What is the United States, anyway? It’s a government that exists by virtue of an agreement between the various ‘states’. It’s the only thing keeping Hawaii, Guam and Samoa from going off on their own and bombing the bejesus out of Japan.
The US Government is the only thing keeping Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands from attacking Spain and taking away all its possessions.
And the US Government is the only thing keeping the secular state of Israel afloat year after year with its foreign aid.
I’m only pointing this out so you understand the gravity of the situation. When the US Government shuts down people all over the world will have to tend their own affairs, learn to get along with their neighbors or end up in endless wars the US isn’t even involved in.
So why, exactly, did the government shut down? We have to ask ourselves this. And the answer is obvious. The government shut down because not everyone was standing up for the National Anthem. Not everyone put their hands over their hearts to say the Pledge of Allegiance. And not everyone gazed at the US flag and gulped in veneration and awe.
So here we are living in the geography once occupied by the United States. What the hell should we do next?
I’m thinking if we’re going to start it all again, we need to begin with a new flag:
And a new National Anthem:
Never mind the Pledge of Allegiance. If you’ve got the money you can buy loyalty, votes, and every elected official.
Sometimes lousy things happen to good people, though it seems more often good things happen to lousy people. This journalist named Sotloff might be such a case. One way or the other. Because a single vowel in his surname separates him from being of the same primary gene stock as a possible foaming at the mouth dual citizenship Israeli in a US positions of power.
The Israeli who’d like nothing better than to slaughter every Arab on the planet isn’t easily distinguishable from those who only want to steal the land outside legally established Israeli borders inside Palestine. Individual Israelis have thus far been able to obscure such questions with accusations of anti-Semitism whenever they’ve been spoken. And obfuscated it further by claiming the lands they don’t own in Palestine and East Jerusalum actually belong to them legally because God said so.
Maybe an unfortunate coincidence for prisoner Sotloff being held by freedom fighters in Syria or Iraq. Who might, or mightn’t hold dual-citizenship, Israeli/United States.
The non-prisoner Sotloff in question has a nice piece up on Among the Righteous – Lost Stories of the Holocaust in Arab Lands. I suppose a person would have to buy the DVD to find out whether it’s typical Israeli anti-Arab propaganda, or some attempt at honesty.
Maybe the guys holding Satloff will fork out the currency and watch it when they’re deciding whether he needs his head chopped off.
Among the Righteous recounts Robert Satloff’s eight-year effort to provide a hopeful response to the problems of Holocaust ignorance and denial in the Arab world by asking a question no one had ever before posed: Did any Arabs save any Jews during the Holocaust?
His journey, which began on the streets of Manhattan on September 11, 2001, eventually took him on an eleven-country, four-continent search for courageous Arab heroes who helped protect Jews during their time of need. Along the way, he also unearthed a vast, unexplored story of what actually happened to the half-million Jews of the Arab lands of North Africa under Nazi, Vichy, and Fascist rule.
From the labyrinthine alleys of Tunis to the bustling souk of Fez to forgotten desert slave labor camps along the Morocco-Algeria border, Among the Righteous explores perhaps the last untold story of the greatest human calamity in modern times – the Holocaust. Filmed in eight countries — including Tunisia, Morocco, France, and Israel — the surprising discoveries chronicled in the film are already challenging how both Arabs and Jews view a long-forgotten but vitally important chapter of the Holocaust.
About the Web Site
Most of all, this Web site is an invitation to a conversation about Among the Righteous and a platform for further research. If you have a story to tell an Arab who helped, aided, protected, or saved a Jew during the Holocaust, please share it. If you have personal information about Arab-Jewish relations during the Holocaust, share it. If you would like to comment about the contemporary relevance of this history for Arabs and Jews, post it here. This moderated interactive forum will be open through October 2010.
This Web site complements the book and the PBS documentary film of the same name. It presents in visual form additional material that is not found in either the book or the film. For full context on the stories and information provided on this site, please refer to the book and to the additional educational resources listed on this Web site.
About the Author
Robert Satloff, one of the nation’s leading Middle East experts, is executive director of The Washington Institute, a respected policy think-tank, and host of Dakhil Washington (Inside Washington), a weekly public affairs program on al-Hurra Arabic satellite television network. Since the publication of Among the Righteous, Dr. Satloff and his work have been awarded the Anti-Defamation League’s prestigious Daniel Pearl Award for tolerance promotion as well as national prizes from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Touro Synagogue.
Take It Home
You can purchase a DVD copy of this documentary and the accompanying book through the PBS Shop:
Perhaps you readers will find this anecdote interesting and edifying. I certainly do.
So Far From Heaven blog has a reader and sometimes commenter who holds dual US/Israeli citizenship. Not to suggest it’s unusual. I might be the only US citizen alive who doesn’t hold dual Israeli citizenship.
But this So Far From Heaven reader is special. Back during the Vietnam War, maybe 1966-67, he adopted Judaism and fled to Israel to avoid the draft. Became a weaponry salesman for Israel, maybe to Israel, probably helping them furnish weapons for every drug lord in South America.
Yeah, this guy was a sight to behold back in the day. Running along the railroad tracks with a backpack full of rocks in training for the Israeli army when he arrived in Israel sometime hence. He knew if he became an Israeli he’d have to be in the military, but Israel never loses anyone in their wars.
Tens of thousands of casualties in the armed forces the Israeli military attacks by surprise and defeats. A few hundred Israeli casualties. Fell off trucks or something, most likely, or accidentally shot themselves.
Look up the statistics on every Israel war if you don’t believe me. Any one. Take your pick. Look at the Israeli casualty counts, and the body counts of the countries they attacked. Including the USS Liberty. No Israeli casualties on that surprise attack on a US warship lasting several hours. Not one.
Obviously our Israeli/US citizen reader/draft-dodger knew that. He picked a winner for a country he could ‘serve’ in complete safety. And when it was all over he came back to the Good Old US of A to buy and sell big guns.
They’re everywhere. Even here on So Far From Heaven.
An open letter to President Wossname, the guy in the White House
Backward South American countries gave right-wing death squads a bad name during the last half of the 20th Century. Naturally nobody wanted to be identified with anything backward Mexicans in Chile or Argentina did, so for a while the United States People In Power tried to find lower profile alternatives to accomplish the same goals.
But the truth is that throwing the baby out with the bathwater just narrows the options more than is required.
Henry Ford, the US mining industry, the US lumber industry, and during the Vietnam War, the US government all used right-wing death squads for the greater good of all. The industries would have had a lot more difficulties busting the unions if it hadn’t been for right-wing death squads. The US government couldn’t have killed off all the Black Panthers without them. The Vietnam War protests would have gone on and on ad infinitum if the Ohio National Guard’s right-wing death squad hadn’t opened up on those students at Ohio State and showed them what-for.
Bill Clinton and Janet Reno ran up a trial balloon at Waco, then again at Ruby Ridge in an attempt to restore the usefulness of right-wing death squads, clean up the image. But for reasons not fully understood, the practice was then dropped.
Hopefully this guy in there now will examine the benefits the US has reaped in the past through the use of right-wing death squads and see it’s time to bring it back for the greater good of all.
Right wing death squads aren’t a solution to every problem, as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno demonstrated. But that only means they didn’t use the right tool for the right job.
Right-wing death squads worked admirably for Henry Ford and the mining and lumber industries. They worked great in South America, despite the bad press. And history proves they can work well again in the United States if properly applied.
This is a confusing situation. First I consulted my feline advisers about it, which didn’t help much.
Mr. Hydrox did, however, point out that the chickens, coons, possums and deer want to be like cats, coming onto the porch eating cat food, which gave me pause. But then I discussed it with the Great Speckled Bird, who pointed his spurs of blame in the direction of the deer and the coons, mainly.
“You’re constantly having to run them out of the chicken feed you put out for us. Those deer aren’t even scared of you, but it’s fun watching you trying to chase them off throwing rocks, cussing and waving your arms around. Damned deer want to be like us chickens.”
The deer were next in line for consultation. That’s more difficult because they don’t speak proper English. But a young buck assured me it was the feral swine causing the problem. “Squeeee deer are just hungry. Squeee don’t meannnnn no harm ner try busting things up. Most of ussss. It’s them damned wild hawggggs doing that. They want to beeeeee like us deer. Copycat bastards.”
What I was trying to figure out was why ‘we’ US citizens want the rest of the world to be like us.
At least, we want them to want to be like us
Time was not so long ago when the US cared so little about whether the rest of the world wanted to be like us, or not, the thought would have never entered their heads yea or nay. Prior to WWII most US citizens wanted nothing more than to go about their own affairs and be left strictly out of the troubles spilling blood all over the planet. What the rest of the world did was the business of the rest of the world.
Earlier, during the Civil War, when the UK was trying to decide whether to join the French in the invasion of Mexico, the Prime Minister was saying a lot of things to Queen Victoria about the leadership of the country (Abraham Lincoln), the reasons for the war, the conduct of the war, that Americans would have found painful to hear if they hadn’t been too busy killing one another to pay attention.
But they’d have found those remarks between the PM and the Queen painful because they contained so much truth. Not because they cared a damn what the leaders of the UK thought about the US.
We’ve spent the last half-century trying to make the rest of the world want to emulate us, politically. Most of the world wasn’t interested. But we did succeed in a lot of ways nobody anticipated. We shipped all our industry off to the countries we’d spent a lot of lives and treasure whupping the socks off of, trying to help them be like us just a few years earlier.
By ‘we’, I’m not talking about ‘me’, nor am I talking about ‘you’ if you happen to just be a regular person who wasn’t involved in making decisions to ship all our production, manufacturing and skilled labor jobs off to third world countries because of the cheap labor and ostensibly trying to help them to be like us.
The ‘we’ I’m talking about is some nebulous consortium of folks who had enough money to own companies, factories, mines, lumber mills, steel mills and all the other components involved in a healthy economy with a population of employed citizens.
And by ‘we’ I’m also talking about several generations of bought and paid for politicians of both parties who found themselves more attracted to serving the interests of those described immediately above than protecting the interests of the citizens who elected them to public office.
When the parts of ‘we’ described above were minding ‘our’ own business the part of ‘we’ not included had thriving industry, plenty of jobs, affluence. Anyone who wanted a job could find one.
But gradually, as ‘we #1’ and ‘we #2’ succeeded in making the rest of the world in our own image in some unanticipated ways, all three of ‘our’ industry and production infrastructures became a dead shell. All ‘our #3’ jobs became government related, or pure government, or ‘service’, such as selling insurance, flipping hamburgers, running the sewer plant, advertising, cashiers, sales, lawyering, medical, and cops. The kinds of jobs producing nothing of lasting value, nothing for export.
And in the process, the world we made in our own image wanted to be like us. They wanted cars, television sets, air conditioners, microwave ovens. They became super-consumers. They began needing petroleum products for energy, for plastic rubber monster toys for the kids. Petroleum to run their power plants to refrigerate. Petroleum to run their hair dryers. Petroleum to run their industries.
They became like us.
Meanwhile, the dead hull of US industry didn’t demand so much energy, but our automobiles, air conditioners and plastics requirements continued to do so.
But the rest of the world wanted it, too. They became like us. Prices skyrocketed.
So, now we don’t have any industry, don’t produce anything, but still need the energy to run. And so, also, does the rest of the world because they’ve done as we hoped. They became like us. Now maybe we need to find some other ways to make them want to be like us, before they decide to be like us in some other unanticipated ways we’ll like a lot less.
But a couple of decades ago the entire Eastern Block of Nations, along with Iran, did something we might be well served to emulate. They kicked out all the politico factions who’d been selling out the interests of the citizenries, tried a lot of them for treason and other serious crimes, and tried to start anew.
Now that they’ve managed to become like us it’s time we tried to be like them.
Finally, Tabby pointed out what’s probably both true and obvious.
“You run those chickens off the porch when they try to steal our food. You do whatever you have to do to keep the coons and possums from killing the chickens. You drive the deer away from the chicken feed. And you kill the swine because they’re dangerous to all of us and destroy everything that stands in their way of taking everything from all of us.
74 years old, a resident of Leavenworth, KS, in an apartment located on the VA campus. Partnered with a black shorthaired cat named Mister Midnight. (1943-2020)
Since April, 2020, this blog is maintained by Jeanne Kasten (See "About" page for further information).
I’m sharing it with you because there’s almost no likelihood you’ll believe it. This lunatic asylum I call my life has so many unexpected twists and turns I won’t even try to guess where it’s going. I’d suggest you try to find some laughs here. You won’t find wisdom. Good luck.