"Occupation has cost Israel dear, says report". Occupation and colonialism, it is so easy to get wound up about these terms that sometimes we forget their true meaning, grounded firmly in the language of greed and the accumulation of capital, hence power. There is no concern for the immorality of occupation, in fact that is not even considered. Occupation is simply a label for an account which is judged based on it's profitability. Here, an Israeli report laments the holding back of the Israeli economy as a result of the prolonged conflict and continuing occupation. I read this just after finishing an interesting conversation where I had argued that Barack Obama is in fact the last person I would hope for, if I even cared enough, to lead the United States. The hardline McCain is ostensibly presented as a bigger disaster than Bush and one who would continue his aggression. Not so, I said, for the United States is being defeated on every front in the Middle East and is economically and militarily being bled dry. That conversation got me thinking. Like the Roman legions under Crassus or Varus, it is the folly of the rulers beating the drums on an inevitable march to defeat which determines the outcome of battles. Arrogant, pompous and still convinced they are superior to the 'natives', both Israel and the United States continue their march of folly, which will have a far more serious impact on them than they think is conceivable. A change in the leadership of both countries with more intelligent rulers might be a good idea in the short run, but in the long term threatens most people in the non-capitalist core with a more strangling and efficient form of neo-colonialism and gunboat diplomacy. What I don't like about Barack is that he is aware of America's shortcomings, he is charismatic and he could help America lick it's wounds and come back to our countries stronger than before, should he manage to extricate his army from Iraq. I feel extremely uncomfortable saying this, out of profound reverence to both the Palestinian and the Iraqi people, but I ask humbly, is there a case for continuing the occupation?