So we have Israel's mass internment of the Palestinians, denying them water, segregating them to ghettos, destroying their homes, confiscating their property and shooting their children for sport.
Why haven't they simply continued down the path of efficiency, providing Palestinians with seperate, special insignia (there may even still be a few perfectly serviceable ones lying about), recreation and facilities? After all, inside every problem is a solution waiting to be discovered -- and who better than the state of Israel to remember that maxim, right?
Let's not forget their recent jaunt into Lebanon:
"Collateral damage" in Lebanon Israeli troops enjoying a jaunt into Lebanon Rice appreciating the gravity of the situation
as she arrives in Beirut
Having learned all the wrong lessons from the Nazis, the statesmen of Israel are on a self-declared, long-term mission: the wholesale extermination of Arabs and Persians. Photos by Reuters, Associated Press and Agence France Presse show abundant, appalling proof that Israel is indiscriminately cooking Lebanese civilians with phosphorous and other chemical weapons. The photos are further corroborated by French and Belgian doctors in Beirut.
According to the BBC, Israel's air force has admitted to conducting 3000 bombing sorties since the offensive began, displacing nearly a quarter of Lebanon's total population of 3.8 million and utterly destroying the country's civilian infrastructure with nearly completely civilian targets.Moreover, Lebanon is defenseless. It does not possess an air defense system and the Israelis know it. The number of declared targets is staggering....To call Israel's response to the kidnapping of two of its soldiers (as bargaining chips for the estimated 9000 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners it has been holding for years, many of them children) "disproportionate" is an astonishingly ignorant understatement -- at least if the Israeli press are to be believed.
The civilian infrastructure has been destroyed: water, telecommunications, bridges, airports, gas stations, power plants, dairy factories, etc. Confirmed by the British press, in towns and villages across Lebanon, schools and hospitals have been targetted with meticulous accuracy. in an utterly twised logic, the Israeli government has casually blamed Hizbollah for using the schools and hospitals as hideouts or launchpads to wage their terrorist activities. (ABC Australia, interview with Israeli Ambassador to Australia, Nati Tamir, 21 July 2006).
"This is not a war, this is a crisis"
Brutal, shocking videos only begin to convey the scale of the tragedy that has been escalating over the years:
Israeli tanks firing on a reporter interviewing Palestinians gathered for a funeral.
Israeli helicopters strafed two ambulances carrying a Lebanese father and his 12-year-old son. The ambulances had spotlights trained on their red cross markings and were flashing their blue lights.
They have been extensively targeting civilians with indiscriminately deadly cluster and phosphorous bombs (with results like those in the pictures above). Even worse, sources also say Israeli military forces have spent nearly a decade perfecting the most monstrous of weapons: gene-specific bioweapons designed to eradicate Arabs.
Further evidence of Israel's complete moral atrophy came when IDF forces obliterated a U.N. observer post in southern Lebanon with a bomb after shelling it for six hours on Tuesday, killing four international observers from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, in what U.N. chief Kofi Annan called a "deliberate attack":UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon contacted Israeli troops 10 times before an Israeli bomb killed four of them, an initial UN report says.... The post was hit by a precision-guided missile after six hours of shelling, diplomats familiar with the probe say. The UN report says each time the UN contacted Israeli forces, they were assured the firing would stop. A senior Irish soldier working for the UN forces had warned the Israelis six times that their bombardment was endangering the lives of UN staff, Ireland's foreign ministry said....
Had Israel responded to the requests, "rather than deliberately ignoring them", the observers would still be alive, a diplomat familiar with the report said.
Annan said the post had been in existence "for a long time... was marked clearly, and was hit despite assurances from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that U.N. positions would not be attacked."
The precision-guided bomb made a direct hit on the observer post, said Milos Struger, a UN peacekeeping spokesman in Lebanon. As rescue workers tried to clear the rubble, Israeli troops continued firing "...even during the rescue operation," he added.
But according to the head of Israel's northern command, Major General Udi Adam, Israel's just getting warmed up.
Too bad the Bush "Administration" (sic) doesn't give a damn. At least not in any humanitarian sense: Condoleezza Rice personally ran interference on behalf of the PNAC wing of the State Department at the emergency international meeting in Rome.
So what ARE we doing about the situation? Well, worsening it. As Lebanese war refugee Esam Haider (one of 2,000 sheltered in an underground car park after their homes were destroyed by Israeli bombs) expressed it:
"Why does President Bush send billions of dollars of weapons to Israel and hands the Lebanese a few boxes of food and blankets? Is he just trying to fatten us up before he gives Israel bigger bombs to kill us?"
There is, however, a madness to the method; it's once again all in the name of moving some new product, to paraphrase the glib Mr. Card.
Not that Bush will lack support from the "followers of Jesus" among America's religious lunatic fringe; the Machivellian genius of turning Biblical prophecy into a propaganda tool was a Rovian masterstoke that -- prematurely supposing humanity survives -- historians may one day rank alongside the work of Goebbels.
So while purported "progressives" at Daily Kos and elsewhere are waxing knowledgable in taking up the cause of "poor, beset-upon Israel", contentiously siding with the unpopular view to appear possessed of some great, rare insight, promoting a "cause" destined to kill more innocent civilians in the name of conquest is the farthest thing from "progressive". The truth is, whatever insults and injuries Israel has borne after claiming its homeland through years of bloody conquest, it has extracted more than its kiloton of flesh with a disproportionate, ruthless, merciless brutality as morally repugnant as the historically unprecedented savagery of the Assyrians.
From destroying power stations and cutting off water supplies for refugee tent settlements, rolling tanks into the streets and strafing unarmed citizens with Apache helicopters, then rounding up newly-elected government leaders the state of Israel is on a genocidal rampage aimed at once-and-for-all "solving" the "refugee problem" and abetting the US in its myopic quest for political dominance in the Middle East.
Maybe their actions can be partly understood as a pathological nostaligia for the days of the Warsaw ghetto:GAZANS OFTEN call the Gaza Strip their "giant prison." The name reflects the crowded, tense quarters where 1.1 million people live on some 360 kilometers square. The Israeli army surrounds the Strip, preventing Palestinians from leaving the area without special permits that are granted only in emergency situations.But the complex of walls, fences, trenches and electronic surveillance devices Israel has erected around (and conveniently into agriculturally valuable areas of) the West Bank is nothing more than a simple land grab and forced evacuation of indigenous Palestinians, according to the UN.
Even within Gaza's borders, its people are confined. Israel has divided the strip into three zones of Palestinian towns and refugees that are surrounded by Israeli military hardware. Travel between the areas is allowed only at certain times, and at the whims of the Israeli troops manning the checkpoints - very much like prison guards.
If the Gaza Strip is a prison, its solitary confinement area is the agricultural part of Al Mawasi, just west of Khan Younis. Al Mawasi is effectively controlled by settlers and surrounded by the settlement of Gush Katif from the east and the sea from the south. The people of Al Mawasi can neither leave their area nor distribute their agricultural produce except by special permission from the Israeli authorities.
Abu Ibrahim says all this is unbearable and humiliating. "The settler who stole my land enjoys his freedom. But I, the owner of the land, cannot even leave my house without a permit. It is the age of wonders!"
The bottom line is still, as ever, the same: we need to get the Hell out of the colonialism business, particularly in the Middle East, where Israel's "solution" is no solution at all.
Now it looks like Israel's using the latter days of the Bush Presidency to fulfill their final wish - seizing all the territories of the Gaza Strip, and eradicating or chasing out its current inhabitant. If you believe the line that Israel's "just defending itself", unfortunately, you just haven't been told the truth. From the good folks at Adbusters:
Who Is Winning the PR War?
by Sarah Nardi Adbusters.org
Where does defense stop and aggression begin? Where is the line between proportionate retaliation and collective punishment? Is the media telling you what you need to know?
I have Palestinian friends. As an American, this fact places me squarely in the minority. It gives me a touchstone that the average citizen in this country doesn’t have. The average American doesn’t hear firsthand accounts of how frightening, humiliating and miserable life in the West Bank and Gaza can be. Perhaps that’s why the average American is rarely outraged by media coverage of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Let me make one thing clear – by average I don’t mean people of average intelligence or average cultural sensitivity. I don’t mean it as a pejorative. I mean only that most Americans have no contact with those on the Palestinian side of the conflict. When considering media, therefore, most Americans don’t perceive the slant. Watching CNN coverage of the siege with my mother yesterday, I noticed that her face didn’t indicate any anger. I saw sympathy, helplessness – natural responses to a human tragedy on the other side of the globe – but no anger. “Mom,” I demanded, gesturing wildly towards the TV, “do those look like Hamas militants to you?” The CNN anchor was dispassionately describing Israel’s target as Hamas over images of bloodied women and children on stretchers. But for my mother, as for most Americans, the disconnect didn’t seem to register.
I’m not going to argue for the existence of a vast Zionist mechanism conspiring to shape our collective understanding of the conflict. I don’t think we need to elevate the discussion in such alarmist terms to make the point that when it comes to the issue of Israel and Palestine, the mainstream narrative is biased. Consider the opening sentence of today’s New York Times editorial: Israel has the right to defend itself. Who could possibly argue that it doesn’t? The ethically inviolable right to self-defense is a constant refrain – offered time and time again as justification for Israeli military action as well as its unwavering US support. It is also the premise upon which most Western media coverage seems to be built. That Israel is defending itself is a relatively unchallenged assumption in the mainstream narrative. And because it is seen as the defender, Israel cannot logically be perceived as the aggressor.
But consider this fact – the Gaza strip is one of the most densely populated urban tracts in the world – 1.4 million people occupy an area roughly twice the size of Washington D.C. Its borders – land and sea – as well as its airspace, are controlled by Israel. Life in Gaza, as a Palestinian acquaintance related, is like living in an overcrowded prison. “For the news to say that Israel is “targeting” Hamas inside Gaza,” he explained “is like saying they are targeting a particular fish in a barrel full of them.” That it would be impossible for Israel to target individuals without killing scores of innocent civilians is as well-known to the Israeli military as it is to the terrorized citizens of Gaza. But the average American doesn’t know. And they’re certainly not going to get any hints from the mainstream media. “According to Western media, Palestinian civilians are killed only when they’re sheltering militants,” says my acquaintance. “We’re not sheltering anyone. They are among us because we are all trapped here. There is simply nowhere else to be.”
Where does defense stop and aggression begin? Where is the line between proportionate retaliation and collective punishment? These are questions for the media, mainstream and otherwise, to be aggressively exploring as they relate to this conflict. If the last eight years have taught us anything, its that when the media fails to be a vigilant, objective seeker of truth, dangerous disinformation is disseminated quickly and widely. Here, as it has so often in the past, I fear the media isn’t giving us the full story…and we’re not paying enough attention to ask. What do you think?
Quote of the Day:
"I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again."
-- 15-year-old Anne Frank, before being taken to her death in the Nazi concentration camps