"Leave them nothing but their eyes to cry with."
-- Attributed to a Union colonel of the Civil War serving as an adviser to the Prussian General Staff during the Franco-Prussian War.
The United Nations has called for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza strip. Pope Benedict XVI has also called for a ceasefire, and senior Vatican official Cardinal Renato Martino describes Gaza as "a big concentration camp."
And isn't it striking that there can be two presidents at a time when it comes to the economy but not when it comes to foreign policy? Barack Obama is hot to ram an economic recovery bill of uncertain merit past Congress's tonsils, but when asked at a recent press conference why he has remained silent about Israeli atrocities in Gaza, Obama explained that his "silence is not a consequence of lack of concern," giving the Palestinians in Gaza a bird's eye view of the veins between his wrist and knuckles.
Let's Play Hard Bull
Our Secretary of State Condi Rice told reporters on January 9 that "it's hard" for Israeli forces to avoid killing civilians in Gaza because Hamas is using them as human shields. Maybe that's why Israel didn't bother to even try to avoid killing civilians in Gaza, and went ahead and firebombed it.
I was hesitant to buy into the stories of Israeli forces using white phosphorus on civilians until I saw the AP picture of the incendiary airburst over Gaza City at the Voice of America website, and The Times confirmed that it had identified Israeli stockpiles of U.S. made white phosphorous rounds on the Israeli-Gaza border. White phosphorous and other incendiary munitions can create night illumination and smoke, but their main purpose is to burn things, like Tokyo and Dresden, and now Gaza City.
Condi also told reporters that she was "encouraged that Prime Minister (Ehud) Olmert, after an extensive conversation we had, agreed to open a new humanitarian corridor." Condi didn't mention if she encouraged Olmert to have his troops open fire on Red Cross trucks as they attempted to use the "humanitarian" corridor, a gambit that forced the Red Cross to suspend relief efforts. Nor did Condi offer a guess as to whether Israel forcing the Red Cross to cease operations had anything to do with its relief workers finding four starving children next to their mothers' corpses in a Gaza City neighborhood that Israel had denied the Red Cross access to for days.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel says the suffering in Gaza was "brought on by Hamas." Somebody needs to tell Scott that even if Hamas had incendiary bombs like those, they probably wouldn't explode them above Gaza City like the Israelis have. If they had artillery equipment like the Israelis have, Hamas also probably wouldn't herd 100 or so Palestinian civilians into a "shelter" and then shell them, like the Israelis did, and if Hamas had a tank, they most likely would not, like the Israelis did, use it to demolish a school that nobody was shooting at them from.
Stanzel also said the present troubles began because Hamas refused to extend the ceasefire. Thanks to historian and journalist Gareth Porter, we know that Hamas made an offer to renew the ceasefire in December, and Israel shunned it.
Those cabinet secretaries and White House spokesmodels really should get the facts straight before they make up new ones, shouldn't they?
And maybe creatures like Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NV) ought to get their ducks in a line before they call criticism of Israel "anti-Semitism."
Nothing but Their Eyes to Cry With
The purpose of strategy in war is to focus the violence on a tangible policy aim. Not surprisingly, Israel's Ambassador to the United States Sallai Meridor freely admitted in a recent lecture at George Washington University that, "we have no grand political scheme" in Gaza.
That means our "friend and democratic ally," with the endorsement of our executive and legislative branches of government and with the tacit approval of our president elect, are conducting slaughter for the sake of slaughter. This is also known as total war, and war of annihilation, and genocide.
What a crying shame it is that the land of the free and the home of the brave should sanction such monstrosity.