built in obsolescence: vintage violence

In a first statement,somewhat off-guard, Gilad Shalit expressed support for the freeing of all Palestinian prisoners, if they do not turn around and engage against terror attacks against Israel, according to Al-Jazeera. While Palestinians are holding extensive celebration in Gaza, it can be noted there are an additional four thousand Palestinians still in Israel in prisons.

…Gadaffi was also murdered in a  barbarian manner, cold-blooded, and based on vengeance, anger and revenge. mob violence. His death, like others such as Bin Laden and his associates are greeted in an almost celebratory manner in the West. Trophies. A blood-lust within an overall context of cheap , not exactly white enough lives who are expendable in the war on terror. The West as obviously complicit in the maintaining of these regimes and now the degradation involved in devaluing the individual life, a long-held practice which seems to be perfected with time.

Despite all the bad politics and murder committed in his name, Shalit was brought home, weak and malnourished; the shadowy figure in the back of the quiet room, sitting with his head bet waiting: he or she is the keeper of the kinds. We don’t know who this individual is, and we never will, a presence that’s all. A presence that is asserted in all things that ever were and ever will be. As this figure’s commands are unanswerable , its identity is unknowable. But it is an ancient concern with order. The figure does not care about Shalit, or the Palestinians for that matter. It cares only for order; it is rising now in civilizations back room looking out the window at the commotion below. It can see the last reaches of infinite space beyond our probing eye. Shalit is  home, out of a belief that one individual’s life is worth the value of the world; The Palestinian prisoners are home as well. For this we should rejoice. And at the same time abstain from celebrating  with  people parading Gadaffi’s corpse in Sirte or Bin Laden….

---Tom Friedman had an especially fatuous column in Sunday's New York Times, which is saying something given his well-established capacity for smug self-assurance. According to Friedman, the big challenge we face in the Arab and Islamic world is "the Narrative" -- his patronizing term for Muslim views about America's supposedly negative role in the region. If Muslims weren't so irrational, he thinks, they would recognize that "U.S. foreign policy has been largely dedicated to rescuing Muslims or trying to help free them from tyranny." He concedes that we made a few mistakes here and there (such as at Abu Ghraib), but the real problem is all those anti-American fairy tales that Muslims tell each other to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions. I heard a different take on this subject at a recent conference on U.S. relations with the Islamic world. In addition to hearing a diverse set of views from different Islamic countries, one of the other participants (a prominent English journalist) put it quite simply. "If the United States wants to improve its image in the Islamic world," he said, "it should stop killing Muslims." --- Read More:http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/11/30/why_they_hate_us_ii_how_many_muslims_has_the_us_killed_in_the_past_30_years image:http://bluesun2600.posterous.com/lawrence-of-arabia-1969

Noam Chomsky: About a week ago, the New York Times had a headline saying “the West Celebrates a Cleric’s Death.” The cleric was Awlaki, killed by a drone. It wasn’t just death; it was assassination—and another step forward in Obama’s global assassination campaign, which actually breaks some new records in international terrorism. Well, it’s not true that everyone in the West celebrated. There were some critics. Almost all of the critics, of whom there weren’t many, criticized the action or qualified it because of the fact that Awlaki was an American citizen. That is, he was a person, unlike suspects who are intentionally murdered or collateral damage, meaning we treat them kind of like the ants we step on when we walk down the street. They’re not American citizens, so they’re unpeople, and therefore they can be freely murdered….

---Haver:Clearly, violence is positive for Genet only insofar as it is non-instrumental or para-instrumental. Revolt is not revolution. Violence is positive only insofar as ends and means are identical in existence. For Genet, the Panthers and the Palestinians have no possibility for existence outside of their violence; they cannot »choose« whatever might count as non-violence, because their very existence in the world is violence. Concomitantly, the violence of existence in its positivity is never to be conflated with institutionalized brutality: should the Palestinians or the Panthers ever have a territory or state, Genet will no longer be there. In a short essay that first appeared in Le Monde in 1977, and which occasioned a major furor in the press, Genet supported the actions of the RAF precisely as a creative violence that sought the destruction of state brutality (Genet 1991e, 199-206). Not unlike Georges Sorel, Frantz Fanon, and others before him, Genet saw the positivity of violence to belong to the practical constitution of being, in the affirmation that is potentia rather than the affirmation of potestas; that is, in existence as the actualization of a possibility that did not exist before its actualization, and which does not survive the happening of that actualization, rather than in the brutality of institutionalized power. Read More:http://them.polylog.org/5/fhw-en.htm image:http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/10/20/confirmed-gaddafi-dead-new-york-yankees-baseball-fan-captured-tyrant-115875-23503068/

…Well, that—coming back to our topic now, the concept of unpeople is central to tonight’s topic. Israeli Jews are people. Palestinians are unpeople. And a lot follows from that as clear illustrations constantly. So, here’s a clipping, if I remembered to bring it, from the New York Times. Front-page story, Wednesday, October 12th, the lead story is “Deal with Hamas Will Free Israeli Held Since 2006.” That’s Gilad Shalit. And right next to it is a—running right across the top of the front page is a picture of four women kind of agonized over the fate of Gilad Shalit. “Friends and supporters of the family of Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit received word of the deal at the family’s protest tent in Jerusalem.” Well, that’s understandable, actually. I think he should have been released a long time ago. But there’s something missing from this whole story. So, like, there’s no pictures of Palestinian women, and no discussion, in fact, in the story of—what about the Palestinian prisoners being released? Where do they come from?…

---It was at the end of this "Black September" that Genet arrived at Ajloun: "War was all around us. Israel was on the watch, also in arms. The Jordanian army threatened. But every fedayee was just doing what he was fated to do." What they did was train, discuss revolution -- and make music. One of Genet's recurring images is his memory of two young fighters "drumming on wood, inventing more and more cheerful rhythms" on a pair of deal coffins; coffins that were clearly destined to be either their comrades' or their own, for "... nearly all of them were killed. Or taken prisoner and tortured."--- Read More:http://www.ahdafsoueif.com/Articles/Genet_In_Palestine.pdf image:http://belladelphia.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html

…And there’s a lot to say about that. So, for example, we don’t know — at least I don’t read it in the Times — whether the release includes the Palestinian—the elected Palestinian officials who were kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel in 2007 when the United States, the European Union and Israel decided to dissolve the only freely elected legislature in the Arab world. That’s called “democracy promotion,” technically, in case you’re not familiar with the term. So I don’t know what happened to them. There are also other people who have been in prison exactly as long as Gilad Shalit—in fact, one day longer. The day before Gilad Shalit was captured at the border, Israeli troops entered Gaza, kidnapped two brothers, the Muamar brothers, spirited them across the border, in violation of the Geneva Conventions, of course. And they’ve disappeared into Israel’s prison system. I haven’t a clue what happened to them; I’ve never seen a word about it. And as far as I know, nobody cares, which makes sense. After all, unpeople. Whatever you think about capturing the soldier, a soldier from an attacking army, plainly kidnapping civilians is a far more severe crime. But that’s only if they’re people. This case really doesn’t matter. It’s not that it’s unknown, so if you look back at the press the day after the Muamar brothers were captured, there’s a couple lines here and there. But it’s just insignificant, of course—which makes some sense, because there are lots of others in prison, thousands of them, many without charges.

---Genet: Insofar as the Left perpetuates Judeo-Christian kinds of reasoning and morality, I find myself incapable of identifying with it; it is more idealist than political, more annoying than rational. As for Sartre, I've understood for a long time that his political thought is pseudo-thought. To my mind, what is called Sartrean thought no longer exists. His position-taking is only the hasty judgment of an intellectual too pusillanimous to confront anything but his own fantasms. (Quoted by Ben Jelloun 1992, 94-95) Or, again, in an interview with Michèle Manceaux à propos the Black Panthers, Genet said: "»The non-violent stance of the Whites belongs to a moral dilettantism. Nothing else.«" ---Read More:http://them.polylog.org/5/fhw-en.htm image:h



Noam Chomsky:So take, for example, Omar Khadr. He’s a 15-year-old child, a Canadian. Now, he was accused of a very severe crime, namely, trying to defend his village in Afghanistan from U.S. invaders. Obviously, that’s severe crime, a serious terrorist, so he was sent first to secret prison in Bagram, then off to Guantánamo for eight years. After eight years, he pleaded guilty to some charges. We all know what that means. If you want, you could pick up a few of the details even in Wikipedia, more in other sources….

---Steven Plaut:Better yet, Israel could have eliminated the terrorist "bait" that drives kidnapping in the first place -- by executing terrorists. No one has ever been murdered by a terrorist who has already been executed. Every time anyone brings up the idea of capital punishment for terrorism, Israel's politicians wring their hands and whine about how "unethical" it is, how it violates Jewish ethics. All this coming from politicians who do not have the slightest idea of what Jewish ethics has to say about anything. Suffice it to say that capital punishment is as fundamentally grounded in Torah and Jewish ethics as are bans on incest and adultery. Jewish ethics explicitly prohibits abandoning other randomly chosen Jews to be killed in order to obtain the release of one Jew being threatened. Read More:http://stevenplaut.blogspot.com/ image:http://www.upi.com/News_Photos/Week_in_Photos/October-17-October-23/4025/3/

…So he pleaded guilty and was given eight more years’ sentence. Could have—would have gotten 30 more years if he hadn’t pleaded guilty. After all, it is a severe crime, defending your village from American aggressors. He’s Canadian, so Canada could have him extradited. But with typical courage, they refused. They don’t want to offend the master, understandably. Well, the crime of resisting aggression, it’s not a new category of terrorism. There may be some of you old enough to remember the slogan “a terror against terror,” which was used by the Gestapo—and which we’ve taken over. None of this arouses any interest, because all of these victims belong to the category of unpeople. Read More:http://www.democracynow.org/seo/2011/10/18/noam_chomsky_on_israel_palestine_prisoner
Do you notice that Hollywood still portrays Israelis as Europeans: they still don’t want to accept that some half of all Israelis come from Asian and African countries. This makes it easier for the White Man to identify with them. And there is this element that is never mentioned about Palestinian attacks: and this is true of the present and of the past. It is not that some Palestinian leaders recruit or compel Palestinians to attack Israelis. It is the other way round. Palestinians, regular rank-and-file pressure Palestinian leaders and commanders to send them on military or suicidal missions against Israeli targets. Munich occurred exactly like that. Palestinians in the refugee camps in Lebanon, those who were trained by Fatah and by other groups, were lobbying for “action.” Why? In February of the same year prior to Munich, Israeli jets bombed Palestinian refugee camps, and killed innocent people. This is what is missing in the movie. Most Palestinians who are killed by Israelis are unarmed and are killed not by conscientious and sensitive Israeli assassins-as they are outrageously portrayed in this movie-but by Israeli pilots who bomb refugee camps filled with unarmed civilians. Palestinians who are bombed from the air, long before Munich, are elderly and women and children in their beds. These are the victims that you will never see in a Spielberg movie….

---DESTRUCTION OF THE FRAGILE Gaza infrastructure will not release Shalit. Bombing power stations and cutting off fuel supplies deprives people of electricity, refrigeration, pumped drinking water and sewage disposal services. It holds hostage hospital patients on life support systems, or undergoing dialysis. It brings the threat of epidemics and starvation. AS GIDEON LEVY WROTE in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, this is “not only pointless, but … blatantly illegitimate”. Gilad Shalit has become a pawn in the Israeli government’s ongoing battle to topple the democratically-elected government of the Palestinians. PRESENTING THIS AS AN ISOLATED hostage-taking incident ignores Israel’s regular snatching of Palestinians from their homes.Thousands are held in ‘administrative detention’ without trial, women and children amongst them. A doctor and his brother – civilians – were kidnapped from their home in Al Shouka, near Rafah, the day before Corporal Shalit was captured. Like him, they need to be returned to their families in the established practice of prisoner exchange. And all elected MPs, punitively imprisoned by Israel in recent days, must be immediately released.....Read More:http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/british-jews-protest-israeli-aggression/ image:http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/osama.html

…Israel was killing Palestinians, and this was the context of pre-Munich. A small Palestinian group chose to seek venegeance–retaliation– but they were not sure of their target, and this was only three months before Munich. One of the handful of people who knew about this was Abu Mazen, the Abu Mazen who today is the head of the puppet Palestinian Authority. But do you notice that US/Israel always forgive the past of those who submit to Israeli dictates? Look at how US and Israel forgave Anwar Sadat for his Nazi past. Abu Mazen was the money guy, and he dispersed the funds for Abu Dawud, who engineered the operation. Read More:http://www.revisionisthistory.org/steinsaltz.html

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