Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Strategies

The world is abuzz with new ways of doing things this week. The Afghan fiasco is being 'revolutionated' at a NATO meeting in London. That's almost as hopeful as the Israeli initiative to remind the world of what happens when you have a holocaust.

The latter first. In an unprecedented welter of PR breaking out in Europe, virtually every member of the Israeli cabinet had been assigned a different country and a speech to 'celebrate' World Holocaust Remembrance Day - January 27th. Netanyahu and company were on hand, everywhere, to remind the world that 'Holocausts for Jews' are still being planned in places like Teheran, and Gaza,and Syria, and Iraq and Singapore - wherever there's somebody who doesn't like a Jew.

Not hard to understand considering that Netanyahu and other Israelis might actually have relatives who escaped the Nazi death camps, or didn't. But there's a sin of omission here, actually a couple. The Holocaust happened to 6 million other people in those camps who weren't Jews, too. If  'planned killing' is the essential definition, then you might have to open the Holocaust to include the estimated 114 million civilians killed in WW2 - on all sides. Only a military mind could tell you they 'signed up for it by being there'. Another minor point is that the mythos built around this particular instant of inhumanity has tended to blur the fact that such undertakings aren't as much the anomaly as we'd like to think. Such occurrences have happened with pitiful frequency and regularity all around our world over the past century. One of the numerically greatest was that perpetrated in the Ukraine by the nascent Bolshevik government of the Soviet Union. It was an experiment in 'social engineering' that deliberately starved and displaced millions and it was the work of a 'new' form of government espoused by a large number of Jews ... the descendants of whom might well be living 'under Hamas rockets' in Israel to-day.

What is hard to grasp is that this 'Shoah' PR exercise is just that. It's a deliberate attempt to deflect the gaze of the world away from what Israel has been doing to the Arabs, by pointing a finger at what Germans did to their ancestors. There is a report on Israel's operation 'Cast Lead' in Gaza last year, that's making its way through the UN. For the first time Israelis stand accused of some of the same things that got the Nazis a bad name. They're pedaling like crazy to derail the process, and taking a chance to play the sympathy card is a no-brainer to the PR-minded Israelis. Unfortunately, like the chimneys of Auschwitz, the ruins of Gaza, and Lebanon and East Jerusalem give lie to claims of necessity, self-defense or 'protecting the race'.

The London meeting is thought by many to be a similar obfuscation exercise. Gordon Brown, it is claimed, is attempting to put a shine on a large turd - to make some sort of purse out of a pig's ear without taking a close look at the ear, or his part in breeding the porker of which it was a part . In like manner as declaring the ovens 'open for business' in Iran, NATO is rediscovering their original 'rehabilitation and reconstruction' mission, this after almost a decade of an American-inspired shooting, bombing,  time regression. This time they're buying into the 'good cop' side of a new American 'bad cop' surge. NATO has decided to be the talking end of a social services-welfare approach to converting the Taliban. They'll also be paying for it, as the US is tapped-out (but morally inclined to) supplying the concomitant bang-bang for the recalcitrant. Some see this as the 'get out of Dodge dodge'. When the strategy fails, it's NATO's fault. America's Army goes home, to invade somewhere else, later, honor-bright, undefeated - except by squeamish allies who tied one hand behind .... etc, etc.  NATO can assuage its conscience by claiming to have tried every approach.

Whatever the outcome, Afghanistan will continue to be a lesser 'self'  for a long time to come, the victim of western meddling, and, latterly, western military assault. History will be tarring the United Nations, along with NATO and America for their misguided planning and feathering them with their unprincipled actions for the next half-century.

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