As you may have noticed, in our current so-called culture, it is extremely and increasingly important neither to be, nor to be perceived as, on the "wrong" side of certain issues.
Being, or simply being called, anti-American, anti-UK, anti-Israel, anti-NATO, and/or (especially) anti-Semitic, can jeopardize one's supposedly inalienable rights, among them: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Fortunately, it is quite easy not to be anti-American, anti-Semitic, and so on. There are ten rules that you need to learn and understand. Once you begin to apply these simple rules, you will be pleased to see that they make difficult thinking totally unnecessary.
1. Accept the (elected and unelected) great leaders (and spokespeople) of the USA, the UK, Israel, and NATO as your own (even if you don't like, and/or didn't vote for, any of them). To the greatest extent possible, (con)fuse their grandeur with your own identity. Understand that they not only lead your country (even if you live in a different country): they are your country, and by extension, they are you. Realize that your hopes, ambitions, loyalties, responsibilities, even your destiny are intricately and irreversibly entwined with theirs, and therefore you as an individual no longer have any independent meaning.
2. From now on, when we say "we", we mean "our great leaders", singly and collectively. This replaces the outmoded usage which erroneously referred to our former individually-oriented selves, and possibly also our family and our friends.
3. Whatever we do is Good. Otherwise we wouldn't do it.
4. Whatever we say is True. Otherwise we wouldn't say it.
5. Our enemies are whoever we say they are. (See rule 4.)
6. Whatever they do is Evil. Otherwise they wouldn't do it.
7. Whatever they say is False. Otherwise they wouldn't say it. (It is also Evil for them to say it. See rule 6.)
8. If we don't want to talk about something they've accused us of doing, this proves we didn't do it. If we had done it, we would talk about it, because it would be Good. (See rule 3.) But since they made the accusation, it is False (see rule 7), and therefore it warrants no response whatsoever. Similarly, if they don't want to talk about something we've accused them of doing, this proves that they did it. (See rule 4.) Of course they don't want to talk about it. It was Evil. (See rule 6.)
9. Any criticism of American policy or practice is inherently anti-American, and any criticism of NATO or UK policy or practice is inherently anti-NATO or anti-UK respectively. Given America's direct influence on NATO, and indirect influence (through NATO) on many countries, including the UK, any criticism of NATO or the UK is inherently anti-American as well.
10. Any criticism of Israeli policy or practice is not only anti-Israel but also anti-Semitic (see rule 4), therefore no better than Hitler, and beneath contempt. Given the support Israel receives from the US, the UK, and NATO, all anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements are also anti-NATO, anti-UK, and anti-American as well. And vice versa.
Current events provide numerous free opportunities for ordinary citizens to put these simple rules into action, so as not to be (nor to be seen as) anti-American, anti-NATO, anti-UK, anti-Israel, and most importantly, anti-Semitic. It only takes a little bit of common sense.
For instance, the rules show that it is clearly Good for us (rule 2) to spend billions of dollars and engage the services of brutal terrorists (whom we didn't really engage at all; see rule 8) in an attempt to destabilize Ukraine (even though, at the time, Ukraine was a peaceful sovereign independent nation; see rule 3). And we are fully justified in calling our Good actions there "bringing democracy" and/or "enhancing stability" (see rule 4), despite the fact that our intervention has empowered monsters and brought about horrible suffering (none of which is in any sense our fault; see rule 8). But it would be Evil for the Russians (our enemies; see rule 5) to interact with Ukraine in any fashion whatsoever (rule 6), even if they merely sought to stabilize the country (which they wouldn't, especially if that's what they said they were doing; see rule 7). In other words, any Russian action with respect to Ukraine, including seemingly innocent cooperation in trade, transportation, or any other area, is Evil (rule 6), and would be Evil even in the absence of the current chaos, which we didn't cause (rule 8). And anyone who says otherwise is anti-American (rule 9), anti-Semitic (rule 10), no better than Hitler, and beneath contempt.
If you understand all this, then when your friends and neighbors start talking about how fantastic it was when Obama stood up to Putin and told him to keep his grubby mitts off Ukraine, you will know how not to be anti-American, anti-Semitic, no better than Hitler, and beneath contempt. When they ask your opinion, you won't say, "America had no right to intervene in Ukraine in the first place, let alone now!" That would be anti-American, beneath contempt, and so on. Instead you might say, "Right on, bro! Obama rocks! Time to kick some Rooskie butt!" Then you could excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. And if you had to throw up, you could do it in private.
For another example: if you understand the rules, you can easily see that it is Good for us (rule 2) to commit all manner of unspeakable atrocities against the Palestinians (rule 3) but it is Evil for the Palestinians (our enemies; rule 5) to retaliate in any way (rule 6). And anyone who says otherwise is anti-Semitic (rule 10), no better than Hitler, beneath contempt, and so on. You don't want to fall that low. You don't want to be seen as having fallen that low. So when they ask your opinion, you won't say, "What the Israelis are doing is horrible, and the American support for it is sickening!" Instead you might say, "Right on, bro! Bibi rocks! Time to kick some Aayrabb butt!" Then you could excuse yourself and go to the bathroom again.
It's all very simple once it's been explained properly. And, to be honest, it wasn't very difficult to list and explain the ten simple rules. But many otherwise intelligent writers, whose work I read quite regularly, have failed to notice these valuable guidelines. I think they must have been busy with other matters.
Case in point: Chris Floyd has recently posted a brillant but anti-American and anti-Semitic column concerning Operation Protective Edge and the US Senate's unanimous and generous support for Israel at this critical time. Protective Edge, as you may have heard, is a purely defensive operation against beaches, hospitals, and other carefully selected military targets, launched by Israel in response to (and in the hope of deterring) rocket attacks from Gaza.
Floyd quotes James Marc Leas, who has assembled a timeline which shows very clearly that Israel had attacked Gaza more than a hundred times in the three weeks prior to the launch of the first such rocket attack, and this leads Floyd to conclude that we are lying when we claim the current Israeli actions -- high-tech brutalities against defenseless captive civilians -- constitute a legitimate response to the rocket attacks.
Floyd says, in effect, "They're all lying, and they know it. They have to know it. Anyone who has been following the news has to know it. But they're still lying. And they're getting away with it."
It's all very convincing, except that Floyd fails to take into account rules 3 and 4.
In other words, what difference does a timeline make? If we say we're only retaliating, then we're only retaliating. It doesn't matter if the retaliation began before the action that triggered it. If we say we're simply taking defensive action, then we're simply taking defensive action. If we say we're protecting the children, then we're protecting the children. And that's the whole story.
James Marc Leas has deliberately crafted his timeline to cast doubt on these obvious facts. Therefore, he and his timeline are both anti-Semitic (rule 10). And Floyd's reference to Leas is not only anti-Semitic, but anti-American as well (rule 9). It's no better than Hitler, and beneath contempt.
As if this were not bad enough, Floyd also cites Max Blumenthal and Jon Schwarz -- for very different reasons, but with eerily similar results. Bluemthal has compiled another timeline, this one concerning the murder in June of three Israeli teenagers. This timeline shows very clearly that we hid critical information, and that we lied -- to our own people and to the rest of the world -- about what we knew, when we knew it, what we were doing, and why we were doing it.
It's all very convincing, except that Blumenthal also fails to take into account rules 3 and 4.
In other words, what difference does a timeline make? If we say we think the boys are still alive, then we think they're still alive. It doesn't matter if we already know they're dead. If we say we know who kidnapped them, then we know who kidnapped them. If we say we are trying to rescue them, then we are trying to rescue them. And that's the whole story.
Max Blumenthal has deliberately crafted his timeline to cast doubt on these obvious facts. Therefore, he and his timeline are both anti-Semitic (rule 10). And Floyd's reference to Blumenthal is not only anti-Semitic, but anti-American as well (rule 9). It's no better than Hitler, and beneath contempt.
As for Jon Schwarz, he dug up a quote nearly fifty years old, in which we explained that Egypt's 1967 blockade of an Israeli port was an act of war, and that therefore Israel's military action against Egypt in response to the blockade was fully justified. Jon Schwarz and Chris Floyd both wonder, if a short-term Egyptian blockade of a single Israeli port was enough to justify a war, why doesn't a long-term Israeli blockade of all of Gaza justify any reaction whatsoever?
It goes without saying that there's a big difference between an Egyptian blockade of Israel and an Israeli blockade of Gaza. In the simplest terms: if we do it, it's Good (see rule 3). If they do it, it's Evil (see rule 6). I'm amazed that so many otherwise intelligent people don't get this.
Max Blumenthal, Jon Schwarz, James Marc Leas, and Chris Floyd seem like very bright guys. I don't think they deliberately set out to put themselves on a level with Adolf Hitler. I think they did it inadvertently, simply because they don't understand certain things.
These writers share outdated concepts. They put credence in established facts. They rely on systematic logical reasoning. They believe one can determine the truth or falsehood of a statement without knowing who made it. And they believe one can judge whether an action is Good or Evil without knowing who performed it. Because they have not yet abandoned these outdated ideas, they continue to say and write the most anti-American and anti-Semitic nonsense, which renders them no better than Hitler, beneath contempt, and unworthy of any serious response.
But I don't think it's deliberate. I don't think they strive to be no better than Hitler. I don't think they aspire to be beneath contempt. I just think nobody has ever taken the time and gone to the effort to explain certain things.