Jonathan Fryer

Bush’s Final Dirty Deed in Gaza

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 4th January, 2009

gaza-city   Israeli ground troops have gone into the Gaza Strip, in what Israeli military sources have called a ‘limited operation’. Major Avital Leibovitch told reporters in Jerusalem that ‘we are going to take some of the launch areas used by Hamas’. That suggests a quick, surgical strike, but it certainly won’t be like that in reality. Palestinian militants who have (wrongly and stupidly) been lobbing missiles into Israel have largely been doing so from portable launchers which they can set up anywhere. What that means is that Israeli soldiers will have to go into densely populated areas, including in Gaza City, where civilian casualties are likely to be high. The massacre of the innocents which started with the recent Israeli bombardments has entered a new, vicious phase. And of course the Palestinians will resist. People do, when they are invaded by a foreign force, even when their weapons are no match for the enemy’s.

Not for the first time in recent modern Middle Eastern history, there is an evil power which is allowing all this to happen: the Bush administration in Washington. Some commentators had speculated that before George Bush left office, he would do something ‘spectacular’, like bomb Iran. But encouraging Israel to invade — and possibly reoccupy — Gaza was, in my view, always a more likely option. Bullies tend to pick on the weaker prey.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, but Tel Aviv will not listen. The United States has told Israel it doesn’t need to. The UN Security Council met in an emergency session but it failed to come up with an agreed statement, thanks to the United States. US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff declared that a statement which blamed both Hamas and Israel for the current situation would not be ‘helpful’. In other words, the Bush administration has given the Israelis carte blanche to do whatever they want in Gaza and to pin all the blame on Hamas.

Britain and other EU member states must disassociate themselves strongly from this obscene stance. We must denounce what is going on, in the strongest possible terms, to both Tel Aviv and Washington, and suspend Israel’s preferential relationship with the EU. Meanwhile, George W Bush is handing on to Barack Obama a poisoned chalice, as it is Obama who will have to try to extract the United States from the immoral position into which outgoing President Bush has placed it.

(photo of Gaza City: TravelPod)

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8 Responses to “Bush’s Final Dirty Deed in Gaza”

  1. Luis Vega said

    I wanted to stay quiet about the whole Israeli/Palestinian situation because it seems to be a futile losing proposition for both sides. But you blaming America and President Bush is both inaccurate, dangerous, and irresponsible.

    First, the United States of America has never been a colonizer of the Middle East but a liberator; both in Kuwait and now Iraq. The land Israelis and Palestinians fight over was a British protectorate and Europe granted the territory not us. Using your ‘politicized logic’ I could blame Prime Minister Gordon Brown for Gaza. But two wrongs do not make a right, ‘sadiki’.

    Second, while I was in Baghdad on March 2005 we were often attacked by mortars and missiles that were undirected and at times landed only a few feet from my office. Yet we never attacked innocent civilians nor villages for the mistakes of a few terrorists. That’s what Saddam Hussein used to do, why his neighbors despised him, and his own people rejoiced at his hanging.

    Third, in the back of our minds we American soldiers understood some Iraqis resented our presence on their territory because they saw us as occupiers not liberators, although we never planned, nor will, stay. Dehumanizing an enemy dehumanizes you. The American long term goal was peace (not war) and the Iraqis finally understood this. Our success there is actually their success: Iraqi success.

    Having being in Bahrain during the Hezbollah/Israeli conflict of 2006 I also understand how when colonizing (occupation) issues are not resolved they don’t go away but keep turning up after a few years in a cycles of violence and death – especially at election time. The problem between the Israeli and the Palestinians is more real estate than religion. One the participants seem unable to want to face. To their detriment thus creating cycles of genocide.

    Compare Iraq and Israel, and see how American leadership and military muscle can accomplish wonders with cooperation and mutual respect. The same can be said of the situation we faced with Japan, today great American allies. We learned in Vietnam poor untraditional guerrillas can overcome superior armies when they believe they are fighting for their dignity and freedom.

    I can only talk about Iraq and that we never retaliated against innocent civilians on purpose no matter what, although mistakes happen in war. Perhaps these are lessons others must learn if they want peace and democracy to exist in their turf. As we enjoy in Iraq and Japan today. Blaming others is easy, assuming responsibility to bring lasting peace: Wisdom. Inshallah!

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ytKbsQtplA0&feature=channel_page

  2. Muhammad Afzal said

    this is all shit you have talked about, there is nothing like peace in Iraq, that occupying iraq in the same sense that happened today to occupy Gaza by israel. Iraq’s were disarmed before it was going to be attacked. Under the Inspectors inspection, for the search of chemical weapons they were dis armed what they were having. I think you can understand my point of view now. You know well how you track and trap.

    The same in Gaza, Israel if fighting against who, those who have nothing, no planes, no fighting aids, no weapons, nothing nothing at all. I am sure Israeli’s can not dare to attack Gaza If they were knowing that their enemy is able to fight. They attacked because they know, they are empty hands and they cannot do nothing.

    I really back Jonathan, point of view. If President Bush wants, Israel can not attack or reoccupy Gaza. I did not support Hamas, becuase they suppose not to do what they did. If they were not having nothing to fight why they were disturbing Israeli’s. They should not invite the enemy anger if they could not resist or have the power to fight. By inviting their enemy to fight they cuase the innocent civillians to suffer. Neither Hamas nor Israeli action can be admired.

    It is true by encouraging Israeli, President Bush, is going to leave a chellenge for president obama.

    Thanks Jonathan for your true remarks.

  3. Muhammad Afzal said

    this is all wrong you have talked about, there is nothing like peace in Iraq, too many innocent died, too many children suffer, to many old and women were preyed. Americans did not attack iraq to establish peace in iraq, they went to chase the chemical weapons and to punish Saddam hussein. That all was wrong and it will never be admired. President Bush himself has given a statemtn that they went in iraq to find chemical weapons but they did not get nothing. And for your information, only those iraq’s of Shia Group Celebrate Saddam’s Hanging, and they are in Minority in Iraq. Your Complete Analysis is Wrong and You can not match with Jonathan Point of View. If you can compare then you should know occupying iraq is in the same sense that happened today to occupy Gaza by israel. Iraq’s were disarmed before it was going to be attacked. Under the Inspectors inspection, for the search of chemical weapons they dis armed what they were having. I think you can understand my point of view now. You know well how you track and trap. When Inspectors give green signal that now iraq do not have nothing to resist or attack then Americans dare to Attack Iraq. And you know well how american army entered Baghdad easily, nothing is hidden from you.

    The same in Gaza, Israeli’s are fighting against who, those who have nothing, no planes, no fighting aids, no weapons, nothing nothing at all. I am sure Israeli’s can not dare to attack Gaza If they were knowing that their enemy is able to fight. They attacked because they know, they are empty hands and they cannot do nothing.

    I really back Jonathan, point of view. If President Bush wants, Israel can not attack or reoccupy Gaza. I did not support Hamas, becuase they suppose not to do what they did. If they were not having nothing to fight why they were disturbing Israeli’s. They should not invite the enemy anger if they could not resist or have the power to fight. By inviting their enemy to fight they cuase the innocent civillians to suffer. Neither Hamas nor Israeli action can be admired.

    It is true by encouraging Israeli, President Bush, is going to leave a chellenge for president obama.

    Thanks Jonathan for your true remarks.

  4. @Luis

    If you haven’t read about recent US involvement in Israeli-Palestinian affairs, you might want to check out this Vanity Fair article. The US bears a lot of responsibility for the current massacre. And look what our government has to say about it.

    From a recent NY Times article: “As world leaders called on Saturday for an end to the Middle East violence, the Bush administration issued blistering criticism of Hamas, saying the group had provoked Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza by firing rockets into southern Israel.

    Gordon D. Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said that Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, was responsible for the outbreak of violence and called its rocket attacks ”completely unacceptable. These people are nothing but thugs,” he said. “Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas.”

    In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a statement that said: “The United States strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza. The cease-fire should be restored immediately. The United States calls on all concerned to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the innocent people of Gaza.” ”

    So you can see how the US gov has condoned and instigated a lot of the violence.

    550 Palestinians dead, 2,500 injured
    5 Israelis dead

    That is a massacre supported by the US.

  5. Luis Vega said

    My argument is not whether or not the United States supports Israel or not. We all agree. Bush foreign policy is no different to the previous decades’. It’s the same.

    My point was to contrast democratic evolution in Irak and Israel, what has been accomplished in the first in about 7 years, and in the second in more than 60 years. The first with direct American military intervention, the second an important ally in the region. As we have others.

    We also agree the loss of innocent lives and total destruction of infrastructure with no long term plan to solve political problems makes it a lose/lose proposition to all. But to simply place the blame of the tragedy in Gaza on American hands I still believe is inaccurate, dangerous and irresponsible. Becaust it’s simply not true.

  6. I totally agree with your views Luis Vegas.On the issues raised by Muhammad Afzal the only part I agree to is when you said in your first contribution above that “They (Hamas)should not invite the enemy anger if they could not resist or have the power to fight.By inviting their enemy to fight they cause the innocent civilians to suffer.”I also do not agree when you say that Hamas has no weapons because what about the rockets they are firing everyday?

  7. Luis Vega said

    I am not leading a movement but I do appreciate the support my comments receive. Nor I am trying to hijack Jonathan’s blog whose topics people deeply care about.

    The biggest obstacle to reaching a pragmatic solution to the seven decades long Israeli-Palestinian conflict rests not on the shoulders of America, nor on any of our past and future presidents. Responsibility lies as much on Arab disunity as in Israel’s aggression.

    Lamentably no solution will be found until Arabs countries act as a block to protect innocent lives on both sides of the ethnic spectrum, and those who feel that terror and genocide is their only protection realize the world will not join nor support their efforts. Especially because after seven decades of war and massacres the conflict seems unending.

    A series of American presidents of both political parties have tried to intervene with only minimal success, not because we lack the will to aid Israelis and Palestinians to reach an amicable durable agreement, but because we are not the main actors of this tragedy. Placing the blame on President Bush (as Jonathan did) is another excuse to avoid facing reality.

    Unity is more powerful than nuclear weapons in saving innocent lives on both sides. Isolating murderers on both sides might be another untried solution – No “bucks” no Buck Rogers.

  8. Muhammad Afzal said

    In response to your comments, ”I also do not agree when you say that Hamas has no weapons because what about the rockets they are firing everyday?”

    What you think a person holding a stick and other holding a gun will be equal? Infront of Modern Technologies, like planes, goggles to see in the darkness, tanks, machine guns etc. what is the importans of Rockets is. This is why in whole tension between israel & hamas, more than 1300 peoles were victims and only few upto 10-15 israeli soldiers die.

    One of my friend wrote above america is not responsible for that, yes its true in case of israel it will not be responsible but it will reach Iraq & Afghanistan to take responsibilities of what they were not committing or having. I mean Chemical Weapons. Who have these weapons is Israel & you may have read the new that some United Kingdom agency released that Israeli’s are using while Phosphorous. No body notice all this and no body took any action against this.

    We suppose to be realistic. We should use our sense to see what’s going in the World. You can analyse well my friend.

    Thanks for your comments.

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