. . . . . .  


Even death is losing its appetite. It cannot digest anymore casualties in Gaza.

The United States should destroy the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and use the stones to erect a monument to the lives wantonly destroyed by the U.S. and Israel in the name of Zionism.  

Likewise, the United Kingdom should dismantle the stone Cenotaph in Whitehall which commemorates the dead of the two World Wars and subsequent armed conflicts. Since it was first unveiled in 1920, each occupant of 10 Downing Street has ritually laid a wreath there annually on Remembrance Day. Its doleful significance is forgotten for the other 364 days.

Brittania is used to wars. Whitehall has at one end Trafalgar Square to mark the 1805 battle against Napoleon, and at the other the Houses of Parliament which approves wars. In between lie the sites of Whitehall palace where Charles I was beheaded in 1649 after he lost the Civil War, and British Government offices in which fresh wars are fomented. Its pavement stones are grouted in the blood of numerous generations.  

When Mao Zedong said that there is ‘turmoil under the heavens’, he meant it as a precursor to political change. What new international order does the U.S. have in mind after it has expended its massive arsenal in support of Israel?

For years, the U.S. controlled the United Nations as it once did its predecessor the League of Nations. For over a century, it has dominated the globe like some intimidating Colossus. The inscription below that statue read: ‘To you, O Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus, when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom and independence. For to the descendants of Herakles belongs dominion over sea and land’.

Colossus’s statue stood astride the entrance of Rhodes’ harbour. It was as tall as the Statue of Liberty outside New York harbor, and offered equally selective freedoms.

At the moment, the U.S. is suffering the ageing pains of a geriatric giant who is losing his muscle tone. Its leadership is in tatters. Its Senate is headless. The man who became the 45th U.S. president is vying to become its 47th president. Donald Trump is 77 years old, Joe Biden 80. Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have just entered their seventies. Destiny favours younger faces. 

According to a recent report in the Huffington Post, some officers in the U.S. State Department and other organisations have publicly questioned Biden’s policy on Israel: ‘Several staffers across multiple agencies, most of whom work on national security issues, told HuffPost they and their colleagues [not just Muslims but also Christians and Jews who are not Zionists] worry about retaliation at work for questioning Israel’s conduct amid the U.S.-backed Israeli campaign’.

Another State Department official added: ‘There’s basically a mutiny brewing within State at all levels.’ Two more told HuffPost that U.S. ‘diplomats are preparing what’s called a “dissent cable’’, a document criticizing American policy that goes to the agency’s leaders through a protected internal channel’.

This incipient ‘mutiny’ has not yet matured into the full-bodied rebellion that exploded in April 1971, in the form of the now famous Blood telegram.

Consul General Archer Blood and 20 members of his consulate, USAID and USIS offices in Dacca sent a telegram to their superiors in Washington, conveying their strong dissent with Nixon’s policy supporting Yahya Khan’s actions. It accused the U.S. government of failing ‘to denounce the suppression of democracy [,] failing to denounce atrocities, [and] of bending over backwards to placate the West Pak dominated government’.  It accused the Nixon administration of ‘moral bankruptcy’.

Blood marked his remonstrance ‘Confidential’ (the lowest security classification) to ensure its widest distribution within the U.S. Government. Nixon and Kissinger were incensed. They made Blood pay for his insubordination by having him sidelined for most of his remaining career. Blood lost the battle, but won the war when Yahya Khan forfeited East Pakistan.

What can Pakistan do to help the hapless Palestinians? Very little, beyond sending humanitarian aid which may or may not reach the intended. We are too poor. We are too far away. And we do not have enough money to pay for the aviation fuel needed to airlift our even token generosity.

And what about our leaders who hope to be in government (or floundering in opposition) by this time next year? They are either in jail, or have been, or should be. The only real freedom they enjoy (as L.M. Montgomery put it) is the freedom to choose their jail - whether Attock, Adiala or Avenfield.



[DAWN, 26 October 2023]

26 October 2023
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