonzo,

    If my memory serves, you used to be a soldier in the US Armed Forces. So, you understand the concept of “us or them.”

    That is what a lot of this boils down to – “us or them.”

    I do my damnedest to make sure that “them” does not include innocent Arabs – but it is still, no matter how I cut the shwarma, “us or them.” I don’t like that fact – but just because I don’t like that fact deosn’t change it.

    Too many Arabs want us dead – that’s what “us or them” is all about. I intend to live. That means that if “them” doesn’t want me to, “them” is gonna die. ‘Cause I intend to live.

    End of story.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    and because of my background Ruvy, i disagree

    i have no problem with Defense, as i have said many times

    but that wasn’t what you spoke of

    read what i quoted you saying again, and then try and tell me you are speaking of just the stopping of your Foe, or instead, the same wanton destruction that you Fear will be visited upon you

    do i Trust in Damascus to do what is Right, of course not… but so far, they have been smart enough to steer clear, and not provoke the kind of response that gets their city flattened

    Tehran is another matter, but far from a majority of it’s Citizens are really the kind that their insane president is

    do you turn them into radioactive rubble along with him?

    as long as those on both sides Hate indiscriminately, there can be no Answer, as there has been no Answer

    but there is nothing i can type that will change anything for you, or for them

    Excelsior?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Gonzo,

    The chain of command runs from Teheran to Anjar, Syria (a joint Syrian Iranian operation) to southern Lebanon. So I’m talking about eliminating the threats to my life, to the lives of my children and wife (and cat).

    We do not have the targetting technology or planes to take out the palace in Teheran, so nukes are what are necessary.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Ruvy sez…
    *We do not have the targetting technology or planes to take out the palace in Teheran,*

    factually inaccurate, and besides the Point

    i’ll not argue with you, th eCircumstances you are having to deal with are grave enough without me adding to them by disagreeing with your worldview

    nothing but the Best for you and yours

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jumpin’ Jebus on a stick Gonzo, but this is six kinds of bullshit “the same lack of sheer Humanity shown by this Statement is exactly the same as the inHumanity shown by the very Foe spoken of…”

    It’s not the same at all. Their enemies want to kill all Jews all times and places, Ruvy just wants to stop them from killing him and his family.

    A solution would be simple: Muslims quit killing Jews, and Ruvy and his countrymen would be making every kind of nice they could think of. But of course the Religion of Peace is not interested in that, which leaves Israel stuck by their enemies’ choice with Plan B- kill them first.

    Being willing to kill people who are attacking you does not show a lack of humanity. Doing anything less than whatever is necessary to stop them from killing your family- THAT would be a sign of having lost your humanity.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Christopher, re: comments 17 and 20- I’m not the least bit impressed with your attempt at guilting me with “to think I defended you.” Don’t. I didn’t ask you to.

    I don’t see where I’ve been rude with people. Further, I fail to see how I’ve been abusing comments policy- though you’re tempting me.

    Your specific complaint in comment 20 about me using Hezbollah and Arab interchangeably has perhaps some merit- but not very much. I try to distinguish as clearly as possible who I’m faulting, but the other side goes to great lengths to make it difficult to make those needful distinctions. I’m not sure of the exact comments you’re referencing, but it would be more accurate in that narrow Lebanon situation to say Hezbollah and Iranians, who of course aren’t Arabs.

    But most of the Muslim/Arab countries are full of hatred for Israel, and participate in various ways in the game of trying to destroy Israel, or coddling those in their midst who do. Further, they’re at some pains to maximize the confusion in order to avoid responsibility, ie the Lebanese people most of whom tolerate or even actively support Hezbollah.

    Still, I shall try harder to be more careful in distinguishing exactly whom I am criticizing.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Probably the best thing I’ve read by you, Richard.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The capitalist system and its imperialism are ultimately to the advantage of a relative few. Many people support it for various reasons.

    A lovely thought, were it not utterly untrue. A capitalist system is essentially a meritocracy which assures to those who work hard and develop their skills the opportunity to rise through the system to a position comensurate with their abilities. With the exception of a tiny minority they may not have an easy time rising to the very highest levels of income, but affluence is within the reach of every person.

    There are those that actively support attacks on the working class. I suppose these might be considered the ‘right’. But even here it is not so simple.

    Certainly not, when the greatest attack on the working class is its exploitation by the political ‘left’ who have a vested interest in keeping workers poor, uneducated and dependent in order to maintain their power base.

    The attacks themselves, the wars, etc., are the fallout, the necessary logic, of a deepening crisis of the capitalist system itself, and its imperialism. This is what is important.

    Traditonally imperialism has not been characteristic of capitalist systems, but of central control type systems including all forms of dictatorship, especially those basedon communism and socialism.

    What we see in this blog is generally a reflection through middle class eyes of this crisis.

    And, of course, the bourgeousie are the enemy because they are the lackeys of the ruling class who oppress the masses. Are you actually living in 19th century Germany or is it just a bizarre hystical delusion?

    Dave Nalle fancies himself above the partisan fray but somewhat on the right. His apparent libertarianism is just a middle class elitism that is ultimately impotent.

    So speaks the doctrinaire socialist/communist whose comments read like they’re quoted off of the CPUSA website. To you the middle class is the enemy, while for the rest of us who have at least some clue, the strength of the middle class and the system by which people rise in wealth and status in America is the solution to the problems which your philosophy is so concerned with but fails again and again to address in a humane or practical way.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Clavos, you’re wasting your time arguing with Les. He subscribes to a political philosophy so thoroughly discredited that its supporters can get away with renaming it and pretending it’s not even the same package of failed statist claptrap it always has been.

    Dave

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Al, I wasn’t guilting you, that’s just another misperception on your part. I read all the comments and you’ve been particularly spikey lately. The rest of your comment is more shallow stereotyping of Muslims and sounds racist to me. Try putting the word jew or nigger in there and see how it sounds.

  • Clavos

    So I’m finding out Dave. That’s why I asked him on another thread what his political philosophy was; the answer I got was the one I expected.

    Clavos

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    So he admitted to being a communist? I had reached that conclusion from his rhetoric, despite my initial disbelief.

    Ok, enough of that silliness.

    Back to Richard’s excellent article, which BTW, I think is at least partially the product of Canada’s relatively detached position in international politics. Canadians often seem to come up with pragmatic viewpoints which elude the rest of us who are more heavily invested in various agendas and national roles.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Dave,

    Yep, he did. His rhetoric in other threads is what led me to ask.

    Richard’s article is excellent; I feel kind of guilty that I yielded to temptation and hijacked it for a while this afternoon. Sorry again, Richard.

    I think you’re right about the Canadian perspective; Richard’s objectivity is a fresh breath.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Christopher, I’m less than interested in whether you consider my comments “racist.” The relevant question: Are they TRUE?

    It wouldn’t be the same or be right to substitute Jews or black folk- particularly African-Americans into the things I’m saying about the Muslim community, because they don’t apply. Black Americans have some issues and whatnot, but they ain’t sending their kids to blow up white folk.

    A sentient being cannot help but notice patterns of extreme anti-social behavior and enablement of that behavior by good sized chunks of the Muslim and Arab community. Perhaps you think that it is a moral imperative to stick my head in the sand like the citizens of South Park during the cartoon wars and carefully not connect the dots. I do not agree.

    You may consider it “racist” that I notice that the schmucks trying to kill US largely have a common cultural background. You may wish to call me a “racist” for noticing this stuff, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not accurate. Shooting the messenger won’t change the facts.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Al, I’m less than interested in your remarks that generalise all Arab thought into one lazy stereotype. Your facts are actually just your opinion, but you’re not the first, nor sadly the last, to make that mistake either. For a smart guy your lack of nuance is frankly disappointing.

  • Bliffle

    “A capitalist system is essentially a meritocracy which assures to those who work hard and develop their skills the opportunity to rise through the system to a position comensurate with their abilities.”

    How naive. While skills and merit may be useful in bludgeoning less worthy opponents into submission, they do not ‘assure’ anything. In capialism one survives and prospers based on the quality of his aggression. When I was young and idealistic I thought this reprehensible, but now I savor opportunities to browbeat and intimidate the fools and empty suits I see around myself in the business world.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Aggression is a skill, Bliffle. And combining it with other skills makes you more successful. Much more so than if you just got by on your other skills alone.

    I’d probably not use the term ‘aggression’, though. I’d call it the ‘will to succeed’ which includes aggression, ambition, some other people skills and a bit of opportunism.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Al, Chris,

    The facts of the matter is that people who are ignorant of “world affairs” are not necessarily ignorant of the realities around them.

    So the average Israeli may not be aware of all the nuances of American policy or even of Israeli politics – but he knows when he is being screwed over.

    So we know very well that we are being screwed over here. We have internet connections and can read. Even non-English speakers can read Hebrew, or Russian or Georgian…

    A big job of any Arab government is to keep the mark’s “eye” on the Israeli “ball”, so that he doesn’t see the fact that he is being screwed over. But Arabs are not stupid ragheads. they realize that their local governments are screwing them over, whatever their opinions are of us.

    Then there is the fact that not all Arabs are the same – a basic point missed quite often by those not in the gunsights…

    Respect for your enemy is the first rule to survival.

  • Clavos

    Respect for your enemy is the first rule to survival.

    And knowing him (as you do) is the second.

    Clavos

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    So the average Israeli may not be aware of all the nuances of American policy or even of Israeli politics – but he knows when he is being screwed over.

    Then things must be simpler and clearer over there, because the average American appears not to be able to tell when he’s being screwed over or lied to.

    Dave

  • Dean

    “the average American appears not to be able to tell when he’s being screwed over or lied to”

    Maybe not.

    How much lower can Bush go in the polls?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dave, now that I think about it, it is little eassier here. We do not have a zillion radio stations – just Kol Yisrael (the Voice of Israel), Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) and Gal Galatz (the Galatz network).

    We have only three major papers in Hebrew and two in English – the Russian papers are all affiliates of the Hebrew ones. Then there are a number of independent investigators who occasionally garner attention. Then there is Arutz Sheva, the only independent news network in the Middle East.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    From: Gilbert Zamonsky At last! A notable opinion from a notable person

    Frederick Forsyth (Daily Express, 11/8): “It must surely be true that the level of lies and hypocrisy that a society can tolerate is in direct proportion to the degeneration of that culture. Personally I am not particularly pro or anti Israel, pro or anti Arab or pro or anti Islam. But I do have a dislike of myth, hypocrisy and lies as opposed to reality,
    fairness and truth.

    Watching the bombing of Lebanon it is impossible not to feel horror and pity for the innocent civilians killed, wounded or rendered homeless. But certain of our politicians, seeking easy populism and the cheapest round of applause
    in modern history, have called the Israeli response “disproportionate.”

    Among the politicos are Jack Straw and that master of EU negotiations William Hague.

    That accusation can only mean: “disproportionate” to the aggression leveled against them. Really? Why did the accusers not mention Serbia? What has
    Serbia got to do with it? Let’s refresh our memories.

    In 1999 five Nato air forces “US, British, French, Italian and German began to plaster Yugoslavia, effectively the tiny and defenceless province of Serbia. We were not at war with the Serbs, we had no reason to hate them, they had not attacked us and no Serbian rockets were falling on us. But we practically bombed them back to the Stone Age. We took out every bridge we could see. We trashed their TV station, army barracks, airfields and motorways. We were not fighting for our lives and no terrorists were
    skulking among the civilian population but we hit apartment blocks and factories anyway. There were civilian casualties. We did not do it for 25
    days but for 73. We bombed this little country economically back 30 years by converting its in frastructure into rubble. Why?

    We were trying to persuade one dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, to pull his troops out of Kosovo, which happened to be (and still is) a Yugoslav province. The dictator finally cracked; shortly afterwards he was toppled but it was his fellow Serbs who did that, no Nato. Before the destruction of Serbia, Kosovo was a nightmare of ethnic hatred. It still is. If we wanted
    to liberate the Kosovans why did we not just invade? Why blow Serbian civilians to bits?

    Here is my point. In all those 73 days of bombing Serbia I never heard one British moralist use the ord “disproportionate.” The entire point of Hezbollah is not to resolve some border dispute with Israel; its aim is to
    wipe Israel off the map, as expressed by Hezbollah”s master, the crazed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. That aim includes the eradication of every Israeli Jew; i.e. genocide. Serbia never once threatened to wipe the UK off
    the map or slaughter our citizens, yet Straw, in office in 1999, and Hague, leading the Conservative Party, never objected to Serbia being bombed.

    As an ex-RAF officer I am persuaded the Israelis fighter pilots are hitting civilian-free targets with 95% of their strikes. These are the hits no TV network bothers to cover. It is the 5% that causes the coverage and the horror: wrong target, unseen civilians in the cellar, misfire, unavoidable collateral casualties. Unavoidable? Israel has said I effect, “If you seek to wipe us out we will defend ourselves to the death. You offer us no quarter, so we will offer none to you. But if you choose intentionally, inadvertently, or through the stupidity of your government to protect and shelter the killers among yourselves then with deepest regret, we cannot guarantee your exemption.”

    Yesterday we Brits learned that certain elements in our society had tried to organise a mass slaughter of citizens flying out of our airports. We will have to take draconian measures against these enemies in our midst. Will
    Messrs Hague and Straw complain our methods are disproportionate? Not a chance. Now that, dear readers, is blatant hypocrisy.

  • Clavos

    That’s an impressive and convincing piece, Ruvy. Is this Frederick Forsyth the well-known novelist?

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    Congrats! This article has been selected as one of this week’s Editors’ Picks.