Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

On war II

Or, The mad bellicosity of the neoconvict war criminal likudniks

Terrorterrorterror the MSM talking heads and Israel apologists and diplomacy refuseniks wail and flail, failing to mention that WAR IS THE BIGGEST TERROR, forgetting that terror becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – that we should be focussing upon sustainability (real existential threats to our security) –

dont-by-benheine.jpgI’m so angry right now at the smarmy, taken for granted talk of a war on Iran, blithely repeating the official lies as if they were true, rarely questioning the parroted propagated claims that Iran is causing the violence in Iraq or somehow wants to nuke Israel, that Iran is 1930s Germany that must be stopped (from the redoubtable Bibi).

Thank Goodness there are some notable, honorable exceptions.

Newt Gingrich has now been co-opted for their folly – see this article in the Israeli rightwing press and its crazy comments. God help us all.

And for what? To allow Israel to maintain the perceived strategic advantage of a nuclear monopoly in the region? Of an as yet officially undeclared (Olmert’s slip on German TV notwithstanding) nuclear arsenal of a state armed to the teeth subsidized by the US tax payer, the same state that also refuses to join the NPT (which Iran has) and that thumbs its nose at numerous UN resolutions while attempting to create a veneer of an international mandate against Iran with a UNSC resolution to stop enrichment?

For oil, a resource that is inexorably on its way out despite what we hear about oil shale?

War never solved a thing. It is a failure of the human spirit. It serves the obscenely rich and sacrifices the poor mostly as its human cannon-fodder. We all know that.

War is the terrorism of the rich (Peter Ustinov);

War is terrorism, only with a bigger budget;

War is what the war profiteers and mercenaries conveniently contrive to profit from death.

War is a racket, as General Smedley Butler noted so astutely in his famous exposition of the same name, war is to maintain Empire and privilege of a few.

As Arundhati Roy and others have observed: In conflicts passed, weapons were manufactured for war.

Now, wars are manufactured to sell weapons.

War entails killing and distorting the truth, mangling and militarizing our language, our economy and our culture, fear-mongering, spreading mis- and dis-information and brainwashing young minds;

War is about sacrificing truth and lives, about epistemological violence and empirical violence;

War is about whipping up the population into a fever on lies. The Israeli public’s largely bellicose mood (it was the only country on earth where the majority of the population actually supported a war on Iraq) indicates that it is hoodwinked into believing the manufactured fears of an existential threat;

War is oh so much corruption, war is about misguidedly brandishing weapons against innocents rather than mirrors at ourselves;

War is racism, sexism and destruction of the environment. War’s re-drawing of the Middle East and Africa spells dispossession and genocide for oil and because Israel can not fit into the region it has implanted itself in and is yet to be a genuine partner for peace.

The rest of us will not be neoconned into their ridiculous hyperbolic threat inflation so easily.

Iran is no more a threat than any other state pursuing nuclear technology. The hypocrisy and double standards when it comes to attitudes towards other states is all too apparent. Ahmadinejad has explicitly said Iran is a threat to no-one, including Israel. He’s a largely a figurehead anyway.

Iran is moreover resident to thousands (most estimates put it at 40, 000) of Persian Jews. They are proud Persians and a protected minority in Iran, free to pursue their religion.

The mistranslated “wipe of the map” canard is patently false. It is an idiom in English, not Persian. It is a misquote of a quote President Ahmadinejad was in turn citing, for heaven’s sake.

Thank goodness for the alternative press.

Lest we forget:




I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit.
~ Thucydides

Because I do it with one small ship, I am called a terrorist. You do it with a whole fleet and are called an emperor.
~ A pirate, from St. Augustine’s “City of God”

They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.
~ Tacitus

The definition of fanaticism is that when you discover that you are going in the wrong direction, you redouble your speed.
~ Howard Zinn

Either war is obsolete or men are.
~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Liberty can not be preserved without general knowledge among people.
~ John Adams, August 1765

There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.
~ Abraham Lincoln

To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…
~ George Orwell, 1984

Peace is the only battle worth waging.
~ Albert Camus

The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust [our own] government statements — I had no idea until then that you could not rely on [them].”
~ James W. Fulbright (1905-1995), former US senator

Third sorrow: “The replacement of truth by propaganda, disinformation, and the glorification of war, power, and the military legions.”
~ Chalmers Johnson (Sorrows of Empire)

I think the press was muzzled and I think the press self-muzzled. Television … was intimidated by the (Bush) administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News.
~ Christiane Amanpour (CNN) September 2003 asked about the U.S. media coverage of the Iraq war

War is fear cloaked in courage.
~ General William Westmoreland

The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery.
~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you [President Bush] for ignoring us, for marginalising all those who oppose your decision, because the future of the Earth belongs to the excluded.
~ Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho, March 11, 2003

I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.
~ James A. Baldwin

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~ Benjamin Franklin

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, and those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children.
~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.
~ Noam Chomsky

It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.
~ Albert Camus

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.
~ Edward R. Murrow

Wars teach us not to love our enemies, but to hate our allies.
~ W. L. George

Peace is constructed, not fought for.
~ Brent Davis

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours … Everything we don’t grab will go to them.
~ Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

Palestinians Won’t Emigrate or Evaporate. We (the Palestinians) are the only people on Earth asked to guarantee the security of our occupier .. while Israel is the only country that calls for defense from its victims ..
~ Hanan Ashrawi

I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and West Bank could describe events in South Africa.
~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The United States is putting together a Constitution now for Iraq. Why don’t we just give them ours? It’s served us well for 200 years, and we don’t appear to be using it anymore, so what the hell?
~ Jay Leno

To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.
~ Otto von Bismarck

War is at best barbarism. Its glory is all moonshine…War is hell.
~ General William Tecumseh Sherman

Where is the justice of political power if it…marches upon neighboring lands, killing thousands and pillaging the very hills?
~ Kahlil Gibran

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

War is not a word, it’s an acronym for “Wasting Another’s Resources.”
~ Ramman Kenoun

Let us become inspired by inherent beauty, and not impassioned by manufactured hate.
~ Nima Shirali, Middle Eastern Reconciliation Forum

War remains the decisive human failure.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith

That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
~ Teddy Roosevelt, Kansas City Star, May 7, 1918

How can you make a war on terror if war itself is terrorism?
~ Howard Zinn

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
~ Margaret Mead

One comment on “On war II

  1. servant
    28 January, 2007

    Thank you.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"


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