This photo shows one of the strongest explosions in Gaza today [via Gaza Youth Break Out]. [Correction: The picture above is from the 2009 attack on Gaza: From @felimmcmahon tweet: “Normally excellent @MaanNewsAgency ran 2009 pic without caption in early report of today’s airstrike … http://lockerz.com/s/191346127” … “They often run ‘file pic’ alert in grey caption box. In fairness, anyone can make a mistake. Lots of ppl tweeting that pic today.” — I’ll keep the photo posted though as a reminder of the continuing tragedy that reigns there.]
Tweets I’m following:
Important material: The Other Half of the Story
[From the Dark Side of the Moon is a subjective listing of news, analysis & opinion that may not have made front page in North American media. Themes and topics relate to the Middle East, in particular to Palestine.] – Previous listings
“Instead of being angry that [WikiLeaks] has shamed the US government by making its crimes a matter of public record, let us instead direct our anger where it belongs, at the officials whose crimes we are now discovering.” – The Glaspie Memo
There are two major conflicts that have been brewing in the Middle East, one for decades, the other for much longer. Those two conflicts are interrelated; they feed upon each other. The Israel/Palestine conflict has been front and centre for a long time and we do have a sense, more or less, of how it affects our policies here. It is less so with the second conflict, the one opposing Shiite Iran (& its allies) and Sunni Saudi Arabia (& its allies).
Afghanistan is where the struggle between those two powers is being waged, with the support of the US and the West, those two having sided with Sunni Saudi Arabia, which this strategist thinks is rather unwise:
[A] U.S.-Iranian grand bargain has become essential to avoiding something close to strategic failure in Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic will […] continue supporting its longstanding Afghan allies in resisting a Taliban onslaught backed by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. But, in the absence of a broader strategic understanding, those efforts will be seen, in Washington, and elsewhere, as undermining whatever political arrangements the Karzai government has reached with the Taliban. And that will fuel a regional proxy conflict with Afghanistan as the main battlefield, and with the United States drawn increasingly into supporting Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. – LINK
All that may be moot though. The dice seems to have been cast. The U.S. (and the West) do not appear to have any intention of leaving the region at all. Even more ominously, a storm is gathering involving those other pesky Shiites in Lebanon. Neutralizing them will deprive Iran of an essential flank in its struggle with Saudi Arabia, leaving the region, especially Lebanon itself, opened to aggression mainly from the Saudis and, of course, from Israel.
In the latter case, it will be more spaces to colonize and water galore, the Palestinians deprived of a useful ally, what’s not to like? And that, when all the noise has been silenced, may ultimately be the main reason why the US and the Western powers are sending their sons & daughters to die or to get maimed in Afghanistan.
“It is a matter of instinct and conscience,” writes Costello, in an open letter on the cancelation of a concert in Israel this summer. “There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.” – MORE
I’ve posted a couple of links here in response to a comment on the blog on the need to put out information on what is being done to the Palestinians, much of it in our name and on our dime.
Here’s a relevant quote that very much resonates with my own experience [emphasis mine]:
I’m writing my Senior Research Paper (at Cal State Northridge) on the Palestinian Right of Return, and my professor suggested I examine the precedents of compensation and repatriation set by the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
I started investigating the Claims Conference stuff, and I decided to delve deeper into the actual stories. The more I read the more I was horrified.
Horrified that humanity could watch this and do nothing. Horrified by the parallels between Nazi treatment of Jews and Israeli treatment of Palestinians.
And furious at the exploitation of these innocent victims to justify dehumanizing and oppressing other people. – Joseph Glatzer
Deceptively Called “Protecting Israel’s Security” by Edward S. Herman in Z Magazine, May 2010
With Israel, the West is actively engaged in supporting a state that violates the Fourth Geneva Convention on a daily and multiyear basis, ignores International Court (and international community) opinion on matters like the wall, continuously takes land and water from Palestinians and gives it to Jewish settlers, and freely attacks across borders in wars and assassination programs. – via Media Lens
A review of Norman Finkelstein’s latest book This Time We Went Too Far: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion by Jamie Stern-Weiner:
On December 27 2008, after years of “protracted collective punishment” had produced a “humanitarian implosion” of “unprecedented” proportions and reduced the territory to almost complete dependency on international aid, Israel invaded Gaza. It opened with a co-ordinated air assault “at around 11.30am, a busy time, when the streets were full of civilians, including school children leaving classes”. The attack took people in Gaza by surprise, violating as it did an informal truce agreed the day before. Most of the targets struck were located in “densely populated residential areas”, and dozens of people were killed in a matter of minutes. As one Israeli analyst observed, the IDF “intended to kill a great many [people] … and succeeded”. Over the next three weeks the Israeli military assaulted Gaza from land, air and sea. Trapped on all sides, the population had nowhere to flee. By the time the bombing stopped, some 1,400 Palestinians had been killed, most of them civilians, including hundreds of children. – MORE
“Do not read this book, if you are an American or British citizen conscious of the obligations of democracy, who wants to believe that Judeo-Christian morality played some part in your government’s decision to invade and occupy Iraq to impose ‘democracy and freedom’. For if you do, you may be crushed by its revelations of deliberate state-ending destruction and a policy of cultural cleansing; by your shared responsibility for this human and national calamity; and, despite the near irreparability of what has been accomplished, by the massive reparations needed now and for the next fifty years to begin to counter the consequences of genocide. The case for cultural genocide is powerfully made in this extraordinary and frightening book.” [link added] – Denis Halliday