U.S. big bullies: American might is behind campaign of brutality

By BILL KAUFMANN
Calgary Sun, December 31, 2001
http://www.canoe.ca/Columnists/kaufmann.html

As a new year dawns, the fight for justice, good and all that's right under
the stars and stripes will continue unabated and largely unchallenged.

Few tears are shed for a deposed Taliban regime and the scattering of its
odious al-Qaida allies and rightly so. But 2002 also promises to be yet
another year of eyes averted from more inconvenient realities.

While pillorying the rhetoric spewed by accused mass murder Osama bin Laden,
Washington threatens Iraq while cloaking its own campaign of terror in terms
of justice and security. Merely raising "the need" to attack an Iraq that's
been bombed and starved continuously for the past 11 years is an open
admission the U.S.-led bullying against that country has been an abysmal
failure.

What the bombings and quarantine haven't failed to achieve is the death of
1.5 million Iraqi civilians, while doing little to weaken the regime of
Saddam Hussein.

In a Dec. 11 letter to the UN Security Council, former U.S. attorney general
Ramsey Clark said the U.S. military and economic assaults on Iraq "violate
the Genocide Convention."

Perhaps former U.S. ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright's comments
calling the death by embargo of 500,000 Iraqi children a price worth paying
can now be placed in context. The Iraqis, including their children, would be
too sick and hungry to fight back against another concerted U.S. assault,
thus sparing the courageous U.S. military personnel.

While the U.S. enforces a no-fly zone over the north of Iraq ostensibly to
protect Kurds from Saddam, Washington's loyal NATO ally Turkey continues to
brutally subjugate its own Kurdish population.

One could be generous and assume the U.S., even with all its intelligence
assets, doesn't know how its weaponry is being used in Turkey, or we could
conclude it's all part and parcel of what the U.S. originally called
Operation Infinite Justice and to which Washington is so fondly devoted. The
Palestinians are well acquainted with such justice; their revolt against a
brutal military occupation is quelled by U.S. weaponry, cash and decades of
encouragement.

Following a recent visit to the Gaza Strip -- a crowded, barren expanse of
misery hemmed in and transected by Israeli troops, former New York Times
Mideast bureau chief Chris Hedges wrote of a most illuminating experience.

Israeli soldiers armed with loudspeakers cursed the inhabitants of one
Palestinian refugee camp, knowing children and teens would emerge to
ineffectually throw stones.

The Israeli soldiers then gunned down the youths with live bullets, wrote
Hedges, who noted he'd covered other wars where children were deliberately
slaughtered.

"But I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a
trap and murder them for sport," Hedges wrote in a recent Harper's magazine
article. Palestinian police told Hedges their attempts to disperse the
stone-throwing children were greeted by more Israeli bullets.

Despite the ongoing intifada, the population of the illegal Israeli
settlements in the occupied territories continues to grow, as does their
massively disproportionate use of water.

Mohammed Hussein, a pharmacist I met in Gaza City's Beach Refugee Camp said
the unhealthy drinking water has blessed him with an unfortunate silver
lining. "The state of health is not good, so sales for the pharmacy are
good," he says.

Tens of thousands of olive trees nurtured over decades and an economic
staple for Palestinians have been obliterated by the occupying troops under
the guise of "security."

The Israeli occupiers routinely machine gun, shell and bulldoze inhabitants
out of their homes to further buffer and service the unlawful settlements.

Relatively affluent Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. aid --
funds that traditionally flow to impoverished nations. The Palestinians, on
the other hand are unworthy victims; their oppression has become
institutionalized and accepted. The sickening suicide attacks against
Israelis are a product of a weak, trampled and humiliated people.

It would appear justice is less than infinite and its application dependent
more on might than morality.

 

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