Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An Acceptable Bloodbath

It is perhaps reasonable to ask, from within or from without liberal circles, what represents an acceptable intervention and what does not. Inaction in the face of perceived atrocity brings upon the apathetic a tumult of scorn, the most public of progressive voices take up the task of calling for the charge. Yet when the powers that be exert force in spite of the public, indeed, even in its virtul absence, these same voices find reason for dissent.

Criticality is key. History has uncannily keen eyes. At the time of this writing Kenyans face an escalating crisis. Over at the Department of State, Scott McCormack backs away from remarks made by the effective charges d'affaires in Africa. I quote:

"Very often, the case with these kind of circumstances is that you don't have a full understanding, a complete picture of what happened until after the situation is over and things have calmed down,"

Indeed, such was very much the case with Rwanda. In other words, too early to bandy about the "G-Word." Of course, African blood is cheap, and there is little of use in Kenya. Truly dear reader, forgive my moment of weakness, but where else to begin such an exploration of the thought? Should there be some kind of intervention in Kenya? Nato, a coalition, anything? If the simple answer-as I hear it stirring in your chest- is yes. So where do we draw the line, and where haven't we drawn the line already.

When juxtaposed, Africa and the Middle East present us with a series of episodes in which the schizophrenia of the Western project lays uncomfortably bare upon bloodstained earth. Critical questions must be asked, and the house indeed requires some keeping up. For it is the janus-like visage of the self-conflicted liberal that stands in there own way, not capital or media ot guns.

More later . . .

Saturday, January 26, 2008

In Memoriam, Al-Hakim

Today marks he death of PFLP founder, and Palestinian Patriot, George Habash. Also, known by his non de guerre, Al-Hakim, Habash's passing comes at a time when the 1.5 million Palestinians of Gaza continue their struggle against the imperial abuses they suffer at the hands of Israel. It is perhaps fitting that as habash leaves this world, the spirit of resistance among the Palestinians remains unchecked. Habash's own uncompromising stance, as well as the aggressive tactics of the PFLP, often put both he and his organization at odds with the mainstream of the PLO in general, and Yassir Arafat in particular. And while the PFLP and its ultra-left agenda has waned in popularity over the years, the organization still remains a vital player in the PLO, promoting a vision combining endless resistance against occupation and oppression, and economic and political equality among all Palestinians.

Al-Hakim, may god keep you, even if don't expect to see him . . .


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Does it surprise anyone that Palestinians in Gaza would storm the Rafah Crossing with Egypt? Does it surprise anyone that the Egyptians meet these desperate, starving and choked people with resistance rather than embrace? Israel claims that rocket attacks born in Gaza warrant the suffocation of over am illion Gazans, whose land already amounts to little more than an open-air prison. The Egyptian government, in yet another act of betrayal against both the Palestinians and Arab unity turn hoses and spotlights on those who dare to break throught the barriers that imprison them as the cordon tightens.

Does no one dare to speak against these blatant violations of basic humanity? I have never condoned violence, and I strongly condemn any attacks committed by any groups within Palestine that target Israeli civilians. Most of the world would likely side with me on that. But how is it that Israel can continuously reproach an entire population with such heavy-handedness, with tactics that would land other actors squarely in the sights of the Hague and ICJ?

Today, I am left with only tattered rags of hope. I am left with little to make me believe that the world will ever know peace. When power and self-interest dress in robes of messianism and claim a monopoly on truth, all the world suffers. It is not just the Palestinians who are being suffocated, it is all of us who feign to believe that with another passing generation humanity will right itself, and find its final salvation.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Its been awhile . . .

Ok, so I should begin by dusting off the edges of my little virtual space here. Tis true, dear reader, I have long been absent from my post as promulgator of passionate prosody, I stand in dereliciton of duty, drifting dreary - Alright, i'm done. The long and short of things, life has a way of pulling you by the tail when you least expect it. If this were a different sort of blog, I might actually indulge your curiosity, but alas, it is not.

So, onto topics, well, topical. The issue of "the long absence" is appropos today. During President Bush's recent (and only) trip to the Middle East, the chief executive and other members within the administration alluded to the idea that the Palestinian issue holds a place of particular centrality regarding the overall stability of the region. I will not delve into why this is correct or incorrect here, I believe I have done that in other entries. What strikes me as a basic blunder is, if it is in fact so central, why did it take you seven years to get your ass over there? Truly, pardon my detour into the parlance of our time, but really, is anyone buying any of this? I can tell you - with great confidence - who isn't buying it: the Arab world.

Comprehensive peace between Palestinians and Israeli's, greater freedom from "terror:" in the greater Middle East, a democratic Iraq, a weakened Iran. I really hardly even understand the motivation to have him go there in the first place. Bush is the first American president to conclude that the "facts on the ground" will likely prevent a Palestinian State from wholly regaining land up to the '67 border. he visits Hosni Mubarak and stresses "Egypt's" vital role in partnering for a resolution o the Arab and Israeli conflct, but can't be recieved in Cairo because both he and Mubarak know well that throngs of moderate, democratically minded Egyptians will wonder why The U.S. president gestures for peace with one hand, then embraces tyrants with the other. Meanwhile, back in Riyadh, the gilted house of Saud stand with arms open as Bushie promises high tech artillery and precision guided weapons to help contain Iran. Khamenei is cackling somewhere and Ahmadinejad is nearly choking on his luleh kabob.

Too little, and at times too much, too late Mr. President. The clock cannot be turned back on Iran's emergence as regional hegemon. Furthermore the shear audacity of the blatant double speak that has characterized this administrations general strategy in the region has worn thin, and the guise has given way to the truth: The Greater Middle East project has failed. In its pathetic wake lie the bodies of men, women and children who did not ask to be a part of this history. Thousands of broken homes and more broken hearts. The people of the region are not waiting for al-mahdi, they are not trying to destroy the West. They want to raise their families, see their children prosper, watch as their ways and traditions are carried on through time and contribute to their communities, just like the rest of us. Its time the people of the Middle East be treated with such dignity, and to that end I suggest Bush be asked not to return. Might not be a bad start . . .