And you'll ask: why doesn't his poetry speak of dreams & leaves,
And the great volcanoes of his native land?
Come & see the blood in the streets.
Come & see
The blood in the streets.
Come & see the blood
In the streets.
The consummate cluelessness of yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald editorial, Israel, Gaza & Huntington, was truly beyond belief.
Over 300 Palestinian inmates of the Gaza Ghetto slaughtered, over 1,000 maimed, and the Herald editorialist can't resist an intellectual wank: "It is perhaps an appropriate epitaph for the American scholar Samuel Huntington that news of his death coincided with renewed hostilities along one of the fault lines he identified in the post-Cold war era. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict preceded Huntington's 'clash of civilizations' theory, and has outlived its author." What has Huntington, or his* 'clash of civilizations', to do with the Gaza massacres? In a word, nothing. [*The first use of this term rightly belongs to neocon 'scholar' Bernard Lewis.]
After relieving himself with this monumental irrelevance, the editorialist follows with this monumental nonsense: "Violence has scarred the region for more than six decades, long enough to make arguments about who started the troubles redundant." There you are. It's like the schoolmaster who comes across the schoolyard bully beating the shit, yet again, out of the scrawny little wog, but who can only respond with, 'I don't know which of you started this, and I don't care!' So Huntington's relevant, but history isn't?
But it gets worse: "In the current bloodletting Hamas fired first, wrecking a ceasefire whose restoration must be the first priority of international peacemaking efforts. " But of course, it's always the Palestinians that begin these dust-ups, isn't it? Remember the party line laid down in an earlier editorial? - "Of course the militant Islamist movement Hamas... provoked the Israeli strikes by firing its rockets into nearby Israeli settlements." (Time for bolder diplomacy in Gaza*, 5/3/08). So just ignore your own paper's report, Militants declare early end to truce agreement (19-20/12/08), which reported that "The truce has been unravelling since Israel crossed into Gaza, killed 6 Hamas fighters and destroyed a tunnel on November 4," and lapse into 'rocket/militant' mantra mode. Saves heaps on thought and research. [*See my 6/3/08 post Mainsewer Media Clueless in Gaza.]
And that business of "the first priority of international peacemaking efforts" being the "restoration" of the ceasefire - how does the Herald get around Tzipi Livni's flat rejection of all "initiatives calling on both sides to hold their fire," and her demand that the international community "support things that are not easy to support"? (See Livni to foreign envoys: pressure Hamas, ynetnews.com, 28/12/08)
Then there's this outright rubber-stamping of a familiar Israeli talking point: "Israel's response - that civilians are being used as human shields for Hamas's terrorist infrastructure - has merit." Would the editorialist still see "merit" in Israel's talking point if he knew that Israel used Israeli Arabs as human shields during its 2006 rampage in Lebanon? According to a 2006 Arab Association for Human Rights report, "[d]uring the war on Lebanon, the Israeli army installed rocket launching bases near [Israeli] Arab towns and villages in the north [of Israel], in some cases only a few metres away," and "the IDF has also transformed areas of certain Arab towns and villages into training camps." (Israeli rocket launching bases and army training camps deliberately constructed near Arab towns and villages, electronicintifada.net, 17/8/06) Or if he'd bothered to acquaint himself with the documentation that shows that the IDF uses Palestinians as human shields in the West Bank? Probably.
Like The Australian editorial analysed in my last post, Israel's wanton spilling of Palestinian blood is really the last thing on the editorialist's mind, the only reference to it being that "[t]he deaths of almost 300 people and wounding of some 600 so far have drawn understandable criticism that the military response is disproportionate." All that matters is its "potential to further radicalise Palestinian youth," which could lead to "retaliation... including a possible new wave of suicide bombings in Israel's cities." So touching, this concern for the serial perpetrator of crimes against humanity.
The sheer inanity of the Herald's editorial wank on the Gaza massacres is capped by a further reference to Huntington in its concluding sentence: "The world is looking to the Obama administration for policies that will discourage all Middle East players from so regularly resorting to violence along one of the cultural and religious fault lines highlighted by Huntington."
Well, well, well. So the world is looking to an American president (-elect) to discourage Israel's resort to violence? Please, spare us the naivete! Is this the same America that's supplied Israel with the GBU-39 smart bombs they're now dropping all over Gaza? (See Israel using new US-supplied smart bombs in Gaza, antiwar.com, 28/12/08) Whoever the world is looking to in this matter, readers seeking an informed analysis of the issue will be well-advised to give Herald editorials a wide berth.