“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, October 23, 2015

How Much Do You Hate Palestinians?

Israel and the Rotten Soul of the West

The rotten soul of the Western political establishment is never more exposed than when it comes to the issue of Palestine. It is here where the hypocrisy, double standards, and political cowardice that is its truth is at its most extreme.
Bad enough that the Palestinian people have been forced to endure a decades-long negation of their human, natural, and national rights; the injustice they have suffered is compounded tenfold by the complicity of the West in denying their rightful status as an oppressed people struggling against a cruel and vindictive oppressor. Stripped of all of the embroidery and obfuscation that has been allowed to distort the contours of this struggle, here lies the root of the issue and the biblical suffering that has and continues to flow from it.
This conflict is not and never has been about Israel’s right to exist or Israel’s security. It is not and never has been about Hamas or its Charter. It is not even about a two state or a one state solution – at least not anymore it is not. It is about whether we take a stand on the side of an oppressed people or with their oppressor.
In this regard we must give thanks to Malcolm X for washing the bullshit from our eyes: “If you aren’t careful the newspapers will have you hating the people being oppressed, and loving the people doing the oppressing.”
Make no mistake, the political mainstream and its media echo chamber know exactly what is going on in Palestine, and they are well aware of its root cause. Yet, regardless, they continue to provide Israel with their unstinting and unwavering support. Even more, they genuflect at the feet of this apartheid state.
The desperate acts of violence that have erupted over the past few weeks in Jerusalem and across the occupied West Bank – mostly in the form of random stabbings and acts of violence against any Israeli anywhere – do not denote evil on the part of those responsible; instead, such desperate acts reveal the extent of the despair which the Palestinians have endured and continue to endure as a direct result of their oppression. Theirs is an extreme but understandable response to the brutal negation of their dignity, rights, even humanity at the hands of a state that has never viewed them as anything other than an inconvenient fly in the milk of their pure ethno and religiocentric state to be crushed and crushed repeatedly.
The wanton, systemic, and systematic cruelty endured by an entire people follows the egregious logic of the campaign of ethnic cleansing that gave birth to Israel in 1948. It describes a moral sickness that, if anything, has grown increasingly acute in the decades since.
A Third Intifada is incontrovertible evidence of the abject failure of the international community to impose a just settlement for a people whose abandonment is a crime, consigned to a fate akin to the Australian aborigines and Native Americans, with the best they have long been expected to expect life on a reservation.
The Palestinians’ stubborn refusal to accept such a fate, even in the face of brutal and unremitting pressure to break, describes a level of sustained tenacity that has been Herculean in scope. For as ugly as their resistance has been, it is nothing when compared to the oppression that has given rise to it.
The prison imprisons the guards as much as it does the inmates, and the chains that bind the Palestinians also bind the people of Israel. Not for a minute in a given day does the word Palestine or Palestinian not intrude on their consciousness – though sadly not conscience in the case of most – reminding them of a people who remain unbowed, despite their immiseration, just a few miles from the affluence which they take for granted. Hatred of another is the handmaiden of hatred of self, with Israel an example of how the projection of hatred on a national level eats away at said nation’s own foundations.
Terrorism and terrorist are the most value-laden words in our language today. We use them to identify the violence of those we revile and whose cause we consider unworthy and unjust. As such there is not such thing as a Palestinian terrorist or Palestinian terrorism. What there is, and in abundance, is Palestinian desperation and Palestinian despair. Attacks carried out against Israeli civilians are an awful thing; however for a people who’ve been consistently denied their own humanity they have become the only thing left by which to command the attention of an international community whose silence is a lethal weapon in the hands of their oppressor.
BDS is the greatest and most effective weapon in the arsenal of international solidarity with the Palestinians. From small and marginal beginnings in 2005, BDS has grown exponentially to the point where it now strikes fear in the breast of Israel and is the only international lifeline that the people of Gaza and living throughout the West Bank have to hold on to. Its continuing growth and effectiveness is therefore a non-negotiable condition of the struggle against both Israel’s intransigence and the West’s hypocrisy, without which the status quo would have ended a long time since.
We have passed the stage where objectivity is an acceptable response to apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and the monument to injustice erected in the name of exceptionalism. The cause of the Palestinian people is the cause of humanity in our time.
John Wight is the author of a politically incorrect and irreverent Hollywood memoir – Dreams That Die – published by Zero Books. He’s also written five novels, which are available as Kindle eBooks. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnWight1


  1. Deuce has lost his mind.

    He is now sourcing the intellectual Malcolm X.

    It is now officially loo - loo hand at the Elephant Bar.


    Just when I think I understand the depth of your stupidity, you demonstrate to me my abysmally inaccurate calculation.

    Charitably, it is a challenge to handicap your stupidity with your ignorance.

    Israel, as a current state, is a European post colonial fabrication making amends for a European crime against humanity. It is a political construct built upon another crime against the indigenous human beings livings in the previous European fabrication.

    It is robbing Peter to compensate Paul for having murdered Paul’s family and having stolen their property. Israel is a compound of European injustice.

    If you fail to see the irony and lesson in the videos and post, go eat another comped casino waffle or read something at your comprehension level.

    1. Blah blah

      In this regard we must give thanks to Malcolm X for washing the bullshit from our eyes: “If you aren’t careful the newspapers will have you hating the people being oppressed, and loving the people doing the oppressing.”

      Great intellectual backing you got there.

      Blah blah blah

      Yup, just great.

      Good Night

    2. (I've always preferred H. Rap Brown, or, perhaps, Stokley Carmichael as my sourcing.)


    Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi is alleged to be under “enormous pressure” from Shiite militiamen and hardliners to seek Russian airstrikes on Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) targets. On Oct. 1, he had announced that such Russian intervention in his country would be welcome.
    On Wednesday, the largest bloc in parliament, the Shiite Da’wa Party from which al-Abadi springs, sent a letter to the Prime Minister asking for Russian intervention.

    He has established a joint intelligence center in Baghdad where reports are shared among Iraq, Iran, Russia and Syria.
    But this week the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, visited Iraq and said he got assurances from PM al-Abadi that Russia would not fly missions against Daesh on Iraqi soil.

    He said that there had been “angst” in the Pentagon when al-Abadi mentioned this possibility.

    1. {...}

      The United States, he said, “can’t have a relationship right now with Russia in the context of Iraq.” Dunford told the reporters accompanying him to Iraq, “I said it would make it very difficult for us to be able to provide the kind of support that you need if the Russians were here conducting operations as well. We can’t conduct operations if the Russians were operating in Iraq right now.”

      Since many countries are flying missions against Daesh in Iraq, including Britain, France, Australia, Jordan, Morocco, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, it is a little hard to understand why Russia could not also do so without fear of friendly fire. Is the US in Iraq unwilling to share with Moscow the “identify friend or foe” codes that would keep Russian planes safe from such an attack?
      In any case, the Iraqi press and parliament think that Gen. Dunford is being far too categorical in the way he describes Baghdad’s pledge. The Shiite militias, such as the Badr Corps and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq, intend to go on lobbying for Russian intervention. And, Parliament will take up the matter later this month.

      From the point of view of the Shiite militias and politicians, the US air strikes have been way too leisurely. For the most part they seem to aim at containment of Daesh rather than rollback. The Shiite militias have been watching the extensive air strikes by Russia on rebel targets, with increasing envy. They want that kind of action.


    2. {...}


      My guess is that the Obama administration hasn’t wanted to roll back Daesh quite yet, precisely because it would be the Badr Corps and similar hard line pro-Iran Shiite militias that would conduct the attack on Mosul. And that configuration would enrage the Sunni Iraqis further. The US is reaching out to Sunni tribal chieftains and wants to delay the taking of Mosul until there are enough such Sunnis and they can be positioned as the leading edge of the attack.

      In contrast, the Shiite militias want to go, now.

      The US desire to keep Russia out is likely in part a declaration of an old 19th-century style “Sphere of Influence.” Spheres of influence are exclusive. It was one such sphere that drew Britain into WW I. London proclaimed that Belgium was in its sphere of influence. When the German army invaded France through Belgium, that brought Britain into the war. But why?

      And this anecdote suggests why the US may be unwise to try to claim Iraq as a sphere of influence in this way.

    3. US-Russia wrangle over Iraqi Sphere of influence: Parliament to Weigh In
      By Juan Cole | Oct. 22, 2015 |

  4. The Iraqis know better than anyone the consequences of the Neocon fueled fires in the Middle East. It is obvious to the Pentagon and the US State Department that A Russian defeat of ISIS is possible. The political consequences of such an outcome will demonstrate to the World how the US was played the fool and the stooge by the Neocons.

  5. The US is loosing credibility on a daily basis as it’s hubris and machinations become more transparent. Ineptitude and corruption rule US foreign policy. There’s really no good future for Iraq in allowing the situation to continue. Can it have security with an Inept US, an insane Israel and a Saudi royal dictatorship calling the shots? I think not. Really, the US sacrificed it’s own citizens in the quest for neoliberalism so what chance does Iraq have for a fair remedy from the nihilistic delusions of Washington?

    I’ll add that right now Putin is more popular than Obama in the US so it’s reached a point where nobody trusts Washington except neocons and their neolib brothers in arms.

    We’ll see what happens when Russia reaches the border.

  6. Jeb Bush is struggling.

    In a money-saving effort to concentrate on early states, George W Bush’s little brother slashed most of the salaries of his campaign staffers on Friday.

    Mr Bush announced that he would be cutting jobs, removing senior staff, downsizing his Miami headquarters and cutting his entire payroll by 40 percent, an unnamed source with the campaign told Bloomberg Politics. The campaign will also cut 45 percent of its budget.

    We don’t need another Bush or another Clinton.


  7. In this regard we must give thanks to Malcolm X for washing the bullshit from our eyes: “If you aren’t careful the newspapers will have you hating the people being oppressed, and loving the people doing the oppressing.”


    That sounds like an accurate assessment of the US mass media.

  8. You are a swine Deuce for vanishing my good comments on the contrary characters of Dr. Ben Carson and Mr. X.

  9. I made three somewhat long very cogent comments on the life and times and 'thought processes' of Mr X, who I said was basically a mental juvenile delinquent, itchy on the trigger finger, illiterate, emotional, and in vast contrast to Dr. Ben Carson.

    Deuce took these down.

    He is a swine for doing so.

  10. "And old man should not hate
    It carries over"

    My Niece knows this, and even my Cousin Sally, with whom I have had a big get together and reconciliation, after 8 years of lawsuits and much animosity.....we shared the old photos, and the old letters from Sweden.....I know it too now.....

    But then neither my Niece nor my Cousin nor myself come from a culture that preaches hate.......we, each of us, are for life, each in our own ways.......

    The Cry "We Love Death More Than You Do Life" is not our Cry.

    And a Cry it is.

    Good Times.....

    1. And old men should not hate....


    2. 8 years of lawsuits and animosity with your cousin - why am I not surprised?

    3. I'm guessing she was the daughter of the aunt you swindled.

  11. And old men should not hate
    It carries over
    A curse on the further
    A blemish on the grave

  12. "A Third Intifada is incontrovertible evidence of the abject failure of the international community to impose a just settlement for a people whose abandonment is a crime, consigned to a fate akin to the Australian aborigines and Native Americans, with the best they have long been expected to expect life on a reservation."

    And WiO likes to argue the similarity is a feature.


    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Kremlin wanted Syria to prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections, as Moscow intensified its drive to convert its increased clout with Damascus into a political settlement.

    In comments which mark a shift in Russia's position, he also said that Russia's airforce, which has been bombing Islamist militants in Syria since Sept. 30, would be ready to help Western-backed Free Syrian Army rebels, if it knew where they were.

    The Kremlin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's strongest foreign ally, has spoken broadly about the need for elections in Syria before. But Lavrov's comments were its most specific call for political renewal yet and came just days after a surprise visit by Assad to Moscow.

    "External players can not decide anything for the Syrians. We must force them to come up with a plan for their country where the interests of every religious, ethnic and political group will be well protected," Lavrov told Russian state TV in an interview broadcast on Saturday.

    "They need to prepare for both parliamentary and presidential elections."

    Lavrov said the Kremlin has discussed the need for political progress with Assad during his Moscow visit and that his army's increasing success on the battlefield, with Russian air support, would consolidate his government, making it more interested in pursuing a political path.

    Lavrov's interview was broadcast a day after a meeting in Vienna between Russia, the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia where a political solution to Syria's civil war - now in its fifth year - was discussed.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said after that meeting he expected new talks on Syria to begin as soon as next week, and did not rule out the participation of Iran, something Moscow has pushed for.

  14. On 11 Oct. 2015, at 2:00 A.M.,

    The Israeli air force bombed the home of the Hassan family in the a-Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza. According to B'Tselem’s investigation, the home was hit directly by the bomb and was completely destroyed. The members of the family were asleep at the time. Nur Hassan, 25, the mother of the family, who was at an advanced stage of pregnancy, was killed, as was her daughter Rahaf, 3. Her son Muhammad, 5, and his father Yihya, 25, were lightly injured.

    Yihya Hassan described the events of the night to B'Tselem’s researcher Khaled al-‘Azayzeh:

    We were woken up in the middle of the night by a very loud explosion. The whole house shook. Nur shouted out, “What’s happening? What’s happening?” I told her that I didn’t know. I was just getting out of bed when there was another explosion and I fell on the floor. I tried to get up but I couldn’t. I started to tell Nur to recite the Shahadatein prayer, because I felt that the house was collapsing on top of us. Nur didn’t reply and I couldn’t see her because of all the rubble and earth that was covering us. I heard Muhammad and Rahaf shouting, “Dad, help, the stones fell on us.” I tried to calm them and said I’d get to them. I was covered in earth and rubble. Rahaf shouted out for help for about five minutes and then she fell silent. I realized that she was dead. I kept on talking to Muhammad and calming him for about twenty minutes, all the time trying to free myself from the rubble. With an effort I managed get my arm out. I felt the air touch it. I saw light and very slowly got the earth off me. I made a small hole to breathe through. I felt a flicker of hope and prayed to God that someone would come to save us.

    The statement of the IDF Spokesperson published the morning after the attack declared that “last night, the IDF used Air Force planes to attack two weapon production sites belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in the north of the Gaza Strip. The attack was carried out in response to high-trajectory fire toward Israeli territory earlier in the evening.”

    This statement is inaccurate. The bombing did not target “two weapon production sites”, but rather the private home of the Hassan family. The house was located in a farming area and was surrounded by orchards. Yihya Hassan is a farmer and the family made a living from growing olives, fruit, and grapes. They also kept a chicken coop for their own consumption.

    Relatives of Yihya and Nur Hassan live some 70 meters from the bombed home. In these relatives’ home, the windows shattered and several family members were injured as a result of the bombing. Muhammad Hassan, 23, a student, told B'Tselem’s researcher:


      B'TSELEM - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in February 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.

      B'Tselem in Hebrew literally means "in the image of," and is also used as a synonym for human dignity. The word is taken from Genesis 1:27 "And God created humans in his image. In the image of God did He create him." It is in this spirit that the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights."

      As an Israeli human rights organization, B'Tselem acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law.

      B'Tselem is independent and is funded by contributions from foundations in Europe and North America that support human rights activity worldwide, and by private individuals in Israel and abroad.

  15. Now that the Republicans had their investigation of the US failure in Benghazi, it is surely time to investigate the Bush decision to go into Iraq. and the resulting epic failure that makes Benghazi look like May Flower Day.

    I’m sure all honest conservative Republicans would wish for the same.