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Palestinian Loss of Land and American Manifest Destiny

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If it were, say, Iowa, and Century Farmers had been evicted at gunpoint since WWII by more recent immigrants, things would look mighty different. (h/t Clipmarks friend Jimbo1000)
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Palestinian Loss of Land 1946-2005

four maps of shrinking Palestine
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Native Americans flee from the allegorical rep...
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Tragically, Israelis may owe much to an American model. Their expansion so reminds me of the American doctrine called Manifest Destiny. It assumed all the territory that would become the USA was divinely given to white people. MD was used to justify the moving, killing, containment and lasting impoverishment of Native Americans. Indeed, westward expansion’s completion and total dominance of the indigenous people of the contiguous United States (not to mention Hawaii and Alaska) was only thirty years old at Israel’s birth in 1946: about as recent in American memory as the Vietnam conflict is today.

I would guess that the writings of the Hebrew Bible were used to encourage westward expansion in the USA; they are still, of course, the claim some Zionists stake (and some evangelicals support) to all the territory in and around Israel.

Such dominance—in either American or Israeli history—is starkly at odds with the ways of Jesus Christ, of course.

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To the Person Sitting in Darkness

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Mark Twain – To the Person Sitting in Darkness
Servant at Ressentiment tipped me off to this haunting modern rendering of words of Mark Twain from the time of the Spanish-American war by Italian poets/filmmakers at Nuovoviautori.
Servant has here a link to the text as originally written in the New York Times of 1901 (and the NYT’s response), with more explanatory details.

Related posts: Power corrupts: Here’s its antidote
A brief history of Iran-US relations, part 1: Constitution to Khatami
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Written by Monte

May 26, 2007 at 12:09 pm

And now, about that Iraqi oil …

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“How come?” one might wonder. “How come so much of the Middle East is poor when so much oil has been sold to the whole world?” Some go on to theorize that Arabs and Persians are simply inept or corrupt. Others lay the blame at the feet of Islam, and suggest that “Christian nations” more fairly distribute wealth.

But the truth is that western nations (read here USA and UK) have succeeded in diverting oil profits from those countries for a hundred years. And it’s about to happen again.

If you read A brief history of Iran-US relations, part 1: Constitution to Khatami, you’ll recall that eighty or ninety percent of Iranian oil profits during the first half of the 20th century ended up in Britain. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

May 22, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Muslims champion human rights

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My blogging friend Honestpoet at Enough is Enough found the stirring words of The St. Petersburg Declaration at Secular Islam Summit. Secular Islam SummitI admire them greatly.

We are secular Muslims, and secular persons of Muslim societies. We are believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between the free and the unfree.

We affirm the inviolable freedom of the individual conscience. We believe in the equality of all human persons.

We insist upon the separation of religion from state and the observance of universal human rights.

We find traditions of liberty, rationality, and tolerance … in the rich histories of pre-Islamic and Islamic societies. These values do not belong to the West or the East; they are the common moral heritage of humankind. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

March 29, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, on war: words for our times

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Smedley Butler, USMCSmedley Butler was one of the very few Americans awarded the Medal of Honor twice. In the first half of the 20th century, he was the most decorated Marine alive – and is possibly the most honored Marine of all time.

He wrote a short book about war some years after his retirement. You can read the entire short book online here (this link’s at the bottom of the page, also). And just below is an excerpt from a speech he gave in 1933.

This is one of the truly important documents about the motives of warfare in American history. I hope you’ll ponder and save these words.

Smedley Butler on Interventionism

— Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

Medal of Honor War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. …

The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

February 13, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Iran, Iraq, Politics, Terrorism