Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The crucifixion of Christ, and the attack on Iraq

Pontus Pilate didn't want to kill Jesus. He was a local bureaucrat, and feared the political implications of having the Roman Empire involved in the death of Jesus, implications which might have included insurrections which would have reflected badly on Pontus Pilate in the eyes of his bosses in Rome. There was no Roman imperial reason to seek the death of Jesus, other than appeasing local Jewish religious leaders. He thus set up the situation to allow for Jesus to get off the hook, replaced on the cross by some local thug. Unfortunately, the 'mob' demanded the death of Jesus, and Pontus Pilate had to wash his hands of the matter, hoping that by so doing he might avoid the blame for what happened. Of course, the mob didn't arrive at their antagonism for Jesus on their own. They were put up to it by the local Jewish religious leaders, the ones for whom Jesus represented a threat, and the ones really behind the crucifixion. As it happened, the crucifixion caused no immediate problems for the Roman Empire, but allowed Peter, the first 'self-hating Jew', to base much of the propaganda message for the selling of the new church on the idea that 'the Jews' killed Jesus, an idea that has caused a fair amount of trouble for the Jewish people over the centuries, and one that is still part of official Catholic teaching. Had the local Jewish leadership not forced the crucifixion, Jesus would have died in obscurity, just another religious fruitcake produced by an area of the world that produces a lot of religious fruitcakes, Christianity would never have gotten off the ground, and the Jewish people would arguably have had a much easier time of it.

You can probably see where I am going with this. The crucifixion is the attack on Iraq, the 'mob' is the American Jewish community - those well-meaning people who 'stand for' Israel - and the local Jewish religious leaders are the Jewish Billionaires who fund the neocons on the basis of ideology supplied by the Settler movement, part of which ideology required the destruction of Iraq. The simple fact of the matter is that you cannot emotionally support Israel in any way whatever without accepting the 'facts on the ground', most notably that Israel is a military dictatorship consisting of a combination of a small number of very rich families and the military, all run according to the dictates of a group of religious zealots. If you 'stand for' Israel you of necessity 'stand for' the violent and racist ideology of the Settler movement, which includes a program of genocide and wars that will cover the entire Middle East. The Israelis tend to understand this much better than American Jews, who remain mired in their destructive combination of deception and self-deception. The same American Jews who will attend an anti-war rally in the morning will go home in the afternoon and write a check to fund a think-tank in Israel or the United States which will churn out the most vile ideology ever produced, ideology which has led, and will lead, to the same wars which the well-meaning American Jewish community will claim it would never support.

There was no American imperial reason for the attack on Iraq, an attack which has destroyed the American economy, weakened American access to energy supplies, ruined the international reputation of the United States, and probably ended the American Empire. There were a few American Pontus Pilates who attempted to stop the folly, but they were powerless in the face of the 'mob', the wider American Jewish community with its disproportionate financial and political strength (including its influence over the American media), and the Jewish Billionaires and their many influential employees. The crucifixion of the Iraqi people has not only had dire effects on the United States, it has also had very negative effects on Israel and the Jewish people, with a much stronger Iran (with a leadership which currently despises Israel), and the good possibility of the eventual resurgence of a new unified Iraq run by people who really, really hate Israel, and with much more power than Saddam had.

If Jesus died for our sins, for whose sins did the over one million (and counting) Iraqis die?