Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Gaza Day 43


How quickly we forget. The common refrain these days is "nothing to see here," "move along, now." The thousands of children who died needlessly in Iraq. The children of Lebanon and the cluster bombs. And now the almost forgotten 437 slain children of Gaza.

The child in this picture did not survive. She was buried alive by the debris from a bombing attack, as detailed in surgical coldness by Paul Rogers:
The war started with an intense aerial operation involving 88 Israeli strike aircraft attacking 100 pre-planned targets in under four minutes. 400 more targets were hit within the first week of the war...
Mr. Rogers of the Oxford Research Group, continues on with his aseptic analysis of the situation in January. As an American, I find the following paragraph chilling:
It is certainly the case that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) had undertaken very detailed planning and training for a major air and ground offensive to be directed at Hamas, including a substantial increase in infantry training for urban warfare. Much of this was concentrated at a new facility, the National Urban Training Centre, the mock Arab town of Baladia in the Negev complete with refugee camp. This was built for the IDF by the US Army Corps of Engineers, financed largely by US military aid and has been in operation for the past eighteen months.
Think about this for a moment. This operation, with its devastation of the civilian population, was planned in model of a civilian facility (a "mock Arab town" and a "refugee camp") built by the American Army. The American Army is financed by my tax dollars.

One of the most powerful armies in the world plans, for many months, to attack a civilian population and trains for it not by combating simulated soldiers, but by practicing attacking a refugee camp. To do this it is equipped by the U.S.:
... F-16 strike aircraft and the Apache helicopter gunships are seen as US aircraft in Israeli markings, and there is the memory of the airlift of military supplies from the United States to Israel at the time of the 2006 Lebanon War.
You might say that this is real politik. But why then do we view what the General Ratko Mladić did in Sebrenica with such moral outrage?

Slowly the world starts coming around to confronting the fate of these children. It is difficult to review the pictures, particularly when one shares the guilt, without wondering where we all are heading.

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