Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Dubious Compliment...

... and a mixed bag this morning, Bush. First, the compliment. I caught a glimpse of your latest pep rally event with those restaurant folks in Chicago yesterday. (Was it Chicago? I think so, but I'm not a hundred percent sure.) Anyway, I liked particularly your invocation of "the armies of compassion all across America"--with you, I take it, as their general. Or rather their Commander of Compassion in Chief. In view of which, after the familiar oration about how well things were going in Iraq, you took "questions" from the hand-picked audience of cheerleaders and fans, I was frankly tickled when this chef stood up in full kitchen regalia--you know, with the white apron and the toque--and said: "You run the country the way a chef would run the country"--I think he meant his kitchen. "I'm proud of you," he added.

Well, Bush, in case you didn't know it, the way most great chefs run their kitchens could put the cruelest of absolute tyrants to shame. They demand total obedience and loyalty from their staff. Their egos are notoriously huge and their tempers--thanks, perhaps, to the heat of the kitchen and the persnickety demands of their customers--notoriously short. My own somewhat brief experience confirms this reputation. Many years ago, as a Cambridge undergraduate, I worked as a waiter at the most prestigious hotel in town. You entered the chef's kitchen there in fear and trembling. Heaven help you if you made a mistake or, worse, laid a hand on any of the surfaces he claimed as his domain: his butcher's knife would nearly take your fingers off.

So... what a compliment, eh? And not far off the mark. Such praise, from petty tyrant to petty tyrant! Think about it.

On another front, I'm truly happy to see so much participation in our daily conversations. Have you been clicking on the comments button once in a while? Great to have passionate views, and the exchange of passionate words. We need more of that in this country--so long as we're also actually listening to the other side. Too much of our passion, it seems to me, is exclusive and intolerant.

One thing disturbs me about the passion of our new "anonymous" correspondant: in his defense of the rights of the unfortunate Palestinians, he seems to dismiss a great deal of effort that has been devoted over the past decade to come to some kind of reconciliation of conflicting "rights." I trust that anonymous (who is welcome to identify himself, by the way, in private, via my PeterAtLarge@cox.net email account) is not amongst those who, with Hamas and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmendinejad, want to see the state of Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

In any event, in my judgment the Palestinians are not blameless victims. They have missed or spurned important opportunities for peace, and have too often chosen in word or deed the path of senseless violence to achieve their goals. In divorce, they say, no single party is ever solely to blame: it's always fifty-fifty. By the same token, no matter how much I might understand or sympathize with their frustrations, I myself must hold the Palestinians accountable for their fifty percent. And that's not to neglect the fifty percent on the other side.

Well, there you go, Bush. That's it for today. Watch out for the book, "The Real Bush Diaries." It's going to press this week, and will soon be coming your way.

4 comments:

David said...

I was frankly tickled when this chef stood up in full kitchen regalia...

Sounds like the Village People are making a comeback :)

in my judgment the Palestinians are not blameless victims...

The thing I wonder, Peter, is to what extent this is another case of violent extremists running things, to the detriment of the general population. You know, like here.

Fred said...

The Palestinians may not be blameless, but it is certainly not a case of 50/50. It is the Israeli army occupying their territories. It is the Israelis who have destroyed their homes, fields, orchards, and brought in settlers. We share the blame for having helped to finance all this, and making only feeble objections against it.

PK said...

HERE!!!HERE!!! Fred...:) There is too much one-sided helping going on. I have nothing against either side, nor do I want to take sides in this one, as it is none of our business!!! Our government however, has an entirely different take on it. And it didn't start with Bush. Wish I could blame him for it, but can't. But I can for him continuing on with this fiasco. He needs to stop feeding money to the Israelis to take over another's land. This is why Iran made the statement they did. The air sucked off of the globe, but they are just being honest, no one likes honesty, especially in government. If we can bully, why can't Iran? ... thoughts to ponder...

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Fred & PK in regards to the Palestinians. While we can go tick for tack and say who attacked who first going back 1000’s of years. The current conflict in Palestine was initiated by the breaking of a UN mandate whereby one party sought to remove another from their homes/land and create/impose a pure race state on the natives. This is fact and should not be idly dismissed. Would love to hear the same people be so forgiving of Nazi Germany and just allow them to keep the occupied territories they seized and continue to banish all other inferior races from that land. Taking land is ILLEAGAL under modern day international law, unless you are the 1 state in the ENTIRE world called Israel. Oh, I know it is blasphemy to allege anything against poor Israel. We can criticize Jesus, Mohammed, USA, Iran or anyone we want, except for Israel, which of course is strictly forbidden by all humans. Funny how those who can criticize the disastrous policies of the USA Government, of which I agree, cannot criticize the much more evil/immoral Governmental policies of a place called Zionist Israel and their blatant call for a racist majority state at the expense of a native population.

In regards to Iran, Iran has never attacked another country in its modern day history. Do American’s even know why Iranian students held our citizens hostage? Could it have been because we held the Iranian people hostage through the installation of a brutal dictator who gave away their natural resources to American/British Oil companies and ran a secret police force that brutally murdered its citizens and to top it off, once this man was overthrown, through a polular uprising, he ran away and America kept him safe from standing trial for his crimes? Yes I know we have many of the Iranian elite in this country who had to flee becasue they were the elite who liked the American installed dictator. Anyway, the students did this to force us to return this dictator for trial. Let’s not tell the whole story though, patriotism and all.

I try to read papers from around the world and the USA papers, of course, have incorrectly stated Iran’s policy. From the horses’ mouth, Iran has stated that they want the destruction of ZIONIST Israel. They have not called for the destruction of Jewish people. After all, Iran has a jewish population of their own that they live in peace with, I think. In fact, the oldest jewish tribe in the world is located in Iraq. Sorry to say they are now being run out of Iraq against their will since Saddam has been deposed and USA has spread freedom to the area (very good PBS show on this). There are even Jewish groups that have met with the Iranian President THIS year to stand with him and call for the abolishment/destruction of Zionism, as they also agree this is a criminal ideology that uses racism to forge an immoral state, which in turn creates hate for those peaceful Jewish people that do not agree with this hateful ideology and would like to live in peace with other humans. The wool has been pulled over America’s eyes but not the rest of the world.

Orthodox Jews against Zionism (Neturie Karta) states the following: “It is a dangerous distortion, to see the President’s words, as indicative of anti-Jewish sentiments. The President was simply re-stating the beliefs and statements of Ayatollah Khomeini, who always emphasized and practiced the respect and protection of Jews and Judaism. The political ideology of Zionism alone was rejected. President Ahmadinejad stressed this distinction by referring only to Zionism, not Judaism or the Jewish people, regardless of whether they reside in Palestine or else were.”

The debate regarding Iran and their LEGAL right to Nuclear Power is also a version of incomplete propaganda, again being spouted by the Neo-Cons to destroy any challenge to Israeli power in the Middle East. Iran has every right as a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to develop Nuclear Power. Israel on the other hand will not sign the NPT or allow any UN Nuclear inspectors into their country.

The true cause of the catastrophe in Palestine is the absolute support by the USA in which we give $3-5 Billion annually to Israel and arm them to the teeth while giving essentially nothing to the Palestinians to build/safeguard their communities. Fundamental Christians have as much to blame as Zionist Jews since they believe an all Jewish state will usher in the Return of Christ and then they hope that most of the worlds population will be wiped of the face of the Earth by their Peaceful God. America is the one who argues against even-handedness in the Middle East or says placating words so that their twisted Christian Fundamentalist prophecy will one day come true.

There has never been a time Israel has stopped the building of settlements (keep in mind settlements is the word used to describe taking of ones land for a racist purpose), even during the periods the Palestinians have stopped the violence but how can you convince people to remain non-violent when they see their homes and land continued to be built upon. All it takes is one individual act by a Palestinian and Israel will play this to all their might.

I understand Palestinians have a part to play but they have been offered only a taste of humanity not the respect one human should give another, no Law of return, no contiguous lands, maybe 10% of the land area. Speaking of Law of Return, Israel believes Jews from around the globe who have never even lived in Palestine can come there, yet Palestinians who have lived there for hundreds of years and were forcibly removed cannot come back.. Crazy.

If people want a humane resolution to this problem then the desire for a state based on race must end, all Palestinian refugees must be allowed to return according to International law, all territory seized and occupied must be given back per International law. However, if people would like to continue a racist policy then the LEAST that can be done is an equal division of land and resources, no 90% Israel and what ever is left for Palestinians. Try 50/50 of all land/resource mass, as there are approximately 6 million jews and 6 million Palestinians. Heck I don’t even like to use those terms as many Jews are Palestinian. It is funny how terms are used, in WWII Poland was utterly destroyed but the Polish Jews killed are not called Polish but simply Jews. I wonder, if New York was destroyed would people call themselves American or revert to dropping their citizenship in favor of religious or race based identification.

I wonder how many people have actually looked at a map of Israel/Palestine and the thousands of Fundamentalist Zionist settlements that dot the entire area. It is amazing but those pictures will never be shown on American TV. There is absolutely no debate or public discussion of this since the term Anti-Semetic is used to scare away any attempt to resolve the situation fairly. I wonder, when they say Palestine can have a state, will they also be able to have a strong military with F-16’s, modern tanks, nuclear weapons? Or will this be an impotent state in which Israel can still control if the heathens get out of control and demand human rights?

Yes Peter, I agree there has been some missed opportunity for Palestinians to at least have a nibble of the pie, but really can one honestly say that the Palestinian people have been treated as equal human beings with the same rights as their neighbors? Furthermore, I do not believe that the “50/50 no party is solely to blame” applies in this situation, since one party was violently invaded and displaced in order to create a racist state (this term racist needs to be accepted and understood for what it is, not dismissed casually, since it is a brutal and horrible way to look at fellow humans). If this “50/50 no party solely to blame” applies here, then it MUST apply to the Jews plight in Germany, what did the jews do to cause so much hate towards them? Or what did Poland do to cause the Nazis to invade and annihilate them? Sometimes there is not a 50/50 blame game, such as when a woman is raped. The Palestinian people have been in essence raped.

Against overwhelming odds, I will continue to voice my support for any people being oppressed, whether they are Jewish, Asian, Palestinian, Indian, Irish ect. But how in the world can one look at Zionism and not see the EXACT same ideology as Nazism? Again Doublespeak at its finest. What scares me is that Bush seems to have learned and perfected the same doublespeak as Zionists but why should I be surprised when American Neo-Cons are the driving force of BOTH. I understand your opinion Peter and have no ill will what so ever; however, I am required to support those who have no voice.