Wednesday, August 02, 2006

For-profit Racism

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
---Albert Einstein

Are we there yet? Below is an excerpt from Robert Fisk's most recent appearance on Democracy Now! Fisk has been reporting from Beirut for three decades.
On the ground, when you're here, when you see the wounded, see the dead, you realize the immorality, the obscenity, the atrocity of statesmen, as they think they are, claiming that, you know, it isn't yet time for a ceasefire. A hasty ceasefire would not be a good thing, as Condoleezza Rice said. 24 hours before, I saw a picture of her on a beach in Malaysia. And people remember this. People remember this. In the hospital it was a young man who said -- turned to me, he said, “Why have you done this to us? Why have you done this to us?” And the woman I was talking to said the same: “Why does the West want to do this to us?” [...]

What’s going on in southern Lebanon is an outrage. It’s an atrocity. [...] It’s against all morality to suggest that 600 innocent civilians must die for this. There is no other country in the world that could get away with this.

...I wrote in my paper last week, there were times when the IRA would cross from the Irish Republic into northern Ireland to kill British soldiers. And they did murder and kill British soldiers. But we, the British, didn’t hold the Irish government responsible. We didn't send the Royal Air Force to bomb Dublin power stations and Galway and Cork. We didn't send our tanks across the border to shell the hill villages of Cavan or Monaghan or Louth or Donegal. Blair wouldn't dream of doing that, because he believes he's a moral man, he’s a civilized man. He wouldn't treat another nation like that.

But when the Israelis treat Lebanon like that, it's okay, and Blair doesn't want a ceasefire. You can’t have a real ceasefire. In other words, we've got to have the Lebanese on their knees to sign the dotted line, before we give them a ceasefire.
Fisk's comments underline the inherent racism in what the world's pathetic political leaders are allowing to occur in Lebanon. If not racism, what else could it be? Surely no one wants to suggest that this war of aggression is actually collectively and personally profitable to people like Blair and Bush and other post-Enlightenment leaders who want this violence to continue. Behind their cowardly pseudo-diplomacy, there is the real sale of real weapons to real people. It is to the credit of Israel's neighbors and others who have called repeatedly for an immediate ceasefire that they do not bring it upon the aggressor nation in this conflict by force. That would be very bad. But someone is signing off on all those weapons being used. There are actually people out there who directly profited from the development, sale, and use of the weapons dropped on Qana and innumerable locations like it. Analogies to the crimes of German, British and American corporations during the Holocaust would be far to easy for me to make. So I'll let you make them yourself.

3 comments:

Vlad said...

Bravo, Keir. Don't worry - the analogies are being made. Keep up the great writing. You are opening many eyes to the realities of the Lebanon situation.

Msn said...

I truly respect this post Keir. I would ask you; How would you relate this issue of what you call racism to the tragedy of Rowanda?

Is all this fighting about racism or corporate dollars? Or the same old stuff from the Old Testament Bible?

Keir said...

What happened in Rwanda was horrendous. Did any hearts bleed in the supposedly morally-driven governments of the advanced West for the women and children raped and hacked to pieces there? Not that I know of. It goes on all over the world with everything from machetes to M16's to missiles and unless some utterly sleezy business people can find a way to turn a profit from funding it or reporting it, no one cares.

That racism is part of the current conflict should not be denied. (Israel is an apartheid state; even its Jewish society is highly stratified along racial lines. This is uncontroversial.)

That the current conflict is big business should also not be denied. To quote the radical environmental organization Earth First: "The Earth is not dying, it is being murdered and the people murdering it have names and addresses." All this shit is working out to someone's advantage.

Finally, msn asks about ancient religious antagonisms. None of the fighting in the region ever had anything to do with which invisible man people pray to, nor how. It has always been about real estate. That said, there is a powerful and growing Christian fundamentalist movement in the US---with ties to the White House---that is arguably the greatest danger to the survival of the species. Their strong support for Israel is based on embracing biblical notions of "the end of days".

Under the phoney guise of the aggressor nation's right to exist (not in question here) is a racist and corporate-driven war crime with the inexcusable full support of the US government (which is funding it) and far too many deluded American citizens. We're killing those people. Not through ignorance. We're doing it wilfully and the chickens will come home to roost.

Here's George Carlin, post Gulf War I:

"That's our new job in the world: bombing brown people. Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Libya: you got some brown people in your country tell them to watch the fuck out, or we'll goddamn bomb them. Well when's the last white people you can remember that we bombed? Can you remember the last white people---can you remember any white people we've ever bombed? The Germans, those are the only ones, and that's only because they were trying to cut in on our action. They wanted to dominate the world. Bullshit, that's our fucking job!"