We're in a Dark Place
Americans think they have the moral authority to debate over Palestine. Do they?
Right now, the internet is debating whose children deserve to die more, Israeli or Palestinian. It's now considered naive or even taboo to suggest that nobody's children should die for politics and religion.
Israel is now preparing for a full invasion of Gaza after an attack by Hamas that left thousands dead and wounded.
They've bombed civilian targets, including schools and hospitals. Now they're cutting off electricity and water to the entire region. Almost 1,000 Palestinians have died. More deaths are coming.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration sends missiles.
The noise around all of this reflects the simplest point, one that writers like Kurt Vonnegut made decades ago. Nobody wins a war. Nobody's justified in a war. Nobody wants to fight a war. It's all a bunch of pointless killing. When it's finally over, nobody can remember what started it.
Everyone regrets it.
Once again, the poor and innocent are paying for the anger and aggression of political hustlers who don't care about them. Nobody in power anywhere loses a minute's sleep over these deaths. The western military complex is happy to send weapons wherever they're needed.
War is business.
Over here in the developed west, you're not allowed to talk about the Nakba. You can't ask what happened to the 700,000 Palestinians ousted from their homes, or the hundreds of villages that were "depopulated."
It's off limits.
The elite created this problem. They created it through centuries of anti-semitism and persecution, culminating in a Holocaust that left Jews around the world no choice but to look for a home where they wouldn't live in constant fear of death. Even after WWII, western countries either rejected or placed severe limits on the acceptance of Jewish refugees.
That's right, nobody wanted Holocaust survivors.
Not even the U.S.
In fact, the U.S. Congress spent years after the war justifying their refusal by calling them Communist operatives or sympathizers, either too broken or too untrustworthy to ever admit into the country. Obviously, Holocaust survivors wound up moving to the U.S. and raising families. I can't find any substantial evidence of policy decisions that welcomed them in the immediate aftermath of the war. Everything I can find shows that the U.S. and Britain were reluctant to admit refugees before, during, and after. Their immigration policies only loosened following the creation of Israel in 1948.
Imagine living in a country that wouldn't even accept Holocaust survivors and thinking you have a right to an opinion... about...
This conflict goes on because western elitists prefer to fund war instead of looking for real solutions to the problem.
Now Israelis and Palestinians face impossible choices. If Israel grants Palestinian statehood and opens their borders, it's essentially guaranteed that Hamas will use peace as an opportunity for more terrorist attacks.
They're not interested in peace.
Meanwhile, your average Palestinian has no say in anything that happens. They're powerless against Israeli soldiers. They're powerless against Hamas. Most of the population lives in astonishing poverty.
It doesn't help that Americans everywhere seem to enjoy turning this crisis into yet another culture war. In reality, most of these people have no clue. They've never lived through a rocket attack. They don't know what it's like to go without food, water, or even air conditioning. They don't bother to learn the long, complicated history of the region. They just pick a side.
It's what Americans do.
Meanwhile, this country has yet to reckon with our own cultural and historical baggage. More than a hundred of our current politicians, ranging from senators to governors, are directly descended from slave owners.
Isn't that something?
White Americans are the last group on earth who deserve any say over what should happen in Palestine. Most of us have no idea what it's like to endure centuries of persecution. We have no idea what it's like to have your home taken from you. We're the ones with the legacy of theft, eugenics, and genocide. We even had the audacity to turn away Holocaust survivors.
At one point, we had a bromance with Hitler.
White Americans are also often the most entitled, angry, and aggressive folks you can find. I don't think we've ever solved a problem. More often, we get involved in situations where we don't belong. We police the world out of a sense of misplaced guilt, trying to make up for past wrongs by forcing other groups to do what we consider "the right thing."
We call everyone else evil, but aren't we evil?
Haven't we been the bad guys?
In a true historical sense, we didn't even win WWII. Russia did most of the heavy lifting. They endured the most casualties. They also killed the most Nazis. Some estimates say that Germany lost up to 70 percent of its military to Russia, not the U.S. Hitler was scared of the Red Army, not us.
Here's the kicker:
There's no denying that climate change will rekindle and exacerbate more conflicts in the coming years. In the end, these groups are fighting over precious dwindling resources. It's going to get bad.
Western nations can take the blame for that, too.
We can debate all day long whether the U.S. should be sending weapons and military aid to Israel. I think we should really debate why the U.S. constantly uses other conflicts and other problems around the world as a distraction and an excuse not to deal with our own disturbing legacy.
Let's do that first.
Most Americans don't seem to fully realize that while we argue back and forth over who has what right to commit war crimes in different parts of the world, we're gleefully sacrificing our most vulnerable to deadly diseases and consuming more fossil fuels than ever, while cheering for ourselves that "pretty soon," our emissions will reach a mythical peak. We're letting our own citizens go hungry and homeless, while telling ourselves we don't have to worry about anything except proving to the rest of the world how great we are.
Those of us who don't want to participate in these slaughters try to speak up. We exhaust ourselves. At the end of the day, we just bury ourselves in the darkness and wonder what's going to happen next.
We're in a dark place.
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