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I am more than ever depressed and horrified at how the Israeli government is celebrating this Christmas 2008 and New Years Season 2009. Just today American-made F-16s have started the third day of Christmas by bombing at a scale not known in over a year.   According to Reuters, "Witnesses said the attacks were carried out by warplanes and combat helicopters."  Other reports show that in Gaza there are 140 are dead already as a result of the air attacks partially financed by USA tax dollars. Both Israel and the U.S.A. call unnecessary deaths "collateral damage" this Christmas rather than calling them crimes against humanity.  


In addition, all-in-all the Israeli military is not any better than the U.S.A. in terms of so-called "surgical strikes", so one can expect that well-over half those killed in Gaza today will be non-combatants, including women and children. Naturally, this tit-for-tat attack by Israel on Gaza has already been followed by tit-for-tat firing of smaller missiles by Hamas supporters onto Israel. Meanwhile, the Israeli military claims that it will continue its operation as long as necessary. Rumors at play in this deadly new "Christmas present" to the Peace Process by Israeli leadership and air force indicate that the February 10 Parliamentary elections are one reason for this tough and violent renewed show of power.  


On the one hand, it was clear that Israel would eventually respond to the Hamas' ending of the  6-month rocket-firing truce just before Christmas.  On the other hand, the obvious crime (often-not-mentioned) is that Gaza has been in a mammoth blockade and low-level war with Israel over the past 4 years-threatening (and actualizing) starvation and death for young and old in Gaza alike. Attacks from the air by F-16s and helicopters today mean that few Israeli soldiers will get hurt-but it also means that bloodied bodies of  Israeli non-combatants being attacked will likely be seen on Israeli TV in coming weeks, i.e. as part of  the ongoing parliamentary elections planned in Israel in six weeks. In short, the level of bombings at Christmas 2008 in Gaza and Israel are no less cynical politically than the "U.S. Christmas bombings" during the Vietnam War-i.e. in December 1972 when Nixon wanted to let Americans know he was tough on communism even while planning to sign the Paris Peace Accord to get America out of the Vietnam Quagmire a few weeks later.

Israeli spokesmen on BBC this afternoon are claiming that all the civilian deaths are the fault of Hamas. Likewise, the U.S. embassy spokesman refuses to condemn these Christmas attacks.  


What a way to spoil Christmas and New Years (including the Muslim New Years on December 29) for us all in the Middle East, Israel!  Just a few days ago, I was driving along a highway on the Persian Gulf in Kuwait listening to America's VOA play the John Lennon & Yoko Ono classic: "HAPPY CHRISTMAS (WAR IS OVER)". As I was driving, I recalled the very first time-back in December 2004-when I had heard Voice of America (VOA) play those peace and Christmas lyrics by John Lennon, i.e. a man who had opposed the U.S. War in Vietnam and had hated what Richard M. Nixon stood for.  At that time in Christmas  2004 the DJ on VOA radio had noted that this song was played specifically at the request of one U.S. trooper stationed in Iraq.

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A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor one


For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight
A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

               -John Lennon

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Why are American soldiers the ones who have the gall to speak up on U.S. government financed radio programs to call for peace at Christmas time? Moreover, why can't the U.S. turn over a new leaf this Christmas and criticize Israeli war crimes, i.e. as much as the U.S. government recognize the crimes of others, including Hamas?? Let's pray and demand a better American Middle East policy in New years 2009!!!


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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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