Monday, January 05, 2009

MIddle East Madness

As I read through the various articles in the various papers and online feeds I am struck by the curious fact that like so many wars recently the lines between the "terrorists" and the "forces of good" get blurry and strange. Like when America decided that pulling out fingernails was good for democracy or that bombing a people who might at some time in the future think about hurting America is good for our security. But I like to pare things down to a few basic, easy to confirm facts, just to get some semi-clear answers.

Hamas was elected to rule over Gaza by the people in Gaza, a classic democratic event for which we spend millions trying to encourage. Oh, not being ruled by Hamas, but being ruled by somebody you voted for in a fair election, unlike the election in 2000 in America when the outcome was illegally decided by 7 Republican justices. But certain states declared that we needed a do-over because Hamas was unsuitable to Israel and America. I have a problem with any country announcing to another that it's leaders are not suitable and must be removed immediately. It just doesn't sound very... well, fair.

Hamas cannot "rule" a region which is a functioning concentration camp any more than the British prisoners of the Japanese could rule their camp. Gaza functions as a concentration camp. It has the concrete walls, the razor wire, the armed guards at the entrances and the tunnels out to allow for an influx of medicine and food and weapons. There used to be a standard that prisoners have a right to attack their guards and try to escape. It was considered a human right. So the people under Hamas have been firing little rockets into Israel, injuring people and killing some too. Maybe a couple dozen. Certainly 5 that we know of in this last round of attacks.

In response the Israeli military closed the entrances, bombed the tunnels and proceeded to rain down bombs and missiles upon the people of Gaza. So far we have at least 500 dead Palestinians, including women, children, oldsters and pets. So according to the Israeli government a Palestinian is 1/100th of an Israeli. They claim the right to defend themselves, which nobody can argue about. The problem I'm having with this means of protection is that considering the culture in the Mideast, one of revenge killing, honor killing and religious killing, it seems obvious that the best way to keep the killing going is to have a serious imbalance in the scoreboard. In other words, if Israeli forces were to respond to the dozens of little rockets raining down on fields, roads and houses by shooting equivalent rockets into Gaza I would see that as a not-unreasonable tit-for-tat. You still get dead babies that way and that seems to be what everybody in the Mideast wants, so we're golden. But 2 ton bombs do not equate to an Estes model rocket with a stick of dynamite duct taped to it. Collapsing entire buildings down around it's inhabitants to kill one man is not fair and balanced. What it is, is genocide, a war crime. It's a slow genocide, like the one America waged on it's Native populations, but nevertheless, genocide.

Look at what the Israelis are saying: we're going to continue bombing until we defeat Hamas and make it so Israeli families can feel safe. Say, if you want to make Israelis safe maybe blowing up neighbors is not the way to do it. The survivors are going to very inclined to make Israeli families suffer. If you want to be safe, don't kill anyone, don't threaten anyone, don't invade their land and occupy it.

Then you have Hamas shooting little rockets over Israeli skies, mostly to no harm, but from time to time they hit a person or a house. Like I said before, the scorecard shows that little rockets versus big bombs gives the bombers a 100 to one edge. So shooting rockets is not an attempt to destroy Israel. It has no chance of destroying Israel, not even if they shoot millions of them. No, they are trying to get the Israelis to do things so horrible and deadly that the world will get so mad they will say "We don't give a damn about Hitler and what he did to the Jews, the Jews have to stop this genocide!" And in theory this is what Israel is doing... except for a minor problem. The Western world, especially America, doesn't like the Palestinians. There are no famous Palestinian entertainers in America, no famous physicists or doctors, no cute Palestinian children on television shows. But there are Jewish examples of funny, smart and tender people in American culture. Besides which, the Israelis are using American tools and bombs to kill the Palestinians. We can't protest too loudly that the Israelis are using the weapons we sold them for exactly the kind of uses they are designed for. We'd look like hypocrites. Again.

So from a market standpoint this is a win-win for American military suppliers. By keeping the Mideast unstable we also keep gas prices at a rich level. Plenty of profits in war, we all know that. If ever there was a moral aspect to American policies we could argue that supplying the means to conduct a genocide is a violation of our moral principles. But our "moral principles" went the way of habeas corpus and truth in advertising. So aside from so-called "International Laws" and "U.N. Charter" there is no good reason for the American government to stop or slow down the genocide of the Palestinians. They won't just fold up and take their punishment, they won't embrace their Jewish landlords and they refuse to ignore the deaths of their families. They demand vengeance or at least justice. They won't pool their money and donate to the American political system. So they're just not trying.

I had a boss once who called me into his office to stare at me for a minute or too and then declare "Bill, you're just not trying." This was because after rupturing my disc, breaking my back on the job because I obeyed orders from my supervisor I continued to come to work, eating codeine 4's and Flexeril so I could walk and sit without screaming in pain. I tried to use the calculator but my mind was fuzzy and confused and distracted by the shooting pains down my legs. So my boss reminded me that I just wasn't trying. And I wanted to climb up onto the hillside with a high powered rifle and shoot my supervisors as they emerged at the end of the work day. Instead I walked away and did not come back. But I had a place to go, I went home. The Palestinians can't go home because Israel is there now and is raining bombs down upon the Palestinian people in revenge for dozens of toy rockets raining down on the Israelis.

I think perhaps it's time to agree that the Middle east is not conducive to human life. Something in the hot sun, the white sands, something makes people go crazy and want to kill children. Read the Various Holy Books to come out of the Middle East and you will find lots of instructions on killing women and children, raping them, burning them, dismembering them. It's not a happy place, it's the sort of place Charles Manson would like to live. So I suggest we shut it down, make it a psychic brown field and don't allow anybody to live there. Surround the area with mazes that always lead back out. Prohibit airplane flights over it. Pave the region. Paint it orange with a black skull and crossed bones on it.

Let's start a religion where killing babies is never permitted, and define a baby as a person who has been born, not just conceived. If we could recall that we are all of us children of the Deity and as such we are all of us brothers and sisters, or sisters and brothers and it is a bad thing to kill your siblings, a terrible thing. My sisters gave me grief lots of times and we fought like pigs, but never to the death. Never did I drop a 2 ton bomb on their part of the house, because that would be insane. But the Prime Minister of Israel is killing his brothers and sisters for threatening to kill other siblings. Where's Mom when you need her? Melting the ice caps, that's where! She will take care of this whole thing sooner or later. We'll be so distracted by the loss of billions of people we might forget to kill the surviving children for being part of a different religion. We might even drop the whole "Kill a *fill in the blank* for Christ" concept.

Mom!! He's touching me! He won't stop touching me!

Drop a cluster bomb on his bedroom and shoot him as he runs out! Handle it yourself.

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