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So Called ‘Elites’ Will Make Gazans of Us All


By Chris Hedges

Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world’s elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence. Many impoverished regions of the world, which have fallen off the economic cliff, are beginning to resemble Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians live in the planet’s largest internment camp. These sacrifice zones, filled with seas of pitifully poor people trapped in squalid slums or mud-walled villages, are increasingly hemmed in by electronic fences, monitored by surveillance cameras and drones and surrounded by border guards or military units that shoot to kill. These nightmarish dystopias extend from sub-Saharan Africa to Pakistan to China. They are places where targeted assassinations are carried out, where brutal military assaults are pressed against peoples left defenseless, without an army, navy or air force. All attempts at resistance, however ineffective, are met with the indiscriminate slaughter that characterizes modern industrial warfare.

In the new global landscape, as in Israel’s occupied territories and the United States’ own imperial projects in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, massacres of thousands of defenseless innocents are labeled wars. Resistance is called a provocation, terrorism or a crime against humanity. The rule of law, as well as respect for the most basic civil liberties and the right of self-determination, is a public relations fiction used to placate the consciences of those who live in the zones of privilege. Prisoners are routinely tortured and “disappeared.” The severance of food and medical supplies is an accepted tactic of control. Lies permeate the airwaves. Religious, racial and ethnic groups are demonized. Missiles rain down on concrete hovels, mechanized units fire on unarmed villagers, gunboats pound refugee camps with heavy shells, and the dead, including children, line the corridors of hospitals that lack electricity and medicine.

The impending collapse of the international economy, the assaults on the climate, the resulting droughts, flooding, precipitous decline in crop yields and rising food prices are creating a universe where power is divided between the narrow elites, who hold in their hands sophisticated instruments of death, and the enraged masses. The crises are fostering a class war that will dwarf anything imagined by Karl Marx. They are establishing a world where most will be hungry and live in fear, while a few will gorge themselves on delicacies in protected compounds. And more and more people will have to be sacrificed to keep this imbalance in place.

Because it has the power to do so, Israel—as does the United States—flouts international law to keep a subject population in misery. The continued presence of Israeli occupation forces defies nearly a hundred U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for them to withdraw. The Israeli blockade of Gaza, established in June 2007, is a brutal form of collective punishment that violates Article 33 of the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention, which set up rules for the “Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.” The blockade has turned Gaza into a sliver of hell, an Israeli-administered ghetto where thousands have died, including the 1,400 civilians killed in the Israeli incursion of 2008. With 95 percent of factories shut down, Palestinian industry has virtually ceased functioning. The remaining 5 percent operate at 25 to 50 percent capacity. Even the fishing industry is moribund. Israel refuses to let fishermen travel more than three miles from the coastline, and within the fishing zone boats frequently come under Israeli fire. The Israeli border patrols have seized 35 percent of the agricultural land in Gaza for a buffer zone. The collapsing infrastructure and Israeli seizure of aquifers mean that in many refugee camps, such as Khan Yunis, there is no running water. UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) estimates that 80 percent of all Gazans now rely on food aid. And the claim of Israeli self-defense belies the fact that it is Israel that maintains an illegal occupation and violates international law by carrying out collective punishment of Palestinians. It is Israel that chose to escalate the violence when during an incursion into Gaza earlier this month its forces fatally shot a 13-year-old boy. As the world breaks down, this becomes the new paradigm—modern warlords awash in terrifying technologies and weapons murdering whole peoples. We do the same in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Market forces and the military mechanisms that protect these forces are the sole ideology that governs industrial states and humans’ relationship to the natural world. It is an ideology that results in millions of dead and millions more displaced from their homes in the developing world. And the awful algebra of this ideology means that these forces will eventually be unleashed on us, too. Those who cannot be of use to market forces are considered expendable. They have no rights and legitimacy. Their existence, whether in Gaza or blighted postindustrial cities such as Camden, N.J., is considered a drain on efficiency and progress. They are viewed as refuse. And as refuse they not only have no voice and no freedom; they can be and are extinguished or imprisoned at will. This is a world where only corporate power and profit are sacred. It is a world of barbarism.

“In disposing of man’s labor power the system would, incidentally, dispose of the physical, psychological, and moral entity ‘man’ attached to that tag,” Karl Polanyi wrote in “The Great Transformation.” “Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, crime, and starvation. Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed. Finally, the market administration of purchasing power would periodically liquidate business enterprise, for shortages and surfeits of money would prove as disastrous to business as floods and droughts in primitive society. Undoubtedly, labor, land, and money markets are essential to a market economy. But no society could stand the effects of such a system of crude fictions even for the shortest stretch of time unless its human and natural substance as well as its business organization was protected against the ravages of this satanic mill.”

There are 47.1 million Americans who depend on food stamps to eat. The elites are plotting to take these food stamps away, along with other “entitlement” programs that keep the poor from destitution. The slashing of trillions of dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs, given the political impasse in Washington and the looming “fiscal cliff,” now seems certain. There are 50 million people considered to be living below the poverty line, but because the poverty line is so low—$22,350 for a family of four—this figure means nothing. Add the tens of millions of Americans who live in a category called “near poverty,” including all those families attempting to live on less than $45,000 a year, and you have at least 30 percent of the country living in poverty. Once these people figure out that there is no economic recovery, that their standard of living is going to continue to drop, that they are trapped, that hope in the future is an illusion, they will become as angry as protesters in Greece and Spain or the militants in Gaza or Afghanistan. Banks and other financial corporations, handed trillions in interest-free money from the Federal Reserve, meanwhile hoard $5 trillion, much of it looted from the U.S. Treasury. The longer this worldwide disparity and inequality is perpetuated, the more the masses will revolt and the faster we will internally replicate the Israeli model of domestic control—drones overhead, all dissent criminalized, SWAT teams busting through doors, deadly force as an acceptable form of subjugation, food used as a weapon, and constant surveillance.

*Illustration by Mr. Fish





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  1. * Here’s a man of conscience that doesn’t pussyfoot around…He tells it like it is!…I saw him speak (vid) while at “Occupy-Wall St” … with universal tears of frustration in his eyes, when he reflected upon the possible existential ramifications & oncoming vicissitudes, lying in wait for his own young family…I’ve never seen a tear on the face of Joe or Avigdor Lieberman… unless of course they were inadvertently locked out- on the wrong side of their ‘draconian/apartheid’, concrete wall dividers (illuminated by the torch-lights of angry villagers)
    …Speaking of division- these neanderthal troll/troglodytes, are still looking thru the pinhole reality of the Talmud/’old testament’ & the rabidly insane prognostications of a seriously mentally ill & ancient patriarch…With such divisions they are absolved of all sin….genocide/murder/pedophila/rape/usury/fraud et al..for us, the ‘goi,’ are merely chattel to be used abused & discarded.
    …Such a poignant observation,on his part, of the paralleled evisceration of “Mom & ‘apple-pie’ America”, sharing the same fate as Gaza (*-each thing, ‘IS’ both great & small)…maybe their genome/dna(whatever), acts as a direct conduit to an implacable, 4-D reptilian mind set …bereft of all that is distinctly human?…kinda getting to look that way…

    • Chris, your inciteful and irrelevant title gives a hint of what appears in the article itself – a rant based on popular media reports, half-truths. and outright lies. (Alex, he is telling it like it isn’t. ) What you know about Gaza that is accurate could be put in a thimble.

      Let’s start by looking at the occupation of Gaza. In the year 1994 the Strip was evacuated by the IDF (Israeli defense Forces) and turned over by the government of Israel to the PLO. In 2007 the terrorist organization Hamas took it over and rules with blood and iron. (Check statistics of Arabs killed by Arabs!) Despite Gaza continually serving as a launching pad for shelling Israel with ever-increasingly sophisticated weapons (mainly funded by Iran as Hamas leaders themselves admit) — Israel continues to send shipments of food and medical supplies into Gaza. The number of civilian casualties caused by Israeli fire is due mainly to the intentional locating of missile launching sites adjacent to hospitals, school, and residential centers. This gets Hamas a lot of points in the media – to hell with the value of human life!
      This situation is so complicated that anyone who claims to understand it better go visit in person and spend time on both sides of the firing line. I have lived in Israel for 33 years, and to my sorrow can no longer visit my friends in Gazan refugee camps. Gaza was becoming a thriving tourist center before Israel pulled out. If you want to weep for anyone, weep for the Palestinians terrorized by Hamas! I can document every statement above. I suggest you do your homework before you write another word on the topic.

      • * I’m leaning towards Hamas being ‘controlled- opposition’ in the overview of the NWO machinations, of applied ‘Divide & Conquer’…I’ve observed a great many people ‘think’ that they are ‘thinking’…when they’re actually rearranging the propaganda swill of biased & inculcated MSM’s contrived prejudices….Take a good hard look at the swaddled dead children on both sides of an imaginary divide…give your head a shake & see ALL people as one & the same.

      • Shira, I take vast exception to you calling Chris Hedges irrelevent! I would instruct you to the closest pier for a long walk. The closest thing we have to a voice is Mr. Hedges. At least he stands up and speaks his mind, with belief and fervour. You on the other hand reek of some kind of trollish stench that I would rather avoid at all costs! Freedom for Palestine and freedom for their elected government and oh yeah…FU*K YOU shira!!

  2. Amazing. I’m very sensitive so I feel sad. I have always felt sad and helpless..Much like the Neil Young song. I can prey for peace for men to open their hearts. Military has always ruled lesser cultures. Today, in 2012 it’s time for rulers and learders of all the globe to open their hearts, start to love themselves and others and lean a better way. How can they sleep at night, knowing they cause such pain to others. This type of message should be on mainstream media, but of course its not, as mainstream media is owned by the peperpetuating nuclear energy and war tools. It comes down to greed and more greed and men with no hearts. They manufacture men with vacs and make them ill and the forces of the US don’t fight for our borders they go to distant lands and ruin peoples homes and cultures. I used to love to shop at Cost Plus in San Francisco. Diversity of world cultures and trade is what makes this world a GREAT place to live and work, not hostile regimes that are mean. Mean people suck. Now, back to the Neil Young song, helpless, helpless, helpless….Or can we find a better way to deal with differences? We all need a work ethic and get off government programs. But thats what are taxes are supposed to be for, to help the people in need. As our jobs go to other countries, and the voting machines are worthless, really, Nibiru and Planet X can’t come fast enough to clean up the Beasts of Burden..Now you got me thinking..Rolling Stones..OH,wait, then there’s Bob Dylon, everybody just get stoned, no wait, Like a Rolling Stone..On Our Own…..from a great poet of our times
    Once upon a time you dressed so fine,
    Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you ?
    People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall,”
    You thought they were all a’kiddin’ you.
    You used to laugh about
    Everybody that was hangin’ out.
    Now you don’t talk so loud,
    Now you don’t seem so proud,
    About having to be scrounging your next meal.
    How does it feel ?
    How does it feel ?
    To be without a home ?
    Like a complete unknown ?
    Like a rolling stone ?
    Thanks Zen, no one does it better…Namaste to you all, In God we Trust…Walk in Nature, you will see and know God…Love as much as you can, as often as you can!

  3. I’m not sure how this part of it all keeps being passed over, so I will continue to bring it up.
    If we as living men do not want to be animal subjects of psychopaths then the system that is elemental to that relationship must be dissolved in entirety.
    So often I read articles and see comments that rail against the injustice, but then only want changes made within the system, e.g. the top of the pyramid players, but the system still remains as a backdrop.
    If the system of governance, religion, economics, corporation, information, law, medicine, health, science and nearly everything ‘systemized’ in the lives of men remains then the injustices will only flourish. Every single bit of PC claptrap we are fed as necessary is there to promote the system and drain labor value from the masses.
    I’m not going to feed you the answers, that’s no different than the media advertising schemes. But an understanding must occur that everything currently institutionalized must disappear forever, and those that cannot let go must follow. What it is to be replaced by is for each of us to dream, and then to manifest, and then to project and ultimately create. As long as the dream of man’s evolution is clouded with the mental sewer of today’s screwtopia suffering is only going to continue to get worse.

    As much as everything in this dimension is a physical battle, so to it is a mental, thought and spirit driven battle. If men of mental power keep envisioning that which destroys them as necessary, then the higher dimensions of being will always be a carrot at the end of a njews story.

    • * if anything, the knowledge that we are so thoroughly compromised in a parasitized hegemonic prison of demonic artifice;… has forced us to examine the ‘Spiritual’ road ‘Home’ as the only way out of this, the Labyrinth of the Minotaur…as symbolized, hanging round the neck of baroness Rothschild…or is that Satan itself???

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