I wake up in the morning and I think to myself, “today I’m going to read about something other than the situation in Gaza”. I try, I really do, but nothing else interests me right now. Obama will be taking office in ten days and all I can think about is whether or not he’ll have the courage to take a stance against the genocide. There’s this whole thing in the Senate with Al Franken and this Burress guy, but I know that neither of them will take office and speak up about the situation, so I don’t care enough to really follow it. Inevitably I end up staring at a screen with pictures of dead children or emancipated women lying in the middle of a destroyed street.
Every morning I wake up hoping that the bombardment will be over and every morning I am sorely disappointed. I don’t understand the goals of the Israeli/US government; can it really be to wipe out terrorism? If it were, would they be bombing random people with illegal weapons? Even if their intentions are respectable, how far are they willing to go? It seems to me like their goal is to completely wipe out the population of Palestine, or to see how far they can go before another country finally decides to stand up and do what’s right. First, they dropped bombs onto random buildings that they had heard might possibly be near where a (Israeli defined) terrorist once visited, then they started sending in ground troops to more easily wipe out as many people as needed, now – according to notices dropped by the Israeli Defense Force they officially have plans to increase the ground actions. According to Haaretz:
“The notice says Israel is about to begin a ‘new phase in the war on terror.’ It says it will ‘escalate’ an operation that already has killed more than 800 Palestinians.”
I have trouble imagining how to increase something that is already using illegal weapons to commit genocide. Are they talking about some kind of final solution? When is someone going to step up and say, ‘enough is enough’? When will the majority of Israelis finally snap out of whatever paranoid state they are living in and demand that this stop being done in their name? When will my fellow USers realize that this is not just something that’s going on halfway around the world? This is something that’s almost completely funded with money and weaponry supplied by our country with our tax dollars, and only we can end it.
A common argument I hear from war defenders is one of the same ones I heard during the beginning of the Iraq war- it’s not our army’s fault that civilians are dying; it’s because these crazy militants are hiding among the citizens. Chris Floyd points out today that this argument is complete malarkey; where else are they supposed to live? Maybe they should have special forts outside of where all the civilians stay- oh wait, no one has been allowed to leave or enter the Gaza strip for months.
“Taking cover among civilians.” This is a curious locution. When you launch missiles to kill the democratically elected officials of a government — especially when you target their private homes — where else do you expect to find them? Gaza is a giant, open-air prison which no one can leave and where, as the story notes, 1.4 million people live in densely-packed urban areas and refugee camps. Where else are the “Hamas militants” supposed to exist in this seething sardine tin except “among civilians”? Naturally, it would be far more convenient if every member of Hamas — including, again, the democratically elected officials of the government — painted themselves bright red and gathered in, say, a soccer stadium, where Israel could then drop bombs on them with no muss, no fuss. But we are dealing with the real world, where human beings of every description, profession, ideology and belief must of necessity live and work in close proximity to one another — especially in the reconstruction of the Warsaw Ghetto that is Gaza today.
It does make it complicated when militants look and dress just like other members of a city, but in a way Israel is forcing this situation. Normally, in a war situation people who are not involved in the fighting and are seriously afraid for their lives flee. They go to other cities in their country or they head for the nearest border and form makeshift refugee camps. During the Democratic National Convention this year, there was a protest that was happening on the streets of Denver. The police decided that they were going to break it up, so they cornered dozens and dozens of people. They didn’t individually pick out the people protesting and arrest them; instead they made anyone who happened to be in the area – protestors or civilians – back into a corner. The police then randomly and indiscriminately fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd because they wouldn’t disperse. A 12 year old girl was arrested, a dog was shot by a rubber bullet, and an 80 year old woman was hit with some tear gas, but hey, that’s what happens when random people allow a group of terrorist protestors to blend in with them. This is the same tactic being used by the IDF- the do not allow the population to leave the strip and then kill everyone because they population didn’t leave the strip- the perfect excuse for genocide.
Two more quick things- first of all, it has been confirmed that the Israeli’s are using White Phosphorous, which is banned in use against civilians.
The Times has identified stockpiles of white phosphorus (WP) shells from high-resolution images taken of Israel Defence Forces (IDF) artillery units on the Israeli-Gaza border this week. The pale blue 155mm rounds are clearly marked with the designation M825A1, an American-made WP munition. The shell is an improved version with a more limited dispersion of the phosphorus, which ignites on contact with oxygen, and is being used by the Israeli gunners to create a smoke screen on the ground.
The rounds, which explode into a shower of burning white streaks, were first identified by The Times at the weekend when they were fired over Gaza at the start of Israel’s ground offensive. Artillery experts said that the Israeli troops would be in trouble if they were banned from using WP because it is the simplest way of creating smoke to protect them from enemy fire.
The IDF has to use an illegal weapon, which can literally burn the skin off of its victims (most of whom are innocent civilians) because it provides a nice smoke screen. Notice also that these illegal weapons were given to the IDF by the good old United States of America- paid for with YOUR tax dollars.
This brings me to my final point- there are protests, rallies, speeches, and discussions going on across the country each and every day. I suggest that everyone get off of the fence- if you read these articles and see these pictures and get angry or think it is unfair, then attend something in your town and find out what you can do. If you think that Israel is right and only defending herself, then go to a rally and start a conversation, do a little bit of learning.