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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Punished for Electing the Wrong Leaders

The Americans (let's suppose) democratically elected George Bush, whose administration uses violence to further its goals. Therefore the Americans must live with the consequences of their actions; they must starve. Food will not enter the country. Their taxes will not pay for their services, but stay outside the country. They will not be allowed to leave their local areas. They will be kidnapped, jailed, shot - civilians: men, women, children.

Here in Canada, Harper is our democratically elected leader. Under his watch we've stepped up our mission of destroying Afghanistan. Does that mean now that I (even though I voted Green), you, your children, the peace activists, the Liberals, those who didn't vote, and all the rest of us Canadians should lose our right to a decent life free from hunger, torture, and violent death?

Why would this be considered ludicrously unjust for Americans and Canadians, but considered fair and reasonable for Palestinians?

The Palestinians democratically elected Hamas, which we are told was bad because Hamas is a terrorist organization (presumably because they use violence to further their goals). Therefore the Palestinians must live with the consequences of their actions; they must starve. (See: "Gaza is a Jail. Nobody is allowed to leave. We are all starving now")

12 comments:

Paul said...

I think there is another aspect of this pervisty which further supports your argument illustrating the profound antipathy to democracy demonstrated by our leaders. If our leaders truly valued democracy, then wouldn't domestic popular movements seeking public control and democratization of economic forces (which after all, now control more capital and, by extension more influence, than most governments themselves) not be met with charges of sedition?

I find it so ironic that we praise ourselves for our democratic ideals all the while ignoring how narrow in both breadth and depth we have allowed them to extend. This irony, I feel, is further enhanced by our society’s profound antipathy for anybody, such as you or I, who does not loudly proclaim their happiness and overall contentment with the profoundly narrow conception of democracy that we ourselves have been permitted to enjoy.

Jan_ from_ BruceCounty said...

I agree wholly with you Jenny. I noticed that you didn't include the NDP or the BLOC or other parties. What's that about?

Brian Lemon said...

Ahhhh, even better - youre a coward!!! Afraid to have your loonybin thoughts criticized, are we.

Verbena-19 said...

Excellent article, Jenny! In case you're interested, there's been a heated -- and sometimes downright nasty -- debate going on my site: http://verbena19.wordpress.com since I posted about Anti-Apartheid Week. The numbers of anti-Palestinian comments have been overwhelming, and I've had to delete the nastiest ones... (I haven't checked the email I use on my site for those who wish to contact me). Likely there will be much 'hate mail', labelling me anti-semitic and worse... Those who bother to take the time to read my posts know that I am anything but... I am a peace worker and put a lot of effort toward this goal, however altruistic and impossible it may seem...

Anyway, you have a great site into which you put much effort. You are to be commended. Thanks!

Take care and all the best,
Annamarie

Red Jenny said...

Paul, you make many good points. I think the fact that we live under the illusion that capitalism is a meritocracy has a lot to do with it too. We feel that if we live the good life it is because we deserve it, while those who don't, except in the most egregious cases, deserve what they get.

Jan_ from_ BruceCounty, I also missed environmentalists, methodists, gymnastic instructors... I just picked some groups who first came to mind. I picked Liberals for no good reason. Indeed the Liberals started us off in Afghanistan and are not really the party of peace.

Brian Lemon, I'm not sure to whom you are addressing your comment, or what you are trying to say. Please elaborate.

Annamarie - it is strange how some subjects bring out the most vociferous and irrational comments, isn't it? Abortion (actually anything related to feminism these days) and Israel/Palestine are two that come to mind. It's important that these issues keep getting raised though - they are important discussions to have (whenever we can have real discussions and no name calling!). Keep up the good work, and thanks for stopping by.

Dennis said...

"The Palestinians democratically elected Hamas"

The Germans democratically elected the Nazis.

'nuff said

Red Jenny said...

Dennis,
Definitely not "'nuff said"

You didn't say anything of substance. Obviously you are trying to link Nazi Germany with Hamas, but you are doing so with an empty rhetorical device.

Anonymous said...

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Paul said...

Dennis - you seem to be ingoring the fact that, yes the Germans elected the Nazis in 1933 (although to a minority government which later attempted a violent coup d'etat in the Beer Hall Putsch and a successfull non-violent coup following the Reichtag Fire) but what you're ignoring is that we didn't do a thing to stop Hitler when he was first elected. Prime Ministers R.B. Bennett, and MacKenzie King in Canada, Chamberlain in the UK and FDR in the States all felt he was a nice man who they could work with (in fact the documentary record shows that FDR actually defended Hitler in Cabinet meetings before the war). Our leaders were, until he invaded Poland, calling Hitler's political, social and economic reforms the "German miracle".

So, even though we should have been doing lots, we didn't put sanctions on the Germans (let alone the suspension of humanitarian aid like what the Americans are doing to the Palestinians) and, what's more, Hamas is nowhere near as bad as the Nazis were.

Before you draw comparisons like that, it's always a good idea to read the documentary record to see whether it supports your cause because this one clearly does not.

Croghan27 said...

Yo jenny:

I enjoyed your all-too-accurate assessment of the situation of the Palistinians - but I think that poor Mr. Chamberland is being bushwacked, once again.

pogge, when he signs his name quotes Maverick as saying; "trust everyone, but cut the cards." and that applies well to Chamberland.

He came back from meeting Mr. Hitler saying (the famous) "peace in our time" - and propetly undertook the largest peacetime ship building program in the history of the RN.

Maybe he knew or maybe he did not know that the French would/could not withstand the fury of an invasion - and any British army on the continent would be stranded to face impossible odds.

Could be he genuinely liked the German leader - but in politics personal preference means little - he "cut the cards" and the interm after Munich and before September 1939 allowed Britain to survive

Red Jenny said...

Also, Hitler wasn't really elected into power. His party was gaining ground, and he had the support of the bankers and industrialists. However, he achieved the position of chancellor only by political maneuvering.

Paul said...

Denis - regardless of what opinion we may hold of Chamberlain, I think this is splitting hairs and deviates from the larger point I was trying to make.