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How can architects help the Gaza strip people?

Nov 19 '12 183 Last Comment
med.
Dec 5, 12 12:30 pm

Curtram - I've read inane bags of drivel like yours many times - it is all exactly what it is - garbage.  I don't come to archinect to read soundbites from Fox News.  So to skip all of your boring, unstructured meanderings, your solution is basically - continue the occupation.  Yeah really smart.....

I'd like to see how you would like it if you lived a life under foreign military occupation / appartheid and were given absolutely no rights to anything.  There is probaby a good chance you would not be uttering the pure unadulterated horseshit anti-Palestinian propaganda that you spout off.

med.
Dec 5, 12 12:45 pm

"med., i don't have anything against palestinians and i don't want to see them suffer.  i do not support the israeli occupation of the palestinians.  as has been pointed out above, the israeli attacks and retaliations against the palestinians has been grossly overdone.  i think the blockades in the gaza strip are opposed to international law and should not have happened.  i don't understand why the US said they think this UN vote was an obstacle to peace.  i think the current settlements are ridiculous and the most obvious block to the peace process.  one of the things i really don't understand about this situation is why israel would do that and why their people would support leaders that take such a position.  i don't think it's because they're racists pricks.  that doesn't make sense to me.

a lot of the original inhabitants of the current state of israel were refugees from WW2.  in 1948 they got to defend their new home against an attack from egypt, lebanon, syria, jordan, and iraq.  the palestinian fedayeen was a non-peaceful group that attacked israeli settlemets.  1956 israel attacked egypt, with the support of britian and france, after egypt shut them out from the suez canal.  1967 was the 6 day war against egypt, jordan, and syria, shortly after the PLO formed and egypt kicked the UN out.  1969 egypt attacked israel in the war of attrition.  1972 was the munich olympics.  1973 syria and egypt attacked israel on yom kippur.  1976 entebbe hostage taking.  1987 was the first intifada.  2000-2005 was the second intifada; suicide bombers, palestinian attacks on civilians, and perhaps the start of israel retaliating with far greater force than would be generally acceptable.  this keeps going on.  israel has been at war since the UN partition plan.

it sounds like that's your idea of peace.  leave the palestinians alone and everything will be fine.  "End the occupation and their will be peace" is what you said.  look at the region.  when has there been peace?  egypt has a new government, and there is a possibility they may be leaning towards and islamic govrnment.  maybe lebanon is turning around but i think that's hard to say.  syria isn't a particularly stable pro-israel country.  you want to clean up the west bank so iran can move in with nuclear weapons?  because the west bank is going to need some investment and i bet iran would be happy to jump in.

"Personally, I believe in a two-state solution with Palestine and Israel living in peace and prosperity.  No human blood is better than the other and everyone should have the right to his or her country." -- this is brilliant.  i support that idea too.  in fact, i'm pretty sure the US has been trying to broker peace agreements to this end for many years, along with Olso and a lot of other countries.  for some reason they haven't been successful.  i suppose it's because almost everyone in the world is a racist.  or maybe it isn't racism.  maybe it's just not as simple as saying "End the occupation and their will be peace.  What part of that is difficult for you to understand?"  and maybe all that racism your facing isn't racism at all.  maybe it's just your personality.

i'm pretty sure if there is going to be peace, it's not going to come about from one side saying 'sorry' and backing off while the other collects guns from their allies.  it's going to come from both sides recognizing the other's right to exist.  and it's going to have to include the neighboring countries as well.  that's fine if israel backs off from the west bank and opens the gaza strip, and it's fine if the palestinians can get some sort of international criminal case, but that's not peace."

 

Translation to the Curtcram's above pile of garbage:  "Yeah I don't particularly like the occupation but it really does need to continue because Palestinians are too untrustworthy to have their own state at this point in time"

Curtkram - just shut the fuck up already.  You've embarrassed yourself enough and proven what an ignorant dumbfuck you are.

med.
Dec 5, 12 12:53 pm

"If you really want the occupation to end, there is exactly one option: to render it politically indefensible. Strip the Israeli government of all of its excuses and let it stand before the world for what it is. It's only after you've made US support politically impossible that the situation will change. Thats what Nelson Mandela did, thats what Gandhi did, and unlike flailing pointless violence, that's what actually works."

 

OE - Israel has all the power the Palestinians don't.  I mean it really doesn't take a genius to read the Fourth Geneva Conventions (Any people from a country living under foreign military occupation have the right to resist by any means necessary).  The Israelis do not recognize the Palestinians right to exist (hence the lack of Palestinian State).  I can see that you've been brainwashed time and again by the right-wing nonsense in this country.  Clearly the Israelis use Hamas as an excuse so that they can continue the occupation and hang on to more and more land to build their illegal settlements in occupied territory.  Example:  The West Bank has been Hamas-free for a long time now - and as reward for that the Palestinians have been given nothing - only worstening conditions on the ground for ordinary Palestinians.  Now, the Palestinians have gone to the UN peacefully just like everoye in your pro-Israel camp claim to want, and as you can see all they have gotten was a slap in the face.  I'm going to hazard a guess this will be too much for you to digest.

jla-x
Dec 5, 12 1:08 pm

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ —a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

My favorite Einstein quote.  I think some people on here live in this  "prison" 

curtkram
Dec 5, 12 1:26 pm

thanks med.  you seem to have the reading comprehension of a 2 year old.  my dog is more thoughtful and convincing than you, and apparently a little better educated regarding foreign affairs.  for you to read a post of mine next to a post of gwharton, and then assume that i'm the conservative, is pretty incredible.  i don't know if your vitriolic attacks are actually from this thread or originate from something i said in a previous thread, but it's apparent you can't read more than about 6 lines anyway so i suppose that's irrelevant. 

gwharton
Dec 5, 12 2:05 pm

med: "Israel has all the power the Palestinians don't."

Since you bring it up, how is it that Israel, having defeated the combined military might of several hostile Arab powers on the battlefield and completely conquering all of the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights, and Sinai in the Six Day War wound up surrendering that territory within ten years? How do the Palestinians have any territory at all if Israel is so powerful and the Palestinians so powerless? Might it possibly have something to do with the fact that the Palestinians have some very, very powerful allies? Allies so powerful that Israel fears them, spies on them, and feels the need to bribe them into quiescence?

Most importantly, if USG and its global empire was to suddenly cease all activity, support, or interference in the middle east, who would benefit more: Israel or the Palestinians? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the latter, at least in the near term.

I am no fan of Israel or its policies. I would shed no tears at all if they sank into the sea without a trace. But to say that they are the one-sided aggressors against the poor, powerless Palestinians is purely delusionary.

And also, med, when you accuse curtkram of being neocon you only succeed in making yourself look like a moron. I'd be surprised if there were any neocons or conservatives here. I'm certainly not one (I'm a reactionary...BOO!), and neither is he.

med.
Dec 5, 12 4:34 pm

Curtkram, first you said you didn't see the point in ending the foreign military occupation and now you say you aren't. Stop flip-flopping. Who are you, Mitt Romney?


Since you have apparent amnesia – here you are justifying the occupation and stereotyping everyone outside of Israel’s border:


“the hard part to understand about ending occupation is that it will essentially place israel where it's been since the late 40's. they have very hostile neighbors who want to see them all killed and an islamic palestinian state put in place. wasn't that the stated intent at the formation of hamas? that's why israel has one of the most advance armies in the world. they need it. a lot of organizations in their region want to attack them. peace as an outcome to the end of occupation makes sense in the broad view of 4 years of history, but doesn't seem likely with a view of 60 years of history.”


Such snide accounts trivialize and cheapen a people who you have absolutely no idea about.  And about foreign affairs - Keep convincing yourself of that. You have convinced absolutely no one here of anything other than what a ignorant buffoon you really are.
The occupation will end whether you like it or not. You are completely on the wrong side of history.

Thanks for playing.
 

med.
Dec 5, 12 4:53 pm

gwharton:
"Since you bring it up, how is it that Israel, having defeated the combined military might of several hostile Arab powers on the battlefield and completely conquering all of the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights, and Sinai in the Six Day War wound up surrendering that territory within ten years? How do the Palestinians have any territory at all if Israel is so powerful and the Palestinians so powerless? Might it possibly have something to do with the fact that the Palestinians have some very, very powerful allies? Allies so powerful that Israel fears them, spies on them, and feels the need to bribe them into quiescence?

Most importantly, if USG and its global empire was to suddenly cease all activity, support, or interference in the middle east, who would benefit more: Israel or the Palestinians? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the latter, at least in the near term.

I am no fan of Israel or its policies. I would shed no tears at all if they sank into the sea without a trace. But to say that they are the one-sided aggressors against the poor, powerless Palestinians is purely delusionary.

And also, med, when you accuse curtkram of being neocon you only succeed in making yourself look like a moron. I'd be surprised if there were any neocons or conservatives here. I'm certainly not one (I'm a reactionary...BOO!), and neither is he."

lol

Actually after reading that above pile of bull shit, I could have sworn I was listening to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.  The amazing thing about this delusional post and your delusional "two-sided" stance is that you can actually sit here with a straight face and tell us that Palestinians have allies that are more powerful than Israel's allies (you know like the entire western hemisphere) - the Palestinians have no allies - not even the Arab states - when was the last time you saw them fight for Palestine?  The Israelis have been armed to their teeth with US weapons since 1948 - not the Palestinians.  They have no light weapons (anyone can make those rockets), they have no F-16s, Merkavas, B-52 bombers, frigates, iron-dome system, nothing - not even their own country.

You are using organizations like Hamas as an excuse - for everything especially to maintain the occupation.  The West Bank has been without Hamas for quite sometime yet the people there continue to endure the occupation and it's only getting worse and worse.  The negotiations have done nothing and when they peacefully go to the UN you and your supporters just pissed all over them and spat in their faces.

And you can forget about self-deportation of Palestinians from the WB and Gaza like many on Israeli Facebook pages are clamoring for - not going to happen.  It's a realy goddamn shame that AIPAC has bought Obama and even all of you guys who claim to "sit on the fence."

History will jude our country very harshly for being on the wrong side of this conflict.
 

gwharton
Dec 5, 12 4:59 pm

curtkram and I agree on one thing anyway: med gets an "F" for reading comprehension.

med.
Dec 5, 12 5:09 pm

lol  - keep flattering yourself more gwharton.

Here is a reading comprehension problem and I like how you just politicely overlook it - really proves that you are not the "fence-sitter" you claim to be.

curtkram:  "it sounds like that's your idea of peace.  leave the palestinians alone and everything will be fine.  "End the occupation and their will be peace" is what you said.  look at the region.  when has there been peace?  egypt has a new government, and there is a possibility they may be leaning towards and islamic govrnment.  maybe lebanon is turning around but i think that's hard to say.  syria isn't a particularly stable pro-israel country.  you want to clean up the west bank so iran can move in with nuclear weapons?  because the west bank is going to need some investment and i bet iran would be happy to jump in."

When someone actually reads my posts and claims that I said the above garbage - that means they have SERIOUS reading comprehension problems.  And notice how he makes every uneducated assumption imaginable.

design
Dec 6, 12 10:01 pm

Most importantly, if USG and its global empire was to suddenly cease all activity, support, or interference in the middle east, who would benefit more: Israel or the Palestinians? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the latter, at least in the near term.

I don't see how palestinians are befitting from our funding of Israel. So if we withdrew it would be 'better; for them. A scenario where we cease all forms of military interference in the region is unlikely to happen in our lifetime.

 

I am no fan of Israel or its policies. I would shed no tears at all if they sank into the sea without a trace. But to say that they are the one-sided aggressors against the poor, powerless Palestinians is purely delusionary.

huh? Israel outguns everyone in the region.We benefit from such instability.

 

 

Maybe med. is suggesting the US should have pushed forth a final resolution instead of continued military intervention.

gwharton
Dec 7, 12 2:35 pm

current,

The Palestinians wouldn't have any territory or voice at all if they didn't have the protection of the US State Department, NGO complex, and Harvard policy-makers.

Military history is a fascinating subject that can teach many useful lessons. One of those is that there really is no such thing as protracted "asymmetric" conflict. If a conflict is asymmetric, it resolves quickly. The stronger party wins, the weaker party loses. If you see a supposedly asymmetric conflict that has been running for a long time, then what you are seeing is, in reality, a contest between similarly-powerful opponents. The appearance of asymmetry simply means that you haven't identified all the power dynamics yet: that the "weaker" party is much stronger than they appear, and/or the "stronger" party much weaker. For instance, when fighting a counter-insurgency against the North Vietnamese, the United States (a nominal global superpower) was defeated by two-bit third-world revolutionaries. The conflict looked asymmetric on a superficial level, but wasn't really. First, the NVA had the direct backing and support of China and the USSR, to the extent that not only were they well supplied and had a secure base of operations the USA couldn't touch, the USA also had to be very careful about escalating the conflict in a way that would lead to direct warfare with those same parties. At the same time, the USA was much weaker than supposed. Americans had lost the will, and even to some extent the ability, to fight. We were still tactically powerful, but strategically outmatched. We won every battle we fought in Vietnam and lost the war.

The Israeli-Palestine conflict has been going on for 64 years. That's more than a half-century. The conflict appears to be heavily asymmetric (Israel, backed by the USA, against a bunch of ragtag tribes living in an area that is very difficult to defend). But highly-asymmetric conflicts don't last for 64 years. They typically don't last for 6 years, let alone 6 months. So there is some power dynamic that is hidden from the superficial view.

That power dynamic does rear its head occasionally, giving us a glimpse of what it is. UN Resolution 242 is one such excrescence. Arafat getting a Nobel Peace Prize is another. The US State Department turning a blind eye to the PLO murder of State Department employees is a much more telling but less known example.

Your mistake here is to think that the USA is a monolithic imperial entity. It's not. It's actually two competing elite factions utilizing the mechanics of those aspects of the power structure which they have captured to compete with one another. In the Israel-Palestine conflict, one side is supporting Israel while the other is supporting the Palestinians. On the Israeli side, you have the Red Empire (or Arlington), which consists mostly of the US military, military-industrial complex, Fox News, and millenialist churches. On the Palestinian side, you have the Blue Empire (or Cathedral), which consists of the US State Department, Harvard-university complex, USG (the bureaucracy's name for itself, meaning "US Government"), Mainstream Media, and NGOs/UN. The US Jewish diaspora is normally firmly in the camp of the Blue Empire, but in this case they're split because of ethnic loyalties. The Democratic Party is the political mouthpiece of the Blue Empire, just as the Republican Party is the mouthpiece of the Red Empire. The Blue Empire is much more powerful than the Red Empire, but the Red Empire still controls the military, which is the source of our sovereign power. That's a bit of a trump card, and keeps them in the game even though the Cathedral has been running circles around them since the 1930s.

So what we're seeing in this conflict is not an asymmetric match between mighty Israel and puny Palestine. Rather, it's a proxy civil war between the two most powerful elite factions in the USA, being played out in a remote corner of the world nobody would otherwise care about, using local combatants as pawns in a much larger game. Both factions use it to try and bleed and weaken their opponents at home. In fact, the Vietnam War was another example of exactly this same dynamic, but with higher stakes and the Cold War as context.

That's why cessation of US involvement in the middle east would work out very badly for the Palestinians in the short term. Without the protection of the Cathedral, the Palestinians would be overrun and wiped out in pretty short order by a determined Israeli offensive. That war might not even last six days, but the Palestinians would be much worse off afterwards. They certainly wouldn't have any territory or "state" afterward.

In the medium term, Israel would be in big trouble however. Surrounded by hostile neighbors, they would have no choice but to fight to the death or make some kind of a deal as dhimmi. Israel punches above its weight militarily, but there is no way they could survive a combined Arab offensive against their heartland without heavy cover from the USA. They would make the Arabs pay dearly, but they would lose. Plus, the recent Lebanon War has shown that the Arabs have figured out how to negate some of Israel's military advantage.

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
Dec 7, 12 3:31 pm

I did not foresee this would reduce to computer game scenarios.

gwharton
Dec 7, 12 4:44 pm

We're talking about political and military realities here, Orhan. It's not a game. It's deadly serious. It's the failure to understand these realities that is causing so much trouble on resolving this problem. Everyone has got so used to thinking about the middle east conflict in terms of Orwellian lies, that the realities of what's really going on are getting lost in all the bullshit. The conventional rantings of both sides of this conflict are a mish-mash of self-serving lies and propaganda. None of their claims make any sense at all if you look at them closely for even a minute. If you want the situation to get better, you first have to understand how it got the way it is and why the things that are happening are happening that way. That means confronting some unpleasant facts and learning a little history.

But hey, if you just want to hate on people you don't like and cheer for your team, I'm cool with that. Carry on.

curtkram
Dec 7, 12 4:50 pm

learn dammit!

the only winning move is....

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
Dec 7, 12 5:19 pm

I have been talking about this map and find it very "Orwellian." Can you point to me "which" aspect of this map is "lies and propaganda?" 

One more time for easy reference:

gwharton
Dec 7, 12 5:51 pm

The lie and propaganda is that without US involvement in the region, that green region on the map wouldn't vanish into nothing. The only reason it's still there is because the Palestinians have powerful patrons.

One thing that map leaves out is Israeli territory 1967-1972. There was no green on the map at all, then. But now it's back.

FYI, here's what the map of Israel looked like in 1968. They seem to have lost about 60% of their territory since then. I wonder how that happened?

t a m m u z
Dec 8, 12 12:56 am

gwharton;

you remind me of my much much younger self (although, i read in another thread that you are over 40 or so?). you read a book or two and then you imagine yourself master of the field allowing yourself to draw conclusions that in reality have very little basis and produce, given the overall context and given the complexity of intra-regional features (which i can recognize you have no clue of), exagerrated caricatures outcomes that are detached and unrealistic and yet you forsee as inevitable. i'm not attacking you for your opinions but you come across as a dilettante, a semi-educated person (there is a saying in arabic - i'm not sure if there is an anglosaxonic equivalent- that partial knowledge is worse than ignorance. your case typifies this). start by knowing yourself prior to assuming that you have sufficient knowledge of this domain. i wish i had the time to delve in this deeply but i really don't. and i feel that you are too happy where you are, you r are happy being this alloy of semi-knowledge and uneducated associations, it would be useless to argue with you.

you really had me internally chuckling at the dhimmi

and the bit about the Lebanese War having anything to do with the  Arabs (and not Iran).

anyway,  already when someone uses this term "Arabs" so generally , so uniformly, i suspect a generally ignorant and poor discourse that does not recognize the multitude of directions and belongings that prohibit a true 'unification' of direction and opinion. this has always been the case. within the region, nowadays, we witness the solidification of sectarian rift lines more potent than linguistic-cultural ones (that define Arabs, for instance), specifically shiite and sunnite. this is posing an intra (or neighbouring)-national challenge to many countries in the region and exceeds the arab regions drawing in turkey and iran well into the foray. as such, the reality on ground is that one cannot talk too much about Arab consolidation (and we have seen how impotent the Arab League has proven itself to be) and which has been rendered a symbolic front for 'non-ajami-tainted'  "orthodoxy" (sectarianly speaking) thus implicitly rendering it an untrue reflection of Arab diversity (if i accept the term Arab for convenience sake). this is moreso, then, complicated, by the varying disposition of the regional minorities towards the mainstream. and each country has a specific profile...we would then need to talk about saudi, kuwait, bahrain, lebanon, iraq...

there are important arab leaders, nowadays, who see Iran as more of a threat than Israel- believe it or not. who also see their arab neighbour as more of a threat than Israel. but yet, you draw these grand epic untrue strokes that lack not only nuances but also critical directions within the region and you portray your fiction in such a pedantic positivistic fatalistic manner. please, have some humility to know that you don't know much. don't be too much of an arrogant ignorant person, not nice.

curtkram
Dec 8, 12 12:05 pm

i guess Khaled Meshal is promoting a peaceful one-state solution

design
Dec 8, 12 12:40 pm

isn't that the usual divide and conquer tammuz? the arab tea parties who don't get along?

 

 

The Palestinians wouldn't have any territory or voice at all if they didn't have the protection of the US State Department, NGO complex, and Harvard policy-makers.

Without the protection of the Cathedral, the Palestinians would be overrun and wiped out in pretty short order by a determined Israeli offensive.

gwharton, like that scene in Munich where it was suggested that Abu Hassan was a US asset. I think you are giving this cathedral faction in the US government too much credit. Such operational funding is nothing compared to where the big money goes, at least directly. If anything some of this money might be funneled to the Palestinians via the US's arab allies, but they don't exactly see see oodles of cash going towards recognizing their state.

The situation as it stands now is lop-sided because Israel has nukes and does not stop tearing down houses. Until they have a reason to stop tearing down houses, things will stay to Israel's advantage. Israel creates problems for itself every time they push for tearing down more houses. It is too easy to forget that fact when diving deep into the dynamics at play.

design
Dec 8, 12 12:46 pm

*islamic tea parties

t a m m u z
Dec 8, 12 12:49 pm

curtkram, whats your point? Hamas' position is well known and has always been well known; unlike Israel they don't aim at deceiving the international audience. your cynicism is uqualified; their position is the same ..its not like this somehow uncovers anything new.

i have previously differentiated between  desired solutions (desired by any of its stakeholders),  realistic solutions and unrealistic solutions. i believe the two state solution is rather unrealistic. enmity will only perpetuate and israel will always be what israel is, a european implant in the region.

edward said desired a one state solution. meshaal obviously doesnt want israel around at all. i desire edward said's solution and i have no objection to meshaal's - are you able to comprehend that though? if a person gets thrown off their land, can one object to their desire to win it back? but also, i see that there are unrealistic aspects to removing all the non-indigeneous jews.  that is why i think the seemingly least realistic scenario is, in the long run, the most realistic. but, until such time that the victim is appeased, i see no reason why to condemn him for seeking justice.

what some of you people here are doing is judging the palestinians negatively for not being  generous,  forgiving, accomodating...to an entity that continues to pillage, rob, scaremonger. you wish the palestinians to be detached, brahmic...while their water is channeled away, their trees cut down and their lives controlled by another group of people who have not one iota of land entitlement.

no of course they won't. do i want to live with, or be next door neighbour, to someone who tortured my parents, threw my children in jail, stole my property and considers me subhuman?

stop blaming the palestinians for not changing. start blaming israel for not changing. start getting fed up with the same shit that it circulates in its upper militarized echelons. start blaming zionist corporation sympathizers in your countries for subsidizing weapons that end up killing mostly regular men, women and children in palestine and lebanon. and not only that, the people of lebanon and palestine, en masse, are self declared enemies of israel...so every time there is talk about military 'terrorist' groups attacking israel, please keep in mind that each of these so called terrorists has a family that sympathizes with him, has a whole village that supports him...because they are not crackhead sociopaths with a dark homocidal bend (sort of like some of the people the US army recruits)...they have a history of suffering under occupation and they are the cathartic expression of societies under occupation.

t a m m u z
Dec 8, 12 1:09 pm

no curtkram, there is no such concept in the arab region, no such sensibility. these are real political ideological rifts based on idiosyncratic religiosity and not between religion and secularism for instance. we are talking "empires of faith" here, not joe the christian barbarian vs the coiffured gay couple. part of the error in your ways is thinking exclusively from your own standpoint rather than within the mindset/s of the region you appear to be concerned with, discursively at least. "divide and conquer" might be one of the catalysts (US supplied us with enzymes thank you white-balding-men with ungly twangy accents-another shoe?) but history is not an island, it exists in the region and outside and it infects everyone and everything.

so i introduced that one very important element (and only one, there are many more) to  underline the deficiency in gwharton's generalizations concerning the "arabs".

gwharton
Dec 8, 12 6:09 pm

Tammuz,

I'm well aware of the cultural differences among the various parties to the conflict, thanks. I actually spend a fair amount of time in the region. My use of "Arabs" in my posts above was a shorthand, because the factional, cultural, and ethnic differences among the assortment of peoples arrayed against Israel are not relevant to the point I am trying to make here: which is that you've all been pwned by the competing power elites in the USA, who are playing you against each other for their own reasons. If that terminology confused you, feel free to substitute "opponents" for "Arabs" in all cases and the meaning remains unchanged. I was simply trying not to be pedantic.

I can also understand why you might conflate the discussion of heterodox ideas with ignorance or heresy. That's very common among people who are trained in conventional orthodoxy. It's true that I'm expressing ideas here that are outside the Overton Window. That doesn't make them wrong.

The United States is a global empire, but it works in some very peculiar ways that outsiders often fail to understand (and even many Americans don't completely grasp). Unlike many historical empires or modern-day regimes, there is no single unitary power structure in our government or system of rule. We have lots of competing power centers that act quasi-independently and compete for resources and dominance, though they often collaborate when they share similar goals and values. For instance, President Obama, though he is the titular executive of the US government, has very little influence on what any of our governmental departments do or the policies they make. That is a very alien notion to people in other cultures. Those departments have their own agendas and they more or less do as they please. That is why outsiders often see what appears to be highly perplexing and contradictory actions from different parts of the US power structure regarding the same issues or places. AIPAC and DOD are heavily supporting Israel while State, the Universities, and the UN are backing the Palestinians. You choose to focus on one side of that to the exclusion of the other. Your opponents do the same in reverse. And the game keeps on spinning forever, fueled by their competition and cloaked in disinformation.. That is how they have completely pwned you, and it is how they have ruled the world since 1945.

When I use the (somewhat idiosyncratic) term "Cathedral," I am referring to an informal alliance of a number of those power factions in the US system. They share a lot of values, goals, and interests, so they tend to work in ways that reinforce one another (usually implicitly, sometimes explicitly). Their behavior looks a lot like a Caesarian ecumenical state church, complete with dogmas and a priesthood, so the term Cathedral is descriptive. It's also ironic, because most of them are the modern-day intellectual descendants of the English Protestant dissenters who so staunchly opposed the official churches of their day. They rule you. In fact, they've ruled most if the world since the early 20th century.

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
Dec 8, 12 11:22 pm

gwharton,

That map you posted proves you might as well be on Mars playing monopoly with  Ali Baba. Your posts are not legible anymore, especially after showing the map of Sinai after Six Day War  to counter the progressive occupation of Palestine. Just because they are both maps... Apparently for you and many, it is a sq. footage equation, give, take, capture, rule etc.., and not about forced erosion and practiced cultural genocide, however delusional that might be for Israeli policies..

You are correct on pointing to a support for Palestine but I like to point that very little of it originated from this country. You mention the support of Palestinians from American press and higher education, even from political parties.. Are you fuckin' kidding? What??? 99% of all politicians and media here are blind supporters of Israel and every politician has to make a de facto statement that they "have the Israel's back!" in their campaigns if they want to get elected. If you ever try to send some money to a Palestinian humanitarian cause, you might end up in Guantanamo...US accepts and refers to Hamas, an elected entity, as a terrorist organization. Support for Palestine in US? What are you smoking? Information you are disseminating here is total fantasy.

I believe you have "Arab" friends and you've traveled to Dubai or somewhere near on a corporate architecture mission and no doubt you've even "explored" some of the old villages in a rented SUV.. So, it's okay. Just don't scream you know the "truth" and having any kind of depth.

Anyway, no personal grudge.. I want to say goodnight and leave you (not only gwharton) with a book suggestion to calibrate and counter all that colonialist history you have been educated with. A good start.

Edward Said , Orientalism

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
Dec 8, 12 11:40 pm

This one by the same author is good too for the beginners who want to know what goes behind the press cameras while.., Covering Islam..

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
Dec 9, 12 12:07 am

Here is an interesting review of the "Covering Islam" by one of the readers. Kind of sums up many people's attitudes towards Muslim world and Palestinian cause. Including gwharton..

 

"This is one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking books I've ever read. The gist of Said's argument is that academic studies of the Muslim world are (like all academic studies) influenced by the culture that produces them. Because the first Westerners to study Islamic culture came from colonial powers, they tended to view things through colonialist, ethnocentric eyes. Although the United States has never had colonial ambitions in the Middle East, we've inherited many of those European attitudes. More importantly, because Middle Eastern studies in American universities lead so many people into careers as government consultants, or oil company employees (and because so much of the funding comes from government and oil companies), those studies usually do not focus on Muslim culture as something of interest and value in and of itself, but are concerned rather with how it relates to American power and business interests. We are not concerned, in other words, with how an institution in an Islamic country effects the local people, but only with whether it makes them more or less pro-American.
According to Said, American journalists, who tend not to know the languages, or much about the culture of the places they report from, rely on such slanted academic studies for their understanding of the Islamic world, and allow it to color almost everything they write. As a result, reporting from Islamic countries is not only shallow, but often filled with insults and ethnic slurs that no editor would accept if the reporter were writing about any other group of people.

I suppose the best way to judge a book like this is to test its thesis in the real world -- and even before I finished reading the whole thing, I realized how much more aware I was of the underlying bias and ethnocentrism in newspaper and magazine articles about the Middle East. I wasn't searching for that prejudice, but after reading Said, I could not miss the condescension in the articles, and the absence of positive articles. Most of all, I realized how very little information was actually contained in the articles I read. It's not just that Muslims are being slurred. As citizens, we're being cheated out of information we need to make informed decisions. This book should be required reading for every editor, every foreign correspondent, every commentator on foreign policy, and every American citizen."

gwharton
Dec 9, 12 8:12 pm

So Orhan, let me get this straight. You say that my point that the faction in the American power structure which includes the university system has been providing support for Palestine against Israel is a fantasy.

And then you approvingly quote and point is to a notoriously vocal and prolific supporter of the Palestinian cause who was ... wait for it ... a long-time professor at Columbia University.

Did I get that right?

disro
Dec 9, 12 9:08 pm

I'm a Palestinian architect. So far, you can't really do much within the Gaza Strip. Check out Riwaq. They tend to do a lot of renovation work within the West Bank. Although it's more of a cultural approach, they are helping improve Palestinian villages through out the country. Reach out to them, they are very approachable.

 

I'm sickened by some of these comments. The violence needs to end from both sides. Peace will happen one day if people read more. I would be pretty happy to have a Jewish Israeli neighbor.

t a m m u z
Dec 9, 12 10:59 pm

the question is whether they will have you as a neighbour. and are you saying there are no educated zionists?

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
Dec 9, 12 11:37 pm

disro, palestinians' desire to live in peace with their israeli neighbors was expressed here specifically by myself and others. but the question remains as tammuz put it in above post.

gwharton, you are looking for a needle in a hay stack. he and few others are only exceptions. i am talking about general silence of the academia on palestine and israel and how professors speak for palestinians are investigated and warned. and, you are moving from self righteous misinformed person to an annoying block. here read this about edward said.

How the FBI Spied on Edward Said

t a m m u z
Dec 10, 12 3:25 am

this is an interesting read about the censorial and central influence of mainstream US politics has had on academia if it does not toe the line and if it weighs in on the other side of powerful lobby groups and if it gives an intra-US voice against the opportunistic games that the US plays on others' turfs.

gwharton, i do not imagine the US empire to be that non-central. when it comes down to it, all it needs to do is control or severe the interface between the actual content of its empire (the network of financial institutions) and its perceived enemy (by whatever other name). It will play games of seduction, it will present you with good cops and bad cops, carrots and canes. but, the actual power base has proven to be pretty consistent. there is a constant flow of money going into israel, irrespective of its policies, from the US and there are a consistent group of pro-zionists/zionists  who have a very tangible and prominent influence on the US market, the mainstream US media, institutions that educate and inculcate...

this is nothing compared to the fiscal interface with the palestinians or the arabs and with the  infuence of american-arab or pro-palestinian lobbies on US politics.

t a m m u z
Dec 10, 12 3:43 am

i also wish to comment on this : "Jewish Israeli neighbor"

 criticism is not levied against abstract benign identites or religions. what is identified as the destructive force is neither a religion that minds its business, nor the propsect of a peaceful israel (in its disposition towards others and, by necessity, secular and judicious in its treatment of all its inhabitants). the primary destructive force in relation to palestine is zionism, an agenda that necessitates a replacement of people who rightfully belong to the land and the ensuing cruel consequences that this replacement entails. everything else is secondary and tainted by this primary force.

so, the question is, to be more precise...will one be able to live happily near an actively zionist entity? at least active volcanos belong to their terrain. "peace".

i would also like to know what you, disro, are exactly sickened by? yes, we all wish violence would stop. are you sickened by not finding an angelic chorus of us wishing violence would stop? need it be voiced? but there is a contextual story happening; there is right and there is wrong. can one really condemn warranted defensive violence? can one equate it to offensive violence and simply call for both to stop? in fact, is it even a reasonable demand, yours, a realistic demand given facts on ground? it is only wishful thinking. reality sickens you, me as well. but who manufactured this reality and who really owns the larger share of this factory? can your sickness ambiguate your judgement?  be specific please, say something substantial at least. if you are sickened, take an aspirin.

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