Monday, July 31, 2006

War Crimes Send Birds Scattering

Didn't you know that? Well, now you do.

On the morning of the carnage^H^H^H^H^H^H^H sad and tragic collateral damage that slaughtered dozens of people among whom a majority of children, the world saw it happening. In a great harmony, the chirping birds just took off in a great and chaotic flutter of wings: dear Mrs Rice and her team made haste to announce they were returning to the US and also pushed to get the one thing they needed: an annoucement that could be seen as going in the direction of a cease-fire. Thus, while the Israeli military used the one worn out excuse that all war criminals have held out over the ages and claimed that the people who died had been warned and only needed to flee, Mrs Rice went into secluded meetings and spent all her energy and influence in reaching the one goal that matters to the Bush Administration: something to soften and help the catastrophic image it has all around the world.

So here came Mrs Rice, the triumphant victor in air-conditioned rooms where people are nice and polite and ask you if you'd like another soda or perhaps a sandwich--much different from the oven-like temperatures, lack of air and constant explosions that send your heart hammering in your chest when you sweat off your nights in a bomb shelter in Lebanon, but still very very hard I'm sure. And here she announced a pause in the air strikes that is scheduled to last some 48 hours. Of course, this concerns air strikes, not ground or naval strikes, and doesn't concern any ground operation currently underway. Of course, the fact that this could very well be just the expression of a tactical modification in Tsahal's plans and not something even remotely resembling a beginning of cease-fire is of no consequence. What matters is that Mrs Rice has her announcement for the world to hear. Something that says "hey, I'm really trying to make it stop, despite what you all think that I'm just biding time and dallying around, delaying the inetrnational community so that Israel can carry out its little war without interfence and do our job for us".

Perhaps she believes it will fool people, and change public opinions around the world as to what the US is really doing in this crisis. If I were her, I wouldn't count on that, though.

As to our nice war criminals and their ages-old excuse of "we warned them, they just needed to flee", I really wish that those people had guts, and just the tiniest bit of courage. I thought that killing off kids and innocent people was the hard part, but it would seem I was mistaken. Slaughtering the innocent is the easy part. Assuming the consequences of your action really seems beyond the strength and courage of Tsahal.

"They were warned," you tell us, Mr Army spokesman. Yes, of course they were. And what were they supposed to do about the warning? "They merely needed to go away," you answer us. Just how were they supposed to do that, Mr Army spokesman? With what means of transportations? On what roads? Over what bridges? Ah, those you all destroyed, thus making travel extremely hazardous and dangerous, if not outright impossible? And I suppose you wouldn't have bombed them on the way either, the way you didn't bomb ambulances and humanitarian or food convoys. Sure. Let's even admit all this, flee where? To what house? What job? What life?

Can you answer me that, Mr Army spokesman?

Ah, no, I see that you can't.

Israel and the US make a ratrher pathetic couple, right now. A pitiful, miserable pair, glued, stuck in a swamp of their own making. Condi must be really put out at Tsahal right now. With its action on Qana, the same Qana which Tsahal bombed back in 1996, slaughtering more than a hundred innocent civilians who had taken refuge in a UNO building (rings a bell?) during a campaign to destroy Hezbollah (rings another bell?). Yes, her feathers must be ruffled at this catastophe--oh, not the losses of innocent lives, no, but on the effect it has in the world, and the consequences for her and the US. It becomes really difficult to hold their "let Israel do what it has to do first" line, but they're doing it. While they go in long meetings to get an annoucement like a pause in air-strikes which is most likely nothing other than a tactical redeployment, our darling Condi is still not calling for an immediate cease-fire. But she does move around, a lot.

And so, as they did in 1996, war crimes send birds scattering in disarray. This time the birds are Condi and her team.

(Source: today's edition of the New York Times)

Oh, last minute news from The Guardian and Le Monde: despite announcing a cease-fire, Israeli jets are busy bombing South Lebanon. But then, what else can one expect from war criminals?

Please, everyone, take note: while the army announced a pause in air strikes to allow refugees to flee, thus implicitly acknowledging that it would have been impossible before and invalidating the ludicrous excuse they used to justify yesterday's carnage, they also announced that that would continue bombing any Hezbollah group detected in action. Black and white in the same sentence. But of course. I'm sure the refugees find this rhetoric very amusing, and appreciate it for what it is.

And while fools like Mr Mallaby vent their frustration by spitting on old Europe, History, as old Europe warned you, is busy repeating itself.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


In the grand Stratego game unfolding in the Middle East (and killing off hundreds of innocent people, displacing half a million innocents who've lost everything they had to define their lives, but let's not tarry on inconsequential collateral damages, our air strikes have a perfect surgical precision), I have found myself wondering what the heck Tony Blair was doing.

For a very long time, I've found myself wondering just where the UK was going, and how its governement could believe the path it had chosen would be beneficial. When I saw Tony Blair rallying W's insane cause and speech of "Crusades" and "Changing the Middle-East" through the folly that led the US in Irak, I just went, "duh, has Blair taken leave of his senses?"

Well, he has not--or not in the sense I first thought.

Reading today's edition of the Guardian, I have found a few scraps that may be the start of an explanation to Tony Blair's apparently crazy choices and decisions. Why did Tony Blair play along with the brutish, coarse and beyond stupid, primitive rethoric of Georges W Bush? Why did he play along with "Crusades" and "Bring Them On" (W has since then been on the receiving end of his "bring them on", not that he'll ever admit as much)? Why is Blair allowing himself to be seen as the US's dog? Why does he let W talk to him as one would a pal during a student party? Why does he bow at anything W says and play good and obedient "aye aye sir" underling?

Well, it would appear Tony Blair believes he can accomplish something by being on the good side of W. It would appear our dear Tony believes he has a mission to accomplish, and that in order to reach the higher goal, he needs to kind of sacrifice his image by doing a bit of "W boot licking".

There is something that is almost coherent in that line of thinking. It's true that you need to US if you're going to do any good in the Middle-East. You need its military power (although how much of it is left now that they're firmly trapped in Irak and not anywhere near winning free of that swamp?), you need its influence on some Arab countries, and first and ofremost on Israel (if one can conceive that the US will ever go against Israel's will, that is yet to be proven possible). It may also be true that in order to make friends with the US, while it's being led by the likes of W and his goons, Cheney and Rumsfeld overshadowing his every action, you need to play dog and win that friendship through displays of blind, mindless loyalty and all that jazz.

Still, when I contemplate plans like that, when I contemplate Tony Blair playing along with primitive speeches and black and white views of the world, I can't help but ask: Mr Blair, are you simple-minded, naive or blinded by your sense of being burdened by a mission only you can achieve?

You can play W's game all you want, you won't make him change his mind. You won't bring him to your line of thinking. You won't make him see the other side of the coin. W's game is a game of alpha males locked in a sandbox and battling it out. In this game, brains and strategy, intelligence matter almost not at all. You allow yourself to be used, you allow the UK's image in the Arab World (and elsewhere) to be diminished and tainted. But you will get nothing in return.

Trying to counter that by naive displays of your opposition to W in domains like stem cell research that, in the grand scheme of things in the Middle East have zero importance, is nice and all, but will produce no result--or it might, but the opposite of what is desired. Instead of portraying Blair as a courageous opponent to what is nothing more than the obsucrantist policy of a man who's the puppet of raving religious fanatics (yes, I do believe that the Bible Belt people in the US are as dangerous, if not more, than the Islam fundamentalists), this kind of action simply leave off the sensation of a pathetic attempt at showing one's independance from W.

All in all, I always come back to the same conclusion: people who have "missions" are dangerous people. People with missions quickly become blind to anything other than what they perceive to be the one and only path they can walk. People with missions are easily manipulated, and lured the way one wants.

Delusions--it's the worst flaw in people with missions.

And it's a fatal one.

The only way out is to take off one's blindfold and to stop this blind forward race. to accept the possibility of being mistaken, of failure, and to stop. To stop and get a good look around, and change things while there is still time. But doing this takes courage, a lot of it. And Mr Blair doesn't look like he's ready for a much needed bit of soul searching and truth confronting.

In the meantime, Israeli bombs kill hundreds of innocents. Disturbing wounds and burns seem to indicate the possibility of use by Israel of Phosphoric bombs and maybe even chemical weapons. The Hezbollah sends missiles on Israeli cities and kills innocent Israeli civilians. And chaos--grows.

Entropy thrives.

Sometimes I wonder, are human mistakes and blindness just another expression of the second law of Thermodynamics?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lady demo, Host demo—Kamawanai yo !

Lady or Host, it doesn’t matter !

And truly, it doesn’t. Weirdly enough, I really enjoy this JPOP opening to Ouran Koukou Host Club, a manga being now turned into an anime TV series by the studio Bones. By the horribly high temperatures of this month of July, the show is a very welcome, refreshing breeze of air.

Take all the cliches of the shoujo genre, push them beyond what you thought imaginable. Next, mix the whole lot, and add a good dose of second degree humor, and you get a delightful story which blissfully ridicules all the genre cliches, makes you laugh and put you in a good mood after a hard day of sweating and generally being miserable at work. Of course, the fact Bisco Hatori draws more than pleasant to look at male characters, and th at the character designers have managed to caputre that quality helps in making the show very much enjoyable.

After all, even though the show ridicules the shoujo cliches and the fangirls in the process, it still needs to cater to them so it will sell. And it does the job beautifully. This fangirl is finding herself hooked on it, and needing more—more !

It has everything : Kyouya, the cold, cruel, intelligent and dark planner. Tamaki the gorgeous, naive and unlucky narcissist. Takashi, the silent, taciturn man who will suddenly fling himself to the rescue of cute, small and apparently so vulnerable-looking Hani. Hani himself, the eldest of them all who looks like a child, acts like one and is so cute and sweet it gives you an overdose in around ten seconds (watch out for his bunny rabbit plush., it’s a weapon of mass destruction). And, last but not least : Hikaru and Kaoru, the twins who’ve never had any friends and anyone outside of each other, and get many a squeal of delight each time they play the « Forbidden Gay Love of the Twins » act for the crowds of drooling fangirls attending the Host Club (and paying good money to have the privilege of watching the performances of the hosts).

Of course, in the middle of this very, very nice group of yummy young men comes an intruder : Haruhi. First mistaken for a boy (she really doesn’t care about her appearance or her gender), she stumbles in the middle of the Host Club and gets shangaied into being a member of it.

From thereon, many funny things follow, and classical yet sweet things too : from the daily extravaganza of the Host Club to please their fangirl-customers, to the invasion of a would-be manager for the club who’s a last-degree female otaku drooling over her fantasy of Kyouya and also to the discovery of the twins that Haruhi can tell them apart and sees each of them as an individual, as well as her slow, gentle entry in their private world, Ouran Koukou Host Club is really a delightful surprise, highly recommended during these difficult days of extreme heat and hard work days.

Now, give me MORE !

PS : check out Wikipedia for more info on the show.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

When My Pen Itches

It's a very weird sensation. Every now and then, I go through a bout of this strangest of fits.

I want to write. Just to write. Anything. A blog entry, a chapter of a fanfic, a message on a webboard. Anything, so long as I get to write. It's a nagging sensation, but a fun one also. To control it requires a strength of will I sometimes don't feel like gathering. It comes with being lazy, and with this being the end of a sunday afternoon. The sun is gently shining upon the trees on the forest. The heat is at last bearable after the visit of two thunderstorms last night--and most of all, I'm just too tired to shoo this mood away.

But there is one problem: even though I have a fanfic in the works, and scheduled for completion in September, today is July 23rd, and September is still far away. Even though the characters keep pestering me with little details, with insight on their personalities, I just can't let them overcome me for quite a while.

So instead, I write blog entries.

Most of the time, they're somber pieces, because the world we live in is a dark place for a great many, with the notable exception of the West, Japan and some rich people who enjoy life by crushing the existence of others. Nice leeches, very nice. Ooops, I'd better stop here, or this is going to derail in yet another piece of ranting. Sorry about that. So, most of the time I write dark-toned entries, because they reflect my vision of the world, and because I feel the need to share it around (Who ever said I was a nice girl?). I never (well, almost) speak about personal stuff or about my everyday life. Quite frankly, my everyday life is of no interest to strangers, and is better shared with friends and family face to face. Live, you know?

Still, there are brighter things one can talk about in a blog entry. I should talk about anime and manga more than I've done until now. Hm. Yes, I should. I should also talk more about TV series. It would be fitting, since I've immersed myself in those in the last months, more than I've watched anime.

Perhaps I should also warn the innocent reader who'd somehow stumble upon this blog entry to beware of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (aka MMORPG). Even I, who never play Computer Games (and I mean that, I don't even own a single one, and I own no console), got swallowed by that abyss. For a few months, I sank into a universe, devoting more and more time to that game each day, allowing it to eat bigger and bigger bits of my life. Welll, no longer. I have other things to do, other interests, and another universe to exist into, thank you very much.

But the lure of those online universes is a powerful one. Before I was confronted to such an experience, I didn't quite understand how you could get devoured by those things. Now, I have a better idea of the process involved. But I also know that you can easily win free of them. In those games as in all things, you decide. You, and nobody else. You decide to earse a character you created to be an ersatz of you. Nobody can prevent you from doing that, but yourself. Consequences on the universe you're leaving? Hey, why do you care? Leave it to the other players, they'll manage. Why worry? That universe existed before you came along, and it will keep on existing long after you're gone. We like to believe it, and to entertain that illusion, but we're not indispensable. In any domain, anywhere.

As they say, cemetaries are filled with indispensable people.

.... Hmmmmmm--we're now rather far away from the subject of my wirting brighter blog entries. Not to mention the title of this particular entry. Although, come to think of it, all this rambling has one source: my pen is itching.

Right now, I feel like writing.



And it feels wonderful!

Friday, July 21, 2006

And All Their Dreams, Torn Asunder.

I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts on the current wars led by Israel against the civilians of Gaza and Lebanon. I know, I know, many righteous people will tell me that Israel is simply trying to free its kidnapped soldiers and fighting against the terrorists of Hamas and Hezbollah. Will those same people please explain to me how bombing the Christian quarters of Beirut is fighting the Hezbollah? How annihilating the infrastructures of Lebanon, undermining its government and killing off children is fighting against terror and helping free those poor soldiers?

It’s highly likely, all these actions can achieve is getting those soldiers killed, sparking rage and long-lived hatred in the hearts of the Lebanese population, and in the end destroying any hope for peace and stability in the region for a very, very long time.

No matter how I try, I just don’t understand the rationale that’s behind Israel’s current actions. I don’t understand what the government of Ehoud Olmert is hoping to achieve. Destroying the Hezbollah? Can anyone in his right mind truly believe that? After a week of intense bombardment, all Israel has achieved is the destruction of a country that was rebuilding itself and finally succeeding in getting a chance at peace and stability after a score of years in the throes of civil war and Israeli/Syrian occupation. The death toll in civilians has soared, while the Hezbollah appears to have lost almost nothing of its power and hold on the South of Lebanon. With its seemingly random strikes, Israel is seen attacking humanitarian convoys, Beirut’s reserves for food, and it’s even hampering the evacuation of foreigners by threatening the boats which come to Beirut to get innocent people trapped in this one)sided war.

Yes, you heard me. I’m sure the American press hasn’t spoken much of it, but Israel has forced French evacuation boats to leave early, abandoning hundreds of refugees in Beirut, because past a given time Israel kindly warned the French authorities that it could “no longer guarantee” the boats’ safety and safe escape from the trap of Beirut’s port.

There. Now, do you see where we stand? Do you see the insanity of Israel’s actions? I get the feeling this is a runaway train heading straight for a mountain’s wall at full speed, and unable to stop.

What will it take for the international community to react?

Mr Bush is happy to let Israel do what he’d do if he could spare the military power, since his primitive black and white vision of the world would have him subdue the parts of the world which don’t work according to his views through the force of arms. Mr Bush dares to “hope the civilian casualties will be kept to the minimum”, in yet another display of despicable hypocrisy. Mr Bush cares nothing if Lebanon is destroyed. Mr Bush imagines that he can have Israel be the US’s viceroy in the region, a looming, threatening power that would guarantee the region’s stability for the US’ insatiable thirst for oil (and its profit for W’s friends…). And if whole populations in the Middle East are unhappy, live in poverty, cannot have the slightest chance at achieving a good life, who cares? Not Mr Bush, and not the Christian fanatics which are his base of support.

Mr Blair is also happy being Mr Bush’s dog. For some reason I have yet to understand, Mr Blair has chosen to debase the UK, and to play the role of Mr Bush’s and the US’ faithful servant. The G8 meeting conversation (in its entirety, not the small bit that went on TV), is very enlightening in that regard. There, again, I fail to understand. And I fail to understand how the English people can accept that, and how the advisers who have the ear of Mr Blair let him play that game without warning him of the political consequences of this game of his. He should stop, if only for his own personal interest—or is he really into that foaming at the mouth self-righteous “world vision” that they’re brining peace by allowing a few “unfortunate sacrifices” to take place?

As to Europe…. Poor, tattered Europe. The acceptance of the Eastern countries has diminished it. We have welcomed among us people who care nothing for the European ideal, only for the money Europe can bestow upon their private companies. Politically-wise, they follow the US in blind displays of gratitude for the US’s so-called support during the cold war, even though as I recall, at Yalta, when Stalin cut the world in half, the Americans agreed to it, and to abandoning the Eastern countries behind the Iron Curtain to the tender mercies of the Soviet Empire. Needless to say, I have yet to understand those people’s blind faith in the US as well.

France would do the right thing, France is calling for action and a cease-fire. At least someone is. But they don’t have the military power to move, and make a difference. Europe is too divided for France’s voice to be heard, thanks to all our new friends from the East.

The silence of the Arab countries is deafening, and extremely dangerous. The more time passes, the more populations who see that Lebanon is abandoned to the bombs of Israel are likely to turn, not to their own governments, but to terrorist groups and militia.

Where are Israel’s and the US’s hopes for a future stability and peace in the region in all this?


The only thing in sight is-- War.




Horror rained down from the sky by people who should know better, whose families have suffered the most horrible of genocides, and thus should know better than to visit chaos and death on innocents. Or is it that the horrors they suffered has bereft them of a heart and soul? Is it that they believe themselves entitled to any kind of action because of their terrible past? Has it made them blind and uncaring to the suffering of others? There is a horrible symmetry in Israel’s actions, in its bombing of innocent people. I think, that many people who advocate this exercise in slaughter of a country should take a good look in the mirror. I think what they’d see there wouldn’t be to their liking.

Because, the more time passes, the more they are becoming the enemy.

And all those who give a sad nod and look the other way as Mr Bush and Mr Blair are doing, are following the same dark path.

Tell me, Mr Bush, tell me, Mr Blair, you who think so highly of yourselves and your motives, where is your moral high ground, when you allow the bombing of humanitarian convoys, of purely civilian targets, of Christian quarters of Beirut to take place? Where is it, when you admittedly plan to wait until the grisly job of butchering Lebanon is done before coming in as saviours?

In Lebanon, people had at last reached the end s of their struggles. They had overcome the terrible consequences of a twenty-years long civil war. They had rebuilt. They were looking at very good prospects in terms of tourism. People at last had a chance of building themselves good lives, and at being happy.

All this is gone.

All this has been annihilated by Israel, and by the US’s and the UK’s mad choice to let it all happen unhindered.

All those people’s dreams, burnt to ashes.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

All Dead Civilans, Rise--and Say Thank You!

Every time I think we've hit rock bottom in ugliness and manipulation, a nice piece of news slaps me in the face to remind me that, no, there is no bottom to this particular pit of mud.

The US has reached an agreement with Israel on how to manage the little skirmishes taking place in Lebanon. Yeah, you know, this little bit of strife, where Israel is just trying to free two soldiers and accidentally killing off scores of civilians, men, women, children and old people (those are just collateral damages, they're sorry about them):

The outlines of an American-Israeli consensus began to emerge on Tuesday in which Israel would continue to bombard Lebanon for about another week to degrade the capabilities of the Hezbollah militia, officials of the two countries said.

Then, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would go to the region and seek to establish a buffer zone in southern Lebanon and perhaps an international force to monitor Lebanon’s borders to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining more rockets with which to bombard Israel.

American officials signaled that Ms. Rice was waiting at least a few more days before wading into the conflict, in part to give Israel more time to weaken Hezbollah forces.

Now I wonder, just how callous, how cynical can the US be? Wait until Israel has had time to weaken the Hezbollah, sure. And to kill how many more innocent people in the meantime? To destroy how many more roads, bridges, electric plants? Waiting until Israel has had time to weaken the Hezbollah? Talk about waiting until Israel is done anihilating that poor country, and blowing any hope of peace in the region to smithereens!

Mrs Rice, when you travel there to be seen as the American hero, the peace keeper, please, don't forget to drop by the destroyed homes and crops, by the cemetaries to chat with those who have lost a son, a daughter, a sister, a brother, a mother, a father, a friend to this barbaric war led by Israel. I'm sure they'll understand your rationale, and will congratulate you without any reservation.

Heck, maybe you and your dear W will be up for the Nobel Prize for peace next year, who knows?

... Oh, sorry, my mistake, I meant the Nobel Prize for Chaos Spawning and Cynicism. What? There's no such thing? No worries, I'm sure we can come with something suitable in no time.

(Source today's New York Times)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Laugh So That You Won't Cry

Reading the media everyday, and in particular reading the Editorial and Opinion columns is the only way to get the beginnings of a grasp of situations, and what people think about it (I really hate this in American media, they never speak their mind and their news columns are blunt descriptions without a single hint of opinion voicing, which allows the readers who skip the opinions section to escape the facts that one should reflect and analyze events, make oneself an opinion on those).

It is also, sometimes, a good way to get a good laugh at the idiots who look down on Europe and are blind to their own (perfect by nature and definition) country. Yesterday's editorial of the Washington Post by Mr Mallaby was such a welcome occasion to laugh at an otherwise more than dreary world situation. Here is the great wisdom Mr Mallaby has to share with us retarded peoples of Europe:

We may need $100 oil to jolt the Europeans and the Chinese.

Yeah, sure. It will jolt us. But first, darling, it will jolt YOU. We're not the ones living in coutnries where masculinity is defined by the number of gallons your car swallows every 100 kms. You do. Our cars drink a meager 5 litres per km. Your cars drink, on average, at least 3 times that. We have correct means of collective transport like trains. You have a decaying train system, and you have planes (very hungry where kerosene is concerned as I recall). So, while we will certainly get a jolt, it will most likely happen some time after the US has started weeping and wishing it had better ways of expressing its (obvious) superiority over all of humankind.

Even today, many of these freeloaders see mayhem in Iraq as America's problem. You'd think that chaos in a major oil exporter, with the potential to seed extremism all over the Middle East, would alarm all responsible governments.

Two sentences, two comments:
1 - But it is your problem, my dear. You decided to go there under the false pretense of bringing democracy to the Middle-East. You got warned you would only spawn chaos and instability and make the situation worse than it was at the start, but you went in anyway with your guns blazing. We even went so far as to tell you in the great hall of UNO before the whole world, and to veto your use of NATO for your own purposes. You went in anyway. Now you realize we were right all along. Well, shoulder your responsibility and deal, darling.
2 - But we are alarmed, my dear. We are alarmed. We told you so. The thing is, it's still your shit, your mess, your chaos. You went in and did it, now clean up after yourselves, why don't you? We are aware that oil is a much bigger problem for you than it is for us. Don't ask us to settle what you created against our expressed will and advice.

There is more where that comes from, among what is, in part, a rather interesting paper on Israel's response in Lebanon. If I have one piece of advice for Mr Mallaby it's this one: learn to accept blame, learn to accept you can fail and make mistakes. Drop the arrogance, and maybe people will be more prone to listen to you and to help you out. Right now, you're not winning at the world's great popularity contest.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Back into the Stone Age

An eye for an eye. Of course, that's written in the Scriptures, but then many things (and their exact opposite, but let's not be picky here) are written in the Scriptures--most of which are absurdities, barbaric monstrosities and displays of blind rage, hatred and people foaming at the mouth with an insatiable lust for vengeance.

Still, in today's Israel, Gaza and Lebanon, we've upped the scales and gone beyond a mere eye for an eye. When one of the greatest military powers in the world uses the pretext of an attack by a milita to bomb a civilian airport, bomb civilian targets and blockade a sovereign country, we have indeed crossed a line. Mr Bush can say that Israel has the right to defend itself, that is as obvious as the sun's rising in the East every morning at dawn. However, defending oneself doesn't mean bombing people back into the stone age--not in my book. The more so, since this particular militia, the Hezbollah, was born thanks to one of Israel's many tragic mistakes of the past. To condemn and strike a country and its population because your own mistakes are coming back to haunt you is...I don't know, it's hard to find a word to describe that--convenient? Hypocritical? Revolting?

I keep hearing the Israeli ambassador in Brussels claiming that Israel has exercised a lot of restraint, and that Israel is being more than reasonable. I fear, his definition of the word "reasonable" is starting to differ so much from mine, and from many people's in Europe, that soon nothing will be able to bridge that gap in mutual comprehension. And there lies a terrible threat to much more than just Israel. The more chaos spreads in the Middle-East, the more likely it becomes that someday, someone will snap and push on a button. And the less we are able to talk with people on both sides, the less the words we use when we talk to each other have the same meaning to all around the table, the greater the risk of someone pushing that button someday will be.

Even if you don't give a damn about civilian populations in Lebanon or Gaza, even if you hate their guts, even if you couldn't care less about their right to self-determination and to their own country, even if you laugh at the concept of justice or of the UNO's resolutions, there's one thing you should care about: what will happen if things keep deteriorating. For many reasons, Israel believes it is above all criticism, and is entitled to act however it pleases in what it perceives to be the defense of its territory or interests. I understand those reasons, but they are not reasons. They are historical facts, historical tragedies, but they are not reasons. They do not place Israel above and beyond reckoning, or beyond the rule of international law.

Still, I find myself hard placed to blame Israel for their continuing use of the same "you can't tell us what to do because we're the victims here" response. Why should they stop? It works. Nobody really dares to go against that line. Nobody really dares to tell them to stop with the victimization trip, and to get real. Certainly not the US, which would do better to have a good reality check and get a good look at a map of the world, and not our poor unbalanced and dangling Europe. And in the meantime, civilians get bombed, people die.

Rage festers.

Hatred grows.

Israel is not more secure than it was before. The Israelian people are no happier. They still dread suicide-bombers when they take a bus or sit down in a cafe or a restaurant.

To break the cycle is the only viable solution--that, or complete anihilation of the enemy. I regret to say that I am not in favor of the latter. And breaking the cycle is hard, extremely difficult. It demands courage and guts. Grand warlike speeches--those do not demand any kind of courage, they just demand spit, a good pitch and a high dose of populism.

So, now what?

Will Israel push the Middle East the rest of the way down the path to Chaos?

If this were a novel, it might be interesting, or thrilling to find out. It's not fiction, it's reality. I am not thrilled. I am disgusted, and somehwere, deep, deep down, I hope someone will at last see the only way out of this, and will have the strength to try.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Give Us A Break

There are many grave things happening in the world. Terror has struck India, the US at last declares its will to abide by the Geneva Conventions (bye bye, torture) while hypocritically trying to cover up for its actions during these last years (the Pentagon claimed its policies always generally complied with the Geneva Conventions--and mock drownings or other niceties are part of all good youth Summer camps as we all know), and yet the media remain hopelessly stuck on a football(*) match.

On a few seconds of a match, to be exact. Come on, people, yes, Zidane struck Materazzi. Yes, Zidane deserved the Red Card. No, there is no excuse for a great professional player such as he, used to all these insults that are the everyday life of a pro during matches, to react that way, no matter what Materazzi said, be it about his mother, his sister, his cat if he has one, or anything.



Now, get over it, and get a life!

Not only are the media beyond ridiculous in their obsessive quest for the words that triggered Zidane's anger--it does NOT matter, people, it is DONE. You will NOT have this match replayed--but what's more now the low-lives that are the Far Right people, in France and in Italy, are now joining the fray. The stench of racism is now appearing in newspapers, be it because they are the tool of the Far Right, or because they relay what they have the gall to call "information" in order to get more audience.

I am starting to think there is no limit to the mediocrity of the Far Right. I hope this blow right back in its face. I also hope the general media will at last give up on this hysteria, and finally realize that the World Cup is OVER.

The world keeps on turning.

Wars keep happening. People keep dying. Iraq is still there. Israel is bombing Gaza back into the stone age with the most ludicrous of pretexts, global warming is coming along way faster than first estimated...

Yeah, I think there are other things to consider right now.

Just a bit more important than a stupid head blow.

(*) Oh, not the American thing that is armored-rugby, football, you know, the game that's played with feet, hence the sport's name...