Bridgethought of the Day: There's nothing quite so difficult to get over as the brutalization of one's loved ones - except possibly the death of one's conscience...
Now is for me not the time to write anything, which is probably why I am doing it. But wherever I look, images haunt me. Lebanon. I must post something about Lebanon, especially Lebanon last summer. The absolute callousness expressed, to my horror, by Condoleeza Rice, when Israel began their aerial slaughter of the civilian population of Lebanon. Her attitude - orchestrated by Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld, fed by an insane Israeli "movement" that seems to have taken over what was once a national conscience, or at least claimed to be - her cold "see no evil, hear no evil" blindness ignoring the obvious in front of her and the entire world, poisoned the world's view of America. America was no longer humanitarian. America was in it for power, and to hell with human beings. It was obvious to the world that for America, it's all about P.R.
Once upon a time, there was diplomacy. There was this veneer of compassion. There were token words acknowledging human struggles, human rights, universal values. I even fantasized that Condi Rice was a part of that veneer. She was human, someone who understood suffering, oppression, struggle. And in whatever decision, whatever power-drunk moment, whatever oblivious self-congratulation, whatever neoconical delusion, she just turned around. Turned her back. No, it was not evil. Israel must defend itself. No, it's not genocide. Israelis are victims. They are victims of terrorism. We must fight terrorism. Right down to the last Arab woman and child. To hell with terrorists. In the name of 9-11. In the name of the Holocaust. Bomb the airport. Those are not families. They are Islamists harboring terrorists. We will save our own, and then we will begin the slaughter. God bless America.
But what she turned her back on was her conscience. And she is not alone. A lot of people in power here have turned their back the same way. They play the word "evil" like some kind of satanic accordion. We are not evil. They are evil. See no evil. Hear no evil. Terrorism is evil. But killing children has to be "balanced out" by the effete pretty-boy complaints of those long-suffering residents who can't even get a decent night's sleep from the Devil's Katyushas. Let them sleep, so their armies can decimate the civilian population of Lebanon in exchange for two Israeli soldiers. Yes, Condoleeza, the applause is deafening. How brave. How free.
We used to chide the Soviet Union for their "propaganda". Before that, it was the Nazis' "propaganda" that promoted their evil agenda. Every dictator had no news, only propaganda. Every authoritarian regime was dominated by propaganda. We always refer to "state-run media" or state-run propaganda machines. But we were always about news, about information, about the free exchange of ideas, about truth, about telling it like it is. "We report - you decide." We were always for the journalists, the reporters, those brave souls who risk their lives to see what's really going on and telling the world, secreting out precious truths under the noses of tyrants. We were never the purveyors of propaganda. We were never a "regime". We were never the ones to sit back and watch slaughter. We sent our troops to save the world.
So where were we when Israel systematically slaughtered Lebanese civilians and infrastructure? Wasn't it enough that they had just begun to pull themselves out of a long, devastating civil war? Are we seriously blaming "terrorism"? Are we that callous, that stupid, that blockheaded? We can't even recognize a nation of peaceful citizens who love their country and once managed to be the only place where democracy, three religions at war elsewhere, and a mixed but sophisticated population managed to peacefully coexist? We can't even tell the difference between them with their various groups, and a group such as al-Qaeda? We can't even tell the difference between civilians and military? What the hell are we doing?
Condi fell suddenly from intelligent statesman (statesperson) to P.R. tool. It was no longer possible to view her as her own person. She would always be contaminated by Bush, Cheney, and the agenda of this right-wing Israeli National Socialist regime. She would always be no more than a P.R. person, a gofer working for the power-brokers for the Marie Antoinette of the Middle East. But this Marie Antoinette has her cruel side, despite that oh-so-cultivated air. She does not say, oblivious, "Let them eat croissants." If the Palestinians want bread, she knows where to dump her excrement. She just builds a nice big wall so all those lovely Marie Antoinettes can enjoy their non-Holocaustian excesses far from the madding masses of that Arab trash. We are the Israelis. They are low, evil, base, Arab, goyim. They are to Israelis what Jews were to Hitler, et al. Something to be eliminated. So bring on the bulldozers. Bring in the settlers. The Master Race. Manifest Destiny. The Chosen Ones. A new kind of peace.
Peace without bridges.
Peace without conscience.
It has all the stability of an atom with two nuclei.