Thursday, August 03, 2006

An inconvenient truth

If you own a radio, and you turn it on, you're sure to have heard this incisive argument some time in the past two weeks, usually expressed via phone:

"If, you know, like Canada was lobbing rockets into the United States, wouldn't, you know, wouldn't we be within our rights to attack them and, you know, get rid of them?"


The host usually agrees that, yes, everybody has the right to self-defense. So far, I haven't heard anyone point out that this is a really, really bad analogy. I don't have a radio show, and all I can do is grind my teeth in frustration, and the old teeth won't take much more of that. So here's a better analogy, global strategists:

If a militia inside Canada, but not under the control of the Canadian government, were firing rockets into the United States, would we be justified in destroying the infrastructure of Montreal, killing hundreds of non-militia members and driving thousands from their homes? Or would the world say "What kind of bat-shit crazy behavior is this?"


If it's impossible to imagine such a response, don't strain yourself. We would never attack Canada because Canadians look just like us. They mostly speak English, they mostly came from Europe, and their baseball is compatible with ours (unlike their football, which is another matter). If there's one thing America hates, it's going to war with people who look like us, to wit, the Germans. We sat out World War I for nearly three years, even as U-boats killed hundreds of American citizens. In 1941, faced with a far more vicious regime in Berlin, we actually waited for Germany to declare war on the United States. But we never hesitated to mobilize full-bore against Filipinos, Mexicans, Dominicans, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Panamanians, Grenadians and Iraqis (not to mention Native Americans). Can you guess why?

Before the second rocket had landed in Montana or Minnesota, the US and Canadian governments would have organized a joint strike force to find and destroy the militia. That's the way friends do things. Temporarily at least, the Canadians would be our equals, our brothers, our -- partners in freedom.

Now for the inconvenient part: Most Israelis came from Europe, too, and many have always had a deep contempt for their Arab neighbors. One of their prime ministers -- I remember it being Golda Meir, but if I'm wrong, I apologize -- referred to Palestinians as "drugged roaches." The rationale for refusing to deal fairly with Palestinians is that they weren't making effective use of the land when they had it, certainly not building modern cities and making the desert bloom with agriculture, and besides, they don't really exist as a people. The refusal to deal justly with the Palestinians is the crime from which all the present trouble grows. It is the equivalent of America's failure to accept the legacy of slavery and genocide on which it is founded. It is why Israel never said to Lebanon, "We have a problem on our border. Let us solve it together."


2 Comments:

Blogger Chauncy Biggins said...

If a militia was inside Canada, and lobbing missiles across the niagra falls toward Buffalo, and the Canadian government refused to step in and do anything about it, and allowed this militia to take control of the southern half of the country, and allowed them seats in Canadian parliament, I think a heavy-handed responce would be justified. Don't you?

10:44 PM  
Blogger sydneyland said...

I hav'ta go along with "chauncy" there sort'a. Though if ya listened to me on the air I'm as horrified as everybody else at Israel's deranged behavior lately.

As you know I'm the only "On Air" person at WBAI,..that I know of anyway, that supports Israel's right to peaceful existance. Chauncy is right in that the militias are demented murderers. They've killed tons of Lebonese, and nobody bats an eye. This btw, is why they had almost NO support from the locals,...till now. Thanks to Israel kill'n everybody in sight they the insane militias now have support, and converts to their bloody cause.

I don't know how this will all end. I have been reduced to actually praying, maybe we all should do some'a that.

Your Sad, and Confused Uncle Sidney

11:49 PM  

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