05 January 2009

Round and Round and Round it Goes.

The first step to genocide is dehumanizing your opponent. They are not individuals: they are Huns, Beasts, Gooks, Commies...undifferentiated and guilty biologically or culturally. They are terrorists. Even the three year olds. This violence is discursive.

"These people only understand one thing." They are animals, to be rewarded or punished, a pet or a kick. The resistance of a few results in arbitrary communal punishment. All are guilty. My Lai. Soweto. Belfast. Darfur. Guernica. Gaza.

In 1980, the US was a steadfast supporter of Apartheid South Africa. By 1990, nearly all support for that regime had disappeared, at least officially (with notable exception Dick Cheney) -- with the Cold War all but won, South Africa was more a millstone than a keystone to its Western patrons.

Strange things happen.

When you go to fight monsters, take care that you don't become one. Nietzsche said that.

8 comments:

Lonnie Bruner said...

How would you suggest Israel better deal with the thousands of missiles launched at them from Gaza prior to all this?

m.a. said...

This whole thing is just so scary. That's all I've got. :(

cuff said...

LB: Maybe constructive engagement. It worked (for the most part) in Northern Ireland. The mistake is to treat those rockets -- which until last week had killed something like five Israelis in as many years -- as if they're somehow on the same level as massive bombardment that's "justified" on the basis that all those civilians being killed "should have known" they were hanging out with someone on an Israeli death list.

MA: you are right on that count.

Lonnie Bruner said...

Some guy on NPR today asked whether the Israelis were supposed to have waited until one of Hamas' bombs hit a school...

Lonnie Bruner said...

How do you have "constructive engagement" with a government who puts out videos like this? -->

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fb7_1231153405

cuff said...

LB: I suppose you start by believing that such a government will not be in power forever. You also have to look at why Hamas came to power to begin with: the Israelis refused to deal with Abbas in any meaningful way. Gaza is essentially a prison entirely dependent on the good graces of the Israelis for everything from power to humanitarian supplies. When you've set up a little Bantustan it's relatively dishonest to deal with the "natives" as if they're sovereign.

Lonnie Bruner said...

It's such a tragedy, isn't it.

Lonnie Bruner said...

Cuff,

Read the wikipedia entry for Bantustan. It's downright eerie how similar it is to the Palestinian situation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bantustan