Friday, April 12, 2013

Imperial Mentality

Whenever Noam Chomsky speaks, I listen. He is one of my heroes. For decades he has spoken out against the madness that is US foreign policy. His spoken just as eloquently in behalf of the poor, the displaced, the miserable, the cheated, the victims of concentrated wealth and power that rule the globe. He reminded me in a recent article, what wonderful things are being done by our close ally the state of Israel in its neighborhood. His reflections were brought on by recent visit to Gaza, that hellhole for Palestinians situated between Israel, the sea, and Egypt, all hostile neighbors. Chomsky talks about the settled Israeli policy to repress the people in the Gaza Strip: "humiliation, degradation, and torture." It's an integral part, he argues, of the conqueror mindset. And without saying so directly--as he has in other places--he would surely argue that the U.S. has it too.
The need to humiliate those who raise their heads is an ineradicable element of the imperial mentality.

In the case of Israel-Palestine, there has long been a near-unanimous international consensus on a diplomatic settlement, blocked by the United States for 35 years, with tacit European acceptance. 

Contempt for the worthless victims is no small part of the barrier to achieving a settlement with at least a modicum of justice and respect for human dignity and rights. It's not beyond imagination that the barrier can be overcome by dedicated work, as has been done elsewhere. 

Unless the powerful are capable of learning to respect the dignity of the victims, impassable barriers will remain, and the world will be doomed to violence, cruelty and bitter suffering.
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