Source: Bullion Bulls, by Jeff Nielson Banks are parasites. Big Banks are very large parasites. It is the fundamental equation of human commerce in the 21st century. Bankers are the quintessential …
by Andre Vltchek
Sometimes it is useful to take a break from news bulletins and newspapers, and even from ‘friendly’ Internet publications.
Occasionally it is good to realize that there are actually two parallel realities that are constantly competing for the ‘hearts and minds’ of people living all over the world. There is real life and ‘fake life’. There is reality and elaborately manufactured pseudo-reality, which is designed to appear more real than the reality itself. It is like that chemically produced green apple shampoo that smells more authentic than the fruit itself.
Periodically I disappear into some jungle or a war zone, in Afghanistan, Southern Philippines or in the middle of plundered Borneo Island. When I return to what some people would readily describe as the ‘normal world’, and a news bulletin unexpectedly confronts me at some airport lounge, everything suddenly appears to be bizarre, grotesque, totally surreal, at least for the few initial but excruciating moments.
It is because most of the mainstream news communiqués and analyses are produced in the plush comfort of an armchair, or at a mahogany writing table, thousands of miles from shrapnel, sweat, torn flesh, blood, burning forests, polluted waterways, and the other horrors which are, in fact, nothing other than the true reality for billions of human beings inhabiting our planet.
Remembering how things really feel, taste and smell I get desperate. I don’t recognize places described by the mass media. We are talking about two different universes; yes, about two absolutely opposite realities.
If mainstream reporters go to the field, they are well equipped with bulletproof vests, helmets, with 4×4 vehicles (some of them also bulletproof), with excellent life and health insurances that include airlifts and other evacuation clauses, as well as with hefty salaries and other compensation schemes. On their chests and their backs, it says loudly and explicitly “PRESS”.
So what am I bitching about? Is it wrong to compensate people who are risking their lives, or to try to protect them?
No, it is not; of course it is not wrong.
Except, there is that one tiny ‘but’… You can never, ever get ‘too close’ to anything real, this way. You cannot turn yourself to a buffoon or a walking media Rambo, and expect to uncover something hidden, something important, and something thoroughly groundbreaking.
If you over-protect your life, over-insure your each and every step, you’d build a thick wall between yourself and the real life.
If you go into the field looking like this, you will be spotted and questioned, and you will need all sorts of permits and stamps. It is almost like declaring: “I’ll play by your rules, I’ll not rock the boat, and I’ll let you monitor each step that I take”. Imagine arriving while being decked out like that and attempting to cover genocide in Papua! Good luck, really. About official permits, if you are from a ‘friendly’ mainstream agency, you can get them almost immediately. Yes, of course, organizations such as the BBC or CNN could easily supply you with all the necessary credentials. You could even count on an official government armed ‘escort’, or you could count on an escort supplied by friendly (to the West) ‘rebel groups’. Not to speak of all those ‘all you can eat’ press briefings.
However, the chances that real people would talk to you would be slim. But would you care about hearing from real people if you work for an official mainstream newspaper or a television channel? I doubt it. Real people could, God forbid, say real things, instead of what you are ordered to ‘discover’ in such places as Bosnia, Rwanda, Syria or Afghanistan. In the end, you’ll hear what you came to hear and report, and your writing and clips would be mainly in accordance with the established stereotypes.
Then what, how? Who could do it; who could describe reality, and actually stay alive?
In a brilliant film directed by Oliver Stone, Salvador (1986), one of the main characters declared:
“You got to get close to the truth. You get too close, you die.”
He died, but what he said – that is precisely it! There is this invisible, imaginary line, in the air or on the ground, somewhere. You never see it, but if you have worked in many war zones before, you sense it, and it is what actually saves your life. It saves it often, most of the times, but of course not always. Those who usually die are men and women who make crucial mistakes during their first attempts, before developing their instincts. What I’m talking about cannot be taught; it is not logical – it’s just ‘there’.
To get as close to the truth as possible, one has to work, fast, decisively and with certain precision, avoiding obvious blunders.
People around you have to trust you, and you yourself have to know whom to trust and from whom to hide.
You are on your own, or at least most of the time you are.
All this guarantees nothing, but these are some of the basic preconditions, if you want to understand a conflict, a war.
Working in devastated places is very emotional, very deep, and sometimes you get overwhelmed, and sometimes your glasses get blurry. You make mistakes; hopefully not too many. Occasionally you go after a particular story, or you know generally what you want to find and a story bumps into you, or you stumble over it, or it just hits you frontally, brutally and at full strength.
If it is good, it is never just ‘reporting’. It is much more than journalism, or it is simply shit. There must be some poetry in what you are doing, there has to be also philosophy and humanism, as well as plenty of context and ideology and passion.
There can be no ‘objectivity’ in this work: objectivity is just an illusion, a fairytale dispersed by mainstream media. But you should never lie: you witness and say what you have to say, the way you believe it should be said, and while you do it, it is your obligation to inform your readers and viewers where precisely you stand.
As a human being, as an artist and thinker, you should always take sides. But your position – on which side of the ‘barricade’ you stand – has to be clear and honest. Otherwise you are a liar.
The bitter but essential truth is: Even if you put your life on the line, even if you get badly injured or psychologically exhausted, do not expect much gratitude or support.
Many local victims – people whom you came to defend – will suppose and even tell you straight to your face that ‘you came to get rich using their suffering and misery’.
Your readers in wealthy countries will imagine that you are being generously funded. They were conditioned to believe that there are no altruistic individuals, governments and countries left on this earth.
The reality is quite different: if you work independently, if you refuse to repeat lies and take orders, to merge with the mainstream, if you go against the interest of the West and its allies and ‘clients’, the chances are that you will get zero financial support, no protection whatsoever and absolutely no perks.
You may get millions of readers, of course. And you can recycle your reports in your books and films, as I did in my more than 800-page long “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. If your writing is good, your books will sell, somehow, even if they attack the establishment frontally. But don’t count on any support from ‘friendly governments’ or wealthy but ‘left leaning individuals’. There is no Engels around, these days. You are really on your own. Trust me, you are.
You and your determined work may save several villages, or if you are very good, you could make a difference on a global scale. Your writing or your films may help to stop a war. But never expect any official recognition, any practical backing or even mercy from your readers. In 2015, after making several films and writing books about several particularly horrid war zones, mostly in Africa, I totally collapsed. For several weeks, I was not able to move. I thought it was the end. There was no help at all coming from those millions of my readers living in all parts of the world. At that time I made my condition public. Still nothing. Few letters of ‘moral support’ arrived. Few: “Be strong, the world needs you!” In the end, it was my close family circle that literally pampered and rescued me and put me back to my feet and into fighting order.
This is not a reproach, just a warning to those who are getting ready to fight for the survival of humanity: “You will be totally on your own. You will most definitely collapse on several occasions.”
Still, I know no other way how to live meaningfully. I would never trade my life with the life of anyone else.
There is another very important and revealing piece of information, which I’d like to share with you, my readers.
In 2017 I worked in several extremely dangerous parts of the world, including Afghanistan, the Pakistani-Afghan border during the exchange of fire between the two countries, on the Turkish-Syrian border in Euphrates area during the Turkish invasion, in the war-torn southern Philippines, in Lebanon and in the fully devastated (by logging and mining) Indonesian part of the Island of Borneo.
I drove all around Afghanistan, with no protection, no security and no one covering my back. My friend who doubled as my driver and interpreter was the only man I could count on. Sometimes I held the wheel myself. We even made it into the Taliban controlled territories and drug-infested slums of Kabul. All in a 20 year old, beat up Toyota Corona.
In all these places, I did not see one single Western mainstream reporter. Not one!
Where were they, all those media superstars, I don’t know, but most likely they were holed up somewhere at the NATO headquarters, or at least in the only remaining plush hotel in Afghanistan – Serena. The same can be said about the southern Philippines, although there, to be ‘objective’, one Aussie colleague actually got hit by a sniper’s bullet, just couple of days before I arrived.
Do never trust those who write about the suffering of others exclusively from the safety of their living room couches. It is fine to write from there, of course, but only after you have actually seen the people you are talking about; after you have seen them at least once, for a substantial amount of time, after you have listened to their stories, to their desperate cries, and after you have got very dirty and very scared yourself, and truly desperate, in short: after you have got right there, near that invisible line which separates life from death, and after you have tasted the water of the proverbial river Lethe.
But back to where I began.
Imagine: I leave the places where people are fighting for survival, or where they are fighting for true freedom, or against imperialism. I hardly have time to take a deep breath, to recover from food and air poisoning, to change into some presentable clothes, and it all hits me directly in my face: I see some news bulletin, I read articles published by mainstream media, and while doing it, I absolutely don’t recognize the world, which I have witnessed in all its rainbow of colors, with all its glory and its misery.
I feel ‘out of place’.
I know, some call it ‘Vietnam Syndrome’. There are many other definitions for these feelings, or for this outrage, or desperation, or whatever you want to call it.
You suddenly feel it, you know it: somewhere far away where you had been living and working just several hours ago, there is still what could be defined as the ‘real world’, inhabited by real people. And then, right now, there is this other world, which over imposes, almost fully covers (and even dwarfs) that real one, by using its mainstream clichés and false mass-produced certainties.
This year – this ‘departing year’ 2017 – has definitely not been a good year for our planet.
A group of nations, which has been controlling the world for already several centuries brutally and shamelessly, is pushing us, our entire human race, closer and closer towards complete disaster, towards a showdown, towards a confrontation that may abruptly terminate millions of innocent human lives.
I’m concerned. I’m very concerned. I have already witnessed indescribable calamities in so many places. I know, I can perfectly well imagine, where all this could lead.
Colonialism is always wrong. Imperialism is always wrong. Cultural, religious or economic supremacy theories are wrong, with absolutely no exceptions.
If a group of nations from one relatively small continent has been continuously usurping the entire world, shaping it to its advantage and enslaving people of other colors, beliefs and values, it is all unmistakably wrong.
But the world is like that – brutal, unjust, and controlled by one aggressive, greedy, sly and arrogant minority. The world is still like that. Once again, it is increasingly like that.
And I cannot stand such an ‘arrangement’.
I don’t want it to be like that. I’m tired of covering grief, pain, horror and violence. I’m exhausted of filming or photographing perpetual destruction and downfalls.
That’s why I’m writing this, at the very end of the year 2017. Perhaps it is just one more futile attempt to stop something inhuman and unnecessary from happening.
Perhaps it is almost impossible to cut through the pseudo-reality manufactured by the mainstream media, academia and ‘culture’. Or maybe it’s not impossible. I actually believe that ‘it is never too late’, as I believe that nothing in life is truly ‘impossible’.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!
Let me inform you that the world is totally different, actually much more beautiful and diverse than you have been told. Even most of those places that are now in flames are beautiful. And if left in peace, they’d thrive.
The world is worth fighting for. It is worth defending.
Don’t ever trust the “news” and “information” which is being disseminated by those who are continuously trying to loot and enslave the world. Trust only what you see and hear, and what you feel. Trust people who are in love with this world, if you manage to identify them. Trust your own senses, your inner logic, and your emotions.
Do not vote for bombing or putting sanctions on any foreign country, anywhere on Earth, before you see it with your own eyes, before you are really convinced, before you talk to its people, and before you truly understand what they are saying. Do not make decisions or conclusions after staring at the television set only. Remember: pseudo-reality kills! And it wants you to participate in this murder.
See for yourself. I hope to encounter you, at least some of you, in Syria, in North Korea, in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Russia, China, South Africa, Cuba, and Eritrea – also in hundreds of other great places, which have been brutalized and smeared by those who are dreaming about making this entire world thoroughly banal, consisting only of a few super-wealthy nations served and fed by all those “others” that have been reduced to slavery.
After seeing the world with your own eyes, after understanding it, I’m almost certain that you will agree with me: right now there are two parallel realities on this planet. One consists of true human lives and human stories, the other one only of trivial but manipulative interpretations of the world. One (true) reality is longing for progress, kindness, optimism and harmony; the other (fake one) is constantly spreading uncertainty, nihilism, destruction and hopelessness.
It is not only what they call “fake news”, it is an entire ‘fake reality’ that has been manufactured by the establishment and upheld by men and women with helmets, bulletproof vests, 4WD’s and prominent PRESS insignia.
Once again, HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!
Happy Discovery Of The World!
Happy Struggle For Survival Of Our Precious Planet!”
Year 2018 will be crucial. Let us all join forces in order for Humanism and that beautiful lady called ‘The True Reality’ survive, to prevail, and to triumph.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are his tribute to “The Great October Socialist Revolution” a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.
State of Fear: How History’s Deadliest Bombing Campaign Created Today’s Crisis in Korea
By Ted Nace | CounterPunch | December 8, 2017
As the world watches with mounting concern the growing tensions and bellicose rhetoric between the United States and North Korea, one of the most remarkable aspects of the situation is the absence of any public acknowledgement of the underlying reason for North Korean fears—or, as termed by United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, “state of paranoia”—namely, the horrific firebombing campaign waged by the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and the unprecedented death toll that resulted from that bombing.
Although the full facts will never be known, the available evidence points toward the conclusion that the firebombing of North Korea’s cities, towns, and villages produced more civilian deaths than any other bombing campaign in history.
Historian Bruce Cumings describes the bombing campaign as “probably one of the worst episodes of unrestrained American violence against another people, but it’s certainly the one that the fewest Americans know about.”
The campaign, carried out from 1950 to 1953, killed 2 million North Koreans, according to General Curtis LeMay, the head of the Strategic Air Command and the organizer of the firebombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities. In 1984, LeMay told the Office of Air Force History that the bombing of North Korea had “killed off 20 percent of the population.”
Other sources cite a somewhat lower number. According to a data set developed by researchers at the Centre for the Study of Civil War (CSCW) and the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), the “best estimate” of civilian deaths in North Korea is 995,000, with a low estimate of 645,000 and a high estimate of 1.5 million.
Though half of LeMay’s estimate, the CSCW/PRIO estimate of 995,000 deaths still exceeds the civilian death tolls of any other bombing campaign, including the Allied firebombing of German cities in World War II, which claimed as estimated 400,000 to 600,000 lives; the firebombing and nuclear bombing of Japanese cities, which caused an estimated 330,000 to 900,000 deaths; and the bombing of Indochina from 1964 to 1973, which caused an estimated 121,000 to 361,000 deaths overall during Operation Rolling Thunder, Operation Linebacker, and Operation Linebacker II (Vietnam); Operation Menu and Operation Freedom Deal (Cambodia), and Operation Barrel Roll (Laos).
The heavy death toll from the bombing of North Korea is especially notable in view of the relatively modest population of the country: just 9.7 million people in 1950. By comparison, there were 65 million people in Germany and 72 million people in Japan at the end of World War II.
The attacks by the U.S. Air Force against North Korea used the firebombing tactics that had been developed in the World War II bombing of Europe and Japan: explosives to break up buildings, napalm, and other incendiaries to ignite massive fires, and strafing to prevent fire-fighting crews from extinguishing the blazes.
The use of these tactics was not a foregone conclusion. According to United States policies in effect at the onset of the Korean War, firebombing directed at civilian populations was forbidden. A year earlier, in 1949, a series of U.S. Navy admirals had condemned such tactics in testimony before Congressional hearings. During this “Revolt of the Admirals,” the Navy had taken issue with their Air Force colleagues, contending that attacks carried out against civilian populations were counterproductive from a military perspective and violated global moral norms.
Coming at a time when the Nuremberg tribunals had heightened public awareness of war crimes, the criticisms of the Navy admirals found a sympathetic ear in the court of public opinion. Consequently, attacking civilian populations was forbidden as a matter of U.S. policy at the beginning of the Korean War. When Air Force General George E. Stratemeyer requested permission to use the same firebombing methods on five North Korean cities that “brought Japan to its knees,” General Douglas MacArthur denied the request, citing “general policy.”
Five months into the war, with Chinese forces having intervened on the side of North Korea and UN forces in retreat, General MacArthur changed his position, agreeing to General Stratemeyer’s request on November 3, 1950, to burn the North Korean city of Kanggye and several other towns: “Burn it if you so desire. Not only that, Strat, but burn and destroy as a lesson to any other of those towns that you consider of military value to the enemy.” The same evening, MacArthur’s chief of staff told Stratemeyer that the firebombing of Sinuiju had also been approved. In his diary, Stratemeyer summarized the instructions as follows: “Every installation, facility, and village in North Korea now becomes a military and tactical target.” Stratemeyer sent orders to the Fifth Air Force and Bomber Command to “destroy every means of communications and every installation, factory, city, and village.”
While the Air Force was blunt in its own internal communications about the nature of the bombing campaign—including maps showing the exact percentage of each city that had been incinerated—communications to the press described the bombing campaign as one directed solely at “enemy troop concentrations, supply dumps, war plants, and communication lines.”
The orders given to the Fifth Air Force were more clear: “Aircraft under Fifth Air Force control will destroy all other targets including all buildings capable of affording shelter.”
Within less than three weeks of the initial assault on Kanggye, ten cities had been burned, including Ch’osan (85%), Hoeryong (90%), Huich’on (75%), Kanggye (75%), Kointong (90%), Manp’ochin (95%), Namsi (90%), Sakchu (75%), Sinuichu (60%), and Uichu (20%).
On November 17, 1950, General MacArthur told U.S. Ambassador to Korea John J. Muccio, “Unfortunately, this area will be left a desert.” By “this area” MacArthur meant the entire area between “our present positions and the border.”
As the Air Force continued burning cities, it kept careful track of the resulting levels of destruction:
* Anju – 15%
* Chinnampo (Namp’o)- 80%
* Chongju (Chŏngju) – 60%
* Haeju – 75%
* Hamhung (Hamhŭng) – 80%
* Hungnam (Hŭngnam) – 85%
* Hwangju (Hwangju County) – 97%
* Kanggye – 60% (reduced from previous estimate of 75%)
* Kunu-ri (Kunu-dong)- 100%
*Kyomipo (Songnim) – 80%
* Musan – 5%
* Najin (Rashin) – 5%
* Pyongyang – 75%
* Sariwon (Sariwŏn) – 95%
* Sinanju – 100%
* Sinuiju – 50%
* Songjin (Kimchaek) – 50%
* Sunan (Sunan-guyok) – 90%
* Unggi (Sonbong County) – 5%
* Wonsan (Wŏnsan)- 80%
In May 1951, an international fact-finding team stated, “The members, in the whole course of their journey, did not see one town that had not been destroyed, and there were very few undamaged villages.”
On June 25, 1951, General O’Donnell, commander of the Far Eastern Air Force Bomber Command, testified in answer to a question from Senator Stennis (“… North Korea has been virtually destroyed, hasn’t it?):
“Oh, yes; … I would say that the entire, almost the entire Korean Peninsula is just a terrible mess. Everything is destroyed. There is nothing standing worthy of the name … Just before the Chinese came in we were grounded. There were no more targets in Korea.”
In August 1951, war correspondent Tibor Meray stated that he had witnessed “a complete devastation between the Yalu River and the capital.” He said that there were “no more cities in North Korea.” He added, “My impression was that I am traveling on the moon because there was only devastation…. [E]very city was a collection of chimneys.”
Several factors combined to intensify the deadliness of the firebombing attacks. As had been learned in World War II, incendiary attacks could devastate cities with incredible speed: the Royal Air Force’s firebombing attack on Würzburg, Germany, in the closing months of World War II had required only 20 minutes to envelop the city in a firestorm with temperatures estimated at 1500–2000°C.
Another factor contributing to the deadliness of attacks was the severity of North Korea’s winter. In Pyongyang, the average low temperature in January is 8° Fahrenheit. Since the most severe bombing took place in November 1950, those who escaped immediate death by fire were left at risk of death by exposure in the days and months that followed. Survivors created makeshift shelters in canyons, caves, or abandoned cellars. In May 1951 a visiting delegation to the bombed city of Sinuiju from the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) reported:
“The overwhelming majority of the inhabitants live in dug-outs made of earth supported from salvaged timber. Some of these dug-outs have roofs made of tiles and timber, salvaged from destroyed buildings. Others are living in cellars that remained after the bombardment and still others in thatched tents with the frame-work of destroyed buildings and in huts made of unmortared brick and rubble.”
In Pyongyang, the delegation described a family of five members, including a three-year-old child and an eight-month-old infant, living in an underground space measuring two square meters that could only be entered by crawling through a three-meter tunnel.
A third deadly factor was the extensive use of napalm. Developed at Harvard University in 1942, the sticky, flammable substance was first used in War War II. It became a key weapon during the Korean War, in which 32,557 tons were used, under a logic that historian Bruce Cumings characterized: “They are savages, so that gives us the right to shower napalm on innocents.” Long after the war, Cumings described an encounter with one aging survivor:
“On a street corner stood a man (I think it was a man or a woman with broad shoulders) who had a peculiar purple crust on every visible part of his skin—thick on his hands, thin on his arms, fully covering his entire head and face. He was bald, he had no ears or lips, and his eyes, lacking lids, were a grayish white, with no pupils…. [T]his purplish crust resulted from a drenching with napalm, after which the untreated victim’s body was left to somehow cure itself.”
During armistice talks at the conclusion of the fighting, U.S. commanders had run out of cities and towns to target. In order to place pressure on the negotiations, they now turned the bombers toward Korea’s major dams. As reported in New York Times, the flood from the destruction of one dam “scooped clean” twenty-seven miles of river valley and destroyed thousands of acres of newly planted rice.
In the wake of the firebombing campaigns against Germany and Japan during World War II, a Pentagon research group comprising 1,000 members carried out an exhaustive assessment known as the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. The USSBS released 208 volumes for Europe and 108 volumes for Japan and the Pacific, including casualty counts, interviews with survivors, and economic surveys. These industry-by-industry reports were so detailed that General Motors used the results to successfully sue the U.S. government for $32 million in damages to its German plants.
After the Korean War, no survey of the bombing was done other than the Air Force’s own internal maps showing city-by-city destruction. These maps were kept secret for the next twenty years. By the time the maps were quietly declassified in 1973, America’s interest in the Korean War had long since faded. Only in recent years has the full picture begun to emerge in studies by historians such as Taewoo Kim of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, Conrad Crane of the U.S. Military Academy, and Su-kyoung Hwang of the University of Pennsylvania.
In North Korea, the memory of lives on. According to historian Bruce Cumings, “It was the first thing my guide brought up with me. Cumings writes: “The unhindered machinery of incendiary bombing was visited on the North for three years, yielding a wasteland and a surviving mole people who had learned to love the shelter of caves, mountains, tunnels and redoubts, a subterranean world that became the basis for reconstructing a country and a memento for building a fierce hatred through the ranks of the population.”
To this day, the firebombing of North Korea’s cities, towns, and villages remains virtually unknown to the general public and unacknowledged in media discussions of the crisis, despite the obvious relevance to North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear deterrent. Yet without knowing and confronting these facts, the American public cannot begin to comprehend the fear that lies at the heart of North Korean attitudes and actions.
Confronting the Threat of Ethnic Bioweapons
By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 29.11.2017
The United States Air Force’s 59th Medical Wing’s molecular biology branch recently was revealed to have been collecting specifically Russian RNA and synovial (connective) tissue samples, prompting fears in Russia of a possible US directed ethnic-specific bioweapons program.
TeleSUR’s article, “‘Ethnic Bomb’ Feared as US Air Force Confirms Collection of Russian DNA,” would report:
Russia has raised its concerns over attempts by the U.S. military to collect DNA samples from Russian nationals, noting the potential use of such biological samples for the purpose of creating new genetic warfare weaponry.
The U.S. Air Force has sought to calm the Kremlin’s concerns, noting that the samples would only be used for so-called “research” purposes rather than for bioterrorism.
Addressing Russian reports, U.S. Air Education and Training Command spokesperson Captain Beau Downey said that his center randomly selected the Russian people as a source of genetic material in its ongoing research of the musculoskeletal system.
The report would also state that:
However, the usage of Russian tissue samples in the USAF study fed the long-brewing suspicion that the Pentagon is continuing in its hopes to develop an alleged “biological weapon” targeting specifically Russians.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would be quoted as stating:
Do you know that biological material is being collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical regions of the Russian Federation? The question is – why is it being done? It’s being done purposefully and professionally.
And while the US military attempted to brush off the notion that any sort of ethnic-specific bioweapon was being researched, the notion of such a weapon is not far fetched at all.
US policy papers have included them in America’s overall long-term geopolitical and military planning for nearly two decades, and the US Air Force itself has produced papers regarding the various combinations such weapons could manifest themselves as.
There is also the disturbing history of Western-aligned nations having pursued ethnic-specific bioweapons in the past, including the Apartheid regime in South Africa which sought to use its national vaccination program as cover to covertly sterilize its black population.
US Policy Papers Have Discussed Ethnic-Specific Bioweapons
In the Neo-Conservative Project for a New American Century’s (PNAC) 2000 report titled, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (.pdf) it states (emphasis added):
The proliferation of ballistic and cruise missiles and long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will make it much easier to project military power around the globe. Munitions themselves will become increasingly accurate, while new methods of attack – electronic, “non-lethal,” biological – will be more widely available. (p.71 of .pdf)
It also stated:
Although it may take several decade for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and “combat” likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, “cyber-space,” and perhaps the world of microbes. (p.72 of .pdf)
And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool. (p.72 of .pdf)
More recently – in 2010 – the US Air Force in a counterproliferation paper titled, “Biotechnology: Genetically Engineered Pathogens” (PDF), would list multiple ways such weapons could be deployed (emphasis added):
The JASON group, composed of academic scientists, served as technical advisers to the U. S. government. Their study generated six broad classes of genetically engineered pathogens that could pose serious threats to society. These include but are not limited to binary biological weapons, designer genes, gene therapy as a weapon, stealth viruses, host-swapping diseases, and designer diseases.
The paper discusses the possibility of a “disease that could wipe out the whole population or a certain ethnic group.” While the paper claims its purpose is to study such weapons as a means of developing defenses against them, America’s history as a global military aggressor and the sole nation on Earth to have ever wielded nuclear weapons against another nation-state suggests a high likelihood that if such weapons can be produced, the US has already stockpiled them – if not already deployed them.
South Africa’s Project Coast Then and Biotech Now
The notion of the West using such weapons already has an alarming precedent. Regarding South Africa’s Apartheid regime – the United Nations’ report titled Project Coast: Apartheid’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme would explain (emphasis added):
There was some interaction between Roodeplaat Research Laboratories (RRL) and Delta G [biological and chemical weapon laboratories respectively], with Delta G taking on some of RRL’s biochemistry projects and RRL doing animal testing of some Delta G products. One example of this interaction involved anti-fertility work. According to documents from RRL [Roodeplaat Research Laboratories], the facility had a number of registered projects aimed at developing an anti-fertility vaccine. This was a personal project of the first managing director of RRL, Dr Daniel Goosen. Goosen, who had done research into embryo transplants, told the TRC that he and Basson had discussed the possibility of developing an anti-fertility vaccine which could be selectively administered—without the knowledge of the recipient. The intention, he said, was to administer it to black South African women without their knowledge.
At the time, the technology appears not to have been sufficiently mature to realize the Apartheid regime’s ambitions. However, the technology not only exists today, there are examples of it being used to spectacular effect – so far for good – but could just as easily be used for bad.
The above mentioned US Air Force paper would go into detail regarding each weapon it listed, including one called gene therapy:
Gene therapy might just be the silver bullet for the treatment of human genetic diseases. This process involves replacing a bad gene with a good gene to normalize the condition of the recipient. Transfer of the “healthy” gene requires a vector to reach its target. Vectors commonly used are “viruses that have been genetically altered to carry normal human DNA” such as “retroviruses, adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses, and herpes simplex viruses.”
Gene therapy has already been used during clinical trials to permanently cure everything from blood cancers to rare genetic disorders. The New York Times, in an article titled, “Gene Therapy Creates Replacement Skin to Save a Dying Boy,” would report on one of the latest breakthroughs using the technology, stating:
Doctors in Europe used gene therapy to grow sheets of healthy skin that saved the life of a boy with a genetic disease that had destroyed most of his skin, the team reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature. This was not the first use of the treatment, which adds gene therapy to a technique developed to grow skin grafts for burn victims. But it was by far the most body surface ever covered in a patient with a genetic disorder: nine square feet.
One could imagine a malicious weapon used in reverse to knock out the genes that maintain healthy skin, causing a victim’s skin to blister and fall off.
In utilizing gene therapy as a weapon, the US Air Force report would note:
Gene therapy is expected to gain in popularity. It will continue to be improved upon and could unquestionably be chosen as a bioweapon. The rapid growth in biotechnology could trigger more opportunities to find new ways to fight diseases or create new ones. Nations who are equipped to handle biotechnology are likely to consider gene therapy a viable bioweapon. Groups or individuals without the resources or funding will find it difficult to produce this bioweapon.
Regarding “stealth viruses,” a variation of the weaponized gene therapy technique, the report states:
The basic concept of this potential bioweapon is to “produce a tightly regulated, cryptic viral infection that can enter and spread in human cells using vectors” (similar to the gene therapy) and then stay dormant for a period of time until triggered by an internal or external signal. The signal then could stimulate the virus to cause severe damage to the system. Stealth viruses could also be tailored to secretly infect a targeted population for an extended period using the threat of activation to blackmail the target.
With gene therapies already approved for sale in the European Union and the United States, and with more on the way, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that covert, weaponized gene therapies are also either already developed and waiting, or already deployed as “stealth viruses.”
Developing and Deploying
The US maintains a global network of military medical laboratories and research centers.
In addition to the 59th Medical Wing involved in collecting Russian genetic material, the US covers the entire Southeast Asian region from Bangkok, Thailand with its Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFIRMS).
While it publicly claims it exists to, “to conduct state of the art medical research and disease surveillance to develop and evaluate medical products, vaccines, and diagnostics to protect DOD personnel from infectious disease threats,” its personnel, equipment, and research could easily be used for dual purposes in creating any of the above stated, so-far “theoretical” ethnic-specific bioweapons.
The US Embassy in Thailand website states that AFIRMS is the largest of a global network of military medical laboratories, claiming:
AFRIMS is the largest of a global network of US Defense Department Overseas Medical Research Laboratories—with sister laboratories in Peru, Kenya, Egypt, and the Republics of Georgia and Singapore. USAMD-AFRIMS has nearly 460 staff members (predominantly Thai and US) and an annual research budget of approximately $30-35 million.
With labs in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia – and through the use of subcontractors – the US military has access to a variety of genetic materials and facilities to conduct research and develop all of the weapons its own policy papers have described.
Through US State Department-funded programs, the US could easily create “vaccine” campaigns and “clinics” to deliver the above described bioweapons in a variety of ways.
Fighting in the Dark and Shedding Some Light
The US Air Force’s paper would also point out:
Biological warfare attacks may resemble a natural disease outbreak phenomenon and it would be very difficult to trace back to the source, thereby discounting the perpetrator’s actions.
And indeed, nations without the ability to independently sequence, detect, and react to ethnic-specific genetic bioweapons could already have been targeted, or could be targeted at any moment without any means of even knowing, let alone reacting.
On the other hand, nations with not only a well-developed biotech industry, but also with military labs focused on both detecting and launching biological warfare with such weapons – it would be like fighting a war against a blindfolded enemy.
To remove the blindfold, governments and military institutions around the world, as well as communities and local institutions, would need to develop and have access to a quick and efficient means to sequence DNA, spot abnormalities, and develop possible corrective gene therapies to repair or “patch” malicious weaponized DNA introduced into a population.
Biological warfare surveillance would need to be done not only across a nation’s population, but also across its food and water supply as well as its livestock, wildlife, and insect populations. Genetically modified crops have been designed to target and turn off genes in insects and could just as easily be used to target human genes.
In Science Daily’s article, “Crops that kill pests by shutting off their genes,” it states:
Plants are among many eukaryotes that can ‘turn off’ one or more of their genes by using a process called RNA interference to block protein translation. Researchers are now weaponizing this by engineering crops to produce specific RNA fragments that, upon ingestion by insects, initiate RNA interference to shut down a target gene essential for life or reproduction, killing or sterilizing the insects.
Studies are still ongoing to determine what harm genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – in their current state – are doing to human health. Spotting and reacting to subtle, weaponized GMOs will be even harder.
The use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to deliver “vaccines” presents another possible vector for weaponized biotech. The increasingly “global” nature of many vaccination programs is also a looming danger – particularly since these programs are directed by primarily Western powers – many of whom protected, cooperated with, and even aided and abetted the South African Apartheid regime, including with its various weapons programs.
Biotech is not merely a matter of economics. It is a matter of national security. Allowing foreign corporations representing compromised or nebulous foreign interests to produce vaccines for human or veterinary uses or to alter the genomes of a nation’s agricultural crops for whatever perceived benefits cannot outweigh the possible and actualized threats.
In a world where warfare extends into cyber and genetic space, nations that lack independent human healthcare systems capable of producing their own vaccines or managing their own biodiversity find themselves as defenseless as nations without armies, navies, or air forces. However impressive a nation’s conventional military capabilities are, lacking proper planning and defenses regarding this new and expanding biotech threat mitigates all possible advantages and maximizes this fatal weakness.
If genetics is a form of living information, then concepts familiar to IT security experts may prove useful in explaining how to safeguard against malicious “code” introduced into our living systems. The ability to “scan” our DNA and spot malicious code, to remove or patch it, and to develop safeguards against it, including “backing up” individual genomes biologically and digitally will not entirely prevent biological weapons from creating damage, but will mitigate their impact – transforming a possible extermination of an entire ethnicity or race to a containable, relatively minor outbreak.
Unlike nuclear weapons, research and development of these biotech tools is accessible to virtually any national government and even to many private institutions. Integrating biotech into a nation’s national security planning and implementation is no longer optional or speculative. If the tools to manipulate and target genes for good already exist, then the tools to abuse them also exist.
A Partisanship Of The Heart: Interior Measures Towards A Re-Visioning Of Capitalism’s Imperium Of Death
by Phil Rockstroh
Picture credit: The Jetstream Journal
According to a nationwide study [https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm] conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a greater number of U.S. Americans died (approximately 65,000) from drug overdoses last year than were killed during the course of the Vietnam War.
All part and parcel of capitalism’s war against life itself. The emotional and physical pain, anxiety, and depression inflicted by the trauma inherent to a system sustained by perpetual exploitation has proven to be too much for a sizeable number of human beings to endure thus their need to self-medicate.
The root of addiction is trauma. The soul of the nation is a casualty of war. There is not an Arlington Cemetery for these fallen, no hagiographic ceremonies will be performed over their graves nor statues erected in memoriam. Their ghosts will howl through the long, dark night of national denial. Listen to their wailing. It is an imprecatory prayer. A curse and augury … that admonishes, our fate and the fate of the nation will converge … as the nation will stagger, keening in lament, to the abyss.
The solution: Within each of us swells a deathless song. Powerful. Resonate. Piercing. A song, miraculous of influence, plangent with the force to seize back your soul from the death-besotted spirit of the age. Let it rise from within you. Notice: how flocks of empire’s death birds scatter like ashes in the wind.
Yet it will not be possible to navigate around the cultural deathscape; we must walk through it and chronicle its serial affronts to our humanity:
You have to see that the buildings are anorexic, you have to see that the language is schizogenic, that ‘normalcy’ is manic, and medicine and business are paranoid.”
Try this: Simply stand in the isle of a corporate, Big Box chain store or in the parking lot of a strip mall that squats, hideous, on some soul-defying, U.S. Interstate highway and allow yourself to feel the emptiness and desperation extant. The tormented landscape, besieged by an ad hoc assemblage of late capitalist structures, emporiums of usurped longing, reflects the desperate, rapacious nature of late capitalist imperium.
Compounding the pathos, the forces in play impose a colonizing effect upon the mind; therefore, a large percent of the afflicted have lost the ability to detect the hyper-entropic system’s ravaging effects. Stranded among the commercial come-ons and hyper-authoritarianism inherent to late stage capitalism’s imperium of death, the human psyche, like the biosphere of our planet, subjected, at present, to humankind-wrought ecocide, has begun to display the terrible beauty of a nightmare.
Internal weather has grown increasingly chaotic: the earth’s oceans and seas are rising; wildfires rage; drought scorches the earth. And conditions will grow increasingly inhospitable in regard to the flourishing of inner life, personal and collective thus will continue, and at accelerating rates, to be reflected in the web of phenomena we know as human culture.
THE DECIMATED WORKING CLASS
Growing up in a working-class social milieu, as I did, I am confronted, more and more, by the news of the large number of men I grew up with who are dying in their 50s. As of late, when I contemplate the fact, I am forced to pause and seek solitude because my eyes become scalded with tears. I’ve known, over the years, hundreds of human beings, born into and ensnared by the crime against humanity known as poverty, broken by the culture of greed and social degradation, and blamed by the clueless and the callous for the tragic trajectory in which impersonal fate and the wounding culture, by no fault of their own, has placed them.
Thus arrive: Tears of rage; tears of outrage. Tears unloosed by passion and tempered by compassion … fall. If poverty was not so profitable for the greed-head elite, both punitive-minded conservatives and affluence-ensconced liberals alike, the situation would be addressed and rectified. The cause of the reprehensible situation, it should go without saying, is not the fault of the poor but the poverty of spirit at the core of capitalism.
Truth is the system, a hierarchy of ghouls, is maintained by harvesting the corpses of the powerless, by means of imperial slaughter and domestic, economic exploitation. Deep down, we know it. The system’s psychopathic beneficiaries, in particular, are aware of the reality. In fact, their desiccated hearts require being irrigated by blood. From the evidence of their actions, it appears they revel in the knowledge of the damage they incur. They appear to believe they will enter the golden dominion of heaven by climbing a mountain of corpses. It is time we dragged them back down to earth and subjected them to our earth-borne fury.
Or so goes my own (powerless) revelry. Of course, we the powerless, at this point, have been left with scant little but a dreaming heart. When we allow heartless power to subdue and usurp our longings, we languish. Thus many die of a broken spirit. The world itself can appear to be depleted of mercy. In turn, all too many begin to mirror the malevolence of the upper castes thereby losing their own measure of mercy.
Hostility directed at the poor is the shopworn, demagogic sleight-of-hand trick used to distract from realities such as: Every McMansion and high-end luxury high-rise constructed creates multitudes of the homeless. Every low pay, no benefits, no future Mcjob serves to decimate an individual, heart and spirit. Moreover the beneficiaries of the system promote the lie that shame should be the exclusive dominion of those broken by their system, a system, which is, in essence, a form of government-sanctioned gangsterism, by which they, the ruthless few, and they alone, benefit.
As a result, in an age of denial and duplicity, change tends to arrive violently. Reactionary, racist soreheads, brandishing Tiki torches, construct an ambulatory klavern in the hateful night. Maledictory tweets rise and roil the imperial air like a nimbus of locust. Unmoored from their sense of humanity by lashing angst and alienation, gunmen, in acts of warped libido, raise assault rifles and kill with no more connection to the strangers they slaughter than do stateside-deployed pilots of the empire’s predator drones.
A NEEDED PARADIGM SHIFT
We human beings, as a species, have arrived at a profound point of demarcation: paradigm shift or perish. Yet, and the fact is mortifying in its implications, there is not a sign of the emergence, even an incipient one, of a viable resistance to the present order. Weekend marches and boutique protests might promote (ephemeral) feelings of affinity and jack the adrenal systems of participants. But the events have proven woefully inefficacious in regard to the rising and raging tides of adversity we face.
(In addition, monopolist, internet corporations, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, at the behest of U.S. governmental forces, are further marginalizing the already almost vaporous left by means of presence-abridging algorithms of leftist websites and outright censorship of social media content. Dissenting voices are being ghosted into oblivion.)
An aura of bleakness prevails. Hope seems a fool’s palliative. The victims of drug overdoses and, in general, the large and rising, without precedent, untimely deaths of middle-aged, laboring-class people should be regarded as canaries in the coal mines of the late-stage capitalist order, an augury of calamities that loom due to the exponentially increasing harm being inflicted upon both humanity and environmental forces crucial to sustaining the continued viability of the human race.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
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Here’s why Saudi Arabia and Israel are allies in all but name
By Adam Garrie | The Duran | May 22, 2017
Those who claim that Israel is opposed to Donald Trump’s now openly warm relations with Saudi Arabia are missing the actual point. On the surface, many assume that Israel and Saudi Arabia have poor relations. Neither country has diplomatic relations with one another, one is a self-styled Jewish state while the other is a Wahhabi Sunni monarchy.
But they both have the same regional goals, they both have the same enemies and both are intellectual anachronisms in a 20th century that has seen the fall of multiple monarchies, the end of traditional European colonialism and the fall of segregated regimes in Africa (Apartheid South Africa and UDI Rhodesia for example).
Israel and Saudi Arabia have always been enemies of secular, Arab nationalist states and federations. Whether an Arab state is Nasserist, Ba’athist, socialist, Marxist-Leninist or in the case of Gaddafi’s Libya a practitioner of the post-Nassierist Third Political Theory: Israel and Saudi Arabia have sought to and in large part have succeeded, with western help, at destroy such states.
Unlike Israel’s Apartheid military state and Saudi Arabia’s human rights free monarchy, the aforementioned Arab styles of government are worthy of the word modern. These are countries which had progressive mixed economies, had secular governments and societies, had full constitutional rights for religious and ethnic minorities, they championed women’s rights and engaged in mass literacy programmes and infrastructural projects. In the case of the Syrian Arab Republic, such things still apply.
Such things still have wide appeal not just in the Arab world but universally. The very charter of the UN subtly implies that such goals are the way forward.
Secular Arab governments have therefore not fallen due to their lack of popularity but they have fallen due to political and military aggression from Israel, monetary blackmail and terrorism funded from and by Saudi Arabia and a combination of all of the above from the United States and her European allies. Useful idiots in the west who claim that groups like the obscurantist and terroristic Muslim Brotherhood represent majoritarian public opinion in secular Arab states are simply worse than useful idiots: they are lying, dangerous idiots.
This is why Syria is a country that Israel and Saudi Arabia are both interested in destroying. Both countries have indeed invested time and money into destroying Syria and thus far they have not been successful.
Syria is the last secular Arab Ba’athist state in the world. Unlike in Israel, minorities have full constitutional rights and unlike in Saudi Arabia, all religions are tolerated. In Syria, women can act, speak and dress as they wish.
Syria’s independence has in the past thwarted Israel’s ambition to annex Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and additional parts of Syria itself (Israel still occupies Syria’s Golan Heights). Syria has also been a true ally of the oppressed Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
Likewise, Syria has hurt Saudi Arabia and fellow backward Gulf state Qatar’s ambitions to expand their petro-empires. Qatar remains desirous to construct a pipeline running through Syria, something Qatar wants done on its terms and its terms alone.
Furthermore, since Saudi Arabia has little to offer the world in terms of culture, Saudi attempts to control and colonise their more educated and worldly Levantine Arabs is done through a combination of bribery and through the use of Salafist terrorist proxies such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.
There is also a psychological element to the mutual warfare which Saudi Arabia and Israel have waged on secular states like Syria.
So long as Syria exists, Saudi Arabia cannot say that there is no alternative to its backward style of government in the Arab world. Of course, others like Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt are secular states (Iraq less so now than at any time since independence), but these states have been wholly compromised through war and in the case of Egypt through political malaise.
Syria remains strongly independent and refuses to surrender its values.
Both countries also seek to destroy Iran. Iran unlike Saudi Arabia and Israel, practices an ethical foreign policy. Far from wanting to export its Islamic Revolution, Iran has been a staunch ally to secular Syria and has been at the forefront of the fight against Salafist terrorism like ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Iran has also taken a principled stance on Palestine, whilst most Arab states with the exception of Syria, have long ago given up on the Palestinian cause.
Israel and Saudi Arabia have superficial differences in foreign policy, but their main goals are exactly the same. Both seek to retard the progress of the Arab world and to taint Islam as something it is not.
Saudi Arabia and Israel both want non-Muslims to think of Islam as something representing bombs, female enslavement, physical mutilation and barbarity. Syria has shown the world that real Islam looks a lot like Christianity and frankly a lot more like Christianity than atheistic Europe does in 2017.
Saudi Arabia and Israel are allies in the material and psychological war against secular, modern Arab countries. It is a war which the United States has been fighting on behalf of Riyadh and Tel Aviv for decades.
Israeli security forces brutally arrest Palestinian protesters in West Bank [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]
Dr Samah Jabr| MEMO | November 14, 2017
In our stressful state of occupation, there is, among other ills, an essentialist view of Israeli and Palestinian characteristics. In the many public talks that I have given to Westerners about the violation of the rights of Palestinians, one question almost invariably comes up: “What about the fears of the Israelis?” Similarly, how many times have we heard Western media and even the President of the United States speak of “Palestinian hatred”? These words take for granted the guilt of those who “hate” and the innocence of those who “fear”. However, the reality is that we cannot understand concerns regarding the fears of the Israelis without dissecting the accusations of “Palestinian hatred”.
One problem in this dichotomy is its assumption of a fixed, static state, as if the fears of the Israelis and the hatred of the Palestinians are inborn, permanent traits with no variation among group members. The presumption of eternal and unanimous characteristics serves to maintain the oppressive relationship between the occupier and the occupied and to obstruct political change. To find a way out, the essentialism must be contextualised and deconstructed.
Let us begin by clarifying the disproportionality of the fears of the Israelis with regard to the realistic harm that Palestinians have brought upon them. Israel has long had one of the most powerful armies in the world; it gives “lessons in security” to other nations and exports arms to them for the purpose of oppressing others. Moreover, in order to foster its violent occupation and suppress the natural reflexive resistance on the part of the natives of Palestine, Israel has caged unarmed Palestinians behind walls and appointed colluding Palestinians to maintain order and silence within these cages. By means of long-term and sophisticated strategies to damage Palestinian collective identity, Israel has infiltrated every Palestinian neighbourhood with spies and collaborators. In every previous confrontation, the number of Palestinian casualties has been 100 times the number of Israeli casualties. Thousands of Palestinians are in Israeli prisons, not the other way around; thousands of Palestinian, not Israeli, homes have been demolished by Israeli bulldozers; and yet it is the unarmed and stateless Palestinians who are asked to be considerate of Israeli fears.
In view of these facts, it is unjust and insulting when the question of “Israeli fears” is addressed to a Palestinian, insofar as the question itself reveals deep denial of the longstanding history of Israeli violence. The plea for empathy and understanding, when addressed to the victims of Israeli occupation, is absurd, yet the expectation is that Palestinians must demonstrate understanding and offer reassurance for their oppressors’ fears. The failure to do so is taken as further evidence of “Palestinian hatred” and confirmation that the Israelis are right to fear them.
I understand very well the traumatic fears caused by the history of the Jews in Europe during the 20th and previous centuries, but why should I, a Palestinian, be called upon to soothe these past fears when I am busy with the traumatic present of occupied Palestine? How can I experience deep empathy for this historical European tragedy when the Israeli threats to my existence and security continue to upstage past events in demanding my urgent attention?
Furthermore, the fear of the Israelis is not simply innocent traumatic heritage; it is a suspect political instrument; a wicked manipulation justifying their cruel treatment of the Palestinians. The invocation of Israeli fears silences protest against the occupation, insisting that all Israelis are implicated in the occupation regardless of their individual hesitations about it. And more evil yet is the fact that this manipulated fear cannot be soothed until the Palestinians disappear completely.
The pretence of fear provides an excuse for crime and absolves “frightened” criminals of responsibility; it falsely attributes the responsibility to the “frightening” victims of the crime instead. Is this not what is implied by the misnomer “Islamophobia?” Why is prejudice and crime directed at Jews called anti-Semitism when prejudice and crime against Muslims — many of whom are also Semites — is not called anti-Muslim hate and a crime? It is called instead the minimising term “Islamophobia”, implying that the hate, racism and criminality of the perpetrator is justified because he or she suffers from anxiety and irrational fears about Islam.
To be fair, a degree of fear on the part of Israelis is appropriate; it’s the fear that a tiny proportion of their violence might come back to haunt them, rarely as rockets or a bombing, more often as a Palestinian youth may attempt to punish the Israelis by throwing a stone or pursuing an Israeli soldier with a screwdriver. These things may happen as long as the United Nations and the Palestinian leadership fail to hold the Israelis to account for their crimes.
Attributing fear to the Israelis recruits empathic identification with them, whereas attributing the degrading trait of hatred to the Palestinians provokes repulsion and aversion to them. While there is hatred for the state of Israel among Palestinians, this does not go beyond the adaptive and inevitable hatred that any oppressed and colonised group holds for the collective group that has perpetrated endless crimes against them. Palestinians do not hate Israelis as Jews but as participants in the system responsible for their political oppression. Palestinians are not born with hate in their hearts; hate develops as an appropriate reaction to the totality of the heinous experiences of life under occupation. The people of Palestine are not known for their anti-Semitism; they have welcomed pilgrims from Africa and refugees from Armenia. Many Muslim and Christian Palestinians were married to Jews living in Palestine before the occupation. Like any nation, though, the people of Palestine hate the theft of their land, the pain and the humiliation that the occupation has inflicted upon them. This is, surely, legitimate hate, serving the function of distinguishing harm from safety and motivating resistance to oppression rather than submission to despair.
To expect Palestinians to be free of hate or other negative feelings towards Israel is like expecting a raped woman to have empathy towards her rapist. This would be an example of Stockholm syndrome — a dissociation at best — and more psychologically dangerous than hate itself. This syndrome will eventually result in an internalisation of that hate which would then express itself destructively within the oppressed community.
What Israel actually fears is its own dark “Shadow,” its enormous but disowned and projected violence and hatred for the Palestinians.
It was not fear, but hatred that permitted Israel to commit massacres which evacuated Palestinian villages and towns by force, and which motivates soldiers to kill handcuffed prisoners and unconscious, wounded Palestinians. It is hatred that incites Jewish settlers to burn Palestinians alive and uproot the ancient olive trees of Palestine. Hate speech is articulated by Israeli soldiers who call Palestinians, “beasts on two legs”, “drugged cockroaches” and “crocodiles who want more meat.” This is hate speech which not only encourages hateful acts committed in the name of the occupation but also legitimises ethnic cleansing. Isn’t that what we must do with cockroaches; get rid of them?
Instead of blaming the Palestinians for their hatred and excusing the Israelis for their fear, a constructive move forward would be to help Israel to distinguish reality from fantasy. This would mean admitting Israeli’s own hatred, as well as its greed, and acknowledging that ending the heinous occupation is the only remedy for its fears.