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Craven Pragmatic Gazan Slaughter Interruptus

I read an interesting article by Jean Shaoul at wsws entitled “US and Egypt announce ceasefire in Israeli assault on Gaza”.

Shaoul asks within the article why the Israel/Gazan ceasefire co-sponsored by the United States (along with Egypt and Turkey) happened.

Say what?

But she persisted.

Why did it happen, especially since Obama himself had given a rather robust “green-light” to Israel as Obama exclusively focused on Israel’s “anti-rocket” self-defense rationalization, ignoring so many short-run and long-run pre-emptive and sadistic provocations from Israel.

According to Jonathan Cook, on November 8th the Israeli government invaded Gaza and killed a 13-year old boy playing football. This triggered a series of “tit-for-tat” Palestinian and Israeli killings.

Then on November 12th Israel broke another truce, after only two days, by assassinating Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari, who had been working on securing a long-term truce with the aid of the Egyptian government. This assassination triggered retaliatory launching of rockets by Hamas which Israel was then happy to point to and call its casus belli and begin slaughtering Gazans, whether militants or civilians. It made no difference.

Hmmmmm.

Witnessing the incredible pro-Israel “self-defense” rationale propaganda pouring out of our U.S. corporate media, especially the so-called “progressive” MSNBC coverage that proves its pure Obama regime puppet-ness once again, and knowing how our U.S. government, executive and legislative branches, are solidly in the pocket of Israel, no serious leverage from US shores was being rallied to stop the massacre.

Let’s face it. Despite the anti-humanity dimensions of the slaughter in Gaza this past week, Netanyahu had a blank check to continue on the vicious ethnic cleansing as far as Obama, the US Congress, the US media and a bobble-headed majority of the US population were concerned.

For those who think this week's ceasefire is a significant victory for securing peace and empathy for those in Gaza, who think that it has anything remotely to do with respecting the sanctity of human life, think again.

It is in the realpolitik, the political -- global, in this case -- gamesmanship, where the truth lies, NOT the “for the sake of humanity” wishful projection so many human beings want to attribute to their government and other governments in our Post-Morality world. Especially Americans who want to attribute “a peace sensibility” to an Obama who has done so much to defy that attribute in his first term and now the beginning of his -- shudder -- second term with his brutal illegitimate war-making, assassinations, detentions, prosecutions of whistleblowers, dronings, etc.

So, what are the United States, Israel, Turkey, and Egypt gaining from this ceasefire between Israel and Gaza? It is certainly not for the sake of the Gazan or even the Israeli populations. The horrors of collateral damage to foreign and even domestic peoples mean so little to the sociopathic leaders of our “ends justifies the means” “might makes right” governments. It is so hard to acknowledge that, but we all should know it in our heart of hearts by this time.

What are the benefits of the ceasefire for the Obama regime?

It has “finish off Syria” at the very top of its “to do” list. It had used and is still using the CIA working with al Qaeda terrorists to traumatize the Syrian population and government with mass deaths, infrastructure damage and population displacement. Now it intends to ramp up “official” violence probably in the name of U.N.-sponsored faux-humanitarianism to finish off the Assad regime.

After the Assad regime is eliminated, the Obama regime CAN GET ON TO WAR WITH IRAN!!!!

To get to this big payoff, WAR WITH IRAN, the United States certainly does not want any lingering energy and will of the Arab Spring to stagger forward on behalf of the victims of Gaza. Especially not to let said spirit re-inspire the now pathetically impoverished Egyptian population. Nor does the Obama regime want the Turkish population to turn on its present western-puppet leadership. It vitally needs Turkey to conquer Syria. It does not want the opportunistic Turkish government leaders to be distracted or even blocked by a pesky population exercising conscience.

If the U.S. had wanted to prevent last week’s bloodbath in Gaza it could certainly have reacted more quickly with the political, military and financial leverage it has with Israel. But it watched Netanyahu act out a week of incredible bloodlust.

Maybe Obama will get another Nobel Peace Prize out of this ceasefire? It takes so very little. Children killed or maimed? No biggie to prize givers or winners. He didn't even have to give substantive lip service to the ceasefire. He let Egypt handle it.

Israel’s advantages?

Reportedly the week’s violence will give Netanyahu a big bounce from the Israel “right” in his January election. People must die so an opportunistic leader can serve another term. Post-morality world is what it is.

The damage Israel did in eight days was profound. According to Shaoul, over 140 Palestinians were killed in the bombardment, most of them civilians. 34 children were included in this death toll. Hundreds devastatingly wounded. Israel punished hard and fast.

There was profound damage to infrastructure. 1,500 targets were hit since November 14th. As the ceasefire was about to be declared, craven Israel didn’t waste time getting its last sadistic licks in. That Wednesday according to Shaoul, Israel launched 100 more bombs and missiles, “pulverizing” a number of government buildings in Gaza including the Ministry of Internal Security. Also bombs from an F-16 damaged hotels housing international journalists including offices of Al Jazeera. Going after propaganda-defying international journalists was certainly satisfying vengeance from a suffer-no-criticism Israeli government.

The Netanyahu government insisted in this "latest" ceasefire agreement that Egypt police the Egyptian border of Gaza for it.

Most importantly, Netanyahu readied his country for FURTHER WAR. Before the adrenalin subsides in his people over the Gazan conflict that Netanyahu and his administration willfully provoked, the war-drum-beating message is “ON TO IRAN”! After all, Netanyahu has been impressing on his people that the weapons Hamas uses come from Iran. Do they? Or is that Israeli-US propaganda? Hard to tell any more.

Looking at the Egyptian government, Prime Minister Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood came out well politically-speaking. In realpolitik terms, he is desperate for funding and to appease his debts to Washington, the IMF and Gulf allies of the U.S. and to keep his Muslim Brotherhood in control Shaoul explains. The freedom-hungry but also literally HUNGRY-hungry masses of Egypt are capable of rising up once again against global governmental/corporate oppression! How long would they abide the sustained murdering of their neighboring Gazans one might wonder?

Finally, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu went to Cairo to “mediate” along with Mursi and Hillary Clinton. Davutoglu wants Turkey to play a major role in the overthrow of Syria, but if his population is agitated over the plight of the Gazans will they cooperate with said Syrian overthrow? After all, that pesky Arab Spring wasn’t all that long ago. Back in February.

Just a few cynical thoughts to throw out at the end of this Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Count your personal blessings, but don’t pretend our government and its crony governments are willing to forsake ruthless wars and corporate profit-making for peace and humanity.

Maybe take just a minute to say a prayer for our GLOBAL family, too?

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Submitted by jawbone on

a step toward ethnic cleansing. Kill enough of the young, along with the "breeders," and soon the population might decline. Got yer ethnic cleansing rollin' right along.

Add keeping them in virtual starvation.

Kill the people, kill their spirit, kill them as a recognizable legal and cultural entity. That's why so many cultural institutions in Gaza seem to targeted. Theater, art schools, etc.

Submitted by YesMaybe on

That (like libby's original use of the phrase here) is so completely off-base, the only conclusion I can come to is that I'll be better off ignoring anything related to Israel here at Corrente. I wouldn't think of defending Israel's actions, but the fact that they're awful doesn't mean that anything goes. I leave it to you all to look into the facts of the case as well as what ethnic cleansing means.

Submitted by lambert on

... as we say up here in the great state of Maine. In fact, I/P is virtually undiscussable and many blogs ban the topic. So I'm amazing this discussion has lasted as long as it has.

* * *

That said, were I to throw a flag, it would be on ethnic cleansing vs. aggression. I don't think one can regard the events in Gaza as such as ethnic cleansing. However, if one wishes to label the old Biblically sanctioned concept of "Kill them and take their land!" (the founding myth of many nations, including our own) as "ethnic cleansing," it's certainly possible to see what's happening to the Palestians (maps or not) as falling under that heading, with Gaza one play in the long game.

One understands the fear from the rockets, since it's exactly the "any time, anywhere" fear from drone strikes or, for that matter, the sudden explosions from V2 strikes in London, or the fall of shells from the sky behind the lines in the trenches of World War I. Surely to maintain its legitimacy with its population, the Israeli government must do all it can, and be seen to do all it can, to protect its citizens from the fear. However, that something must be done does not mean it can be done, and I fear that is the position in which Israel has found itself.

Perhaps in the same way that America as a polity today is "getting what it had coming to it" after electing Reagan twice, Israel is "getting what it had coming to it" for not being able to marginalize the factions that assassinated Rabin. The Israelis say "They voted for Hamas, so they have it coming." Which is true, especially since the Israelis voted for Bibi, Sharon, and Begin. I mean, this is what nation states do: They commit their citizenry to total war. Given that Israel is a state like any other, I don't know why anyone would be surprised that their civilian population is at risk, unless Israel is unwilling to think of the Palestinians as a nation state also engaged in total war, which, when you think about it, is one of the problems, isn't it?

If we stopped giving money to Israel, they'd probably shove all the Palestinians out, build a wall, and rely on their nukes for defense. Is that so bad? Could be; I'm not the war game type. An outcome like that could be considered a net positive for us, since Israel would be less likely to inveigle us into a war with Iran. Not so good for the Palestinians, and not so good for the Israelis either; who would want to live in a Prussian-like garrison state?

If anyboty has a less gloomy scenario, I'm happy to hear it...

Submitted by libbyliberal on

lambert, we as a country are politically and economically and militarily promoting the aggression against or the "ethnic cleansing" of the Palestinians by the Israelis -- it is not as if it is none of our god-damned business or a balanced battle by a long shot given the proportional destruction to human life and infrastructure. I hear a profoundly serious minimization of the situation on your part.

The third rail blind or myopic spot pro-Israel stance is very ferocious even with those who can be so astute in other nightmare injustices. We are all accessories to the Gazan mass murder and horrifying oppression long and short term, our current government that is using our tax dollars and political global clout to support it, and if we are silent and okay with it, then we, too, are very much accessories.

I know it must be hard for those with such a strong sense of cronyism/tribalism with Israel and so much compassion for what Jewish people endured during the Nazi regime. I admire those who are able to separate from such a strong sense of tribalism and/or cronyism with the Israeli community and culture and acknowledge the horror going on at this time perpetrated by the Israeli government.

I think it is much harder for Jewish Americans to call out the Israeli government on its wanton militarism than for them to call out the American government on its wanton militarism. But I see both of these governments as committing such vast crimes against humanity.

I know Glenn spells out it much better than I can. He is worth a read.

As for preferring no discussion to one that triggers difficult emotions, I think that is a mistake.

best, libby

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/21/israel-gaza-us-support

Glenn Greenwald:

"This temptation is genuinely understandable. Few things are more depressing than paying attention to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The carnage and mutual hatred seem infinite. The arguments are so repetitive and fruitless. As is true in all wars, including those depicted in pleasing good-vs-evil terms, atrocities end up being committed by all sides, leading one to want to disassociate oneself from all parties involved. It is just as untenable to defend the indiscriminate launching by Hamas of projectiles into Israeli neighborhoods as it is to defend the massive air bombing by Israel of what they have turned into an open-air prison that is designed to collectively punish hundreds of thousands of human beings.

"Virtually everyone wishes the entire conflict would just go away. With the exception of extremists on both sides who benefit in various ways, nobody relishes having to become involved in any of this. It is exhausting, draining, soul-crushing, and miserable. Embracing "screw-both-sides" nihilism and doing nothing else is so tempting because it appears to provide relief from the burden of paying any further attention to the horrific violence or bearing responsibility for any of it.

"But for two independent reasons, this reasoning, understandable though it may be, depends upon patent fictions, and is thus invalid. The first reason, which I will mention only briefly, is that there is not equality between the two sides.

"As my Guardian colleague Seumas Milne superbly detailed in his column Tuesday night, the overarching fact of this conflict is that the Palestinians, for decades now, have been brutally occupied, blockaded, humiliated, deprived of the most basic human rights of statehood and autonomy though the continuous application of brute, lawless force (for that reason, those who like to righteously condemn Hamas' rockets (Pierce, defending Obama; "he happened to be correct the other day. No country can tolerate the bombing of its citizens") have the obligation to state what form of legitimate resistance Palestinians have to all of this). Moreover, as these clear numbers from the Economist demonstrate, the violence and carnage so disproportionately harm the Palestinians that to suggest some form of equivalence between the two sides borders on the obscene.

"But the second reason, to me, is even clearer. The government which Americans fund and elect, and for which they thus bear at least some responsibility, is anything but neutral in this conflict. That government - certainly including the Democratic Party - is categorically, uncritically, and unfailingly on the side of Israel in every respect when it comes to violence and oppression against the Palestinians.

"For years now, US financial, military and diplomatic support of Israel has been the central enabling force driving this endless conflict. The bombs Israel drops on Gazans, and the planes they use to drop them, and the weapons they use to occupy the West Bank and protect settlements are paid for, in substantial part, by the US taxpayer, and those actions are shielded from recrimination by the UN veto power aggressively wielded in Israel's favor by the US government. As the excellent Israeli writer Noam Sheizaf put it on Chris Hayes' MSNBC program this weekend:

""Ultimately, the status quo is the solution from the perspective of [the Netanyahu] government. . . . . There's no incentive for the current [Israeli] political leadership to move from it, especially with the free hand it gets from the world and from the United States."

"Just consider the actions of the US over the last week as violence in Gaza escalated. On Tuesday, the US vetoed a UN Security Council cease-fire resolution on the ground, in essence, that it was too balanced. The US State Department publicly attacked its Nato ally, Turkey, for condemning Israeli aggression. As always, the US Congress and the US Executive Branch are virtually unanimous in their full-throated, completely one-sided support for Israeli actions."

Submitted by lambert on

That's what empires do, and the beauty part is that both Israel and Egypt are clients of ours! The problem isn't I/P. The problem is our empire as such. (Not to mention the state as such.) That's why #2 of the 12-word platform is "End the wars."

Submitted by hipparchia on

not buying this: I mean, this is what nation states do: They commit their citizenry to total war. how so?

not too sure about this either: unless Israel is unwilling to think of the Palestinians as a nation state also engaged in total war, which, when you think about it, is one of the problems, isn't it? don't know about the present-day israeli govt, or even the israeli citizenry, but iirc from my reading some years ago, the zionists justified their settling of israel, in part, because the palestinians were a stateless people in their [the zionists'] eyes.

Submitted by lambert on

The Palestinians have adopted tactics suitable to the nation state they of right* ought to be; one of those is total war. The Israeli's don't recognize that, but that is the Israelis' problem. Yes, the Israels, just as we (and most other?) nation states do, have a founding myth that the land was uninhabited, and anyhow, the inhabitants that were there didn't deserve to be, because God.

NOTE * Modulo discussion of nation state.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

With such intense demonization of the Gazans by the Netanyahu regime, the years of demonizing propaganda and the harsher and harsher occupation conditions, and the blind eye to the exponentially increasing illegal settlement building, along with the numbers viciously killed in 2008 and the intensity of the killing recently, "ethnic cleansing" seems the correct usage here.

For me "ethnic cleansing" not only resonates attitude of the Nazi regime, but also early American persecution of the Indians. "The only good Indian was a dead Indian, etc." -- confiscating the land of the Indians similar to the land of the Palestinians being confiscated by Israel, the property of the Jewish people confiscated by the Nazis. I consider what our early government did to the Indians as ethnic cleansing, killing them, making them live on reservations -- ghettoed prisons like Gaza has turned into.

The Israeli and American and former Nazi exceptionalism as if their "targeted enemies" do not deserve the same respect for the "sanctity of human life" all seem to fall into the category of ethnic cleansing. The thousands killed as Iraq casualties in the first Gulf War were not even mentioned, as that war was touted as a success. I consider that "ethnic cleansing".

Below are some quotes that certainly give support to the "ethnic cleansing" label from a variety of users specifically re Israel/Gaza.

Pat Buchanan article:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info...

"First, Bibi Netanyahu, who has presided over the expansion of Israel settlements and joined Avigdor Lieberman, a supporter of ethnic cleansing of Israeli Arabs, in a coalition of the Israeli hard right."

elizabeth murray

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/1...

"In early 2010, one of Washington DC’s most prestigious think tanks was holding a seminar on the Middle East which included a discussion of Israel’s December 2008-January 2009 assault on Gaza which killed about 1,300 Palestinians. When the death toll was mentioned, one expert on the panel smiled enigmatically and intoned: “It’s unfortunate, but every once in a while you have to mow the lawn.”"

from the Telegraph:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/w...

"Gilad Sharon, the son of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, has called for Israel to 'flatten' Gaza as the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb.

"Writing in The Jerusalem Post Sharon, an activist for the opposition Kadima party, said: “The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.

""We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too."

fwiw.

best, libby

Submitted by YesMaybe on

Lambert nailed it. If anything, Israel's policy regarding the West Bank does have an element of ethnic cleansing inasmuch as the settlers are taking over land. Though, in fact, whenever someone like Lieberman suggests deporting all the palestinians, it is met with outrage from the Likud as well as the center and left parties. Apartheid is more accurate than ethnic cleansing, even though there are elements of the latter. At any rate, and this is the key here, your post was about Gaza, including the paragraphs prior and following the ethnic cleansing claim. If you were actually referring to the expansion of West Bank settlements there (were you?), I understandably misunderstood.

However, if you meant Gaza, like I thought you did, there is simply no basis for that. You said "Netanyahu had a blank check to continue on the vicious ethnic cleansing." This doesn't mean that they were talking about flattening Gaza. We all know politicians talk (especially Lieberman and Eli Yishai) and we know that in fact they killed around 160 people, and that Cast Lead killed under 1500, so neither of these could even conceivably be ethnic cleansing (there was no land taken over, and Gaza's population is 1.6 million and growing at 3.4% a year) and these are the facts. What you wrote meant very directly that what's been going on in Gaza the last week is ethnic cleansing. And that is ridiculous to the point of being offensive. Not because I think Israel would never do anything like ethnic cleansing. But because I think the charge of ethnic cleansing is so incredibly serious that it should not be tossed around casually. And that's exactly what you did: you tossed it in, without any explanation, where in fact it is inapplicable. The fact is that nothing Israel has done the last decade suggests taking over and ethnically cleansing Gaza or parts of Gaza. Hell, Sharon was the one who forced the settlers out of Gaza.

Now, if you think that the Iraqi deaths in the first gulf war was also ethnic cleansing, I think you simply don't know what the term means or have decided to use it to mean something different than its actual meaning.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

The US is seriously in the "ethnic cleansing" business these days.

The US and NATO have a playbook and do all they can to destabilize the ethnic communities, pit them against each other, then choose one to temporarily support and use as puppet. they promote their campaigns of vicious "ethnic cleansing" for ultimate advantage. To weaken a country via civil war and as I said step in and control.

I do use the term sometimes in a large-scoped way when I talk about the anti-Muslim wars being waged (ethnic cleansing for resources and corporate profiteering I also see as ethnic cleansing and the propagandizing and demonization are a part of that -- and xenophobia can easily be ramped up when combined with jingoism anywhere, especially in the U.S. but certainly in Israel with the rocket specter -- but Israel's suffocation of Gaza is such an incredible motivator for that -- I am not saying it is right -- but I am saying Israeli oppression and occupation has been sadistic on the Gazans with US unconditional support which adds to its continuation), YesMaybe, though I also think "ethnic cleansing" applies more and more in specific ways to the U.S. and to the situation in Gaza.

ethnic cleansing: "violent elimination of an ethnic group: the violent elimination or removal of people from a country or area because of their ethnic backgrounds, by means of genocide or forced expulsion."

The illegal Israeli settlers with impunity taking over their homes, the killings, the shrinking of their area to live in, their area to fish in -- sure sounds like elimination and expulsion. Genocide -- slow (withholding medical aid) or quick (as Cast Lead and this latest) -- is one means to ethnic cleansing. Expulsion is another.

best, libby

Submitted by YesMaybe on

When you claim that a war in which 150 were killed out of a population of 1.6 million is quick genocide, there's no point in going on.

Submitted by lambert on

... but the words used to indicate it are "liver cancer" instead of "lung cancer." Everything changes, including the course of treatment, and my own perceptions and expectations.

So, words matter. Imperialism is a terrible disease. So is genocide. They aren't the same thing. Considered as a world historical event, is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict really on a par with the killing fields of Cambodia, for example? Further, genocide seems much more like a one-time thing -- because it's victims all get slaughtered! But I/P seems much more to me like the the conflict between the Irish and the British that culminated in the Irish Civil war and independence -- a long, long imperial process, withi the Israelis ironically playing the role of the Brits. One could think of the imperial process as sometimes subsuming genocide -- that certainly might be one way to think of the potato famine, the (neo?-)liberal social engineering experiment of the day -- but that doesn't make it equal to genocide. And there's nothing in I/P on the scale of the potato famine.

Submitted by lambert on

... the original post says:

Let’s face it. Despite the anti-humanity dimensions of the slaughter in Gaza this past week, Netanyahu had a blank check to continue on the vicious ethnic cleansing as far as Obama, the US Congress, the US media and a bobble-headed majority of the US population were concerned.

To which YesMaybe asks:

How does Israel's aggression against Gaza--either this time or in Cast Lead--qualify as 'ethnic cleansing'?

To which my answer is that Gaza doesn't. For a less narrow reading, see my comment above.

Submitted by lambert on

... I've found that playing the personal abuse card is almost never useful. So I won't respond to you in kind.

If you haven't noticed that the precise use of language so that it can be propagated to others isn't a huge part of Corrente's mission, then it's very hard for me to imagine that you've been paying attention. That is my point, my entire point.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Now that you have made your snipe you act like the injured party? kinda like what Israel does with Palestine all the time.

you have always had your thumb on the I side of the I/P scale for a very long time. i always wonder why there is so little coverage on correntewire on the savage US and Israeli militarism. "end the wars" is supposed to do it for that dimension I guess? It has really confused me.

We have different temperaments and I have known that and tried to deal with it since I have been so very appreciative of blogging on your website which in many ways resonates my political sensibilities. In ways that it generally does not or specifically with you does not, I assumed a measure of tolerance and respect or at least mutual avoidance.

yes, i admire facts and the importance of wording. i also appreciate intuition and when a blogger knows she is in a no win argument with someone who always has to sound like he is right and in all his glibness must nail every issue with a righteous judgmental gotcha genius and she decides not to enter a no-win or closed-minded game but he has to put that little rock in the snowball and fling it one last time. It is depressing.

You just couldn't leave it alone as I figured you wouldn't but hoped you wouldn't.

It's your party, your website. Corrente's mission may be a noble one, lambert. But then there is reality and denial of the very HUMANS who frequent it, myself included, but YOU, very much YOU, too.

libby

Submitted by lambert on

It's not about you.

It's about what was written. Check the thread, and you will see that I am right.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33133.htm

RT

"The decision to send US troops to Sinai in exchange for a ceasefire was reportedly arranged early Wednesday morning after Pres. Obama made a deal over the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the days prior, Israel was relentless in targeting Gaza, killing more than 100 persons — including civilians — during a renewed assault on Hamas. A ceasefire has since been called after a week of fight, but more military action could soon occur, claims Israel, if the flow of weapons to Gaza is not stopped. Netanyahu has been adamant with his pleas for the United States to strike Iran in an effort to disrupt its nuclear enrichment facilities, a demand which up until now has been brushed aside by Pres. Obama. The White House has up until now insisted on diplomatic measures in order to make an impact on any Iranian output, but Debka’s sources suggest that US troops may now have to intervene in Sinai if any smugglers should attempt to move weapons into Gaza."

Submitted by lambert on

Here. As for US troops in Sinai, what could go wrong?

However, the source for RT seems to be Debka. I'm leery of sites that link to World Net Daily....

Stlll, you can see how it would be in both Washington and Cairo's interests to nobble jihaddis in Sinai, especially if they could both use Hamas as catspaws.

Submitted by lambert on

Avedon:

I think it's fair to say that progblogs that devote a lot of pixels to foreign policy or military issues are being strangely silent on this one, but I'm not entirely sure that this particular criticism is fair.A lot of liberals have watched whole communities fall apart in the past in arguments over Israel's policies and America's support for them, have been subjected to extremely abusive attacks from former supporters and friends, and have learned to be pretty gun-shy when it comes to raising the subject at all. Some no doubt have stayed away for that reason, but the terrain has changed a lot in the last ten years and we shouldn't be so shy about it anymore. We all know that Israel started electing terrorists to leadership and that their policies toward their neighbors have been increasingly belligerent and murderous, and we know that they are encouraged by right-wing Rapture fanciers with big money lobbies and by administration policy. We know that Congress voted unanimously to support the recent outrage even though most Americans are opposed to these kinds of policies. (To the few who are left: Don't pretend this is Israel defending itself. Israel has been attacking Gaza all along, and a tiny number of occasional, ineffective missiles in retaliation do not justify this kind of operation.) And while it's true that tribalism and partisanship make it hard for some bloggers* to overtly criticize policies by Democrats, or to acknowledge the bipartisan nature of the leadership consensus of evil, the fact is that a lot of us know that nothing can change if we don't do something about the deteriorating domestic situation and whatever we can to restore some semblance of democracy.

Turlock