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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/1/11

U.S. War Hawks Try To Prevent Peaceful, Humanitarian Efforts by an American Ship

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Message Michael Payne


This is one of those, "Can you even believe it" stories. This last week of June the American ship, The Audacity of Hope, is setting sail with ten or more ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla II. This ship, named after President Obama's book, will carry a crew of four with forty passengers and 10 members of the press. Instead of wishing the passengers and crew Godspeed and take care, it's being reported that the While House has warned them that it would not protect them on the voyage and that they might be subject to prosecution upon their return.


The ships will sail from ports in Greece and head for the Palestinian city of Gaza which remains under an illegal 4-year blockade by Israel. The flotilla will include about 350 people from 22 countries who will be completely unarmed. This is the second flotilla to try to enter Gaza with humanitarian materials and supplies; the first such flotilla, which sailed in May, 2010, encountered strong resistance and an attack by Israeli commandos who boarded several boats, killing nine people, including one American citizen.


This American humanitarian ship's mission has not only been under fire by the White House but it also is under attack by various war hawks from both the Democratic and Republican parties. And who is leading the charge against this ship and its brave and courageous passengers? Why it's none other than our "esteemed" Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton; you know, that American pseudo diplomat who goes around the world warning one country after another about what it must do.


This time she is warning an American ship that it must not attempt a humanitarian mission. "We do not believe that the flotilla is a necessary or useful effort to try to assist the people of Gaza," said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She further said, "And we think that it's not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves." Mr. Obama would do well to tell his overly aggressive Secretary to ease up on these constant threats and warnings. Better yet, it's high time that Mrs. Clinton be told to step aside for the good of the country.


Here's one more reason for her to pack up and leave. Glenn Greenwald has reported that at a press conference on June 23rd she said the following: "But the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi's side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them?" The answer to Secretary Clinton should be this: all Americans have the right to judge for themselves and speak as they wish with regard to actions taken by their government. Thomas Jefferson called it patriotic dissent.


Secretary Clinton not only has indicated that she will not protect the lives of American citizens of this flotilla but now she apparently is questioning the patriotism of the people of this nation if they do not blindly accept and condone the actions in Libya. Let's put it this way; that's not the way that we do things in this democracy and when we have those rights of free speech and free thinking taken away by our government, then this democracy will be no more.


In addition to Clinton, another war hawk is speaking out against the ship and its passengers by suggesting that our government should support Israel in every possible way. has reported, "In a report drafted following a visit to Israel in early June, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., says the United States should "make available all necessary special operations and naval support to the Israeli Navy to effectively disable flotilla vessels before they can pose a threat to Israeli coastal security or put Israeli lives at risk.' "


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