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James Campion

'Peace processes in the desert are as perfunctory as mirages...'

"Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion--several of them. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven." - Mark Twain

I have been on the road for more or less this entire spring promoting and discussing my new book, "Trailing Jesus", and because several people are terrified about speaking too deeply on the subject, and because the fanatical culture goons have escalated their daily mutilations in Israel, my publicists have decided it would be a good idea to get me on the radio and in the newspapers and in the bookstores talking about Strife in the Middle East.
Sure, why not? Campion was nuts enough to visit a war zone to chase ghosts while holed up in the desert frantically taking notes on the back of Palestinian propaganda sheets and cocktail napkins from the King David Hotel; why don’t we crank up his acid tongue and have him chime in on the matter?
That’s entertainment.

Yes, this is why some weeks back a blathering simpleton from CNN radio had me follow up his ten-minute monologue on the merits of another peace process, neatly entitled "A Roadmap to Peace" or some such insipid nonsense, with a dose of the old Reality Check.
That’s when I whipped out my Twain Quotables and dove in for some fine wisecracking country wisdom. Because if there is one thing Mrs. Clemens’ baby boy knew something about, it was the madness of the human psyche and its most lethal crutch, religious fanaticism; religious fanaticism with a smattering of world-weary providence.
You want to hear the palpable results of unloading a taste of Twain on an unwitting talk show host: Welcome to the silence of the stunned.
"But Mr. Campion, there is more hope now than ever before," the poor bastard stammered after the engineer repeatedly screamed at him to say anything to fill the dead air.
"Hope is a concept for the grotesquely rich Hollywood types and dumb struck southern senators who have the luxury of getting their morning paper without losing limbs," I said.
More silence. "But would you have us stand by and watch these people kill each other?"
"I didn’t realize I was speaking to an us."
"Would you have the world sit idly by and watch the parade of death and destruction?"
"In a perfect world perhaps the forty-seventh peace process will stick when motivated by the same tired rhetoric and photo ops, but in the one we’re forced to work in, it isn’t really making the grade, is it?"
"But..." Blah. Blah. Blah.

I will now write down for posterity what I told that lovable CNN jackass two weeks ago, and every kind and hearty soul who meandered out to hear me speak on matters of metaphysical mayhem and applesauce for the past weeks, and that is whatever politics and debate and carefully worded rhetoric has come down the pike in new and improved packaging, the fact still remains, peace in the region is futile.
Unless those involved are willing to let go of their eons of religious and cultural madness about whatever God promised to what sibling of Abraham and what is the birthright of generations of dead soldiers for Allah and Yahweh.
And we all know this is not going to happen.
See? Futile.

Peace processes in the desert are as perfunctory as mirages for those not used to the heat descending from the vast unwavering landscape before them. People not used to being inside of a desert, or who have not lived with the kind of lunacy that passes for righteousness in Israel right now, cannot begin to pontificate on peace or political compromises.
This is not, nor has it EVER been about politics. It is not about sovereignty either. If so, matters should have been settled in 1967.

What no one wants to admit is that the playing field is fixed for a result of total annihilation or bust. And certainly no one - and I cannot stress this enough - no one that is not part of some freedom-fighting plan on the West Bank or treaty wrangling in the Israeli government cares who is victorious.

That is something I can tell you first hand, something I have broached in this space before. People - not ideologies or governments or religions - people, who just want to send their kids off to school without gas masks or their husbands off to the office without a flap jacket or head down to the local grocery for dinner without the very real possibility that they will die, simply want to live. Not for God or country, just live for what is: a possibly vibrant and relatively safe life with friends, family and loved ones.

I know this because I spoke to these people, Jew, Christian, Arab, Armenian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Atheist. They’re out there. Many are the victims of this circle of savagery that will continue long after those who read this, and the caustic jerk who is writing it, will be dust. And that is why promoting a book about finding the real Jesus among the reams of drivel written and perpetuated in his name for centuries, and talking about peace processes enacted by countries and armies and politicians is as insane as the person failing again and again with the same action and expecting a different result.
Insanity personified.

There will soon come a time to put down the flags and the religious garb and the Torah and the Qu’ran and begin talking to each other as people, real people, not factions of cultures that were purportedly promised land by pie-in-the-sky concepts dreamed up by patriarchal con artists. Either that, or I hope those left standing after the final carnage will have won something for the correct God.
Until then, enjoy your sideshow to reality.
I abstain.

© James Campion June 20th 2003

TitleTown USA
James on Sports


Previously on Hackwriters by James Campion

ISRAEL - Blinded by the light?

Elton Brand

Feedback to James Campion articles

Battleline America
ABC News
Dick Cheyney

Parenting in a predatory world
Blamegame - The FB! knew
More Feedback from Readers May02
God On my Left

Reader's Feedback3
September 02
'Going back to the USSR'

Standoff in Washington
All Together Now - Recession

'You know what the Axis of Evil is?
Money. Money. Money.'


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