War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
At the time of the 1967 Six Day War, I was one of many with little real understanding of the complex Middle East history who were cheering for the Israelis; the perennial underdog fighting overwhelming odds.
The complex situation in Israel has been confounding us all ever since. Then I watched Nina Paley‘s brief video (see below) and realised that it’s really quite simple.
I’ve also been around long enough to realise that many things I thought I knew were wrong. The corporate-controlled news media bear a lot of the blame for my ignorance.
In the midst of the 6 Day War reportage, for instance, there was scant reference to the culpability of the West, particularly the British, who’d made promises to the Palestinians earlier in the 20th Century, and then stabbed them in the back.
No wonder the Palestinians were, and still are, mightily pissed off.
Lies, damned lies, and statistics
If any question why we died, tell them that our fathers lied
Along came Viet Nam
In my naïvety and ignorance, I swallowed the Domino Theory peddled by the politicians and the media. If we let the evil commies get away with taking over Vietnam, they’ll take over the world. I was in the Navy then, and fully prepared if called upon to charge off to South East Asia and deal to those evildoers in North Vietnam.
Years later I learned that there was another version of the truth.
We caused the mess in the first place.
We’ve got your back Uncle Ho
During World War II we swore to Ho Chi Minh that if he helped us boot the Japanese out of South East Asia, we’d protect his people from French domination when the war was over.
The Vietnamese communists did their bit, and when it was over their reward was to be dropped right back into the hands of Charles de Gaulle and the Foreign Legion.
Not surprisingly, they too were a little annoyed.
And on it goes…
We’ve been at it ever since: Iraq, Iran, Latin American countries by the iron fistful, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria… and on, and on, and on…
The TPPA isn’t a trade deal; it goes far deeper than that. I have reservations about a deal of which we really know nothing.
If a free trade agreement can’t be fully described in a couple of A4 sheets of paper, then it isn’t a free trade agreement.
The Americans will never give an inch on trade without taking a mile. Or on anything else come to that.
People are saying, “Our great and glorious leaders would never sign up to something that isn’t in our best interests.”
Really? Remember Vietnam? Afghanistan? Iraq? What’s good for politicians isn’t always what’s good for the suckers who voted for them.
Here’s a real expert.
Professor Jane Kelsey remains remarkably civil whilst trying to inform the smarmy middle-aged adolescent, Mike Hosking:
This was written in a hurry on 12 January 2007 in response to a group question from an on-line friend, Ernie Seacrest. List members are mostly Americans.
America, Iraq, oil and politics
Let not your zeal to share your principles entice you beyond your borders.– Marquis de Sade
I’m usually reluctant to comment on many topics in this list, because I’m an outsider. However this is too important for parochialism to hold sway. I can’t shut up:
part of Ernie’s question:
….we would need to double the troops there to make the difference…….
Exactly. You should never have gone in (having missed the boat after Desert Storm), but now you can’t leave.
Either put everything into it or stand off, providing only training to the Iraqis and air and sea support.
Americans don’t read enough hard news. Otherwise you’d never have done this stupid thing in the first place. I didn’t believe that Bush and Blair were serious when they threatened to invade. I thought they had a cunning plan – well, maybe not George. Maybe Colin and Condaleeza.
The only thing I got wrong was that they didn’t have to fight for Baghdad street by street initially. The future insurgents were too smart to fall for that. Kept their powder dry. As the porcine one has reminded me off list, your erstwhile mates in Turkey didn’t help by not letting your forces in from the North. Even so, it would still have been a disaster if they’d cooperated in full.
America as a country has done dreadful damage to its image around the world.
A government of laws, and not people.– John Adams.
I pray that among 300 million people you can find the talent necessary in two years time to put this to rights. The front runners at present don’t look so great. Your founding fathers would not have believed that this terrible situation, costing so many precious lives, could have arisen from the nation for which they wrote your constitution.
I have served with American servicemen, (no women in those days) I have spent time in New York, Georgia, Florida, Washington State, and in Arnie’s land. I lived in Hawai’i for a short time. I know that ordinary and extraordinary Americans are industrious, friendly, giving people. But the world sees a different America. The gung-ho bullshit of your military training. MacCulture, the excesses of your motion picture industry, obscene music, your less than responsible big business. The loud-mouthed tourist at the next table complaining because he can’t get a Budweiser.
Politicians waving big sticks – even at their allies. You’ve done it to my little country. And brought us harm in the process.
How do you think people in Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and any number of great places feel when they’re bombarded by your leaders continually prefacing their speeches to the nation and the world with descriptions of the USA as the greatest nation on Earth?
The land of the free and the home of the brave, in many respects, is neither.
Wake up Americans. Once you were a beacon of hope to the world. Shake off your lethargy and shake up your political system. Stop the money talking. Your political system is not robust enough to flourish as long as tens of billion of dollars are required to run for high office.
Washington, Adams and Franklin were great men. You have thousands more men and women with at least as much potential living just down the road or around the corner. When the world looks back with nostalgia to the leadership of a man as flawed as Bill Clinton, it begs some introspection.
Your allies in Iraq are sounding more desperate by the day. Tony Blair no longer seems to be able to string two words together. John Howard’s main aim in Iraq is to get Australia a free trade deal with the USA. And the least said about the Iraqi puppets the better.
My heart bleeds for you, for your nation, for your soldiers, and for their families.
Why should one more American die to support a people who, in a thousand years and more, have never had the backbone to throw off despots and dictators?