empire watch, Israel, latest, Palestine
Comments 15

Breast cancer, feminism & Israeli warplanes

Philip Roddis

I’m critical of identity politics both in its passive form, as theory-lite substitute for class analyses of oppression and exploitation, and in its more active manifestations. Such as when, in 2016, millions of progressives bought the idea of HRC as the self evidently superior White House contender. This despite a role in Libya that should have seen her in the dock at the Hague, and a commitment to ‘no fly zones’ in Syria that would, in the view of America’s highest-ranking military officer (indeed, of any rational observer) have brought the world closer to WW3.

Such as when liberal media drip feed, into their hawkish charge sheets against Russia, Putin’s alleged homophobia.[1] Or when self styled liberals vie in Guardian features to pour ordure of the vilest kind on Julian Assange, a man true progressives – God knows there’s enough of the easy kind to go round – owe a profound debt of gratitude.

Then there’s Israel, regarded by many of us as an apartheid state and by some of us as regional gendarme for western imperialism. Its lobby groups are skilled at cosying up with Washington’s Beltway, with pork barrel senators beholden to America’s military-industrial complex, and with a Labour right-wing bent on smearing Jeremy Corbyn in the name of fighting antisemitism.[2]

Who’d disagree that anti-semitism is an affront to decency? Not me. And who’d object to the promotion of breast cancer awareness? Again, not me. But to hijack the fight against racism in all its hideous forms for the reactionary ends of hasbara? That too is an affront to decency. As is the cynical use of a cause so worthy you’d need a heart of flint not to sign up for it…

Note the designer-feminism in the comment leading into the image. But women’s freedom is not to be confused with gender neutral pronouns, or ensuring that female celebs are paid the same number of millions as their male co-stars. Nor yet with glibly reductive assessments of militarism as ‘toys for the boys’. Just as there is no truth more fundamental about racism than that the world’s poorest are dark skinned, so is there no truth more fundamental about sexism than that women suffer disproportionately from ‘our’ wars on the global south.

While the IDF tugs at our heart strings a mix of political naivety, feminism at its most superficial and good old commercial instinct co-opts itself onto the apartheid state’s agenda. Cup of Jane, which brought us the image – and tongue-in-c. gallery playing of that women’s air force quip – is a coffee shop in Raleigh, North Carolina. Here’s its FB page, showing how its baristas dress.

NOTES:-

  1. I neither know nor care about Putin’s views on homosexuality. I do know that whether a leader is homophobic and sexist is a hypocritical and disingenuous test for whether he should be demonised by a West whose true rulers make kings’ ransoms in arms sales to Saudi Arabia. (Yesterday morning on BBC Radio 4 I heard Emily Thornberry, touted by some on the Labour left as worthy successor to Corbyn, describe Saudi as a friend. Progressive that she is, she added that Riyadh must be given friendly criticism – “because that’s what friends do” – on human rights. Right, Em, that’ll learn ’em! And without upsetting our arms profiteering rulers to the point where media controlled by market forces become even more hostile to any Labour leader left of Yvette home-flipper Cooper.) But such equations – the man’s a queer-bashing neanderthal So Take Him Out! – are seldom drawn explicitly. The realm of conscious reasoning is not the arena of choice for propaganda. Or to be more precise, not in the formative stages of opinion manufacture, when a degree of subtlety is still required.
  2. John Mann and Margaret Hodge publicly addressed Labour colleagues, respectively Ken Livingstone and Jeremy Corbyn, in tones that combined an incredibly rude word beginning with the sixth letter of the alphabet with unsubstantiated charges of racism. Neither have had the whip withdrawn, far less faced lawsuits for slander. The speed of Islington Council’s response to Gilad Atzmon’s threat to sue over being banned from a Xmas gig may give a clue as to why not. Islington promptly hired one of London’s most expensive law firms, the kindest reading being that of an eyebrow-raising use of scarce funds. And a less kind reading? That a third and deep-pocketed party stands in the shadows.

Scribbler for some sixty years, and for fifteen a photographer too, Philip Roddis began blogging in the early noughties by inflicting film reviews on an unsuspecting public. Soon he was doing the same with illustrated writings on wanderings in Asia and Africa. He writes “to help me think, and because I like to be read”, and finds photography's problem solving aspects "a break from those of writing, as well as an aid to writing and to reflective travel”.

His blog is Steel City Scribblings

15 Comments

  1. Re Breast Cancer, the Pretty Pinky Israel Air Force having heard that Asme Assad had developed breast cancer, were bombing a Syrian Cancer Research centre before the Russians stopped them.. Here is Syria’s bright and beautiful First Lady, comforting her little fellow cancer sufferers:

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/39745109_1800198666772404_1244393325780271104_n.jpg

    Sky TV reports on Syrian first lady Asma al Assad, seen in headscarf amid other women patients while undergoing cancer treatment. The former investment banker who decided there are better things in life, is shown speaking to women at a cancer centre as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer:

    https://news.sky.com/story/syrian-first-lady-asma-al-assad-seen-in-headscarf-amid-cancer-treatment-11535755

    Women. Asme Assad recommends: Scan Early and Scan Often!

    • Chris says

      Wonderful post, wonderful images. But at the risk of diverting from your important points, there are good reasons for women to be very wary of existing breast scanning procedures which many now believe can spread cancerous tumors. Medical inspection yes, medical screening through flattening of the breast, no.

  2. Bravo Mr Ruddis
    Wish more objective and analytical articles of this nature appeared around the western world with everything dealing about social ,political and economics issues in general.
    Speaking truth to the hypocrites

  3. Excellent article. I’ve had breast cancer and although that doesn’t give me any special entitlement I’m outraged that they’re in any way connecting military jets with breasts … but I suppose breasts suckled the designers of these machines, those who built them and those who use them to kill … but only when necessary, of course.

  4. mark says

    Homosexuality is illegal in over 70 countries in the world.
    Russia is not one of them.
    Homosexuality is legal in Russia. The only piece of legislation is a provision in the law banning so called “homosexual propaganda”, promoting homosexuality to young children. It is virtually identical to the old “Section 28” in the UK. Nobody has ever been prosecuted under this law. But what happens if you fall foul of it? Are you taken out and shot at dawn? Or banished to the icy wastes of Siberia? Not quite. It carries a maximum $50 fine. A bit weedy on the part of the evil, autocratic, homophobic dictator Putin.
    In Saudi Arabia homosexuality carries the death penalty. In liberal Qatar, host of the World Cup, it carries 5 years imprisonment. Some African countries like Uganda are trying to introduce the death penalty for gays.
    But guess which country the likes of Stephen Fry, Elton John, and all the SJWs fulminate over? I’ll give you a clue. It ain’t Shady Wahabia. When it comes to a bit of Russia baiting, it’s all grist to the mill.

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  5. Gezzah Potts says

    Thank you Philip for your expose on the warped nature of the World, and in particular, alleged ‘progressives’ who are no more than gatekeepers for Imperialism. I’ve said this before, but just to repeat; I strongly feel identity politics has not only neutered the left, but lead it into a dead end. Where is the Class analysis indeed? Its all about pronouns and cisgender this and They that and, er, hurt feelings, victims and victimising. Identity politics divides and splinters us, it dosn’t unite us. When most ‘revolutionary socialist’ organisations in Australia have been completely silent about Julian Assange since abt 2012, and wilfully ignored his dire situation, you know something is just very wrong. I have been told that one well known organisation allegedly has instructed its members not to discuss Assange. I have also been told that Assange supporters who set up stalls have been verbally abused, and called ‘rape apologists’. Apparently the new fad amongst these groups is Transgender Theory….. as the World continues to be pillaged to make the 0.01℅ even more obscenely wealthy, and Israel continues its brutal oppression of the Palestinians and the slaughter in Yemen carries on unabated, with the full connivance of the West. Lots of $$$ to be made from arms sales – good for business. Oh, and some of these socialist groups loudly proclaimed a revolution was taking place in Syria against the ‘evil tyrant’ Assad, and the Jihadists were actually revolutionaries. Despite the huge amount of evidence otherwise, including General Wesley Clark admission of taking out 7 countries in 5 years (including Syria). Its a truly screwed up World.

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  6. Sally says

    Thanks for the laugh. That’s third-wave feminism for you!

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  7. Jen says

    I suppose in the month following October 2016, the Israeli air force painted its fighter jets pastel blue to support Movember prostate cancer awareness?

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    • Gezzah Potts says

      Jen: yep, probably, tho doubt they’ll ever use blood red to signify their many many Palestinian victims, including little kids, people in wheelchairs, paramedics, etc.

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    • Paddy Jameson Power says

      Haven’t seen anything about Movember in the last 3 or 4 years – – it’s only about men, and they’re not a consecrated victim group.

  8. Jules Moules says

    Thank you, Mr Philip Roddis, for this shameful exposé of the sheer hypocrisy of the whole bloody shitshow.

    The truth is sometimes hard to see and is even harder to comprehend.

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    • writerroddis says

      To be right, Jules, the thanks are due to OffGuardian editor Vaska. It was her posting of the grotesque image on Facebook that alerted me, and inspired the post.

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  9. When is indecency a thought crime?
    Those who own the means to set the narrative (and deny any rival) can play it against itself – and that is the nature of ‘identity politics’.

    When what we are against – or must be seen to be against determines what we are or can be seen to be – then the bad cop operates the boogieman and the good cop the protector.

    Even the phrase anti-semitism frames out the word Jewish. Palestinians are semitic.
    Hate can mask in self-righteousness – especially under the cry of victim.
    Victimism is a way of guilting others into sympathy of support as well as justification for exceptionalism. is anti-‘semitism’ a special and more hateful class of racial prejudice than any other?
    People deserve to be treated as people by people.
    People are processed and manipulated and exploited by their fellows in all kinds of ways – with a hierarchical consolidation of the power and the willingness to do so.
    What we cannot freely speak of is an indicator of a power relationship – or rather compliance to dictate.

    Jews are people. Power seeking mafia are people too – regardless their background. But criminal acts bring corresponding consequences – for all of us.
    Give as ye would receive because this is the true power of creation.
    But having been tricked into give false witness, the fact of being deceived will not be recognized. The father of the lie is the wish truth be different than it is and the developing of the ability to make another to take its place.

  10. mark says

    I’m sure the women of Gaza think it’s really “cool” when they are fried by white phosphorous dropped by the Kikenreich’s pink painted bombers supplied completely gratis by the goy taxpayer.

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