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Your Grandpa killed my Grandpa.

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'Israel never targets civilians' ..There she was on the early morning BBC news! I'd not seen her for 6 months. She's become a colonel now. However ..the smooth direct responses, the casual smiles..what a professional! However the deaths of children..always a difficulty ..you know when there is a problem when the IDF wheels this lady out.

The Guardian today (David Clark) is arguing that every time middleground is about to be reached then sabotage is apparent..' it is no accident that( the current crisis) occurred at precisely the moment when the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, was gaining the upper hand ..' Clark links the extremists on both sides..he said Israel would have had to negotiate if ....if only there had been someone with whom they could negotiate. Conveniently Hamas will not recognise Israel.

Meanwhile the killings go on. 'We will defend ourselves' said the smart, beautifully prepared IDF spokesperson. Of course you will. You were set up to do so by Hisbollah. They wanted this. The bombs crashing into Lebanon are smart bombs unfortunately aimed by people who are less so. I have never known a drunk driver who has actually wanted to kill anyone ..yet the kid he ran over still died. So its not murder..just manslaughter?

So how do you respond to rockets falling into Haifa? It's too glib to say that he started this.. I responded to that ..people are dying now. The webs sites are again vibrating with answers. Its all ( put your own preference)'s fault. The answer is of course that no response is a possibility .Nothing..do not go out in the open but do not bomb Hisbollah areas .

I have often suggested that the language of violence never describes 'homes'..even 'areas' misses..these are people that are dying..it is mere revenge ..it makes no sense whatsoever militarily and what.. do we think that these children will not be traumatised and come looking for vengeance themselves in 10 years time? It is not turning the other cheek. I left the Christian faith because I was not brave enough to do this. I wanted to punch bullies.

In films and on TV what always happens is that bullies get taught a lesson. Always. The A team are involved following 8 big, bad tempered, sneering guys hassling some poor people who only want to keep their little business going long enough to save money to put their gran in a decent old people's home. Our heroes come along shoot up the place, never hit anyone, and BA punches a guy who falls and goes back to Mr Big.


Mr Big gets more big guys. At the end our boys ( I think later episodes included a female, an Inuit and a disabled guy as well) beat them all up. They ruefully rub their jaws and decide never to hurt anyone..ever again. Real life is a tad different. Sometimes no justice for the past, is the nearest thing we get to justice. Sometimes you have to say ..we start from here.

The Northern Ireland situation is a great example. If Blair hadn't been up to his teeth in dead bodies in Iraq he would be able to shout more loudly about this phenomenal achievement. Its not completely peaceful, there is still squabbling..but a line was drawn and so far it is quiet and prospering. When Michael Stone, who was televised throwing grenades at a funeral, was released early, I thought he would be annihilated at the prison gates..no.. he survived despite the venom that his murderous antics must have produced.

It's the desire for vengeance that has caused so much grief..The original offence is often forgotten in the scrum of the moment. However humanity is so quick to punish. It's not just the Israelis. In Scotland we have the highest percentage of prisoners in Europe.

O.K., we are not as bad as the U.S. but then who is? America has more prisoners (2 million) than Greece and Rome had citizens, together, at their height. They should free the prisoners and invade the Persian Empire. (Oh...they have already started, you say) The point is that people criticize America because of its treatment of the Al Ghraib prisoners, but let's face it, they treat their own so badly, that a few foreigners being degraded causes little stir back home.

I read that a swap was arranged between Mexican and American prisoners, Mexicans in the U.S. were to be transferred to Mexican prisons and visa versa. It failed as they could not find a single American willing to go home. The American prisons are cold, clinical and violent (just like in Mexico) but also have unbearable morality.. corrections officers and Johnny Cash!(Johnny Cash RIP)

American prisons are equal opportunity as long as you are poor. Jessica Mitford, in "The American Prison Business", described an experiment consisting of prisoners being paid to avoid vitamin C, to gauge the impact. Hundreds applied. They developed scurvy. Ms. Mitford pointed out that the Brits have known for two hundred years what happens and are called " limeys" to this day in the States. British discipline was enforced by the lash, illegal in American prisons. Not so scurvy.


Back to Israel..Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. Funny that it is often religious societies that are the last to hear this.

 

'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.
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Israel never targets civilians. Israel would neve... by Missy Comley Beattie on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 at 3:49:56 PM