Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You Say Potatoe

The recent shooting of fish in a barrel in Gaza has managed to push our own barbarism in Iraq down the memory hole. I've been labeled a " paleo dilettante " for comparing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to that of the Hutus and Tutsis.

(She nailed me as a dilettante, but I'm not really a paleo, having no romantic attachment to a world that has ceased to be, and can probably never be recovered). It is an intra-tribal dispute going back to pre-history, and discussions of who hit who first are pointless. Ilana favors the Tutsi because they are "tall and better looking" and I favor them because I loved the Orlons. Whatever. She also links to a manly man...

There, I’ve said it: Afrikaners make the most spectacular paleos. “The modern Boer,” wrote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the popular British writer of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, is “the most formidable antagonist who ever crossed the path of Imperial Britain.”

And the modern paleo Boer is Dan Roodt. Roodt recently paid tribute to his Afrikaner ancestors’ “miraculous victory over the Zulu forces of Dingane during the Battle of Blood River on 16 December 1838,” when “450 Afrikaners defeated an army of at least 13,000 Zulus without any losses in their ranks.” Roodt’s coda:

“The Day of the Covenant should be internationally celebrated among all those who believe that our Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian civilisation is still worth fighting for.”

No (unmanly) weirdness there.

Maybe, but it seems sort of strange that he would remember the slaughter of a large contingent of over-confidant natives armed with spears and hide shields and forget about the treatment of the Boers by the British, pioneering the modern technique of anti-guerilla warfare by rounding up and starving the Boer civilians until the fighters gave up, a bright marker on the road to the end of the "West". Generals Sherman and Custer, call your office. Again, whatever.

 As an American I'm far more concerned with our own moral and strategic blunders. America, like Israel, has an enemy within that is lazy and parasitic, resentful and dedicated to our destruction and is much more numerous, powerful and better armed than the Palestinians. To avoid any confusion, I speak, of course, of the U.S. Government.

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