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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The "right to exist"

Palestine: Peace Not ApartheidI was listening to the BBC last night, and in a report on the continuing strife in "Israel," it was mentioned that a key sticking point is that "Hamas" does not recognize the right of "Israel" to exist.

This is something I’ve wondered about for years. Just what is the "right to exist?" Can you exist without a right to exist? Can you have a right to exist, but not actually exist? Which comes first, existence or the right to exist? Who has the power to grant existence or nonexistence, and the "right" to same? Can you kill someone and still recognize their right to exist? Or spare someone’s life while denying their right to exist?

It’s a fake argument. The concept of a "right to exist" was created to be an inflexible position that neither side would yield on. "Rights" are human-created entitlements to some protections of individuals, like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and equality before the law.

For "nations," it’s a bit different. "Nations" are abstractions, impositions of specific groups of humans to control land masses and the people within them. The "United States of America," for example, resulted from "European" settlement of the "New World," and the displacement and extermination of the indigenous occupants, known as "Indians." Indeed, all "nations" are the result of settlement, control, and political concentration of power.

In the case of "Israel"/"Palestine," both contestants for "nationhood" are fictions. There was not much of a "Palestinian" identity before the establishment of "Israel," and there was no "Israel" before 1948, when the status of "nationhood" was granted by the "United Nations," itself a human-created entity only three years in existence at the time.

The establishment of a "national" homeland for "Jews," a movement known as "Zionism," is at its root the same as the establishment of any "nation" – the identity of a group of people with common religion, ethnicity, historical experience, and place. The ancient land of "Israel" included the "province" of "Judea," the home of the "Judeans," the ancestors of today’s "Jews." Somehow the "Judeans" are able to claim control over all of "Israel." And thensome.

The plot is thickening. Jimmy Carter has written a book, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid," and is being viciously attacked by what is known as "the Israeli lobby." Alexander Cockburn writes about the attacks in his usual insightful manner in "CounterPunch." Cockburn observes that the attempted demonizing of Carter is backfiring, and fueling sales of his book. The lock that the "Israeli lobby" has had on "American" public opinion is finally starting to break. No small factor in this break is the incompetence and scheming of the Bush crime family. As I have said many times, a criminal operation is ill-suited for diplomacy, peace-making, or problem-solving. It is only suited for crime.

Add to this the suspected Bush crime family/"Israeli" plan to bomb Iran with nuclear weapons, and the entire Mideast is on the verge of becoming an inferno. Then, of course, there is the euphemised "Iraq war." It is called a "war" for propaganda purposes, the truth being it is an occupation that followed an illegal invasion.

Will the Bush crime family and "Israel" bomb Iran? Most likely, but not for the obvious reasons. The Bush crime family is a criminal operation by definition, so they engage in criminal activities. The "Israeli" government, as a proxy for the Bush regime and by virtue of its criminal actions in their own occupation of "Palestine," is in essence a criminal state. A partnership between two criminal regimes pretty well guarantees criminal actions. Planet Earth, beware.

The greatest tragedy in this impending conflagration is that it is all based on the imaginary concept of identity: people imposing a cohesion, a oneness, upon themselves, and projecting a similar oneness on others. "Us" and "them."

Most absurd of all is the identity with the Bush crime family. It’s understandable that people inside the family – Bush, Cheney, Rice, Negroponte, et. al. – would identify with it, but what about the rest of the BCF’s supporters?

For the haterati – Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity, Savage, Coulter, and Beck – it’s also understandable. They get a lot of money and attention. But that still leaves the rest of the country. Is there enough identity with the Bush criminal regime to support another war? We’ll soon find out.

Maybe the question we should be asking is this: Does the Bush crime family have a right to exist?


Blogger Daniel said...

Caught your post on Smirking Chimp. We think alike. I'm trying to do the same thing you are on my blog. I have also been very active over the last few years attacking the Myth of Israel.

I'd be happy to link with you if you think it might advance our dual purposes. Let me know!


1/21/2007 5:16 PM  
Blogger John Hamilton said...

I don't think of my work as attacking. It's more of an exploration. I mainly try to pursue intuition. In the case of "Israel," it's a delicate topic, easily lost in emotion. I find the problem of identity to be the source of most of the conflict in the world today, and "Israel" is the most absurd and dangerous example. Identity for identity's sake.

That doesn't mean I hate "Israel," "Israelis," or "jews." Hate is a waste of energy, leads to lower consciousness, and to projecting identity, paving the way for the oppression of those we identify as "others."

As far as thinking alike, it would be arrogant of me to say that no one thinks like me or that I don't think like anyone else. But I don't identify with the thinking of anyone else, though I have learned greatly from the examples of others. Dylan is probably my greatest ongoing inspiration because of his free access to the well of intuition.

Others, like the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh, inspire me to always reach for a higher level of being. We live in an interactive universe. Many are the inspirations, many are the opportunities to use them for the benefit of life on this planet.

1/30/2007 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Andrew Sankoh said...

I happen to have come to this site in my usual search for knowledge. I find the ideas here on "Identity" very illuminating.

"The powers that be" in the world have to start looking introvertly for answers for the ungoing terror and fear which seem to have eclipsed the world today.

The dominating influence of these "powers" through knowledge, scientific and technological advancement in pooling the rest of the world to oblivion, creating the greatest of human, environmental time bomb that can finish the whole earth in a time inconceivable, through these unquenching thirst of affluence, and relating planet earth to other planets to explore how further destructions can be imported is not only a dangerous undertaking but a suicidal act of all humanity.

Like Hamilton suggests, I am not an actor but rather a person with deep intuition about a common concern of the present melancholy in which certain "dominant actors" have placed the fate of all humanity into their own hands.

This is why I said earlier that unless the "powers that be" think introvertly for answers to the above, we could only analyse in text what we see imminent from their actions whether or not this might impact their thinking no one knows.

4/29/2007 4:11 PM  

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