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by Anna Baltzer
I am sitting in an internet cafe in Beirut trying to concentrate, but I just can’t. There are hundreds of heartbreaking emails to read through, each one worse than the last. The carnage did not stop with the so-called “ceasefire” (I use quotations because the slow massacre of starving an entire population of basic human necessities — sufficient food, water, medical supplies, heat — continues). Everyday on television we watch new bodies being dug out of the rubble. And now that a few international reporters and humanitarian workers have been allowed into Gaza, we hear more of the stories that had previously been left untold.
I do not have the resilience to even bear one more month here. I am so drained, so pained, and of course I have the luxury of being able to buy a ticket and leave whenever I want. It’s fitting that Beirut will be one of my last stops. Here a city, devastated by war after war, continues to rebuild itself, like the rest of Lebanon and like Gaza. Beirut nightlife buzzes around me as I write, and I have to believe that if the millions of Lebanese and Palestinian people repeatedly traumatized in this war-torn land have pulled themselves together to rebuild and look to a better future, then I’ll manage to as well.
Paul Craig Roberts
On the last day of the old year in CounterPunch, two Israelis, Jeff Halper who heads the Israeli peace movement ICAHD, and Neve Gordon, who is chairman of the department of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University, asked, “Where’s the Academic Outrage Over the Bombing of a University in Gaza?”
“Not one of the nearly 450 presidents of American colleges and universities who prominently denounced an effort by British academics to boycott Israeli universities in September 2007 have raised their voice in opposition to Israel’s bombardment of the Islamic University of Gaza earlier this week,” report Halper and Gordon. They note that Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger, who has in the past ignorantly insulted Islamic representatives, “has been silent.”
It is the goyim moralists who are silent, not the Jews. It is the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, not the goyim media, that provides reports of Israel’s abuse of Palestinians. Gideon Levy’s “The Neighborhood Bully Strikes Again” was published December 29 in Haaretz, not in the goyim press. Levy’s words, “Once again, Israel’s violent responses, even if there is justification for them, exceed all proportion and cross every red line of humaneness, morality, international law and wisdom.” These are not words that can appear in American print or TV media. Such words, printed in Israeli newspapers, never reach the goyim.
Information Clearing House
“I have a vision of Americans in their 80’s being wheeled to their offices and factories having lost their legs in imperial wars and their pensions to Wall Street speculators and with bitter memories of voting for a President who promised change, prosperity and peace and then appointed financial swindlers and war mongers.” An itinerant Minister 2008
The entire political spectrum ranging from the ‘libertarian’ left, through the progressive editors of the Nation to the entire far right neo-con/Zionist war party and free market Berkeley/Chicago/Harvard academics, with a single voice, hailed the election of Barack Obama as a ‘historic moment’, a ‘turning point in American history and other such histrionics. For reasons completely foreign to the emotional ejaculations of his boosters, it is a historic moment: witness the abysmal gap between his ‘populist’ campaign demagoguery and his long-standing and deepening carnal relations with the most retrograde political figures, power brokers and billionaire real estate and financial backers.
What was evident from even a cursory analysis of his key campaign advisers and public commitments to Wall Street speculators, civilian militarists, zealous Zionists and corporate lawyers was hidden from the electorate, by Obama’s people friendly imagery and smooth, eloquent deliverance of a message of ‘hope’. He effectively gained the confidence, dollars and votes of tens of millions of voters by promising ‘change’ (implying higher taxes for the rich, ending the Iraq war and national health care reform) when in fact his campaign advisers (and subsequent strategic appointments) pointed to a continuation of the economic and military policies of the Bush Administration.
“Dead babies can take care of themselves. Dead babies can’t take things off the shelves.” — Alice Cooper, “Dead Babies”
For two weeks now I have been spending a lot of time watching dead babies on television.
Dead children, too. And dead women. And dead old men. And dead young men.
And bleeding, maimed, mutilated, screaming people of all ages and both sexes.
Disfigured women lying in pools of blood. Children with part of their faces missing.
Crowds of horrified people gathered around, trying to help.
Naturally this has made me angry, and sad. Sometimes I have to turn off the television to pray and meditate to regain my emotional equilibrium.
Horrific as the images have been, none of them really got to me until this morning, when I turned on the TV and saw a very cute, very dead girl-baby lying arms akimbo on the street like a discarded doll, a puddle of blood at her feet about the size of a manhole cover.
Her too-perfect features were frozen in what could have been bliss, or terror. I finally broke down and cried.
Big shuddering sobs.
Here are the warnings against foreign influence given by George Washington in his farewell letter to the United States Congress in 1796.
Observe good faith and justice toward all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.
As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, practice the arts of seduction, mislead public opinion, influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak nation towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.
Americans are a gullible and naive people. They have been complicit for 60 years in crimes that in Arnold Toynbee’s words “are comparable in quality” to the crimes of the Nazis. As Toynbee was writing decades ago, the accumulated Israeli crimes might now be comparable also in quantity.
The US routinely vetoes United Nations condemnations of Israel for its brutal crimes against the Palestinians. Insouciant American taxpayers have been bled for a half century to provide the Israelis with superior military weapons with which Israelis assault their neighbors, all the while convincing America—essentially a captive nation—that Israel is the victim.