Have tried to resist but it’s too awful

Posted on July 24, 2006


As soon as I got back from Basata I checked out the news and read various editorials. Is there any real point in reading the news beyond ascertaining that the bombing continues and people are still dying? And then the editorials; whatever I read, it always brings me back to a recurring chain of thoughts. The first, that the American media are, at this point, out-and-out liars with no conscience or regard for human lives (unless they’re American or Israeli lives). The British and Canadian media sources are on the iffy side of all right, but at least not blatant deceivers. And then it comes to me that the only people whose opinions are in the least able to change the course of human events – in this region anyway – are the American people. You might think the Israelis can, but whatever their political leanings are they inevitably vote for people who are comfortable to some degree with the widespread use of force, racist laws, and the like. So it’s the American voters, then, who control the destiny of every Middle Eastern person. They vote for, or don’t vote for, politicians whose degree of support for Israel can save lives. Or not.
And what about those voters? For one thing, if they have any thoughts about the Middle East whatsoever, they have already confined themselves to TV channels or newspapers that suit their political leanings and confirm their pre-existing notions. In our region, the truth doesn’t speak as loudly to those outside as it does to those inside – there is ample room for massaging facts and the plays of rhetoric. Leaving out one or two facts, in half a century of conflict, presents you with an entirely different version of events, so that you can read two opposing, but somewhat supportable, accounts about any one issue. People think the media is everything, but are there really minds left to change? And would it make a difference?
Even assuming that Americans, the ones that vote, all thought exactly as we would wish them to, would they really vote accordingly? Of course not. In any part of the world, people don’t care as much about foreign policy as they do about domestic and local issues. In a recent discussion with friends we concluded that even if a candidate for Congress is an utter bigot, has sexual assault convictions or <insert perfidy>, he will get voted in based on his ideas about taxation, education or social security. Fuck his ideas about some small brown people in a faraway place.
So, I guess, all we’re left with is to hope against hope that those Ivy League universities that staff the Presidency, the Cabinet and the Departments are really as good as they say, and/or that these people actually visit here before they counsel or sanction massive deaths.

Posted in: politics