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Culture & Religion

From Vietnam to Afghanistan: Myra Breckinridge to the rescue

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As Afghanistan enters its last dreadful lap, much like Vietnam circa 1970, I have been looking back to what fiction from those ‘golden days’ had to say, when students were alive with antiwar politics and sexual revolution, the empire at its peak of power and savagery. The parallels are bleak, and very, very enlightening.


In Norman Mailer’s Why Are We in Vietnam? (1967), the rich Texan D.J.’s son spends the night in a tent with his best friend. They feel lust for the other, but intuit that the only response to such desire is violence; they will never be lovers, but only ‘killer brothers’.


They (and their fathers) worship their high-powered guns. They revel in shooting an exquisite fox, standing nobly at dawn, a magnificent grizzly, wounded and running crazily in pain. The atmosphere is full of cruel violence against the natural order and lack of understanding of reality. Then, in the final sentence, ‘off to Vietnam we go.’ Argh.


It was then that I turned to Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckinridge (1968) and Myron (1974).

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The Bible: Recipe for genocide or junk sculpture?

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What exactly is the religious rationale for Israel as a Jewish state? Who better to ask than an America Jewish secular journalist. We can assume that makes our investigative journalist a zionist (90% of Jews support Israel), but, as a journalist, and secular, our protagonist assures the reader he is interested in giving us as objective a version as can be expected.


David Plotz’s Good Book: The bizarre, hilarious, disturbing, marvelous, and inspiring things I learned when I read every single word of the Bible (2009) puts the Old Testament (OT) under his microscope, knowing virtually zip about the religion, not practicing, nor forced to go to Saturday Hebrew school. Locke’s ‘blank slate’, sort of.


Plotz loves the ironies and contradictions of his journey and the Bible itself. He starts out believing vaguely in the existence of God, but not observing the rituals. During his 365 days of plodding through the book, he comes to admire the rituals, and starts observing shabat Friday dinners, complete with prayers, celebrating passover, new year, sukkoth.


But he’s not at all happy with the God the OT reveals. “I leave the bible as a hopeless and angry agnostic. I’m brokenhearted about God. God made me rational so I must use the tools to think about him. Submit him to rational and moral inquiry. And he fails that examination. The history of Judaism is an effort to grapple with the bible’s horror.”

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Back to the future: From Jackson to ‘the Donald’

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Who in US presidential history even comes close to Trump? While corporations run America for all intents and purposes, it has been unusual for a hardcore businessman to take the helm. Founders like Washington and Jefferson were plantation owners. Most were lawyers, military (9 generals), political hacks (including lots of governors, senators and VPs), even a university president (Wilson, Yale). But businessman? Who bragged of making and losing and making a fortune?


None of the previous 44 presidents are listed as businessmen, though Andrew Jackson (1767–1845, president 1829–1837) cries out as Trump’s prototype. Jackson’s parents emigrated from northern Ireland, he was orphaned at 14, used his wiles to become a “frontier lawyer”, and made a fortune in speculation of lands which by law were Cherokee, but which hungry settlers were stealing at gunpoint. That made him a gentleman plantation owner and businessman. (Think: Trump Towers, casinos)

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Is a genuine Israeli nationality taking shape?

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For long, Israelis have despised diaspora Jews as weaklings, fraidy cats, too lazy to come to live (and fight) in the Jewish Homeland. But, imperialism -- Israel is the last of that dying breed -- needs constant growth, more bodies to exploit, to fight the enemy, to prove itself. It also needs to exploit other countries financially, and terrorize its enemies, to prosper. So Israel will never disown the traitors, the 'expats'. They provide a trickle of recruits (‘antisemitism’ ensures that) and are useful to squeeze billions of dollars out of the US (don’t forget Germany).


But imperialism also demands a fanatical, chauvinistic national identity, to psychologically arm its killing machine. That's what made Britain British, the US American, Germany German in the 19--20th centuries.


We are all pale postmodern states now. Dutch, Belgian, Canadian, Luxembourgian ... who cares? But American, Israeli ... that sends a shiver down backs, either of dread or excitement. Israel has no real nationality, only Jew and Arab ethnicities within a Jewish state. No room for 'nationality'.


The whole point of ‘Jew’ taking the place of an Israeli nationality is to mimic the warrior nationalism of the 20th century, to keep the killing machine primed. The Jewish nation by definition excludes the Arab Christians and Muslims, and logically demands some kind of 'final solution', to scrub the Jewish State clean of all non-Jews. But that is incompatible with modern international norms.

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The ‘Protocols’ revisited

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The Protocols of the Elders of Zion have finally come into their own. The pieces of imperialism’s geopolitical jigsaw have fallen into place after four centuries. Jerusalem (read: JerUSAlem) is the honorary capital of the US-Israel empire. All hail King Donald I.

The ‘elder’ly bile aside (pretty nasty stuff), it is in fact an series of 24 mostly articulate, well-argued lectures outlining a plan for world capitalist domination, with sharp political and social analysis, lots of Machiavelli and a Marxian sophistication in its understanding of capitalism and historical processes. Briefly, it outlines a plan of world conquest by first establishing world government by consent. As with any sharp political expose, it has been denounced, dismissed, misinterpreted and banned. And made very good use of by those lusting for world power.

It was first published in Znamya in 1903, written in the swirl of imperialist scheming of the late 19th century, where Jews dominated world finances, at the very heart of the British Empire. Conspiracies about Masons, Illuminati,  End Timers, and, yes, Jews were the subject of pamphlets in the new age of cheap newspapers and high literacy.

The plan for the complete triumph of the British Empire was formulated and implemented at that time—as far as the real world allowed—by Cecil Rhodes. He had made his fortune exploiting southern Africa’s mineral and resource wealth.
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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html