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Friday, June 4, 2010

Thoughts on Human Nature, Israel, Fear and Peace

Let's indulge in some musings about the better aspect of human nature, before delving into our darker half.

We humans nurture a righteous sense of good, pretending to rally in defense of the weak, not the strong . . we want to reward the generous not the selfish . . we give our Nobel prizes to the peaceful not the aggressive. We hold within ourselves a piece that we know is good. Most humans think of themselves as good.

So in light of this why have the best intentions to provide safe and secure homes for a displaced and traumatized population after the Second World War, gone so awry?

The strength of  Israel is in it's people, not it's military, nor its Zionist leadership which is as outdated as as script from a WWII film. Israel the country is filled with free thinkers, a peace loving people, but one which has ceded internal protection to a foreign power (the US) and effectively a single party system of government, (which I'll dub the party of aggression against Islam). The job of protecting Israel has irrevocably been given away by the Israelis due to one emotion and one emotion only, fear.

Israel's policies towards it's neighbors are the source of that fear. Counter-aggression by Hamas, has also fueled a series of tragic mistakes. Who has not puzzled, why in the Holy land for three religions, permeated by the teachings of both the Old and New Testaments, and Koran, that the maintenance of love and respect for one's neighbors seems so forgotten.

I would be taking both sides equally here, were it not for the trillions in financial aid that Israel receives from the US. Israel is stronger than Hamas and on a first strike basis it is probably also stronger than Iran. Hamas is not a country, and as an organization is not recognized as legitimate by the West. Hamas is poorer, and not as strong. Yet Hamas, like Israel, perceives itself in a battle for survival.

All parties perceive themselves as 'good'.

Israeli columnist Gideon Levy wrote of Netanyahu's policies: "We'll become an even more despised country and won't have a single friend left in the world, not even the United States," yet the complaint falls on deaf ears.

Our nation shops for Taliban and Al Qaeda blood from above, using robotic drones. The Israelis target  their enemies, perceived members of Hamas, homes, houses of 'interest'. Thousands of civilians are butchered in distanced efforts to even scores against an elusive enemy. Both bomb, employ chemical weapons, guided missiles, make targeted assassinations. Our clumsy attempts at control breed more terror. In WWII these realities of war would have been carried out by agents on the ground. But now civilian contractors sitting in government buildings in the US do this work. Why are we terrified to do this directly? Why use the remote means of technology?

If the goal of strength should be to share strength, not hoard it the aim of wealth should be the dispersal of wealth not the hoarding. So reason for arms should be the seeking of reasons not to use them. All history shows us that benevolent kings were merciful, and forgiving. Despotic kings were overthrown, or cursed by their subjects. The sword became, for good reason, symbolic of truth in outcome. A true war was a just war The Japanese proverb, "Good swords stay in their scabbards" seems apropos.

Yet war, long the means for cooling hot blood, has reached a level of violence that can't be sustained. Not economically - it's too expensive. The US will not be able to continue to afford the billions it sends overseas to keep the Israeli military honed. Not psychologically. The human mind simply cannot maintain an aggressive mind state for so long.

Yet  if  the world wishes release from this madness, by what mechanism is this to be obtained? America developed superior arms in a race against the Soviet Union, which it considered evil. Hamas considers Israel evil. Israel, likewise, Hamas. All nations that possess arms, use them to fight with other nations, whilst believing they have the forces of good on their side. There can only be one outcome in such a leveraged battle fueled by a belief in moral superiority.

Our response to the constrains on war in a crowded world? We begin doing irrational things. We behave inhumanly. And that inhumanity contains the seeds of downfall.

History  shows a precedent: aggressive nation states meet ends that come almost as rapidly as the ascent.

The Mongols rolled over Asia and parts of Europe but were repelled in almost the same amount of time. The explosive conquests of Rome, led to a symmetrical defeat, Alexander's journey into India: was it ever possible that Greeks would stay long in India? Involvement and de-escalation in Vietnam. Napoleon's stab at Russia, Hitler's megalomania over Europe. . . all have been brought down and defeated.

A close look at the psyche of man reveals the State as a legalization of man's violent nature.

So how is the warrior of peace to proceed? With nuclear weapons, and guns that shoot around corners? With automatic anti-personnel devices taking electronic commands from a satellite?

Perhaps as a response to a crowded world, the states have turned aggression inward, towards their own subjects. The war of today and the future, is a war versus its people. The motivation for this new kind of war is not greed, nor megalomania of state leaders, but rather fear embodied in the institution of the state itself.

As states have grown, as the neural network comprising statehood has reached a threshold, the state itself has learned emotion. It has learned fear.

In the grip of fear, we continue to buy predator drones from Israel, and airplanes from Lockheed Martin. We kill enemies remotely from kill rooms in Kansas, that cause the deaths of innocents everywhere. Children and brothers of the killed become 'terrorists' to fight the war of terror waged by the wealthiest nation on Earth. It's a self perpetuating holocaust.

In the meantime this reaction serves other uses to the state. The Supreme Court overturns Miranda, continue riddling of the hull of natural rights granted by our original Constitution. Fear allows the state to transform London and New York into a web that watches each one of us with pattern recognition cameras that track our every move. Fear is great business.

History shows again that any state or being that lives in fear, dies or perishes. Fear incapacitates, paralyses, distorts reality. Fear, insulating itself from its people and subjects of the world, investing billions in security and espionage, perpetuates a madness that has no center, no soul, no humanity.

The great spectacle for concerned citizens will be the spectacle of this beast dying from it's own absurd weight and inefficiency. Its a tale unequalled by any told in any media, and at any time in history. It's a chilling spectacle.

One need do nothing but watch.

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