An Open Letter to All Who Support Shalit’s Family

If the price for the release of one thousand Palestinian political prisoners is an Israeli soldier who was part of the criminal siege of Gaza, then so be it.

You understand that the Israeli government is responsible for the fact that Shalit is still a prisoner because Netanyahu’s government refuses to release the Palestinian prisoners that Hamas demands. You are willing to exchange Shalit because in your eyes the life of one Israeli is more valuable than the lives of one thousand Palestinians. As long as you hold to this racist outlook, you remain prisoners of the Israeli state. All 11,000 political Palestinian prisoners should be released, because they belong to a nation struggling against the oppression that you are part of.

What you do not understand is that the Israeli state is responsible for the criminal siege of Gaza, where 1.5 million people are living in a huge open-air prison, most of them refugees expelled by the Israeli state in 1947-8 and their descendants. You have not demanded an end to the siege, or the return of the Palestinian refugees, or the release of all Palestinian political prisoners – because you still believe that the enemy is the Palestinian nation and in particular those who have dared to struggle against their oppression.

You believe that the Hagana, Etzel and Palmach, organizations which used terror against the Palestinians, were freedom fighters, but that the Palestinians who are struggling for their freedom are terrorists.

You do not understand that it is not the Palestinian people who are your enemy but the racist imperialist state, Israel. A state that is not only oppressing the Palestinians but is a death trap for you as long as you support and identify yourselves with this state.

In your eyes Shalit is an innocent solder who did his duty. You do not see that this so-called duty was a crime. We understand the pain that Shalit family feels. They cannot hold him, speak with him, or be sure that he is well, But we also understand the pain the families of 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails. They cannot hold their children, speak with them, or be sure that they have not been tortured.

We do not hear from you that you even begin to imagine the pains of the Palestinian families. For four years you were concerned with Shalit, but you were never concerned with the suffering of the people in Gaza.

We hear and see from you a different message. You want to be sure that if your son or brother is sent to commit a crime in the service of the Israeli state, then the state will do everything it can to release him – so that he will be able to commit another crime. “I call on Prime Minister Netanyahu to listen to the nation and do more than he has done so far to free my brother,” Yoel Shalit told supporters at the Herzliya college.

The president of the Interdisciplinary Center, Uriel Reichman, said: “People have said this wave of protest is a sign of weakness. The opposite is true. What is happening here is an expression of Israeli strength and of the principle that all Israelis are responsible for one another.”

You want a strong imperialist Israel, and you think that the way to guarantee that Israel will be strong is that every solder who oppresses the Palestinians and who is captured has a good insurance policy guaranteed by the state.

As long as you will continue to think and feel like this, not only the Palestinians and the Arab workers and peasants in Lebanon, in Gaza, in the West Bank and in other states in the region will suffer from the Israeli state – but you will never be safe and free, because those who oppress cannot be free.

Israel is not different from the apartheid regime that existed in South Africa. The Palestinians are the blacks of Palestine and the Israelis the Afrikaners of Palestine. The Jews suffered in Europe, but the Palestinians are suffering in this country that was stolen from them. You live on their lands and in their houses or on the ruins of their houses. As long as you will not see this you will be the prisoners of the Israeli state and the imperialist states that support Israel. They will use you as mercenaries fighting for profits and the political control of the region by the big corporations.

It does not have to be so. You can live in this country as free and secure people. However, this will happen only when you side with the oppressed Palestinians and struggle with them for a different state – a state without racism, without national oppression and without the exploitation of workers. That means a workers’ state as part of a Socialist Federation of the Middle East. The Palestinians, including the refugees, are much more numerous than you are, and a workers’ state will be a Palestinian state. Yes, you will have to live as a minority in Palestine. But you will gain security and equality. You will not be afraid any more for the lives of those you hold dear. You will be able to live in solidarity with the Palestinians.

We know that most of you will say, this will never happen. You are wrong – the days when Israel was a very powerful state are over. Israel and its backer, the U.S., are declining powers. The future – if humanity will survive – belongs to the workers and the oppressed. Your only future is with them, not as masters but as brothers and sisters.

Yossi Schwartz is a member of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (Canada) -- formerly a member of the Bar of Ontario. He is currently a member of the Bar of Israel, where he resides. Read other articles by Yossi.

40 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. david love said on July 19th, 2010 at 8:10am #

    This article is incoherent. If I had submitted this in highschool, I would have received an F. You really give Palestinian supporters a pretty bad name.

  2. lichen said on July 19th, 2010 at 4:47pm #

    The article is very coherent, and well written. It is true that there is some moral hypocrisy in how this case is being presented by some–the israeli’s that have no problem massacring the Palestineans, Lebanese, and international activists, and enforcing a draft of their young people to do so, but make such a fuss when one of their marauding serial killers is captured.

  3. teafoe2 said on July 19th, 2010 at 5:12pm #

    To me the author expressed his view coherently enough for it to be clear he is full of s**t.

    Anybody who thinks Zio-Imperialism is about to collapse needs to have his head examined. “If you don’t hit it, it won’t fall”.

    Just another bookworm entranced by cliches, living in a dreamworld, seeing all through his “rote”-colored lenses.

  4. Ismail Zayid said on July 19th, 2010 at 5:13pm #

    I find the article by Yossi Schwartz very coherent and fully supportive of the palestinian people, in their struggle for justice in their homeland.

  5. richie said on July 20th, 2010 at 2:06am #

    If you think that the notion of exchanging Gilad Shalit for one thousand Palestinians is racist – fine, let’s agree that he should be exchanged for exactly one Palestinian. Now try to sell that idea to the Hamas.

  6. mary said on July 20th, 2010 at 5:21am #

    You probably know what I think Richie. I support the author and the comments from Dr Zayid and Lichen.

    Yossi Schwatz will be very familiar with the facts contained in this latest report from DCI.

  7. richie said on July 20th, 2010 at 6:35am #

    Mary, any violation of human rights, especially of children, is despicable. Gilad Shalit’s rights are also being violated. If you would write your personal email address, I would be happy to continue this discussion in private, since my comments here are likely to be deleted.

  8. mary said on July 20th, 2010 at 6:54am #

    You must be joking.

  9. mary said on July 20th, 2010 at 8:04am #

    I meant about giving out my e-mail address publicly Richie.

    As for deletion of comments, that it entirely the Editors’ prerogative.

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 20th, 2010 at 8:18am #

    I wouldn’t trust ‘richie’in a fit,mary.The only tenable prisoner exchange is all for all. All the Palestinians illegally detained and tortured for the Israeli prisoner-of-war.As a sign of goodwill,Hamas can leave the question of trial for complicity in the war crimes of collective punishment,murder of civilians etc in abeyance.

  11. siegestate said on July 20th, 2010 at 8:20am #

    richie and david love; Your fear can be sensed from continents away.

    Every little sleigh of hand since before the King David Hotel bombing has already been shown to be lies. The war crimes can no longer be hidden or disguised. The empires will be called to task. It would be better if you applied for amnesty now when the amount of damage to be made up by each individual will be less severe.

    Good luck – as you said, richie – the offer is sincere.

  12. richie said on July 20th, 2010 at 9:20am #

    Siegestate – what fear? what does the bombing of the King David have to do with anything ? amnesty for what? In short- what are you talking about?

  13. Jacob said on July 20th, 2010 at 9:33am #

    Anybody who denies the right of the Jewish people to political self-determination and statehood, while not denying that right to any other people, is as racist as he can be and can be rightfully called an anti-Semite, if he is Jewish or not.
    And, had the Arabs accepted the UN partition plan in 1947, and had not started their war against the Palestinian Jewish community, there would have been no refugees and their independent state would have been 62 y old today, side by side with Israel.
    And, people who blow themselves in crowded civilian buses and restaurants are not “freedom fighters” but blood thirsty terrorists.

  14. teafoe2 said on July 20th, 2010 at 4:56pm #

    at was that you said, Richie?

    “Mary, I do understand your reluctance. It’s just that the editors do tend to delete comments that are not extremely anti-Israel.”

    Tell that to your pal Jacob:) And while you’re at it, explain to all of us just how you managed to acquire such a sensitive bit of inside information? You been hacking into the editor’s in-house memorandums?

    Perhaps you’re another idiot savant gifted with ESP?

  15. teafoe2 said on July 20th, 2010 at 5:05pm #

    the only rights Gilad Shalit has are the rights guaranteed to Prisoners of War under the Fourth Geneva Convention and other provisions of international law. But since Isreal cares not a fig for legality, the whole thing is moot.

    Shalit signed up to serve “his country” (sic) as a soldier, and since the bigshots who run the IOF could care less what happens to him, he will be afforded the opportunity to display his dedication to the Zionist State indefinitely.

  16. Hue Longer said on July 20th, 2010 at 6:38pm #

    Jacob said on July 20th, 2010 at 9:33am #

    “And, people who blow themselves in crowded civilian buses and restaurants are not “freedom fighters” but blood thirsty terrorists”. And very flexible!

  17. VPK9 said on July 20th, 2010 at 8:07pm #

    The author of this is a moron, as is any member of a group that thinks it can get 10,000 prisoners swapped for 1. The only reason to make such an idiotic demand is to have it be rejected, use that as a tool to gather international outrage (amongst idiots) against the country that dared to reject a deal, despite the fact that the people that proposed the deal are not making any serious attempt to create a peaceable solution. They are war mongerers, no better than the Israeli right wingers.

  18. richie said on July 20th, 2010 at 9:31pm #

    Teafoe2, Gilad Shalit is being denied his rights as a POW, that’s the point.
    Indeed, he’s a soldier , honorably serving his country (I don’t exactly get your use of quotation marks), and certainly not suspected of any crime.
    There is some doubt as to whether the Hamas are really interested in resolving the issue, whether they really want to free their own people , any more than they’re really interested in the lifting of the restrictions on Gaza.

  19. mary said on July 21st, 2010 at 2:25am #

    Interesting that this article written by a Jewish lawyer in Israel brings out all these new trolls.

    and Mulga, not ever in a month of Sundays would I engage in some pointless ‘conversation’ with them. They are proud servants of the Israel Project.

  20. mary said on July 21st, 2010 at 3:17am #

    An extract from Cynthia McKinney’s oration at her father Billy’s funeral. She had of course been imprisoned in Israel for seven days after one of the Free Gaza voyages and had been on the Free Gaza boat Dignity when it was thrice rammed in the dark in international waters by the Israeli Navy
    and left for dead with 15 others.

    ‘And so, when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other aspects of the pro-Israel Lobby in this country, including their supporters right here in Georgia, targeted me for defeat, my father came to my rescue by telling the truth. I was targeted by the pro-Israel Lobby because I dared to question the Bush Administration about what happened on September 11, 2001 and because I have the audacity to believe that no group of people, including Palestinians who *are* the Semitic people in this discussion, by the way, should suffer as Blacks in the United States have suffered. Billy McKinney called them out and let you know the truth about what was going on and who was doing it in the midst of intentionally-created confusion and campaign chaos.

    That chaos included acts of political sabotage, including both my father and I being abandoned by some of our closest personal and political friends. The attack on us was total. And the battle was for your mind so that you would lose respect for someone unafraid of speaking truth to power. My father came to my defense because I rightly questioned how George Bush could “win” an election in which he lost the vote; why Africa’s diamonds, oil, cobalt, copper, uranium, coltan, timber, and fisheries enriched economies in Europe, the United States, and Israel while Africa remained broke and broken. What I was doing went to the core of the existing power configuration in this country and I began to expose its method of finance.’

    Well spoken Cynthia and RIP Billy.

  21. mary said on July 21st, 2010 at 10:51am #

    One of our new friends here asked naively ‘What war crimes’.


  22. teafoe2 said on July 21st, 2010 at 12:25pm #

    richie, you claim Shalit is being denied his rights as a POW. Be specific, exactly how is he being abused, according to you?

    You say you don’t understand why I put “his country” in quotation marks? I did it because what he probably thinks of as “his country” is NOT a country as the term is normally understood in normal English. The Zionist Entity is not a “country”, it’s an ongoing crime against humanity. This abomination you zionists call “israel” (sic) controls a chunk of territory by force, as did the Third Reich at one time, and the Confederate States of America (sic) earlier.
    Nothing that serves “isreal” in any way is in any way “honorable”. Get it through your head: you and your fellow racist colonialists are a bunch of criminals. Shalit is a voluntary participant in criminal activities.

  23. teafoe2 said on July 22nd, 2010 at 12:02pm #

    clarify my comment on the article: really had no problem with it until the final paragraph:

    ” the days when Israel was a very powerful state are over. Israel and its backer, the U.S., are declining powers. The future – if humanity will survive – belongs to the workers and the oppressed.”

    In my opinion this exaggerated optimism sows dangerous illusions. Perhaps some very longterm trend toward “decline” can be observed in some aspects of the Zio-Imperialist Militarist global police state, but other aspects continue to expand and intensify.

    If Mr Schwartz could convince a significant slice of the Isrealy public that they’ve been backing a losing horse, and that their private interests would be better served by revolting against the current Zionist-Militarist power configuration, which would have to be disabled before any real accomodation on a just basis could be negotiated with the Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese and others affected by IOF aggression, that would be great & I would applaud it.
    However to me it looks like a pipedream. I don’t see the Isrealy “working class” giving up their privileged existence in favor of class solidarity with Palestinians.
    “Workers” aren’t necessarily any smarter, more committed to justice, or politically perceptive than anybody else.
    Take the “Solidarnosc” experience as an example. I could cite others. Or just look at the “labor movement” in the US & Canada.
    I mean to warn against mechanical application of abstract “Marxist” principles and outdated slogans. The essence of Marxism is the concrete analysis of concrete conditions, which at this point means focussing attention on the ZPG and the way it has been able to impose its Bismarckian militarist cum secret police worldview on the rest of the US capitalist class.

    Zionists are Militarists. The top Zionist honchos remain addicted to violence and violent “covert action”, which to them has become a value in and of itself, regardless of any economic benefits, longterm or short.

    They have managed to sell this outlook to the US professional military and the DOD Budget corporate profiteers. Which didn’t take that much effort, because for the professional military, War is the only thing that gives their lives meaning.

    The US is militarizing the globe not because it is profitable, but because the Zionist-Militarist-Secret Police/Private Army elites love it. They love their toys, and love to play with them.

  24. mary said on July 22nd, 2010 at 1:09pm #

    ‘richie’ treats us to a video of opera in a Tel Aviv food market where the Israelis eat and drink to their hearts’ content from a huge assortment on display. 400,000 have viewed it since 1 July.

    Yesterday I posted here the Save the Children 2009 report listing child malnitrition, stunting, food insecurity and all the other horrors that the Palestinians endure. In Gaza a child is very lucky to have a stew of lentils cooked over firewood.

    What is ‘richie’ trying to rub the faces of the Palestinians in? What was his purpose in linking to it? How very unpleasant.

  25. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 23rd, 2010 at 12:10am #

    If it squawks like a crow, walks like a crow and leaves a trail of guano like a crow’. Yep,its got to be jon s,transmogrified. Don’t you just love the vicious combination of insane narcissism with absolute racist contempt. The people of Gaza, being untermenschen,mean nothing besides one ubermensch,one heroic member of the Judaic Herrenvolk. This virulent, extreme racism is being imposed on the West by the Zionazis, the moral and spiritual heirs and successors of the German Nazis. And it is becoming more and more difficult to criticise them. The mainstream media is a Zionist swamp, and the blogs,often posing as ‘Leftwing’ or ‘progressive’ will censor anything that merely mentions Zionism,sometimes after days of being allowed. Suddenly, no doubt after some spittle-flecked telephone call or e-mail from one of the Zionist thought police, off it goes, down the Zionist memory-hole. This nasty, vicious, irredeemably racist terror state,its fascist rulers and the terrorising, bullying Zionist Lobbies in the West are now, clearly, the greatest threat to global peace,in alliance with their puppet, the USA.

  26. mary said on July 23rd, 2010 at 2:58am #

    This opening sentence will make you laugh. I think it must be ironic.

    ‘Israel, a wealthy Middle Eastern nation with a powerful army and nuclear weapons, has long been under attack from Barack Obama, who hates them for their freedom. Obama hates Israel so much that he would like to encourage them to make the concessions necessary for their survival as a democratic state, and he expresses his hatred by negotiating with their leaders and constantly affirming his support for them.’

    On this new Kristol/Bauer/Abrams site (Zionist Israhell getting desperate?) there is a You Tube showing a new shopping mall in Gaza with an escalator and luxury goods on sale. It probably came from the same stable that produced the news of the Olympic sized swimming pool and 5 star restaurant in the post flotilla attack propaganda. Laughable that they think people will believe that there is enough electricity in Gaza to power an escalator when there is often just enough to power an electric toothbrush.

    And Richie fyi re Shalit . From the editors of Medialens in their latest alert – ‘Peace Envoy’ Blair Gets A Free Ride In The Independent. Their e-mail to Donald Macintyre.

    “It is not clear to what extent you performed the journalist’s role of holding power to account; if at all. For example, you note:

    “‘Gilad Shalit, who has been held for almost four years by Gaza militants, was a “huge issue” for the Israeli public. Mr Blair again called for Sgt Shalit’s release.’

    “The day before the capture of Shalit on the front lines of the Israeli forces attacking Gaza, Israeli soldiers entered Gaza City and kidnapped two civilians, the Muamar brothers, taking them to Israel (in violation of the Geneva Conventions), where they disappeared into Israel’s prison population. Are you aware of these facts? Did you put them to Mr Blair? The kidnapping of two civilians is a far more serious crime than the capture of Shalit. But the media, including you and your paper, have given it far less attention. Why is that?

    “And what about the [thousands of] Palestinians held without charge in Israeli prisons, often for long periods? Why no mention of them in your interview with a major politician who shares some responsibility for this?

    “All of this is ‘a “huge issue” for the Palestinian public’; indeed, for most of the world.

    “You also ignored the consistent and massive military, financial and diplomatic support given to Israel during its increasing strangulation of Gaza – the US, the UK and its allies are deeply complicit in this terrible crime. But it elicits no comment from you here.

    “Why is that?”

    Enough said.

  27. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 23rd, 2010 at 9:31am #

    Shalit was as ‘honourably’ serving his country as any Wehrmacht soldier guarding the Warsaw Ghetto.I have no idea what type of man Shalit is.Perhaps he is a fine and decent human being,like those other Israeli soldiers who revealed the truth of Israeli atrocities in Gaza,and thus corroborated the testimony of the Palestinians, Arab journalists, Western and Gazan medical personnel, Medicines sans Frontieres, Amnesty,the Red Cross, the UN and the Goldstone Report.
    Unfortunately the odds are that Shalit is either a vicious racist,like so many Israelis,particularly on the dominant, fascist and racist Right, or a man simply serving out his time in the military,just ‘following orders’ as they said at Nuremberg. The only way to ascertain the truth is to put Shalit on trial,and I think Hamas should do that. If Shalit has not committed or been party to crimes against humanity,such as collective punishment,illegal aggression,murder,kidnapping or torture, then Hamas ought to release him. They should given him the type of justice Israel has meted out to the thousands of Palestinians,like Marwan Bhagouti. Only joking- I think Hamas ought to give him a fair trial. I suggest Hamas and its sympathisers overseas, and sympathisers of the Palestinians in general, should set up a tribunal to try Israeli leaders (like the living corpse, Sharon) and their stooges like Blair, in absentia, for crimes against humanity.The gathering of evidence would be useful as an archive, and, who knows, there may be a miracle and these latter-day Nazis will face justice some day.

  28. teafoe2 said on July 23rd, 2010 at 1:04pm #

    Thank you Mulga and Mary! Great job!

  29. teafoe2 said on July 23rd, 2010 at 1:20pm #

    since the Editors in their wisdom have seen fit to prohibit readers from commenting on Jeff Blankfort’s crucially important critique of Noam Chomsky’s dark side, I must apologize for using this sneaky tactic to let Mary, Mulga, Rehmat, Ismail, Lichen, Gary, several “regulars” whose names have temporarily fallen into one of the gaps in my Senile Citizen memory, and yes Max Shields know that I would be very interested to be able to read their reactions to Jeff’s thesis.

  30. teafoe2 said on July 23rd, 2010 at 1:21pm #

    Senile One forgot to mention Deadbeat. Duh…

  31. Deadbeat said on July 23rd, 2010 at 5:17pm #

    TF2 writes …
    Max Shields know that I would be very interested to be able to read their reactions to Jeff’s thesis.

    Que lastima! Comments are closed on the “Left’s” anointed two-faced intellectual leader. And Just when I was looking forward to being smeared again by Hue and Max. 🙂

    Thanks for posting Joesph Anderson’s comments. I recalled the fallout here on DV when he last participated. He had Max’s number down pat.

    These discussions however are actually more revealing about the retarded nature of the “Left” and why it remains weak. This crisis won’t even stand a chance of reversing until the Left is purged of these dreadful poseurs.


  32. Deadbeat said on July 23rd, 2010 at 5:21pm #

    The most controversial comment in Blankfort’s and the one the will stir heated reactions from the “Left”…

    Once upon a time Prof. Chomsky was considered by many to be the most important spokesperson for the Palestinian cause. It was a position he attained largely on the basis of his writings and activism in opposing the Vietnam War and US intervention in Central America in which, unlike the case with Israel, he had no personal vested interest. That Chomsky has maintained that position despite the presence in the US of a number of distinguished Palestinian professors, among them the late Edward Said, who were and are more knowledgeable about the subject and could speak from personal experience that does not include prior service as “a Zionist youth leader”—Chomsky’s background– is a reflection of the political culture of the American Left which was and remains substantially if not predominantly Jewish, particularly in its leadership positions.

  33. Hue Longer said on July 23rd, 2010 at 5:53pm #

    I don’t know why the discussion was banned on that article…banning discussion on this one would have been more effective for maintaining topical integrity it seems…at least over there the redundant would be related to the article.

    But hey! I’ll play!

    Chomsky to me often times contradicts his grasp for logic and his blind sides (where it almost seems like he’s an impostor pretending to be Chomsky) include 911 and ABB. The good news is that no man owns the truth and can merely understand and share it at best–I don’t know if Chomsky is part of a “grand” conspiracy (seems a bad angle choice on Israel for a gatekeeper) to fool people who find the man more important than the issue but it seems that he has angered them as well. What for?

    I liked the article over there but I’m OK to continue listen to everything…I’m not in danger if I don’t stay paranoid and ignorant

    Analyse, keep, reject…simple

  34. Max Shields said on July 24th, 2010 at 7:42am #

    I agree that discussion should have been allowed. What’s the point of posting to a blog and shutting off comment?

    I think Blankfort makes some cogent arguments. These comments however do not, as is the case with some posters here, deny the US’s role in the world as an empire. And Petras does not deny these either. I have some issues with Petras’s analysis. And if I were to quantify, I have even more issues with Chomsky.

    There is a significant difference between calling out Chomsky in an article, with supported notes (as Blankfort does), and using this as some kind of world-view creed to answer all social and political problems in the world. There appear to be some who are not capable of discerning this notion.

  35. teafoe2 said on July 24th, 2010 at 11:16am #

    Thank you Mr Shields, for your support of allowing discussion of Blankfort’s “Chomsky” article.

    A question: you say you “have some issues” with Petras’ analysis. Would you care to pick just one of those “issues”, provide what Petras said that you take issue with, and explain why? Thank you:)

    You say “There are some” who use Blankfort’s well documented “calling out” of Chomsky as “some kind of a world-view creed to answer all social and political problems in the world”, due to being “not capable of discerning” “this notion”.
    I guess by “this notion” you mean that “some” are not capable of discerning the difference between what Blankfort has done, and using Blankfort’s work as a “world-view creed”? Assuming that I’ve discerned correctly what you were attempting to say, would you care to identify a few of the persons you mean by “some”? And provide an example or two of how they have committed the blunder you describe?
    Thank you again for supporting continuation of the discussion:)

  36. Max Shields said on July 24th, 2010 at 1:18pm #

    teafoe2 ““There are some” who use Blankfort’s well documented “calling out” of Chomsky as “some kind of a world-view creed to answer all social and political problems in the world”, due to being “not capable of discerning” “this notion”.
    I guess by “this notion” you mean that “some” are not capable of discerning the difference between what Blankfort has done, and using Blankfort’s work as a “world-view creed”? ”

    It should be quite obvious who the johnny one note regardless of topic is, teafoe2.

    As to Petras his view (I’m not going to dig up a reference) that natural resources, particularly oil, has little to do with US policies. The idea that big business is less inclined to push US foreign policy to invade for fear of losing its access to oil and other assets. He has also made the point that the earth is abundantly rich with oil and that it is only Zionism that propels our wars. Still Petras does concede that the US is an empire.

    His argument seems blinded to the dependency of resources such as oil and that US policy is as much a strategy of who controls access to oil as it is “personal” extraction.

    However I do think Petras has provided some sound analysis on Latin America as I weigh it against other sources and my own sense having lived through many of the years in question.

  37. teafoe2 said on July 24th, 2010 at 3:46pm #

    Mr Shields, I wish you would take a little more time to be sure you present your arguments in grammatical sentences. For instance, this is not a complete thought: “The idea that big business is less inclined to push US foreign policy to invade for fear of losing its access to oil and other assets.”

    You post clause after clause, phrase after phrase, grammatical Subject after Subject, all without a coherent identifiable predicate, without an operative verb. You time after time leave it to me to complete your thought.

    To the extent that I can make sense of your “argument” — I don’t think you can call strings of English words “argument” unless they are couched in standard English sentences compliant with the rules of English grammar — but to the extent that I can make sense of your words, you present a caricature version of Petras’ ideas. For instance, to say that Petras “concedes” that the US is an empire ignores that Petras has published several comprehensive indepth analyses of the entire imperial system centered in the US. Petras has been a critic and active opponent of US Imperialism for several decades.

    Here’s another of your incoherent offerings:
    “His argument seems blinded to the dependency of resources such as oil and that US policy is as much a strategy of who controls access to oil as it is “personal” extraction.

    I can sort of detect in a general way what you’re driving at; you seem to be parroting a couple of standard Liberal and Social Democrat arguments trotted out to divert people from closely examining the role of the Zionist 5th Column in the USA. However, if you will rephrase the above, I will re-examine and re-assess your views. But I’m not going to expend any more time or braincells on incoherent strings of words. Sorry bout that:)

  38. Max Shields said on July 24th, 2010 at 4:28pm #

    teafoe2, do me a favor. Don’t bother to expend any more braincells.

    You are locked into your one size fits all world-view. It seems to make you feel comfy.

    Sharpen up your own case. Calling people (as deadbeat does) Chomskyites, and your reference to Liberal or Social Democrats demonstrates that you cannot think outside of the foolish ideologies contrived for the lazy thinker.

  39. teafoe2 said on July 24th, 2010 at 5:11pm #

    Max, you offer nothing but a label. Claim that my worldview fits the description “one size fits all” proves absolutely nothing.

    The fact that I know that behind the Obama phenomenon lies a whole spectrum of rulingclass instruments masquerading as “Liberals”, “Progressives”, “Leftists”, “Marxists” etc etc does not demonstrate that my ability to think is hampered in any way. As a matter of fact, Max, it is YOU who seems mentally lazy to me. And somewhat uninformed about important aspects of US antiwar/anti-Establishment politics. But that’s just my impression; asserting it does not prove anything, any more than your assertions prove anything about my mental capacities.

    To truly understand Marx’s thought is not a task for the “lazy thinker”. Baron Ulanov, aka V Lenin, took to heart the admonition, offered to those who would understand Marx’s Das Kapital, that “to understand Marx you must first read and understand the total of Hegel’s Logik”. Which he did, with history-altering results.

    To sort through and unravel the many many versions of Marxism offered by just the major figures among those who have claimed to be disciples of Marx is extremely time consuming. So I can understand why you want to avoid it. I don’t blame you, it’s a tremendous task.

    But for those who would offer leadership to a society in the kind of crisis we find ourselves in today, I think it is essential preparation. Those who would assume the role of participation in overall social leadership need to learn many things, from public speaking to writing well-crafted prose to absorbing an enormous mass of historical knowledge to a detailed geographical knowledge of the entire planet to the sociology of the rulingclass to recent innovations in the FIRE sector to… well you get the idea. One needs to know that Capitalism developed independently in only two places, the first being Western Europe and the second pre-Meiji Japan.
    Such a leader-to-be would need to be able to deconstruct the analyses proffered by the whole spectrum of “progressive” or/and Marxist “theoreticians” from Z-net’s Michael “Parecon” Albert to Bellamy Foster & Michael Yates et al at Monthly Review to Carl Davidson et al at CC-DS to the Beckers of ANSWER to UFPJ/DSA/JVP to the ISO and the Green Party platform.

    Of course any educated person needs to know more mathematics than I do, a couple foreign languages plus one or two “dead” ones, something about music (Bach Beethoven Changuito Bata Prez Yard Thirdifications according to Trane Pi-pa Samisen & the Korean percussion tradition etc etc) & the other fine arts, Drama from Euripedes et al to Hamlet to Pirandello & Brecht to Noh… Oh yes, there I go again with my “limited wordview”:)
    So let me take your advice and try to broaden out a little, excuse me for now?

  40. Max Shields said on July 24th, 2010 at 5:31pm #

    What lable is that teafoe2?

    So you say: “As a matter of fact, Max, it is YOU who seems mentally lazy to me. ”

    Well we can get into prolong meaningless name calling. For me, regardless of who is doing it, when someone can think of nothing specific to counter a point, other than through out the old ideological labels it’s lazy and disingenous – awe that’s what the schnookers say, or the yahoos think that way. It’s lazy because it does not address one point as a true counterpoint to what is being said. It’s meant as a bogus means of shutting down thinking. Who needs to think when the ideologies are all there for you to pick and choose?

    When someone says that’s a “Liberal” position, what are they saying? What is a liberal? What century are we talking about? Is a Liberal one who believes in liberal trade agreements (like NAFTA)? or going to war for “humanitarian” reasons? Or is a Liberal someone who believes in free markets (liberalization of markets)? Or is a Liberal one who thinks civil rights is good as is unchecked immigration?

    A similar discussion can surround what we mean by a social democrat. I’m not here to argue what the mass media considers a liberal or progressive or socialist is or what a uber-right-winger thinks Obama is. Those arguments are destructive at best.

    If we stick to one topic at a time, teafoe2 (rather than longish dissertations of Marx and Hegal) we may at least keep a straight face. You needn’t prove you’ve read this or that writer. Hopefully my notes above addressed the issue of laziness and my sentences met with satisfaction your grammar checker.