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Thursday, October 06, 2005


human shields

the repulsiveness of what the state of israel has degenerated into under the leadership of likud was sharply delineated again today when the israeli supreme court was actually forced to explicitly tell the israeli army that is was not acceptable to tie palestinian children to their vehicles in an effort to use them as human shields for a second time.

the moral corruption of the israeli nation in statehood and zionism has been commented on before on this page -- and again, as in evaluating the work of uri blau, americans must understand that what we see in israel is a precursor for where we are going ourselves, as i wrote, "the inevitable loss this abuse of temporal aspiration will force, to become lost in the moral trap marc ellis calls for israel "constantinian judaism" -- the conflation of spiritual and ethical values with state power, serving to misguide and ultimately destroy both."

the decrepitude of our society is advanced both in what the israeli army is doing to the youth of its culture in palestine and in what the american army does to the youth of ours in iraq. as noble and admirable as it is for the israeli high court to take a stand for morality and civility, and as it is also so of the american senate to do the same, both efforts must be not only sustained but immensely grown if this commenter is to have any belief in the notion that our cultural decline into vulgar barbarism is in any way being mitigated by the shards of morality that may remain within this dessicated society. the fact that the israeli army has repeatedly ignored the court's previous commands bodes very ill for a hopeful vision of our common future.

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If there's a "cultural decline into vulgar barbarism" it's being spearheaded by people like you who constantly defend tyrants and thugs and denigrate the efforts of others to bring freedom and democracy to the oppressed.

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that may well be what the administration intends to do, mr talldave -- at least, export what we understand to be freedom, in a deteriorated, perverse ideological form.

but i think it entirely within reason to question the virtue of such an enterprise as much as it is reasonable to question whether robespierre and his follower napoleon were engaged in a virtuous effort -- or simply the bankrupting of western civility.

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It's reasonable to question anything. That's just a truism, and does not advance or justify your arguments.

Did Robespierre or Napoleon advance freedom? Did they give 50 million people the right to vote for the first time? No, they violated human rights to advance their own interests and consolidate their own power.

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the truth is that they did both, in fact, mr talldave -- advancement in the interests of freedom spread vastly in the aftermath of napoleonic conquest and administration, over vastly greater lands and peoples than any conquest of mesopotamia we've undertaken.

the point is that one can have high aims-- and even begin to achieve some of them -- and be a despicable monstrosity of evil nonetheless. the two are not exclusive; indeed, high moral aims motivated most every authoritarian terror regime of western civility since the first breakdowns of our society in the fifteenth century. i submit that the current american regine is simply no different from any other.

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