Sunday, July 16, 2006

No nation has a "right" to exist - but they do...

In the recent brouhaha over in the Middle East, the same old tired old arguments and demagoguery gets trotted out. For example, take the right wing extremist dishonestly posing as "center-right" named "Hugh Hewitt." Please. Now Hewitt writes nothing but propaganda, yet he has the nerve to accuse someone posting on Kos, via linking the racist "little green footballs" of writing "propaganda" (and the author of the lgf post writes that the Kos poster is "antisemitic." The post on Kos is here. You can read my comment there:

Hugh Hewitt and the racists at Little Green Footballs are touting this as "anti-semitism."

I don't agree or disagree with the position of your diary, but I do think that it should not be out of bounds for anyone to discuss whether Zionism is a good thing or a bad thing for the world, though I personally think that any religious or ethnic-based privilege always leads to strife, and therefore whether it's Polish nationalism or Jewish nationalism or Japanese nationalism or American nationalism, it's a net minus.

That said, realistically, we live in a world with nation states, and we have to, within the nation states in which we find ourselves, find a way to a better world. Or we'll all suffer.

I remember back in the 70s, when I was a freshman in college, that quite a few students of Jewish heritage got rather vocal when the UN passed the "Zionism is racism" resolution. The loudness of the denunciation of this resolution was a watershed moment in the history of political correctness.

The fact is, the UN had a point, albeit a hypocritical one (since many member states of the UN practice the same form of racism): any form of ethnic based nationalism, or religiously based nationalism, is inherently exclusive by means that are illegal in the United States for citizens, and if you think about it, ought to be illegal internationally.

No nation has a "right" to exist - they exist because they assert their power to exist. That does not mean it is moral for them to exist any more than it is immoral for them to exist as a nation. Nations are creatures of human creation, and as such either are useful things for doing good in the world, or evil and wise or stupid things.

Let's drop the facade that Israel - or Palestine- have "rights" to exist, and let's start talking about how to keep all involved over there from killing each other, and let's talk about how we can stop enabling the killing.

Let's also not be overly idealistic: nation states will exist, and will use weapons to defend themsevlves. But when they start murdering innocents because of grievances others have against them, which they don't address, it's time to stop coddling those nation states, whether they're Saudi Arabia or Iraq or Israel. And let's also realize that it's by nation states that peace will be achieved anyway, so let's also put away the "Imagine there's no countries..." pop-song sentiments.

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