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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/18/11

Gaza: Cradle of Killing -- Americans Too

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Or they train themselves NOT to watch, preferring the diversion of late-breaking news on Congressman Anthony Wiener's photogenic "junk."

It is mostly to such folks that I include the facts that follow, acknowledging that many of you readers are likely to be quite familiar with some or all of them. It is for the non-readers, like perhaps some in your own family or your neighbors, that I feel a need to make one more effort to expose this reality: By turning a blind eye to Israeli brutality in Gaza, our government and our media make Americans a great deal LESS safe and secure.

Can Self-Interest Prompt More Common Sense?

I am guessing that only a direct, fact-based appeal has much chance of prompting many Americans to push -- if only out of self-interest -- for a more utilitarian and, incidentally, a more moral approach to the festering wound of Gaza.

The Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) will not array the facts as they should be arrayed (if they mention them at all). And, of course, that goes in spades for TV "news." Yet, it is not difficult to connect the dots, once you know what they are.

What follows is intended for people like the fellow who recently flipped an obscene gesture at me after reading my bumper sticker, which says simply, "God Bless the Rest of the World Too." It is for those who choose to express their exclusive concern for just one segment of humanity by chanting, "U.S.A., U.S.A." It is for those who have never heard of, or blithely reject, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s wise admonition that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

What You Won't Hear on the Evening News

--Israel itself helped to create Hamas in 1987 as a Muslim fundamentalist, divide-and-conquer counterweight to the secular Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

--The bulk of Hamas's popular appeal -- like that enjoyed by Hezbollah in Lebanon -- stems not from the crude rockets fired toward Israel, but rather from the tangible help they give to oppressed Palestinians.

And don't take my word for it. Here's what James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, included as a sort of afterthought at the end of his 34-page "Worldwide Threat Assessment" before the House Intelligence Committee on Feb. 10. It was completely missed, for some reason, by the FCM:

"We see a growing proliferation of state and non-state actors providing medical assistance to reduce foreign disease threats to their own populations, garner influence with affected local populations, and project power regionally. In some cases, countries use health to overtly counter Western influence, presenting challenges to allies and our policy interests abroad over the long run.

"In last year's threat assessment, the Intelligence Community noted that extremists may take advantage of a government's inability to meet the health needs of its population, highlighting that HAMAS's and Hizballah's provision of health and social services in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon helped to legitimize those organizations as a political force. This also has been the case with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt."

I hope, readers, that you were not shocked by the diabolically clever way these "terrorist" movements garner public support by providing people life-saving medical care.

--It was on that record of public service (and also on the PLO's richly deserved reputation for corruption) that Hamas won a key parliamentary election in January 2006, defeating the PLO-affiliated Fatah party. While the election results were not disputed, they were not what the U.S., Israel, and Europe wanted. So the U.S. and the EU cut off financial assistance to Gaza.

--Confidential documents, corroborated by former U.S. officials, show that thereupon the White House ordered CIA operatives in 2007 to try, with the help of Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, to defeat Hamas in a bloody civil war. That, too, did not go as expected. Hamas won handily, leaving it stronger than ever. (See "The Gaza Bombshell" by David Rose, in Vanity Fair, April 2008, for the entire sad story.)

--Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade on Gaza eventually reducing Gazans to bare subsistence levels and 45 percent unemployment.

--From Dec. 27, 2008, to Jan. 18, 2009, while President George W. Bush was a lame duck, Israel launched air and ground attacks on Gaza, killing about 1,400 Gazans compared to an Israeli death toll of 13. Israel's stated aim was to stop rocket fire into Israel and block any arms deliveries to Gaza. Right. President-elect Barack Obama said nothing.

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)
 
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