Archive for the 'Israel/Palestine' Category
This is probably my favorite political cartoon. That has at last appeared on the tubes. So I can steal it and share it.
Though here Bolling is primarily tweaking the humans involved in the unending Israeli/Palestinian St. Vitus Dance, the work serves also to unmask the insanity of any and all human tribal conflicts over “territory,” and all else.
This week we were asked to endure the dog and pony show in a clown car known as “Benghazi.”
“Benghazi” is single-word shorthand for the most recent of innumerable attempts by members of the Confederate States of America to once and for all Get the black man, the black man who has committed the unpardonable sin of occupying the White House.
Though this week’s was hardly the first “Benghazi” “hearing.”
Oh no. These things recur cyclically. Like locusts. Or lice. Or scabies.
My favorite so far was the “Benghazi hearing” where Congressional members of the Confederate States of America, so avid to Get the black man, unthinkingly babbled and blurted, publicly, the classified information that the so-called Benghazi “US consulate” was in fact a CIA spy-nest.
During a recess, some Sane person advised them of their boneheadedness. They then came back to announce the hearing was adjourned, and that everyone should just forget all about it.
“Benghazi” refers to a September 11, 2012 assault on a CIA spy-nest in the Libyan city of Benghazi, wherein Bad Brown People succeeded in killing the US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, an information officer, and two mercenaries contracted to the CIA.
From the get-go, members of the Confederate States of America wedded themselves, till death do they part, to a Reality in which the black man bubbled up some popcorn, and then sat there in the White House Situation Room, and laughed and laughed, as he watched, in real-time, four Americans die in Libya.
More recently, members of the Confederate States of America have hitched themselves to a second Reality. In this one, the lazy, shiftless, shuffling, bumbling black man went off to bed without knowing or caring one whit what was going on in Benghazi—downing a couple 40-ouncers, and then hitting the sack, so he could get up early to go waste the (white) taxpayers’ money by playing golf or basketball.
On Wednesday of this week I heard the towering ignoramus Sean Klannity advance both these Realities as if they were both equally and at the same time true.
For, in their hatred of the black man, members of the Confederate States of America have gone quantum.
You see, in quantum physics, it is possible, say, for something to be both a wave and a particle, simultaneously; for an object to remain whole, but also, simultaneously, split to pass through two separate doors; for a cat in a box to be both, and at the same time, dead and alive.
So too, in the quantum Realities occupied by the people of the Confederate States of America, it is possible for the black man to both eat popcorn and laugh as he watches Americans die, and also, simultaneously, sleep through the whole thing.
It would be nice to conclude that it is only rightwhacks who suffer in this way.
For shortly before I tuned into Klannity, to monitor his latest arrow-through-the-head take on this and that, I had spent some time with a brain-in-deep-shelter nimrod who spins a propellor upon his beanie over there on the left.
Yes. I had paid one of my periodic visits to the twilight zone of Tony Cartalucci.
Cartalucci is an alleged “lefty” freelance froot loop who places pieces in the various turds that Alex Jones floats in the punch bowl of the intertubes, on the flaccid Iranian government organ Press TV, and with something called Liberty Roundtable, which foams at every orifice that “Masonic Jewish financiers” are “advancing a totalitarian ‘New World Order’,” with Jews as “foot soldiers and cannon fodder in a diabolical multi-generational plot to destroy Christian Civilization.”
When not sticking a hatpin through his frontal lobe at these other sites, Cartalucci also dribbles and drabbles in his own digs, a place known to me as minddestroyer.
During the 20 minutes or so I most recently spent surfing the Cartalucci minddestroying sewage, I learned that:
—The Russian puck band Pussy Riot—with several members currently in jail for offending Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church—consists of nothing but “bigots and hooligans,” in willing service to “Wall Street and London.”
—Aung San Suu Kyi is a slavering murderer, jefe of a crazed cabal of “genocidal bigots” in monks’ clothing, a willing cat’s-paw of “Wall Street & London,” and guilty of “sedition.”
—Global climate change is a total hoax, perpetrated by “banksters and oilmen.”
—The Boston Marathon bombing was a “US/Saudi/Israeli” false-flag operation. At the same time, the two Tsarnev brothers—including 19-year-old Zhokhar Tsarnev—are “longtime CIA double agents,” who somehow suddenly and unaccountably ran amok. (Note that it is possible for the minddestroyers to believe that the bombing was both a US/Saudi/Israeli false-flag operation, and the work of deep-cover Western spooks who went rogue . . . in the same way that the rightwhacks believe the black man both ate popcorn and laughed while Americans died in Benghazi, and also was asleep and knew nothing about it. Quantum.)
—The Muslim Brotherhood is owned and controlled by Israel.
—The Chechen national resistance movement, which has been around for 600 years or so, was created by the CIA.
In this last nuttery, there is at least some Hope. For if the CIA did indeed found a movement that came into being some 550 years before the CIA itself was created, this means the agency must have secured the secret of time travel.
And since the CIA can never really keep anything secret for long, this means the rest of us will soon be able to be out and about time-traveling too.
And so we can then go into the future. To a time when people, left and right, do not keep their brains locked away in deep shelters. But instead actually use them.
Soon be the day.
Extreme and complete stupification today paralyzes the planet’s archeological community, as strange and unusual stone carvings have recently surfaced deep in the bowels of Jerusalem, and no human seems to have the slightest clue as to what they mean.
The v-shaped markings are on the floor of a recently uncovered room at the dig site. They are about two inches deep and twenty inches long. Nothing else has been discovered that suggests what they are or who made them. (Is it too early to suggest aliens?)
“The markings are very strange, and very intriguing. I’ve never seen anything like them,” said Eli Shukron, one of the dig’s directors.
Utter bafflement reigns. Interested humans don’t even know where to start, in attempting to Know.
The archaeologists in charge of the dig know so little that they have been unable even to posit a theory about their nature, said Shukron.
What people don’t know, includes the following:
It is possible, the dig’s archaeologists say, that when the markings were made at least 2,800 years ago the shapes might have accommodated some kind of wooden structure that stood inside them, or they might have served some other purpose on their own. They might have had a ritual function or one that was entirely mundane. Archaeologists faced by a curious artifact can usually at least venture a guess about its nature, but in this case no one, including outside experts consulted by Shukron and the dig’s co-director, archaeologists with decades of experience between them, has any idea.
An upright stone located in the mystery rooms seems to track similar artifacts known to be used by people who predated, and later riled, Israelite potentates.
Such stones were used in the ancient Middle East as a focal point for ritual or a memorial for dead ancestors, the archaeologists say, and it is likely a remnant of the pagan religions which the city’s Israelite prophets tried to eradicate. It is the first such stone to be found intact in Jerusalem excavations.
The dig is located in one of the areas of the world where people are furiously fighting over dirt. To wit:
The City of David dig, where the carvings were found, is the most high-profile and politically contentious excavation in the Holy Land. Named for the biblical monarch thought to have ruled from the spot 3,000 years ago, the dig is located in what today is east Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in 1967. Palestinians claim that part of the city as the capital of a future state.
The dig is funded by Elad, an organization affiliated with the Israeli settlement movement. The group also moves Jewish families into the neighborhood and elsewhere in east Jerusalem in an attempt to render impossible any division of the city in a future peace deal.
Given this, I have a pretty good idea what the mystery markings say. They say today what they said then; what they always say: Stop Making Sense.
First, the caveat that it is always instructive, how much of what is presented as fact, in the midst of a fluid, fast-moving, upbubbling situation, is later, when the histories come to be written, understood to be not so much fact at all.
That said, the moment when I accepted that the Egyptian revolution is Real and Irrevocable, was when the New York Times reported that among those who had taken to the streets were Egypt’s wealthy.
The protesters came from every social class and included even wealthy Egyptians, who are often dismissed as apolitical, or too comfortable to mobilize. For some of them in the crowd on Friday, the brutality of the security forces was a revelation.
“Dogs!” they yelled at the riot police, as they saw bloodied protesters dragged away. “These people are Egyptians!”
This is not good news for any autocrat. When even the people who have enriched themselves under your regime, are in the streets denouncing your hirelings as dogs, you are in terminal trouble. When the bazari of Iran shifted from covert, bet-hedging support of the implacable exiled cleric Khomeini, to open endorsement of that man and his people, the Shah of Iran was finished. So too, it appears, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
In recent news of Al Qaeda and associates:
—The Obama administration claims to have killed on Monday in Somalia an Al Qaeda “ringleader” out of Kenya. In contrast to the George II administration, which preferred to, Bobby Ford-like, strike at its “number two men in Al Qaedas” from afar, with cruise missiles and long-range gunships, this latest miscreant was dispatched by actual human beings who identified him visually.
—In an audio recording, Osama bin Laden, in what appears to be a textbook case of projection, dismissed Obama as “a weakened man,” and then renewed his recent shameless attempt to yoke his free-lance banditry to the Palestinian pursuit of a free and independent state.
—Reports emerging out of Pakistan indicate that the price of goosing the Pakistani military to chase Taliban fighters out of the Swat Valley includes hundreds of civilians murdered by Army troops and dumped like cordwood in the streets. Meanwhile, in neighboring Afghanistan, violence has spiked to levels not seen since the doomed legions of George II first stumbled into that country, nearly eight full years ago.
Former President Jimmy Carter recently returned from his fourth journey to the Middle East in the past 16 months. On this most recent trip, he traveled as part of a group of “Elders” that also included Mary Robinson and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
In an op-ed published Sunday in the Washington Post, Carter writes:
A majority of the Palestinian leaders with whom we met are seriously considering acceptance of one state, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. By renouncing the dream of an independent Palestine, they would become fellow citizens with their Jewish neighbors and then demand equal rights within a democracy. In this nonviolent civil rights struggle, their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
A recent avalanche on one of the book mountains that stud the terrain around this place unearthed a copy of Oriana Fallaci’s Interview with History. I hadn’t looked into the thing in years. Reacquainting myself with Fallaci’s 1972 interviews with Golda Meir and Yasir Arafat, I was first surprised and then amused by the frequency and fervor with which these individuals declared that they and their peoples would “never” do this or that. Because so many of those “nevers” have, in the intervening 37 years, actually come to pass.
Dialogue on Israel and Palestine is today as spiked with words like “no” and “never” and “always” and “forever” as it was in 1972. I thought it might be worthwhile to review some of Meir’s and Arafat’s once-upon-a-time “nevers,” as a hopeful illustration that never, even in this fractious sliver of the planet, does not have to mean forever.
Early last Monday morning, KGO-San Francisco’s Ray Taliaferro, dean of the Left Coast lefty AM-radio talk-show hosts, signed on with an impassioned sermon both poxing, and pleading with, all parties in Israel’s current assault on Gaza. A brief account of that jeremiad can be found here.
This Monday morning, the violence in Gaza having not at all abated, Taliaferro returned to sermonizing, this time taking as his text the primacy in this Mideast conflict, of dirt.
What is liberating to me about Taliaferro’s lamentations is that they transcend all the tired old themes that are so incessantly and obsessively worked and reworked whenever people feel the need to on this issue opine, ruminate, bloviate, screech. This night, Taliaferro graphically exposed and addressed the bald fact that in this Mideast conflict combatants on all sides, through their actions, demonstrate that to them dirt is more important than their own children.
And what a terrible morning it is. Where?—over in the Middle East. Oh no—you mean the Middle East is at it again? Yeah, they’re at it again. They don’t have enough intelligent people in the population over there on both sides of the border to get together? No, no, no-no. Well then how many of them have to die? Well, they don’t care if all of them die.
So how long is it going to take all you guys to kill each other? Somebody will fire on Israel, kill some people; Israel will fire back, and kill some people; back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth—here comes 2015—and forth—here comes 2020—and forth—here comes 2050—and forth–here comes—oh lord.
I have come to the conclusion—and nobody can talk me out of this one—that there is no answer. And that the killing will take place until there’s no . . . one . . . left.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I’ll tell you this: I feel sick to my stomach, when I see what is happening today.
It’s so sad. It is so sad. It is so sad. It . . .is . . . so . . . sad. Say it again, Mr. Taliaferro: it is so sad.
Tags: Abu Ghraib, Gaza, Islam, Michel Houllenbecq, sexuality
Islam, like the other major religion to crib its god from Judaism, Christianity, has been shaped by its potentates to require of believers an unnatural and unhealthy sexuality. To remain true to the tenets of the faith, Muslims, like Christians, must continuously repress or redirect sexual impulses.
A piece in Sunday’s New York Times suggests that in Hamas-controlled Gaza, people are becoming increasingly resistant to Islamic sexual authoritarianism. They devour Noor, a Turkish TV soap opera steamy with premarital sex, despite the fact that Gazan clerics have pronounced fatwas against those who would view it. In music shops, audiotapes praising the virtue and piety of Hamas gather dust, spurned by purchasers who scurry home instead with CDs and DVDs featuring a pouty, beckoning Jennifer Lopez. Alongside the Koran, booksellers hawk sex-instruction manuals and Arabic translations of Harlequin romances.
A skinny boy with bad teeth, manning the book tables the other morning, grinned when a woman came by and thumbed through What to Do if You Have Weaknesses in Sex.
Pointing to the religious books, she asked “do many people buy those?”
“Sure,” the boy said.
“These, too?” she asked, gesturing toward a stack of flimsy softcovers with a picture of the young Cheryl Tiegs on the front.
“Oh yes!” he said.
Hamas officials are not particularly pleased with these developments. But they are losing. As the Times reporter interviews a Hamas leader in a restaurant, songs by Steely Dan waft over the patio—”Steely Dan” an American rock band that derived its name from a dildo.