War Zones…


From James Howard Kunstler

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summed it up the other day when he said, “We use our rockets to protect our women and children; they [Hamas] use their women and children to protect their rockets.”

Some time ago, the Left adopted the Palestinians as their pet oppressed minority group so there is nothing that Israel might do that will be okay with them, except to commit suicide, that is, cease to exist — which is the stated policy of Hamas. Every time Israel refuses the suggestion that it cease to exist, the Left becomes inflamed. They cannot imagine why Israel would prefer to fight for its existence than to roll over and die.

The Palestinian leadership doesn’t really want to talk about any resolution to the enduring crisis in which Israel is granted the right to exist. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for negotiation, and so they have literally painted themselves into a geographical corner of the region called the Gaza Strip where one of their other policies is to grow the Palestinian population in the hopes of eventually wiping Israel off the map by sheer demographic pressure. The political Right Wing of Israel is using exactly the same tactic in the contested West Bank. All of that is tragic, of course, because when the oil age comes to an end the entire region of the southern Levant will probably support one-twentieth of the population of all ethnic groups.

The New York Times reported that street protests against Israel had broken out in London and Paris, giving the impression that some broad national sentiment was being expressed when, in fact, the protesters were from the large Muslim communities that these nations had foolishly invited to immigrate there. Has anyone in the West still failed to notice the pugnacity of Islam in our time? Islam does not want to co-exist with the West anymore than the Palestinians want to grant Israel the right to exist.

Luckily for the West, there is enough animosity between the Islamic factions to distract Islam from its mission to defeat all the great-and-small Satans cluttering up their world. All this is happening as that world lurches into the twilight of the oil age, which until lately had given so much financial leverage to Islam. Really, the entire Middle East, including Israel, has overpopulated itself so severely that the only plausible outcome is the desperate fight over what’s left. A hundred and fifty years ago a mere half million people inhabited the place that is now Israel, and more than 90 percent of them were Arabic. Then came the great Industrial explosion of activity, migrations, and soaring birth rates thanks to fossil fuels. When that phase of history concludes, the population there will go down accordingly.

Over millennia, Israel or Palestine or the Levant (take your pick) has been under the dominion of rotating empires: Greece, Rome, Byzantium, the Egyptian Mameluks, the Turks, Great Britain. Who owns what has been an expression of a particular slice of time, and the current time is no different. As a geographical crossroads of trade and cultures, the region is one of the most fought-over places in the world and may continue to be as long as human beings are around. Hamas and the Palestinians in effect declared war on Israel by lobbing rockets out of Gaza and now Israel is answering. The Palestinians have got the war they asked for and they are trying to manipulate world opinion by mingling their war machine in the heart of their population center of Gaza City. Their choice.

The other hot zone in the world right now, Ukraine, got hotter the past week when somebody or some faction shot down a commercial Malaysian airliner. The question that no news organ has so far raised: why are any commercial airlines routing their planes over a war zone? Especially a war zone where other airplanes have been shot down recently. Just how dumb has the human race become?

And as sad as this incident may be, what business is it of the USA to get involved over a downed flight of a foreign airline that originated in the Netherlands and was carrying passengers overwhelmingly of Dutch nationality? Our presumption to involve ourselves in this is flat-out insane. It’s the kind of behavior that leads to world wars.


Great picture! US Amy using human shields. Good one.


Kunstler is a skilled writer, and his darkly humorous rants about American popular culture and the impending fossil fuel crisis are usually close enough to reality to make sense. Whenever he strays far from those themes, as in the case of Israel or 9/11 for instance, he quickly starts sounding like just another blinkered partisan.

Assuming quite wrongly that James Howard Kunstler was son of the famous civil rights attorney William Kunstler of Chicago Seven fame, I was appalled at his ignorance concerning Palestine. (James’ father was actually a diamond merchant in Manhattan and he never went to law school.) For this ill-informed writer of novels to pontificate about Netanyahu’s fairness without bothering to fact check the simplest things – like the actual response of Hamas to the Egyptian cease fire proposal is appalling. And for a respected journal like UKIAH BLOG to republish this tripe is most disappointing of all. We already have the MSM – the Main Stream Media blurting this stuff out on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and CNN all day long. Does Ukiah Blog feel they need assistance in shoveling the propaganda?

He quotes Netanyahu: “We use rockets to protect our women and children, Hamas uses children to protect rockets”. He says that Hamas’ answer to the cease fire proposal was to fire off more rockets. Does he know that the proposal was never even sent to Hamas – just to the Western press? Hamas nevertheless responded with five specific demands: (1) Free the 54 prisoners released earlier and then re-arrested after the 3 Israeli teenagers were killed recently in the occupied territory, (2( Open the Rafah Gate between Gaza to Egypt, (3) End the siege of Gaza (there is now no escape by sea, air or road and medical supplies are severly restricted), (4) Extend fishing rights as agreed in 2012 to 6 miles from shore (now the fisherman are fired at by Israeli patrol boats), (5) Stop blocking payment of the 40,000 salaries of legally elected employees of Gaza (Israeli controls all money transfers to Palestinians). None of these seem outrageous to me – they didn’t demand that the Jews drink seawater did they even ask that Arabs living within Israel be granted full citizenship.

Israel has without evidence insisted that they only blow up hospitals, schools and homes because Hamas fires rockets from them. This ranks with the fire bombing of Dresden as necessary to stop eliminate Nazi war factories. After the 2008-09 Israeli invasion of Gaza, the United Nations Human Rights Council was appointed to determine if Israel had actually targeted civilians. Their conclusion was “YES”. Later, their chairman, the South African jurist Goldstone, withdrew his support for this conclusion after much private discussion with the Israelis. The rest of the Council refused to change their report.

On Jul 21, 2014, at 10:18 AM, UKIAH BLOG wrote:

July 21, 2014 at 12:17 pm
Ukiah Blog posts food for thought from a wide range of viewpoints…

so I’d recommend for next post on UKIAH BLOG
either or both of these:


Barbara – Thanks for the two AlJezirah stories. Our Main Stream Media all seem to speak with one voice these days (like “Putin did it” or “the Israelis are merely defending themselves”). Thanks to the Internet we have a plethora of sources but it takes judgement and persistence to sort through them. I can recommend two that scan many blogs and publications to provide a variety of viewpoints:


We are appreciative of Dave Smith for his efforts.