Friday, January 09, 2009

This is today's update, lifted from a post by Richard Seymour at
Let's bring ourselves up to date. The death toll as of yesterday - certainly a sizeable underestimate, given that there is only a rare interval in which to recover bodies crushed under the flaming rubble - is 758, 42% of which the UN estimates are women and children. Last night the UN Security Council produced a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, unimpeded access for humanitarian and relief workers, and the opening of border crossings. From an 'international community' that has hitherto backed Israel's blockade and regular offensives, this is jaw-dropping. This only happened because the US surprisingly refused to use its veto power, and even stressed that it "fully supports" the resolution in principle - a signal to Israel that its paymasters are not completely happy with how this is going. With that resolution passed, Israeli forces proceeded to pound Gaza into the night, and in the process attacked yet another apartment building, killing seven civilian inhabitants. Israel is consciously and deliberately violating almost every possible human norm in the conduct of its war. Whether it is rounding up families and shelling them to death, attacking schools, shooting up medics, killing aid workers, or bombing hospitals, it is increasingly the case that Israel is struggling to outdo itself.

Arguably, yesterday's news that Israeli forces had been deliberately starving children to death trumps everything else to date. I mean, sealing off a neighbourhood, bombing and shelling it, blocking medical and humanitarian entry, and knowingly leaving children to slowly die next to their already deceased relatives is sick. Forcing wounded adults to lie around dying on blood-soaked mattresses is also sick. And when the Red Cross finally gets in there and discovers some of the dead, to then attempt to expel them and prevent them from doing any more work is, well, sick. And I don't like saying this, but that level of calculated predation and sadism positively invites Nazi comparisons. What does that make the supporters of Israel's war at this moment?

One unexpected result of the travesty is that even some of Israel's more aggressive boosters, such as Roger Cohen in the New York Times, are expressing disgust and shame. Some of those who backed Israel's war in Lebanon are admitting, sometimes with heavy qualification and great reluctance and much ponderous nonsense about how treacherous the pro-Palestinian Left nevertheless is, to similar feelings. But the livid, lunatic fringe of Israel supporters not only have an inexhaustible capacity for sanctimony and hypocrisy, they lack any sense of shame. They are truly at their worst hour, the vilest they have ever been. No excuse can or should be made for such people: they ought to be shunned, and treated as the moral and political degenerates that they are.
If you are in America, look around you. Take a careful look at the opinion people, the professors, the bloggers, the media people who are saying nothing or only meaningless garbage about what is being done in your name. Because in future years people are going to want to know what it was like, how it happened. Whether anyone spoke up.


Blogger Shirin said...

Juan Cole has posted a pretty good whitewash - or perhaps it would be more fair to call it a very pale grey wash - of the U.S. military in Iraq, including some standard U.S. military claims about the November massacre of Falluja. I posted a comment challenging some of his claims, and it looks like he's not going to publish it.

I have to admit that overall Juan Cole has gotten better on Iraq over the last year or two, but his pro-military and sectarian biases are hard to shake, I guess.

Frustrating, since he receives so much adulation from so many.

12:41 PM  
Blogger badger said...

I couldn't agree more. And when you've said sectarian and pro-military biases you've said a mouthful. (I stopped commenting there a couple of years ago when I said he was starting to sound like an anti-Sunni sectarian on Iraq and he ditched it.)

Unfortunately as fate would have it he's the only one with a consistent anti-AIPAC position. Frustrating is right.

(Btw, did you notice his top post today about being "annoyed" by reports of the European demos? To me that illustrates the psychology: "Because my point (control of the US Congress) is very important, the efforts of others (the European demonstrators) are really irrelevant and reporting on them as if they were important is annoying." Infantile.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Something bothers me in your (and others’) comments on the Gaza invasion, and in the slogans shouted at the demonstrations here in Europe. This invasion is often depicted as an “all-out attack” against the civilian population of Gaza, compared to the holocaust, etc. Don’t you think that if this really were the case, Israel would “be able to do better than that” and make much more victims than 800, especially in such a crowded place like Gaza?
I don’t believe Israel is trying to murder the entire population of Gaza, and I don’t think you believe that in earnest either. I think the civilian deaths and wounded are really “collateral damage”, and that civilians are not the primary aim. I don’t understand why people need a conspiracy theory like the above in order to protest against a war that produces so much collateral damage.
The real scandal is not an obviously unexistent Israeli plan to annihilate the population of Gaza, but the very real fact that Israel does not mind killing hundreds of innocent Palestinians in the pursuit of its policy goals; not to mention its inhuman chokehold on the Gaza strip.
It makes no sense to blow up this thing by exaggerated and pathos-laden slogans; the bubble you are creating in this way is detracting from the real issues, which are terrible enough by themselves to cause huge outcry.

All the best,


6:02 AM  
Blogger badger said...


Nice try.

The point is this: This isn't a case of actually trying to murder the entire population on live TV, and no one is saying that it is. But it clearly isn't just "collateral damage" in the pursuit of military targets either. It is an attempt to terrorize a civilian population by means that include killing civilians. Given all that has been reported, you just can't make the case that this is merely "collateral damage" on a large scale. It is collective punishment. That isn't exaggerated and pathos-laden slogans, it is the plain and indisputable conclusion from 14 days of what they have been doing.

Your suggestion that people are madly exaggerating and talking about an attempt to actually kill the entire 1.5 million population strikes me as weird and in bad faith, to say the least.

To say this isn't an echo of the Nazis because there aren't boxcars to take people away is like saying the Bush administration wasn't authoritarian because they didn't speak with German accents.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Shirin said...

What Israel has been doing to Gaza since its "withdrawal" is deeply and increasingly reminiscent of the Warsaw Ghetto.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Shirin said...

And then there are those very thick American glasses through which Juan Cole insists upon viewing and interpreting Iraq - forgot to add that. I have summed it up before by saying he doesn't "get" Iraq. And how, exactly does someone become an expert on any country without ever setting foot in it (not that that would make a difference in his case)?

By the way, you might want to check out my recent exchange with one REID D. REASOR, Lt Col (Ret) USAF B.S. M.T.. It's a weeks-old thread, and a few days ago the hate-filled wack-job suddenly decided to reply to something I had written back in Dec, Juan chose to publish it, and I could not resist a response. My last comment is up there now. Don't think I will continue if he replies - it's kind of useless since I am sure no one is reading it now except the good Lt Col, Juan, and me, but it was fun for a while.

10:44 AM  
Blogger badger said...

It is as you say. I think you would be right not to continue trying to communicate with this particular Lt Col (Ret) USAF B.S. M.T. Is it not like feeding acorns to squirrels? Your time and energy are definitely better spent in other ways.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Well usually I find that name calling and childish gang comentary a admission that your position is unable to withstsnd debate. And yes Badger I am now working to try and fix the failure of our public schools, you ultra left guys own. 25% graduation in Detroit inner city high schools, 53%African American men drop out...nation wide. 48% women, 50% Hispanic. Let me guess at your suggestions;. More money, Federal control, lower standards because its caused by racism snd oppression. Right?

2:14 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

And yes, courage is using your real name, and making hard statements about other peoples lies, especially from our government, and our president. Best to you both...Reid Reasor

2:18 AM  

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