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Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Civil & Human Rights : International Relations : Palestine : Peace : Prisons : Protest Activity : War

More Invasions Against Violence

The US and Israel are willing to grasp onto even the silliest excuses for invading and occupying new areas. To be aired on MW 88.

Serious current events prompt me to delay the conclusion of the summer satire series. Israel has invaded and re-occupied Northern Gaza and abducted dozens of Palestinian government representatives, all supposedly because one Israeli military officer remains missing and the democratically elected Hamas government refuses to unilaterally "renounce violence." It is uncertain if Hamas is even capable of arranging the release of this soldier by whatever faction is holding him. Yet 40 Palestinians have already been killed in this military action, and that could be just the beginning.

This is the sort of fairness and justice a prison warden inflicts on his inmates. As former Israeli prime minister Bibi Netanyahu once said, the source of terror is hope. The Israeli government sees peace as the fruition of absolute military domination and imprisonment of the Palestinians, where the Palestinian people are expected to lose all hope that they can ever have any rights, self-rule, or future not subject to Israel's veto.

The prison metaphor is not hyperbole. Here in the US, I've met only about 30 people who like myself have been arrested and held indefinitely simply for walking down the street or participating in a peaceful protest. Yet in the lifetime of a typical Palestinian, they may only ever meet about 30 people who have not experienced this for themselves. Due to the maze of concrete walls, razor wire, and Israeli checkpoints throughout Palestinian territory, many spend their entire lives within 10 miles of where they were born. Collective punishment, indefinite detention, racist home demolition, and assassination of Palestinian leaders are Israel's standard policies and daily atrocities that much of the world community never hears about or chooses to ignore.

And that's not even the only recent military invasion we've been told is against violence and "to ensure that those already killed (for a lie) didn't die in vain."

US troops have just launched an assault on the vast Shiite slum of Sadr city in Baghdad, supposedly just to capture an "insurgent" named Abu Diraa, a commander in Iraq's largest Shiite militia. Since Sadr's party is an important part of the Iraqi government, remind me again exactly who are the freedom fighters and who is fighting to destroy freedom? Saying "insurgent" implies that mostly foreign agitators are trying to destabilize the "legitimate" Iraqi government. Yet the fact is, the Iraqi resistance to US occupation is popular and native, and there's nothing legitimate about an "Iraqi" government who's every policy is subject to American veto.

About 3/4 of the Iraqi resistance just promised to stop fighting if the US would commit to withdraw from Iraq in 2 years. Even though setting some sort of a timetable for US withdrawal is supported by the Iraqi people, many US lawmakers, and 2/3 of the American population, the puppets in Baghdad and Washington insist we can't be sure Iraq's (proxy US) army will be ready to take over for us by then, so "no deal." Once again, absolute military domination is presented as the only acceptable peace, where US plutocrats plan to dictate the economic policies needed to finance their continued global rule into the future.

This is the real cause for which over 2500 US soldiers and countless Iraqis have already died.

The Dead Soldier Card

On July 4th, President Bush promised the nation's men and women in uniform he would not allow "the sacrifice of 2,527 troops who have died in Iraq to be in vain by pulling out before the job is done."

I bet some Nixon administration official said something similar at 2,500, 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, 30,000, and 45,000 US casualties in Indochina. On January 23, 1973, Richard Nixon delivered a speech where he said, "…I would like to say a word to some of the bravest people I have ever met-the wives, the children, the families of our prisoners of war and the missing in action. When others called on us to settle on any terms, you had the courage to stand for the right kind of peace so that those who died and those who suffered would not have died and suffered in vain, and so that, where this generation knew war, the next generation would know peace."

We have not known peace, just the same old tired rhetoric used to justify endless wars when the latest ghastly policies obliterate all the ideals that supposedly brought us to that point.

Both Sides of the Story

Career politicians stage high drama between nearly identical strategies of empire that we are supposed to get behind and debate with a misplaced sense of gravity. It's the politics of yelling "liar liar!," "scardy-cat" and "momma's boy," except the sandbox for these choir boys is the Middle East, where we show our "do as I say, not as I do" and "shock at gambling at Rick's Cafe" attitudes towards WMD.

We're supposed to seriously believe they've actually found the massive stockpiles of illegal weapons poised to destroy the American way of life and addiction to consumption. All we had to do was look at the receipt. Consecutive US presidents kept sending that dictator military resources, including chemical weapons stocks, for year after year. The CIA had earlier overthrown the inadequately pliant Mosadegh democracy in Iraq.

Yet somehow the highly educated Iraqi people will forget all that so we can win their "hearts and minds," and get our troops the hell out of harm's way. We'll just compensate with massive aerial bombardment to reduce US casualties and pacify the American voters and the Iraqi countryside into accepting as inevitable permanent US military occupation. What a relief some decaying old remnants of chemical weapons were found in Iraq, just in time for us to permanently forget the professed ideals behind "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and "Operation Iraqi Liberation." Their purpose is long expired, like the latest (but certainly not last) strongman ruling Iraq.

A look at all possible outcomes in Iraq can only overwhelm us with the enduring stench of the allegedly "Republican" and "Democratic" parties. The flagrant inability of Congress to check and balance the power of our "president" shows that our global policy karma has come home, and we've witnessed a silent military coup to place another strongman to rule us all.

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More Offensive Self-Defense

Amid public outrage at Israel's massive killing of civilians in Lebanon, US ambassador to the UN John Bolton has stated that there is "no moral equivalence" between Hezbollah's "terrorist" rocket attacks into Israel and Israel's massive bombardment of Lebanon, and of course he's right.

Hezbollah fights mostly with primitive, homemade rockets, and has killed a few Israelis, half of them soldiers. Israel weilds the latest in precision weapons supplied by the US, and has killed hundreds of Lebanese (84 percent of whom were civilians and a third of whom were children) and done two billion dollars in damage to Lebanon's civilian infrastructure (
00779e2340.html ).

The razor-fine distinction that we are expected to use to justify this mass slaughter of the innocent is that we are to imagine Israel's agression is really just self defense, while Hezbollah, which was formed to resist Israel's policy of occupying Lebanon and Palestine, is
simply engaging in random, mindless violence. International law states that violent resistance to military occupation is justified. US law states that military aid to Israel is not to be used to target civilians ( ) and is not to be given to states that violate human rights, which the US State Department confirms includes Israel ( ). Yet the US media uncritically echos Bush claims that Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran are the agressors in this conflict, and that the only path to peace starts with their absolute surrender and disarmament.

Israel and its US mouthpieces ( ) insist that it can't negotiate with "terrorists," yet the captors of Israeli soldiers are clearly eager to organize trades for the release of some of the thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese political prisoners Israel continues to hold indefinitely.

The basic issue here is that the US and its client state Israel are pretending to try to protect themselves while actually engaging in
nationalist objectives and conquest. They've been hoping for an excuse for this for a long time. They are blowing up hundreds of Lebanese
civilians for the "crime" of failing to force their government to start and lose a civil war with Hezbollah. Israel demands that Lebanon
destroy Hezbollah on its behalf. If the Lebanese aren't doing enough to stop Hezbollah, then the American people certainly aren't yet doing enough to make their leaders make Israel's leaders stop warmongering on our behalf.

- To be aired on MW89

They Made Me Kill the Civilians

A common recent refrain from Israel's justifiers is that their continuous bombing throughout Lebanon and its resulting killing of hundreds of civilians warrants some hand-wringing, but is in no way Israel's fault. They propose that the location of Hezbollah's offices in urban areas amounts to using the civilian population of Lebanon as "human shields."

Hezbollah is an official political party in Lebanon's government, and runs social programs in addition to its military activities. It's purpose includes representing and serving the civilian population. Yet we are to somehow take seriously the idea that Hezbollah should have anticipated Israel's desire to blow them up, disbanded their political and social programs, and walked out into the desert to be "honorably" and conveniently blown up by the Israeli
air force. Of course, that is the root of the problem Israel has with the Arabs; Some of them fail to do exactly what they're ordered to by Israel, so they need to be forced off their land, imprisoned, and/or killed.

However, Israel itself has policies that amount to using its population as human shields. Tax breaks and other incentives encourage more and more Jewish settlers to occupy arab land, necessitating their protection by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Mandatory conscription in Israel seeks to militarize and propagandize the entire Israeli population, making nearly every citizen a soldier in reserve. Some might argue that random acts of violence against Israel can
hardly fail to hit a military target of some form.

They use the word "terrorist" to turn off our brains and justify every excess and atrocity as the fault of those people being exterminated. What will Israel have to do for the world to say it has gone too far? By Israel's current arguments, starting their own Holocaust against the Arabs can be justified. What actual limits exist for a country that can get away with invading another in the name of self defense?
For all we know, it may have already begun.
- Steve D

Spin, spin, spin

Hezbollah differs from the other terrorist organizations given to its top-rated intelligence network. With over 15,000 operatives dispersed worldwide, an annual operating budget in excess of $200 million ($100 million from Iran alone), and functioning cells in North America, Canada, Europe, Asia, South America, Central America and Africa, the organization poses a tremendous threat to all of us. Unlike Al Qaeda, Hezbollah has been training for decades to do us grievous harm.

This is hardly "grassroots"

NICOSIA - Iranian analysts and officials said Hizbullah has performed beyond
expectations in its military campaign. Despite massive Israeli air strikes,
Hizbullah maintained rocket fire that struck virtually every major community
and military base in northern Israel.

"I think that Hizbullah, by undertaking this heroic attack, has confused and
embarrassed Israel," said Mohammad Shariati, a former adviser to the Iranian
president. "It also caused some disorder in the Israeli military plans for
the entire area."

On July 18, the London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat daily reported that Iran sent
its foreign minister to Syria after a European country alerted Teheran that
Israel intended to assassinate Hizbullah leaders. The newspaper said Iranian
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged Hizbullah to reduce rocket fire
and consider a release of two Israeli soldiers captured by the
Iranian-sponsored Shi'ite militia on July 12.

The analysts acknowledged that Hizbullah has been aided by the Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps in both tactics and strategy. IRGC has been
helping Hizbullah operate such weapons as the Faj -3, Fajr-4 and Zelzal-1
rockets as well as the Chinese-origin C-802 cruise missiles. Since July 12,
Hizbullah fired about 1,500 rockets and missiles into Israel.

"The towns you have built in northern Palestine [Israel] are within the
range of the brave Lebanese children," Iranian parliamentary speaker Gholam
Ali Haddad Adel told an anti-Israeli rally in Teheran on July 18. "No part
of Israel will be safe."

Hizbullah has also been responsible for tactical decisions, including force
protection, target selection and rocket fire. During the past five years
Hizbullah gathered a tremendous amount of intelligence on Israel's military
that enhanced current rocket strikes from Lebanon.

An Iranian military source told the London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat that the
IRGC established Hizbullah missile units and trained more than 3,000
Hizbullah fighters. The source said the training included launching rockets
and missiles and operating aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and

The IRGC established 20 permanent rocket facilities as well as numerous
additional mobile launch sites for Hizbullah, the source said. He said the
IRGC also trained 50 Hizbullah pilots since 2003.

Teheran has supplied Hizbullah with most of the tactical rockets produced by
Iran. A-Sharq Al Awsat, in an analysis written by Ali Nouri Zadeh, said that
in 2005 Hizbullah received its first shipment of 333-mm rockets, C-802
cruise missiles and SA-7 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.

The Iranian source said Hizbullah has deployed four models of medium-range
rockets. They included the Fajr, with a range of 100 kilometers; the
Iran-130, with a range of up to 110 kilometers; the Shaheen, with a range of
150 kilometers; and an unidentified 335-mm rocket with a range of 150

No limits to Israel's atrocities

Thanks for the repost... that's the first evidence I've seen confirming suspicions that Iran is providing material aid to Hezbollah. It's really no different than the US backing Israel to fight proxy wars for us, only the US spends over $6 billion on Israel's militarism.

Hezbollah is a large, well-organized, powerful organization, due to external support along with South Lebanese militiamen who volunteer to fire rockets at Israel part-time. In contrast, Israel's professional military needs to draft its soldiers to carry on this occupations of arab land. My original characterization was simplistic.

Israel deliberately bombed UN observers ( ). The NY Times reported that there was no Hezbollah activity in the area, exposing some of Israel's lies on top of lies. Now the UN observers have withdrawn for their own safety, freeing Israel to do whatever atrocities it wants, apparently already starting with the illegal use of cluster bombs and white phosphorous ( ).

Israel has just declared everyone in South Lebanon a terrorist, and plans to kill them all with even more massive bombing from the air. Unknown thousands of Lebanese civilians still either lack the means of leaving the area, particularly after Israel systematically bombed the roads, bridges, and airport, or refuse to be driven from their homes.

Imagine if the United States were to re-invade Vietnam, only this time, we first declared that we consider every man, woman, and child to be a terrorist, so we plan to carpet bomb the entire country in order to exterminate everyone there. This is basically what Israel has just declared regarding South Lebanon, which was their Vietnam.

At first, Israel decided to invade Lebanon with ground forces, which is the only way to at all minimize the killing of civilians. But due to the unanticipated strength and determination of Hezbollah to repell the Israeli onslaught, they've changed their minds and decided that they'd rather kill a lot of Lebanese civilians than withstand the death of any more Israeli occupation soldiers.

They think the political price of genocide is worth paying, and that the global community will not force them to stop. In fact, we're rushing them more high-tech bombs to do it.

Re: No limits to Israel's atrocities

I had seen a report that UN observers had pulled back, but perhaps it was temporary or limited, since today Israel has bombed another UN observer post in S Lebanon.

The 'human shields' lie continues to unravel...

Unbelievable. An Israeli spokesman just said that because Hezbollah rockets where fired from a village, some from near a building full of civilians that Israel later leveled with a bomb, that Hezbollah is to blame for those deaths and is using the civilians as "human shields."

I take it Israeli soldiers never fight from near Israeli civilians, and have no bases in towns and cities? Yet such massive double-standards pass in the media hardly challenged. - Steve D

Re: More Invasions Against Violence

ha siktir len

Re: More Invasions Against Violence

ha siktir len

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