Thursday, July 20, 2006

For want of a corporal?

This image was originally posted at NY Times

For want of a corporal, the Middle East was lost... At least that's the story.

Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped on June 26th from an Israeli 'Defense' Force outpost near the Gaza Strip. Since then, in response, the IDF has killed at least 110 people in Gaza; reportedly half militants and half civilians.

Hezbollah sent rockets into Northern Israel on July 12th . A small IDF force was sent into Southern Lebanon resulting in eight dead, and two captured, Israeli soldiers. In response, Israel launched rocket and air force assaults. Beirut is once again reduced to rubble; the airport, seaport, bridges, highway, buildings, and houses demolished. 300 dead, 1000 wounded and half a million displaced.

A measured response? Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, thinks so,
I think Israel's response under the circumstances has been measured, and I think it is tremendously disappointing that these attacks were done in areas that Israel voluntarily evacuated.
Self defense? America's President ,George Bush, agrees,
Israel has a right to defend herself," Mr. Bush said from Germany. "Hezbollah doesn't want there to be peace. The militant arm of Hamas doesn't want there to be peace, and those of us who do want peace will continue to work together to encourage peace.
Then I talked to Big Ell, and he told me about a Chomsky interview from Saturday, which suggests that the events become clearer if you go back a little further. In the case of Corporal Shalit,
Gaza, itself, the latest phase, began on June 24. It was when Israel abducted two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother. We don't know their names. You don't know the names of victims. They were taken to Israel, presumably, and nobody knows their fate. The next day, something happened, which we do know about, a lot. Militants in Gaza, probably Islamic Jihad, abducted an Israeli soldier across the border. That's Corporal Gilad Shalit. And that's well known; the first abduction is not.
And in the case of Lebanon,
Yeah. Well, he's {Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman} correct that hundreds of rockets have been fired (from Lebanon into Israel}, and naturally that has to be stopped. But he didn't mention, or maybe at least in this comment, that the rockets were fired after the heavy Israeli attacks against Lebanon, which killed -- well, latest reports, maybe 60 or so people and destroyed a lot of infrastructure. As always, things have precedents, and you have to decide which was the inciting event.
It doesn't seem like Stephen and George are talking about the same situation as Professor Chomsky. That's because they aren't. They live in a mirror dimension of road maps with apartheid roads, where peace processes lead to war. Where the oppressors are treated as victims and the victims are forgotten. Are they going to blame world war three on a kidnapped corporal like they blamed World war on a dead arch duke?

This image was originally posted at Daral

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