Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!

Surely this one has to be at least a little better than the last!

Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony

Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony by Robert Fisk at

How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.

That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don't come from Gaza.

George Washington's warnings and U.S. policy towards Israel

George Washington's warnings and U.S. policy towards Israel by Glenn Greenwald on

This article touches on some extremely important points.

But it becomes even more striking in light of the bizarre fact that the consensus view -- that America must unquestioningly stand on Israel's side and support it, not just in this conflict but in all of Israel's various wars -- is a view which 7 out of 10 Americans reject. Conversely, the view which 70% of Americans embrace -- that the U.S. should be neutral and even-handed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict generally -- is one that no mainstream politician would dare express.

In a democracy, one could expect that politicians would be afraid to express a view that 70% of the citizens oppose. Yet here we have the exact opposite situation: no mainstream politician would dare express the view that 70% of Americans support; instead, the universal piety is the one that only a small minority accept. Isn't that fairly compelling evidence of the complete disconnect between our political elites and the people they purportedly represent?

And, we've seen this in other areas of US government policy. Mr. Greenwald goes on to mention the Iraq war, but you could also talk about single-payer healthcare, US foriegn policy in general, an economic policy that bails out only the rich, the impeachment and arrest of government officials who break the law and other topics as well.

Why is this the case? I could talk a lot about money and politics. Or the corporate owned media that pretends not to present a view tilted towards corporate power. But the real key seems to be this. The United States is the most powerful country on earth. Control of the government of the United States leads to the control of a great deal of power and the ability to create, or steal, more wealth and more power. Is it any wonder that the people of the United States have lost control of their government?

With the value of hind-sight, one can see that it would have been a great struggle anyways for the people of the United States to have kept their control of such a powerful instrument. It seems obvious that the powerful and the greedy would attempt to seize such power. Only a vigilent and strong effort of the people could have kept this from occuring.

Instead we see people gladly divide into two camps to support and put into power corrupt politicians from two parties who's only real goal is to seize that power for themselves. We see people who gladly believe anything that is said by anyone from the party they support. We see people gladly believe any party slogan, whether its 'Change' from Obama or that the Republicans support 'Freedom'. We see politicians gladly lie during the campaigns, as Obama so freely admits he did (he calls it 'heated rhetoric during the campaign'), and we see legions of party supporters cheer him on while he does it and later applaud him for admiting he lied to seize power.

Few seem to realize that all of this behavior is destroying America. All of this is putting into powerful positions corrupt politicians who will gladly steal the wealth of the nation and put its people at risk. And, of course along the way, they'll ignore the wishes and opinions of the vast majority of Americans who really do love their country and care about their country. They'll send these loyal Americans to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they won't listen to their opinions. They'll send the jobs of loyal Americans overseas to raise the profits of their corporate sponsers, but they won't listen to their opinions (do you still remember Obama, talking to a bunch of rich contributors in CA, mocking the unemployed of PA?).

In this particular case, two things are happening. One is that five to ten billion dollars is being given to Israel every year. We are paying for this. And ask yourself this question, could we use that money at home this year? Could five to ten billion help stop some foreclosures and stabilize real estate markets? Could five to ten billion help keep some manufacturing jobs afloat in this country?

And ask yourself this as well. Its a pretty fair bet that the people of Gaza and the rest of the Arab world know who is paying for this and who is supplying the bombs. We've all seen the horrific scenes where people frantical try to dig through rubble to rescue survivors. We know it here in America from Oklahoma City and 9-11. In Gaza this week, as they dig through the rubble, they'll find bomb fragments with English writing on the side. Do you think they'll have any doubts about where these bombs came from?

So, the other question to ask is this, do you think the odds of a suicide bomb attack on random Americans just went up or down? Do you think anyone might strike out at the death of a family by attacking the people who made the bombs and sent them to the people who used them to kill that family? By some percentage, all Americans are a little less safe today.

America has had a hand in committing a vast outrage that has killed hundreds of people, wounded and maimed over a thousand, and a sickingly large percentage of those people were just innocents subject to a deliberate act of violence to try to change political policy. We built the bombs and we supplied them. We paid huge sums to create the military and the state that dropped the bombs. And we've issued many statements of support to those that dropped the bombs and killed the people.

Our government doesn't seem to listen to us when we say this shouldn't be occuring. But there is also no doubt that the vast majority of Americans just voted for the two political parties that are both nearly unanimous in their support of these acts.

And, even for myself, who didn't cast a single vote for either of these parties this time, I still have to ask if I'm doing enough to stop this. If I'm not, then how much of this blood is on my hands as well?