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Archive for December, 2008

Isreal is bombing again

December 31st, 2008 No comments

There is an election coming and governments want to appear strong, but that isn’t an acceptable reason for killing over 350 people in a neighbouring territory. We are told that this is due to rocket attacks. The actual rockets are largely home made mortars and have in total killed 20 people in the last 8 years. So we have to ask if 350 1000 dead and 1400 injured in a couple of days can really be a reaction to 20 people in 8 years. If the impact of the rocket and mortar attacks was really more than a talking point Israel would be seeking peace rather than bombing the police stations, government departments and university of Gaza. The majority of the 240 initial attacks were bombing all of the Gaza strip’s police stations.

We are told that the ceasefire didn’t work and that Israelis just want to live like anybody else in the world but this ignores the fact that Palestinians also want to live like anybody else in the world in a viable country. Looking after ones family and getting on with life is the universal driver it is just that for a small number of politicians their actions to maintain their status have a disproportionate effect on others.

The US maintenance of Israel’s strength by guaranteeing Israeli government debt and using the US legal system to make boycotts of Israeli products a crime even outside US borders give Israel too strong a defensive cloak where it doesn’t seem necessary to appeal to global goodwill for funding or sales. This is unhealthy for all because at some time this arrangement will be tested and broken.

The suicide bombers and home made mortars are symptoms of frustration at the way their lives are disregarded by their heavily armed and financed neighbors, including Egypt, and these repeated attacks on Palestine and Lebanon only perpetuate the radicalization of generations. If Israel needed peace it would have it. It’s need for a political pawn is far greater.

A view on religion that we don’t often hear in the US

December 31st, 2008 No comments

Link for those not seeing the video above

I just can’t resist this Bill Maher video. The atheist view point is so rare because there is one thing the many religious communities can agree on, and that is denouncing the atheist. It is a mandatory comment in network TV programs. The “They all seek god at the end” comment to appease the religiously minded. So many people in US culture will completely cut you off if you aren’t religious that it is far too big a bottom line career risk to let anybody know you are not a religious believer. So good on you Bill. Religion, like nationalism / patriotism, is often used as a tool consciously in power politics and as such, while we need to be tolerant, it has a price, and we may not want to condone it. The charitable view is that for some it has become a tool unconsciously.

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