Dave Sim's blogandmail #265 (June 3rd, 2007)
Okay we were discussing Ariel Sharon in the context of answering David Carrington's questions about "How I see Israel."
[I don't know if I've mentioned this elsewhere but the over-sized, crew-cut Cerebus of Latter Days was based on Ariel Sharon. I had been mulling over for years what the battle-scarred military veteran and largely inexplicable survivor and even more largely inexplicable over-achiever that Cerebus was going to be would look like and then there he was, Ariel Sharon in a news photo from the late 1990s. Sheer appetite run amok to virtual cartoon-like obesity but still not a guy you would even dream of taking a poke at if you saw him in a bar. Hey! Just like Cerebus! The sort of fellow who could pretty much single-handedly start an Intifada just by strolling up to the Temple Mount to have himself a little look-see. Hey! Just like Cerebus! I was and still am a big admirer of Sharon in spite of all his self-evident flaws (his personal and self-admitted culpability in the prison camp massacre in Lebanon – only Sharon could cause a prison camp massacre by just sitting still and doing nothing) (Hey! Just like Cerebus!) as I tend to be a big admirer of all the Jewish Warriors of the first "THIS Year in Jerusalem" generation who fought their way out of the corner ropes with every rabbit punch, eye gouge, right cross and left hook they could cobble together out of cast-off French military equipment, God-fearing bravado and genuine heroism. The history of the Jewish state from 1948 to 1967, to me, is living proof of what the Jews can accomplish when they align themselves with God and how irretrievably stupid it is for non-Jews to try to get in the way of that.]
The sincerely dramatic failure of the 34-day war last summer, to me, is a good example of what happens when you step offside with God. Again, Biblical in nature. The irresistible force that Israel can be, when God is not "on board" proves to be as ordinary and vulnerable in 2006 as it was four thousand years ago when the Israelis would try the same thing. First Ariel Sharon gets a brain aneurism because the whole Kadima experiment has to be turned from the Massive Unrestricted Power Grab it represents into a Why You Really Shouldn't Try Things Like This Even If (Or Maybe Especially If) You're Ariel Sharon cul de sac. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is currently clocking in at between 2% and 3% approval ratings and has been pretty much since day 21 of the 34-day war and what everyone seems to be just now figuring out is, thanks to Ariel Sharon's meticulous crafting of the party rules, Kadima can't get rid of him.
Which seems to be God's Point.
I think God is a big fan of democracy and any time you have a political context that develops that makes the expression of the will of the people nearly impossible to implement, God is going to take a very dim view of it. It's also a pretty effective indictment of PR, Proportional Representation, in that it empowers a lot of dinky little parties to immobilize government by maintaining unworkable multi-party coalitions for unworthy motives of self-preservation. Even when minor partners in the coalition resign in protest, the rest of the coalition just looks at it as a bigger pie slice for the rest of them. Essentially what Ariel Sharon did was to engineer a circumstance in which God really had no choice but to get rid of him and to replace him with Sharon's Weak #2 man that no would ever have consciously chosen to lead the party, let alone the country (an obvious strategic necessity if, as I suspect Sharon was doing, you are trying to remake your country into an unassailable one-man tank) (and which was, purportedly, the same theory that Richard Nixon had in making Gerald Ford his Vice-President when Agnew was forced to resign). It was just too dangerous a precedent to set for the long-term good of the Jewish chessboard. Ariel Sharon, fine, but what about the next leader of Kadima who has no military background, who wasn't part of the first "THIS year in Jerusalem" generation, who isn't as devout, who is maybe (God forbid) an agnostic or an atheist?
Sorry, went off on a little tangent there.
I think, if you can see the chessboard from my vantage-point – just temporarily, I don't expect anyone to agree with me -- virtually all of the Great Democracies, including Britain and the United States, need to adopt a policy of "Ask not what Israel can do for you, ask what you can do for Israel". I think that's extremely unlikely because the natural tendency of offspring – and the Great Democracies formerly known as Christendom are all, technically, offspring of Israel – is to adhere to the view that they are a culmination or fruition or perfected form of…something…compared to which their parents are a primitive and simplistic prototype. When what you are talking about is this world's Primary Chessboard where the Primary Game that started many thousands of years ago is still underway and where the outcome is still very much in doubt, that, to me, becomes a dangerous way of looking at it. To see Israel as having any kind of responsibility towards the U.S. (or Canada, or France, or Germany or anyone else) it seems to me is to risk jeopardizing Israel's position on Chessboard Prime by making a foolish move on Chessboard the Third or Fourth or Fifth. Look at all that the British lost between 1918 and 1945 by believing that their own interests superseded those of the Jews if you need a cautionary note struck.
I think George W. Bush has adopted the right approach. The Israelis have done what they said they were going to do. The "Palestinians" haven't done what they said they were going to do.
"Palestinians? If you ever decide to do what you said you were going to do, give me a call."
It's the "Palestinians'" move on Chessboard Prime and they refuse to make it. So, hey, everybody take a breather. And then settle back and enjoy clearing the brush on your ranch or watching the World Series or whatever it is you feel like doing because when the "Palestinians" finally do make an actual move on Chessboard Prime we're all going to have more than enough to occupy our attentions.
Tomorrow: Be here when David Carrington asks the musical question, "Read any good books lately?"
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