Disgust: My Government’s Support for Israel

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

Disgust is the word today that captures my feelings about the actions of “my” government. Disgust at facilitating and defending the Israeli genocide in Gaza, as casualties among Palestinians soar above 100,000. Disgust that Congress only clamors for more billions for Israel ($14 billion in the Biden administration’s bill; $17 billion in the alternate bill from the House Speaker) to enable more killing. Disgust at the strenuous efforts being exerted to get $61 billion in more weapons and aid to Ukraine while denying any oversight over or insight into how that money is spent. Disgust at the government seeking more billions to arm Taiwan, possibly stirring up a hornet’s nest of trouble with China. Disgust at constant fear-mongering about Russia hacking the 2024 presidential election, as if that “threat,” such as it is, can’t be countered and contained. Disgust.

My parents must have loved me …

To think that as a boy I stuck American flag stickers all over the house, including on the entry door and the washing machine, which must have just thrilled my parents, though I can’t recall them punishing me for it. To think that I saluted the flag innumerable times while standing at attention in uniform while serving in the military for twenty years.

Here’s the thing. I’m not disgusted at America. I’m not disgusted with Americans. I meet people every day who are kind, helpful, and generous, from the nurse who took my blood pressure this morning to the postman who delivered my mail and waved to me this afternoon since I happened to be outside when he came. Americans, generally speaking, are decent people. But there’s something seriously wrong with the U.S. government and its owners and donors, who are basically unaccountable to the rest of us.

Disgust is my prevailing emotion. So I write about it, I speak about it. I could do more, much more, but I suppose I am too risk-averse, too reluctant to act in a disobedient way to prevailing authority. So, in a way, I am part of the problem as well.

I am perplexed at how my fellow Americans can keep voting for men like Biden and Trump. Or any of the “usual suspects” who occupy Congress. Nothing will change for the better if we keep electing the same corrupt no-accounts. Why do we persist in such folly?

I suppose Senor Airman Aaron Bushnell couldn’t take it anymore. He was so disgusted, so demoralized, so damaged, by what he was witnessing in Gaza that he burnt himself alive in front of the Israeli embassy, crying out against genocide and for a free Palestine. When not ignoring his sacrifice, the mainstream media has been busy dismissing him as a radical anarchist raised within a religious cult. He was no “radical.” His “cult” was a devoted Christian community.

Aaron Bushnell, a brave and principled young man, sacrificed himself to draw attention to an ongoing crime against humanity. And so I feel more disgust when I see how his sacrifice is being twisted, when it’s addressed at all, by media sites in America.

Disgust. It’s not enough, I know. But I think when we open our eyes and truly seek hard truths, and truly see them for what they are, maybe then we can begin to move the needle in a better direction.

As a reader here says, hope is not a plan. But hope can sustain us as we come together to make a plan. A plan for a better America, one that isn’t constantly fear-mongering and warmongering, whether here or abroad.

A new America that might make me proud to slap a sticker of the flag on my door, as I did with such innocence a half-century ago on a door now long gone …

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools. He writes at Bracing Views.

10 thoughts on “Disgust: My Government’s Support for Israel”

  1. It’s Zionism. We must De-Zionize our institutions. Simply changing the official spokesperson of the ruling classes (e.g. Politicians) does no good. We have to reform our institutions from academia to healthcare and government. It all has to be divorced from the racist extremist ideology that is Zionism. UN Resolution 3379 declared Zionism to be racism decades ago. Time to act on it.

    1. Because of the fears of communism, there was a dangerous push in the U.S. in the direction of Fascism. It culminated in the attempted coup of the Roosevelt administration. Thank G-d for the patriot, Maj. General Smedley Butler, for his endeavor to stop that madness. My G-d, we need men like him today.

  2. “Why do we persist in such folly?” Because Americans are “educated” to be corporate serfs and geopolitical morons. Zionism could never have made a dent in a nation of rational truly educated people.

  3. I feel the same way about America as William J Astore. The US says it sets the standards for democracy. It gives Israel endless, needless military and economic aid despite its human rights violations against Palestinians and its genocide in Gaza and Israel is not even a Developing Nation. That’s another reason it should not get aid.
    The USA meddles in other nations’ affairs but so many people say Russia rigged the 2016 Election in Trump’s favor and before the election, Hillary Clinton said Russia would rig the Democratic Primary in Tulsi Gabbard’s favor, Clinton won the primary.
    The war in Ukraine and Gaza are the USA’s and Israel’s faults, no matter what the Media says.
    Ukraine is a dictatorship that persecutes its Russian Speaking Regions, no matter what the Media says. The USA sees itself as the Center Of The Universe, that’s why it causes tension with Russia and China.

  4. More disgusting is the Biden’s administration cowardness that reduces the US to begging for to be allowed to air drop pathetically and insulting insufficient food packages to the geoncided , starving, and dying people of Gaza.

  5. Israel approved the building of 3,600 Israeli homes in a new West Bank settlement. The announcement came just days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared the settlements were inconsistent with international law. Tel Aviv routinely ignores Washington’s requests to curtail its oppressive treatment of Palestinians without an impact on the billions in aid the US provides to Israel each year.

    In addition to building new Jewish homes, Tel Aviv has also been destroying Palestinian homes. Israel has destroyed nearly 100 Palestinian homes since October 7—Tel Aviv bills Palestinians for the cost of destroying their homes.


  6. Mr. Astore is a great writer who always captures the mood of the moment. Americans are disgusted and demoralized. People are decent but feeling powerless as our society becomes more authoritarian, dystopic and barbaric. We have to realize that common Americans have the power and unite for a moral society and stop letting ourselves be propagandized and controlled by our elite.

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