This Land is Our Land

Will we ever learn?

Probably not

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Bertrand Russell

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.

Nina Paley
The amazing Nina Paley

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

Rudyard Kipling

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…

Click here to see the impressive list of US invasions…

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[vimeo 50531435 w=500 h=281]

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

2 thoughts on “This Land is Our Land

  1. Great video, it sums it up well. If the British hadn’t lied, the Israelis would have. We could not displace a people with another group of people and expect anything else to be fine, especially given their history. I was converting to Judaism at the time the movie “Exodus” came out and I went with a busload of flint Jews to Detroit to see the movie. I was 16 and I remember thinking, what the hell have we done? That was 1958.

    I went into the Army in 1961. I hadn’t completed my conversion. I was shipped overseas,where I met a good Catholic, German girl (I was 19 by then). I still thought of myself as Jewish but I checked out the Catholic church until lKennedy was killed. My German girlfriend was in Paris, at that time, but I went to the Church to see what the priest would say about Kennedy. I guess he had already written his sermon because he preached about how god was going to send everyone, who were not Catholic, straight to hell. It didn’t take me long after that to realize that all organized religions were full of crap and then Atheism was the only thing that actually made sense to me.

    That was where I was when I returned to college in ’64, just in time for the run up to the Vietnam war. By then I was questioning everything, I never bought into the domino theory. I did some reading and discovered the history of the Vietnamese people and how they defeated the Chinese hoards TWICE. It occurred to me that not only were we not going to win this, we were on the wrong side. Except for the thousands who marched with me in D.C., in 1965, I seem to have found myself on the “wrong side” ever since.

    I could never figure out why Ho would be communist when he fought on our side in WW II and decided he was communist because we just said he was. I should have realized how deceitful our government was, but it took until Bernie’s primary for me to realize how truly ugly we had become and just how naive I had been all my life.

    I guess I wrote all this to say that you should not be so hard on yourself, that there is a bit of cognitive dissonance in all of us. It seems to be a journey each one of us must make alone. Mrs. Gilroy, my 4th grade Science teacher wrote in my autograph book, “Learn from the mistakes of others, you won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.” If only we could.

  2. Almost forgot. In 1967 I was rooting for the Jews, too. I felt they had to go to war or their little country would get cut in half. I think everyone in the “western world” was rooting for the Jews. And, who wants to root for the losing side? Great video.

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