Monday, July 31, 2006

what have we learnt?

a man on the radio opines, or perhaps repeats, or perhaps suggests that israel, or at least some important israelis, are surprised by the lack of a swift knock-out blown to hizbullah thanks to their overwhelming military force.

hmmm, is there perhaps a precedent for this... iraq ('fear and awe')? afghanistan? vietnam? er, palestine? i don't know enough about all the other 20th century conflicts to generalise further, but it seems like this shouldn't be a surprise to trained military planners. a superior force is never, ever going to completely beat down another people... surely one of the few things that the entire history of the world with all its ridiculous conflicts and wars and rebellions and oppressions and dictatorships makes quite clear. why can't we all just get along? won't someone think of the children?

one day we might try and actually tackle the root causes of conflict instead of just building more bombs, just think about that!

meanwhile, i watched rabbit proof fence. i find it really pleasing - in a head-shaking, disbelieving, so ridiculous it must be true just like all that other shit we pulled kind of way - that our *ahem* decent, civilising colonialism led to such measures as taking children who were part aboriginal and part european away from their mothers so that they could be raised as civilised, white people. the irony of the 'civilised' thinking this was a progressive, modernising stratagem is just too astounding; the skin-tone test involving a chap having a look and deciding if a particular child was white enough to have a well-developed brain, and therefore suitable for a european education, was similarly incredible. that the process continued until 1970 even more so. how, exactly, can anyone, no matter how racist or ideologically wrong-headed, think that this is a civilised course of behaviour? and that taking away kids while shouting "i've got all the paperwork here, there's nothing you can do about it" even remotely makes sense? [for more on this see, for example the stolen generation]

civilisation? i'd give it a miss if this is the sum total of its achievements.


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