Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Re: U.S., Israel and Lebanon

Dear Mr. Steppling:

I greatly appreciate your email.

I agree with much, nearly all, of what you say. But Israel was not occupying Lebanon; it had withdrawn. Hezbollah was raining rockets on Israel, however.

Sincerely yours,

Lawrence Velvel

----- Original Message -----
From: john steppling
To: velvel@mslaw.edu
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 4:06 AM
Subject: isreal and US and lebanon
Mr Velvel:I agree with you often.....mostly all the time. But I want to point out that in your discussion of the current israeli attack on lebanon, you seem to buy into the Huntington thesis about the clash of civilizations. This smacks of orientalism at the least, and bigotry at the worst.....and a-historicism.

The forces of islamic fundamentalism seem rather small compared with the Imperial forces of the west. We see this in Lebanon (Lebanese deaths outnumber Israeli about ten to one) and we see this in Iraq. What is the "real" threat from fundamentalists (Islamic that is, not Christians like Bush)?

Im afraid I dont see much. The US defense budget is around 2 billion dollars a day. This should point out the disparity. So when you suggest that islamic reactionaries must be discouraged, I wonder what you mean? Discouraged from what, exactly?

From attacking colonial forces that occupy their country and pillage their land?
Discouraged from trying to protect family and friends?

Im afraid I find little to worry about in terms of Muslim attacks......but I do fear the madness of Imperial America (and its subcontracting of israel). The two hundred some year history of colonialism hasnt yet ended. Its good to remember this. Western paternalism is a slippery slope (to indulge a cliche) in that military intervention becomes accepted......for their own good, etc etc etc. Its never for anyone's good ---except maybe defense contractors and oil oligarchs.

John Steppling, Lodz Poland