Chris Hedges, you help make this broken world more understandable- thank you for baring your soul and continuing to write in the face of unbearable hypocrisy and ugliness- I appreciate you and your work more than I can say.

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“The Smiley Faces of Genocide” is such a potent phrase it deserves to have a book written so it can sit on the shelf alongside “Heart of Darkness.”

Thank you, Chris, for peeling back the rubber clown mask of the propagandists spewing rage-whipping rhetoric to drag the people to the murderous bidding of the leaders per Goering’s timeless formula:

“Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parliament or a communist dictatorship.… Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

—Herman Goering in conversation with Gustave Gilbert, “Nuremberg Diary”

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“Democracy dies in darkness.” Washington Post. The only “only democracy” in the Middle East killed democracy in Gaza under cover of darkness!

“Al Jazeera is funded in part or in whole by Qatar,” -- caveat on YouTube. Translation: Al Jazeera is not credible. Don’t believe your lying eyes as you watch the horrific effects of the rain of Israeli bombs.

How can President Biden complain to President Xi about human rights in China with a straight face?

Western civilization is a hoax and has been for millennia.

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Thanks much, Emmanuel --- and I like your quote of the WP's daily, front-page banner, but I have taken to always extend WP's false self-advertising toward this message to the Post, which also applies to the gutless and useless NYT with a new Banner Line for all the Corporate Capitalist NewsPapers, Advertising, Internet Propaganda, Dis-Information, et. al.:

"Democracy Dies In Darkness Under EMPIRE"

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Maybe not millenia....but for longer than most of us were taught as kids. I'm a literature major...recently read Edward Said, the Palestinian literary critic....and was appalled at how racist and imperialist so many of the writers I studied in Grad school actually were.

Their good advertisers wipe out their racist comments....and feed little children their high minded English babble. It saddened me. I loved the written word so as a young woman...it hurt to realize men like Matthew Arnold and John Stuat Mills were British apologists for Empire.

But they were.

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That’s why Ron DeSantis is making “woke” his moniker. Thank God he’ll never be president.

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And then, look who we have now, Biden, the genocide collaborator!

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It's a hilarious accusation....since to be awake would seem to be our goal...and sleep walking into a disaster what we should most fear.

But alas........for the western sense of superior values, achievements and dna, it is essential that the majority of us continue to snooze through the end of the world.

Dummies with Attitude....but not much command of the English language, or its metaphorical potential.

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The Gaza genocidal situation is sickening, and we feel helpless and hopeless and angry. It is hard to read about . It is difficult to really wrap your mind around the fact that this can happen ; that Israel can continue to tighten the noose of death and destruction on the Palestinians while the rest of the world seems powerless to oppose them.

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As I say quite often lately, It Sucks to Be Us. I share your mounting sense of horror...we truly live inside the Heart of Darkness....and even when a light as powerful as Hedges' shines upon it....the world's conscious population have it seems 0 power.

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Yes, dark days indeed.

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Yes, I agree, but I force myself to read about it. I feel as though bearing witness, as passive as it sounds, is important. For American taxpayers, like me, the other unbelievable reality is that we are funding it. Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid: until February 2022, the United States had provided Israel US$150 billion (non-inflation-adjusted) in bilateral assistance. And the US gives it with no strings attached and no oversight. The world does mostly oppose Israel's brutality, but the US uses its veto at the UN to protect Israel all the time. In fact the US has vetoed resolutions on Israel a total of 34 times. These facts still shock me.

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Our politicians are NOT powerless to stop them.

Biden could not have supported Israel he even said the US would provide more money!

Then all the white politicians go over to Israel and shake hands/hug the torturer in chief.

Sickens me that not one politician (except Erdogan) have called this reprehensible war as genocide.

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Declaring your despair and saying how "hard" and "difficult" it is for you is unbelievable; and nothing compared to what the Palestinians are enduring. I don't sympathize with your despair. Do something to help them.

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What a deeply nasty comment.

A lot of us ARE in despair over these wars. All we can do is write to our Govts. and protest in the streets.

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It must cut too close to the bone for you as well. The truth hurts.

If those two things are the only things you think you can do to hold your society (that includes your government) accountable for egregious actions that include aiding and abetting war criminals, then it's no wonder you despair. I suggest you start broadening your perspective on the world you live in.

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I find your accusations a bit much./...tell us what more you are doing. Dissing allies without offering suggestions for how to ramp up resistence isn't helpful.

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I don't know what 'truth' you are talking about?

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I suggest you start by reviewing the definition of despair. Unless you're chained and locked to a wall in a jail cell somewhere that the key has been disposed of, then there is no reason for you to despair. Get a grip on yourself.

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Utter none sense. But based, as per usual, on the white world's idea that it can pin something down by creating a 'definition' of it.

Get over yourself.

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From my perspective, this is way too one-sided to be seen as anything other than self-loathing antisemitism.

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Oh baloney. Almost everyone who reads Chris Hedges is far beyond buying into that BS about "self-loathing antisemitism." In fact, Zionists routinely abuse the term "anti-Semitism," pretending it means support for Israel. It doesn't mean anything of the kind.

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Just what I would expect a luxury belief upper class virtue signaling antisemite to say.

So here is your chance to prove that claim. Explain what you think should happen with Israel today?

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Cut off support of genocide?

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A non-serious response considering your favored people just gleefully slaughtered thousands while chanting "Death to Israel", "Death to Jews".

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Self loathing anti-Semitism? What would that be Frank?

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Similar to self-loathing Americanism. It is a sickness with the upper class lacking life-meaning.

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In my experience, the people who stand up against the crimes and omissions of their culture, are the people with the most self esteem. Having to endorse everything your culture does....the America, love it or leave it fallacy....is the mark of someone who finds his/her worth outside the self. It's a fascistic tendency, the idea that you are superior because of your nation of origin.

What you're calling self-loathing is likely conscience Frank: the refusal to be part of war crimes takes courage. And a sense of selfhood you might find it difficult to understand.

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You see, you are demanding a badge of high morality for your positions. Your own craving to be seen as righteous and virtuous supplants critical thinking. That is the problem. You and others have a lack of self-awareness that you are even doing it. You are all professional activists looking for a cause... because you don't have to struggle to survive and make a living. It is a ubiquitous problem with the left.

I live in a liberal state in a liberal college town and with decades of experience dealing with the psychology of human behavior (I have a degree in business and organizational psychology) I can identify it clearly. It is common and explains why liberal birds of a feather flock together. They are needy people... tend to be secular so lacking core spirituality and also never having had to really struggle with their lower-level human needs... they almost immediately found themselves stuck in the dilemma of needing constant reassurance of their competence while struggling with insecurity for being able to fend for themselves. The thing with people struggling with this type of insecurity is that they recoil strongly against any criticism pf their positions because it risks another hit to their feeling insecure. If they are insecure about their ability to fend for themselves, and also made to admit that they are wrong about so many things... then they would crash into depression. And so they find a way to weave a defense of their positions to deny they are wrong... and thus they go down a path of increasing absurdity and mythology where the rest of us start to see it as a form of insanity.

The self-loathing tendency is one of the examples of that insanity... holding positions that are destructive to the very life that liberals enjoy only because they have psychological needs that are not met.

There is that saying that hard times create strong men that create good times that create weak men that create hard times. Antisemitism rears its head when we are at that time of weak men... weak men resentful of the strong men that solve the hard times.

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Gibberish Frank.

I am pleading for a cease fire in Gaza....I would also ask that your high status liberal college town not be bombed either. But a stink bomb or two planted under your bogus "psychology pathologizing your 'other'".....I would support.

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A genocide in any place

And my flesh hangs valueless

On my body’s rack.

I stand, a thing.

For any honest soul

An equation of identity,

So they, so me.

Bodies and rubble,

Not a tree.

“My little bird,

My son that was,

My daughter,

Do they bomb angels now?”

We are shown the girl’s photo,

The boy’s photo,

On the screen,

And the tombs.

And Blinken says,

“Tone it down!”

In his phonograph of war

He turns the dial down

On agony’s pictures and tunes.

Kristin Hedges October 28, 2023

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Chris, did you see hundreds and hundreds of people protested for PEACE in Grand Central Station nyc! It was a thrilling sight. Michael Moore posted a livestream on Substack. I have followed you here and in your podcasts on criminal justice. Thank you for the Truth.

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I'm increasingly haunted by the ghoulish, grinning visage of Joe Biden babbling his robotic mantra of "Israel has a right to defend itself" while watching them carpet bomb the defenseless Palestinian population. And by his sneering, cynical babbling about his "humanitarian" concern for the brutalized and increasingly slaughtered Gazans while he pours mountains of weaponry feeding the Israeli genocide. Netanyahu's lickspittle lapdog's only truth is that he's not telling the IDF whast to do or not to do. Netanyahu reportedly brags to his countrymen hao easily he controls US officialdom,

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And your citizens lack decent education, housing etc. etc.........while billions go around the world to maintain proxy wars........a real gold rush for the arms manufacturing industries....and a for sure quick fix to the climate emergency. I too, a Canadian, winced as I looked at that old face....the supposed better choice to the Donald, squint his eyes into what he must have thought was a determined stare.......and swear support for Israel's 'right to defend itself'.

Obscene. So sorry for all good Americans.

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So Israel has no right to defend itself?

Are you advocating a second diaspora of the Jews?

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I'll assume that you know what a war crime is....collective punishment is a war crime, attacking civilians is a war crime. But even before this present disaster....Israel's policies have violated Geneva Conventions concerning permanent settlements on occupied land, denying the right of return, etc. etc.

I'm advocating one rule of law for all of us. What the German Reich did to the Jews of Europe does not justify what the state of Israel, created after world war 2, is doing to the indigenous population of Palestine.

I'm advocating a peaceful solution....acknowledging Palestinian rights and ending the western empire's support of a country that creates an open air concentration camp.....for 16 years........because the people of Gaza voted for Hamas.....and has the western humanitarian organizations paying for the upkeep of said concentration camp.

The idea that Israel can do whatever because bigots in Germany and Eastern Europe hated the Jews is a dumb idea. I do not subscribe to it.

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I prefer Chris Hedge's statement: "All war is a crime".

So, the Jews who speak a Semitic language, Hebrew, have no cultural claim to an area of the world they occupied for thousands of years? The Jews, who lacked agency in Europe and Russia (and who were subject to frequent pogroms and close to complete extermination), have no right to a land where they are "in charge"?

The meme of "open air concentration camp" is very fashionable these days. It is a mendacious conflation. Concentration camps do not have cars, restaurants, apartment buildings, bakeries, schools, hospitals, theaters, or playgrounds. Gaza is an immiserated place to live. Palestinians do not have the rights of Israeli citizens. The median income is vastly lower than people living in Israel. It is controlled and Palestinians rights are impinged both in Gaza and the West Bank. That is not genocide though it does employ cruelty and brutality. If both Fatah and HAMAS are committed to the destruction of Israel as a nation state why should any Jews living in Israel trust the "Palestinians"? As a people the Palestinians are doubtless honorable and human. The leaders on the other hand are no less sociopathic than any leaders of any power elite.

The Saudis were moving towards recognizing Israel as a nation state in the region with a right to exist. That is decidedly contrary to the interests of Iran. HAMAS as a military arm of Iran which employs asymmetric warfare acted on cue.

Believe the propaganda all you want to support the Palestinian people. Ignore the fact that these charming humans are pawns in the greater political drama of that region.

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I'm just going to answer one of your questions Rick...that of Jewish claim to the land. If you factor in how many centuries they were gone from that land....dispersed throughout Europe and parts of Russia....then America....I think we have to at least question their claim.

Because if we allow that a people who left a land so many centuries ago........for whatever reasons......still somehow own that land.....we're into the BS of a chosen people.

Religions....and fasicst ideologies...love to perpetrate the idea of a chosen or superior race of people. Do you endorse those ideologies??? Because logically, we can't accept one claim to divine right........while rejecting all others? Or can we??

So no. I do not believe the Jewish people,or the Jewish orthodox faith, has any inherent right to that land. The fact that they had to forcibly evict the people still living there through all the centuries of their diaspora, makes the claim to prior right even more odious.

As to your determination to convince me that somehow the resistence mounted against this thousand year claim to displace those still there is terrorism. Spare me.

It's one more example of the double standards that have plagued the privileged west for as long as imperialism has existed. Oppressed people have a right to resist. That is as true as the more vaunted right of national states to defend themselves.

There's no high moral ground on this conflict Rick. Trying to find one is just an excuse for perpetuating the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Have a look at the original maps and see for yourself how much of Palestinian land Israel has already gobbled up....while 'defending itself'.

PS. Calling the open air concentration camp a meme is creative....but a lie nonetheless.

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Please don't try to get away with that ludicrously false phrase, trying to divert the discussion into the irrelevancy of whether Israel "has a right to defend itself." That phrase does not remotely apply to what Israel is doing. It is committing genocide. Let's call things what they really are, not what Zionist propagandists want to call them.

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The following is an example of genocide:

Load people into railroad cars, sort them at the terminus, gas them, incinerate them, and dump their ashes into a pond.

Here is another example of genocide (masquerading as "resistance"):

Methodically plan and effectuate the murder of 1400 Israelis on 10/7/2023.

This act was no different than the Nazis rounding up people in a Jewish village in Poland, shooting them, and then burying them in a pit. In some respects the cynicism of this act exceeds that of the Nazis. The Nazis took pictures of such acts of genocide but there was no Instagram or Telegram on which one could post the images. https://www.ushmm.org/m/pdfs/USHMM-Holocaust-Narrative-Photos.pdf

So if you are going to throw the term "genocide" around at least spread it uniformly and don't employ your prefrontal cortex to rationalize it away for the benefit of HAMAS. Ignore the fact that HAMAS is a military asymmetrical warfare arm of Iran. Iran has no intent for any peace in the Middle East.

Additionally, if this is your true thinking, come out and say: "There must be a second Jewish diaspora from the Levant."

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You are writing a lot of braindead drivel here. Neither I, nor others who may read this, needs any lectures from you about Nazi atrocities. The fact that you nevertheless see fit to bang on about them shows you really have nothing to say that's worth hearing.

What Israel is doing in Gaza qualifies as genocide. October 7th OTOH does *not* so qualify. It was an uprising, comparable to other similar historical moments such as Nat Turner's rebellion. When viewed out of context, one could certainly call either of those uprisings (the Nat Turner case or Oct 7) "atrocities," but to properly understand them, both must be seen in the larger context of the relentless abuse suffered by the oppressed groups at the hands of their oppressors.

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You are a useful idiot for both HAMAS and Iran.

To conflate Nat Turner's rebellion with a military arm of Iran is convenient but tragically false. You have no interest in peace in the Middle East just furthering turmoil in the name of "justice".

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Oh, Biden? I was wrongfully wishing that dementia would reverse at least part of his congenital idiocy.

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Oct 28, 2023·edited Oct 28, 2023

This is hard territory. When my great grandfather loaded his wagon with amo and headed north to support the Canadian Government in their war against the Metis at the battle of Frog Lake what was that? It is a historical reality, and part of my own history.

Undoing the past is not possible, and the virtue signaling that many do does nothing. We can only go forward. Today, I have employee's who are indigenous, my wife's closest friend is Metis, and most people have mostly moved on. This does not change what happened, or make it right, but with time there is some healing, and some justice. What matters today, is how I live today. More to the point, how I live today, is the only thing I have control over.

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"John" appears to be advocating for taking the "water under the bridge" or "what's done is done" view. IMO, all are just platitudes that signal nothing... and progress us nowhere.

Indeed, all U.S. citizens are now treated equally under the law via amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In fact, as of 1870, all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. hold the same rights to citizenship as any other...and all citizens had the right to vote as of 1870. However, the systemic racism (and now anti-racism) under which the U.S. built its hegemonic power still seem as alive and well today as it was in 1789. Indeed, race relations appear as strained as ever and was bountifully on display in the Charlottesville VA riot as recently as Aug. 12, 2017.

So, did we all just "go forward" as of 1870? No. Why? Because, IMO, equity for some does not mean being treated equally under the law. Some will ALWAYS want to be treated more equal than others. There seems to be no control over that. That is not "water under the bridge" and inevitably must be dealt with.

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And continuing grievance stoked and simplistic rhetoric is a way forward?

To contend that the United States today is similar to the US in the Antebellum period or the later 19th century ignores historical reality and the world around you.

"Some will ALWAYS want to be treated more equal than others." This is a fundamental aspect of human behavior and entirely independent of the civilization. The ideals of the Constitution are there to mitigate this behavior. Failure to employ its power is a failure of American citizenry.

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Acknowledging Prior crimes and working to make amends and reparation, is not continuing to stoke grievances. It is the honourable and proper thing to do.

Here in Australia the same 'Draw a line under it an move on' attitude prevails and was glaringly on display with our recent referendum, when the overwhelming majority of voters rejected The Aboriginal Voice to Parliament (which was itself a mere cosmetic fig leaf)

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Thanks for the view from Australia. Here in Canada the same superficial 'land acknowledgement' is now mandatory at all gatherings with any claims to a political agenda. However, for me it just sounds like we've progressed from denying land theft, to virtuously acknowledging who we stole it from.

So at the end of every pious acknowledgement...I now yell LAND BACK. It was hard at first, but now its become rather interesting. It's funny to see the faces of some who look back at me in confusion. And I've had one or two prominant

"PROGRESSIVES' actually attack me, with none sense like 'are you going to give them your house?"

As if they don't know that oil and mining corportions still walk rough shod over the reserves and northern lands we did give them!!!

So I agree with you: Acknowledging past crimes doesn't exonerate any of us from current Injustice.

This bilge of 'moving on' is just the mantra of folks who don't know much abut the past, don't want to know much...and want us to imagine it doesn't have long tentacles reaching into the heart of who we are now.

So there is 'virtue signalling' going on. Real social justice movements don't participate in that.

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LAND BACK. Good on ya! Hope you don't mind if I use it. Course there are are some who genuinely feel and mean that acknowledgement (certainly members of the Greens Party - no surprise there) as did, in 1975, Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam - immortalised in the Paul Kelly song "From Little Things Big Things Grow" - but for too many it means acknowledging that Australia was built on invasion and dispossession, not to mention genocide and attempted ethnic cleansing. That fact evokes shame and guilt, rather than empathy or understanding.

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Not to mention the Maoris in New Zealand. I am reading a book on this and of course religion was the main force as was land.

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Exactly. Acknowledging the crime is just a first step. If you do nothing else, it looks like rubbing the noses of the dispossessed into the fact of your successful theft.

That many liberals don't get that says something about the depth of their understanding...and perhaps the coldness of their heart. Let's help them move into the stage or reparations.

There is lots we can do in the colonial countries to even the playing field....old hierarchical organizations of power don't need to be the only way forward.

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"Acknowledging Prior crimes and working to make amends and reparation, is not continuing to stoke grievances. It is the honourable and proper thing to do."

"Free Palestine from the river (Jordan) to the Sea" is a meme which endorses a second diaspora and genocide against the Jewish people. It denies, the Jews agency which is precisely what they lacked in Europe and Russia. It is not about peace or justice. It is about perpetuating a cycle of violence. It ignores completely the role that Palestinian leaders have played in not reaching a two state solution.

One can have sympathy and solidarity with the Palestinian people and still recognize the initiating action of HAMAS on October 7, 2023 was a well-planned, cynical, and intentionally murderous act of asymmetrical warfare. It was designed for maximal shock and awe. I was intended to draw Israel into Gaza with the resulting opprobrium on the court of public opinion.

It ignores the machinations of the nation states in the region. Iran and the Arab world will continue to have their significant differences with or without the states of Israel.

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You think?

Sounds to me like one more diatribe blaming Hamas for everything Israel is doing now. Perhaps you should revisit the techniques of the German Gestapo....where they would murder entire villages in retribution for something the resistence did.

It's why Collective Punishment is now listed as a War Crime

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Oct 30, 2023·edited Oct 31, 2023

With your outlined logic, the murder of 1400 Jews on October 7, 2023 also qualifies as "Collective Punishment".

The Nazis took pictures too. Since there were no cell phones or social media the Nazis did not have the opportunity to send the pictures to the families of victims or distribute them to the world. Eventually all 43 minutes of accumulated HAMAS video should be made available. We've all seen many pictures of Palestinian babies, and dead Palestinian children on the so-called biased Western media.

You may not accept the events of 10/7/2023 as collective punishment. If not, how would you categorize it?

Perhaps this is just a slip in your otherwise flawless moral arguments; however, if you accuse others of false equivalencies, employ the term "LIE", assume that all is ill-intent on the part of The West, then there is no reason to overlook your hypocrisy.

You make false inferences: I never said that is was ALL HAMAS' fault.

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I repeat. Israel has used Hamas before.

1. Israel were warned by Jordan and Egypt about this attack which they turned blind eyes to. Why?

2. Israel with the 'Iron Dome' weapons and satellites?

3. Netanyahu is responsible in a much more 'sick' way than any of us know.

It will all come out.

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One thing that should come out of this: Netanyahu is no longer Prime Minister of Israel. He failed in his stewardship. Much more than that at this point is very hard to imagine.

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The role Palestinian leaders have played in not reaching a two state solution? Prior to 1967 the Palestinians accepted the two state 'solution', imposed on them (albeit grudgingly) largely by Britain and France who did not want jews in their countries.

The Hamas action was certainly well planned but asymmetrical? Yeah, with the overwhelming force and power on the side of Israel.

Hitler was obsessed with the idea of the superiority of the “pure” German race, which he called “Aryan,” He believed that war was the only way to gain the necessary “Lebensraum,” or living space, for the German race to expand. Sound familiar?

Since May 15 1978, Israel has been conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide to gain their lebensraum. The only difference I can see is that Hitler never claimed a divine right, bestowed by a 4,000 yr old mythical sky fairy.

What would you do if a bunch of heavily armed murderers attacked your home, slaughtering you family with the intent of seizing you home? Make peace and appease them, giving them the run of you home as long as you and your family could live in the chook shed down the back of the paddock?

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A nice analogy, but we both know: Supporters of Israel never imagine they might be in the position of the dispossessed.

I fear however, that dispossession happens in your country every day...how else could we create the rising tide of American poverty so quickly?

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You don't have to believe this; however, there are no innocents in this tragedy apart from the Palestinian people and many Jews in Israel. The power elite inserting themselves into their lives are as venal and cynical as any group on the face of the Earth.

Does Iran care at all about the Palestinian people? Palestinian Arabs are principally Sunni whereas Iranians are Shia. This is an important ethnic distinction.

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From a U.S. Constitutional rights perspective, civil equality is exactly what it was in 1870. The history record attests to it. But I agree that failure to employ it is a failure of the American citizenry. You don't say why (maybe you're too ignorant as evidenced by making such a nebulous statement) but I believe it is because most failure to hold government perpetrators of civil rights accountable. Much of this has to do with Section 1983 law that (which IMO ignominiously grants qualified immunity to otherwise illegal actions of government officials) However, there are many times that that the financially disadvantaged cannot seek redress in court even when qualified immunity is not at play. That is by design-- orchestrated by the very same social descendants of those who drafted the original Constitution.

Nonetheless there are those that do not seek redress from their government when they can...and should. Those are the most egregious. Those cases can affect others and, possibly, afford legal setting precedents and protections to those down the line. I would submit one prime example as being Ms. Alex Wubbels of Utah who was, in the Fall of 2017, unlawfully arrested ---which video evidence showed her being physically assaulted by a detective in the course of her arrest-- for refusing to let police take a blood sample from an unconscious patient. Instead of following through with pressing charges and filing a lawsuit against the illegal actions of Salt Lake City Police Department, Ms. Wubbels choose to accept a $500,000.00 settlement offered by SLCPD and her employer, University of Utah Hospital. In my opinion, this was a clear case of a citizen failing to hold our executive branch of government accountable for criminal actions predicated on Constitutional civil rights (IV amendment) granted to her as an agent of her patient.

Bottom line: If you live in a Republic, and you fail to hold your government accountable (and certainly in this most egregious case), then, at some point, the cases will build up and you will no longer will have a functioning Republic. BTW, the Benjamin Crump's of the world are not helping to discourage that inevitability; they are hurtling us toward it. Police crime should not be a taxpayer supported lottery ticket that brushes criminality under the carpet of accountability. Rather, it should be a prison sentence for all perpetrators involved.

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As mentioned, the citizens of the United States have failed the American Experience. The country listened to the siren song of Ronald Reagan and his willing disciple, Bill Clinton. Clinton sold the financial services reforms and the offshoring of entire manufacturing sectors. Both were policies promoted by an American Royalist class. Once effectuated they achieved precisely what was intended.

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Politicians and the "American Experience" (whatever that is) failed their constituency long before 1980 when Reagan took office. Whether they achieved precisely what they intended is debatable. It is the generally the short term goal/gain that controls their actions.

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The American Experience is an attempt to mitigate the sociopathic behavior of any power elite. It was and has been a continuous process as an outgrowth of the European Enlightenment. It also is employed to describe how a civilization deals with modernity. To imagine that events of 250 years ago or 400 years ago should comport with the sensibilities of today is a very solipsistic frame of mind. To claim that those realities abrogate the achievements of that intellectual achievement is fatuous.

The point is that this country no longer lives with the mindset of the 18th century. It no longer lives with the notions of the Southern Aristocracy and their British Caribbean forebears . This does not mean that those behaviors and desires do not exist. Such behaviors and desires are inherent to human behavior since the beginning of modern humans. They've been recorded since writing was invented.

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Not water under the bridge, but the reality of life in 2023.

John is not a US citizen, and his history is not the same as yours. My reality is that today, I live in a complex web of relationships with Indigenous Canadians. They are my neighbors, friend's, colleagues, customers, and family. When my father died, the grief of his indigenous neighbor was massive and real.

I deal on a daily basis with the reality of the residential schools. I know the destruction that the cultural genocide caused on indigenous people but I cannot fix it. I can also say that the it was carried out by the bureaucrats in Ottawa (and wealthy lobbyists who wanted their resources) not the average citizen of Canada. Most Canadians did not approve, but as always their views did not mater

Reality is that even the question of who is indigenous is not clear. In my province, our most important Premier's Grandmother was Cree. Another Premier, also very influential, was married to a Blackfoot woman, and spoke fluent Blackfoot, something very few White People do. The greatest Hero of our Province is Colonel MacLeod, who brought peace to our land, and even today, his great grandchildren are treated with great honor by the Piegan Nation.

It is a complex, and sometimes ugly history, and not easily unraveled.

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You don't need to be a fellow U.S. citizen or have the same history to be apathetic. Your reality is not any more complex than anyone else's. If you think there is a wrong to be righted, then get off your ass and do something about it. I have many times walked door to door speaking to people about local issues that directly affect them in a negative manner and offer solutions that are outlined on petitions. Very few even bother to listen or read the petition--even while i am standing at their front door with them. Most time it would be easier moving a mountain than to get them involved attending a public meeting where they can confront the perpetrators (that blatantly propose to compromise their way of life) face to face and tell them how they really feel. They just won't do it. The reasons boil down to (IMO-- based on experience listening to the excuses) laziness and apathy. As long as they have the immediate comfort of a roof over their head and something in the fridge to eat (and a football game to watch) they are loath to do anything to improve their lot in the world-- in what they see as the abstract. I imagine this applies to your situation/history as well. It's not complex, John; its pathetic. Anyhow, good luck with your complexities. I do not let mine dissuade me from continuing to speak out and act on wrongs that I feel should be righted. That includes taking the time to respond to your disillusion.

Cheers, mate!

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I am not standing at their front door. They are in my kitchen, I am in their dining room having supper with them. I cannot distinguish who is who because we are in many ways becoming one people. Your justice is not possible, because it is still a form of othering.

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Before worrying about "who is who", you must first distinguish what is what.

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You likely need to exclude women from your sweeping generalization about all persons having equal rights after 1870....voting for us took much longer in your country.

I also think you are missing some of the Indian Wars (massacres) that happened after 1870...so maybe you're just talking about white men of property?? I suspect that to be the actual historical case....but I'm not American so am willing to stand corrected.

What was the date of the terrorist reaction to Custer's advance, at the Battle of Little Big Horn? That 'genocidal' crime was in the late 1800's I do believe, but its been years since I stood with my babies at the height of land and saw the crosses planted where each solder fell.

An atrocity for darn sure....and I hope you enjoyed the irony.

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Undoing the past is possible. You cannot bring the dead victims back, but you can look after their descendants.

But the worst thing is the white race, the savage Europeans are still raping and pillaging to get resources and enslave people. They have been doing this for the last 500 years and they haven't given up.

And in the case of America they have turned on their own poor, white or black.

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As a Jew, Israel does not represent me. The individuals perpetrating the atrocities against the Palestinians are pseudo Jews, in name only. The real Jew would never commit such immoral, evil acts against another human being whatever their religion, race or nationality.

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Thank you for stating this. So many American Jews still support Israel, without qualification, and always will. It's obvious to me that their opinions and perspectives are as hardened as most Trump supporters. I'm sadly certain that I'll lose some more friendships as a result.

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I really don't believe this.

Israel people have been protesting for months against Netanyahu before the war began. It is the right wing Orthodox Jews in Netanyahu's cabinet who are pushing for genocide.

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One could advocate for a sincere two state solution.

The Arab states are ready for this. The US and Europe would support it. Many in Israel might support it though fear of extermination is still very much on the minds of many.

Iran would be the strategic loser. The mullahs don't want a wider war because wars are uncertain and expensive. A goodly portion of 50% of the Iranian population is not in favor of the theocracy. Iran will create as much chaos as it can to prevent a rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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Thanks for commenting. I know a lot of Israeli's were protesting against Netanyahu before this genocide started. He was not doing well. What better way to take the focus off than to start a war.

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HAMAS was very methodical in its strategy.

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Aided by Netanyahu.

Just wait till all this comes out!

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Oct 29, 2023·edited Oct 29, 2023

It is already out. Netanyahu was playing a classic enemy of my enemy is my friend game.

The Israeli electorate should take care of Netanyahu. In addition, the Zionist extremists are a big part of the problem.

Peace will come with compromise on all sides. Iran has no interest in peace in this region. It gains far more from chaos.

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I suggest you stop warmongering and leave Iran out of this unless you want annihilation! Who is to blame for the problems in Iran? Look it up!

We are talking here about Israel and the genocide on Palestinian people.

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I suggest you think a bit more broadly and recognize that propaganda originates from all sides of a critical issue. "The United States and the British are responsible for everything bad in the world." I've read Chalmers Johnson's trilogy on American Empire and agree with much of it. Andrew Bacevitch is another poignant critic of American Empire. Nevertheless, in a world of power politics and zero-sum gamesmanship, nation states are amoral. No one can deny the terrible foreign policy failures of the United States. However, the global neighborhood is filled with all manner of competing power elites and they are all sociopaths at heart. Their principle interests are power, wealth, and influence.

The coup overthrowing Mossadegh took place 70 years ago which was before at least 94% today's Iranians were born. The so-called Iranian revolution of 1979 occurred before more than 50% of today's Iranians were born. Mossadegh is the continuing excuse for the theocratic Iranian regime. A regime that kills women because they refuse to wear a hijab. A regime whose position has been death to Israel. A regime that has attacked the Saudis repeatedly. A regime that seeks nuclear weapons. I would hope in your reading that you are aware of the divide between Sunni and Shia. Iranians are Shia and Arabs are predominately though not entirely Sunni.

If you divorce the cruelty from the ambitions of various nation states in the region you will lack a fuller understanding of this complex region. I approach this and other issues from the following point of view: The power elites of all civilizations are comprised of a small percentage of their populations (about 0.01% or less). Individuals in positions of great power are to varying degrees inherently sociopathic. Power attracts the worst and most functional sociopaths.

Western civilization which you may (or may not) disdain figured that out and codified it during the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment created intellectual tools to deal with this basic human behavior. Democracy was one of those tools. Rationalism was another. Suppressing the natural emotive response of humans is an essential feature. The process is focused on a search for root causes of conflict.

It has been imperfect to be sure. It has taken around 200 years to reach a point where Germany and France are no longer competing for European hegemony. Compared to the internecine wars that characterized Europe for centuries today is better.

Now if you think that Freeing Palestinian from the river to the sea will solve all the inequities and the injustices of the past 70+ years you are more than entitled to believe this. The most important question is: What is your solution? I would suggest that an unqualified affirmation of Palestinian freedom and agency will lead to additional chaos and slaughter. The Middle East needs stability. Many parties understand this. That does not, however, fit in with the Iranian's interests at this time. This opinion is based on their behavior.

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So taking Jericho was an act of kindness?

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On Anthony Blinken's demand to Qatar that Al Jazeera "tone it down"

"tone it down"

Sing me a Jewish lullaby,

but "tone it down."

Death is raining from the sky,

two thousand children had to die

in the Blinken of an eye

and more will die before the dawn

but "tone it down," "tone it down."

Inez Hedges October 28, 2023

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I have utter contempt for this dim-witted Blinken.

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It is stunning that the world allows this to happen. It makes me want to weep.

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Do. Weep. Part of how the west has won is it has taught us all to tone down our emotions....but without feeling, empathy is impossible. It's why our warhawks all sound so awful and speak on camera with eyes that look so dead....or deadly. They are likely incapable of tears.

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As you are well aware, after the 30 Years War an effort to tone down emotions was undertaken. It has been called the Enlightenment. It most certainly sought to replace emotion driven human behavior with rational behavior. In spite of ourselves this approach has not failed.

Warhawks includes any governments that support the existence of the Israeli state (principally the US). Non-state actors or nation states that promote Death to Israel are not warmongers or warhawks, they are part of the resistance. The resistance can call for a genocide of the Israeli Jews with impunity because they are oppressed.

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Well said as usual, Chris. Thank you.

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Chris, I submitted this comment to your Alma Mater on the topic of NO GUNS, nor BIGGER Weapons:

Dear Stephen [King], I loved Maine since I first went up from Needham Mass. in 1953 as a kid of 5 to Sandy Cove Cottages for 2 weeks on Long Lake off Kansas Road — which BTW was the road that you lived on — and which my cousin and I did until we were driving.

What a beautiful life growing up through the 50’ and 60’s. We learned to swim, played with many other kids, and later self-learned to sail on a Sunfish. Everyone got along great; parents, kids, and older folks from the WW2 generation.

It was a virtual “walk in the park” with no guns, no mass-murders, no vast GINI Coefficient of Wealth Inequality, of which America is now “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, nor any Billionaire Bastards or never ending Wars.


Alan MacDonald

Wells, Maine

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Yes. "What a beautiful life growing up through the 50’ and 60’s." Sheltered in blissful ignorance from the reality of the military-industrial complex that took full advantage of the fantasy that we had defeated evil in WWII, only to discover that 'we have met the enemy and he is us.' (Born June 1946, 9 months after V-J Day.) Do you recall Korea, the war that never actually ended, or Vietnam, the one that thankfully finally did, with an ignominious 'withdrawal', i.e., defeat.

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Yes, Charles, you are certainly correct in terms of being:

"Sheltered in blissful ignorance from the reality of the military-industrial complex that took full advantage of the fantasy that we had defeated evil in WWII, only to discover that 'we have met the enemy and he is us.'".

Having been born myself in June of 1948 -- both you and I were relatively young in those facades of children during the 50's though mid 60's -- I was not specifically aware of the deceits, propaganda, and massive oppressions hidden behind the curtain of the 40's, 50's, and 60's.

However, even as a youngster I progressively became aware of odd things that my father said off handedly about some of his experiences during his WW2 involvement with things that slowly, even subconsciously, had an effect on my grade-school years, by 1955-ish about the war that accumulated in my young mind:

When he was trimming the front shrubs in Needham Mass. he said, "Alan you're very smart, but lazy" --- and added, "You would have made a good German Officer". However, because I knew that he was in the Pacific, and had brought home his M1 carbine, and quite a few things, like a Japanese sword, it struck me later why he would have mentioned how smart and lazy German Officers were.

Over my years through High School and later events Dad mentioned to me when I asked him about the War in the Pacific uncovered that Dad served only as a First Lt. in Walter Krueger's Army who was an American soldier and general officer in the first half of the 20th century. Kreuger commanded the Sixth United States Army in the South West Pacific Area during World War II. He rose from the rank of private to general in the United States Army.

Kreuger's Sixth Army was the only unit that included Rangers.

Over more time I asked Dad some more probing questions, but generally he turned toward episodes that were more humorous, like when supplies and uniforms were received but they screwed-up and had received cold weather gear in the Pacific.

Dad also began seeming to me to be very much a great salesman, but also an amazing 'fixer', who, through connections in the quite profitable auto-parts industry had become reasonably wealthy through the late 60's, and 70's --- particularly when I got into any jams, along with making problems just 'go away' for other even wealthier people in high places.

Getting back to WW2 and Dad wanting to get back state-side fast, he was XO to the Colonel who controlled the Old Capital City of Kyoto (same letters as Tokyo). However, Dad, had to stay in Kyoto until late 1946, just as your birth was delayed until after Japan's surrender (but really in early October of 1945) which is when Major General Sir Douglas David Gracey KCB, KCIE, CBE, MC & Bar ordered French, British, and American troops to re-arm Japanese troops with only ACP 45 side-arms with few shots --- and which French and Brits did, but the American enlisted men complained that "we were just shooting these guys last week"

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Thank you for that.

Our morality is always tempered by the times in which we live and is often rationalized by what is in the end our own self-interest. Even Chris Hedges has confessed to being irresistibly drawn to the most horrific of combat situations because of the 'rush' it gives him. It is also where the most personal aspects of truth lie in relation to the larger and more malleable narratives that get offered by empire. He channels that compelling impulse, while admitting it is personally disturbing, with extraordinary impact in his reporting, for which many of us are grateful, and many more would be if his voice and that of so many other great journalists were not being extinguished in the mass media.

Your last sentence is one of many strange anecdotes that emerge from wartime and its aftermath, and you left it very open-ended; and, unsurprisingly not having heard of that before, I wonder about the rationale for and result of it, if known.

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I studied in Massachusetts during the Vietnam years.....have very fond memories of that beautiful part of your country. But can't go back now. Empires built on militry conquest or military bullying always fall...........all the wealth goes into guns, big ones these days, and the citizens at home provide the foot soldiers.......increasingly because those are the only jobs available for young people too poor to continue any kind of education.

American grows closer to collapse by the decade....and it makes me sad for what was, and angry for what is coming.....has arrived already for people in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. etc. etc.

Some city on a hill....some American dream.

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"America grows closer to collapse by the decade..."

Perhaps, but it has been there before. It was a hot topic in the early part of the 19th century. At that time an industrializing versus a slave-based economy was the issue of the day. The Depression afforded another opportunity for collapse as did much of the later 20th century.

America is due for another Progressive period. It is beginning.

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I and the public know

What all schoolchildren learn;

Those to whom evil is done

Do evil in return.

—from September 3, 1939 by W.H. Auden

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Have you read his poem from around the same time. On the Death of W.B. Yeats?

It has this stanza: Intellectual disgrace stares from every human face,

and the seas of pity lie, locked and frozen in each eye.

For some reason, I think what's happening in Gaza now, is opening the eyes and heart of many. It's likely too late.......but we're going to a rally tomorrow....and across the planet,the opposition to this killing is growing.

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Chris, I think its time to put aside the gloom and doom commentary. Its poignant, but it is not productive in the immediate sense where genocide is taking place right now. I suggest saving it for testimony before a war crime tribunals that I hope materializes in the near future over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

I wish you were to talk about productive measures that could be take to end the war in Gaza. Of immediate concern is the unnecessary and current "black out" of news coverage in Gaza and how this should not be happening. We should all demand that placement of a flottia of supporting U.N. vessels that provide working cell towers and humanitarian relief via the Western Mediterranean Sea border. Humanitarian relief to Palestinian civilians should NOT be limited to trucks entering the Rafah land border crossing. Why the press only focuses and covers this effort is a sham. Move beyond it. I believe that the Palenstinian people are resourceful and can use sunlight to power local solar cells that can support cell phone signals (and thus video) and broadcast to sea based broadcast towers supported by the U.N. In turn those signals can be passed through news broadcasting stations like Al Jeezera, who has been the most direct and diligent throughout the conflict. There should be no "black out" of news in Gaza. I believe the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) has programmed the world to accept that premise--which is I believe is false in this day and age of advanced technology.

Of second, but no less immediate, concern is the call for an immediate cease fire in Gaza. I believe all Americans should be writing their 3 representatives in Congress (one House member and two Senators) demanding that they pass a resolution calling for an immediate cease fire in Gaza and an end to war crimes being committed there. I suggest they also demand an end to the $3.8 of military aid the U.S. sends to Israeli annually, plus the freezing of any future supplemental appropriations to Israel under such a time as a lasting cease fire is in effect and all crimes have been investigated and accounted for by any and all international tribunals having jurisdiction in the matter(s). I suggest all U.S. citizens write there representatives on these points often, if not daily. Meaningful and imperative humanitarian relief cannot be brought to the citizens of Gaza without an end to the incessant bombing by the IDF.

BTW, the only person I have seen advocating for the simple message outlined above--and that needs to be repeated as often as possible (as she admirably does in this interview--even when urged off point) is Ms. Ryna Workman. https://www.democracynow.org/2023/10/27/palestine_legal_campus_censorship_ryna_workman

Her message is simple: call on your government leaders to advocate for an immediate cease fire to the Gaza-Israeli war and to end the genocide being perpetrated by the Israeli defense forces upon the Palestinian people. That is the first order of business. Please do it the best way you know how. Our collective sense of humanity depends on it.

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Hasn't the UN already called for a cease fire? And the Western power bullies abstained or voted against it? The resolution passed I believe, but it doesn't seem that the UN has any power over Israel, or its United States sponsor.

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Your government leaders need to call for a cease fire. The U.N. is not your government. The veto power of founding members has made the U.N. influence over geo-politics extremely problematic and power within the U.N. government structure too asymmetrical from a global perspective. That needs to change. Of course the founding members are going to want to make the rules bend to their favor. They make all kinds of findings and resolutions that have no teeth. Yes, they are supported by member states, but the founding members support over 50% of the budget. I believe the money allocated for PKM (Peace keeping missions) is currently between $6-7M. That is a pittance to what it would actually take to facilitate peace anywhere and everywhere in the world.

Bottom line, request a cease fire resolution passage from your government representative. In my opinion, it would be much more effectual than the U.N.

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Yes, our representatives will listen to us when we send them our petition with a check by an amount greater than what they receive from the Israeli lobby. Also, it might work if we manage to persuade our fundamentalist religious leaders that perhaps if the second coming is delayed a little more, they might have extra time to make more money.

I agree with all the measures that you suggest but they have been tried before in different situations and the only one that worked was the boycotts to the apartheid in South Africa. I believe for now we will have to expand BDS and hope that the full genocide of the Palestinians will not succeed. Also we need to watch the actions of our politicians now and later punish the criminals in the next polls.

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Chris Hedges, your voice is a light in the darkness. With so many excellent rising independent journalists, I am hard pressed financially to offer support to all, but when I read your words, I am grateful and know again why you are on my short list. You offer journalism with moral authority. Your words are balm in a world gone mad, we can only continue to believe in the message and speak out.

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