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Happy New Year Gaza Death

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Happy New Year Gaza Death

Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies

January 4, 2003


I began writing little commentaries during the months leading up to
the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. I called them "Meditations in a
Time of Delusions and Lies," and I wrote them, as I explained, to
keep from going insane in the face of faith-based idiocy and murder.
I didn't expect to change opinions but simply to keep myself from

Should I stop? Should I instead write "Meditations in a Time of
Clarity and Truth" now that Obama has been elected? I'd like to
think I should – but somehow I feel that delusion and mendacity are
still alive and well. I do have hope, but human stupidity has not
let me down so far, so I'll keep the name. And the task: To keep
from going insane in the face of official insanity.


In the hiatus before Obama takes power, Israel has decided to take
advantage of the vacuum, get one more shot at decimating the
Palestinians before who knows what happens once the neo-cons finally
step down. The Israelis only have a couple of weeks, but that's just
enough time to hand President Obama a fait accompli.

So now we have the Bloodbath of Gaza. Haaretz reported on Dec. 31
that the Israeli military planned the invasion when it was in the
midst of negotiations to extend the cease fire 6 months ago. A while
ago a senior office in the Israeli military warned the people of
Gaza that they faced a "shoah," the Hebrew word for holocaust, in
retaliation for Hamas's rockets. That officer was shushed by other
Israeli leaders for being a bit too blunt. It turned out that he
spoke the truth.

One more time the Israelis are trying to crush the Palestinians.
Beirut 1982, now Gaza 25 years later. Can you guess the result?

Hamas is irresponsible to its own people, and launching rockets
against civilians violates international law. But after every so-
called peace agreement, such as the Oslo Accords, conditions get
dramatically worse for the Palestinians: more land is stolen from
them, more checkpoints, more targeted assassinations, more blockades
around Gaza. And after every advance, such as the Israeli evacuation
of Gaza, the shape-shifting occupation only takes a different form.
So, goes the logic of despair, why not the absolutist religious
violence of Hamas? Diplomatic and political methods have only
allowed Israel to stall, allowed it to keep on building settlements
and enforcing misery. Hamas may be thoughtless, but in their minds
what do they have to lose? Why not try the Ghost Dance?

At the same time the world economy is contracting furiously.
Financiers have gouged out huge "bail out" sums from the government,
as if they're being awarded for wrecking their own capitalist
system. Industries are about to collapse, state governments are on
the verge of growing broke, jobs vaporize before our eyes.

American leaders scorned the Soviet Union when it collapsed. How
much of a failure is the command control economy! Unbridled free
market is holy, and God has chosen Capital as his only Son.

But it turns out that the Soviet Union wasn't the only loser in the
Cold War. Now Americans can see what it's like to be brought low by
the collapse of delusions. What rational choice theory takes into
account lies and greed in its econometrics? Takes into account that
greed breeds stupidity? You don't need a PhD to realize that the
Lords of Money don't really know what they're doing, don't even
understand their own system. What rational choice are they talking

It was Reagan's arms race plus the Afghanistan quagmire that
bankrupted the Soviet Union, even though the Soviet system played
its own part in rotting from within. Bankruptcy and Afghanistan –
why, that sounds like déjà vu all over again!

And, as if it couldn't get any crazier, the greatest Wall Street
swindler in the history of the world turns out to be a Jew. Between
the murderous Jews with guns and the venal Jews with money schemes,
is history written by an anti-Semite? Where's that other stereotype,
those Commie Jews?

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Hilton Obenzinger is the author of "American Palestine: Melville, Twain and the Holy Land Mania" (Princeton), among many other books of criticism, poetry and fiction, and the recipient of the American Book Award. His most recent book is the (more...)
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