Frontier Former Editor

January 4, 2009

Another reason not to book that Holy Land tour . . .

Filed under: ancient history, colonialism, doomed to repeat, dumbasses, imperialism, Judaism, religion — Tags: , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 1:44 am

As a history major, I look at Saturday’s news and remember the following:

  • Balfour issued his letter in support of a  Zionist homeland in Palestine, as long as the native population was not adversely affected, like that was a consideration since 1917.
  • Israel, despite its political leadership’s claims that it is not a colonial power, joined quite willingly with England and France in 1956 to support seizure of  the Suez Canal and, as a bonus, seize control of the Sinai and expand its borders beyond the 1948 lines.
  • Also, despite its claims of non-colonial stances, most Israeli governments have, at best, paid little more than lip service to the concept of withdrawing settlements in Palestinian territory and, at worst, actively encouraging settlements as a non-governmental way of expanding Israeli hegemony beyond the 1948 borders.
  • Hamas and Hezbollah, while understandable reactions to Israeli imperialism (yes, imperialism), are really no better than successive Israeli governments in promoting any sort of rational solutions to the region’s problems. Both sides, however, are skilled practitioners of the ‘eye for an eye’ school of dispute settlement.
  • I have real concerns about a country conducting a foreign policy based cynically on the Old Testament.
  • On top of that, the mainstream Arab leadership across the region has done little to ease the situation under which Palestinians have existed . And when militant killers organize in resistance to the state of Israel, do you expect ? After all,  look at the Stern Gang and Irgun and ask what is the fundamental difference between them and Hamas/Hezbollah?

 

Perhaps it is time for the world community to allow both sides of the current troubles to be isolated and fight each other to the death. On second thought, perhaps it’s time for all parties to the events of the last 92 years to own up to their contributions to those events and to bring hard rationality and justice to the region. 

Both sides of the region’s inhabitants are equally responsible for killing and maiming civilians.

Most European nation-states are also responsible for persecution of Jews over the last several centuries and to that persecution’s peak in World War II.

The U.S. certainly has done little to head off Israel’s territorial expansion since the 1960’s, except to offer a confused series of initiatives and momentary successes of rationality lost in subsequent, emotionally confused shows of support for ‘Judeo-Christian’ values and perfunctory nods to ‘good Islamics’ victimized by the actions of ‘bad Islamics.’

And, when we all watch the news, hear the U.S. veto U.N. efforts to put Israel on the spot, and watch as Israeli aircrew flying American-made helicopters and jets bomb and strafe Gaza today, it’s hard to say that America is committed to a just peace process in the Middle East.

And what have the Arab nations done in practical terms to ease Palestinian suffering?

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September 11, 2008

Seven years after . . .

Filed under: 2001, Afghanistan, colonialism, doomed to repeat, God, history, old times, politics, scumbags, Sept. 11, support our troops — Tags: , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 9:04 am

The television and radio are full of remembrances today. You’ll probably see no shortage of Sept. 11-themed photos on the web today, and public figures will make no end of references to what happened seven years ago.

I, like so many others, mourn the dead. But I also mourn that a nation has such a short-term memory and an unwillingness to understand more than the sight of a burning building.

Yes, we should well have invaded Afghanistan. We had a moral obligation to go in there and clean the place out like the rat-infested barn that it was.

After all, we created the rats. We funded and armed the groups that became the Taliban and al Qaida because we wanted to give the then Soviet Union the same kind of headaches and heartburn that we suffered in Vietnam. And after they helped send the Red Army home, they felt they had the same sort of license to begin oppressing their own. Eventually, they did what any well-conditioned Doberman would do – turn on those who fed and raised it.

We owed the world a cold, focused rage to go clean up a mess we had created two decades earlier.

And we botched it. We failed to give the troops who went there adequate numbers and materiel. We failed to maintain the focus on our responsibility, which allowed so many other countries to jump on a bandwagon of revanche against other groups and nations. We failed to tell other countries to stay out of our way in one small corner of earth.

And we failed to remember why we were doing it. We let evangelical and neo-colonialforces in our society twist and mutate it into an old-fashioned capital-C Crusade in which we were leading the world into broad, sunlit pastures. We failed to remember that we were, in fact, going back to clean up a nasty, brutal mess that we let fester and mold and spread.

And then we as a nation allowed a small group of people with visions of an American empire of resources twist the vision of a ‘war on terror’ into an excuse to go into Iraq. Forget all those who still say that there was evidence that Iraq wanted to sow terror in the U.S. After seven years, any semblance of connected, systematic evidence of such an Iraqi effort simply isn’t there.

And after five years of what is – and yes, it really is if you study the history – another damn Vietnam, we’re finally realizing that we lost sight of what we were supposed to do in Afghanistan. Except that, unlike Vietnam, we may very well have destabilized the region we were trying to uplift and control.

We have allowed our government to misuse our armed forces, stretch them thin, and then ask them to go back and do what we didn’t allow them to do – scrub Afghanistan with a wire brush. Assuming, of course, that we would have any better luck than Afghanistan’s previous occupiers.

Seven years after, the memory of all those dead people in New York and northern Virginia and Pennsylvania has been besmirched because we allowed a third-rate political scion and his Nixon-era handlers to corrupt an opportunity to make good on one of many errors of judgement.

The next time you hear someone say that we’re on a mission from God, please, please demand that they show a receipt or a work order or a certified letter from God. If they can’t, tell them to go to hell.

August 10, 2008

Talk about news . . .

First, go see Raincoaster for great material and even better links on the propane facility explosion in Toronto earlier this morning. You’re not going to see this on Drudge Report as of 0752 US Eastern Time, but you may want to watch gas prices or your stock portfolio in a few hours.

And, while I offered admiration for Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s patriotism a few days ago, I still think Russia has the capabililty to be just as dumb and imperialist and paranoiac as Russia has been on its worst Communist or Tsarist days.

What great timing for the Olympics and the cause of world peace, especially with the People’s Republic of China as a host. Does irony get any better than that?

April 11, 2008

Who do you want singing your Bond movie theme song?

These guys?

Or this chick and her guys?

Personally, I have a white-hot hatred for the worthless sumbitch who bumped Chryssie and her boys from the lead theme slot in “The Living Daylights.” This Friday-night rampage is courtesy of Raincoaster’s dissertation on planet killers

Another FFE peek into what should have been . . .

March 16, 2008

“I think your death will be the first real thing that has happened to you.”

Filed under: colonialism — Tags: , , , , , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 11:40 am

I finally got to see “The Last King of Scotland” last night. An instance where fiction tells a deeper truth.

I think it’s a shame that American schools do not better intergrate literature and history. Joseph Conrad, Hemingway, Graham Greene . . . . they all carry truths that better explain what has happened. If more Americans were familiar with their work, our politicians might operate under a brighter light and under a higher-power magnifying glass.

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