Friday, July 18, 2014

Response to Jeffrey Goldberg

Response to Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic:

Jeffery Goldberg's psychoanalysis begins with the idea of  "Palestinian self-destructiveness" then switches to Hamas. Well, which is it?  What Palestinians -- in fact Hamas -- were proposing, and did last week again at the height of Israeli hysteria, was simply enforcing international law. Goldberg doesn't come right out and say it, but has his reasons not to call for an end to the collective punishment and a release of prisoners held without fair trial. Of course, the most serious issue is the dead civilians. But people often put their lives on the line when fighting for what they want.  Goldberg appears to admit this is a problem with a single sentence fragment: It's

Entirely, miserably, true.

that Israel is killing Palestinians. But he tempers this in the way many in the US press have been taught to do so, in the passive voice. Innocents "get killed" from "that country." If anything, they're being lured into the "self murder" strategy of Hamas. By projecting responsibility for these crimes onto others, Goldberg shows more humanity in this dithering than he does saying he's concerned about them. If he were a true psychopath he would simply say "kill them all, and be proud." His facade of quiet rational analysis when push comes to shove supports war and brutality in a way the fanatical terrorists on his side cannot.

I'm not one to assume Hamas doesn't have its legitimate critics.I know that powerful people can influence the masses and for that reason ordinary people are  less responsible. But ordinary Americans and Israelis do not face the same pressure of Palestinians. They have working electricity, internet, regular elections and so on.

So keeping to the issue of myopia. The true "enemy of compromise and progress" in the situation is the whole concept of military domination. It would only be myopic to limit this criticism to the weakest party in the conflict. Yet most pundits even on the left when confronted with the notion of political Islam put their fingers in their ears and go la-la-la it's all about religion. One exception to this is Noam Chomsky who frequently tests ideas by taking examples from the past, or from another country in order to short-circuit our temptation to see ourselves as The Good. He also helped create the warning of genocide, a fear of his resulting from a combination of Israel's undeclared nuclear weapons and its tendency of to defend a Jewish majority at all costs. Goldberg either ignores the context of this warning by the left or simply doesn't know about it.

 Either way, what he's demanding is actually more myopia. He takes the standard partisan approach, and parrots Bill Clinton into assigning all this blame outside the tribe, and the Israeli/Obama mantra of rockets, rockets rockets. Obama gives canned speeches about his love for little dead children who aren't his own -- granted they're from the right country. Does Obama's sympathy include the Palestinians who do resist lawfully? What about Goldberg's? They are not asked to compromise but are instead thrown into jails, tortured and assassinated. Goldberg himself whitewashed the humanitarian flotilla incident a few years back as "a project of pro-Hamas Turkish activists" basically mirroring the Israeli and US government lines that it was "engineered" by the sinister Turks. If one looked, one could probably find humanitarians in Gaza being called agents of Israel, and a dutiful journalist shaking his fist at them as they're shot. It wouldn't be a stretch to expect this from a Palestinian ex-prison guard, Goldberg's twin.

Being supporters of crime, the elites the US media prefer are naturally liars, saying the US influence in the region is something to cautiously praise. These people live in more security than Hamas elites do. And thanks to US policies, they have much more say in their governments than their restive populations (the majority of Egyptians view the government's court system and the police as a total sham.) Egypt and Israel are both in the US orbit that was instituted as soon as Truman was told how much oil there was in the region. US military cooperation with Egypt was cemented following the 1973 war. On the freedom of information act section of the CIA website is an interview President Sadat gave wherein he explained something interesting. He wanted a "miracle" similar to Vietnam, and Israel knew it was coming days before. Publicly it was claimed to be a surprise. This is right out of one of Kissinger's favorite books "The Prince" on how to acquire a new territory, namely showing overwhelming force. Sound familiar? Or is looking at official Israeli policy without help from Gulf commentators too myopic?

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