Target Israel, not Libya - by Stephen Lendman
On April 9, 1986, Ronald Reagan called Muammar el Gaddafi the "mad dog of the Middle East." Today, after an imposed no-fly zone, war rages to remove him. For decades, he ruled despotically, punishing enemies, rewarding friends. His days may now be numbered. Washington won't quit until he's gone, no matter how many corpses it takes to achieve it.
In fact, however, a far greater Middle East menace threatens the entire region, the Israeli war machine based in Jerusalem. Besides illegally occupying Palestine, brutalizing Palestinians daily, persecuting Israeli Arabs, threatening and attacking its neighbors, its longstanding plan calls for dividing and dominating the region.
In fact, it's nightmarish vision calls for partitioning Arab nations into small states - balkanizing them along ethnic and sectarian lines as Israeli satellites, controllable satraps. The idea is modeled after the Ottoman Empire's Millet system under which local authorities governed confessional communities with separate ethnic identities.
Israel's 1967 Golan seizure followed the plan. So did the 1978 and 1982 Lebanon invasions, using preemptive belligerence against regional states, targeting them to be weakened, fragmented, divided, and reconfigured under Israeli control.
However, instead of sanctioning Israel, demanding Gaza's siege end, and imposing no-fly zone protection against regular air and ground attacks, Washington is Israel's paymaster/partner, providing generous funding and arms, supporting its killing machine lawlessly.
As a result, Israel is a modern day Sparta, able to mobilize over 600,000 combatants in 72 hours, equipped with nuclear and other state-of-the-art weapons, as well as strong Western backing to do what it pleases. Moreover, accomplishing it involves indoctrinating Israeli youths to be warriors, a process to prepare underage boys and girls for future mandatory service.
They're taught to believe force and belligerence are preferred ways to solve political problems. Their education highlights it, including by uniformed soldiers in classrooms. Moreover, teachers, especially principals, are retired career officers, and school walls are adorned with names and photos of fallen heros among their graduates. In addition, field trips for all ages visit military memorials on former battlegrounds.
Curricula and textbooks also reflect militarism, from kindergarten through high schools with mandatory programs in all state-run ones called "preparation for the IDF." They feature training, glorifying military heros and conquests, while, at the same time, vilifying Arabs, proselytizing kids to hate them.
They learn early and it sticks, disciplining them for later conscription, combat, and a lifetime of military support. In fact, by raising children in a hostile, violent environment, they're conditioned to wage war against anyone called a state enemy, whether or not true.
As a result, Palestinians pay dearly under suffocating military occupation, inflicting daily violence, mass arrests, land dispossessions, displacement, torture, severe poverty and unemployment, as well as violation of their basic civil and human rights, notably in Gaza under siege, suffering slow-motion genocide from depravation.
In addition, regular incursions and attacks occur, Israel acting with impunity. In America especially, not a harsh word, let alone condemnation, calls for sanctions, isolation, and no-fly zone protection to prevent further Gaza air and ground assaults.
As a result, from March 10 - 16 alone, Israeli air strikes killed two Palestinian workers, wounded two others, and destroyed three non-military buildings. Other Gaza farmers, fishermen and civilians were also targeted.
In addition, peaceful West Bank demonstrations were attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets. Two international human rights activists were arrested, and 47 separate incursions were conducted in Palestinian communities, resulting in 66 arrests, including six children.
In the West Bank, on March 17, with government approval, Israeli settlers unleashed a "day of rage," attacking Palestinians in response to a recent settler family killing, arbitrarily blaming them with no evidence.
As a result, Palestinians were attacked with rocks and Molotov cocktails, and a home was firebombed. In addition, four cars and a tractor were burned, another seven cars damaged. Numerous injuries were also reported, and armed settlers and Israeli soldiers uprooted hundreds of olive trees near Bethlehem.