Some Truth About the Middle East

I’ve just finished watching Robert Fisk’s “Lies, Misreporting, and Catastrophe in the Middle East.” I truly enjoy Fisk’s reporting and comments on how others report. He is refreshingly honest and does his best to avoid using the language of power that propagates oppression and violence. He refuses to call problems “issues” or a breakdown in talks a “peace process.”

So here’s the short version of his speech and discussion: There is no peace for Israel. There will be no Palestinian state, and unless Israel actually engages in a wholesale genocide on the level of the Turkish genocide of Armenia in 1915, the Palestinians will remain in the area to antagonize Israel. Israeli soldiers will never be sure which Palestinians are violent and which ones are not, so the violence against civilians will continue. Likewise, Palestinian bombers will take lives of soldiers as well as children: it will be a tragedy, a catastrophe on both sides, with innocents of all stripes caught in between.

Will the Israelis subject the Palestinians to a full-on genocide? I think that’s a likely event, given that he USA supports Israel without question or hesitation. The USA already turns a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear weapons. The USA already does not press Israel to be specific about where its eastern border actually is. The USA already has a reporting network that refuses to be honest about the suffering there, not allowing photos and eyewitness reporter evidence to appear without Israel’s official denial of said evidence, as blatant as a Turk saying there never was an Armenian genocide.

Here’s where I’ll make a departure from Mr. Fisk and extend a prediction of events in Israel. The genocide there will not be of the hurried, Nazi variety. The Nazis knew they were running out of time after they failed to take down Russia in 1941. The Israelis know that time is against them, but in a matter of decades, not years. They can afford either the Russian or Republica Srpska approach. They can squeeze out the Palestinians, demand a blockade against them while they continue to receive arms, and drive them from their lands. There are 6 million Palestinians outside of Israel and the Occupied Territories. There are also 6 million Armenians outside of Turkey, so there’s a parallel for you.

Palestinian violence will continue as long as Israeli violence is directed against them. If the Palestinians ever looked set to take Israel by storm, Israeli nuclear weapons are likely buried underneath their cities, ready to detonate and deny the Palestinians those targets, just as the Apartheid South African government was prepared to do the same in the event of an ANC military victory. If Israel ever became the victim of a nuclear attack itself, it would make other people in Syria, Iran, and Lebanon victims as well.

There is no good guys vs. bad guys in this case. I am of the belief that the wicked destroy the wicked and, being wicked, see nothing wrong in slaughtering innocents caught in the crossfire. I don’t see any way out of this unless the USA unilaterally abandons Israel as an ally, which is not going to happen. The USA made a mistake in creating the state of Israel and, as an empire, can not withdraw that support without losing its power. Therefore, the USA’s will to empire has entrapped it in a violent snare from which it refuses to escape.

In Tarkovsky’s film “Stalker,” the main character says that weakness and flexibility are signs of life – the weak ask for help and the flexible bend in the face of forces that would otherwise destroy them. The character then said that strength and inflexibility always go with death. The strong and inflexible stand firm, sure that they can face down the very thing that is guaranteed to destroy them. Their strength and inflexibility blinds them to the dangers in their face. Sadly, both the USA and Israel are strong and inflexible.

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