Sunday, December 26, 2010

How to stop imperialism

Sustained efforts with clear explanations can change behavior. One-time or occasional efforts, especially if interpretation of those efforts is left to parties hostile to those making the efforts, are very ineffective at changing behavior.

Efforts can be violent or non-violent. In a lot of situations it is easier to sustain non-violent efforts, and easier to issue explanations of non-violent behavior.

On the other hand if non-violent efforts are closed off, violent efforts are, of course, more effective than no efforts at all.

I’m not being sentimental in writing this. Gandhi is one example, there are others, violent and non-violent. You will not find an example of imperialistic behavior changing without a sustained and continuous campaign against it, aimed at parties that are necessary for its continuation but that are not the direct beneficiaries of that imperialistic behavior.

9/11, for example, would not change US behavior in the Middle East because it only happened once. If some group was to have the capacity to orchestrate a 9/11 every month and was able to explain clearly what behaviors it was intending to stop – not vaguely “get out of the Middle East” but specifically “stop giving military and intelligence support to subject dictatorships in these countries and opposing the rights of the Palestinians including the refugees” – then that group would ultimately get the US to meet its demands.

But that capacity is very difficult to attain.

If a group could non-violently stage protests that slow transportation in the downtown area of major US cities every month that group, with the same specific explanations of what it wants, that group also would ultimately get the US to meet its demands.

I don’t think violent or non-violent efforts against Israel itself would change Israel’s behavior. Israel believes the historic fate of Jews depends on there being a Jewish state, on the refugees never being able to return and on the region being ruled permanently by pro-Zionist stooges as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE are today or sanctioned and punished as Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran are today as pressure on those areas to accept stooge leadership.

US policy in the Middle East is much more important to Israel than it is to the US.

About war, that would probably ultimately work also – if the US during the war were getting the message that the reason Iran is killing US soldiers is because Iran will not accept the kind of stooge dictatorship the US has imposed on its colonies in the region on Israel’s behalf. If that message is not transmitted at least somewhat effectively, the US could lose a war and still not change its imperialistic behavior. Especially in the Middle East because war would not directly address the ability of Jewish Americans, the US’ most wealthy ethnic group, to shape US policy in Israel’s favor.

But war, if it works to change US imperialistic behavior, is a really expensive way to accomplish that. Many, many more Iranians will die than Americans. War is not something to want. If the objective is to get the US to accept independent nations in Israel’s region then that objective can only be accomplished with sustained violent or non-violent action accompanied by clearly stated specific demands. War is just one example, and not the best example, of sustained violent or non-violent actions toward that end.


Iman said...

If nothing can change Israel's behavior, then what outcome can people hope to achieve by resisting the existence of a Jewish state in historic Palestine and fighting for the "rights of Palestinians"?

lidia said...

If Israel cannot be changed - I suppose it cannot, it could still be abolished. The end of Zionist state means rights of palestinians and others.

If Zionists were more smart, they could try to change their spots a bit, but then, they cannot do it anyway. Zionism is a colonialism, down with colonialism and long live Palestine.

Lysander said...

Hey Arnold.

Just wanted to celebrate the fall of Ben Ali, FORMER, Tunisian dictator.

Tick Tock, Hosni. Tick Tock.

lidia said...

Hi, I fully agree. FORMER PRO-USA and PRO-Israel dictator - just like in Egypt :)

Lysander said...


With Angry Arab's typical wit:

Lysander said...

"Protests in Egypt Escalate"

Tick tock, Hosni. Tick Tock.

Arnold Evans said...

The Egyptians are demonstrating now that it will be difficult for Mubarak to pass the reigns to his son.

I'm very happy with that development.

Arnold Evans said...

If nothing can change Israel's behavior, then what outcome can people hope to achieve by resisting the existence of a Jewish state in historic Palestine and fighting for the "rights of Palestinians"?

I never answered that. Sorry.

Israel depends on the United States and the United States can change.

In fact, the only question is sooner or later, because as Israel becomes increasingly difficult for the United States to carry, the United States will become either unwilling or unable to bear the burden.

The exposure of Abbas, the US puppet in Palestine, and the ouster of the US puppet in Tunisia make supporting Israel more difficult for the US and bring us closer to the day that it becomes impossible.

Landon said...

I'm not smart enough to define it precisely, but there seems to be a flaw in your original thesis, Arnold: 9/11 does not fit the category of a one-time event that cannot bring about change. Look around you at the US and the world -- anything changed since 9/11?

John Dower, an historian specializing in Japan, was motivated to write "Cultures of War" when he grappled with facts that 9/11 was referred to as "Pearl Harbor," and the site of the WTCs was called "Ground Zero," the name applied to post-bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The bombing of Hiroshima/Nagasaki was the original "shock and awe;" Dower observes that the DoD manual on Shock and Awe was based on the bombing campaigns against Japanese and German (Dresden) cities, and their stated purpose of terrorizing the civilians. The "Shock and Awe" destruction of Baghdad was a one-off event, but it had the planned purpose and effect of so destabilizing the psyches of the citizens as well as leaders that repeat administration of the "change behavior" was not necessary, and the administrators of Shock and Awe could do whatever they wished, within the window when the "shocked" were still trying to find their balance.

Jerome Frank wrote "Persuasion and Healing," a review of then-available methods of changing behavior, in the 1960s. His list included electroshock treatments and medications. In the 1990s, psychiatrist David Burns published "Feeling Good," a self-help mood-therapy method based on confronting one's beliefs with logic and reality. Burns was not a fan of medication, and electroshock had been proven to do more harm than good.
Brain science has galloped forward even since the 1990s. A television fiction series, "Lie to Me," "reads" the human brain and relates brain function to external manifestations and behaviors. The brain requires TRUTH to carry out its essential purpose -- ensuring the survival of the organism.

The persistent administration of TRUTH is the most pacifist, least destructive means of changing behavior.
I suggest that Israelis know this. That is why media (dominated by Israel-advocates) in the US is geared to censor out any discussion of Israel's crimes; to propagandize Israel's "virtues;" and demonize anyone who expose the lies and the truth. Israel's MFA and hasbara programs are geared to suppressing truth and reality.