Regarding our comprehension of current events in the Middle East, the biggest problem we have here in the U.S. is that we don’t know what it is like to be under siege. Sure, there was the attack on 9/11; but, spectacular and (for some, but not me) shocking as it was, the actual human impact of 9/11/2001 pales in comparison even to that of some of our lesser foreign involvements.

Our cultural experience and historical memory (warped and self-serving as they both are) were formed from a perspective of us being the conquerors and the aggressors. Even our initial ‘revolution’ was a revolt orchestrated by landed provincial nobles who wanted to control the colonial pie without having to pay tribute to the Crown. (Roughly speaking, all the founders’ lofty words and structures of ‘democracy’ and ‘liberty’ were little more than clever bits of hot air originally designed to maintain their own oligarchy; subsequent concessions to the working classes were done under threat of all-out class warfare, which would have found the oligarchs outnumbered and outgunned. If there is any genius to our constitutional structure, it is that it has smoothly absorbed such concessions– so far).

Anyway, back to the point: Europeans, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Russians, and most of the poorer Asian and African countries have a clear cultural and historical awareness of what it is like to be under brutal foreign attack/occupation/siege (all the more reason why the EU’s tacit acceptance of Israel’s Lebanon atrocity is especially reprehensible). These regions/nations still have living citizens who experienced the horrors of war brought to their doorsteps.

We here in the U.S. have our vague recollections and rehashed propaganda about the Civil War, but that was before the era of Total War. For U.S. citizens, Total War is something that happens Over There. So when the corporate media show us pictures of the effects of warfare (I’m specifically referring here to that which we are involved in directly or indirectly as a nation), we can maintain the psychic clearance necessary to cluck our tongues and go back to voting for the next American Idol. This happens for two reasons, of course: first, the aforementioned cultural and historical inexperience with Total War; second, the heavily censored and politically tailored nature of the images we are spoon fed. That’s why the images I reprinted and linked to in my last post carry such resonance (for people with operating brains and consciences, that is). While the majority of us don’t possess the psychic context to translate that two-dimensional horror into a four-dimensional empathetic experience, our unfamiliarity with even the two-dimensional imagery gives those photos a measure of shock value just the same.

All that said, though, I’m not excusing us (the U.S. electorate) from our responsibility and culpability in these matters. It is our tax revenue and our political clout that gives Israel its colonial beer muscles, and we all know it. For example, the shells being signed by those smiling Israeli girls were likely built right here in the U.S., as were the guns that fire them, and the planes that bomb what the shells couldn’t reach.

Those dead Lebanese children have left blood on our hands, too.

3 comments on “

  1. I was definitely aware of the implications of the war…of any war for that matter. And in all the news reports, and reports on what we (the US) dont report on (meaning the censorship of our news, and what other news sources around the world show) I realized that even the ‘less censored’ news that I caught, never really showed a true two-dimensional picture of what is happening there. For me, those pictures were the first real account of the war (again, any war for that matter), that I think captured the true horror of war, genocide, and the more palatable term ‘ethnic cleansing’ than I have seen in a long while. So, I definitely thank you for that. Although, I agree that we (the US population) are kept in a blissful ignorance while our leaders carry out the ‘necessary evils’ to keep our country afloat, I don’t believe we are all as naive as we are trained to be. What shocks me most, are the people who can verbalize the horrors (thereby showing an understanding of what is happening), and then say things like, “well, it is the cost of our luxury”, or “it is a necessary evil”, and feel assured they are truly ‘civilized’. The US and the UK have been the “Great Instigators” for as long as there have been WMDs, and the decisions have been made by few and ignored by many. My family (being immigrants from a once colonized country) have made me very aware of the global tyranny and hypocrisy of the country I live in. Nowadays, there are no borders to define who is supplying what, and instigating what. The ‘powers that be’ abandoned government for more private endeavors that conceal them from public scrutiny. I also don’t feel that it is a coincidence that every time war or mass killing makes the news, that you cant find a documentary that isn’t talking about over population or the limited supply of resources we are using up. I feel like all the public talk about over population has led (or is trying/serving to lead) the masses to feel like all this loss of life of people that they’ve been taught to detest, is not necessarily a bad thing. Not to say conservation isn’t a real issue, but when it makes the news in such a timely manner you have to wonder.There is a lot of blame to be cast every which way you can imagine, but in the end we have to start somewhere. Which is leading to a post I wanted to do with the subject being: ‘Are we really willing to sacrifice our luxury in order to achieve TRUE global equality and wipe out famine and poverty everywhere? Are we willing to stand up and Fight and possibly DIE for this cause?’ With all that said, until we ALL value life, the many that don’t (by actively participating and/or accepting it) will put the few that do in a position of ‘fight, flight or die’. Sorry, for the long post…

  2. Cynthia says:

    You’re right about this teaching the next generation of Israeli girls to hate. It’s also amazing how most Americans are willing participants in these barbaric acts just to maintain the appearance of some type of righteousness. Most should be asking, who died and left the West in charge of killing everyone else at its will? Here are two links that shows the evils of America going back to 1917. This info alone should let us know that we can believe anything coming from the U.S.Part IPart II

  3. Cynthia says:

    that should be can’t believe anything coming from the U.S. These people speak with forked tounges…

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