Saturday, March 11, 2006

Hearts and minds

They (the Bush/Cheney gang of cutthroats) continue to speak of "winning the hearts and minds" of people in the Middle East. Where do they come by this delusion? How on earth can they even believe it would be possible for us to win the hearts and minds of people in the Middle East. After all, we have unconditionally supported Israel for years, in spite of their blatant land and water grabs, in spite of their absolutely disrespectful treatment of Palestinians, in spite of their constant refusal to abide by any United Nations attempts to curb them, in spite of their program of assassinations and militarism, murder of innocents, and so on.

There is also the problem of the historical record in which we overthrew the Iranian government and installed the Shah, and constantly meddled in the Middle East in our quest to control their oil reserves, illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, tortured indiscriminately, insisted on forming a puppet government, failed to reconstruct much of anything, allowed their national treasures to be looted, filled their country with spent uranium, killed thousands upon thousands by our sanctions, and god knows what all else. And we think we are going to win their hearts and minds? Oh, yeah, I forgot, we are sending the Hughes woman, a religious nutcase who knows absolutely nothing about Middle Eastern cultures and apparently even less about history, to accomplish this task. Why do I worry? It's all so simple.

I have been reading Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone. Although it was written quite some time ago (1937) I came across this passage that I might have written just now:
"At the age of seventy-five one can change one's ideas, but not one's habits. A retired life is the only one that suits my character. Even when I was young I lived very much apart. I always kept aloof from politics because of my repugnance to vulgarity. Taste and an aesthetic education always witheld me from action. Besides, my aversion to the present state of things is not political. It is not as a voter but as a man that I find this society intolerable. And then I ask myself what am I to do. I look around and see very little that I can do."

And what about this gem:
"I decided that politics was grotesque--nothing but an artificial struggle between rival degenerates."



Grace said...

Hey, we're Americans! What's not to like?

Actually, you just deftly summed up what's not to like.

William Thomas said...

Man am I glad that you are not in charge of foreign affairs or diplomacy. What about "Death to America" do you not understand? I spent 8 years in the military and 1 year in Iraq, from which I recently returned. I know from personal experiance that the Iraqi people are overjoyed that we removed Saddam Hussain from power and are giving them thier country back. Next on the list,Iran, Syria and North Korea. Probabley not in that order.