I wonder why we are all angry with one another. I wonder why we call
each other unkind names and berate one another as if the failure of great
parties or systems were transferrable. I think we should all call a
Christmas peace. (I use Christmas not to focus on Christianity but to
make the obvious allusion.) I have never understood why a list of people
who only know one another by texts and so cannot really know one
another makes personal judgements. We all can debate ideas fiercely
without directing them at persons, can we not?
I think Carroll's comparison was extreme, but I also understand that if we
have no compassion for dying and tortured Palestinians we can have none
for others either. That terrible mess is not one sided, and blaming all or
most of it on either side does not take the other into account.
Date sent: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 09:27:20 -0600
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Over my limit in nonsense from Carrol
To: [log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask] wrote:
> In a message dated 12/8/02 3:25:10 PM EST, [log in to unmask] writes:
> > Anyone who disapproves of Hitler's treatment
> > of the Jews must, to be consistent,
> > equally disapprove of the Israeli
> > treatment of Palestinians.
> > Carrol
> "Hitler's treatment of the Jews"
> By "treatment" you mean, of course, the mass roundups of a country's
> own, unarmed citizens into camps from which they would be poisoned to
> death by
You leap to the end of the story. What you need to look like are the
years prior to that. What form the "final solution" will take in
Palestine remains to be seen. I see little difference between what is
happening to Palestinians in their own homeland now with what happened to
German Jews in the pre-ear period, or even the early years of the war.
I should not have referred to Hitler, however, for another reason. I
violated an old law of Newsgroups -- the first person to refer to the
Nazis in loses the argument. And this 'rule,' flippant as it seems, points
to a much more serious matter.
It makes sense, at the present time, to point out that the U.S. is
threatening to become a police state. There is NO danger of fascism. The
tendency to call all authoritarian measures or structures "fascist" is as
silly today as it would have been in 1930 to call Hitler a "Kaiserist."
Fascism was a _species_ of authoritarian rule, a very viciou species, but
ony a species, not the general type. Jim Crow in the south was, for those
it ruled, as terrifying as was life in Germany (before 1940) for Jews, but
it is silly to call the Jim Crow South "Fascist." Leopold in the Congo,
invading Europeans in the western hemisphere, most dramatically Colombus
in Hispaniola, all committed crimes of the same order of magnitude as
Hitler's crimes, but none of these were fascist. (Chipe Berlet and his
colleagues argue for a form of fascism they call "clerical fascism, of
which the Taliban is an example. They may be correct, but they are also
very emphatic in denying the use of "fascist" or "Nazi" as all-purpose
epithets for nasty governmental policy.
And just as equating "fascism" with all repressive (or police) states
muddies the waters of discourse, so seeing "The Final Solution" as _the_
model of genocide muddies debate on genocide. So my post was overhasty and
dissolute in its diction. And you then became equally dissolute in your
diction by equating "Hitler's treatment of the Jews" with "The Final
Solution," thus blurring the horror of what had _preceded_ the final
A more appropriate parallel to what is hapeening to the Palestinians is
the treatment of the Indians by Euro-Americans.
A post from another list. Joanna Bujes's parents, Rumanian Jews, came to
this country when she was 10. She is just one of millions of Jews who are
_not_ Zionist and who _not_ consider my post "nonsense."
joanna bujes wrote:
> Thank you Brad,
> Finally, this issue makes it to the LBO mailing list! Yes, on this
> topic, the silence has been deafening out there.
The rage Brad feels is felt by many -- and is part of the reason the
issue only intermittently appears on this or other left lists. We did not
feel this same choked rage during the Vietnam War because we were _doing_
something about it. Our rage found outlet in action.
The Earth is Closing on Us
The earth is closing on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The earth is squeezng us. I wishe were its wheat so we could die
and live again. I wish the earth was our mother
So she'd be kind to us. I wish we were picturesd on the rocks for our
dreams to carry
As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us in
the last defence of the soul.
We cried over their children's feast. We saw the faces of those who'll
throw our children
Out of the windows of this last space. Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds
go after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will
write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood
will plant its olive tree.
[Note: autumn in the next poem should be seen as the autumn of the seige
We are Entitled to Love Autumn
We are entitled to love the end of this autumn and ask:
Is there room for another autumn in the field to rest our bodies like
An autumn lowering its leaves like gold. I wish we were fig leaves
I wish we were an abanadoned plant
To witness the change of the seasons. I wish we didn't say goodbye
to the south of the eye so as to ask what
Our fathers had asked when they flew on the tip of the spear. Poetry
and God's name will be merciful to us.
We are entitled to dryu the nights of lovely women, and talk
Shortens the night for two strangers waiting for the north to reach
An autumn. Indeed we are entitled to smell the scent of this autumn,
to ask the night for a dream.
Does a dream fall sick like the dreamers? An autumn, an autumn.
Can a people be born on the guillotine?
We are entitled to die the way we want to die. Let the land hid in an
ear of wheat.
Both poems from _Victims of a Map_, by Samih Al-Qasim, Adonis, & Mahmud
Darwish, London: Al Saqi Books, 1984. Translations by Abdullah al-Udhari.
P.S. While I have done it myself in the past on other maillists, I have
decided it is probably not best policy to put the names of list members in