Monday, March 20, 2006

Harbinger of anti-Semitic violence: Kurds reject Republican death-cult 

The Kurdish government has just finished building a huge, expensive, impressive, thought-provoking, and delightfully somber monument to the victims of the Halabja massacre. Halabja was the town where, as we know, "Saddam gassed his own people."

The quotes are not, of course, meant to suggest that Saddam didn't "gas his own people." It's just that the reality of that event has been denied by the Republicult exploitation of that event. Every time Bush and Condoleeza and Cheney said that "Saddam gassed his own people," they were in effect saying that this did not really happen, or that this massacre was only real insofar as it was a pretext for more cynical mass-murder and death-worship.

The real Kurds apparently understand the way their past suffering has been exploited by their own corrupt government. They were smart enough to attack and destroy the Halabja monument. They knew that the monument was not honoring the victims, but serving as a pretext for still more rape, pillage, and murder.

After the United States collapses and is reconstituted as a military dictatorship, when our population is finally given a taste of the bloody medicine it has been pouring on the rest of the world, the victims here will start to get angry. And then they will start, like the Kurds, to lash out at pieties that have been exploited by the destroyers of our country.

Which monument do you think the American mobs will burn down first? I have little doubt that it will be the Holocaust museum. Why is there a Holocaust museum (and not, say, a slavery museum; or even, by simple nationalist calculation, a memorial to victims of communist mass-murder) on the mall of the United States capital?

Of course there are many Jewish Americans who worked hard to build the museum in order to honor the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. That goes without saying. But why, still, is that museum located where it is? Why did Republicult murderers support its building at every step of the way? Is it not one of the many, many sites of Republicult death worship in the United States?

When the United States collapses, mobs will burn down the Holocaust museum.

The new anti-Semitism is most certainly a problem. But the neo-conservative death-worshippers who constantly warn us about this new anti-Semitism have no sense of the form it is beginning to take. There is already inchoate rage worldwide against American "world order." And it seems that that inchoate rage will, yet again, take the Jews as its scapegoat.

Probably some of you have heard of the horrific torture and murder of a young Jewish man by a Paris gang last month. The gang consisted of a bunch of poor immigrant youths, only a few of whom were Muslim. They captured the Jewish guy, held him hostage, demanded ransom for "the Jew," and in the meantime tortured their victim to death over a period of weeks.

If you read the story, it's clear that these brutal and ignorant criminals had no agenda, apart from lashing out at the establishment and making some money. The proxy for their petulant rage against "the way things are" was--a Jewish man.

Just to be clear about the dynamic I am describing: the Republicult commits its crimes; anyone who disagrees is branded an anti-Semite and told to pray at the Holocaust museum; young uneducated pricks worldwide hate the Republicult and look for proxy victims; Jews get murdered.


This post gives me an occasion to emphasize the structural identity between contemporary philo-Semitism and anti-Semitism past and present.

European anti-Semitism was formally consolidated when the rulers of the rising nation states restricted Jews from owning land or participating in civil society. The restrictions were a way of forcing Jews into the business of banking and money-lending.

This business was an absolutely essential part of the capitalist engine that enriched the nation-state and empowered its rulers. The kings wanted to benefit from capitalism and mercantilism; but they knew that this new economy was destroying the traditional agricultural economy and the peasant village. By forcing the Jews into banking, the kings made the Jews into a symbol of the new economic order. So ignorant peasants whose lives were being upended by capitalism came to associate its evils with the Jews. This of course worked to the benefits of the kings and others who profited most from the new economic order.

The role of Israel and Holocaust piety in the current tragi-farcical campaign for American hegemony is structurally identical to the role given to Jews by early-modern anti-Semitism. In the late Middle Ages, the kings and the rich Christian merchants raked in cash while saying to the peasantry, "The Jews are stealing from you." Today, the president and his cronies rake in cash and wallow joyfully in spilled blood, all the while pointing to the Jews and saying, "We're doing this for the Jews! If you don't like it, you hate the Jews! The Jews--the holy victims! We can do no wrong in the names of Hitler's victims!"

In both early-modern anti-Semitism and post-modern philo-Semitism, the Jews are made to stand for the corrupt policies of the powers that be. It's only the valence assigned to the figure of "the Jew" that has changed.


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