16 July 2006

Lemmings ...

This is an all-over-the-place post. Forgive me. It’s disjointed, but so is the world right now. I feel like we’re caught in the middle of a bad melodrama written and performed by juvenile actors on meth.

I believe this new, bloody and horrifying war between Israel, Palestine and Lebanon, (even as the USA’s wicked, bungled war and now terrible civil war in Iraq continues) is merely a precursor of far worse things to come.

My gut belief is this is all about an eventual, long pre-planned attack on Iran for American control of oil resources in the Middle East. You just wait. Codpiece will get to use his bunker-buster nukes.

It started with the remarkably convenient attack (for the Bush administration, at least) on Sept. 11, 2001, not quite a full year after Bush stole the Presidency of the United States. Bush poodle Tony Blair of Britain went along for the ride, as did several other small countries who really needed the dough. Mercenaries, after all, are cash-hungry. After a fast marketing campaign littered with lies, we went to war against Iraq, who hadn’t threatened anyone, let alone us, with more than impotent, chest-beating bluster since 1990.

More than three years later, we are still fighting this war. We have not won, nor have we negotiated a peace. We have not done anything except kill, maim, and destroy both our perceived enemies and ourselves, both in Iraq and at home.

But where will it end? We lost 3,000 civilians to a bunch of nuts with box cutters on 9/11. Now, we’re working our way up, by dribs and drabs, to that same number of U.S. soldiers lost in Iraq.

At the same time, thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians have died, too, numbers that dwarf those lost in the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001. And thousands have died in Afghanistan and continue to die there for the foreseeable future.

This isn’t a War on Terror. This is a War of Terror.

In other news, Our Great Leader, George W. Bush, made a short visit to the new German Chancellor in a small town along the Baltic Sea in Germany a couple of days ago. It’s real pretty up that way – I spent some time along the West German edge of the Baltic when I lived there some years back. Flocks of swans dot the Baltic shore in the summer.

As Israel rained rockets and bombs on Palestine and Lebanon, and Hezbollah rained rockets back on Israeli military positions, Codpiece’s most memorable remarks were regarding the roasted wild boar he was going to get wield the knife over at dinner that night. Our Great Head of the Table. Codpiece referred to the boar, boorishly, as a “pig,” (yeah, a boar is a porcine relative of the domestic pig, I know, but sheesh, what is it with this guy? Dubya, honey, yer not in Texas anymore! You're embarrassing us!).

In spite of being asked several rather pointed questions by reporters about more important and pressing world issues, he insisted on going back to the succulent subject of his upcoming dinner, the pig and his gleeful anticipation of slicing it up.

I guess he was hungry. Or high.

More recently, Codpiece waved to us merrily from the back of his long-suffering mountain bike as he took his daily, never-to-be-missed-no-matter-who’s-blowing-up light exercise at the St. Petersburg, Russia, site of the G-8 Economic Summit. I note with some distaste that he has really pasty skin and hairy knees. But more than that, I can’t help but wonder why his handlers are letting him play on his bikey (“What I Did for My Summer Vacation”) when he should be playing at being a World Leader.

No, wait. Snark aside -- How dare he get to play at all? Do you see any other World Leaders outside playing in shorts like a bunch of blithe children while the world burns down around them?

To Codpiece’s minor credit, so far, he’s urged the Lebanese government to, you know, do something about Hezbollah, the militant army which resides there and is currently firing the rockets it got from Iran at Israel.

But Lebanon has little or no control over Hezbollah. Lebanon’s government is on fairly shaky ground itself.

On the other hand, Codpiece pointedly did not ask the Israelis to stop bombing Lebanon or show even a little restraint, considering small children are being blown to bits. And guess what? America does have quite a lot of influence over Israel.

GeeDub did say something breezy and upbeat regarding Democracy In Iraq. This prompted the reptilian Russian President Vladimir Putin (imagine HIM in shorts) to comment, in turn, that Russia would prefer not to be subjected to that sort of democracy, thank you very much anyway. You could just see him thinking, “What an idiot. Where’s the door?”

In the New York Times, the headlines shriek of Hezbollah rockets killing Israeli civilians in Israel. Yet more than 85 Lebanese civilians have been killed by Israeli rockets and bombs as of this morning. Somehow, that wasn’t noted in a headline. And no one’s talking about how many Palestinians have died so far in this latest round of bloodletting. Perhaps this is because the Palestinians are always the last to be noticed, unless they live on real estate where the Israelis want to live.

Then they just get their homes bulldozed. Or bombed.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not ignoring the Palestinians’ culpability for the years of suicide bombers who’ve plagued Israel and killed so many civilians so horribly. I’m just saying that none of these countries can wash the bloodstains from their hands.

And our hands, I’m afraid, are also stained red.

As best as I can make out, this latest war in the Middle East got started because of the “kidnapping” of three Israeli soldiers. Pardon me, but isn’t this a slight semantic faux pas? Last time I checked my handy warfare manual, soldiers, which are the armed forces of a state, cannot be “kidnapped,” but they can be “captured.” It’s different. Really.

Civilians can be “kidnapped.” Putting the right words in the right places is very important. When used correctly, they evoke uncomfortable images, like the thousands of Palestinian civilians now being held in Israeli jails for supporting Hamas, or the hundreds of Iraqi civilians moldering away in American-run prisons in Iraq.

Were those civilians “kidnapped?” Or were they “captured?” Hmm.

Until this morning, when they sent a rocket into a train station in Haifa, killing eight Israeli civilians, Hezbollah was targeting Israeli military positions, as is proper in a war (if anything can be proper in a war). Evidently Hezbollah decided that since Israel was making no attempt to differentiate between military and civilian targets, why should they?

Indeed, it does give one pause.

To be honest, I don’t understand any of this. I only know it makes me very apprehensive, and it makes me feel a little better to write about it. Maybe I’m just ignorant. But I am trying to understand it all, at least. I have to, because I think we’re approaching that point in our old world’s history, once again, where the Beast takes over and holds sway, and if I live through it, I'm going to need to be able to tell the story. To tell the truth.

By referring to the Beast, I’m not referring to anything particularly religious, though religion is most often its catalyst. I’m referring only to that gibbering, black part of our collective human mind that loves war, pestilence, misery, destruction and the pig-iron taste of warm human blood.

Perhaps we’re like lemmings after all, running pell-mell at our collective abyss, the only way we have of reducing our numbers before we overrun and destroy our world.

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity ..."

"... And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

-- William Butler Yeats


cloudscome said...

Yeah, I think that's what I was thinking. But you said it better. Thanks.

Kevin Wolf said...

I'm no expert, either, but I can see that this situation is not good and that we enable one of the major players.

I do feel we (that is, Bush Inc, really) are directly responsible for much of what goes on in the world. Everybody is following our lead: glorifying war, ignoring death, giving lip service to democracy while plunging into facsism and/or religious extremism.