Philip Green
4 min readMar 7, 2024


Promises; Promises

Bret Stephens: The bombs falling on Palestinians as a necessary outcome of Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel. Good ol’ Brett.

Israel-Hamas Talks Over Hostage Releases and a Cease-Fire Stall

Officials say Hamas has continued to press Israel for a commitment to a permanent cease-fire after a multistage release of all hostages, but Israel has refused.

I fear I don’t quite get it, Do you know who’s necessarily doing what to whom, and when does it have to end–or not? Moving on:

There’s a history of The Holocaust k by Arno Mayer, titled Why Did the Heavens Not Open?” Well, if you believe in some murderous, child-torturing god, please stop reading now, they do no good, carrying only violence in their wake, too bad they couldn’t get rid of each other…

But to get to the point, How do you measure wrong; or wrongness? You don’t. You can’t. Oh you can say, have you heard of Hiroshima, or Nagasaki? Yes, you reply, have you heard of the Holocaust? You just want to count bodies? Or then are we going to talk about who started it–Japan? You measure the Rape of Nanking against what?

There’s too much, too much, and now it’s all come down to this: everybody, to invent an appropriate song, has raped somebody: Turkey, Serbia, Spain (in how many centuries?), England, Germany, Italy, the Blood Lands, as Timothy Snyder has called them. You can go on and on.

Hamas, yes, October 7, another day that shall live in infamy, hard to keep track of them. Until you start slaughtering them and their children in hospitals: too much. What we all need, all of us, is a no-fault divorce…Let’s try….

It can be done. There’s a movie called, I believe, “The Swimmer;” or The “Swimmers,” something like that. It’s about a group of Syrians, refugees from the butcher of Syria and his Russian bombers, who plan to get across the Mediterranean in a wooden boat, and led by two teen-age girls who are giving up their Olympic-level skill to lead the group across the watery death-trap.

They make it, barely, and then begins a long odyssey through forests and down railroad tracks, always harassed and attacked by Macedonians, or Croatians, or whoever are the savages of the week–always someone there to help out: until after a long and painful trek they come to an opening in the woods and they hear, what, bells? No, this is not a scene from Frank Capra’s classic utopian fantasy “Lost Horizon”…Just wait….

There’s no fence even at this international boundary, really. They turn to each other with disbelieving joy because they know they’re made it, the Promised Land, and there, they are the saviors; they’re carrying bedrolls and blankets and mattresses and [pots and pans full of foodstuffs (it’s not the best cuisine, let’s face it), dozens of them: and the survivors have made it, all those miles and illnesses and drownings; but they are not here. No sir. Trump will make sure of that, not here but there, and it’s there, the land, the people, Das Volk, and some day it will be their Heimat:: Germany! Oh My God–for just a little bit, Arno…

Say What?

The only thing lacking, of course, is She, out of some19th Century popular English novel; how on earth did she learn compassion out of a major in Materialism and Economics in one of the world’s most oppressive societies?

Okay? Or conversely, is it possible to make into a moral stance in–or over–Palestine, without resorting to “Heaven.” Some might expect at this point an appeal to higher values such as Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech–but in fact it is entirely secular: that is, it appeals to promises made by actual historic figures:

“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men — yes, Black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Yes, he thanks “God Almighty,” when black people shall be “free at last,” but that will happen only “when we allow freedom to ring.” Not the totalitarianism of the scum who call themselves Christian nationalists. What can you do?

Damned if I know.

Gaza, who promised what to whom?

Why did they bomb Nagasaki, the most pointless massacre in World history? Yes, it was “they,” wasn’t it?

I had a friend, a colleague, who as a young graduate student worked on the Japanese Constitution, supervised by the unbending General Douglas MacArthur, who abolished rule by Emperor — seems to have worked out pretty well, one of the Planet’s most thriving economies, well ahead even of Vietnam, the one who didn’t make it with the Boat People, stayed behind and started making better products than Venezuelans, in an economic order “ dominated by large state-owned companies, including textiles, plastics, food, furniture, paper, tourism, communications.” Could use some of those, when was the last time you bought a telecommunicator made by a War-winner? Sorry, wrong continent. Try California.

So thank you Bomber Harris, thank you Curtis LeMay, thank you Harry Truman, thank you Claude Etherly, tell us, guys, you and Bret Stephens, ten years from now, where would you rather be living, Dresden, or Ramalah City? Well, Kurt Vonnegut’s not around to give his opinion.

As one to another…Yes it’s true, the Heavens aren’t Opening: Too late, too late. But not too late to eradicate them, as the Israeli General said to the troops, waiting for the bombs to start, we’re going to eradicate them, cheers cheers cheers…tell them like it is.

I was ok in Basic Training, except for bayonet drill, Let it out Private Green, let it fucking out Kill Kill Kill Let it out Let us hear it I said Kill There is no other way Some Do and Some Do Not and you find out maybe decades maybe centuries later–but you will find out….