PNAC – Empire booster club. On medium.com/@caityjohnstone/depraved-sociopath-bill-kristol-very-excited-about-recent-iran-developments-a2bd0d8694c3
The Gaza Massacre–as it’s now being accurately referred to by some–is horrible and sad and yet another black mark against the thugs who run Israel and the thugs who run America.
Another great post from Caitlin Johnstone, although it’s a week old now, lists a number of the things that make it difficult to write about or have conversations about Israel. When most people in America simply support it because “they are God’s chosen people,” it’s hard to even know where to begin if you want to talk to someone about it.
But we need to have that conversation, because this latest massacre is likely just the beginning of a full-scale genocide against the Palestinian people, and it’s our problem because we support it. In fact we more than support it, we are it. The Israeli government and military are really just proxies for us, and it’s our tax money that bought what killed those Palestinians.
A deeper understanding of the relationship is that we’re both just proxies for some overriding oligarchy that uses the illusion of nation-statehood to further its own interests everywhere. As Johnstone says,
There’s good conspiracy theory and there’s bad conspiracy theory. People who say America controls Israel or Israel controls America are engaged in bad conspiracy theory. We don’t live in a world where the lines between nations mean anything to those with real power; in reality “Israel” and “America” are both purely conceptual constructs which only exist to the extent that people believe in them. There is no actual “Israel” which can exert control over an actual “America”, and vice versa. It isn’t nations and governments pulling the strings of real power in the world, it’s a class of plutocrats who aren’t ultimately answerable to any government. This class of plutocrats uses governments like Israel, the US, the UK, and the KSA to advance its agendas to exploit, loot and plunder the rest of humanity.
Our support for Israel also is the primary factor that keeps terrorism going in the Middle East, as they all see Israel as their ultimate enemy and the biggest threat to their existence. The terrorists have made no secret of the fact that it’s their main reason for attacking us and regarding us as the Great Satan. Immediately after 9/11, Bin Laden put out a statement, publicly explaining that the reason for the attack was that we continued to support Israel and we maintained bases in Saudi Arabia.
But you’ll struggle to find any of that mentioned in the national dialog. Not in the media, even most progressive media, nor in the political rhetoric at any level. It’s toxic to mention it because so many people think Israel is a holy cause and to fail to support it would be bad faith or something.
There is plenty of reason of course, not to support Israel… look up Jews for Justice — I suppose they still exist — and you’ll find a well-documented, clear and rational explanation of just how horrible Israel is and always has been. And obviously they’re not anti-Semitic. In fact it seems even anti-Semitic folk love Israel. Maybe because they’re such fascist and racist assholes that they miss the fact that most of the people in Israel are Jewish, even though it’s not a religious state, and even though most of those Israelis probably are not practicing Jews, they’re Jewish nonetheless.
The simple fact is that Israel’s horribleness has nothing to do with it being Jewish and everything to do with it being an outpost of the Empire. So that’s another factor that makes it very hard to talk about in a rational way. People are in denial about the very existence of the Empire, so it takes a long and patient workup to get them to see anything related to that dominant reality of the world.
That point is also addressed in a great forum in the June Harper’s Magazine. The forum “Combat High” is an excellent, though depressing, read. (It may require membership to access, but here’s a link: Combat High.) The participants all seem to agree that Americans in general don’t know enough about what’s happening in the world–especially in the machinations of Empire–to care.
In the discussion of where and how many U.S. troops are stationed around the world, Jason Dempsey, who served as an infantry officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a senior adviser to the Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration, says, “Most Americans don’t know enough to care.”
It’s a sad commentary. A nation of people who claim to embrace Christian and democratic values and yet we don’t care that our military and its subsidiaries around the world kill people for little or no reason other than to support the oligarchy and protect its financial interests.
consistent theme here is the course of Empire. The US military domination of the world at the service of the international oligarchy is, for me, a self-evident truth that needs little demonstration, so it’s often hard for me to understand how so many of our citizens are seemingly oblivious to this state of affairs.
Friday’s postfrom Caitlin Johnstone, the Australian writer I’ve been reading for a year or so now, contains one of the best explanations of how people are lulled into the illusory view of the US and its allies as the champions of freedom and democracy. It also is an excellent summary of historical and current events that illustrate just how accurate the notion of Empire is for characterizing our world.
Occasioned by the installation of the torturer-in-chief as CIA head, the article is not an easy read, as it catalogs CIA’s techniques in stomach-turning detail, but it lays out the case for understanding all that’s happening these days as the course of Empire, the consolidation of power in the hands of the oligarchy, and the refining of the narrative that keeps our folks cheering on their own enslavement.
It really couldn’t be more fitting that the US now has an actual, literal torturer as the head of the CIA. It also couldn’t be more fitting that it has a reality TV star billionaire President, an Iraq-raping Bush-era neoconservative psychopathas National Security Advisor, a former defense industry directoras Secretary of Defense, a former Goldman Sachs executiveas Secretary Treasurer, and a former Rothschild, Inc. executiveas Secretary of Commerce. These positions have always facilitated torture, oppression, war profiteering and Wall Street greed; the only thing that has changed is that they now have a more honest face on them.
And — which makes it worth slogging through the horrors — she manages to find a way to see all this as an encouraging development, in that it signifies the loss of control of the narrative, which makes it possible that eventually our folks will wake up!
We can only hope that it’s not too late when it comes.
[If that link doesn’t work, as Medium is a big churlish sometimes, search for her title “The Friendly Mask of the Orwellian Oligarchy Is Slipping Off” by Caitlin Johnstone. I highly recommend her writing on the political machinations of the current regime, as she seems to have a brave and unbiased approach to the whole thing, partly perhaps on account of living in Australia where the shenanigans are obvious but there’s a little less danger in speaking your mind.
From Chris Hedges, who has seen much war:
The culture of war banishes the capacity for pity. It glorifies self-sacrifice and death. It sees pain, ritual humiliation and violence as part of an initiation into manhood. Brutal hazing, as Kyle noted in his book, was an integral part of becoming a Navy SEAL. New SEALs would be held down and choked by senior members of the platoon until they passed out. The culture of war idealizes only the warrior. It belittles those who do not exhibit the warrior’s “manly” virtues. It places a premium on obedience and loyalty. It punishes those who engage in independent thought and demands total conformity. It elevates cruelty and killing to a virtue. This culture, once it infects wider society, destroys all that makes the heights of human civilization and democracy possible. The capacity for empathy, the cultivation of wisdom and understanding, the tolerance and respect for difference and even love are ruthlessly crushed. The innate barbarity that war and violence breed is justified by a saccharine sentimentality about the nation, the flag and a perverted Christianity that blesses its armed crusaders. This sentimentality, as Baldwin wrote, masks a terrifying numbness. It fosters an unchecked narcissism. Facts and historical truths, when they do not fit into the mythic vision of the nation and the tribe, are discarded. Dissent becomes treason. All opponents are godless and subhuman. “American Sniper” caters to a deep sickness rippling through our society. It holds up the dangerous belief that we can recover our equilibrium and our lost glory by embracing an American fascism.
[American Sniper article at Truthdig]
I actually think I am done now.
Well, I’m been thru everything again and re-edited. There are no major additions or changes to the order of pieces yet… but that may happen.
I do appreciate all of you who are reading this, as I know the story is not so sweet sometimes, and may actually be offensive to some sensibilities… but it’s just how things were from my perspective… and filtered thru my particular set of social understandings. Some of those understandings have moved along, changed, and expanded, but I’m not trying to re-formulate things based on my current perspective, as I wanted to present this story the way it seemed to me as I went thru it and as I looked back on it some years ago when I began the arduous process of writing it all down. (It’s been over 10 years, shall we say. All began with Jan’s writing group, the chapter on the Cabin beginning life as a short story for that group, who all said, “But it’s not believable.” To which I said, hmmm, well it happened! So I started writing to give enough back story to make it believable that someone would actually do such stupid things.)
I will probably do an afterword or foreword or something to bring it into my present perspective on things. I’m still too involved in it to do that at the moment.