Thursday, January 22, 2009

Disregard For Life

Knowing that today the forces against women's rights are marching around D.C. and calling themselves pro-life, this strikes me as a good time to point out that of the many ways that people could improve the country, and the lives lived in this country, forcing women to have babies ranks - right alongside of waging war for peace - with having the opposite effect. Ideologues insisting they are able to judge other people's decisions affecting their own personal lives and families has defined the right wing as much as waging war on other countries. Of course, making childbearing medically treated instead of subject to hysteria greatly diminishes the need for backalley abortions, as well as giving women the capacity to make choices and decisions which advantage their families. The right wingers' several varieties of sickness, including a friendly culpability in torture, seems to be what is finally bringing about the welcome demise of the sway of ignorance. It is hardly suprising, then, that winger messages are flying around about President Obama's being a danger.

The election of President Obama is a direct revocation of the disgrace the wingers have brought to our country. The same forces are at work now in reaction to a disgrace in Gaza. We have just watched in horror as Israel wiped out thousands of civilians to bring about what they are calling a defeat of Hamas.

I am particularly appalled to hear our leaders talk about Hamas' failure to provide adequate living standards to the residents of Gaza. Of course, our 'Department of Justice' has waged a war against the residents of Gaza by its persecution of Muslim charities here for the past eight years. We cannot point at Hamas as failing to provide charity which our provocateurs were fighting here with the forces of U.S. law, labelling as terrorist what would have sustained a viable quality of life for Gazans. It is no wonder we have few friends in the Middle East, when we exhibit this attitude of indifference toward civilians. Our just ended maladministration showed no equivocation in the matter of favoritism, and stood staunchly for the Israeli wars against neighbors no matter what the cost in civilian lives.

From Juan Cole today, I am taking a description of the atrocities our government just defeated has approved to be committed.

The last Israeli troops left Gaza on Wednesday. The three week long shooting-fish-in-a-barrel exercise killed, on the Palestinian side, 280 children and minors, 111 women, and 503 male noncombatants. Gaza police accounted for 167 of the dead; can you just read off Gaza police as "Hamas militants"? Or were they traffic cops & etc.? The Palestinian Center for Human rights estimated that the Israelis killed 223 Hamas guerrillas. In other words, if this count is correct, the Israelis managed to kill more children than real militants.

So what is the outcome of this dirty little war?

The fundamentalist group Hamas is reasserting itself in Gaza as Israeli troops withdraw, and now has a new pretext to target members of the Fatah group, secular nationalists loyal to Palestine Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. So the Israelis may have actually politically strengthened Hamas and further weakened Fatah, which is already notorious for corruption, political repression, inefficiency, and, increasingly collaboration with Israel.

Although Israel claimed to have destroyed 60 percent of the tunnels whereby Gazans bring food, medicine, and sometimes explosives into the Strip via the Sinai Peninsula, reports Wednesday indicated that the tunnels were already active again. Even if only 40 percent of them are operational, it is hard to see what was achieved. The others can be redug, and anyway a lot of materiel can be brought in with the 40 percent surviving tunnels.

UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon visited Gaza and was reported absolutely appalled at the scenes of human destruction he witnessed there. He demanded that nothing like the Gaza campaign ever be undertaken again (i.e. by Israel) and he said he would do what he could to establish accountability.

Amnesty International is accusing Israel of using white phosphorous in such a way that it constituted a war crime. The New York times clearly takes the charges seriously, underlining my thesis that what the government of Ehud Olmert disturbed many American Jews.

Aljazeera English reports on the aftermath of the Israeli assault on Gaza, including questions about the use of white phosphorous on densely populated civilian areas, producing burns and destroying food warehouses in the midst of a famine. Many Gaza civilians are camped on the rubble of their former homes, searching frantically for loved ones who may no longer be among the living.

We all would like to see peace arrive in the Middle East, and hate the bombardment of Gaza and from Gaza equally. The world has watched two war-making countries over the past eight years, and judges them as deficient in moral fiber.

The use of our Department of Justice to deprive civilians in Gaza is as repugnant as Israel's commission of that same act. The use of our Department of State to neutralize efforts of the U.N. to bring about a ceasefire is responsible for civilian deaths that we have been shamed by.

The government of the U.S. has no right to tell individuals that they have to follow rightwing dictates in their own decisions, not to tell civilians in the Middle East that they have to suffer and die if they do not follow the dictates of Israel. It is time for our nation to perform the functions government is empowered for, making the lives of its citizens better. It is past time to end the functions of favoritism toward the side of militants in the government of the U.S.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home