Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Now, antiwar.com states that at least 364 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,500 wounded. In order to stop missile attacks that have been embarrassingly ineffective, Israel, with US support, has launched airstrikes that have killed a proportion of the population of Gaza equal to twenty 9/11 attacks within the US. But, of course, this reported justification is pretextual, the real purpose of the airstrikes, along with the blockade that has impoverished Gaza for months, is the removal of the elected Hamas government.
Michele sent me this: "In an effort to help Americans get a sense of the death & destruction in Gaza, I came up with the following figures yesterday.
Gaza pop = 1387276 and .02% is 277
Israel pop is 7337000 and .02% is 1,467
US pop is 305505444 and .02% is 611,011*
I've double checked my figures and believe they are correct...for yesterday. Can you imagine how we Americans would react and feel if 611,011 Americans had died in the last 3 days from bombs?"
* Correction: 02% of American pop is 61,101
Posted by As'ad at 11:20 AM
Imagine, however, if countries on the receiving end of US violence were considered justified in directing such force against the US. The US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have been exponentially, if not, according to the mathematical definition of the term, infinitely more destructive than the Hamas missile attacks. Hence, if the same standard were applied, one cannot avoid the conclusion that the Iraqis and Afghans would be entitled to exterminate the entire American population.
Similarly, the missile attacks have bordered on symbolic resistance if compared to the Israeli violence directed against Gaza over the last two years. Prior to the recent increase in attacks, Israel refused to respond favorably to overtures from Hamas for peace negotiations centered around a two state solution as it continued to strangle the economy of Gaza. Such a decision was a predictable one given as its historic policy has been the elimination of any independent voice to represent the Palestinians. Here again, if the Palestinians were considered justified in responding to Israeli violence with the same degree of force as the Israelis are using now, the outcome would be the killing of everyone within the state of Israel, whether Jewish, Arab or Bedouin.
Beyond this, there is something extremely disquieting about this situation a sense that, as with Afghanistan, the violence with the Middle East is about to spiral even more out of control. Even worse, a feeling that the violence that is being directed against Afghans, Iraqis and Palestinians will soon escape the confines of the region and erupt elsewhere, say, Europe or here in the US. In this respect, the substitution of Obama for Bush as the President of the US looks increasingly like a footnote, one noted in passing as the fundamental policies that ignite such violence are not only perpetuated, but intensified.