Category: Holy Days
The U.S. and its NATO allies are introducing the Abrams tanks to Afghanistan this holiday season, despite the rise in civilian casualties — such as Asan and Slima, pictured above — brought on by the recent intensification of air strikes, in which more than 1000 bombs and missiles were fired in October.
Up until now, NATO has avoided using tanks in Afghanistan for fear of reminding the Afghans of the tank heavy Soviet occupation in the 1980s.
According to the AP, Colonel Dave Lapan explained to reporters in Washington that “American tanks would have a much different role than the Soviet tanks, which he said had been used to ‘oppress’ the Afghans.”
U.S. tanks don’t oppress Afghans, you see – they “protect” them from “insurgents”.
Meanwhile, a recent poll taken by the International Council on Security and Development finds that 92% of young men in Kandahar and Helmand provinces know nothing about 9-11, the putative reason the U.S. has been occupying their country for almost a decade.
In any case, many Afghans themselves refuse to give thanks to the occupiers of their country, choosing instead to lodge complaints with U.S. and Afghan officials about the destruction of their trees, crops, homes and loved ones.
Nevertheless, in the eyes of Imperial Functionaries, such destruction can be seen as a good thing:
Although military officials are apologetic in public, they maintain privately that the tactic has a benefit beyond the elimination of insurgent bombs. By making people travel to the district governor’s office to submit a claim for damaged property, “in effect, you’re connecting the government to the people,” the senior officer said.
The first anniversary of “Operation Cast Lead”, Israel’s U.S. enabled 22 day holiday offensive against Palestinians trapped in the open air prison of Gaza, which resulted in widespread destruction of infrastructure and the slaughter of 1,400 human beings, most of whom were civilians according to a U.N. report, was commemorated by somber ceremonies, by human rights groups such as Viva Palestina and Code Pink attempting to break the siege of that beleaguered strip of land, and by a hunger strike led by a Jewish survivor of the Nazi Holocaust (who is interviewed here).
In the wake of the failure at Copenhagen, and in commemoration of this “holy” day, I offer the following irony – a conspicuous consumption of energy that celebrates the very thing it endangers…
Remember Israel’s Hanukkah attack on Gaza at the beginning of this year, using U.S. made weapons with the full support of the U.S. political class, and which resulted in a massacre of 1,400 people, most of whom were civilians and many of whom were women and children?
U.N. investigator Richard Goldstone issued a report accusing Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including “indiscriminate use of firepower; deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian structures, including hospitals, schools, mosques, water and sewage plants, and rescue vehicles; use of white phosphorus munitions in built-up areas; use of human shields; abusive treatment of detainees; imposition of a blockade on Gaza before and after the attack itself…”
The U.N. Human Rights Council voted this month to support the report, with the United States voting against it for all of the usual reasons.
Despite the fact that Goldstone is a respected war crimes prosecutor and is himself Jewish,and also accused Hamas of war crimes, Obama administration officials have intimated without citing any details that the report is flawed and biased. Goldstone is now daring the U.S. to point out any inaccuracies.
Cited in the Goldstone report are the testimonies of Israeli veterans of “Operation Cast Lead” gathered by the group Breaking the Silence. Follow that link to download all of the testimonies, or you can read excerpts here, where Israeli solders talk about the “insane” amounts of firepower they used against civilians.
One soldier said he felt like “an infantile little kid with a magnifying glass looking at ants, burning them.”
Weiss, a former philosophy student, thinks that the land belongs to her because, according to the Jewish book of fables, a magic sky man promised it to the descendants of her supposed ancestor.
Yes, this is video of Oakland transit cop Johannes Mehserle publicly murdering 22-year old Oscar Grant in the very first hours of this glorious new year.
Israeli officials claim the assault to be a response to the primitive rockets launched into southern Israel by Hamas, which are themselves a response to Israel’s breaking of a six month ceasefire on November 4, 2008 – the day of the U.S. elections. (Not to mention the 40 year occupation or the more recent devastating blockade.)
Yesterday, on the 6th day of Hanukkah, Israel began airstrikes against Gaza, killing 225 and wounding 600. Today, the bombings continue and Hamas is calling for a 3rd Intifada and a return to suicide bombings.
The Nativity of Jesus story is no where to be found in Mark, which scholars agree is the earliest of the canonical gospels. The story is found in Matthew, whose author was some 1st Century Jew who wanted to make it seem like the dead figurehead of his cult had fulfilled ancient Hebrew Bible prophecies.
The historical truth is closer to this: Jesus was a backwoods nobody who became a popular critic of fellow Jews who collaborated with Rome’s occupation of his homeland, and the related commercialization of the Temple. During the politically charged Passover festival, he knocked over some money tables (or something) and was crucified for it by the Roman Prefect of Judea Province, Pontius Pilate.
Jesus’ confused and disappointed followers began applying local fables to his biography so they could revise their demonstrably misguided faith in an executed man who had promised them a new kingdom. Thus he was born by a virgin under a special star and visited by three kings, etc, and his execution took on a deeper, more symbolic meaning. Many contradictory biographies were written in the centuries following Jesus’ death, each one more fantastic than the last, all of which directed to the concerns of the diverse communities for which they were written. By the 4th Century, the movement had become so popular that the Roman General Constantine found it useful to identify with it in his quest to become Emperor of Rome. Since then, the Christ mythology has been used to justify the same kind of Imperial violence by which the cult’s original founder was executed.
Oh, and Hanukkah was a very minor festival until the Zionists, whose movement was formed in the racist atmosphere of 19th Century European Nationalism, began to mine their book for stories of warrior Jews in order to combat the popular perception of diaspora Jews as oppressed weaklings. They fixed on the story of the 2nd Century BCE Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire, and Hanukkah became a major holiday. And then, with the help of their own Imperial allies, the Zionists occupied Palestine, where the warrior spirit of their xenocidal god lives on in the apartheid state of Israel.
And don’t get me started on that fat fuck Santa. Odin wants his 8-legged sky horse back.