Sunday, October 3

Real Suicide Girls and Their Oily Benefactors

It may appear slightly odd to be coming in hard via a snippet of Pop Bitch, but for my purposes that's the way it is:

BLUE PETER BLACK WIDOW

A suicide bombing in Israel this week was committed by an 18-year-old Arab children's TV talk show hostess. She came from a wealthy Arab family in Shechem, which owns the station where she worked.

She detonated her bomb – presumably made from squeezy bottles and sticky-back-plastic explosives – when stopped by soldiers at a checkpoint.

(FYI: Rather than saying “Don’t try this at home”, many Palestinian TV programmes try to indoctrinate Arab children to seek "heroic death for Allah". In 2002, Yasser Arafat,during a televised message to children, asked: "Is it not the greatest message to the world, when a child dies for Allah?")

This is facetious fun. Sick fun. I've noticed that Pop Bitch is really sticking it to the mad muslims at the moment, and I'm not comlaining. But this incident is a little exotic, as clearly most suicide bombers come from backgrounds at the other end of the economic scale.

Now: just so we know what we have been and are dealing with, the link is to a report (in 2002) on how Saddam was making payments to the families of such maniacs. And there's another report here that relates that the Saudis were doing the same - and presumably continue to do so (or maybe al-Qaeda have picked up the slack now that Saddam is behind bars).

To put the amounts in perspective, this BBC site gives the latest figures (2002 again) as to GNI in Palestine.

My counter to this is that whatever the settlement - one state (named Jerusalem) is my preference, following the thinking of the late Edward Said*; though the two state solution is the only one anywhere near the discussion table - something dramatic involving a whole lot of money needs to be done. I'd like to see the state of Palestine (if that's what comes into being, officially recognised) join the EU: we can then nurture democracy and freedom and some basic living standards there.

Do I think this will happen? No. For one thing, I've read around some, and the PLO (or Hamas or Hizbullah - choose your extremist nomenclature) know the demographics: Israel is going to be in retreat, in every sense, due to its relatively piss-poor birth rate. For another, it's in the interests of Egypt in particular for the region to remain in turmoil - as a 'secular' arab go-between it is useful; take that role away and who cares ie who subsidises them?

So: the current state of affairs is not breaking ALL Arab hearts. Far from it.

Arguments that removing Saddam's despotic regime in Iraq would 'destabilize' the Middle East are laughable - laughable, shameful and inexcusable from anybody on the Left but systematic of an idiotic perspective (default position: anti-Americanism) and this all-new post 9/11 chicken-shit consensus. Actually, I take that back; it's not all-new: there was a chicken-shit reaction to the horrors of Bosnia and so forth in the late 90s.

At the same time, the approach to the problems in the Middle East from the Right essentially follows the bottom line of the likes of Alan Clark in Britain, and Henry Kissinger across the pond: let the fuckers kill each other with our weapons; whoever wins, we'll do a deal with - and they can gas as many 'insurgents' as they need pour encourager les autres.

So no, I'm not optimistic. I remember, dimly, that song with the refrain, "The future's so bright I gotta wear shades." Well, I think we'll be donning shades because the future's going to be dark - too dark for too many of us. And all because we - the West - can't see the big picture right now, because we don't want to.

* Though from what I've read of Edward Said, I only agree with him there - for example I pointedly disagree with much of this late polemic. In fact, as I read it I was surprised by his tone and argument: as hectoring and - at times - childishly simplistic as those used by some of the American politicians and political pundits he so despised.


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posted by DD @ 21:35 

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