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Collective Punishment & Butchering Babies is Self-Defense?

Israeli “self defense” is NOT what is going on, even though there is relentless 24/7 US mainstream media propaganda to camouflage the ruthless unleashing of the Israeli/US-paid-for mass killing war machine.

In "Eyeless in Gaza" Jonathan Cook calls out Netanyahu’s protests of waging a “necessary” war of self-defense against rockets and tunnels. He writes:

The logic is deeply flawed. Israel is occupying and besieging Gaza, conferring on its inhabitants a right under international law to fight for their freedom. How does the oppressor, the lawbreaker have a right to self-defence? If Israel objects to being scratched and bruised, it should stop choking its victim.

Cook contends that what the Netanyahu regime is up to is the serious opposite of self-defense.

It seems Netanyahu wanted to end a strategic threat: not Hamas rockets or tunnels, but the establishment of a unity government between Hamas and its long-time rivals Fatah. Palestinian unity risked reviving pressure on him to negotiate, or face a renewed and more credible Palestinian campaign for statehood at the United Nations.

Noam Chomsky in "Outrage" similarly asserts:

The unity agreement not only undercuts Israel’s claim that it cannot negotiate with a divided Palestine, but also threatens the long term goal of dividing Gaza from the West Bank and pursuing its destructive policies in both of the regions.

Ironically, the Israeli government is far more terrified not of a terrorist Hamas but a diplomatic and peace-mongering one. How extraordinary the extensive demonization of Hamas when Hamas had been negotiating with the PLO of the West Bank for the greater good of all Palestinians and had not set off any rockets for 19 months before a very serious 18-day provocative rampage against Hamas on the part of the Israeli government over the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens back in July. The tragedy was exploited to frame and collectively punish Hamas and the West Bank and Gaza. The kidnapping and murder it has been revealed but not widely broadcast was not an Hamas operation. That truth was irrelevant to the agenda of the Netanyahu regime.

Chomsky points out that for the past 14 years on average Israel has killed at least two Palestinian children each week. Where has that been in mainstream news? A month before the brutal murder of the three Israeli teens, two Palestinian teens were shot dead in the West Bank. Those murders received NO attention in the mainstream media. That indifference is routine.

Chomsky quotes Middle East analyst Mouin Rabbani:

“The institutionalised disregard for Palestinian life in the West helps explain not only why Palestinians resort to violence, but also Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip.”

Chomsky explains Israeli provocations against Hamas and the Palestinians.

According to Israeli military sources, Israeli soldiers arrested 419 Palestinians, including 335 affiliated with Hamas, and killed six Palestinians, also searching thousands of locations and confiscating $350,000. Israel also conducted dozens of attacks in Gaza, killing 5 Hamas members on July 7.

Hamas finally reacted with its first rockets in 19 months, Israeli officials reported, providing Israel with the pretext for Operation Protective Edge on July 8.

Yet Israel postures as having the “Most Moral Army in the World”. Israel’s ambassador to the US has suggested it be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

By the end of July, Chomsky reports, 1500 Palestinians had been killed, 70% of them civilians. Hundreds of these victims were women and children. This compared to 3 civilians killed in Israel.

Large areas of Gaza have been turned into rubble. Gaza’s main power plant was attacked, which was not the first time that had been done by Israel. The power plant attack not only impacts access to electricity for Gazans but drastically reduces even further their access to fresh water.

Israel with sophisticated, surgical-striking weaponry has repeatedly attacked rescue teams and ambulances stresses Chomsky. Four hospitals have been directly attacked by Israel, another war crime. One of them received a mention in the New York Times that some of the 17 patients managed to evacuate along with 25 doctors before heavy bombardments destroyed the building. The NYT did not mention what hospital spokesman Dr. Ali Abu Ryala revealed:

"We evacuated them under fire. Nurses and doctors had to carry the patients on their backs, some of them falling off the stairway. There is an unprecedented state of panic in the hospital."

Before this latest slaughter war in Gaza, Chomsky reports that at least 57% of Gaza households were “food insecure” and 80% were receiving food aid. Anemia in children under two years old in Gaza was at 72.8%. 90% of the water in Gaza had been deemed unfit for human consumption. Now horrifying conditions thanks to Israeli war crimes are profoundly worsened with Israel deliberately attacking water and sewage systems along with homes, mosques, hospitals, schools, churchs, UN shelters, etc.

Chomsky expresses disgust at the merciless siege of and savaging attacks on Gaza. He cites Israel’s “cheery expression” of “mowing the lawn” to describe its exercises of “shooting fish in a pond” which it maintains is a “war of defense.” Chomsky:

Once the lawn is mowed and the desperate population seeks to reconstruct somehow from the devastation and the murders, there is a cease-fire agreement. These have been regularly observed by Hamas, as Israel concedes, until Israel violates them with renewed violence.

Why does Israel break the peace, break ceasefires? One strong reason lately is because of growing diplomatic regard of Palestinian political advancement. Time for Israel to provoke a game of "uproar" posing as “self defense” to undo such progress.

Peter Symonds in “Gaza death toll climbs over 1,800” adds to the description of a devastated Gaza:

The overall Palestinian death toll since Israel launched its military onslaught on July 8 climbed to 1,865—80 percent of whom are civilians according to UN estimates. More than 9,000 people have been injured. About 460,000 people, out of a Gaza Strip population of 1.8 million, have been driven from their homes.

Much of the essential infrastructure in the small, crowded enclave, including its medical services, has been damaged or destroyed. According to the UN, a third of hospitals, 14 primary healthcare clinics and 29 ambulances have suffered damage. Hospitals and clinics lacking medicines and other essential supplies are trying to cope with the ongoing influx of dead, dying and injured.

Glenn Greenwald in “Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack” had this to say about the (in some mainstream media quarters) “celebration” of Gazans being alerted their homes were to be imminently bombed.

Israeli officials laud the humanity of the army, which even goes so far as to inform residents that their homes will be bombed. The practice is “sadism, sanctimoniously disguising itself as mercy,” in the words of Israeli journalist Amira Hass: “A recorded message demanding hundreds of thousands of people leave their already targeted homes, for another place, equally dangerous, 10 kilometers away.” In fact, no place in the prison is safe from Israeli sadism.

Greenwald mentions in his article the immediate plight of a church in Gaza that has received notice of imminent bombing. The priest and three nuns are presently caring for 29 handicapped children and 9 elderly women all who can not be moved. Their prayers are futile against a predatory and merciless Israel.

Greenwald praises five principled Latin American states, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru, that have withdrawn their ambassadors from Israel, following the course of Bolivia and Venezuela, which had broken relations with Israel already.

The stances of these countries sharply contrast with the responses of the United States. Greenwald:

President Obama, in his press conference on Friday, said ”it is heartbreaking to see what’s happening there,” referring to the weeks of civilian deaths in Gaza – “as if he’s just a bystander, watching it all unfold,” observed Brooklyn College Professor Corey Robin. Robin added: ”Obama talks about Gaza as if it were a natural disaster, an uncontrollable biological event.”

snip

The hideous revelations elicited a different reaction from the Most Moral President in the World, the usual one: great sympathy for Israelis, bitter condemnation of Hamas, and calls for moderation by both sides. In his August 1 press conference, he did express concern for Palestinians “caught in the crossfire” (where?) while again vigorously supporting the right of Israel to defend itself, like everyone. Not quite everyone. Not of course Palestinians. They have no right to defend themselves, surely not when Israel is on good behavior, keeping to the norm of quiet-for-quiet: stealing their land, driving them out of their homes, subjecting them to a savage siege, and regularly attacking them with weapons provided by their protector.

Greenwald asserts that Israel once a country that was admired is now one that by many is “feared and despised, a course it is pursuing with blind determination today in its resolute march towards moral deterioration and possible ultimate destruction.”

Justin Raimondo in "Israel, Genocide, and the ‘Logic’ of Zionism" writes of a “Judeo-Nazism” that massively has arisen in Israel. He stresses how the statistics of this one-sided conflict with Gaza reveal “an inordinate percentage of those killed and horribly maimed by Israeli strikes are children.” There have been 7 attacks on UN schools in Gaza in the past 10 days according to the Guardian. UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon has spoken against the bombings of UN shelters. According to him the Israelis "have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites," and yet they continue to be intentionally targeted.

In disgust Raimondo coins this Gazan slaughter war a “kill the kiddies” campaign, which has been dramatized in pictures and videos, one example was when Palestinian kids were playing on a Gaza beach and “blasted to bits by an offshore Israeli warship.” (The Israeli watch-the-war-from-the-hilltop, lawn chair and picnic basket people easily can google that one to be relished and appreciated!)

Christian Christensen in “Children of Crisis” has referred to the Gazan children as “children in a perpetual state of shock, pain or death.” Christensen addresses the present phenomenon of a double standardized Islamaphobia among the vast majority of America’s citizenry and western cultures. Some good news is that sweeping prejudice is getting shaken up right now due to sustained expressions of outrage from informed people of conscience worldwide.

The tragic side of this is that while massive war criminality by Israel is being exposed finally and globally, hundreds and soon thousands of innocent men, women, children, the elderly are being slaughtered.

Christensen is not optimistic about the ending the power of institutionalized racism gripping our governments and peoples:

So, when media organizations now show the dead and suffering children of Gaza, they force media consumers to overcome decades of dehumanization and relentless Islamophobia in order to empathize. Some can, but my guess is that many cannot. When you create the image of an Other who is less than human, fanatical and living in a perpetual state of violence (with the Other usually pitched as the instigator of that violence), then their dead children become divorced from the emotions of love and grieving, and are instead connected to apathy, distance and clinical pragmatism.

Patrick Cockburn in “How the Invasion of Gaza Strengthens Hamas” maintains that as Israel achieves and congratulates itself for hundreds and hundreds of indiscriminating Palestinian “kills” it is losing big politically :

Usually, the sufferings of the four million Palestinians penned into Gaza and the West Bank are invisible to people in the rest of the world. But over the past month we have seen, night after night, pictures of Palestinian families, with their maimed and terrified children, vainly seeking safety amid shattered houses and hospitals. Israeli spokesmen sound shifty and heartless as they claim that there is no proof of Israel’s culpability for the shelling of a UN hospital or a children’s playground, suggesting that a Hamas rocket might have fallen short. These denials and evasions might work in a short war but, by the time 264 Palestinian children had been killed, as of Friday, they only serve to convince people that Israelis do not care how many Palestinians they kill.

According to eye witness reports of Chris Hedges alluded to in "Why Israel Lies," when Palestinian children, baited by Israeli soldiers on loudspeakers from their armored jeeps -- in the Arabic language of these children, no less -- are verbally provoked to pick up and fling stones at the military vehicles the kids are then readily killed or wounded by the Israeli soldiers.

According to Hedges such deaths and woundings are reported by the mainstream media of both Israel and the US as “children caught in crossfire.” Crossfire?

Hedges relates that when he was in Gaza himself he watched F-16 attack jets drop “1000-pound iron fragmentation bombs on overcrowded hovels in Gaza City.” Homes and entire apartment blocks were demolished to expand the “buffer zones” between the victims/targets of Gaza and the encircling Israeli (US-enabled) war machine.

According to Hedges such wide-scoped devastation is later reported as the “demolition of the homes of terrorists” and/or “surgical strikes on bomb-making factories” by the mainstream media so very obligingly and Orwellianly mendacious.

Israeli and US RACISM and TERRORISM have grown exponentially thanks to the lies encircling deliberate ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Israel and millions of other Middle Eastern peoples by the US/NATO/Israel war machines.

THE BIGGEST LIE IS SUCH MASS MURDERS HAVE BEEN DONE -- ARE BEING DONE -- IN “SELF DEFENSE”!!!

Hedges:

By painting a picture of an army that never attacks civilians, that indeed goes out of its way to protect them, the Big Lie says Israelis are civilized and humane, and their Palestinian opponents are inhuman monsters. The Big Lie serves the idea that the slaughter in Gaza is a clash of civilizations, a war between democracy, decency and honor on one side and Islamic barbarism on the other. And in the uncommon cases when news of atrocities penetrates to the wider public, Israel blames the destruction and casualties on Hamas.

snip

And since most supporters of Israel do not have a desire to know the truth, a truth that would force them to examine their own racism and self-delusions about Zionist and Western moral superiority, like packs of famished dogs they lap up the lies fed to them by the Israeli government.

snip

But the Big Lie is also consciously designed to send a chilling message to Gaza’s Palestinians, who have lost large numbers of their dwellings, clinics, mosques, and power, water and sewage facilities, along with schools and hospitals, who have suffered some 1,650 deaths since this assault began—most of the victims women and children—and who have seen 400,000 people displaced from their homes.

The Big Lie makes it clear to the Palestinians that Israel will continue to wage a campaign of state terror and will never admit its atrocities or its intentions. The vast disparity between what Israel says and what Israel does tells the Palestinians that there is no hope. Israel will do and say whatever it wants. International law, like the truth, will always be irrelevant. There will never, the Palestinians understand from the Big Lie, be an acknowledgement of reality by the Israeli leadership.

According to Hedges the Israel Defense Forces website reads, “Hamas exploits the IDF’s SENSITIVITY towards PROTECTING civilian structures, particularly holy sites, by hiding command centers, weapons chances and tunnel entrances in mosques.” [my emphases] Also, "[Israeli] officers are tasked with an enormous responsibility: to protect Palestinian civilians on the ground, no matter how difficult that may be...”

Hedges’ response to the mendacious IDF site commentators:

“In Hamas’ world, hospitals are command centers, ambulances are transport vehicles, and medics are human shields,” ...

As Hedges sees it, "The Big Lie" being “used like a bludgeon by Israel, as perhaps it is designed to be, ultimately reduces all problems in the world to the brutish language of violence ...”

Ahdaf Soueif in “The End of Impunity” writes:

Benyamin Netanyahu complains that the media show pictures of “telegenically dead” Palestinians. It’s true; my timeline looks like a perverse beauty contest for dead babies and traumatised kids. There are the “before” shots: Essam Ammar, 4, from Gaza City, wears a yellow check shirt and holds a somewhat bedraggled flower, Hind Shadi Abu Harbeid, 10, from Beit Hanoun has clearly been playing with her mother’s nail varnish; she rests her chin on paint-tipped fingers and gazes away from camera, a small smile touching the corners of her mouth and lighting up her eyes. Hatem and Yasmeen al-Yazji hug each other, soft hair flopping over foreheads, big smiles revealing gappy baby teeth. Then there are the “after” images: children on hospital trolleys, children in ambulances, children burned, children blinded, children buried under rubble.

What these dead children tell us, beyond everything else, is this: that Israel believes itself unassailable. There is no doubt that Egypt’s complicity, newly - brazenly - explicit, has helped. But Israel has acted with impunity for a long time. Remember the Turkish activists it killed on board the Mavi Marmara as they headed for Gaza? Remember Operation Cast Lead in 2008? And how, in 2012 the world was shocked when the 4 children of the Dalou family were killed in Gaza. In the last week, the UN noted a child is killed every hour in Gaza. Israel raises the ante every time. Then it sells more weapons “combat tested” in the killing fields of Gaza.

Interesting additional point on the cravenness of the Israeli/US slaughter war machine overlords, particularly the arms dealers. Not only are they exterminating Palestinians but they are battle-testing uber profitable and deadly plenty more where these came from sale war armaments, not to mention spreading rampant violence gobally by enabling parallel and powerful fellow sociopathic racist and terrorist overlords against other oppressed minorities.

Ahdaf Soueif explains that for 8 years 1.8 million people have been locked into a small geographic area. Israel on the north, east and west. Hostile now Egypt on the south. The tyrannical controllers ration and reduce access to medicine, books, calories, CDs, bricks, etc. -- you name it, the Gazans are readily deprived of it.

Many of the parents and grandparents of the Gazans originally fled to Sderot but now that is an Israeli settlement, protected earnestly by Israeli security forces, where the Israeli settlers aforementioned “drag deck-chairs to the hilltop and picnic and cheer as they watch their army’s bombs fall on the people they’ve displaced, the people whose lands they’ve stolen” explains Soueif.

Soueif declares:

But terrorism is using violence to impose a political condition. Terrorism is Israel imposing a siege on a people because they voted for a government Israel didn't like. Terrorism is bombing imprisoned civilians and schools and hospitals. ...

snip

Israel requires the Palestinians to recognise Israel as a “Jewish state”. That is, to accept that the Palestinians living in Haifa, Yafa, Nazareth, Akka etc will always be second-class citizens in their country. Israel ruptures logic; it wants to be a democracy practiced on the basis that some people are “chosen” and others are not. And if that won’t work then it wants the “not chosen” to disappear.

Soueif maintains that the tide is turning, and the latest “killing-spree” of the Israeli/US-paid-for war machine has finally penetrated the “hearts and consciences of people across the world.”

Protests have marched in cities from Reykjavik to Tokyo. A tower block in Bogota is lit in the colours of the Palestinian flag. #ICC4Israel is trending on Twitter. Dutch children have made a video speaking the words of dead Palestinian children. Hardened newsmen and women have suddenly dropped the “parity” approach and spoken of the horror they’re witnessing in Gaza.

In London, when a group of Jews opposed to Zionism climbed on top of a red double-decker to declare their stand with the Palestinians they were met with a huge cheer. On Sunday a group of rabbis in Washington DC disowned Israel’s actions. Jewish citizens across the world declare “Not in my Name” to what is fast becoming described as Israel’s war crimes.

Protests have erupted across Haifa, Nazareth, Tel Aviv and the occupied cities of Palestine. Young people have clashed with Occupation forces in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron and many other places. They have also given martyrs, shaheeds, in this latest round of killing.

Soueif brings up the Arabic word for a witness, “shahed”. She explains that the “intense form” of the noun is “shaheed,” a “martyr whose sole function now is to bear witness.”

A shaheed is buried as he died; no undressing, no washing, no rubbing with oil. The shortest of prayers, then he is folded gently into his clean, white shroud and sent to his Maker with his evidence intact: the burst lung, the pierced heart, the shattered bones. See, Lord, what they have done to your creation!

snip

Israel, the light unto the nations, ... It rains the light of conflagrations and explosions on Gaza. Its white phosphorus makes pretty trails in the sky. It beams a wall of light onto the sea. Sometimes the wall is 6 miles from the shore, sometimes it’s 3; it’s the limit beyond which Israel forbids the fishermen of Gaza to work in the water. And so Israel makes of light a killer and a jail, it makes democracy the prerogative of the chosen, resistance becomes terror, and the “most moral army” in the universe targets and kills children playing on a beach.

No more. It was not just the arms dealers and their clients who were watching the Israeli display over the last weeks. The citizens of the world are paying attention. And they have taken Palestine to their hearts. There’s a rising demand for an arms embargo against Israel, for trials for war crimes, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign is getting stronger. None of this will bring back one dead loved one. We mourn the dead and grieve with the living. We also resolve to do everything we can to heal this terrible wound in the heart of the world.

[cross-posted on open salon]

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Submitted by libbyliberal on

mellon, yes, yes, yes -- madman theory of warfare is fitting here. thanks for this angle!!!

But I am thinking Nixon maybe got the idea from Israel and Moshe Dayan's "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother." (Moshe Dayan, unknown date).

I also see Israel as a borderline personality disordered government that is not capable of conflict resolution. That extraordinarily lies and it is hard to separate the pathological lying manipulation and a genuine racist-driven paranoia and grandiosity is beyond reason and collective conscience. Israel is incapable of partnership and cooperation. It demands unconditional obsequiousness and endures "affinity" but don't expect serious quid pro quo.

I see the US government as pure psychopathic at this point, picking up borderline characteristics at this point from Israel.

So much pathology. Global humanity -- people of conscience -- must rally because fascism is hardening in the halls of power globally.

So much close up exposure to Israeli and US war criminality, if this gets a pass by bobble-headed, low-information, indifferent Americans, one wonders if there is any hope for decency and peace?

Look at the massive betrayal of our but not our government and our but not our media and the manufacturing of consent, denial, minimization, racism!

Right now NewsHour is talking about Nixon lying and exceeding his executive constitutional bounds. That is rich!!! Today he'd be an amateur.

best, libby

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

Submitted by lambert on

RAND corporiation, all that stuff. I mean, only a madman would destroy the earth, right? Wikipedia disagrees:

The madman strategy can be related to Niccolò Machiavelli, who, in his Discourses on Livy (book 3, chapter 2) discusses how it is at times "a very wise thing to simulate madness." Kimball, in Nixon's Vietnam War, argues that Nixon arrived at the strategy independently, as a result of practical experience and observation of Dwight D. Eisenhower's handling of the Korean War.[5]

* * *

I think this is a category error but an extraordinarily interesting one:

I also see Israel as a borderline personality disordered government that is not capable of conflict resolution. ...

I see the US government as pure psychopathic at this point, picking up borderline characteristics at this point from Israel.

But (in the same way that governments aren't households) governments can't have personality disorders because, not being people (no more than corporations) they don't have personalites.

However, and this where your comment really strikes gold, it seems very likely that the State filters for psychopathic personalties (much like a cracking tower in an oil refinery filters for volatile hydrocarbons.

So the extraordinarily interesting question then becomes, how do psychopaths interact in groups? Any thoughts? Any research? Any literature? My guess is that they'd double down, but maybe not. (See Phillip K. Dick's Clanes of the Alphane's Moon.)

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by libbyliberal on

lambert,

There have been studies of "borderline families" which are tyrannized by a borderline parent. Why not a borderline country, tyrannized by borderline leaders? That is not such a leap.

My "psychopath" label was in anger for the US but fits. I guess I would also call the US pathologically narcissistic. There is a collective ego of the governmental leaders and a collective ego of the citizenry as a whole. A highly exceptionalistic sensibility lends itself to being called out as pathological narcissism. The present profound racism infecting and saturating Israel also is profoundly exceptionalistic.

There was a healthy blow to the collective narcissism in the post-Vietnam America era, but the narcissism is back, sicker and more intense than ever. Maybe because somehow we have the same cockroachy neocons invading the halls of media and power along with slickster and mendacious propagandizing monsters exploiting the idea of humanitarianism. The neolibs who think if the media buys it then you are what you say you are. Honor and decency and statesmanship are irrelevant. Power and profits, baby.

I wrote a blog a while back:

http://www.correntewire.com/why_does_sociopathic_scum_rise_to_the_top

An excerpt:

The sociopaths rise to the top of power by clawing, bullying, intimidating, lying, charming, betraying their ways.

They rise to the top by being enabled by the bullied, the craven, the stupid, the naive, the opportunistic, the distracted, the brainwashed, and/or by crony bullies.

Colin Todhunter in “Psychopathy, Politics and The New World Order” writes:

"Psychopathy is a personality disorder identified by characteristics such as a lack of empathy and remorse, criminality, anti-social behaviour, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and a parasitic lifestyle.

"With that definition in mind, look around: the criminal, parasitic activities by bankers that have plunged millions into poverty; the destruction, war and death brought to countries in order that corporations profit by stealing resources; the dropping of atom bombs on innocent civilians in 1945 or the use of depleted uranium which again impacts innocent civilians; and the many other acts, from the use of death squads to false flag terror, that have brought untold misery to countless others just because powerholders wanted to hold onto power or to gain more power, or the wealthy wanted to hold onto their wealth or gain even more.

"Based on these terrible deeds, it becomes easy to argue that the people ultimately responsible for them do not adhere to the same values as ordinary people. It may be even easier to conclude that it’s not the cream that rises to the top, but, in many cases, the scum."

They rise to the top by the re-framing of acceptable social conduct, validating perverse values over humanist ones by a saturating, cynicism-inducing, propagandist, corporate media.

Todhunter writes:

"Too many people have become “well adjusted to the values of a profoundly sick society,” whether residing in middle England, middle America or the gated communities of south Delhi or Mumbai."

continued

best, libby

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

Submitted by lambert on

... where I wrote:

So the extraordinarily interesting question then becomes, how do psychopaths interact in groups? Any thoughts? Any research? Any literature? My guess is that they'd double down, but maybe not. (See Phillip K. Dick's Clanes of the Alphane's Moon.)

I just don't see a reason to think that a psychopath acting in a family unit, where non-psychopaths are part of the unit, is the same sort of system as a class or cohort of psychopaths who have come to control an institution. For example, the CIA's of lie detectors really selects for people who can beat the test; lying successfully, as we might expect in an intelligence agency, is adaptive. Is a family with a psychopath as the head really comparable to a large bureaucracy with a set of psychopaths running it? I don't think so; it's a poor metaphor. That's not to say that individual, one-on-one or one-to-few interactions wouldn't feel like a family, they would, but the institution would, I think, have emergent properties at the institutional level for which family dynamics could not give an account. And policy is made by the institution. To put this another way, it's not enough to say that "Obama is an asshole," though he most definitely is, to account for the behavior of the exective branch. It's useful and necessary, but not complete.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

Well done, as usual.

I am so glad that I no longer have a television (that works)...or listen to the radio, for that matter. I stopped all of that around the time that Shields declared that "Liberals weren't even Americans" on the Macneill Lehrer Newshour runup to the Iraq invasion...or was it Afghanistan? Who knows. Sounds like little has changed.

How do you stand it? It is all so soul destroying.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

And now I see, via Charles Pierce, that the Yezidi are holed up on their holy mountain dying of starvation and dehydration because of the ISIS incursions into Iraq. Such a fascinating people. God help them.

Apparently no one is safe from our GWOT stupidity, not even minority peaceniks lost in the mountains. I had always hoped that the Kurds would protect them, but it appears to be all that they can do to protect themselves these days. Kurds from Turkey and Syria are flowing in to protect their homeland, but will the new troops be enough?

George et al have a lot to answer for. This really is soul destroying stuff, and I admire your persistence in following it in such detail for the last ten (?) years.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

nippersdad. thank you for commenting so generously to me. you are aware of more fresh hells than i am at the moment. thanks for the information.

I just to try to stay abreast of as many of the crisis-triggering tentacles of fascism, the corruption, imperialism, mass murder happening, and often feel like a hapless Lucy at the merciless chocolate factory assembly ramp. I am learning history I wish I had paid more attention by belated hindsight motivated from present horrors. I also find myself remembering the Kevin McCarthy performance in Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

Has it been almost 10 years? For me here? At least before the Obama election have I been at corrente when lambert graciously offered me refuge. I flounced off FDL because of Hamsher's ridiculous championing of the public option and declaring war on the people on her own site fighting for single payer. Hubris and another example of progressives and the circular firing squad.

I remember for so many years the third rail that brought on ambushing pile ons at corrente was to say anything remotely negative about Israel. The outrage and censure that got triggered by doing that was gobsmacking. People who were mercilessly judgmental about the US government would not tolerate ANY criticism of precious Israel. WTF?

I suppose the "crickets" today among some even here re Israel is progress, though wonder what is left heinous enough for Israel to do to get outrage from those committed and calcified tribalists and cronies or just Team Dem and MSNBC propaganda loyalists. I am grateful Israel is getting honest assessment as much as it is now. Bold and moral analyses on alternate media.

My brain's automatic sirens of cognitive dissonance that accompany tv propaganda news become more and more merciless. I stay away from most of it. I have begun to call the NewsHour more and more often to complain of its bias, and more often than not turn it off before it ends out of anger and exasperation. But I think it is important to have some kind of grasp what is passing for the most accurate of mainstream media. Important to keep a vomit bucket aside one while enduring it.

Your kindness was serendipitously timed for this weary soul. Take care of your precious own.

Thank you.

best, libby

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

Submitted by lambert on

Partly it's just that the I/P discussions were quite literally unmoderateable, and I do have a responsibility to at least try to preserve the blog. And I felt, and still feel, that Israel is a relatively unimportant client state in the great scheme of things; V. Arnold says much the same below.

I'm not sure why I flipped on this issue, but I think there are two things: 1) Gaze seems to make everything much more clear. It's like a test case that gets rid of all the inessentials. It seems clear to me that those who control the state of Israel have one goal, and that is to drive the Palestinians into the sea and take their land, because God gave it to them. The first is wrong, and I don't believe anything about the second. And 2) hasbara. Israel's forcing me to moderate for hasbara! Well fuck that. (There might be a paper written one day on how many influencers are also moderators, and why ticking them off isn't such a good idea.I would bet more than people think.)

So, somewhere along the line, I/P shifted from a hairball to a policy issue....

None of this reasoning is especially creditable.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by libbyliberal on

What on earth are you saying, that Israel is an unimportant client state?

I don''t think V Arnold was saying that at all. I thought he was saying that both Israel and US governments are murderous and racist. They mirror each other tragically.

I don't think I want to address the history of I/P on corrente too much, lambert. I am grateful to have been accepted here as a blogger so long, but the pile ons generated by questioning the actions of Israel made me reluctant to engage much here besides doing basic blogging.

There was a cronyism and protectiveness toward Jewish American bloggers that went way too far imho. A hysteria that got triggered too easily while the person trying to make a point about Israel was accused of being the hysterical and prejudiced one, anti-Semitic. It took so little.

It was like that elsewhere and even more so back then. I remember getting a comment zapped at Huffpo and one at the Guardian for bringing up Gaza in not a combative way. I thought there was a technical problem with the commenting. It made me gulp that my comments were zapped so readily.

Let me also just say, that the I/P issue was assuredly more than a hairball to the suffering Palestinians way back then and thank God you changed your attitude since many haven't even now incredibly and let's pray that with the horrific slaughter war going on right now there will be substantial consciousness raising among the citizenry. Though the power of the media and lesser evilist Obama and Dems including Warren and Sanders who are so not moral leaders right now are ugly signs that denial and minimization will re-grip the citizenry.

best, libby

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

Submitted by libbyliberal on

What on earth are you saying, that Israel is an unimportant client state?

I don''t think V Arnold was saying that at all. I thought he was saying that both Israel and US governments are murderous and racist. They mirror each other tragically.

I don't think I want to address the history of I/P on corrente too much, lambert. I am grateful to have been accepted here as a blogger so long, but the pile ons generated by questioning the actions of Israel made me reluctant to engage much here besides doing basic blogging.

There was a cronyism and protectiveness toward Jewish American bloggers that went way too far imho. A hysteria that got triggered too easily while the person trying to make a point about Israel was accused of being the hysterical and prejudiced one, anti-Semitic. It took so little.

It was like that elsewhere and even more so back then. I remember getting a comment zapped at Huffpo and one at the Guardian for bringing up Gaza in not a combative way. I thought there was a technical problem with the commenting. It made me gulp that my comments were zapped so readily.

Let me also just say, that the I/P issue was assuredly more than a hairball to the suffering Palestinians way back then and thank God you changed your attitude since many haven't even now incredibly and let's pray that with the horrific slaughter war going on right now there will be substantial consciousness raising among the citizenry. Though the power of the media and lesser evilist Obama and Dems including Warren and Sanders who are so not moral leaders right now are ugly signs that denial and minimization will re-grip the citizenry.

best, libby

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

Indeed, I hold both the U.S. and Israel responsible for crimes against humanity. Israel is our wedge and good wedges are important. I don't see how one is more culpable than the other, however I give the U.S. a larger role as an enabler.
While S. Africa was still an apartheid state their prime minister said to the U.S. president (?); "We are a becoming a pariah in the world, but as long as you support us then we don't care. The U.S. is the only one that counts."
I thought that rather summed it up well.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

Honestly! Nothing kind or generous about it, you have earned my respect over the years for reportage in areas that I am simply too easily depressed to venture very deeply into. I have read you both here and at DK for years and was always impressed by your passion and depth of knowledge.

I, too, was branded in the I/P wars at DK, and that was, perhaps, what brought out the pugnacity which eventually, gratefully, got me banned: I was beginning to enjoy the flame wars far too much for my own or anyone elses' good. :) One of my proudest moments was helping to beat up of the Allegre trio to the degree that they took their little balls home with them.....I despised the way they routinely beat people up on things like the I/P issue and had no problem fighting them with their own weapons of choice. If one truism has been learned in my life, it is that bullies are always ultimately cowards, They can dish it out........And, besides, insults can be an art form as well, and art is really the only thing distinguishing us from other crittters...though I do have paintings done by an elephant, so, maybe that topic could be better thought out....

Anyway, point being, I am sorry that you find yourself soul weary. After all of this time you could hardly be anything else. If no one else says so please let it be me, your staying power is incredible and there are those who appreciate your keeping current so that they do not have to.

But that is a little different than keeping up with the atrocities heaped upon the Palestinians blow by blow as you did and still do. THAT is really impressive.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39346.htm

Colin Campbell:

As many as 40,000 civilians, many of whom are Yazidi, are currently trapped on the barren top of Mount Sinjar, humanitarian agencies told The Washington Post on Tuesday. There, the civilians face a grim choice between engaging the ISIS army and starvation or dehydration if they remain.

"There are children dying on the mountain, on the roads," Marzio Babille, the Iraq representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund, told The Post. "There is no water, there is no vegetation; they are completely cut off and surrounded by Islamic State. It’s a disaster, a total disaster."

Prince Tahseen Said, "the world leader of the Yazidis," and other Yazidi leaders have been left begging for help from world leaders.

"I ask for aid and to lend a hand and help the people of Sinjar areas and its affiliates and villages and complexes which are home to the people of the Yazidi religion. I invite [you] to assume [your] humanitarian and nationalistic responsibilities towards them and help them in their plight and the difficult conditions in which they live today," Said wrote in an appeal to the region's leaders, as well as Europe, the U.N., and the U.S., according to The New Yorker.

In an impassioned speech Tuesday, Vian Dakheel, a Yazidi member of the Iraqi parliament, took things a step further. Collapsing in tears, she directly said her people were facing "genocide" and would be "butchered" unless ISIS were stopped.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

It was a shockingly pleasant surprise to see that O is sending support for the Yezidi and the Kurds who had been protecting them. If he keeps this up I may have to start liking him.

O.K., liking may be too strong a word. This may take a while, and a thesaurus.

I'll get back to you.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...differently than the U.S. In fact if body counts count, the U.S. leads by far. We are living in the age of barbarity and murder. The U.S has achieved its goal of world destabilization which allows it to commit any act with impunity, thus rendering the U.N impotent.
Welcome to hell...
Remove the trappings of technology and I would be hard pressed to explain the differences between us and what we quaintly call savages...