piranha: red origami crane (Default)
how anyone can be so smart and yet so abysmally stupid at the same time, it boggles my mind. do you not realize that what you say is listened to by the arab world with the perkiest of ears? do you not realize what images are plastered all over their newsmedia? let me help you out: the images of severely injured or dead children.

"What we're seeing here, in a sense, is the growing -- the birth pangs of a new Middle East."

you shrubwad, you. piss, piss, piss. pissing it all away, every little bit of gain other people give their lives to make.

[edit: ah, i see abu aardvark has an actual useful analysis about this, rather than an eye-rolling rantlet.]
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
is the environmental destruction that comes with it. people talk up modern precision munitions, but hitting a set of oil tanks precisely does not convey an actual advantage to the environment:

An oil leak from the recently bombed Jiyeh power station has covered Lebanon's coastline in 15,000 tons of fuel oil reaching Chekka in the north (meaning that the spill has spread up to 100 kilometers in length).

the original article is in arabic; i have not seen a mention of this in any of my regular news sources. i am hoping that they're exaggerating (see, here's my negative prejudice again, expecting arabic news sources to exaggerate, *sigh*).

oil spills are so destructive, for a long time. 17 years after the exxon valdez disaster, we now know that populations and habitat within the oil spill area have suffered substantial and unanticipated injuries.

if it were up to me i'd do nearly anything to avoid a war. i think i might even concede living under occupation; war is just too costly IMO. it depends on the circumstances, of course. i remember hearing "better dead than red", and thinking "not i"; i'd rather live in east germany or the soviet union than be dead. because as long as i live, things can change; once i am dead, that's that. i am unlikely to be willing to die for any cause; no longer believing in a glorious afterlife puts a decided damper on any heroic notions i might have once had; though some protective instincts might make me throw myself in front of the paramour. i am not a pacifist; i consider direct self-defense ethical -- if somebody tries to shoot me with a gun, i'll view myself justified in killing the person. but not the person's family, not even if they knew zie had a gun and didn't take it away from zir -- only if they egged zir on, pushed zir into attacking me, and reloaded for zir. it ties into my beliefs about personal responsibility.

i know it's not that simple when one group of people shoots missiles at another in an impersonal manner (ie. they don't care what they destroy and whom they kill). but i would not be comfortable shooting missiles back, unless that group were clearly isolatable. because the "collateral damage" is not responsible for what this group did. and i am, dammit, not sinking to the same level, even when in fear of my life.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
not gonna be saying much about the israel/lebanon war. this is mostly tangential.

i was struggling with words to express how very much my attitude towards israel has changed between 1967 and now, how i was once a staunch, extremely loyal supporter, and am now a strong critic sometimes overwhelmed by sadness, and WTF happened?

except that somebody has done a much better job of that than i could, and luckily i came across a link to a very insightful editorial by tony judt in ha'aretz that comes close to perfectly matching my own experience. (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] velochicdunord for the link.)

i was very young in '67, and was filled with guilt about the holocaust, shame that my birth family did nothing to help jews, disgust at so many countries who turned down the refugees; the grand unfairness of it all, the persecution and move to eradicate an entire people. it took many years, two and a half more decades, for that to be worn down by israeli humanitarian violations.

but worn down it has been, ground down to small nubs. i don't want to see israel destroyed. i don't think its creation was a mistake (how it was done, that was filled with mistakes). i am not anti-semitic by a long shot, i am actually somewhat of a semitophile (though i realize that the wholesale appropriation of the term now bothers me; arabs are semites too, of whom i am negatively prejudiced) -- when i started to raise myself, a lot of what i read and appreciated was written by jewish thinkers, and before i lost my faith in god entirely, i was contemplating conversion to judaism. i still wish no ill to come to israel. i despise hizballah and hamas. i cringe when i think of iran. there is not even a comparison for me between a modern egalitarian democracy and a repressive islamic state. but i resent that i have to defend myself with lengthy disclaimers before i can say anything critical of israel. the take-over of the public sphere by the lobby who screams "anti-semitism" at the slightest negative word against israel is stifling. and you know what? i am done with it.

i can to some degree empathize with the siege mentality, based on my personal experience growing up as i did. but it must be broken. even against adversity, it must be broken, and human rights must be respected. israel has not grown up. it's been pissing away goodwill all this time, and it's showing no sign of waking up. what about auschwitz? yeah, what about it? some of us learned from it -- that we never again want to let anyone get away with that sort of thing. israel has apparently learned nothing from it but that might makes right.

sad. the world is filled with too many people who're doing so much less than humanity is capable of.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
this post by [livejournal.com profile] slit is IMO the best analysis that i've yet read on the bombings in egypt, and that includes my regular news sources. and the comments are nothing to sneeze at either. very intelligent thread.

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piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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