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Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

Let’s interrupt their fun

Posted by terres on March 27, 2010

Whichever way you look at it, the final war before the COLLAPSE has started

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the increasing American war front across the world: from Afghanistan to Africa and Latin America. This is the Third World War in all but name, waged by the only aggressive “ism” that denies it is an ideology and threatened not by introverted tribesmen in faraway places but by the anti-war instincts of its own citizens.

Have a nice world war, folks

25 Mar 2010
John Pilger

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the increasing American war front across the world: from Afghanistan to Africa and Latin America. This is the Third World War in all but name, waged by the only aggressive “ism” that denies it is an ideology and threatened not by introverted tribesmen in faraway places but by the anti-war instincts of its own citizens.

Here is news of the Third World War. The United States has invaded Africa. US troops have entered Somalia, extending their war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and now the Horn of Africa. In preparation for an attack on Iran, American missiles have been placed in four Persian Gulf states, and “bunker-buster” bombs are said to be arriving at the US base on the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

In Gaza, the sick and abandoned population, mostly children, is being entombed behind underground American-supplied walls in order to reinforce a criminal siege. In Latin America, the Obama administration has secured seven bases in Colombia, from which to wage a war of attrition against the popular democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. Meanwhile, the secretary of “defence” Robert Gates complains that “the general [European] public and the political class” are so opposed to war they are an “impediment” to peace. Remember this is the month of the March Hare.

According to an American general, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is not so much a real war as a “war of perception”. Thus, the recent “liberation of the city of Marja” from the Taliban’s “command and control structure” was pure Hollywood. Marja is not a city; there was no Taliban command and control. The heroic liberators killed the usual civilians, poorest of the poor. Otherwise, it was fake. A war of perception is meant to provide fake news for the folks back home, to make a failed colonial adventure seem worthwhile and patriotic, as if The Hurt Locker were real and parades of flag-wrapped coffins through the Wiltshire town of Wooten Basset were not a cynical propaganda exercise.

“War is fun”, the helmets in Vietnam used to say with bleakest irony, meaning that if a war is revealed as having no purpose other than to justify voracious power in the cause of lucrative fanaticisms such as the weapons industry, the danger of truth beckons. This danger can be illustrated by the liberal perception of Tony Blair in 1997 as one “who wants to create a world [where] ideology has surrendered entirely to values” (Hugo Young, the Guardian) compared with today’s public reckoning of a liar and war criminal.

Western war-states such as the US and Britain are not threatened by the Taliban or any other introverted tribesmen in faraway places, but by the anti-war instincts of their own citizens. Consider the draconian sentences handed down in London to scores of young people who protested Israel’s assault on Gaza in January last year. Following demonstrations in which paramilitary police “kettled” (corralled) thousands, first-offenders have received two and a half years in prison for minor offences that would not normally carry custodial sentences. On both sides of the Atlantic, serious dissent exposing illegal war has become a serious crime.

Silence in other high places allows this moral travesty. Across the arts, literature, journalism and the law, liberal elites, having hurried away from the debris of Blair and now Obama, continue to fudge their indifference to the barbarism and aims of western state crimes by promoting retrospectively the evils of their convenient demons, like Saddam Hussein. With Harold Pinter gone, try compiling a list of famous writers, artists and advocates whose principles are not consumed by the “market” or neutered by their celebrity. Who among them have spoken out about the holocaust in Iraq during almost 20 years of lethal blockade and assault? And all of it has been deliberate. On 22 January 1991, the US Defence Intelligence Agency predicted in impressive detail how a blockade would systematically destroy Iraq’s clean water system and lead to “increased incidences, if not epidemics of disease”. So the US set about eliminating clean water for the Iraqi population: one of the causes, noted Unicef, of the deaths of half a million Iraqi infants under the age of five. But this extremism apparently has no name.

Norman Mailer once said he believed the United States, in its endless pursuit of war and domination, had entered a “pre-fascist era”. Mailer seemed tentative, as if trying to warn about something even he could not quite define. “Fascism” is not right, for it invokes lazy historical precedents, conjuring yet again the iconography of German and Italian repression. On the other hand, American authoritarianism, as the cultural critic Henry Giroux pointed out recently, is “more nuance, less theatrical, more cunning, less concerned with repressive modes of control than with manipulative modes of consent.”

This is Americanism, the only predatory ideology to deny that it is an ideology. The rise of tentacular corporations that are dictatorships in their own right and of a military that is now a state with the state, set behind the façade of the best democracy 35,000 Washington lobbyists can buy, and a popular culture programmed to divert and stultify, is without precedent. More nuanced perhaps, but the results are both unambiguous and familiar. Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, the senior United Nations officials in Iraq during the American and British-led blockade, are in no doubt they witnessed genocide. They saw no gas chambers. Insidious, undeclared, even presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, the Third World War and its genocide proceeded, human being by human being.

In the coming election campaign in Britain, the candidates will refer to this war only to laud “our boys”. The candidates are almost identical political mummies shrouded in the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes. As Blair demonstrated a mite too eagerly, the British elite loves America because America allows it to barrack and bomb the natives and call itself a “partner”. We should interrupt their fun.

Copyright: The author/publication.

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Posted in Afghanistan, Iraq War, Somalia, US basis in Colombia, Yemen | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NATO Bravehearts Murder Pregnant Women

Posted by terres on March 18, 2010

The bravehearts then ‘covered up’ the raid in Afghanistan that killed five

Braveheart Rear Admiral Greg Smith, Nato’s director of communications in Kabul, denied that there had been any attempt at a cover-up.

The raid came two weeks  after the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan issued new guidelines not to murder civilians.

The first person to die in the assault was Commander Dawood, 43, a long-serving, popular and highly-trained policeman who had recently been promoted to head of intelligence in one of Paktia’s most volatile districts. His brother, Saranwal Zahir, was a prosecutor in Ahmadabad district. He was killed while he stood in a doorway trying to protest their innocence.

Three women crouching in a hallway behind him were hit by the same volley of fire. Bibi Shirin, 22, had four children under the age of 5. Bibi Saleha, 37, had 11 children. Both of them, according to their relatives, were pregnant. They were killed instantly. More …

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Posted in Afghanistan, Hearts and Minds, killing afghans, massacre in Afghanistan, Nato raid | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are you going to kill me, too?

Posted by terres on October 6, 2009

Image of the Day: Children Who Grow Up Loving America!

President Barack Obama has ruled out any strategy that involves  a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan,  despite the real prospects of losing the increasingly unpopular war.

Afghan girl
An Afghan girl looks at US Marines as they speak with her father during a patrol in Garmsir district of the Helmand province in Afghanistan. Photo: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan was not “on the table” despite the deteriorating security situation.

“I don’t think we have the option to leave,” Gibbs said. “That’s quite clear.”

The top American war lord in Afghanistan, Gen McChrystal, has warned in a “leaked” confidential assessment that the US would lose the war without additional troops and changes in strategy, though Obama has already nearly doubled the number of U.S. Occupation troops in Afghanistan.

“I believe that the decisions that the president will make for the next stage of the Afghanistan campaign will be among the most important of his presidency,” the war pimp, and the U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, as he called for “patience and discretion,” urging advisers to secrecy, especially as decisions were being made.

“In this process it is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberation – civilian and military alike – provide our best advice to the president, candidly but privately,”  Gates lectured an Army convention in Washington.

Gates is right about the secrecy, of course, since the people shall have no right to know the truth, especially the ugly version.

Eight occupation soldiers were killed on Saturday after tribal fighters attacked two US  outposts in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province, the worst US losses  in more than a year.

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Posted in Afghan War, Afghanistan, Afghanistan Assesment, AfPak region, Eight US soldiers killed, Mcchrystal, Mcchrystal Afghanistan, Mcchrystal Failure, Mission Failure, Mission Failure Afghanistan, More Troops Afghanistan, Politics News, Robert gates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Another US-NATO Massacre Bloodies Afghanistan

Posted by terres on September 4, 2009

Another Dark Day for War Criminal Obama

Another NATO air strike kills 90 people, mostly civilians

Another NATO air strike blew up two fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban in the northern province of Kunduz,  Afghanistan, killing 90 people, mostly civilians.

A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) under NATO told AFP: “It was an ISAF airstrike.”

NATO dead-donkey AFP -DT
A dead donkey, plastic oil cans and debris lie scattered around the burnt-out oil tankers. Picture: AFP/GETTY. Image may be subject to copyright.

The governor of Kunduz told reporters that at least two tankers carrying jet fuel had been hijacked.

According to Witnesses, scores of villagers scavenging for fuel were killed in the air strike.

The district police chief told AFP news agency that Taliban insurgents tried to drive away a fuel tanker that they had earlier  hijacked.

“The fuel tanker got stuck in the river. There were local civilians with them as well. They  were bombed,” the police chief said.

Dozens of seriously wounded people with extensive burns are crowding a hospital in Kunduz, AFP reported.

Spoils of War:  ‘Free Fuel’

Wounded people with extensive burns crowded a hospital in Kunduz, the capital of the northern province which lies on a main supply line for the more than 100,000 foreign troops based in Afghanistan, an AFP reporter said.

Around 200 to 250 villagers were believed to have gathered to take free fuel from the tankers which had been hijacked by the insurgents, said health ministry spokesman Farid Rahid in Kabul.

“Unfortunately a big number of civilians were killed and wounded. The provincial health director can confirm that 12 wounded and one dead person were admitted to the provincial hospital,” he told AFP.

A witness told AFP that the militants had been trying to transport the tankers across a river to villages in Angorbagh.

“They managed to take one of the tankers over the river. The second got stuck so they told villagers to come and take the diesel,” he said.

“Villagers rushed to the fuel tanker with any available container that they had, including water buckets and pots for cooking oil.

“There were 10 to 15 Taliban on top of the tanker. This was when they were bombed. Everyone around the fuel tanker died.”

“Nobody was in one piece. Hands, legs and body parts were scattered everywhere. Those who were away from the fuel tanker were badly burnt.”

Afghan Nato air strike AFP
An injured person is carried into the main hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. A NATO airstrike Friday destroyed a fuel tanker hijacked by Taliban insurgents, causing dozens of casualties including civilians, officials and witnesses said. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

“America’s entire war on terror is an exercise in imperialism. This may come as a shock to Americans, who don’t like to think of their country as an empire. But what else can you call America’s legions of soldiers, spooks and special forces straddling the globe?” —Michael Ignatieff, New York Times, July 28, 2002

More Photos

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Posted in Afghanistan, civilian casualties, fuel tanker airstrike, ISAF, Kabul, war crimes obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

BORN TO KILL [anyone!]

Posted by terres on May 12, 2009

Ticking Time Bombs

See if you can work out the logic flow

i. Intelligent humans don’t kill other people
ii. Unintelligent people can and do kill
iii. Training and arming unintelligent people to kill turns them into assassination machines. They become a deadly threat to everyone!

A US soldier shot dead five of his colleagues at Camp Liberty, a base near the Iraqi capital Baghdad yesterday.

The US President Barack Obama was said to be “shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news from Camp Victory this morning.”


A U.S. Army soldier from Killer Troop, Third Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment works out with a barbell made from spare car parts at Combat Outpost Rabiy in Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq on Saturday, March 22, 2008. AP photo. Image may be subject to copyright.

But why? Did he expect a different outcome in Iraq and Afghanistan?

“Any time we lose one of our own, it affects us all,” Colonel John Robinson, a US army spokesman reportedly said.

[Them ragheads don’t mean a thing to any of “us!”]

a soldier at work
A soldier at work.

This news came just a few days after a jury in Kentucky found former US soldier, Steven Green, 24, guilty of rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, and murder of her parents and younger sister.

Three of the 4 other soldiers who were involved in the rape and murder orgy had admitted holding down their victim, raping her and then murdering the family the family’s home in Mahmudiya before torching the building.

Of the other reported cases that spring to mind was the case of another soldier who killed two officers and wounded 14 others at a camp in Kuwait in 2005.

Of course these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of other cases of murder and rape of not just the Iraqis and Afghans, but of own “comrades in arms,” that remain unreported.

Soldiers at work
Operation Iraqi Freedom!

Here’s a sobering reminder of the illegal Iraqi occupation:

  • Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq:  “1,320,110
  • Number of U.S. Military Personnel perished in U.S. War And Occupation Of Iraq:  4,292
  • Up to 500,000 cases of brain injury suffered by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Wounded in action: 31,245 [DoD stats for March 19, 2003 Through May 2, 2009]
  • No of Afghans killed since 2001: 50-100,000 [Who’s counting?]
  • “Coalition of the willing” military fatalities in Afghanistan: 1,145

In January, the more-intelligent-than-his-predecessor President Barack Obama ordered an additional 17,000 American troops into Afghanistan.

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Posted in Afghanistan, Killer Troop, Killer Zombies, Occupation Of Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Slick “O”

Posted by terres on April 30, 2009

Obama’s 100 days – the mad men did well

By John Pilger
30 Apr 2009

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the power of advertising – from the effects of smoking to politics – as he reaches behind the facade of of the first 100 days President Barack Obama.

“Walk to any major fast food chain outlet and you’ll get almost exactly the same stuff you got the last time. … The manager and staff at your nearest McDonald’s burger joint change regularly, for example, but a Big Mac is a Big Mac; it would taste like the one you got there the last time.” Source: Obsessed with Obama’s McWhitehouse?

The BBC’s American television soap Mad Men offers a rare glimpse of the power of corporate advertising. The promotion of smoking half a century ago by the “smart” people of Madison Avenue, who knew the truth, led to countless deaths. Advertising and its twin, public relations, became a way of deceiving dreamt up by those who had read Freud and applied mass psychology to anything from cigarettes to politics. Just as Marlboro Man was virility itself, so politicians could be branded, packaged and sold.

It is more than 100 days since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. The “Obama brand” has been named “Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008”, easily beating Apple computers. David Fenton of MoveOn.org describes Obama’s election campaign as “an institutionalised mass-level automated technological community organising that has never existed before and is a very, very powerful force”. Deploying the internet and a slogan plagiarised from the Latino union organiser César Chávez – “Sí, se puede!” or “Yes, we can” – the mass-level automated technological community marketed its brand to victory in a country desperate to be rid of George W Bush.

No one knew what the new brand actually stood for. So accomplished was the advertising (a record $75m was spent on television commercials alone) that many Americans actually believed Obama shared their opposition to Bush’s wars. In fact, he had repeatedly backed Bush’s warmongering and its congressional funding. Many Americans also believed he was the heir to Martin Luther King’s legacy of anti-colonialism. Yet if Obama had a theme at all, apart from the vacuous “Change you can believe in”, it was the renewal of America as a dominant, avaricious bully. “We will be the most powerful,” he often declared.

Perhaps the Obama brand’s most effective advertising was supplied free of charge by those journalists who, as courtiers of a rapacious system, promote shining knights. They depoliticised him, spinning his platitudinous speeches as “adroit literary creations, rich, like those Doric columns, with allusion…” (Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian). The San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford wrote: “Many spiritually advanced people I know… identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who… can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”

In his first 100 days, Obama has excused torture, opposed habeas corpus and demanded more secret government. He has kept Bush’s gulag intact and at least 17,000 prisoners beyond the reach of justice. On 24 April, his lawyers won an appeal that ruled Guantanamo Bay prisoners were not “persons”, and therefore had no right not to be tortured. His national intelligence director, Admiral Dennis Blair, says he believes torture works. One of his senior US intelligence officials in Latin America is accused of covering up the torture of an American nun in Guatemala in 1989; another is a Pinochet apologist. As Daniel Ellsberg has pointed out, the US experienced a military coup under Bush, whose secretary of “defence”, Robert Gates, along with the same warmaking officials, has been retained by Obama.

All over the world, America’s violent assault on innocent people, directly or by agents, has been stepped up. During the recent massacre in Gaza, reports Seymour Hersh, “the Obama team let it be known that it would not object to the planned resupply of ‘smart bombs’ and other hi-tech ordnance that was already flowing to Israel” and being used to slaughter mostly women and children. In Pakistan, the number of civilians killed by US missiles called drones has more than doubled since Obama took office.

In Afghanistan, the US “strategy” of killing Pashtun tribespeople (the “Taliban”) has been extended by Obama to give the Pentagon time to build a series of permanent bases right across the devastated country where, says Secretary Gates, the US military will remain indefinitely. Obama’s policy, one unchanged since the Cold War, is to intimidate Russia and China, now an imperial rival. He is proceeding with Bush’s provocation of placing missiles on Russia’s western border, justifying it as a counter to Iran, which he accuses, absurdly, of posing “a real threat” to Europe and the US. On 5 April in Prague, he made a speech reported as “anti-nuclear”. It was nothing of the kind. Under the Pentagon’s Reliable Replacement Warhead programme, the US is building new “tactical” nuclear weapons designed to blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war.

The day the world should have known there was a problem:

Importing orchids from New Zealand: An immoral act of ecological recklessness, economic extravagance and social hubris!

—TERRES

Ordering orchids from New Zealand for the presidential inauguration is a callous disregard for the environment; it also rates high, “Scale F,” on the Adolescents Social Insensitivity scale

From: Obama Inauguration Carbon Footprint

Perhaps the biggest lie – the equivalent of smoking is good for you – is Obama’s announcement that the US is leaving Iraq, the country it has reduced to a river of blood. According to unabashed US army planners, as many as 70,000 troops will remain “for the next 15 to 20 years”. On 25 April, his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, alluded to this. It is not surprising that the polls are showing that a growing number of Americans believe they have been suckered – especially as the nation’s economy has been entrusted to the same fraudsters who destroyed it. Lawrence Summers, Obama’s principal economic adviser, is throwing $3trn at the same banks that paid him more than $8m last year, including $135,000 for one speech. Change you can believe in.

Much of the American establishment loathed Bush and Cheney for exposing, and threatening, the onward march of America’s “grand design”, as Henry Kissinger, war criminal and now Obama adviser, calls it. In advertising terms, Bush was a “brand collapse” whereas Obama, with his toothpaste advertisement smile and righteous clichés, is a godsend. At a stroke, he has seen off serious domestic dissent to war, and he brings tears to the eyes, from Washington to Whitehall. He is the BBC’s man, and CNN’s man, and Murdoch’s man, and Wall Street’s man, and the CIA’s man. The Madmen did well.

Copyright: John Pilger http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=530

Image and captions sourced by Moderator: TERRES

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Posted in Afghanistan, Henry Kissinger, Iraq War, nuclear weapons, secret government | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

It’s NO Mystery to Canadians!

Posted by terres on April 2, 2009

submitted by a reader

Mr Fisk, there is no mystery, if you’re a victim of Canadian state terrorism!

Regardless of any reservation you might have about the WHO exactly, WHAT exactly and WHY exactly of the author of the following post, Robert Fisk, and his protagonist, George Galloway…

Fisk says:

“But the mystery is this: how did so many millions of decent Canadians come to be ruled by such a weird government?”

If you can’t see “Israel” in Canada, your eyes are closed!

Robert Fisk: Galloway a victim of Canada’s baffling approach to fighting terror

By Robert Fisk

Independent – “Come out and debate with me like a man,” the old bruiser shouted over the video-link to Toronto. “Let’s book the biggest hall in Canada and you and I will debate these issues of war and peace and freedom of speech and censorship… If we don’t achieve a political settlement (in the Middle East), we’re in for war. If there’s no justice, there will be no peace for Palestine.”

It was, of course, the old scallywag himself, George Galloway, fuming about the Canadian Immigration Minister James Kenney’s refusal to allow him to speak in Canada on the grounds that he – Galloway – was involved in “terrorism”. The Scottish-born MP was talking from an important centre of “world terror” – New York City.

Mr Kenney’s spokesman, Alikhan Velshi, last week compared Mr Galloway to Oliver Cromwell and said he would not be allowed to enter Canada. Self-publicist, friend of dictators, reality TV show performer and general silly ass Mr Galloway may be. But he has no more in common with Cromwell than the minister has with Ghengis Khan.

But this is no laughing matter. How could the Canadian embassy in London have believed Mr Galloway’s food and medicine shipment to Gaza, made with Israel’s agreement, and its delivery to the Hamas government was a “terrorist” act, even if Stephen Harper’s Canadian government regards Hamas as a “terrorist organisation”.

Mr Galloway wasn’t shipping guns and is touring the US with his anti-war, pro-Palestinian, non-terrorist speeches. “It’s just not credible, Mr Kenney,” Mr Galloway shouted, “to call a man touring the United States, playing to packed audiences… a terrorist or a security threat.”

Quite so. After all, the US has lost thousands of soldiers in its “war on terror” in the Middle East. Canada’s army in Afghanistan comprises barely 2,000 and has suffered fewer than 120 military casualties.

Only a Canadian Jewish organisation agreed with Mr Galloway’s exclusion; one paper here suggested this might have prompted the ban. The right-wing National Post came out against the exclusion, though only because a “future left-wing Canadian government” might ban Israeli or US speakers.

But there’s a bigger issue. Canada helped the US send an innocent Canadian citizen, Mahar Arar, to “rendition” in Syria, where he was savagely tortured. Only a few days ago, another Canadian Muslim told me how he was whipped with steel cables in Damascus as his torturers read out questions from the Canadian embassy. Yet another Canadian Muslim citizen, Abousfian Abdelrazik, has been living in the reception of the US embassy in Khartoum for 10 months after Canadian agents asked the enormously democratic Sudanese government to imprison him for terrorism. Now the government won’t let him come home unless he’s taken off not a Canadian, but a UN “terrorist” list. Cromwellian isn’t the word for it. But the mystery is this: how did so many millions of decent Canadians come to be ruled by such a weird government?
Copyright 2008 Independent News and Media Limited

You can count the number of decent “Canadians” on the following petition!

Posted in Afghanistan, Canadian Jewish organisation, Israel, Middle East, war on terror | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The U.S: A Country Without a President!

Posted by terres on January 3, 2009

by Ralph Nader [sent: Thu 1/1/2009 9:04 AM]

Dear George W. Bush—

Cong. Barney Frank said recently that Barack Obama’s declaration that “there is only one president at a time” over-estimated the number. He was referring to the economic crisis. But where are you on the Gaza crisis where the civilian population of Gaza, its civil servants and public facilities are being massacred and destroyed respectively by U.S built F-16s and U.S. built helicopter gunships.

The deliberate suspension of your power to stop this terrorizing of 1.5 million people, mostly refugees, blockaded for months by air, sea and land in their tiny slice of land, is in cowardly contrast to the position taken by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. That year he single handedly stopped the British, French and Israeli aircraft attack against Egypt during the Suez Canal dispute.

Fatalities in Gaza are already over 400 and injuries close to 2000 so far as is known. Total Palestinian civilian casualties are 400 times greater then the casualties incurred by Israelis. But why should anyone be surprised at your blanket support for Israel’s attack given what you have done to a far greater number of civilians in Iraq and now in Afghanistan?

Confirmed visual reports show that Israeli warplanes and warships have destroyed or severely damaged police stations, homes, hospitals, pharmacies, mosques, fishing boats, and a range of public facilities providing electricity and other necessities.

Why should this trouble you at all? It violates international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter. You too have repeatedly violated international law and committed serious constitutional transgressions.

Then there is the matter of the Israeli government blocking imports of critical medicines, equipment such as dialysis machines, fuel, food, water, spare parts and electricity at varying intensities for almost two years. The depleted UN aid mission there has called this illegal blockade a humanitarian crisis especially devastating to children, the aged and the infirm. Chronic malnutrition among children is rising rapidly. UN rations support eighty percent of this impoverished population.

How do these incontrovertible facts affect you? Do you have any empathy or what you have called Christian charity?

What would a vastly shrunken Texas turned in an encircled Gulag do up against the 4th most powerful military in the world? Would these embattled Texans be spending their time chopping wood?

Gideon Levy, the veteran Israeli columnist for Ha’aretz, called the Israeli attack a “brutal and violent operation” far beyond what was needed for protecting the people in its south. He added: “The diplomatic efforts were just in the beginning, and I believe we could have got to a new truce without this bloodshed…..to send dozens of jets to bomb a total helpless civilian society with hundreds of bombs—just today, they were burying five sisters. I mean, this is unheard of. This cannot go on like this. And this has nothing to do with self-defense or with retaliation even. It went out of proportion, exactly like two-and-a-half years ago in Lebanon.”

Apparently, thousands of Israelis, including some army reservists, who have demonstrated against this destruction of Gaza agree with Mr. Levy. However, their courageous stands have not reached the mass media in the U.S. whose own reporters cannot even get into Gaza due to Israeli prohibitions on the international press.

Your spokespeople are making much ado about the breaking of the six month truce. Who is the occupier? Who is the most powerful military force? Who controls and blocks the necessities of life? Who has sent raiding missions across the border most often? Who has sent artillery shells and missiles at close range into populated areas? Who has refused the repeated comprehensive peace offerings of the Arab countries issued in 2002 if Israel would agree to return to the 1967 borders and agree to the creation of a small independent Palestinian state possessing just twenty two percent of the original Palestine?

The “wildly inaccurate rockets”, as reporters describe them, coming from Hamas and other groups cannot compare with the modern precision armaments and human damage generated from the Israeli side.

There are no rockets coming from the West Bank into Israel. Yet the Israeli government is still sending raiders into that essentially occupied territory, still further entrenching its colonial outposts, still taking water and land and increasing the checkpoints This is going on despite a most amenable West Bank leader, Mahmoud Abbas, whom you have met with at the White House and praised repeatedly. Is it all vague words and no real initiatives with you and your emissary Condoleezza Rice?

Peace was possible, but you provided no leadership, preferring instead to comply with all wishes and demands by the Israeli government—even resupplying it with the still active cluster bombs in south Lebanon during the invasion of that country in 2006.

The arguments about who started the latest hostilities go on and on with Israel always blaming the Palestinians to justify all kinds of violence and harsh treatment against innocent civilians.

From the Palestinian standpoint, you would do well to remember the origins of this conflict which was the dispossession of their lands. To afford you some empathy, recall the oft-quoted comment by the founder of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, who told the Zionist leader, Nahum Goldmann:

“There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis Hitler Auschwitz but was that their [the Palestinians] fault? They only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”

Alfred North Whitehead once said: “Duty arises out of the power to alter the course of events.” By that standard, you have shirked mightily your duty over the past eight years to bring peace to both Palestinians and Israelis and more security to a good part of the world.

The least you can do in your remaining days at the White House is adopt a modest profile in courage, and vigorously demand and secure a ceasefire and a solidly based truce. Then your successor, President-elect Obama can inherit something more than the usual self-censoring Washington puppet show that eschews a proper focus on the national interests of the United States.

END.

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