Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why We Pay Taxes

Heavy rain and lightning deprived the Obamas of electricity for 11 hours, sending their Hawaiian vacation into the dark. Not to worry. The Marines kept his communication lines open, and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann reported that Obama was in one of the "most secure places, so he'll be OK."

Oh, thank God. It wouldn't do for our new Dear Leader to operate by candlelight, eating everything in the freezer before it spoils. Yes, it might give him a taste of what average Americans must endure in far less posh surroundings; but since Obama is a transformative, historical figure, he shouldn't suffer inconvenience of any kind. That's the beauty of imperial hierarchy, a power arrangement that attracts countless servants and apologists, all trying to get a whiff of what the Obamas are doubtless by now taking as their due. That creates its own energy, whether or not the lights are on.

At the other end of this arrangement lie those who have nothing to offer save their pitiful lives, and even those are at best negligible. What the Obamas briefly encountered is a daily reality for the Gazans, minus the plumbing, food, access to medicine and doctors. But lack of electricity is the least of Gaza's problems at the moment. Once again, in "self defense," Israeli F-16s are pounding the hell out of Gaza, hitting numerous civilian targets, killing and maiming hundreds, while the IDF prepares for a ground invasion. These war crimes, so routine by this point that raised eyebrows are the strongest reaction you'll see among cultivated Westerners, are supposedly in reaction to the Qassam rockets fired on nearby towns by Hamas. That this barrage did little damage is beside the point. The Palestinians cannot show any sign of resistance, no matter how tactically effective or advisable it may be. They are an inferior race, cockroaches, malignant tumors, and the slightest hint of pushing back will provoke a massive response by the superior race, whose commitment to democracy and freedom glows in divine light -- or the light from terror bombing, which to many is the same thing.

According to the Israeli discussion list I belong to, Israeli commentators on national TV are not only hailing this fresh round of mass murder, but are calling for much more. The Israeli right is naturally pleased. Some Israeli doves hastily demonstrated against the attacks, but it appears that they're in the minority. The bottom line is that Israel can and will slaughter as many Gazans as it desires, and no one will stop them. A few editorialists will counsel "restraint," which in this context is like urging an ax murderer to use a hatchet instead. But in the end, it won't really matter. The US openly backs these atrocities, using American tax dollars to help finance the bloodshed. You, me, and every American has Palestinian blood on our hands, which are about to become a darker crimson.

So, what are we gonna do about it? Our incoming Savior is part of this barbarous consensus, as is his assembled staff -- most notably our next Secretary of State, a longtime supporter of Israeli aggression. When Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006, most American "progressives" barely made a peep about it on their blogs and elsewhere, and this was with the hated Bush in the White House. What do you think they'll do or say once Obama wears the crown? My guess is very little, if anything at all, but I'm willing to be proven horribly wrong. Indeed, I was surprised and pleased to see a top liblog like Firedoglake actually mention the Israeli attacks, not once but in several posts. Many of FDL's comment threads are filled with disgust and anger toward the IDF, which is a huge step in libbyland. Where this will lead I've no idea. But it is something. Meanwhile, the carnage continues.