Friday, January 09, 2009

Middle East Needs An Adult

I'm getting sick and tired of all of the petulant, childish whining. Most of the stuff I hear is pro-Israel but the pro-Hamas crap is annoying too.

Look, I'm sure you're all confident that your god told you to go and kill the other guys.

I mean, hell, if you're a Jewish fundamentalist you might think that he promised you the whole country as long as you remember to cut off the ends of your sons' penises. I'd find it annoying if someone traded me my foreskin for a promise and never kept it, but that's something you should be taking up with your Rabbi, not with the poor olive farmer living on the land that you think your god said is yours. Bulldozing the guy's olive farm and taking over his land? That's not going to make anything better, I don't care what you think god told you.

If you're a fundamentalist Muslim living in the Middle East, I'm sure you're pissed off at the misery the Palestinians have been through. I'm sure you think that your god wants you to go off and kill people and drive Israel off the map. But you know what? Running in to a crowded mall and blowing up random Jewish people is not helping. It's not bringing peace. It's not going to change the minds of the Israeli government. In fact, it just gives them an excuse to treat your family and your people even more harshly and it makes it ever more difficult to demonstrate any proper claim you might have.

Yes, it's very colourful and exciting I'm sure. I remember feeling that way about things when I was a teenager. Oooh, look! Here's a chance to get angry and get my testosterone flowing! Fight, fight! We're programmed for that. Evolution can't help but make us want to strut our stuff to attract mates.

But I grew up. I'm an adult now. Part of being an adult is looking back at the stupid things you were taught or incidentally learnt while growing up and realizing that some of them were wrong.

Here. I'll start by making a list of some of the things I was taught that I later realized were wrong:
a) Santa Claus exists
b) women can't do math
c) men are victims of reverse discrimination
d) god hates masturbation
e) the wine really turns in to blood
f) god exists

There, now you go make a list. Start with all of the unevidenced, unsupported claims made by your Imam or Rabbi. Especially examine the ones that make Jews or Muslims sound like mindless animals bent on eating your babies or raping your daughters.

It's time for all of you to grow up. The world doesn't need any more cheerleaders for ignorance.

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Ignatieff on Israel: Now we know

And knowing, as every G.I. Joe P.S.A. ever told us, is half the battle.

Ignatieff on Israel:
"Canada has to support the right of a democratic country to defend itself."
"Israel has been attacked from Gaza, not just last year, but for almost 10 years"
"They [Israel] evacuated from Gaza so there is no occupation in Gaza."

Good job, Iggy. Now we know who you are. You're the same guy who supported the invasion of Iraq and recanted only because of the "inexcusable cost". Not the immorality, not the lack of W.M.D or Al Qaeda connections, not the torture. No, it was just that the invasion was incompetently fought.

We had hoped that you had learnt your lesson. But no.

Israel, while not physically occupying Gaza, completely surrounded it and has systematically starved its occupants since they decided to change away from their corrupt Fatah government. The starvation became so bad that, inevitably, the fundamentalists and terrorists found enough anger to begin firing rockets in to Israel.

But Iggy says that there's no occupation. How clever of him.
"Hamas is to blame for organizing and instigating these rocket attacks and then for sheltering among civilian populations."

That makes sense. 1.5 million people crammed in to that tiny space. It would make more sense to say that Israel has pushed Hamas in to the human shields and then fired at random in to the mob.
Ignatieff said Canada must do whatever it can to get humanitarian and medical relief into Gaza when there is a ceasefire, but rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas must stop first.

Yep, that makes sense. Let all of the civilians in the area die because of a small fraction of them.

At least now we know who you are. You're the same Iraq-war supporting, American hard liner we thought you were when we first met you. You're the wrong leader for the Liberal party and the wrong leader for Canada. You and your part will never have my vote.

He ends, stupidly enough, with this quote:
"Canada should also continue to work towards a lasting solution to the conflict, he said."

What a fool. The only way we'll ever have a lasting solution is by forcing both sides to admit that they've been a pack of violent, childish jerks to each other.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ancient Religious Fights so Stupid

There's not much more to say than the title suggests. We can expand on the details if we wish. There are over thousands of years of such details.

What did the Jews do to the Canaanites? What did the Muslims do to the Jews? What did the Christians do to the Muslims and the Jews? Why did the U.N. create a Jewish homeland in the middle of an Arab area the British had also promised to the Arabs? Why did the Jews expel Arabs from their new state while the Arabs expelled Jews from their states? Why did the Jews build settlements outside the land they were given? Why do the Arabs states stand idly by, encouraging violent rather than peaceful solutions to the Occupation? Why isn't there a significant passive resistance movement in Palestine?

The history is long, complicated, stupid and religious.

God promised all of Palestine to the Jews, especially the part with the magic wall on it.

God told the Arabs to wipe the Jews off of his land, especially the part with the dome on it.

God told the Christians that they ought to help the Jews take over Palestine so Jesus can come back.

Apparently, God wanted these three groups of people to spend all of eternity killing each other over a piece of dirt, a wall and a dome. I've read the Old Testament. I'm not actually having a problem believing that the fictional character therein contained would - if he existed - want this amount of bloodshed. It seems to be in character for him.

Somehow, though, I think it's stupid. Somehow, following the murderous instructions of a fictional character for two thousands years of misery seems to me to be utterly ridiculous.

It's time for the Arabs and their supporters to realize the kind of fear that Jews are living under. After a Holocaust, surrounded by enemies who call for your deaths in daily street riots, beset by violence, encouraged to fear by the rhetoric of their own leaders, being a Jew in Israel must be terribly frightening.

And it's time for the Jews in Israel and their supporters around the world to realize that none of the grandstanding Israel has done, none of the settlements it has built on occupied land, none of the security fences, roadblocks, water and electricity cut-offs - none of it has made it safer to be an Israeli or a Jew in Israel.

It's time to grow up. It's time to stop taking sides and pretending that your favourite side is innocent. It's time for peace. Mostly it's a time for an end to the religious stupidity and shortsightedness that has plagued our world - and especially the Middle East - for thousands of years.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Harper: Making Us Look Stupid

When can we throw this government out? They're an embarrassment.

It's bad enough when the headline reads "Ottawa blames Hamas for civilian deaths", but read this:
Canada's Conservative government says Hamas is responsible for civilian deaths at a UN school where Israeli mortar fire killed at least 40 Tuesday, arguing they have used civilians to shield fighters.

Yes. The U.N. school where children were hiding out was bombed by Israel and that's all Hamas's fault. That makes total sense, Mr. Prime Minister.

Then we have this from Peter Kent, our junior foreign minister:
“We really don't have complete details yet ... "

Right, but don't let that stop you from spouting off like an idiot.
"...other than the fact that we know that Hamas has made a habit of using civilians and civilian infrastructure as shields for their terrorist activities, and that would seem to be the case again today,” he said in an interview.

Peter Kent knows who the bad guys are. Stephen Harper and George Bush have told him. Therefore, he knows who to blame.

Gaza, according to wikipedia, contains about 1.5 million people. But it's only 360 square kilometers in size. To put this in perspective, imagine standing on a plain. Fifteen to twenty steps to your north is another person. Beyond him, another and another. This pattern repeats to the south, the east and west in a giant grid.

That's how densely populated Gaza is. The people have been penned in, denied food, denied water, denied electricity. Even when Israel supposedly left and stopped occupying Gaza, Israel still controlled all borders and constantly overflew the Gaza Strip day and night, keeping everyone awake with sonic booms.

Penned in, starved and denied the basics of life, the residents of Gaza now have to endure having their schools bombed by their occupiers and all Stephen Harper and his lieutenants can tell us is that it is Hamas's fault for using human shields. Was Hamas launching rockets from inside a U.N. school? How can there not be "human shields" when the people are packed in like that?

And why was Hamas being isolated this way anyway? They won an election fair and square. They were busy forming a government when the world began isolating them, declaring them illegitimate and permitting the blockade of Gaza. Who started that isolation anyway? Oh, right. It was Stephen Harper who made Canada the first country to break off diplomatic relations with Hamas.

Get this idiot out of the P.M.O. He's far too dangerous, far too single-minded and far too arrogant. He's an insult to everything peaceful and noble for which our nation has ever stood.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Right Wing and the Forced Failure

If you ever want to destroy an institution, the best thing to do is to take control of it and make it fail. At that point, you can declare it a failure and destroy it.

As examples of the all too frequent use of this policy by the wealthy and elite of the right wing, I list the following.

1. The destruction of North American tram and train lines by the Big Three automakers to support the increased consumption of their own products.

2. The damage done to the Ontario educational system by two successive Conservative governments. Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, as Premiers, set out to "get government out of the education business" by attacking teachers on television, defunding public education through private school "vouchers" and various other tricks.

3. In Rwanda, when Romeo Dallaire insisted that a slaughter could be averted with enough troops, no one reacted. The international community made sure that peacekeeping could be seen to fail so that they could stop doing peacekeeping ... even if the citizens thought it was a worthwhile expenditure.

In that vein, the right wing lunatic fringe of American politics has spent decades undermining the United Nations. While they insist that the U.N. is a "debating society" and denounce it for its effectiveness, they spend a lot of time making sure that it is not effective.

Take, for instance, the U.S. veto used to prevent a resolution in favour of a ceasefire in latest Israeli slaughter of Palestinians with modern weaponry and Palestine rocketfire in to Southern Israel.
The United States thwarted an effort by Libya on Sunday to persuade the UN Security Council to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza after Israel launched a ground invasion, diplomats said.


Keep up the good work.

h/t Galloping Beaver

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