Last night watching Rachel Maddow--a new favorite (there are not enough hours in the day for a news junkie like me; I have to self-restrict my TV if I'm going to blog, read, do anything else productive; then what happens is I discover people like Rachel, and Oxford PhD, no less, doing the news)--and she tells us that the Gaza strip is about twice the size of Washington DC--360 square kilometers. [Actually, that's not quite right, Rachel. DC is 259 sq km. So a proper rendering would be something like "Washington DC is about three-quarters the size of the Gaza Strip.*] So let me see here: our buddies in Israel are just bombing the living shit out of place one-quarter again the size of our national capitol crammed with about 1.5 million people. Just what is funny about this picture?
Well, to me it's a bit like a full-grown guy whipping up on a two-year old. And here we are, we Americans, making excuses for the full-grown guy. Just like we always do. Since the eruption of this latest Arab-Israeli crisis a few days ago, the Bush administration has blamed Hamas for the outbreak of the violence and said that Israel is justified in retaliating. What the hell?
Chris Floyd's outrage about this is instructive:
Here is a simple, stone cold fact. You cannot read or hear the truth about what is happening in Gaza from any corporate media in the United States. The only thing you will find there are regurgitations of Israeli spin, which are themselves only regurgitations of the kind of spin that American militarists have put on their own depredations -- for centuries now.Floyd reports an even more damnable piece of news: these attacks by Israel have been planned for months! They would have happened without any provocation at all.
Papers in Israel -- in Israel, but not the United States -- are reporting the truth: the murderous assault on Gaza was planned not only before the six-month ceasefire ended -- it was planned before the cease-fire even took effect. Indeed, the cease-fire was part of the military plan to decimate the civilian areas of Gaza; it was a hoax, a scam, a deliberate feint to buy time for military preparations -- precisely the same strategy followed by the Bush Regime (and its bipartisan Establishment supporters) in "going to the UN" to seek a "peaceful solution" to the "Iraqi crisis" -- when the invasion was already in the works.So now we learn that the Administration is pressuring Israel to relent. Oh, really? Ya think? Civilian deaths in Gaza have now risen above 60 and total deaths there surpass 350. (Just out of curiosity, I'd like to know the original source for these numbers. I'd be willing to wager they are higher.) I don't know where the figures stand today. Some of them have been caused by GBU-39 smart bombs the US has supplied Israel with. My recollection is that the Hamas rocket attack on Israel that ostensibly provided the bogus rationale for the massive retaliation killed 3 Israelis.
I'm not exonerating Hamas, not by a long shot. These guys are stone crazy for so much as tossing a rock at those people to their east who are even crazier than they are. But if we cannot have justice, a prerequisite for peace, I believe in the doctrine of fairness. This is insane.
*Just how anal is this, this ridiculous obsession with accuracy? I've decided it's overcompensation for the poor estate to which accuracy and correctness, not to mention morality, manners, and consideration for other people, have fallen in the dying empire.