Not deferential enough: On whelks and supernovas

Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2014 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: On whelks and supernovas

by Gina Hamilton

It's a particularly weird week, in which countries are trying to play "we've always been at war with East Asia", despite the evidence of our eyes. As in 1984, we're actually meant to believe it.

But it's very hard to accept that Israel is the innocent victim of yet another nightmare in Gaza, now complete with banned chemical weapons that Israel even accepts "don't photograph well", or that Russia is entirely innocent of shooting down yet another passenger airliner.

There isn't a whelk's chance in a supernova that either of these nations will prevail in the media war, for the very simple reason that they aren't the innocent victim, and they did, in fact, collude to shoot down a passenger airliner.

Meanwhile, back in Maine, our intrepid governor is unhappy that eight refugee children have been placed in Maine through the federal "Unaccompanied Minor Refugee Program", for which the federal government accepts all fiscal responsibility.

Yes, we've always been at war with East Asia, for the Ministry of Truth tells us so.

Trusting the evidence of one's own eyes, ears, and research -- as opposed to the words and fervent spin machine of AIPAC and the JDL, Putin, or poor Adrienne Bennett -- may get one labeled something nasty nowadays. It's unlikely to get a cage of feral rats clamped on to one's face, however, despite what those folks may wish they could do to reporters and others who insist on, well, telling it like we see it.

So we're in the position of being true to, well, reality, or being true to some misguided third-grade idea that we shouldn't tattle on our friends.

Well, I'm sorry, but third grade was a long time ago, and our moral development has evolved.

So in the case of Israel, here's what's really happening.

Israel put up with Hamas' bottle rockets, largely because they were doing no damage, for months. But when three teenagers got killed after hitchhiking home after school, Israel went a bit mental. Israelis grabbed a Palestinian kid and burned him alive. Israeli cops grabbed the kid's cousin, visiting from America, and beat the tar out of him.

We get it, the murder of young people can do that. They arrested 350 Hamas leaders, and started bombing Gaza in earnest.

It had very little to do with the bottle rockets. No one had been hurt or killed by those.

So now the score is more than 500 to less than 20. About 20 percent of all the people killed in Gaza are children, and 3/4 of them are civilians.

"But Hamas puts their rockets in schools and hospitals!" Israel screams, as if that ever makes it all right to bomb a hospital or a children's school.

Well, sure. Gaza is, in parts, truly a strip of land, not a whole lot wider than an LA freeway. There's not a lot of space for these kinds of things, and both Gaza and Israel claim they are practicing self-defense.

Israel doesn't like Hamas, because Hamas doesn't like Israel, and like that. Hamas has the cachet that could have easily been Israel's by providing social services to the Palestinians. Israel has yet to issue so much as a gas mask to Palestinian citizens of Israel. But Israel could have had the Palestinians' hearts and minds by simply treating them better than their Arab neighbors did.

Why didn't they? Israel wanted a Jewish state, and the Palestinians' very presence messed that up. So they destroyed more than 500 villages, expelled Palestinians from "Israeli" territories, and refused them right of return. Those who hung on now live in "refugee camps" from which they cannot budge or lose even that home.

Hamas, however, stepped up. They built the schools, hospitals, old folks homes, orphanages, food banks, and the other things that the Palestinians, who had become refugees in their own land, needed. So when the time came to elect leadership, it should have come to no surprise to anyone that the Palestinians supported those who had supported them.

Were they terrorists? Sure, in the sense that the Fenians were terrorists in WWI Ireland, or the resistance fighters were terrorists in WWII France, or the Wounded Knee occupiers were terrorists in the U.S., or the Sandanistas were terrorists in Nicaragua.

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

Sometimes you have to tell your friends that their behavior is abysmal.

Sometimes, you have to admit that we aren't at war with East Asia, and have never been.

Sometimes, there isn't a whelk's chance in a supernova that the spin cycle will work, because the visual, auditory, and documentary evidence of the truth is just too overwhelming.

 

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