At present, many writers in the alternative media are feeling extremely angry, depressed and frustrated at what is happening in Palestine and Lebanon. Despite hundreds of editorials and essays eloquently decrying Israeli aggression and provocation and spelling out the very obvious reason for the long-standing violence in the Middle East, Israel continues its murderous rampage, killing almost 70 Lebanese civilians yesterday. Yesterday's attacks involved Israeli bombing of entire Lebanese villages, such as Srifa in the south west of Lebanon where Israeli F-16 jets, supplied free of charge by the US government, destroyed 15 houses, killed at least 20, and wounded at least 30, men women, young and old alike. The truly horrifying thing however is that the inhabitants of the villages were fleeing on the orders of the Israeli government itself, yet as the villagers attempted to leave in their cars and vans, they were targeted by Israeli jets and blown to pieces...
At the beginning of the current crisis in Palestine, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated clearly that the lives of Israeli civilians were more important than the lives of Palestinian civilians and that the bombing of the Gaza strip and Lebanon is designed to wipe out the threat to Israeli citizens from Hamas and Hezbollah. In the past 5 years, 5 Israeli civilians have been killed in one town as a result of Hamas rockets, and none have been killed as a result of Hizbollah attacks. Yet in the past week and as a result of Israeli attacks on Hamas and Hezbollah, 14 Israeli citizens of Haifa have been killed. Clearly, and despite his words, Olmert cares little more for the lives of Israeli Jews than he does for the lives of Arabs.
Is It Really About Defence?
As an explanation for the murder of 300 Lebanese civilians over the past 7 days and the murder of over 3,000 Palestinian civilians and 800 Israeli civilians over the past five years, Bush and Olmert repeatedly state that "Israel has a right to defend itself". When the facts are analysed, this claim is nonsensical and an outright lie. The Israeli military has been occupying Palestinian, Lebanese (the Chebaa Farms area) and Syrian (Golan heights) for almost 40 years. In the Palestinian land that it occupies, the Israeli government had reduced the Palestinian population therein to little more than slaves. Israel holds these lands in defiance of international law. This is the major source of Palestinian and Hezbollah resentment towards and attacks on Israel. The continuation of an enforced occupation of the sovereign territory of another people and nation simply cannot be described as "defence". If a person comes and throws you out of your home and occupies it by force of arms, he may claim that he is "defending" it, but it is a defence of something acquired through illegal means and is therefore an unlawful and aggressive act. It is not defence.
The history of Israeli tactics in the occupied Palestinian territories over the past 50 years make it very clear that the ultimate goal of the Israeli power brokers has always been the removal, in one way or another, of all Palestinians from their land.
Consider the below image of illegal Israeli settlements in the West.
Now remember, other than the miniscule Gaza strip, this is all of the land available for a Palestinian state! The Israeli government began building the illegal settlements in 1967, they same year that it annexed Lebanese and Syrian land. Today, Israeli settlers live in plush comfortable houses with all amenities on 40% of Palestinian land in the West Bank, while Palestinians regularly have their meager houses destroyed by Israeli bulldozers. All crossings out of Gaza and the West Bank are strictly controlled by Israeli troops, with most Palestinians being denied the right to leave. Poverty in Gaza and the West Bank is rife with 65% of the population living below the poverty line i.e. on less than $2 per day.
What is very clear to Palestinians, and has been for a very long time, is that the Israeli government never intended to allow the Palestinians to have a state of their own. Palestinians are painfully aware of the fact that, since 1967, the Israeli government has been preparing what was left of Palestinian land for a final annexation into Israel, with the only impediment to the fulfillment of this plan being the Palestinians living there. With the recent staged crisis, Israel hopes to find the opportunity to deal with this last 'obstacle' to Greater Israel, once and for all. Clearly then, it is the Palestinians, and now the Lebanese, who are, and have always been engaged in defence against a long-term and ongoing Israeli plot to dispossess them of their land and homes forever.
How do you feel about this?
When you look at the bodies of Lebanese babies, their little bodies lying mangled, scattered around the ground beside the burnt-out van they were travelling in only minutes before, what do you feel? Is this a just end to this child's life?! Did he deserve it?!
When you realise that these children were ordered to leave their homes by the Israeli military in a deliberate ploy to "flush them out" in order to blow them to pieces with their bombs, what do you feel?
When you see the once beautiful brown curls of a 5 year old Lebanese girl, now matted with her own blood, her clothes torn, her head hanging lifeless, what do you feel?
When you look at the image below of another Lebanese "terrorist" girl 'taken out' by Israeli war planes, do you think of your own children? Do you imagine how you would feel if this were your child?
When you see the burning bodies of two lebanese civilians, the victims of Israeli and American 'defence', is it pride you feel?
Imagine for a moment that you are the President of America, or a member of his administration, or the Israeli Prime Minister, or a member of his administration. Having seen these pictures, would you, as "Commander in Chief", continue to order more air strikes on civilian targets? If you retained even an ounce of your own humanity - your ability to empathise with the suffering of another - you most definitely would not. You could not. Bush and Olmert see these pictures and they remained unmoved, supremely detached from any emotion at the sight of a dead child, and they give the order to continue the bombing.
Apparently, they want to see more dead children.
Am I being inflammatory when I say this? Am I exaggerating? Can it really be possible that our leaders are so inhuman, so different from you and I?
No one wants to consider such a concept, but what else are we to conclude when the bombing continues? When 270 of 300 Lebanese killed in the past week were innocent civilians, are you going to tell me that Israeli (and therefore American) war technology is so crude that it repeatedly hits the wrong target? In which case, why do they keep using such devices? Are you trying to tell me that missiles that hit the fleeing civilians were not deliberate? How far can your credibility be stretched?
The Real Enemy Of Mankind
The 'crisis' in Palestine and Lebanon comes at a bad time for the alternative media. Up until a few weeks ago, we could still entertain the idea that we were making a difference. The dogged blogging and posting of articles and editorials on web sites seemed to be having an effect. We felt we had a voice and that it was being listened to by an ever increasing number of people. We thought the pressure we were bringing to bear would surely stay the hand of the war mongers, that they would 'see the light', that we could 'bring them to their senses'. But we were wrong it seems.
If there is one glaring problem with the alternative media today it is that they do not know the true nature of the enemy. In fact, no one seems to realise that we are fighting an enemy at all. Most still believe that we are dealing with a few misguided political leaders who just seem to have a really hard time realising that their actions are causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. If they could only be made aware of this, the world would turn the corner towards peace and prosperity for all, right?
Unfortunately, there is a serious problem with this assumption.
If we, the information-deprived masses, are able to get a glimpse of the carnage that our political leaders are causing, is it not a certainty that these same political leaders are significantly more aware of the results of their actions? After all, they are in possession of detailed intelligence reports on demographics, details of targets selected and the nature and destructive power of the weapons they employ against those targets. When we hear of an Israeli or American bomb scoring a direct hit on a residential house that kills dozens of innocent men women and children, our lack of knowledge of military affairs and planning allows us to believe that maybe it was a mistake, that they didn't really mean to kill civilians. Indeed, we need to believe this, because to believe otherwise is to face ourselves into a very frightening scenario indeed - that our political leaders, the men and women who sit in almost absolute power over us, are fully conscious of their actions and therefore lack the one characteristic that defines a person as truly human: empathy for the suffering of another human being.
So we force ourselves to believe that the men and women with the power to kill millions would never take delight in exercising that power. We think that because we recoil in horror and grief at the sight of the lifeless body of a small child lying beside the burnt out shell of the car she was travelling in before it was hit by an Israeli or American missile, that the men who fired the missile, or those who ordered them to fire it, are also deeply moved by such a tragic scene. Yet we run into a problem the very moment that a second missile, then a third and then a fourth, extinguishes more innocent lives. How many more bodies of dead children, how many more weeks of Israeli military bombing campaigns on civilian targets are needed before we come to the conclusion that the members of the Israeli, American and British governments who, in full knowledge of their actions continue to sanction or order such attacks, simply do not, cannot, feel the same way about the massacring of innocent children as you and I?
Understandably, this is a hard one for many people to accept. To accept it heralds the end of our cozy world-view where basically good and decent leaders, people just like you and I, are at least striving to do what is best for the world and its people. In its place, we find ourselves in a world where the global power brokers, the people who control every aspect of our material lives, appear not to care about human life at all, save their own.
How long might an impala on the serengeti expect to survive if, despite all evidence to contrary, it continues to believe in the innate benevolence of a lion towards its species?
This is an appropriate analogy. Scientific studies have shown that when normal human beings are presented with a disturbing image of human suffering, an area of the brain associated with emotion and empathy "lights up". Similar studies carried out on known psychopaths show that they appear to lack the normal range of human emotion. When a psychopath is shown a picture of a car, followed by a picture of a dead child and a grieving mother, there is no difference in brain response. There is no feeling it seems.
Dr Hervey Cleckly spent years studying psychopaths up close and personal. His book, The Mask of Sanity, shows that, outwardly, the average intelligent psychopath bears no resemblance, neither in appearance nor actions, to Hannibal Lecter or Ted Bundy. Neither is he in jail. On the contrary, the average psychopath appears to be conscious of the fact that he lacks the basic human ability to feel deep emotion and empathy for another. Early on in his life, the psychopath learns that displays of complete indifference to the suffering of others are reacted to with concern and sometimes anger by his family and peers. So he learns to conceal it. At the same time, he recognises and gravitates towards others who share his deficiency.
It is not hard to imagine that psychopaths do very well in business and politics where the promotion of self-interest and the accrual of personal and group power is the name of the game. Where you or I, in possession of a conscience, would surely balk at, for example deliberately getting a work colleague fired for no reason other than facilitate our own ascent of the corporate ladder, no such impediment to success exists for the psychopath who simply cannot put himself in the place of another human being and therefore feel empathy. While it has been estimated that approximately 6% of the global population falls into the category of psychopath (about 360 million people), their extreme self-interest and the fact that such "ambition" is a key ingredient of success in the world of politics and business, we assume much more than 6% of top level corporate, government and military positions are held by people who possess no ability to empathise with the needs or suffering of another human being.
A perusal of the last few thousand years of the history of our world quickly reveals to us that, more than anything else, war has defined our 'evolution' (if it can be called that). Equally obvious is the fact that, in war, soldiers and civilians die while the men and women responsible for waging war (on both sides) generally neither fight in the war nor are punished for their part in it encouraging it.
Does that tell you anything?
Throughout history, small groups of people have risen to power over the masses, and by the promotion of religious, ethnic or political divisions, they have set large groups of ordinary human beings against each other in order to further their personal goals. More often that not, ideologies such as 'freedom' are used to rally the masses to fight. But history testifies that the only real net result of war is the consolidation of power into the hands of an 'elite' few. After the allies were victorious in WWII, Stalin went on to murder 50 million Russians. World War II led to the creation of the state of Israel and the ongoing persecution of Middle Eastern Arabs. World War II also facilitated the USA's rise to a position of global preeminence, a situation which has caused more death and suffering over the past 60 years than at any other time in our recent history.
Now more than ever, there is an opportunity for each of us to recognise who the true enemy is. Why should we or our sons and daughers continue to fight and kill each other on the command of a small group of people whose only contribution has been to enrich themselves at our expense, at the expense of our very lives? Are we stupid? Or are we just misinformed? The reality of our world has always been a very clear case of Us and Them, yet we have failed to see it. We fail to see the predatory, unfeeling nature of these people because we ourselves lack such a nature. We project on to them our own human values of empathy and conscience when, time and again, they have proven that they possess no such qualities. We have allowed them to divide us, and set us at each others throats in the name of freedom, a value that we hold dear, not they (save for their usefulness in manipulating us).
Now more than ever, the very real yet hidden phenomenon of psychopathy needs desperately to be uncovered. We need to avail ourselves of the evidence that suggests that many of our political leaders are clinical, yet very smart and careful psychopaths. There is no other plausible explanation for their smug brutality, their deadly lies, their utter indifference to the pitiful sight of the lifeless body of small child for whose death they are responsible.
Lest anyone begin the process of rationalising what I have said, realise that to do so is evidence that your own humanity is being robbed from you by the propagation of our 'leaders' psychopathic values and ideologies. "War is peace", "Black is White" "Muslims are Terrorists" "Our government is protecting us". Before you fall for such paramoralisms, know this; psychopaths feel no empathy for any other human being. Race or creed does not figure into the equation. There is significant evidence that the psychopaths in power in the US and Israel knowingly murdered 3,000 American citizens on September 11th 2001, few were Muslim. At present the Israeli government is placing the lives of Israeli Jews in clear danger precisely because they simply cannot care about the life of any other human being, Christian, Muslim, Jew they are concerned for none but themselves.
As a conclusion, I would like here to present a theory for your consideration, and while you may immediately reject it as implausible, I suggest you watch events in the Middle East and notice the direction they take. My suggestion is that the ultimate goal of the plan that is being currently implemented in Lebanon and Palestine is the destruction of a majority of the population of the modern-day Middle East.
Far from attempting to rid the world of a previously more or less non-existent anti-Semitism, the policies pursued by successive Israeli governments have gone a long way to increasing ill-feeling towards Jews and Israel. By repeatedly condemning anyone who speaks out against the increasingly brutal actions of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic, Israeli leaders and lobbyists are coming close to making the word anti-Semitism respectable. When that happens, the demise of Israel, the Jews and the Arabs of the Middle East will be all but assured. That day is closer than any of us realise.
We have but one hope to prevent what appears to be an approaching major war in the Middle East that will not be limited to that region and which will result in the deaths of millions of innocents: we must understand the truth about the men and women that call themselves our 'leaders', yet who offer nothing but war, suffering and death. We must realise that they are not like you and I, they do not feel as you and I feel, they do not love as you and I love. They are psychopaths, and under their stewardship death and destruction is 100% assured.