Saturday, October 29, 2005

Twin Towers of Hypocrisy

Twin Towers of Hypocrisy: Israel and U.S. Express Outrage, Promise Action

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - Two of the planets most egregious rogue nations took to the international stage last week to proclaim their respective outrage against their perceived enemy's perfidy, and have promised "action" against them. In Israel's case, that promise is already being fulfilled, as residents of the Gaza Strip suffer an escalated IDF aerial bombardment campaign.

Twin Towers of Hypocrisy:
Israel and U.S. Express Outrage, Promise Action
C. L. Cook

PEJ News
October 29, 2005

At this hour, the Israeli Defense Force is conducting continued air operations over the Gaza Strip. The latest bombing attacks have knocked out an electricity generation plant, police stations, and left roadways cratered. Israeli jets are also flying lowing-level supersonic sorties over Gaza, a practice adopted several months ago, whose sonic booms smash windows and terrify civilians.

The collective punishment comes in the wake of suicide bombings that have killed Israeli civilians, and intensified "rocket" attacks against Israeli settlements. If there is any doubt these attacks are aimed directly at civilians and not, as Israel claims, at "rocket launch sites," the dropping of leaflets from IDF planes into Gaza clearly promise Palestinians more collective suffering should suicide bombings and rocket attacks continue.

Collective punishment is a war crime, as laid out by international law, but then international law has never been an impediment to Israel in the past. The country is the single most cited scofflaw at the United Nations, standing in defiance of dozens of U.N. orders in council. So, it's with more than a little irony Israel would now be petitioning the U.N. for sanction against Iran, whose president called for the erasure of Israel from the map.

President Mamoud Ahmadinejad's comments came in a speech to attendees of the "World Without Zionism" conference held last week. The Iranian government has tried to assuage international sensibilities since, seeing condemnation from America, and a rebuke from ally Russia, and assured the U.N. it has no intention of attacking Israel, but that has done little to placate Iran's antagonists in Washington and London. Tony Blair hinted earlier this week it was perhaps time to "do something" about Iran.

The military implication of his statement was clear.

Iran has long been a focus of George W. Bush's desire to "reshape" the middle east, and the dismantling of Iran's nascent nuclear energy program is seen by the administration and its supporters in Israel as of primary concern. Iran has denied their nuclear program is geared to, or will be used in the future for, weapons manufacture. U.N. inspectors granted access to the program agree. but, that's not sufficient assurance for either America, or Israel. Public threats and diplomatic pressure on Iran to abandon their nuclear ambitions have been a central policy point for Bush over the last few years, and are now intensifying. The Israeli air force destroyed Saddam Hussein's near complete nuclear power plant in the early 1980's, and a similar action remains a potent, if tacit, threat to Iran.

Meanwhile, the United States is threatening Syria due, they say, to the preliminary findings of a U.N. investigation of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Haririri. The findings of that incomplete, and suspect, investigation has the U.S. clamouring for sanctions against Syria (imagine, murdering a former head of state!) and thousands of Syrians in the streets. The Syria now says it will begin there own investigation into the suspiciously timed assassination.

The Bush administration, and its allies in Britain and Israel, having enjoyed a lawless romp across the planet these last years, now seem to think the world's population entirely devoid of memory. They must too believe none with a sense of irony survive, as they the same criminals behind the abominable Iraq war and occupation, the slo-mo pogrom against the Palestinians, and the plethora of immoral assaults they conduct as a matter of doing business across the globe go a-weedle to the United Nations, the very institution they deride, over minor, and concocted injuries they feel they've received.

Chris Cook is a contributing editor to PEJ News. He also hosts Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.

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