Wednesday, February 17, 2010

assassination cool

it is amazing how the mainstream media casualizes murder -- when the murder happens to be of someone seen, however vaguely, as 'anti-american,' or 'anti-israel.' murder is made casual, a sport to be chatted about calmly and indifferently, or with small appreciation for style and flair. these media personalities and the 'experts' they invite in pose in their special cool: look how calmly and emotionlessly we can regard murder, says their demeanor: look how rational, tough, hard-headed, ahead of the times. we'd make a good Jack Bauer, goes their vibe. imagine me in a leather jacket.

today Wolf Blitzer and a woman now working for Baker Botts (?) and previously in government discussed the killing of the Hamas agent in Dubai. Blitzer, as is his wont when referring to people the media (implicitly) judges guilty and deserving of death without trial, referred to the team of killers 'taking out' the Hamas man. (why doesn't he just use the term 'offing'? if he wants a really cool pose, might as well go all the way). then, in a stunning switch away from the facts of the story, Blitzer proposed that the Hamas man is analogous to Bin Laden. the rest of their discussion revolved around this absurd conceit, which rests on the assumption that we = Israel, and al-Qaeda = Hamas. and, of course, anything is justified, damn the laws. the woman proved her tough credentials by lecturing Blitzer on the fact that 'all the world's intelligence agencies do this kind of thing,' so we ought to just get used to it and take the British government's protestations with a grain of salt.

i don't care how bad this Hamas man might have been, i object to the immediate assumption that we = Israel. we are not. our country is not reserved for one ethnic group. and i resist the erosion of civilization that accompanies occupation of other's lands, as is happening in israel. they are progressively turning themselves into immoral brutes the longer they persist in their stupid game of land-grabbing (from which, like Brer Rabbit with the Tar Baby, the further they push the harder it is to extricate themselves). it is instructive that neoconservatives and liberals who fall in love with the Israel pose (tough, sexy, no-illusions, like the woman on NCIS) also swallow the lie that indifference to human death makes for sophistication.

it does not. it leads to barbarism. and i don't care which expensive law firm you work for.

if the moral argument means nothing to these people, then how about the historical argument? israel has been murdering since before it gained independence, and they are no more secure than when they began murdering. this one fact ought to speak volumes. but i assume neither wolf nor Baker Botts have read any books of history.

as for our country: whenever our government aligns itself with governments or movements which endorse extrajudicial murder and torture -- or when we ourselves do it, a rare moment of not outsourcing -- our country gradually becomes defined as 'the enemy' by citizens of countries so victimized. argentina of the 1980s, iran of the 1970s, pakistan of right now . . .

no lawyer can really argue persuasively that making ordinary people hate us with our illegal and extralegal murders advances the national interest. one militant dead = 100 middle class citizens galvanized by our turning our backs on the rule of law.

we have lived (and continue to live) by the sword. and we are falling by the sword: slowly, inexorably, the cruel steel of militarism pierces our guts. and even as the titanic slides beneath the waves, weighed down by the massive 'defense' costs that never decrease, those Mossad wannabes -- yes, the lawyers and bureaucrats who have never held a gun in combat -- cannot give up the cool titillation and chic of extrajudicial murder. it must be like a perfume for these people. i wonder how many call themselves Christians.

go, wolf, go.

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