Monday, August 21, 2006

Israel, Lebanon & Iran

I apologize for my political naivete. I avoided knowing about politics for as long as I possibly could and I am still in the process of getting up to speed.

The August 21, 2006 issue of the New Yorker does a much better job than I (although he reaches some of the same conclusions) of covering the Israel, Lebanon, Iran triangle in an article called "Watching Lebanon," by Seymour M. Hersh. He has much greater access than I do so I would encourage you to stroll down to your local library and take a look at the article.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Military/Economic Imperialism vs. Charity

Military/Economic Imperialism
I hate to get into the politics of military and economic imperialism, but it seems to be intrinsically tied (in a negative way) to the deterioration of the environment.

At the beginning of the Iraq War I remember commenting to a reporter friend of mine that Iran would be next in line. I don't even recall why I felt this to be true. He emphatically denied the possibility, but I fear that he will soon have to eat his denial.

The reason I bring this up tonight is because of the recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. Hindsight being twenty-twenty I am willing to bet that the Hezbollah leaders regret kidnapping the Israeli soldiers. For an intelligent terrorist organization it seems to have been a fairly boneheaded move. The reason I credit them with intelligence is because they have been actively working towards legitimacy via humanitarian and political efforts in Lebanon. They need this legitimacy in order to be treated with by the international community (I may be overstating this. They may just be seeking credibility within Lebanon).

One of their spokesman stated that the reaction was unexpected as prisoner exchange is a precedented practice in that geopolitical arena. Why then such a strong reaction from Israel?

Although it is pure speculation on my part I would contend that the neoconservatives who currently seem to control the US government probably encouraged Israel to retaliate in such a way as to gain the attention of the international media.

I believe that one of short term goals of the neocons is to invade Iran. There has been much posturing as of late in regards to the development of the Iranian nuclear program. This is a hard sell after the failure of the neocons to produce evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

But according to the popular media Iran is supplying Hezbollah with arms (although far inferior to the arms that we supply to Israel), therefore Iran is ultimately responsible and I have heard the term "victor" in the Israel-Hezbollah conflict.

You may not want to believe it, but our government is notorious for backroom dealings (think Iran-Contra etc.) and Israel is beholden to us for one billion dollars a year (the figure I have heard, but have not tried to verify) as well as the means by which they defend and offend their country.

The neocons are not trying to hide their agenda (although their motives may be suspect). Check out The Project for the New American Century. I will not provide a link, but you can do a search for it on any search engine.

They clearly state that America must fight and win two major theater wars simultaneously. They don't state that America must be prepared to fight and win two major theater wars simultaneously, but that America must fight and win two major theater wars simultaneously. The two theaters are the Middle East and Asia. (Hence the posturing over the Iran nuclear threat and the North Korean nuclear threat.) Specifically look for a document in their archives called "Rebuilding America's Defenses" which is one of the scariest articles I have ever perused.

The aforementioned article also discusses the need to dominate the globe militarily. I have recently begun to fear that China is on the list too as they are the only nation that has the near potential to become a major super power as well as competing with us for oil.

I don't think you'll hear too much about the neocons agenda on corporate controlled news outlets, but if you want to watch a scary documentary check out Why We Fight which should be available at your local Safeway or on Netflix.

The neocons are a little ambiguous as to why we should dominate the world (think supervillains from James Bond), but the theory is that it has to do with making lots of money (for people who are already millionaires) via the military-industrial complex (i.e. Haliburton and Dick Cheney) at the cost of our safety and sense of security as well as the safety of innocents in the Middle East and Asia.

118,900 Iraqi civilians dead according to, but you can do your own research on that. These Iraqi civilians died so that a handful of rich Americans (probably some foreigners too) could become even richer. We are the world's villain. This nation has never been more hated or feared and it ain't cause the world's jealous. It's because we are killing people wholesale. The neocons have painted a huge target on America to fatten their own gluttonous coffers. We are all being victimized under the auspices of the freedom.

An all volunteer army means we are sending only our poor and under-educated to war. We are turning the ignorant of our country into killers. Those who haven't died and lost limbs and who really work at it may recover (with counseling) from the trauma of war in twenty years or so. This trauma will affect their children and probably their children's children etc.

14 or so years after Vietnam as my Dad was beating me I can remember him saying, "I've killed men, son!" My Mom burst in yelling, "If you want to kill someone then kill me." I believe that she misunderstood what he was saying. I believe that he was trying to share with me that whatever I had experienced that day that pushed me and then him over the edge was not as terrible as the act of taking another man's life. They were divorced within a couple of years.

I saw my Dad and my best friend, at the time, off to the original Gulf War. My friend returned with Gulf War Syndrome (they actually were never able to diagnose the illness that destroyed his liver) from which he will never recover.

On a lighter note, we went to a friends wedding recently and instead of purchasing a gift (they already have plenty of pots and pans) we made a donation to Proliteracy Worldwide (specifically Women in Literacy). It may be old hat to some of you to donate to charity as a gift, but this was the first time I had ever done so. They are both professors of literature so it seemed appropriate. They said it was one of their favorites of the gifts that they had received and I tell you what, the card was enough to bring a tear to a strong man's eye.