It's Too Late, and It's Our Fault
Let's put the anger over Gaza where it belongs.
The words finally came to me last night:
It's too late.
If you look at the news, you can see what's happening. Israel has decided to end Gaza. They're going to bomb it to dust. That might sound like hyperbole, but that's what Gazans are living through. The entire world oscillates between outrage and dread. They're desperate for someone to blame. That's a human thing. There has to be a group or a god responsible for the suffering.
This war comes at the worst time. It comes after a cascade of tragedies and disasters. It comes in the middle of war with Russia and a looming war with China. It comes after the hottest summer in human history. We're told to be optimistic, but it feels like civilization is descending into violence and fascism as we deplete the planet's remaining resources. This is yet another war we can't afford, and yet another we could've avoided.
Western countries have engineered this, and trying to project our anger at Israelis or Palestinians misses the point.
We can blame our own leaders.
We can blame ourselves.
Before anyone gets angry, let's remember that at least 70 million people died during WWII. The majority of those were civilians, 50 million. They included women and children. In fact, twice as many civilians as soldiers died. That's why war is bad. Innocent people always die in wars.
They pay the heaviest cost.
Think about all the innocent people who've died at the hands of the American military just over the last 50 years.
Recently, I read an op-ed that said you can somehow uphold your values while waging a war. Oh. Please. Look at history. You can't. Nobody ever upholds their values during a war. America sure hasn't. We just pretend. The minute you shut off someone's water and electricity, you've compromised your values for a tactical advantage. War is all about compromised values. War destroys everything, including the greater good it originally stood for.
Even if Israel's official stance is to attack military targets, women and children are already dying, even as they try to flee on official evacuation routes. Among western elites, there's a prevailing sense that somehow the ordinary citizens of Gaza deserve it, because they didn't rise up against Hamas. You might as well ask why ordinary Americans don't rise up and overthrow our own military-police-industrial complex. Look at what happens when we try.
That's the story our world leaders are comforting themselves with: Since ordinary Palestinians didn't do anything to stop the violence, it somehow makes them complicit. You can hear half the internet roaring about how they deserve it. Sure, that makes it easier. Most of the people yelling don't even bother to learn the history of the region.
You can't both-sides this conflict.
There's not two sides.
There's a dozen.
We're all guilty for what's happening in Gaza. We're all complicit on varying levels. If we're going to blame anyone for what's happening, we should blame western elites, the ones in charge of our governments and responsible for our diplomacy. For the last 100 years, they created this problem.
They let it happen.
A crash course in history:
If you really want to blame someone for all of this, you can point your finger at the Romans. Following the example of previous empires, they engaged in a campaign of slavery, exile, and forced conversion against the Jews. They destroyed Jerusalem. The persecution and violence led to the great Jewish diaspora of the first and second centuries A.D.
Jews settled in Europe, where they were treated like dirt for about 1800 years, culminating in genocide. Even after The Holocaust, Jews couldn't return to their homes in Germany and Poland. People had literally moved into their houses while they were getting worked to death and gassed. There was no justice system to restore their property. They often faced the same violent persecution as before.
Nobody felt sorry for them.
Nobody felt guilty.
Nobody wanted Holocaust survivors. Britain wouldn't take them. The U.S. wouldn't take them. Politicians were worried about Soviet operatives and Communist sympathizers sneaking in.
They had nowhere to go.
Finally, the British colonial empire began to dissolve. After being forced to grant independence to India, Britain started withdrawing from Palestine. The old form of colonialism just wasn't profitable anymore. In 1948, Jews were able to relocate to their homeland and declare their independence.
The locals didn't like that. They felt threatened. They didn't like the idea of having to share their land with European Jews.
War in the Middle East is a different kind of thing.
It makes sense. The Middle East isn't exactly gushing with natural resources, other than oil. If you lose your land, you can't just pick up and move somewhere else. You get to wander in the desert.
Now consider this:
We like to talk about the aid that Israel receives. If you look at the history, Israel isn't thrilled to rely on the U.S. for support. They don't have a choice. They're surrounded by enemies. They don't have oceans separating them from their rivals like we do. Their enemies live on the other side of a fence. Look at how upset Americans get over the southern border. It's not even a real threat to our national security, and our last president wanted to spend tens of billions building a giant wall across it. We have an entire division of law enforcement dedicated to rounding up anyone who tries to cross it.
Imagine how Americans on both ends of the political spectrum would react if terrorists stormed our border and killed a thousand people. Look at how we reacted after 9/11. We leveled two entire countries. We desperately wanted to destroy a third, but we were stretched thin.
That was the only reason we didn't.
That was us.
The U.S. holds extraordinary influence over Israel.
American politicians and diplomats have spent decades fumbling around over Palestine. They could've poured resources into Gaza to end the poverty that militant groups take advantage of for recruitment.
In the end, our American imperialist government doesn't care about poor people. They care even less about brown people. American foreign policy mirrors its domestic policy. If you're poor, they don't want to help you. It's easier to arrest you. It's easier to throw you in jail. Abroad, they can be even meaner. They can blow you up. They can slaughter your family.
In their mind, it's easier that way.
As we speak, America is funding genocide in Yemen. As far as our elitist politicians are concerned, it's just brown people killing brown people. It doesn't matter to them. They just want the oil to flow.
In other words, we're the bad guy.
The U.S. and Britain are responsible for 90 percent of the problems in the Middle East. Our demand for oil has motivated our leaders to topple democratic governments and install friendly military dictators. There was a time when countries like Iran and Afghanistan embraced democracy and independence. Superpowers considered it a threat, so they destroyed it and then played dumb. Their policies hurt local populations and drove them deeper into poverty.
That's why they hate us.
Western countries are no more willing to accept Palestinian refugees now than they were willing to accept Jewish refugees a hundred years ago. No politician is going to risk their career giving them a chance. Nobody wants to risk even a few terrorists slipping in with the tired masses.
It's always been like that.
We're currently watching two of the most oppressed, persecuted groups in the history of the world engage in an existential struggle over the only patch of land where they'll ever be allowed to live. They've tried to coexist for almost a century. Nobody has helped them. The world's elite have only used the problem as a vehicle to further their own agendas.
So when we watch these atrocities play out, when talk about who's right, let's remember that the rest of the world didn't give them a choice. They made it this way. If we wanted to save Palestine, the time would've been decades ago. It would've taken a hell of a lot more than waving a flag at a protest. Once the gears of war get moving, they don't stop.
I feel bad for Palestinians. I feel bad for Israelis. I feel anger at the governments who knew it would come down to this and did nothing, and when the cameras aren't rolling you know they don't care at all what happens to the women and children in Gaza. They never care what happens to the women and children in any of the places they ruin through their greed and corruption.
It's too late.
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