Tag Archives: terrorism

Six Months Later

Seems too many Westerners have developed the same sort of selective memory about why the Israelis are pummeling Gaza as Japanese have about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Okay. Not selective memory. Convenient amnesia.

Like the Enola Gay and Bock’s Car above Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, the Israeli Defense Force isn’t trampling the Gaza Strip without a terrific entirely justifiable reason. The B-29s weren’t flying across Japan in August 1945 and the IDF isn’t conducting maneuvers in Gaza now without great provocations.

For those with checkerboard-like short memories, a little over six months ago the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas marauded into Israel. There, it murdered, raped, and kidnapped residents. Let me repeat – murdered, raped, kidnapped.

Hamas did not trespass into a neighbor’s yard and steal apples off trees.

Hamas murdered, raped, and kidnapped. Had the Western throngs expressing support for Hamas today been in the kibbutzim invaded or attacked attending the prior evening’s Nova music festival, the murderers, rapists, and kidnappers they venerate might’ve murdered, raped or kidnapped them on October 7th, 2023.

It is quite doubtful wearing a kaffiyeh or espousing solidarity with the Palestinian cause might’ve spared anyone in the terrorists’ sight from being murdered, raped, or kidnapped.

Thinking this possible is painfully naïve here especially in the loaded for bear safety of Nevada. That others safely elsewhere can still hold these invulnerable from violence views while watching Hamas leadership gladly offer up Gazans as grist for public relations sympathy calls to mind possessing opposing thoughts heading for a collision on the same tracks.

Seeing how coverage has devolved over six months, Hamas’ rampage has lost global resonance. Seeing how coverage has developed over these more than 120 days, Hamas’ crimes are ignored.

It’s amazing. If there was any umbrage at the precipitating incidents in Israel, it’s been subsumed by subsequent outrage by Gaza’s being transformed into a gunnery and bombing range.

Without the first the second doesn’t occur. Why, yes. It’s just that simple.

Fine. No one civilized is happy that the IDF is pulverizing Gaza. But older Westerners siding with Israelis were hard-pressed at youngers’ the lack of, um, empathy for those victimized shortly after Hamas’ murder, rape, and kidnapping spree. In fact, there were plenty of people, people who ought have known better, people who consider themselves all sorts of worldly types bearing the piss-yellow jaundiced opinion the Israelis deserved barbarity of October 2023.

While one may have the above opinion, it really shouldn’t be shared.

Let me point out that without the Imperial Navy’s devastation of Pearl Harbor in 1941, there aren’t mushroom clouds signifying the atomization of Japanese cities in 1945. Let me further point out that if Hamas terrorists don’t murder, rape, and kidnap on October 7th, the Gaza Strip isn’t rubble after six months.

Without the first in either case, again there is no second.

Now, let me declare my bias in both favoring the usages of atomic bombs decades ago and the IDF breaking heads and grinding bones in Gaza today.

Regarding the first, atomic weapons spared my father from being deployed to the Pacific. He survived unscathed throughout the duration in Europe during World War II. Among the first inducted, father would’ve been among the first shipped east. If A-bombs saved him and untold numbers of Allied forces injuries or death, the number of Japanese who paid for that is inconsequential.

I know. I mustn’t even imagine. There are readers furious at the last sentence. So what? If your sire (as in my case), or the man who sired your sire, or even if you’re young enough, the man who sired the man who sired your sire isn’t alive, you don’t exist to bray silly, soppy, unformed notions about Hiroshima or Nagasaki or Gaza.

If you’re a landed American, and there was ever a Holy Trinity in your home, it better have been Harry S Truman.

Now about my present biases. The bias of this post.

Raised in the urban Northeast I circulated among Jews and Muslims. Initially, I was much better acquainted with the latter. A good number were neighbors. Black Muslims. These were Americans who converted under the aegis of Elija Muhammed. They remained on that path with Louis Farrakhan. Again, they were neighbors and friends before becoming believers. Despite their divergence from Christianity, we’d always have our pasts.

There is faith. Then there is connection.

Beyond lifelong familiarity and comfort with strangers whose characters have been attested to by trusted acquaintances, two events color this Westerner’s estimation of North African and South Asian Muslims. The September 11th attack isn’t one of them. Bin Laden also had al Qaeda hijack Islam on that morning.

Instead, let me refer to 1979 and 1968. 1979. The year of the Iranian Revolution. The year the revolutionaries contravened diplomacy by storming the US Embassy and taking American hostages.

There’s that word once more. Hostages. It remains unforgivable.

While it would be in Iran’s and the West’s best interests for the Islamic Republic to lose its intransigence against us the Great Satan, its theological government is calcified. After all, Richard Nixon went to China. Perestroika proved the validity of containment as a foreign policy. And the Cubans who sailed across the Florida Strait after Batista fled will eventually kick the bucket and finally allow resumption of rational relations with Cuba.

In earlier posts, I’ve written about pre-Revolution Iranians. Or as I preferred seeing them, Persians. Fellow students engaged during our concurrent years at Arizona. The shah’s Persians were intriguing and cultivated. Calm figures gliding through light mauve scenery. Of the Iranians who chose repatriating themselves to Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini demanded they become the wildest promoters of adverse 20th-century lunacy of a mullah mired in the 13th century.

Sixty-five now, I think of those Iranian contemporaries who careered wholeheartedly into the Revolution. We occupy the same age range. They wasted their 20s, 30s, 40, and 50s, our most productive years. Do they ever examine the results of giving heart and soul to a movement dedicated to subverting their curiosities and energies to religious stasis? Their lives were run aground. What on earth do they make of relations and friends whose choices of Los Angeles or Europe enabled fuller less constricted futures?

Did the doctrines of imposed intentions keep these multitudes of Iranians crushed and confined? Exactly how does one admit that to oneself?

If they could speak freely, what might they confess?

Oh. 1968. Sirhan Sirhan. A Palestinian. He assassinated Bobby Kennedy, JFK’s brother, a New York Senator challenging for the Democratic Party’s 1968 nomination to succeed Lyndon Johnson in the Oval Office.

Sirhan Sirhan exemplified Israeli diplomat Abba Eban’s observation of “Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” In the whole American governing apparatus, Sirhan killed the one person at that time likeliest to give those living in the Occupied Territories a fair shake should he have reached the presidency.

For Americans, the consolation prize was Nixon. For Palestinians, stateless continuance in refugee camps.
Again, both unpardonable.

Six months on. What pierced sane people everywhere six months ago has become a steady thrum. Hamas continues holding hostages, somehow insisting the Israelis should negotiate their release. Quite rightly, the IDF is delivering pain and misery until the captives are free. Only then may “negotiations” commence.

Throughout this utter irrationality inspired by Hamas, it’s been difficult to determine which action and response is crueler. Hamas’ savagery inside Israel or in their morphing from being legitimately pro-Palestinian into criminally pro-Hamas furies, how Western useful idiots chucked humanity aside to back murderers, rapists, and kidnappers.

There’s nothing noble about Hamas. It’s an organization of murderers, rapists, and kidnappers.

We need to ask what sort of insanity permits Hamas to have first believed the Israeli response would be measured? Especially after visiting them with depravity on top of slaughter? This line of unreason continues with Hamas managing to avoid the sole topic that matters; the sole action that will get IDF heels off Gazans’ necks. Hostage release, or as is unfortunately becoming clearer, repatriation of remains of Israelis who’ve died in captivity.

The idea of any incrementalism eventually leading to hostage release is foolish. We all know Hamas would make it a painstakingly tortuous one step forward/five step backwards process. Even the terrorists proposing such nonsense aren’t buying it.

Second, there isn’t one Gazan, one Palestinian, one Muslim in the Arab swath enraged that Hamas is having its constituents ground into meat paste for the brutal purposes of raising undeserved sympathy which keeps gullible Westerners wrongly stirred. Ladies and gentlemen, by its criminal behavior and abject indifference, Hamas is getting Gazans killed. Naturally this result must’ve entered Hamas’ war scheme along with murdering, raping, and kidnapping.

Doubtlessly Hamas judged Gazan Strip residents’ death and suffering necessary. It’s one of those ruthless means justifying fanatics’ abominable ends. Hamas has distilled the evilest cynicism possible. So evil Vladimir Putin must envy it.

Horrible as the blind and toothless violence is in the Middle East, certain subsets of Westerners look to match Hamas’ cravenness. And these are enlightened Westerners, too. Ask them. They’ll swear this on a stack of Trump bibles.

Holocaust denial. Desecration of Jewish sites. Casual antisemitism which has impolitely migrated into general society. They’ve gradually become more acceptable. Yes, we have free speech in the United States. Yet too many Americans have mistaken it for giving voice to hate.

Other than denying the carnage Hamas inflicted in Israel on October 7th, that’s right no random killings, no sexual assaults, no eviscerations, no beheadings, all those incidents invented just to further blacken radical Islam – as if – one more disheartening action from this Westerner’s perspective has been disfiguring and destroying posters and flyers of hostages held by Hamas.

If the shameless have just one moment of honest introspection during their entire lives, that destruction should’ve brought it to the fore. The way the world spins, someday it may be them in parallel situations, theirs the likenesses marred or shredded tomorrow.

Being a Westerner does not grant immunity from vicious fate.

Here’s an in-depth study which should be performed. A good chewy doctoral subject. Let’s discover why predominately liberal-minded young adults, people who insufferably preen about their tolerance and inclusiveness, have acted akin to barbarians who chiseled off statuary noses during the sack of Rome.

Are there similarities between ancient vandals and modern ones?

Generation Harangue

Pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel demonstrations roiling our college campuses and city streets have manifested into the sort of antisemitism Americans would’ve believed ourselves immune. That these moils are predominated by a generation we will bequeath this nation portends badly for our country’s future. Continue reading Generation Harangue

Las Sirenas

    Marie Anne Erize Tisseau and Marina Ginestà had a connection. Each now would’ve been tagged an insurgent. Or militant. No. Probably terrorist. Language has undergone so much massaging why call a spade a spade when it can be labeled an entrenching tool? Though the conflicts enveloping both and devouring one were dissimilar, they eventually shared the same depth in their respective causes.  

    Separated by eras, the Atlantic Ocean and clashes, similar impulses must’ve pushed them. Each believed she could be part of a beneficial movement. And each understood the prices victory required might’ve demanded their lives.

    Today that height of commitment solely belongs in the province of religious extremists. What cause will encourage modern men and women to sacrifice their lives if necessary for an idea?

    An idea, not duty. A!–more–>

    Do absolute good and evil (the intellectual versions, not spiritual) even exist today? Unquestioningly so in Ginestà’s time. Many years later when Tisseau strode among us, the old polarities were well on the way to becoming our present-day every shade of gray murk.    

    By coincidence, Tisseau and Ginestà each recently returned to awareness. A newspaper article conjured the long vanished Tisseau the next to last day of 2013. Column inches lent Ginestà an appreciation the first week of 2014. At 94, she recently reached the end of her life.

    Reportage by (Spain) El Pais’ Diego Manrique and Jacinto Antón drew these women from the fog. Or in Ginestà’s case revived her through light and shadow, while Tisseau may have been commemorated in song.

    Ginestà is clearly portrayed. Unless she alerts us from the beyond, Tisseau will stay a good twisty mystery. Mist veils her. She is elusive and maybe all that remains of her is allusive. Conjecture shrouds the tasks which led to her vanishing. Did she also serve as muse for an admirer who became even more ardent as his reticence increased across the decades?

    If Tisseau’s presence tricked one of those heartfelt love requiems from him, he’s not confessing. Neither are those behind her disappearance.

    Tisseau was an Argentine model, Ginestà politically acute and French. Both combated the leading repressive regimes of their times and places. The first woman joined intrigues opposed to her nation’s militarist regime; the second defended Spain against the reactionary Falange.

    The women’s respective causes failed. The rebel victory over the duly elected Republican government not only retarded Spain’s progress by decades, but also emboldened the Axis powers intending world plunder. That much talked about line had been trampled. Could there have been a starker example of put up or shut up than The Spanish Civil War? If the high-minded democracies couldn’t and wouldn’t aid one of their own, weren’t black shirts convinced they too could pick off other weak and disjointed republics?

    Munich didn’t green light the Second World War. Letting Spain become a live-fire laboratory for total war did.

    After withdrawing from Spain, Ginestà bracketed Mexican exile between escaping and returning to France. Postwar she eventually settled in Paris. Indeed, mamie had worn combat boots.

    Again, who can say, or who will ever confess, how Tisseau expired? Since 1976 her physical presence has been completely expunged. The 24-year-old was that figure who walks into the jungle and leaves no tracks behind. But rather than being digested by savannah, the Argentine urban jungle consumed her.

    Thanks to the world’s myriad ideological or religious discords, Westerners are familiar with the shadowy villains slinking among us looking to foment this cause or indoctrinate that creed by whatever method of imposition necessary. Their blood-drizzled objectives make no distinction between bystanders and the particular pillars they insist need razing. To ideologues, there are no innocents. People living as unobtrusively as possible merely bolster their contention. If you aren’t with them …

    Marie Tisseau became an Argentine dissatisfied with her nation’s narrow direction. Now she’s nearly a caricature of a limousine revolutionary. She was that bourgeois baby who agitated for bread and justice, but whose upbringing had delivered her material goods and comfort aplenty. Her concept of “without” was just that. Theory. Elevated roundtable chatter made romantic through the chaotic energy of youth, cigarette smoke, though ultimately condescendingly delivered regarding “the people.”  

    Fighter, militant, insurgent, “terrorist” even, Marina Ginestà is best seen as a recruiting pitch. More pointed than posters featuring Uncle Sam or Lord Kitchener, Ginestà’s pose atop a Barcelona roof in 1936 made an appeal stronger than ¡Sangre y Patria! The Catalan capital as her backdrop, the 17-year-old’s glance summoned without hectoring. Uncle Sam and Kitchener beseeched ambivalent patriots into serving. Ginestà’s easy on the eyes coaxing flatly stated “Boys, this is what you’re fighting for!”


Marina Ginestà, Barcelona, Spain, June 1936.

    One must wonder whether Ernest Hemingway ever glimpsed her portrait. With all occurring around him, had her image imprinted itself in Hemingway’s mind? Could Ginestà’s inviting steel have been the basis behind the fictional Maria in his For Whom the Bell Tolls?

    Here’s a backstory: the militiawoman’s come-hither defiance was a setup. Hers seems a contrivance Joseph Goebbels should’ve staged. Hans Gutman, a German pro-Republican photographer had his Edward Bernays’ moment. One he hoped advanced Republican sympathies. In Ginestà, Gutman found the requisite pretty girl. He and his subject climbed to the roof.

    Mediterranean sunlight emphasized Ginestà’s peasant loveliness. A mild breeze ruffled the short black crop atop her head. Barcelonan cityscape provided effective contrast. Yet the scene was incomplete. She lacked an accessory. Clever Gutman appropriated a nearby militiaman’s rifle and slung it over Ginestà’s shoulder. Perhaps the weapon enhanced her allure, and with it the Republican cause. Wouldn’t be the first time an armed woman has been regarded deferentially.
    Nothing so martially clear for Tisseau. She and her Montoneros, the leftist assemblage opposing the right-wing junta then ruling Argentina, engaged in asymmetrical shadow warfare. No great battles. No stirring proclamations. No sterling literature. No bombastic sloganeering or music. Given the conflict’s nature, also little valor. Nothing romantic about it at all.

    Unlike the Spanish insurrection, Argentina’s aptly named Dirty War lacked fixed lines and readily admirable leading personages. It was an ideological struggle that dissolved into state sanctioned torture and murder. In reflection, the Argentine government assumed the worst vestiges of what we widely recognize as an organized criminal structure. Due process for a lost number of political captives ran along that dictated by Alice’s Queen of Hearts: “Punishment first, then the trial!”

    Is anyone still alive who can attest what deeds Tisseau performed on behalf ogf the Montoneros? Was she a go-between? Active in a cadre? Or just a peripheral traveler whose prominent profile fit into Argentine domestic intelligence’s crosshairs?    

    Unlike Ginestà’s unwavering fealty to Spanish Republicanism, Tisseau drifted into the Montonero movement. Casually politicized at best, she’d led an idealized youthquake life. Lovely, languorous, and fearless, the cover girl gadded-about throughout early 1970’s Europe.


Marie Anne Erize Tisseau, unknown.

    Glamorous, say, an Uschi Obermaier who didn’t reach the next shore, Tisseau exemplified that era’s free-spirited vibe. On occasions – oh, the usual no cash ones – she dipped into larceny. But exquisite larceny! No grubby bank heists for her. More than a flighty personality behind a pretty face, the mannequin nurtured an interest in anthropology. A concentration the least-likeliest thief turned into lucre by smuggling art.

    Doubtlessly the sort of daring-do which further aroused an already besotted tunesmith. Verses, well known ones in specific circles, resound about a thoroughly captivating woman. Do these refer to Tisseau?

    Throughout decades the lyricist has preferred obscuring his muse’s identity. Doesn’t lovelorn cloaking attract our curiosity all the more? On the surface his reticence may appear selfish. Is his one of those manufactured mysteries meant to keep embers alive, the artist’s name in speculation? Or does the songwriter’s silence derive from an instance of a draw so powerful, a loss so raw, that revelation would wrench soul debilitating pain?

    There are some nuggets our human hearts never wish to yield.