Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Love Boat (and Other Trappings of the Asylum)

Depending upon what news source you peruse, the Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla a few days ago was either a criminal act by Israel or - in rare examples - an act of war by Turkey, or Hamas, or Iran. But the general consensus among the media at large and their parrots on the talk shows is that the Jews attacked the Love Boat in brutal fashion. Never mind that nothing could be further from the truth; with consumers who barely read beyond the headlines, or listen past the soundbites, nothing will convince them otherwise. It's like a judge in a criminal trial instructing a jury to disregard a previous statement or question.

For far too many people, Palestine actually exists, and the Israelis are their tormentors. And since the Israelis are wealthy, and the Palestinians live in relative squalor, it must because the Jews stole all of the Arabs' fortune. Funny how easily forgotten is the story of how the Jews have been pursued and persecuted across the globe through the history of Man. Resilience seems a vice these days.

So when the Arabs demanded a place for their Palestinian "brothers" - who ironically are not welcome in their own homes - Israel ceded the Gaza Strip to them, while Hamas quickly filled the void in governance there. Arabs leading Arabs did not work out so well for the poor Palestinians, either. They fared better under Jewish rule.

Since Gaza is bordered by land only in Israel and Egypt - and since Egypt cooperated in a blockade of Gaza - the only other way in is from the sea, which Israel guards alone. They have allowed food and medicine to pass through the blockade, but nothing else. (Hamas smuggles weapons through tunnels from Egypt anyway.) That wasn't enough for some, so there was a "humanitarian aid" flotilla formed and sent to Gaza.

Israel warned them not to come because they would be stopped. They didn't listen, so when they got there, Israeli commandos tried to board and were beaten by terrorists mingling with the "Love Boat passengers". In short, these were not only peacenik, flower petal-tossing do-gooders, but mean and armed Turks and Yemenis who wanted this conflict, and who also inflicted damage on the SEALS who descended from the helicopters.

In the bizarro world in which we now reside, Israel has borne the brunt of the criticism in this event. I agree that the Israeli command needs some scrutiny, but not because of the casualties that occurred. They should never have been caught so off guard, sending down men in single formation and armed only with side arms (paintball rifles notwithstanding).

Thanks to the techno age, this shrinking planet compels normally sane people to behave in irrational ways, concerning themselves with how they are perceived rather than performing proper duties. Hopefully Israel has learned an important lesson here, but I remain unconvinced that much will change, based on the irrational reaction of the media.

This is not the only example, either. We see the same insanity in America, where the state of Arizona is vilified for passing a resolution that enforces existing law. The press reports hysterically on the "racist" element in that border state so effectively that our own politicians react as fools, and even then, ordinary consumers of the news are oblivious, and not only formulate their opinions based on faulty intel, but pass them along to their even more sequestered friends who in turn feel empowered by a false wisdom.

It is evident in the fact that our own president seeks to strip his own country of nuclear weaponry while standing idly by as Iran and North Korea work feverishly to develop theirs. It has been obvious for decades as activists in the United States resisted clean nuclear power while turning a blind eye to the successes of the French in that arena.

It is clear in light of Canada recently realizing that universal health care might be too costly in the glare of multitudes of retirees even as the U.S. embarks on the same course despite an immense wave of "Baby Boomers", and against the boisterous wishes of the electorate.

And finally, we have the Gulf of Mexico crisis, made possible by none other than the very people who sought to "protect the Earth". As Charles Krauthammer so eloquently points out, this is made possible by the fact that the environmental lobby has been so successful in pushing exploration so far out to sea, and in a densely populated and crucially important region, no less. Had this been permitted in a remote region of Alaska, and on land, the leak could have been stopped within hours, not months, as is now predicted.

In the giant Asylum where we now live, however, BP is the villian and nothing Charles Krauthammer or I can say will change that, since no one will ever see our words but the choir. And if words such as these do manage to escape the sphere in which they're trapped, they will be easily dismissed as those of the heretic.

Grab yourself one of those rear-breasted blazers and make yourself at home.

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