Friday, 15 April 2011

Does Gaza siege breach international law?

In Alternet, Joshua Holland questions the legality of Israel’s blockade of Gaza.[1]  I pose a counterquestion: Does international law apply to Gaza at all? Gaza is not a sovereign state. If there is any sovereignty involved it is the sovereignty of Palestine. To the extent that one can speak of a Palestinian government, it is the authorities on the West Bank that exercise sovereign powers. Hamas  & Gaza do not figure anywhere on the checkerboard of international  law. Gaza as such has no rights.

But even if we grant the claim of sovereignty,  a second issue arises: Does international law even contemplate the possibility that the majority of voters would elect a government obsessed with such a combination of fanaticism, bloodthirstiness, callousness and contempt for the most elementary rules of human interaction as those displayed at every turn by Hamas? I think being ruled by such a ruthless gang of cutthroats makes Gaza a very special case.

I won't even go into the issue of what rights of retaliation may accrue to Israel as a result of  the incessant breaches of the laws of civilized warfare and of countless other international conventions committed by the Mohammedan anthropoids.

Islam is a prolific breeding ground for the cruelest despotism and the most brutal crimes.  That is indisputable. There can be no doubt that Islam is an uniquely homicidal religion, as shown by the fact that by one count eight per cent of the Koran is taken up with instructions on whom to kill (and sometimes how). Of course I grant that most other religions have been at times extremely cruel and despotic. However currently they seem to have cooled down somewhat.  The only one that's still running amok is Islam.

I find it impossible to repress the conviction that there is an intimate link in nature between Islam and Fascism. I am extremely well informed about both Fascism and Islam, because I grew up in a Fascist country and studied European Fascism in detail, and because I minored in Islamic Studies, speak Arabic and have traveled in MENA. 

Of course you know what I'm getting at: most of the bulk of international law has been enacted since 1945, under the aegis of the United Nations. The UN started out with just a handful of members: the US, Britain and Russia, plus a couple of others later on like France and China. And why did these nations unite? Because they were fighting the worldwide menace of Fascism, a deadly threat to civilization. If Fascism had prevailed, civilization would have been dealt a crushing blow. Europe’s development would have been thrown back a thousand years.

In the face of the inhuman monster of Fascism, nations of the most diverse ideologies joined forces, including ideologies every bit as bad as Fascism, by the way.  However the UN prevailed and then set about dictating the course of international law, which it is still doing. As a reaction to the hideous Fascist atrocities, international law took on a decidedly humanitarian character. The entire body of international law is suffused by the unspoken assumption that these overriding principles are binding everywhere and for all time. Consequently international law is dominated by certain principles of common decency which  in Islam are conspicuous by their absence.  There is no binding prohibition of murder in the Koran. Mohammedan religious law, the Shariah, does not count murder as a crime.

My next logical step is that we have every justification in treating Hamas the way we would treat the SS, or any particularly brutal gang of Fascist criminals. Hamas is the antithesis of international law. Hamas is what international law was created to eradicate. Any population whose majority votes for Hamas is therefore a criminal and illegitimate population, whose rights are consequently held in abeyance until …. Well, for a good long time.

All in all I find Islam so egregiously anomalous as a world view that I am not prepared to make the slightest conciliatory gesture toward it.  It is not a real religion. It is more like pressure group, a mutual aid society, a labor union, a political party, a crime syndicate, a pirate crew, an ideology of world domination. For me those things don't add up to a religion. Islam is a basically a criminal conspiracy with some mumbo-jumbo added on as an afterthought. It is a kind of Frankenstein’s monster of a religion, consisting of chunks of Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and ancient nomadic tribal customs and beliefs, all welded together higgledy-piggledy in his spare time by Mohammed, whose main job was plundering caravans and beheading infidels. .  

As a religion it is completely jerry-built and improvised, mostly consisting of horse-shit that Mohammed would dream up on the spur of the moment to suit the occasion, taking into account the current political  situation, of course,  and who his allies and  his opponents happened to be at the moment.  While making an veiled threat to retaliate for the recent rash of nomad incursions.  Clear as mud.
. It is completely opportunist and instrumental. Its basic code is not a credo but a ritual. In Islam ritual is far more important than ethics. Ethics are added on as an afterthought, and are not based on universal principles but on casuistry. For example, I looked up “prohibition of murder” in a Koran with a subject index. There were several entries. The only one I recall, because I was so horrified by it, was something like “Don’t kill and eat your children, because help is on the way." Is that a prohibition of murder or is it an emergency call from the psych ward? 

As a religion Islam is a colossal fraud. It should be dealt with through negotiation, and violence should be only a last resort. But dialogue with Islam should be conducted the same way as the police negotiate through bullhorns with hostage takers. Sure, we’ll negotiate with you. But   that gives you no particular standing or right to any consideration.

The essential element that marks Islam apart from all other world views is  the core of Islam --  its ancient tribal beliefs, rural, nomadic. In a word : Islam is, in the most ltrl  sense of the word,  uncivilized.

Islam is not a civilized religion, firstly because is uncivilized and secondly because it is not a religion. The atavistic, anthropoid character of Islam’s core disqualifies it as a religion. It barely makes it as a cult. In any case it should be banned as a menace to public order and for its seditious conspiracies. 

“Civilization” originally meant “urban areas”. And although the urban nature of civilization has receded somewhat into the background, it is as valid as ever. A nomad’s world view is by its nature  uncivilized, simply because nomads have no settled habitation, hence do not inhabit  cities. Nomads are not only non-urban, they are also pre-urban. Despite the prevalent distaste for making moral judgments on alien beliefs, I think it unfair to give Islam the same status as a civilized religion. It's like treating a 5yo child like a grownup. You know he’ll eventually switch on the gas or fall down the stairs if left to its own devices. Islam should occupy the status of a ward.

Them’s fightin’ words, I can hear you say. But I don't feel particularly belligerent toward Islam. It's just such a goddam nuisance. .   

In my opinion any body of rules and beliefs that is not civilized, i.e. based on , should not be tolerated in urban areas.

Islam is an interloper, an outlier, a foreign body, incompatible with civilization.

One of the most ludicrous things about the koran, that makes it all seem like some grotesque pantomime, a clown’s daydreams, is that the suras, or as I like to call them, the chunqs, (or chtrs) of  that remarkable tome are ordered from the longest sura to the  shortest! When I learnt that I almost peed my pants I laughed so hard.  Only a chimpanzee would think of such an idiotic way to organize a book!

Another thing that really made me wonder was when I learnt that the ancient Arabs thought the weather was caused by the stars. That piece of news really baffled me. Now, I'm not saying that Arabs are stupid or anything, but it is an undeniable fact that whoever dreamt that theory  up had the mind of a fetus.

Methodological note:

It is a peculiar fact that the most ancient of sciences deals with the  same general subject matter as one of the most recent sciences to arise. The subject matter is the sky. Astronomy is the most ancient science because the motions of the stars are regular, slow, easy to observe, predictable and depend on very few variables. 

Meteorology also deals with the  sky. It has ancient roots, but as a natural science it is barely a few decades old. Why this disparity? Ancient men started seeing the stars and feeling the weather at exactly the same time. They are equally ancient human experiences.
As noted above, astronomy quickly became a science because it was simple and accessible.

Meteorology on the other hand never became a science until very recently because the atmosphere is a system many thousands of times more complex than stellar mechanics. Man had to wait until he had developed the mathematical tools necessary to discover the rules  (if any) governing such unimaginably complex and heterogeneous systems. Just the notion of a unified theory that explains both why it sometimes snows and why it sometimes rains is too challenging for me to wrap my prefrontal cortex around. 

What this leads up to is the following: the many thousands of years’ head start that astronomy has on meteorology reflect is naturally associated with a complete lack of any correlation between meteoreological variables and astronomical variables. Just the term "astronomical variables” looks like a typo.  Astronomical variables? Which would those be? Perhaps precession of the equinoxes. Anything else? Earth’s wobble on its axis. OK, number two. Any more? Sunspots. Yeah, well uh, actually those three astronomical phenomena weren’t  analysed by astronomy until much later. As a matter of fact, until around the same time as meteorology was becoming a science . Curious coincidence.

In any case the bottom line is that to even think of the possibility of any causal link between the stars’ behavior and the clouds’ behavior, you have to be a prize horse’s ass. Let alone to actually believe that the link exists! It is of course inconceivable that any evidence could ever be produced to support such a hypothesis. In other words the Star-Storm Theory, as I call, it, was conceived not only with absolutely no evidence of even an anecdotal sort in its favor, but with an abundance of easily accessible evidence that flatly contradicted the hypothesis. The fact that any sizable group of people could entertain such notions for  an appreciable length of time is very troubling to me. It makes me despair of the future of humanity. It is the ultimate proof that
Man is born a fanatic.

Before he can be accepted as an equal partner he must be civilized

Explanatory note:  Now nomads, of course, have no monopoly on fanaticism. For all I know, nomads may be on the average less prone to fanaticism than settled populations. As a matter of fact I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that were the case. But even if fanaticism proves to be an outgrowth of civilization instead of  barbarism, fanaticism is native not to civilization as such, but to a specific stage of civilization that is now extinct. Consequently I find it historically defensible and reasonable to associate fanaticism with barbarism even if they are genetically unrelated, simply because fanaticism emerges from civilization at a time when civilization had made as yet very little progress since it had emerged from barbarism. Thus any traits shared by barbarism with fanaticism do not ensue from any genetic or  causal relationship between  these entities, but result instead from their character  of being each other’s contemporaries. 

[1] The Gaza Blockade Is Illegal and the Flotilla Attack Was an Illegal Act of War
By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on June 5, 2010,

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