Sunday, January 4, 2009

Eyeless in Gaza

Palestinians carry the body of 4-year-old Lama Hamdan during her funeral in the town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Mohammed Saber / EPA

George W. Bush and the entire State Department has been either willfully or legitimately blind to virtually every crisis beyond our shores (not that he's been any more blessedly sighted in dealing with domestic crises). So it's not surprising that Bush is turning a willfully blind and jaundiced eye to the humanitarian crisis going on in the Gaza strip.

The disinformation campaign waged by both Israel and the United States, both acting in defiance of a UN Security Council resolution that would impose a cease-fire between both Palestine and Israel, is one that would do Joseph Goebbels proud. So far the carnage has been hideously disproportionate: 100 to 1. 400 Palestinian dead compared to 4 Israeli dead. The United States' deeply-involved non-involvement merely continues a proud, longstanding right wing tradition of opposition to the UN that had laid down its roots long before Resolution 1441.

Now, as then, the United States championed a brutal invasion and occupation of a smaller, weaker nation on the pretense that it has more dangerous weapons than it actually had. The only difference is this time, we're not fighting a proxy war for Israel.

And in neither time was there even the slightest concern for the civilian casualties that would inevitably arise, lives that even the smartest of laser-guided smart bombs with all their hi-tech humanity can't even spare.

There's hardly been a word raised implicating the equally dysfunctional and corrupt government of Hosni Mubarek's Egyptian government, one with an admirable intelligence gathering apparatus that could have easily stopped the flow of arms coming into the Gaza strip and into the waiting hands of Hamas militants. Of course, there's a reason for this: Egypt has long considered Palestine, the PLO and Hamas as willing allies in the war of terror being waged by the state of Israel. Now that hostility has broken out with no end in sight, Egypt is essentially staying as far above the fray we are, saying in essence, "You're on your own."

To put it mildly, Israel is far from blameless in this matter. While it's never been definitively ascertained who fired the first rockets, one fact is obvious: Israel possesses a clear advantage both tactically and militarily, with the support of the United States (if no one else). That puts them in the catbird seat that could allow them to dictate their terms of a Hamas surrender or any other diplomatic solution.

Instead, we're seeing the brutal extermination of a people that briefly brings to mind the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan from 29 years ago that saw the murder, maiming and displacement of a full third of their population. We're hearing bleats from Israel that contemptibly sound like the abuser whining about being abused as a child. With the kind of supreme irony that only a wide palette of geopolitical history can offer, Israel in their flashbacks of the Holocaust has become akin to the Nazi party.

And it's only fitting that George W. Bush, in the last fortnight of his stupendously corrupt, illegitimate and hermetic "presidency", remains as blind to the plight of the Palestinians as he's been blind to every other crisis of the last eight years in refusing to recognize the "legitimate" Palestinian government, the minority Fatah party that the people of Palestine largely voted out.

It's a shameless trampling of human rights and of the Middle Eastern democracy that was one of our rationales for invading Iraq, a fitting end to a murderous, callous administration in which democracy was always contemptuously trumped in favor of right wing ideology.


At January 4, 2009 at 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So,let me get this straight....its all Bush's fault?

O.K.then,thats cleared up.

At January 4, 2009 at 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a beeter solution would be to let Israelis form neighborhood rocketry clubs in Ashkelon and other areas that are subject to occasional shelling from the underpowered and inaccurate Palestinian Qassams.

I mean, those things have the explosive force of a hand grenade, and they land anywhere and everywhere, but usually in the middle of nowhere. They're home-made pieces of shit cranked out by amateurs in workshops in a country that's blockaded from getting the really good stuff.

Surely high-skilled Isaraelis, amongst whom are engineers with good tools and access to all sorts of chemicals, could do better. I say the government should authorize them to fire, let's say TWO rockets back for every one that lands in their neighborhood. The rockets would have to be designed, built and launched by the club, with no professional assistance from military manufacturers. They'd have to be made from materials that are available on the open market in Israel, including the explosives. But I'm sure the Israelis could cook up some wicked stuff!

Then, if something nasty landed in the territory designated for your local rocket club, you would be licensed to shoot back the authorized number of response rockets. Clubs would undoubtedly have a stockpile ready, and people could scramble like volunteer "fire" departments to launch quickly for an emotionally satisfying rapid response. They could be aimed at whetever target the Israelis' anger and morality allowed.

There you would have it -- Israelis would get to feel like they're fucking the bastards right back with their own hands, Palestinians would see there are negative consequences to their actions, and the world would not be aghast at the unjustified slaughter that the Zionazis are doing now. I tell ya, the world would be a much better, and more twistedly amusing, place if I was running things.

At January 5, 2009 at 3:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's going on in Gaza is apartheid-clear and simple. I've noticed a lot of the so called progressive bloggers ain't touching this at all.Sad,considering there's more opposing views of official Israeli policy published within Israel than in the U.S. Folks must keep in mind,the Israeli lobby was a big factor into our clusterfuck in Iraq. We really need to stop sending Israel billions and blindly supporting their actions to the detriment of-not only the U.S.-- But for all involved.

At January 5, 2009 at 7:21 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Last Anon:

Yeah, you noticed that, too, huh? Hardly any of us are touching this as if it's radioactive. Certainly, the A list blogs aren't commenting. It's as if they, too, are cowed by AIPAC. Once again, I feel as if I'm alone in this. I read in the news today that Israel killed 7 Palestinian children and it's all regrettable collateral damage, nothing more. It's southern Lebanon all over again.

And it doesn't look as if that'll change at all when Obama comes in.


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