Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni announced today that the Palestinian civilians killed by the IDF in Gaza were “a product of circumstance.”
Livni recognizes that the carnage may present a public relations problem for the Israeli government: “These matters will present us with a complicated task … The consequences, in the context of civilians casualties, are something we have to deal with, among ourselves and in facing the world.”
Livni need worry little about either the U.S. Congress or the bulk of the American media. Her “product of circumstance” explanation will be taken as sufficient absolution regardless of how many hundreds of corpses of dead women and children are uncovered in Gaza in the coming days and weeks.
And whatever Rules of Engagement the IDF used will be irrelevant. It wouldn’t be fair to blame the Israeli military for “circumstances,” after all.
Lew Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and proprietor of LewRockwell.com, and syndicated columnist/reporter/author Eric Margolis, discuss Bush and Cheney’s bloodletting in Gaza, the war crime of blockading civilians, the dangers of Obama’s plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan, Hosni Mubarak and Egypt’s future as America’s client dictatorship, the proverbial “stupid or the plan” conundrum, the continued danger of war with Iran and some decent media from around the world.
It can often be difficult being a Jew and a proponent of individual rights for all when that clashes with the actions of the Jewish state that claims to represent and defend you. For years I have fought to just educate my family members on some basic facts on the founding of Israel and what happened to its original inhabitants — facts that were created before Palestinian terrorism was a concern. British “ethnic Ashkenazi” artist Mike Marcus has taken this to another, more active level in actually moving to Israel, experiencing the occupation himself, and then expressing his outrage through art projects. He was in my neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn recently, pasting up one of his pieces, and one of my neighbors interviewed him for a local art publication. Check out my blurb on local website BushwickBK.com for more info on Mike Marcus, the man who gassed himself (so he could cry).
You never know who you might run into at the local mall–perhaps even an Army recruiter. At the Franklin Mills shopping mall in Philadelphia the U.S. Army Experience Center has 60 computers with military videogames to ensnare young people. Prospective soldiers can also pretend to fire from a real Humvee or participate in a helicopter raid.
This is certainly contributing to the modern Army’s culture of death that thisÂ former Army Ranger just wrote me about:
Dear Dr. Vance,
Today I followed a large pickup bearing an Arizona “Purple Heart”Â Â plate and driven by a youngish type, perhaps in his 30s, a sadÂ Â commentary in itself. But worse, it sported a bumper sticker reading,Â Â “Special Forces. If God didn’t want us to kill people, he wouldn’tÂ Â have made us so good at it.”
From a culture I’m well familiar with (having completed RangerÂ Â training 37 years ago), such a sentiment would once have been sharedÂ Â only among practitionersâ€”Rangers, Special Forces, Delta Forceâ€”and not Â
thought fit for even non-elite infantrymen. Now we’re seeing it openlyÂ and casually expressed, as if commenting on the economy. Even aÂ Â generation ago soldiers expressed regret about their experiences; nowÂ Â they want to tell you how proud they are to have killed and,Â presumably, that they would not hesitate to do it again.
Join the Army, meet interesting people, kill them.