Do you try to promote peace in your “little corner of the world”? Do you consider yourself to be an anti-war activist? If your answer to these questions is “yes”, you like many others, may be feeling discouraged during these dark times on earth. The war machines and the men who run them seem only to become more and more powerful. The malignant tumours of war from Iraq to Palestine and from Afghanistan to Columbia seem to grow and metastasize without abatement. The corporate media offers nothing to stop the madness and in fact, appears to echo the drumbeat of war. The most important battle is within and fatigue and discouragement may be the activist’s first enemy.
Though weakened by constant oppression, these Palestinians refuse to let attempts to humiliate them prevent them from carrying out their religious duty.
So where are our resources for renewal? From whence comes our strength and hope when all seems lost? Some answer, “from within!” … and it is so. Trite but true, the human spirit is as resilient as a fernstand, rising in spring from its wintry grave. We have seen it time and time again in our own life-experience. We can also rise above the truth-warp of the media and it’s repetitive, numbing effects by looking to others whose survival and faith inspire us to be strong in our battle for peace and justice … we can look to the East.
I thought about all this as I read another rotation of corporate propaganda about Palestine. On Saturday, AFP lead with a headline on Palestine: “Arafat under pressure after anti-US bomb but Sharon opposes expulsion.” The article begins with Sharon’s words to the Jerusalem Post: “Our calculations for years have been that expelling him would not be good for Israel … Also, the likelihood of expelling him without harming him is low, not only because of his security guards, but because he would be surrounded by a human chain of Israelis.”
Then AFP continued, “But Sharon stressed that he still considered Arafat the main obstacle to peace in the region and was not opposed to his expulsion in principle.” - but added, “A senior official from Sharon’s office insisted Friday that the premier’s comments were in no way a U-turn.” But for the last couple of years, haven’t we been hearing Sharon and his thugs declaring that Arafat had to go? Didn’t we recently hear his Deputy PM even saying Israel may kill President Arafat?
With white hair blending into the background of the Israeli flag, Sharon poses as a peacemaker for his friends in the mass media.
This kind of rhetoric coming from Israel through it’s western media darlings has become so tiresome and has lost so much credibility that one can only imagine why they continue. The lid on the rhetorical coffin Israel has built for Palestine has no more room for nails! The media is so saturated with pro-Israel-anti-Palestinian propaganda, most no longer read the articles! A brush past a headline is all one has to see!
Does the corporate media continue to print these articles as some sort of surety that the world will not forget it’s position? Does the monolithic press worry that somehow, a reader might momentarily question the morality of Israel’s occupation of Palestine - or God-Forbid -the legality and validity of the Jewish State? Are the these steady-drip-drip-drip reports on Israel’s repetitive, nuanced haggling intended to wear down the reader’s mind to simply accept what is happening out of fatigue? We sometimes see that result in the popular, fatalistic and irresponsible words of resignation, “Oh those people have been fighting and killing each other for centuries. They will never stop”. Or are these “news” articles an attempt to drown out the cries of the Palestinian people?
The media reports are old and repetitive. But this much is clear: In Palestine, things unprecedented have been happening. Since 9/11/01, Israel’s aggression and brutality become so great that many of their own military personnel will no longer go to work in the killing fields of Palestine. Human rights activists have been murdered by the Israel’s well-armed, well-fed military. Entire orchards have been ripped up in the name of “security”; drinking water diverted; the destruction of Palestinian homes has become routine; unemployment, malnutrition, and poverty are rampant; the now-famous little boys who die while throwing stones at IDF tanks are described as victims of their own parents, rather than the heroic victims of the Israeli killing machine that they really are; Israel’s so-called “checkpoints” have become pretexts for killing Palestinians trying to get to their jobs, businesses and hospitals for medical treatment … and the list of sad, new things happening in Palestine goes on …
Rachael Corrie was killed by this bulldozer as she was protesting against the destruction of Palestinian homes - the military said that the driver didn’t see her.
Those of us who have been observing this horrific crime scene from outside the box built by the U.S.-Zionist media moguls have expressed our horror and outrage. We read and write about it. Some of our human-rights brothers and sisters have gone to Palestine to observe the atrocities first-hand. Some of them have returned with their films, slide presentations and words. Some have not returned, murdered by the Israeli army - but most American people know little about that. The story of Rachel Corrie soon evaporated from the pages of the Zionist press in the U.S. But the carefully fabricated “Rescue of Jessica Lynch” will receive dramatized, prime time coverage on NBC’s “Dateline” later this month - all to feed the continuing U.S. slaughter of Iraqi people to the delight of the racist Zionist state.
So the corporate news continues to batter away with their Pro-Israel, Anti-Palestinian, Anti-Muslim, Anti-Arab racism. The majority of Americans read the headlines and move on to the sport section. We activists continue to read and write and speak out. The bleeding and dying Palestinian people continue their long and courageous battle for survival. The world watches the U.S.-Zionist capacity for ruthlessness and now reads that this same killer government is prowling the seas in submarines equipped with nuclear weapons.
The Future of the Anti-war Movement
I am often asked, “What will be the future of the Anti-war movement? The question often looks outward - to “anti-war leaders” and “anti-war organizations” and the direction of “the movement”. The future? AFP, AP, Reuters and their corporate filters at NYT, Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, etc. will continue to support the state of Israel and their killing spree in Palestine. They will also continue Israel’s “war on terrorism” by proxy in Iraq and elsewhere through their alliance with the Americans. So can they be stopped? If so, who will stop them? It should be obvious by now, that the European governments will not stop them. The Arab countries, looking down the barrels of Israel’s nuclear weapons are helpless to do anything. Stopping the Neocon-Bush wars falls upon the shoulders of ordinary, individual persons like you and me. Otherwise, they will continue without meeting any real resistance.
The responsibility to make more and more people aware of the injustice and the threat to world peace falls upon you - You who have the courage to speak to your fellow-worker at your place of employment, your neighbour on the front porch, your tennis partner or your friend at a cocktail party - the courage put a sticker on the bumper of your car - the courage to go to the streets in local and national anti-war protests.
George Bush was correct when he said the “war on terrorism” would not soon end. Neither will the anti-war movement. Weary? Discouraged? Sure … sometimes … but defeated? Never! I don’t know who said it, but I love the quote: “There are two superpowers in the world today: The U.S. Government … and The People”. When you feel discouraged and like giving up, you only have to look “within” - for “within” - there is something magical. It is only when we come to an end of our hoarded resources that the human spirit begins to give … and sometimes we have to look to others.
Isn’t it ironic that when we feel dejected and fatigued … we can find hope and strength by looking to the very people we think we are trying to help? When we look East to the Palestinians - we see an oppressed and impoverished people who have suffered ineffably … but a people rich in commitment, determination, resourcefulness, courage, faith and heart.
Les Blough edits the Axis of Logic web site.