Hiroshima, shock and awe and a plan to annex Gaza

By Ameen Izzadeen
The rules of ancient warfare were apparently more humane than the laws that govern modern day warfare. Though we call ourselves civilised laws and truth become the first casualties in times of war, as evident in the Gaza conflict and in wars launched by the United States, or, for that matter, any country.
Till about the 14th century, when two armies met, a tradition known as ‘single combat’ preceded or prevented an all-out war. Single combat is a duel between two champion warriors representing the two opposing armies. Such duels, which took place in no-man’s land, offered the losing side the last opportunity to accept the winning sides’ conditions and avoid an all-out war which was costly in terms of human lives and socio-economic factors.
The Jews know and speak a lot about the single combat story of David and Goliath.
If there had been a single combat prior to the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza, it could have saved more than 1,870 Palestinian lives and 66 Israeli lives. Wishful thinking one may say, but shouldn’t members of the United Nations promote the single combat concept to save civilian lives? Shouldn’t they propose a one-on-one fight when they see preparations for another Israeli attack on Gaza? Well, Israel won’t agree to single-combat on equal terms. Because it knows that the oppressed Palestinian warrior has an advantage; he is morally right and armed with willpower to fight for a just cause. On the contrary, the Israeli warrior, however strong he is physically, will be fighting for an immoral cause.
The Israelis know that even with their hi-tech weapons and protective gear, their soldiers could not crush the morally superior Palestinians fighters. If the Israelis had continued the ground offensive for another week and moved deeper into Palestinian territory, their army would have lost hundreds of soldiers. This probably was one reason why Israel ended its ground offensive and pulled out troops.
“Our fighters fought Israeli soldiers face-to-face and killed them. The Israelis responded by bombing sleeping civilians in their houses. Where is the honour of Israel?” asked Palestinian farmer Abdel-Sattar Ismail, when he was interviewed by Reuters in Beit Hanun, which has been reduced to rubble. A month ago, Beit Hanun was known as Gaza’s land of lemons and oranges.
Gaza today resembles what Hiroshima and Nagasaki looked like 69 Augusts ago, when the United States dropped human history’s first two atomic bombs in a horrendous war crime that remains unpunished. It was only yesterday that a UN tribunal found two Khmer Rouge leaders guilty of committing war crimes in Cambodia in the 1970s. That there has been hardly any attempt to bring the US before a war crimes tribunal for genocide committed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki only underscores the immoral political philosophy ‘might is right.’ The failure to haul the US before a war crimes tribunal has encouraged it to commit more war crimes as and when it pleases. The US used chemical weapons – Agent Orange being one such weapon — during the Vietnam War and the people in Vietnam are still suffering from its ill effects. The US killed more than 3,000 civilians during the air attacks that preceded the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Similar air attacks prior to the ground invasion of Iraq in 2003 killed more than 6,000 civilians. The lives of thousands of Pakistani villagers have been snuffed out in never-ending US drone attacks, which have been condemned by human rights activists as war crimes.
Just as partners in crime learn from each other’s criminal tricks, the United States and Israel learn from each other’s experiences. The two countries take cover behind the so-called war on terror to justify violations of international humanitarian law with a culture of impunity. They carry out indiscriminate air attacks on civilian targets and describe civilian deaths as “collateral damage” because they claim that the enemy is using civilians as human shields. But what is reprehensible is that the US shouts foul if other countries cite the same reason for attacks on enemy targets in civilian areas. To eliminate double standards in wars, perhaps, the UN — with help from the US and Israel – should work towards an international treaty that permits the killing of civilians if they are used as human shields. The US and Israel are perhaps the only countries that continue to practise targeted killings, which have been condemned by the world’s human rights community as nothing but extrajudicial killings.
The United States and Israel believe in a military doctrine known as ‘Shock and Awe’. This doctrine –developed by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade of the National Defense University of the United States in 1996 — advocates the use of overwhelming power to paralyse the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight. In this doctrine, there is little concern for civilians who are called collateral damage when they are killed.
In comparison to the single-combat tradition of the past, Shock-and-Awe is a cowardly act. It resembles the action of a person who lacks the courage to face his opponent face-to-face on equal terms. The coward hides behind a well-protected wall at a safe distance and throws a knife at the enemy’s back.
Stabbed in the back, the lone Gaza warrior today stands tall atop the mountain of rubble, his head held high and his will power strong, having fought not only Israel, the world’s tenth most powerful military, but also its staunch backers –the United States and its western and Arab allies.
Not only that; the lone Palestinian warrior — wounded, homeless, jobless, foodless, waterless and electricity-less — also faced another enemy: The truth killers or the Zionist-backed media which have no qualms about showing the Palestinian freedom fighter as a terrorist. They took pains to paint a humanitarian picture of Israel’s criminal acts and showed them as acts needed to ensure the security of the Zionist state.
However, in the social media, the lone Palestinian hero was cheered on by tens of millions of young and educated people. Among his supporters are young Americans. PEW and Gallop polls conducted in the US show that more than 50 per cent of those in the age group of 18-29 saw Israel as an aggressor in the Gaza crisis while only 25 per cent supported Israel. However, the overall results of the two polls show that a large majority of the Americans support Israel or are still incapable of comprehending what is justice.
Little do a majority of the Americans who support Israel realise that they are being dehumanised by the Zionist-controlled media to such a dangerous level that they cannot understand what justice is or are incapable of standing up for justice. They lack the ability to question the Zionist-backed media which give big play to Israel’s lies that Hamas fighters were using civilians as human shields, that Hamas’ rockets threaten Israel’s security, and that Israel launched the war to destroy Hamas’ network of tunnels. Missing in the mainstream media narrative are the facts that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land illegally for the past six decades with US help; that Israel is an oppressor and that the Palestinians are only fighting to liberate their land.
However, with social media becoming a powerful tool in the fight against injustice, such lies nowadays have a short shelf life.
A short letter published in the Guardian and is being widely circulated in the social media exposes the double standards of the Zionists. Written by reader Judi Oshowole the letter says:
“Didn’t the Jews under siege in the Warsaw ghetto dig a network of tunnels? Wasn’t their attempt at resistance and survival a source of pride to Jewish people everywhere? Aren’t there books such as Mila 18 hailing their ingenuity and bravery in building the tunnels and defying the Gestapo attempts to control them? How can Israel now justify all the destruction and deaths because the Palestinians have also dug tunnels after being under siege for seven years? When will the world take on Israel’s hypocrisy and double standards and stop this slaughter?”
With Gaza looking like the Hiroshima of 1945, the question that arises is: Will the 72-hour Egyptian-brokered ceasefire – which expires this morning – be extended? While pressure mounts on Israel to prolong the ceasefire, Hamas sticks to its condition that Israel’s seven-year-long siege of the Gaza strip should end if there is to be a meaningful ceasefire deal.
Will Hamas succeed in winning this demand? Very unlikely, given Israel’s secret agenda which seeks to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people from the Gaza Strip and annex the territory. A glimpse of this plan appeared in the Facebook page of Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline Likud Party. In his message which has got more than 2,000 Facebook likes, he has called for concentration camps in Gaza and ‘the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’.
Based on what Feiglin wrote on his Facebook page, the British Daily Mail carried an article. According to this report, Feiglin, in a letter to Netanyahu, has laid out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza — which includes shelling of the territory with maximum fire power, shipping its residents who volunteer to be deported to other countries and issuing special blue identity cards – a second class Israeli citizenship – to those who refuse to leave, and exterminating others who resist the annexation by Israel. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715466/Israeli-official-calls-concentration-camps-Gaza-conquest-entire-Gaza-Strip-annihilation-fighting-forces-supporters.html)
This plan cannot be dismissed as a pipe dream of a maverick politician. The rapidly shrinking Palestinian map shows that this plan is already under way.
This is all the more reason for the people with conscience to double their efforts to support the Palestinian cause and help them achieve a permanent solution. The appeal is made to the people with conscience, especially those in the United States and other Western capitals, because their leaders are playing politics with Palestinian lives while the severely handicapped United Nations has miserably failed in its responsibility to protect the Palestinian civilians, especially the children, more than 400 of whom perished in the Israeli attack on Gaza in the past four weeks.
(This article first appeared in the Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka)

About ameenizzadeen

journalist and global justice activist
This entry was posted in Political analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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