Sunday, January 18, 2009

Life and Death Within the Rubble

Life and Death Within the Rubble
by C. L. Cook
Just in time for the inaugauration of the Great Hyped Hope, Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. Israel announced it will cease for now its ruthless fire over Gaza. Following three weeks of the most brutal, post-modern warfare witnessed, (despite Israel's best efforts to restrict the recorded proof of its criminality in occupied Palestine) by the world, the international corporate media and state broadcasters in the western democracies are breathing a collective sigh of relief, and trying, in their best approximation of an authoritive voice, to convince their audiences, appalled for the most part at the spectre of Israel's high-tech "war" of collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza, that there's nothing left to see here.

"Just go about your business folks," they intimate, cutting quickly to the banality of preparations for Tuesday's Obama swearing in ceremonies. Typically, what's left unsaid by these major media actors, like just what is to become of those thousands of Gazans left orphaned, homeless, and/or horribly wounded and disfigured to wander the rubble field that was until recently their towns, cities, and villages speaks volumes.

The final stage of Israel's 'Operation Cast Lead,' that so far has meant the mortal destruction of at least 1400 Palestinians, and the wounding of some 4,000, with the rubble yet to be cleared in search of the doubtless many more crushed and mutilated laying there below, is underway. It is being waged over the airwaves, in the printed press, and between the ears of the denizens of the distant nations that supported Israel's military government before this latest atrocity, and whose political elite continue to support the nation that routinely uses terror and violence as its first and final foreign policy tools when dealing with its neighbours.

Key to this battle is the notion that the cessation of the coordinated killing exercises, conducted until today by Israel, is the end of the story. The truth of course is: The effects of Israel's outright onslaught against the people and infrastructure of captive Gaza will be an acutely felt daily experience of hardship for survivors, one that will last years. Long after the world spotlight on the horrors perpetrated by Israel these last three weeks has moved along, forgetting what must be forgotten, and again getting back to ignoring the decades of constant existential abuse Palestine continually suffers at the hands of criminal Israel, the crippled, homeless, and insane will continue to live amid the wreckage. Trapped in time, these prisoners of the walls and razor wire of Gaza are now captured not only in space, but will be prisoners of time, destined to forever live with the anguish of wounds delivered over these last three weeks.

Moving On

There is great allure for the casual viewers in Canada and America in accepting the story, being able now to turn one's gaze away from the violence shown by the various media during this casting of lead in Gaza. It's a truly ugly scene. It is a picture of terror, death, and ruination ruthlessly composed and methodically executed. It is a crime scene, and because it is a crime scene it must be preserved for a while, seared into the memory of we witnesses to it, lest it be forgot: These crimes must not be allowed to continue. As Lebanon's similar savaging in 2006 is now a distant non-happening within the severely limited corpo/state media discourse, (not to mention the hundreds killed and wounded during that other Israel killing campaign, Operation Summer Rain, waged against Gaza concurrent with southern Lebanon's destruction) Gaza's most recent raping is due too to be shelved somewhere just beyond popular remembrance, its many crimes untried and unlamented.

As Israeli troops and tanks repair to their television sets to watch Obama elevated beyond the wildest dream of all but a few Americans, outgoing prime minister, Ehud Olmert, and the touted incomer PM, Tzipi Livni have warned this ceasefire is not permanent and they could easily return to Gaza, return to the rain of death and destruction, unchastened by world disgust or moral approbrium, free to act against anyone with utter impunity.

The media is allowed in to Gaza now to display to Israel's enemies the price of defiance. Striking notes of compassion for the victims, something absent during the hot phase of this Operation Cast Lead, England's state organ, the British Broadcast Corporation wonder what is to become of the people now? In the background the women can be seen, amongst the broken buildings, Gaza's own 'Truemmerfrauen,' or "rubble women" pick through the bricks, hoping to salvage enough to erect a future for their children; a future at least until the Israeli's return. But perhaps this time, the collective memory will not be so brief, and the world may have finally had a belly-full of Israel and its exceptionally violent impunity.

German "Rubble Women" "Truemmerfrauen"

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