A Look at “American Values”

The following post was written by an individual whose writings I have shared in the past. In this instance, I decided not to just “reblog” since only a portion of his thoughts would be shown here — and this time I wanted to be sure visitors read the entire post. 

The writer has chosen to remain anonymous and goes by the handle of “Ends and Beginnings.” Regular readers may remember him — or may even be a subscriber to his blog themselves.

In any case, I look forward to your reactions and comments related to his perspective on the Afghanistan situation.  

The vast majority of the western world has learned its history and formed its opinions of the Middle East from a book of fables, the Bible and Hollywood movies. You see, Charlton Heston really isn’t Moses and Elizabeth Taylor isn’t Cleopatra. And the illustrations in our picture Bibles growing-up as kids of Arab men, looking more white than brown, with long beards, flowing robes, and living in silk tents with camels in the desert isn’t the whole story.

We, Anglo-Christians, manufactured this history because of Jesus and for the last 100 years or so Americans have tried to mold a region and a people into a vision that we created, a vision that is false and a fantasy. Towns, cities, community, and commerce have been a reality of the Middle East long before the idea of an America was even a dream. We, the Western world, treated the Middle East like they are some backwoods, bum fucks, living in the hills of the Smoky Mountains. That without us, our smarts, our religion, our democracy, they would just be eating sand and herding goats. Obviously, the Middle East, for the most part, has progressed a little beyond that, check out the skyline of Dubai for instance, but Americans simply can’t let go of those images or the need to be thanked for bringing them into the 21st Century.      

I am not a Middle East expert, but I have spent a considerable amount of time reading about the history and the conflicts, particularly the American conflicts. What I have concluded is this, our “issues” in the Middle East can be boiled down to two matters, oil, and Israel. Everything else is ignorance and noise on our part.

The oil rush in the Middle East began in the early 1920’s and 30’s thanks to Henry Ford. The United States and Great Britain staked claims, literally this is your country, and this is ours, bringing workers, technology and greed to a world that had happily existed without our intrusions, our values, and our religious beliefs for centuries. As Americans are known to do, we raped and pillaged the resources paying pennies on the dollars to sultans, kings and tribal leaders making them wealthy while the everyday common Omar and his family got nothing. Unfortunately, mister common Omar became a problem and continues to be a problem even today.

Israel became a point of conflict in the 1940’s and 50’s when the Christian world decided they were going to take it upon themselves and enforce God’s edict to Abraham that “Unto thy seed have I given this land”. The problem with this “transaction” was and continues to be that Abraham’s “Seed” includes both the Jews and the Muslims and to a lesser extent the Christians, but that tidbit of history didn’t fit in the Judeo-Christian narrative then or today.    

What we, Americans, have done is support the Jews supposed rights to Israel and eliminated and erased any rights the Muslims have or had all in the name of Jesus. The Evangelical thinking is, and continues to be without a nation of Israel how or where will Jesus return?

We have spent 20 years and billions of dollars in Afghanistan defending what? According to Lindsey Graham 9/11. He contends that the blood we have shed and the dollars we have expended are to avenge and prevent another 9/11 from occurring. I think if we all dug a little deeper into the reelection bank accounts of war hawks like Graham, we would find out why endless, unwinnable wars are so important to them. Campaign contributions from the manufactures of guns, tanks, and bombers.

Graham has never had a solution nor offered a way out of the war in Afghanistan, but doesn’t he sound righteous on Fox News throwing everyone else under the bus? To date, 2,300 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and over 20,000 have been injured. For what, so we can Americanize the Afghan people? Introduce them to Jesus, McDonalds, and Walmart?

It is well past the time that we quit forcing our values, or politics and our religion down the throats of others. 9/11 happened because mister Omar wanted to get our attention. He wanted us to know that he has had enough of our continued support and bloody defense of Israel and that the Persian Gulf War was not our war to fight. It is high time we acknowledge his concerns.  

48 thoughts on “A Look at “American Values”

  1. “What we, Americans, have done is support the Jews supposed rights to Israel and eliminated and erased any rights the Muslims have or had all in the name of Jesus.”

    See, this kind of drivel is so far removed from what’s true in reality that it’s difficult and time consuming work to dismantle it properly to reveal the scope of the lie. But the lie will be swallowed whole by many good people not because it’s true but because it fits this narrative that the US is ‘bad’. When reality doesn’t matter to an opinion, then I think this is pretty good evidence that the position is faith-based, that it is held and promoted and consumed on a presumption of its truth regardless of what reality has to say about the claim. I think that’s a red flag that no amount of counter evidence will matter. The ‘truth’ is already considered known (as if knowledge rather than naked belief) rather than sought.

    This is why it’s much more fruitful to compare and contrast honestly. I mean, seriously, how many Jews sit on any Palestinian Authority or Hamas or PLO governing bodies? How many Muslims sit in the Knesset? Do you see the scope of the lie where the former is not even on the radar of those swift to condemn the US for Israeli support but the latter doesn’t matter even a tinker’s damn to the counter-factual belief?

    This is why such opining is so destructive: it gives the appearance of concern when it’s obvious the ‘concern’ has nothing whatsoever to do with respecting, investigating, discovering, or supporting what’s true. It’s a con job. And far, far too many people swallow it and then nourish their outraged virtue on it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is why such opining is so destructive

      And technically, “opining” is exactly what most people do.

      In most blog discussions, people will look at an issue and offer their perspective. Sure, some may have “evidence” (according to them) to back up their position, but bottom line, it’s still boils down to that individual’s opinion (interpretation) of whatever source they have come across.

      I definitely support alternate outlooks because that’s what makes these blog discussions interesting. But there is a way to present them without coming across as “I’m right. You’re wrong.” Think about it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Since when does a group of people, conquered over and over again for the last 2,600 years (Yes. That’s TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED YEARS!) by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans and, finally, Muslims (collectively, the Palestinians) then have their land returned to them by cabal of western powers and the previous people completely dispossessed? And their claim to the land? A THREE THOUSAND year-old manuscript written by a bunch of desert wanderers that says their “god” gave the land to them! This would be like giving back Britain to the indigenous peoples or Ireland back to the Celts.Preposterous!

      There is no solution to this and there never will be, and it gets more and more dangerous as time goes on. The western powers brought this themselves and the rest of us are perpetually paying the price.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tildeb, you wrote: “…how many Jews sit on any Palestinian Authority or Hamas or PLO governing bodies? How many Muslims sit in the Knesset?”

      Why is it, that this comparrison should somehow matter? The fact that there are Muslims in the Knesset, while there are no Jews in any Palestinian authority tells us very little about the nature of the conflict, or the reasons why the US (the nation that has taken as it’s job to secure Democracy and Equality in much of the world) is involved as an enabler to the apartheid, Fascist, Racist policy the conservative right-wing governments of Israel have been keeping up for ages. The policy that has given birth to fundamentalist Hamas, by systematically undermining the secular PLO. The reason is simple, while some Palestinian Muslims were absorbed to the newly founded state of Israel, no Jews have joined the occupied Palestinian people. Why? Simply because nobody in their right mind who has any option would ever join into a group of abused and exploited slaves. Would you?

      The way how Israel – the nation built by Jews, who have been the victims of the most hatefull right-wing Fascist and Racist opression and downright attempt to extermination – has turned into a country run by right-wing conservative Fascistic and Racistic ideology, is a real tragedy. One of the Israeli ministers said, not so long ago, that they were the “white” men in the Near-East as a way of expressing their right to superiority and obviously the lives and possessions of the Palestinians. How Nazi can one get, without being condemned by anyone in his own party? Without having destroyed their own political career?

      Why is it, that so many US citizens and other right-wing people around the globe are in so much difficulty, to see that there is an ongoing robbery of Palestinian land and human rights and dignity going on by Israel? Is that not a fact? Is it just because so many Christian fundamentalists see it as an historical inevitabililty, that Israel should rule the in between the big rivers, to bring about the apocalypse? Wich the fundies see as a good thing. Or is it, that ultimately the right-wing way of thinking is based on the right of the strong to opress the weak, because some are more deserving than others? Is it some form of Tribalism, where some people are justified in doing horrid acts of violence, while the others are not? Or is it, that the right-wing ideology springs from the fountain of fear, fear of people demanding their rights, as opposed to priviledges and the freedoms to exploit others the right-winger has thought they have every right to, based on either religion, race, education, gender, nationality, or social position? Or is it the sum of all these things?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that this is the most accurate and objective analysis of our relationship with the Middle East that I have seen recently, despite what Ms. Tildeb may think. Thumbs up to Ends and Beginnings for a thoughtful, thought-provoking post, and thanks to you for sharing, Nan.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It’s not that ‘I’ think it, Jill. You love to equate me with certain uncomfortable facts and then presume these facts then become some kind of alternate personal opinion I alone hold. And dismissed on that basis. I mean, it MUST be the messenger.

      This is a tactic you and many others use. What does it serve? Certainly not addressing the uncomfortable facts. But a great way to avoid them! No one seems to want to challenge those who use this tactic. That’s why it’s effective. And that’s interesting, don’t you think? Why might this be?

      Tell me now, Jill: how many Jews sit around the Hamas leadership table. Now look at the Knesset. There’s your blunt answer contrary to the claim this blogger makes. So it’s not MY answer; it is the FACT that what this author has written is NOT TRUE. But you seem unconcerned about that with your glowing review. That’s interesting, too, don’t you think?

      So the question becomes, WHY don’t you care more about what is and isn’t true? That’s the question I think YOU need to spend some quality time reviewing in your own mind and not answered for my benefit but your own. What has happened when such thinking reliant on such dishonest and dismissive tactics is almost never challenged? And I suspect many people feel quite good about themselves going along to get along, dismissing the messengers of contrary and uncomfortable facts as if that takes care of the facts raised, and sticking with their tribal members. But it’s the others who are so partisan!

      Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb — I do NOT appreciate the tone of this response. I’m leaving it for others to consider based on what I just said. But please, no more. It’s far too close to an attack on the writer’s comment.

        Like

        • Dear Tildeb,
          Exactly what points are you trying to make? You talk in concentric circles, but you never reach the centerpoint. What is so strange about having no Isrealis in Hamas leadership roles, or Arabs in the Knesset? That would be comparable to having Putin as President of the United States, or Kim as Prime Minister of Canada. What significance does such a statement contain? You may know what point you are trying to make, but none of the rest of us do! It boggles the mind.
          Also, your attack on the writer of the original post is again without value. You accuse, but you do not explain why you are accusing. Basically, you sound like a politician, full of sound and fury, but speechifying at best.
          Here I will predict you will attack me for not having the intelligence to understand what you are saying, but read over your own words, they are full of passion, but there is no meat to chew on.
          You ask us to really think about what you have said, but since you have said nothing, we have nothing to think about.

          Liked by 6 people

        • Rawgod, you are correct. I read the post several times and then Tildeb”s responses and could make no sense out of them. “Sitting on boards”, I presume he means no crossover cooperation from either side. But we are talking about the US and it’s support of Israel and as always, what’s in it for the US and not the US being on the boards, as they will play both ends.

          Oil seems to have been the big issue since WWII and support for Israel, I would think, has several reasons and I don’t know enough at all to speculate and Tildeb did not make his reasoning clear at all.

          I will leave you with this article and I truly don’t know how I feel about it, as I just don’t have the resources or research time and capabilities to discern it. But it seemed interesting with yes some controversial ideas for a good and CIVIL discussion.

          https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/05/us-israel-romance-united-state-support-aid-military-middle-east

          Liked by 4 people

        • Mary, I haven’t finished reading the article, but this immediately jumped off the page;
          The United States has a “special relationship” with the state of Israel,

          That relationship is TOTALLY based on religion, i.e., Christianity. No matter how journalists and opinionists try to color-coat it.

          And this is why E&B’s post is so relevant to what’s going on. The “Christian World” enters into nearly everything the U.S. does in the Middle East. Journalists and others try to make it about other things, but religion is at its core.

          Even if some people disagree.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nan, I do read your blog but I don’t usually respond because I find it such an anti-Christian (and leftist) echo chamber. But I DO agree that Tildeb has a point (imagine that!) You might not like his tone (a point I have agreed with in the past) but I do appreciate his honest pushback with this particular situation. In my view, too much of what passes as “American history” is nothing more than anti-American propaganda. It smacks of Zinn’s shoddy academic treatment in “A People’s History.” It’s no better than Twitter-truth. You are free to disagree, of course. Have a good day.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for stopping by, Mel. I had to stifle a giggle at your remark about my blog being an “echo chamber” as this is pretty much what most Christians blogs are as well. 😁

          Nevertheless, I do appreciate you adding your thoughts.

          There’s no doubt that tildeb offers things to think about. Unfortunately, his tone can become rather imperious and this ends up working against him.

          Since you do read my posts, I’d be interested in your reaction to the latest one — “More on Afghanistan.”

          Liked by 3 people

        • NaN, I was merely giving reason why I don’t usually comment. Of course, my blog is also an echo chamber to encourage people of faith. I don’t pretend it isn’t, so I don’t expect many comments from dissenters.. But if you remember, I did open it up to anti-theists for two years.

          To my point, readers should find out why respected atheist academics like Steven Pinker, Larry McWorter, James Lindsay, and Steven Hicks have utterly rejected the insane ideologies of the postmodern, Neo-Marxist woke.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Dear tildeb,

        I commend your effort in injecting more nuances to whatever issues are being discussed in other people’s blog posts. It is a very difficult task, since many people (both the bloggers and the readers) do not always possess sufficient ability, competence and/or inclination to deal with complex issues, and they tend not to find and digest long, technical and detailed academic research and scholarly essays or monographs with adequate citations, elaborate examinations and intricate conclusions, as they explore nothing much beyond their usual diets of news reports, columns, opinion pieces, brief analyses and the like, each usually amounting to no more than 1000 words, not to mention that they also do not sufficiently comprehend cause-effect relations and their cognitive biases and heuristics, plus a whole host of other issues affecting their choices, judgements and decisions, all of which I have attempted to identify comprehensively in some of my elaborate posts and pages.

        However, whatever points that you are trying to inject need to be elaborated adequately, regardless of, and/or with respect to, their details and complexities, though I concede that it may be difficult to do so via comments rather than one of more essays.

        Yours sincerely,
        SoundEagle

        Like

      • Arabs sit in the Knesset because they are citizens of Israel. It is this very hubris that Ends and Beginnings addressed. In my opinion, it was a very good commentary.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t know if this is on point here, but where I think many Americans fail is in not asking themselves whether they feel it is okay to go into another nation’s borders to take revenge on some slight or insult committed by someone hiding out in the nation. You have no problem going into Afghanistan or Pakistan and killing Osama Ben Ladin. You have no problem with going into Iraq and arresting Saddam Husein, or assassinating Irani General Suleiman. You have no problem attacking and killing Mu’ammar Al Quadhdhafi in his home in Libya. And in these take-out strikes, how many other people were wantonly killed. Take note, all of these attacks were on Middle East or Islamic soil. It seems to be okay to illegally go wherever you want to go. If other nations came into America to assassinate their enemies, you would be up in arms about trespassing on American soil, yet it is okay when you trespass inside other nations. Arrogance. Sheer arrogance!

    Liked by 4 people

      • Not quite the same, Al Quida was not aiming at specific human targets. But yes, they attacked on American soil, and the response war-like. I did not say this above, but the normal route to getting criminals from one nation to another is negotiation. In the cases I cited, there was no attempt at negotiation. The attacks were not lawful even by American laws, but these were vengeance. It seems vengeance overrules justice.

        Liked by 3 people

      • It was mostly the citizens of ONE nation, Saudi Arabia. Who were unhappy with American soldiers being on Saudi story. Does that justify 9-11? Of course not. But….it at least helps explain it.

        I would note that American foreign policy has killed far, far more people in the Middle East. So our “tit” account in the tit for tat analysis that justified our latest adventures is far, far overdrawn.

        Liked by 2 people

      • 9/11 was not an attack by a sovereign nation. I read in another commentary that it was a ‘criminal’ act which Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld saw as an opportunity to make Dubya a war-time president. I seem to remember that when Bill Clinton wanted to go for al-Quaeda, the GOP accused him of being over-anxious to get Bin Laden and refused to approve his proposal. Then after 9/11, they claimed Clinton never left them any information on al-Queada.

        9/11 was a terrorist attack. What we did in Afghanistan and Iraq was an invasion of a sovereign nation.

        Liked by 4 people

    • why are you trying to push America bad narrative. All these were for the interest of the world. America installs a dictator somewhere, it is for world peace. Killing Gaddafi was for democracy even though back at home there is voting restrictions in Georgia and I don’t know where else. Saddam had to be killed for democracy to grow. And you will soon see how democratic the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will be following 20 years of training in democracy through bribery and all other lobbying mechanism.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I thought this was a good observation. From another America-hating intellectual who doesn’t seem to realize how important it is to IMPOSE American values, which every nation on earth desperately wants, according to our Talibani of the Enlightenment:

    Host A. Martinez interviewed Sarah Chayes, a former NPR reporter who spent years in Kandahar and speaks Pashto. She filled in the historical background of the original Taliban takeover and went off in a direction that I don’t think NPR expected.

    And so my question is, what democracy did we bring to Afghanistan, you know? Meanwhile, we’re building a banking system during the very same years that we were incubating, you know, the crash of 2008. By 2010, the Afghan banking system crashed because it was a Ponzi scheme. And so I think the painful thing I have to ask myself is American democracy – is that what we brought or is cronyism, you know, systemic corruption, you know, basically a governmental system where billionaires get to write the rules – is that, in fact, American democracy as we are now experiencing it?

    “Wow,” says Martinez, and that’s the end of the segment.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. When Israel was granted a homeland in 1946 It was cared from a section of land occupied by the Arabs. We could say Arabs of that time because the Jews were also Arabs by descent, albeit from a variety of European countries and the Russias. Half the area chosen was given tot he Jews to become Israel and half to the Palestinians. The Israelis encroached on Palestinian land but during the 6 day war won a lot more land like the Golan heights from those countries that decided to attack them.
    Following the six day war the US made it’s support of Israel a very financial one as Israel could be a huge boost to looking out for American interests in the area. But where America has made a mistake is not occasionally checking the power of it’s ally and holding them back. Most other Countries feel that Israel is still greedy for land and doesn’t much care how it gets it and that it’s more than just a bully where the Palestinians are concerned with hospitals schools, and civilian districts being bombed. It’s time the US stopped providing them with arms, they’re not a poor nation. And maybe it’s time the Israelis and the Palestinians could make a lasting peace where they could either jointly govern the whole area or an Arab could sit on the Knesset to argue for his side.
    Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

    • We pander to them because the Christian Fundamentalists perceive the establishment of the state of Israel as the fulfillment of some biblical prophecy. Maybe Ben Gurion was God. What do I know?

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Hi Nan,

    I have very little time to comment, however, for some time now (years?) on my blog since 2016 I believe, I have always stated with verifiable historical evidence that the USA made very huge consequential blunders in Palestine and the Near East/Middle East beginning in 1899 in backing and helping Theodor Herzl and the World Zionist Organization for the eventual creation of the State of Israel in 1946-48.

    The USA further exacerbated this original diseased blunder with 1) the 1917 Balfour Declaration with Great Britain and American Zionist sympathizers Brandeis, Mack, Nordau, Schieb, and the Zionist Organization of America members, and then 2) efforts to garner American backing (Harry Truman included) after WW2 and the European Holocaust through massive backroom pressures on the United Nation’s General Assembly in the Spring of 1947. This all completely ignored the already existing peaceful, content Jews in Palestine known as the Old Yishuv and shipping (coercing?) multiple thousands of foreign European and other Jewish Diaspora from around the world into Palestine. And most of these original waves of Jews did not stay! Why? It was a foreign country not suitable to their own tradecrafts. Duh.

    Then not only did U.S. backed Israeli forces displace hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs/Muslims, but they also committed many atrocities, human rights violations, and genocide by again, U.S. backed Israeli military forces—not to mention seizing very lucrative benefits for U.S. military manufacturing contracts as well as a sizable significant force in the oil-rich region.

    But most Americans, 80% to 95% don’t care about this dark U.S.-Israeli history and back alley dealings. We just write off Israel’s creation as a modern Judeo-Christian Manifest Destiny in 1947 Palestine and ever since. Is it any wonder at all why so many Muslims and Islamic nations hate us? No. Not in the least. 🤦‍♂️😔

    We deserved what happened in Afghanistan due to 9/11 and we deserve what has identically happened in Iraq as well. Both complete waste of resources and human lives. This will continue for the U.S. until the U.S. admits, comes to terms, and STOPS cramming their hypocritical “American Values” and Christianity in non-Protestant Christian regions of the world!!! It’s time to toss our antiquated mentality of imperialistic Manifest Destiny on the rest of the world. Besides, we’re doing a real shitty job of it right here domestically!

    Liked by 4 people

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