Saturday, June 12, 2010

Some thoughts on this and that

I have been thinking about various issues this week, but I had too little time to write even a semi-coherent post about them. So I am sharing my musings with you in the raw - just as they came to me.

Uncle Shmuel is just so predictable:

Israel and the USA agreed to the format for an investigation of the storming of the Mavi Marmara and the other ship. Really? No kidding?! What a surprise. The Israelis will investigate themselves, with one US observer and one European "Shabbez goy'. And what does the rest of the planet have to say? Do you hear screams of outrage? Or even maybe hysterical laughter? Nope. Silence. Everybody is looking away.

I say the Nazis should have investigated themselves at Nurenberg too

"Agent provocateurs" on the Mavi Marmara?

I am getting more and more stuff in my mailbox suggesting that the Israelis somehow fell for a carefully planned Turkish "provocation". For example, check out the essay Israel gets Serbed by Gray Falcon. Frankly, all those articles come from authors who either have a bone with Turkey or dislike Islam, or both. The comparison with what happened in Bosnia is ridiculous. There is absolutely no doubt who killed whom on the Mavi Marmara: the Israelis murdered 9 passengers. This is not a false flag like the Markale bombings in Sarajevo or the fake Racak 'massacre' in Kosovo. Simply because Muslims and Turks were on the wrong side of the war in the Balkans does not at all mean that they are wrong in this case. We should not judge parties, much less so side with them, but we should look at each case on its inherent merits. For example, what Turkey does in Kurdistan is appalling. But that does not mean that Turkey is wrong in its outrage about the latest Israeli lunacy. In the future, we might even see a situation in which the USA or Israel are on the right side of some issue, and in that case we should not pull out a laundry list of all the past or current wrongs of these two regimes. To side "with Turkey" in this case is not to side with Turkey, much less so endorse its politics, but only to side with international law, decency, and common sense.

"Agent provocateurs" on the Mavi Marmara? - part 2

Clearly, some folks on the Mavi Marmara had improvised weapons and they resisted the Israeli assault. So?! What is wrong with that? I personally wish that ALL ships headed for Gaza would actively resist any Israeli force attempting to seize them. Let's face it, it is ONLY the fact that some passengers resisted which forced the Israeli to show their ugly and inhuman face to the rest of the world. I say - well done, resisting passengers! Keep up the good work. First, why should anyone NOT resist when being boarded by de jure and de facto pirates in international waters? Why do Somali pirates get one treatment, and Israeli pirates another one? So let's cut the hypocrisy here and openly say what should be obvious to all: violently resisting with improvised weapons was an excellent idea. The only possible argument against that is that this resulted in deaths. Well, guess what, Israelis kill Palestinians in Gaza every damn day! If I remember correctly, 4 of 5 Palestinians were killed the very day the Mavi Marmara was taken to Ashdod. Sure, nobody should be forced to risk his/her life, but the guys who chose to take that risk did not do so in vain. In fact, their deaths were far more useful than the deaths of the thousands Palestinians in Gaza since the so called Israeli "withdrawal" from Gaza.

Iran really has only one real and trustworthy friend and ally: Hezbollah

I have been lurking on various Arab and Palestinian websites again and again I get a sad, really discouraging feeling: Arab tribalism and anti-Persian bigotry is alive and well. There is a constant flow of anti-Iranian propaganda on Arab websites. No matter what the Iranians say or do, they are always accused of "using the Palestinian cause" for their dark and mysterious motives. The fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran never did anything against any Arab state, or the fact that Iran did more for the Palestinian cause than all the Arab states taken together matters little here. I suspect that some Arabs have a deep seated sense of inferiority since, after all, they have never been able to effectively stand up to Israel - nevermind Uncle Sam - whereas Iran has done just that, and successfully. The ONLY Arab force which managed not only to stand up to Israel, but to actually whoop it was Hezbollah, which is openly and totally allied to Iran. Of course, the vast majority of Arabs are either secular or Sunni, and both of these groups are still deeply infected with the virus of tribalism which the Baathist ideology always promoted. So for these neo-Baathist secularists or Sunnis to see a Shia and Persian power do more and better for the Palestinians than what they ever could is humiliating. And to deal with this humiliation they do a truly Orwellian double-thinking trick: they support and take pride in Hezbollah, while hating and badmouthing Iran. They dismiss Hezbollah's consistant and central message that Hezbollah is deeply grateful to Iran, and fully and totally allied with it. Our confused neo-Baathists simply see all the systematic statements of Hezbollah about Iran as "pragmatic propaganda" to keep benefiting from Iran's support. How they totally mis-read Hezbollah is really amusing to me. But then, I even heard these secularist dismiss the centrality of the Shia faith and piety to the Hezbollah movement....

Some will just never "get it" I suppose

Brazil and Lula:

I have to admit that I was very impressed by Lula's role in the negotiations with Iran. Not so much because of what these negotiations actually achieved, but because Lula openly defied the USA and Israel by even engaging in such negotiations. Could it be that I underestimated Lula and that he is far more principled that I had given him credit for? I sure hope so. The signs are encouraging.

So what's the deal with Erdogan?

Good question indeed. What the hell is going on with the Turks?! They used to be Israel's and the USA's most faithful ally, and yet they seem to be really seriously breaking these ties. One interesting theory that I heard is trying to replace Iran as the #1 defender of the Palestinian people (poor Arab nationalists... first they have the hated "Persians" as the biggest defenders of Palestinians, and now the no less hated "Ottomans"...). Could it be that Erdogan is trying to become so popular in Turkey as being "un-overthrowable" by the Turkish military? Listening to Erdogan and Assad standing next to each other at a press conference I was left marvelling at the ability of the Zionists to piss off absolutely everybody and, in the process, turn former enemies (like Turkey and Syria) into allies against it.

Have a great week-end everybody!

The Saker