|the tar baby called the middle east
The Scourge of Hopelessness
Life in a Bifurcated World
Each day the newspapers carry stories from Israel and Iraq describing another IDF or US soldier shot; each day another story about the failed roadmap for peace and the failed promise for Iraqi freedom. Each day we witness America becoming mired in the tar baby that has been the day-to-day experience of Israel for fifty years. Each day the strong arm of vengeance sticks in the tar baby's gut accomplishing nothing but proximity to more pain and suffering. Brother Remus told that tar baby story to the plantation owner's son, a story with a long history in Africa, a story of wiliness and endurance, twin traits that enable the oppressed to survive the bitterness of occupation; would that the "Man" had heeded the truth embedded in that tale. But the oppressor is addicted to his myths of superiority, to his beliefs in only his righteousness, and to his obligation to bring his freedom and his advanced civilization to the inferior people he oppresses. Such is the blindness that afflicts those who see through the lens of force.
by John Pilger
America's two "great victories" since 11 September 2001 are unravelling. In Afghanistan, the regime of Hamid Karzai has virtually no authority and no money, and would collapse without American guns. Al-Qaeda has not been defeated, and the Taliban are re-emerging. Regardless of showcase improvements, the situation of women and children remains desperate. The token woman in Karzai's cabinet, the courageous physician Sima Samar, has been forced out of government and is now in constant fear of her life, with an armed guard outside her office door and another at her gate. Murder, rape and child abuse are committed with impunity by the private armies of America's "friends", the warlords whom Washington has bribed with millions of dollars, cash in hand, to give the pretence of stability.
"We are in a combat zone the moment we leave this base," an American colonel told me at Bagram airbase, near Kabul. "We are shot at every day, several times a day." When I said that surely he had come to liberate and protect the people, he belly-laughed.
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