Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Iraq War Did Not Take Place?

I think it was Baudrillard who said the first Gulf War did not take place. Well I think it's my contention that the current Gulf War isn't really a war, but that it's some kind of post-modern, international atonement ritual. An attempt on the macro-level to revive the primitive schemes and forms of collective/mob murder. It was an attempt to restore confidence in the voice of the mob. Anyway, I came across this today, I think the remarks of right-wing pundit Dick Morris are relevant to our discussions on the atonement and scapegoating. Mr. Morris asserts,
MORRIS: I think that withdrawal from Iraq — it obviously gives al Qaeda a huge victory. Huge victory. On the other hand, if we stay in Iraq, it gives them the opportunity to kill more Americans, which they really like.

One of the things, though, that I think the antiwar crowd has not considered is that, if we’re putting the Americans right within their arms’ reach, they don’t have to come to Wall Street to kill Americans. They don’t have to knock down the trade center. They can do it around the corner, and convenience is a big factor when you’re a terrorist.
There it is the atonement theme of someone else supposedly dying for us, dying so that we don't have to, regardless of whether paranoia/lies form the basis of the belief in the supposed need for the sacrifice.

Richard Koenigsberg has been doing some great work re the sources of war and genocide.

In the atonement ritual are two goats. One goat which was Azazel, somehow synonymous with evil/Satan/the Devil, was led outside the city of the walls and thrown over a cliff. The other goat which was Yahweh was killed in front of the people and the blood brought into the temple to repair creation and bind the people together and cover the people from the violence of other members of the community.

So in the Iraq war we have two sets of people, two sacrificial classes. The first class is comprised of the Iraqi people. They, from the perspective of the persecutors in the ritual, correspond to the Azazel goat, they represent evil and are unceremoniously killed outside the camp. All sin is laid on the Azazel goat, making us into innocents.

This is all from the American perspective. The Yahweh goat corresponds to the American soldiers. From Koenigsberg,
According to Marvin, “The community celebrates and reveres its insiders turned outsiders. From within the boundaries, the community fears and worships these outsiders it consumes to preserve its life.” Soldiers are celebrated, revered and worshipped because they (like Christ) take the sacrificial burden upon themselves. They are the designated victims who are required to suffer—and perhaps to die—for other members of the group. The soldier is an “insider turned outsider,” member of the community who has been thrust outward from within the nation’s boundaries in order to do battle over there—on foreign soil.
He asserts that we delegate the execution of our soldiers to our enemies.
War as a unifier of the national community works best when people are able to avert their eyes from the sight of the victims; when they don’t have to look closely at what happens to the bodies of soldiers. People enjoy the idea of war, but would prefer to participate at a distance. They would rather not see the maimed bodies. Sight of a soldier’s mutilated body drains warfare of its glory.
Jesus in the Gospels represents both goats in the atonement. He is Yahweh who is killed in front of the people, but He is also the Azazel goat which is led outside the walls carrying the sins of the people, carrying the violence and dissension of the people and thrown over the cliff. The Yahweh goat is a substitute for the High Priest who also represents Yahweh. The goat is a substitute for the High Priest, so the High Priest can be resurrected in the Holy of Holies and walk out of the temple raised from the dead. The atonement ritual is a unifier, it disguises the violence done to Yahweh and the scapegoat. Jesus making the ritual come alive in history shows that it is the mob that is actually killing the Yahweh goat which is the substitute for the High Priest.

1 comment:

robert said...

Actually the goat was not Azazel, but was being sent to placate Azazel (Satan). In the original ritual the goat was not killed. It was only after the Jews began backsliding that they began throwing the goat off the cliff.