Whoever or whatever it was — or remains — if it was evil, we should collectively appreciate its import, ameliorate its damage, if comparatively recent, and pack it away not to be repeated if the semblance of the same may be prevented or damped.
As lies are told to hide something or to get something, those who counsel the excising of history — erasure of the past, in essence — would seem most of all ashamed of themselves and sensitive to their own hidden predilections for control and conquest. Only the pulling down of the despot’s statue at the time of the revolution proves liberating and signal of liberation. Yanking old generals off their pedestals? That’s something else.
The Taliban will have to defend Afghanistan now, and they will not be able to do that without serious Chinese and Russian and other support in the navigating of modern international legal, political, and technology systems.
Worse for the Taliban: Afghanis appear to fear them, not respect them.
Apart from fighting, first the Russians — and then the Americans who helped them stave off the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan — they have done nothing for Afghanistan apart from threatening, at least, to again impose their medieval will on a modern society. In that way, their “win” may more resemble the tyranny of the Islamic Revolution in Iran than true modern cultural Afghani self-determination.
To garner respect, the Taliban would have to deliver into their own outlook and politics the most advanced of the world’s standards having to do with comprehension of the human condition, the individual yearning for autonomy and freedom from absolute power — authoritarianism — and the dogma and propaganda employed to justify its own sadism. It has missed its own complete education thus far in the collective poetry of the world and while offering assurances has been quick nonetheless to paint over a vibrant modernity with its own darkness.
Will the Taliban escape their own darkness, in essence their own culturally suffocating presence, and make the steep climb into the light of awareness, compassion, and responsibility in concert with the decent, engaged, and responsible of the world?
While today’s west will always support indigenous self-determination and respect the sovereignty of independent states, it has demonstrated that it will not respect claims to ethnic, racial, or religious supremacism within its own bounds, and it will not approve or endorse as much elsewhere in the world. As a political bloc, EU/NATO will forever abhor absolutism, bigotry, cruelty, enslavement, hate, and subjugation — and all of that whether threatened by forces or processes within or by the enemies of freedom and security without.
In strident tone, the proto-fascist “hoo hah” of America’s Right/Far Right precludes here any but the most gentle introduction to Russia’s Soviet / Post-Soviet efforts to drive extremism on the Left and Right. In relation to that – and more specifically the Middle East Conflict and the intellectual poisoning of “revolutionaries” whose efforts actually sustain the misery (!), I’ve posted similar to the following on Facebook and Twitter —
Elements on the Left supporting “Palestinian Liberation” have frightfully little knowledge of the Cold War background behind their own pernicious intellectual channeling, and they may not understand the extent to which they themselves are responsible for sustaining the middle east conflict. I’ve about run out of breath harping on “KGB, PLO” and other nifty look-ups. With personal insecurities tending to reject good — clear and accurate — information that doesn’t support the latest in “revolutionary” narratives (now old, well worn, and wearing out), it’s hard getting through with integrity and intelligence. Nonetheless, my short list for Palestinian apologists and Solidarity sorts —
Hamas, Iranian proxy Ion Mihai Pacepa KGB, PLO Russian Active Measures Zionology
There are in the world many who for insecure ego matched to an unhealthy narcissism will lie to themselves and their people for misplaced admiration.
Weak cases present lies; strong cases don’t need them.
With “broadband Internet” well distributed internationally and the World Wide Web fully open in the west, there should be less room for ingesting fabrications and other forms of lies and the political conceits built on them — and there should be no room for ignorance. For those leading today’s cultural and political revolutions, here are a few additional suggested look-ups —
Palestinian corruption Palestinian political repression
No one has abused, deceived, exploited, or lied to ordinary Palestinians quite like the once KGB-guided (PLO and others) and now Tehran-supported (Hamas, among others) organizations most claiming the defense of the same. The political cant and propaganda invented to install a nearly permanent war — and block and goad for the expansion of liberal and comparatively high-integrity democracies — has long been a foundational component of a duped “Far Left” whose dogma appears popular but whose decision-making and financial spending turns almost inevitably into enrichment schemes primarily benefiting the closed circles of their leadership. As much transpired for the Soviet nomenklatura and, in general, the Communist Party Soviet Union (CPSU) back in that day — the same elites got first crack at the post-Soviet fire sale of Russian state assets, the same that produced the oligarchs — and the same has served ultimately to undermine the integrity or sincerity of similarly “Marxist” oriented political entrepreneurs.
Whatever their purposes, all do-good nonprofit organizations needs must make money, and some exploit sensational claims to do it. However, and in relation to the Middle East Conflict, why do that when authentic concern would devolve to integrity and the recognition of a full plate of fair basic concerns that neither Fatah nor Hamas nor any other “revolutionary” organization has done much to tackle?
From my perspective, while “Marxism” has been ever fashionable and hip — who doesn’t want a better world — its promoters have long been more about power, prestige, and wealth themselves than about environmental and human progress and stewardship. In related reference, I’ve cited two BackChannels posts, one on Jacob Zuma and his slip with kleptocracy in South Africa, the other on the East Jerusalem enclave of Shuafat that Palestinian leaders demanded to managed autonomously, and it too appears to have been a kleptocratic enterprise (some sanitation issues have seen improvements, however, since its publication). ]
One hope the Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank may claim: hope for honest and practical appraisal, evaluation, and feedback across dimensions and based on modern democratic and rule-of-law expectations. Anything less may sustain their captivity in the brutality of the medieval past.
Notice how Locke’s empiricism dovetails with the political principles of natural rights and basic equality: because all people have eyes and ears and minds, and because we must check and consult with each other to find truth, the many, not just the few, are entitled to assert their own beliefs and contest others. Epistemic rights, like political rights, belong to all of us; empiricism is the duty of all of us. No exceptions for priests, princes, or partisans.
With America’s former “Fake News!” Fake President dooming Congressional members of the Republican Party into becoming IrrElephants, now seems just the time for reconsidering the character, history, and nature of what informed and modern humanity has come to call “Truth”.
The matter shouldn’t be that complex, but considering the long history of narcissistic conceits (why of course the sun revolves around the earth!) and wars involving irreconcilliable beliefs, cocksure wrong conclusions, and innumerable faiths, it should seem no wonder that for the pleasure of obtaining where all may a deeply responsible peace we have arrived in a lively conversation about empiricism and epistemology.
I have only started reading Rauch’s book but feel both the quote and note here worthy of play.
With little ado and much copy-and-paste, I’ve again engaged the narrative — and truth — about the “Middle East Conflict” and the idea that the Palestinian leadership has over time served other than the Palestinians.
As mentioned in previous posts, any Palestinian today may look up “Palestinian, corruption” or “Palestinian, political repression” with a simple search request.
The argument for Palestinians is for the refuge of a Palestinian state.
Unfortunately, the Palestinian governments remain proxies to Moscow and Tehran and, through both, corrupt and suffocating in the cause of political absolutism. The Palestinians will not find their freedom through Israel but through loss of faith in the PLO/PA and Hamas as their representatives.
Some background on East Jerusalem issues:
Palestinians will be free (“from the river to the sea”) when those who claim most to represent them — while effectively neglecting and plundering them by turns — are finished in the eyes of the Palestinians themselves.
The Palestinians are the victims of the same forces that sustain Putin, Assad, and Khamenei. While the deflections may be toward “The Jews” and western political will and technology, the simple fact is that the Syrians have only to look at the financially or morally failed states — dictatorships — associated with Soviet Era circles of control and regions of influence. Of the choices given by Yassin Swehat, I would choose for the PLO/PA and Hamas “ideological contortions” as they continue to serve the phantoms of the Soviet more than 30 years after the death of the same.
Regarding the west’s moral failures involving Moscow and the Syrian Tragedy: fear of direct nuclear exchange has probably been part of it; global warming and displacement without financial or political mechanisms in place beyond the shaping of migrant policies has certainly been part of it — as has the reflexively controlled turn toward proto-fascist New Nationalism in some democracy-degraded EU/NATO states (Hungary and Turkey, foremost; Poland and Italy mumbling along); finally, perhaps especially in the middle east, “disinformation” must be considered poison and lazily “missed information” something of its antidote. Arabs and Jews quick to come to their feet and raise their fists in anti-western solidarity often choose not to acknowledge authentically genocidal wars against the “Jewish State” nor look into the differing situations for enfranchised Israeli Arabs and those who would reject Israeli governance or influence at all costs nor, in the end, comb over the history of anti-Semitic / anti-Zionist incitements and the long history of horrific acts of terrorism associated with them.
Everyone, even Israel, may be with the Palestinians this time but not the once KGB-guided PLO/PA (still) and Iran’s proxy Hamas. The same forces in Moscow and Tehran that produced them have sustained Assad the Butcher and other miserable post-Soviet “leaders” (Venezuela’s worth a look) around the world.
I absolutely support democracy, freedom, and rule of law for the Palestinians, and no less for them than any living in the west.
How is it then that Palestinians should be subject to PLO/PA and Hamas corruption, lies, and repression without end?
And how much of the world’s information (in English) should be withheld from Palestinians by evidently more powerful Palestinians (for their own good)?
Why shouldn’t Palestinians enjoy the privileges attending “free and fair elections” with plenty of responsibly vetted, cogent, and reliable information (on par with the best investigative journalism published anywhere else in the free world) with which to make political policy and representation decisions in their own right?
Shouldn’t Palestinians be able to evaluate for themselves their near state relationships with Moscow and Tehran?
Is there any reason for Palestinians not enjoying the benefits of democratic, liberal, and modern responsible and responsive governance subject to impartial internal auditing?
Or do the same need to be subject somehow to other less modern, less “western”, less universal, and less savory principles?
(The statement responded to essentially declared freedom a universal right, irreducible and recognizable).
Not so strangely, I agree. However, not all who are powerful agree, and some in charge of substantial communities, from Beijing to Gaza City, seem to believe their people need more authoritarian control and guidance — backed by repressive measures and violence — than others elsewhere, especially in the open societies of the Wild West. What is it about Palestinian Freedom that Palestinian leaders fear?
Putin, Assad, and Khamenei — I have their pictures in one place: https://conflict-backchannels.com/…/syria-the-horror-2011/ — have cut adrift the conventions of medieval absolutism. Their worlds — and the worlds attached to them! — should be fading behind us, and “us” includes the Palestinians.
For Iran — https://www.reuters.com/investigates/iran/#article/part1 — the fig leaf’s slipping, and that will be a very good thing for the Palestinians who may be — or will be — free to question the dogma that has attended their existence — their very breathing in situ, in fact — for more than 73 years.
The medieval competition between monarchies would seem about finished by World War I and made additionally irrelevant by the rise of an angry and industrialized Nazi Germany and its ravages through World War II (most of Europe’s monarchies have become constitutional enterprises), and yet Stalinism, ordinary dictatorship, and brutal theocracy have persisted into first fifth of the 21st Century. Along the way, the Soviet Union courted and used Arab power plus the Palestinian Refugees of 1948 to goad and block the expansion of western liberalism, democracy, and rule of law. When presented the choice between supporting the “Arab Spring” in Syria in 2011 or backing a dictator, Putin chose the dictator — and for himself on the way into power, a most manipulative and feudal-medieval Russian revanche.
While Assad’s slaughter drove down Syria’s population by 5 million between 2011 and 2018, the Palestinians, who had been handled since 1948 by an array of “revolutionary” personalities and organizations, were pinned in place, and eventually kept so by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, each of which today maintains special-status Palestinian camps. While each “Arab war” against Israel has been lost, the Palestinians have not been treated as normal refugees, dispersed, resettled, or settled in place but rather meanly kept intellectually clouded with anger and incitements and weaponized for war against the “Zionist entity”. That strategy now regularly erupts in acts of terror or acts of war, drawing to Palestinians Israel’s defense operations that while securing Israel create the world’s most awful memories for Palestinians. The strategy works some on the post-Soviet Communist Far Out Left, but as western governments do their homework — and perhaps independent Palestinians will too — the “strategy” fails reliably.
The lies — the poison slipped into ears for decades — will eventually fail too.
As the “Greatest Generation” (WWII) has largely passed away in the United States and the liberal professoriate has grown lax with the acceptance of all stances and thought, however absurd, the Palestinians have found themselves in the pleasant but miserable condition of getting themselves killed by way of delusional encouragements and bitter incitements cooked up by their own medieval leaders.
I believe modern Palestinians wish to live modern lives but do not have modern leaders who would serve them first and with integrity before serving themselves and their relationships elsewhere.
The post-Soviet arc of power — define it for yourself and have a look any time — is riddled with cancerous, dying, or dead and failed states!
The world has plenty of other evil in it, but what “malignant narcissists” do to their own geopolitical spaces in the cause of their own aggrandizement (and centralization of power) always ends badly.
As far as I’m concerned, Americans are superior!
We’re all on this one “Blue Marble” and many of our real issues — not issues rooted primarily in our own minds but a part of our shared global experience — are issues to be acknowledged and worked on together across our many cultural and political boundaries.
In any case, M, Big Pictures and more parochial ones — both at hand at the same time — Palestinian Liberation begins with you and your vision. You should defy Palestinian corruption and political repression at every chance, not overlook or shrug it away as both attach to your own character if accepted.
So End The Occupation – Hamas Out of Gaza!
Seriously, B., have you ever raised your voice against Palestinian corruption? PLO/PA and Hamas political repression?
The Palestinians — the Refugees of 1948 and other Arab wars undertaken to destroy Israel — ” . . . from the river to the sea . . . .” — have long been abused, lied to, and suffocated by their own corrupt and venal leaders who with disinformation, framing, and incitements deflect attention from themselves.
Have you ever taken an independent look at the larger historical picture having to do with power absolute and power democratic?
Probably, the world is with the Palestinians for being for the most part beneath the boot and beside the sticky fingers of “leaders” that keep most of the base ignorant, impoverished, silent, and robbed of the charity and support intended for their economic development. Those who really care . . . care to look. The same would seem to reliably find Palestinian-generated blood spatter, corruption, repression, and unwarranted egoism.
Today, no one — least of all Palestinians — need to tarry in the politics of the 1960s and 1970s. That was then; this is now: modern people needs must demand accountability and integrity in their own governance as well as an accurate and dispassionate telling of true political history along with best informed and comprehending modern analyses.
In the age of “Active Measures”, widespread trolling, government-funded disinformation campaigns, a sad bump in east-west rivalry with Beijing and Moscow pitted against democracy, and extraordinary agitation and propaganda, the business of shamelessly lying to the American People should be treated no differently than speech associated with conspiracy to commit crimes, libel and slander, and incitement.
As Facebook responses — this one appeared on the Bukovsky Center page — and blog presentations differ, I have opted to let the blogging system work by adding URLs to the original text and allowing importation as commercial interests (Amazon’s) have made possible.
While Lloyd Billingsley has got right the description of Communist Totalitarianism, it just does not follow that the American Left and main portion of the Liberal Community has some Stalinist bent. Even the fashionable “far left” — short of the armed-up separatists who do fit Billingsley’s description from the “Far Out Left” and “Far White Right” (my terms) — places some premium on frank discussion and reporting with integrity. Some, unfortunately, have made alliance with the Soviet / post-Soviet remains of Communist Group Think and will swallow old Kool-Aid like the Boycott Divestitures and Sanctions (BDS) malarkey, but on the whole will report with integrity.
I have found enough in Patrice Cullors (“Marxist Trained” is part of her self-promotion) to both validate a number of race-related and systemic American issues.
The truths may be uncomfortable, but raising points in an open society undermines efforts to install a more deeply pernicious totalitarianism in America’s own open society — and by extension the still open (or remaining) democratic societies of EU/NATO. IF we in the West should wish to live in authentic (as opposed to Potemkin) democracies, we bear the burden of listening to earnest complaint and testimony and finding appropriate and best ways of responding to it and associated public and private realpolitik.
“Accusation in a Mirror”, a term derived from Kenneth L. Marcus’s eponymous essay (PDF) befits the hothouse atmospheres of both strident conservatives and edgy liberals as each accuses the other of attempting to established a communist or fascism totalitarian state in their areas of influence and operations.
Aside: I have long ago picked up on the idea that both communism and capitalism over-emphasize material well-being in their otherwise opposite philosophies, and if it’s true that such bipolar conflicts comes down to “owning the pie v sharing the pie”, the nation has other spiritual challenges. Personally, I would endorse the development of carefully constructed public-private compact with basic environmental and human interests and related principles and values foremost.
I would suggest to Lloyd Billingsley that he take in a less divisive and more magnanimous and realistic approach to an adjusted 21st Century politics; to Patrisse Cullors and others, black or white or other: let’s hear stories told with integrity while querying systemic shortcomings. Color — brown eyes or blue? — may be a “discriminator”, but what is one to do with hazel or flecked or green — or with skin cafe au lait, caramel, ochre, bronzed, freckled, eggplant, milky, peachy or with body types and facial features innumerable?
In my experience, nature more appreciates or favors variety than it does mono-cultures too isolated and too rigid to respond to the natural proliferation of antagonists (for the political portal associated with related science, see the Convention on Biological Diversity and its List of Parties).
For the time being, we’re having issues with perceived political power and empowerment and related injuries, injustices, jealousies, and resentments. While not everything may be repaired, we might choose to look ahead toward what needs may be diminished (starting with our own rancor) and what may be improved, better integrated, more loved, more appreciated.