Re:virus: The aftermath of attack in Gaza

Date: Sun Aug 11 2002 - 19:58:01 MDT

On 11 Aug 2002 at 19:25, Hermit wrote:

Interesting perspective, from one of Hermit's usual mainstream sources,
which bills itself as a source of 'alternative news and views', with a long and
storied history dating all the way back to October 2000, and including on its
columnist/journalist staff no one whom I recognize.
> ''A glitch in the Matrix''
> Source:
> ( Authors:Gabriel Ash
> Dated: 2002-07-26
> Aaron Brown, who has his own late night news show on CNN, is a man who
> inspires confidence. With his soft voice and his light, wistful smile,
> Brown is the incarnation of worldly thoughtfulness. In his demeanor,
> as well as in his words, Brown makes a simple promise to the viewer:
> on his show he will not allow emotions to obstruct the search for
> clarity; softly and politely, he will get to the bottom of things.
> Unfortunately, the confidence inspiring demeanor is part of the
> confidence game of the Corporate Media. Brown's real talent lies
> elsewhere. He is CNN's best reality patcher - the man you call when
> there is "a glitch in the Matrix."
> Such a glitch occurred on the night of Monday, July 22, when an
> Israeli F-16 jet, carrying out a so-called "targeted assassination,"
> dropped a one ton bomb on a building in a crowded neighborhood in Gaza
> City, killing 15 Palestinians in their homes, among them nine
> children.
> Why was this a glitch? The time and place of the Israeli attack raised
> questions regarding two cherished pillars of the "reality"
> manufactured by U.S. media news shows.
> The first pillar is the belief that Israel, being "a Western
> beachhead," and "the only democracy in the Middle East," values the
> life of civilians. This belief allegedly gives Israel the moral
> high-ground vis--vis the Palestinian resistance.
> The second pillar of "reality" threatened on Monday was the belief
> that Israel is, and always has been, interested in peace, only to be
> constantly rebuffed by the "lack of a partner."
> The first pillar: life
> Aaron Brown got to the salvage of the first pillar immediately in the
> introduction of the show. Listen and appreciate:
> "...we're going to begin tonight with the Middle East. It was an
> Israeli F-16. A missile hit some buildings. We'll get into the details
> in a moment."
> "But it seems clear that either the planning was horrible, or that the
> missile missed [its] target, or the Israelis simply didn't care who
> they killed if they got their man, a Hamas military leader."
> "At the risk of provoking an e-mail barrage, we reject the latter
> possibility. We don't believe the Israeli government would risk
> killing a couple of hundred people in order to maybe - maybe - get one
> guy."
> "But, of course, some people will believe that. In the same way some
> people who support Israel will believe anything bad about
> Palestinians, some Palestinians will believe anything evil about
> Israel. It is just one of the many reasons the tragedy of the Middle
> East is the most maddening story for us to report."
> "It is not our nature to assume the absolute worst about any people,
> and we're not going to do that here. Others may. No, what we will do
> is what we always do. We will look for facts and we will report them
> as we find them. And the facts alone tonight aren't going to make
> anyone - anyone - feel very good."
> Do you see how Brown manages in just a few sentences to a) point out
> the unsettling nature of the event, b) explain why it is unsettling,
> c) promise to stick to the facts, d) and, without any factual
> justification, dismiss the unsettling hypothesis out of hand as
> something that "other people" (presumably inferior) might believe, but
> one that "we" refuse to believe? You have witnessed the class act of a
> true professional.
> Let's go back to the facts. Are the actions of the government of
> Israel over the years compatible with a strong commitment to protect
> civilian life?
> Israel's policy of targeted assassination is an open policy of murder
> of "wanted" Palestinians, carried out in densely inhabited areas with
> every possible weapon. Bystanders are often killed and injured.(1)
> Apart from the particularly high number of bystanders killed, the last
> Gaza attack was "business as usual." The morning after, Sharon was
> jubilant and called the attack "one of our greatest successes."
> Over 1500 Palestinians have been killed by the IDF since September
> 2000. Most were civilians and many were children. (2) The Israeli
> human rights organization B'tselem tries to investigate each case and
> its data alone belies Brown's faith in Israel's care for civilian
> life. IDF soldiers often use lethal force against unarmed
> Palestinians, even children, simply because they can. (3) Official
> investigations of Palestinian deaths are rare and cursory. (4)
> Routine IDF methods such as harassment and detention of medical
> personnel and blocking of emergency care (5) are designed to maximize
> the number of casualties.
> The Mitchell Report accuses the IDF of using lethal force to disperse
> demonstrations in September and October 2000. According to the report,
> such IDF excesses were a major cause for the escalation of Palestinian
> rioting into the current Intifada.
> Israeli settlers carry arms and routinely initiate attacks on
> Palestinians, attacks that often result in death. IDF soldiers
> sometimes watch the violence but do not intervene to stop it. In the
> rare cases settlers were brought to trial, the punishment was
> perfunctory: e.g. the Jewish Fundamentalist Rabbi Moshe Levinger
> served three months in prison for the shooting and killing of 43 year
> old shopowner Ka'id Saleh in 1998. The judge said Levinger deserved
> clemency because he was a father to many children. Presumably it
> mattered also that he was Jewish and the victim was Palestinian. (6)
> During the first Intifada, which mostly consisted of riots and civil
> disobedience, IDF soldiers and settlers killed over 1000 Palestinians.
> (7)
> The low value the Israeli government places on Palestinian lives goes
> back a long way. Thousands of Palestinian refugees were killed by the
> IDF and Israeli police between 1948 and 1956. Most of them were
> civilians trying to get back to their villages or fields. Israeli
> soldiers had orders to kill civilians found near the border on sight.
> The rest were killed in Israeli terror attacks on Palestinian villages
> across the border. (8)
> In one of the most infamous of these terror attack, Ariel Sharon led a
> death squad to the village of Qibia in 1953. The unit killed about 70
> unarmed Palestinians, men women and children, and then dynamited the
> village. This wasn't Sharon's idea. The orders he received instructed
> him to "cause destruction and achieve a maximum number of
> casualties."(9) There were many similar operations.
> This carnage was not random. It was the result of a doctrine clearly
> formulated by Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister. The murder of
> civilians was a central IDF method in the struggle to destroy and
> discourage Palestinian nationalism. Ben Gurion wrote in his diary, "At
> the place of action there is no need to distinguish between the guilty
> and the innocent."(10) Actually, Ben-Gurion was more circumspect than
> his generals. Many of the attacks occurred in places where nobody was
> guilty of anything beyond being Palestinian.
> Israel's terror attacks against civilians, officially described as
> "reprisals," had strategic goals: to create tensions between
> Palestinians and the countries forced to host them and to expel
> Palestinians from cross-border areas Israel wanted empty, such as the
> Jordan valley and South Lebanon.
> After the 1967 war, and even more so after September 1971, the focus
> of Israeli terror shifted to Lebanon. Between 1968 and 1981, thousands
> of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli air
> raids, artillery, and commando operations. Tens of thousands fled to
> the North as refugees. (11)
> During the same time, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
> mounted many operations against Israeli civilians. But there is no
> comparison. Israel murdered more civilians than the PLO by more than
> an order of magnitude. (12)
> Israel knew exactly what it was doing. In 1978, Ha'aretz military
> analyst Ze'ev Schiff, no friend of Palestinians, commented on a
> statement made by the Israeli Chief of Staff: "the importance of Gur's
> remarks is the admission that the Israeli Army has always struck
> civilian populations, purposely and consciously. . . the Army never
> distinguished civilian [from military] targets . . . [but] purposely
> attacked civilian targets even when Israeli settlements had not been
> attacked." (13)
> The crowning moment in this procession of brutalities was Israel's
> invasion of Lebanon in June 1982. The invasion was not a response to
> PLO cross-border attacks (there were none), but to the PLO's
> scrupulous observance of the cease-fire that had been agreed upon in
> July 1981. The Israeli government feared that the ability of the PLO
> to enforce the cease-fire would put pressure on Israel to negotiate
> the future of the Occupied Territories.
> Adding to the pressure, Saudi Arabia made a peace proposal (the Fahd
> plan) in August 1981. The prospect of peace scared Israeli politicians
> so much that fighter jets were sent to circle in Saudi skies. (14)
> The Lebanon invasion, masterminded by the "man of peace" Sharon, was a
> campaign of destruction directed against the civilian population,
> especially the Palestinian refugees, who were considered "terrorists,"
> and "bi-legged animals."
> Refugee camps and cities, including Sydon and Beirut, were shelled and
> turned to rubble. The IDF, as usual, gave particular attention to
> bombing hospitals, arresting medical personnel and stopping medical
> supplies from reaching the civilian population. At least 20,000
> people, Lebanese and Palestinians, were killed by IDF shelling in the
> first three months of the war, almost all of them civilians. Some
> 400,000 became refugees again after their homes were razed to the
> ground. (15)
> When President Reagan lost patience with Israel during the siege of
> Beirut, Prime Minister Begin sent him a delirious telegram in which he
> justified the shelling of Beirut by invoking an image of Hitler hiding
> inside the city. Apparently, had the U.S. sent Israel Prozac instead
> of guns, there would have been peace in the Middle East a long time
> ago.
> The most notorious example of Israel's so-called concern for civilian
> life took place in September 1982 in Sabra and Shatila. About 150
> Phalangists were sent by the Israeli command into the camps,
> supposedly to "mop up terrorists." The Phalangists did exactly what
> could be expected of them based on their well known previous behavior.
> They systematically massacred the camp inhabitants for 36 long hours.
> The IDF sealed off the camps, fired flares so the killing could go on
> in the night, and supplied bulldozers to bury the bodies. The massacre
> happened in full view of IDF positions. All the Israelis who got wind
> of the massacre as it happened, and there were quite a few, chose to
> do nothing (except for the journalist Ze'ev Schiff, who called a
> minister, who called another minister, who did nothing). (16)
> What then are the "facts" that convinced Brown Israel must care deeply
> about civilian casualties? What should we believe more: the latest
> statements of regret issued by Shimon Peres and Yossi Sarid, or half a
> century of unrelenting war against civilians?
> But let's not hold it against Aaron Brown. He cultivates his ignorance
> for a reason. He doesn't want to have to choose between his job and
> his conscience.
> The second pillar: peace
> The reason the second belief was shaken (the belief that Israel wanted
> peace but didn't have a partner), was that the attack in Gaza followed
> two developments, both of which Brown mentions, which raised hopes for
> a reduction in violence.
> First, there were busy negotiations Monday between the Palestine
> Authority (PA) and Israel over withdrawal from two West Bank cities.
> Second, Sheik Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, under intense
> pressure, made a statement opening the way to ending Hamas's suicide
> attacks operations. Israel's terror attack in Gaza took place only
> hours before the planned announcement of a resolution by Fateh leaders
> to end all attacks on non-combatants. Hamas has reportedly agreed to
> honor the cease-fire.
> It is almost inconceiveable that the decision to kill such a high
> level leader was taken without consideration of the about to be
> announced cease-fire, in whose drafting European and British teams
> participated.
> This is in fact the third time this year that Israel responds to a
> cease-fire with the assassination of a Palestinian leader. Hamas
> leader Abu-Hanoud (assassinated in December 2001), and Fateh leader
> Ra'ed Karmi (assassinated in January 2002) were both killed in similar
> circumstances.(*17) The two assassinations scuttled two cease-fires
> announced by Arafat and generally observed.
> Just as Israel preferred a terrorist PLO to a negotiating PLO in 1982,
> it seems now Israel prefers suicide attacks to negotiating with Hamas
> and Fateh.
> To patch this breach in "reality," Brown invited a single guest to the
> show, Daniel Pipes, an "expert" who worries that American Muslims plot
> to take over America (from the hands of AIPAC, I presume) and whose
> views on the Middle East are shared by the Israeli right. So much for
> "balance"! But Pipes is absolutely necessary. After all, Brown's
> mission at CNN is to convince his viewers that the attack on Gaza can
> be accommodated within the media "reality" regarding virtuous Israel.
> The task of figuring out how Brown used Pipes to patch the image of
> Israel as a peace loving country is left to the reader. The transcript
> of the show is available
> What is maddening about the Middle East is not that it is a "maddening
> story for us to report." What is maddening about the Middle East is
> that the U.S. is dumping billions of dollars in military equipment
> every year into the hands of a nation in the grip of a post-traumatic
> psychosis, a nation that hallucinates the moustache of Adolf Hitler
> above the lips of every Palestinian, man, woman or child, and whose
> leaders manipulate its delirium to justify an endless and lawless war
> against civilians. What is maddening about the Middle East is that the
> U.S. is maddening the Middle East.
> ----
> This message was posted by Hermit to the Virus 2002 board on Church of
> Virus BBS.
> <;action=display;thread
> id=26028>

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