July 6, 2006

The innocent continue to suffer

Filed under: Politics/News — 4fooey @ 4:28 pm

Let’s state one thing: terrorist acts are wrong and abducting people is wrong too. I’m referring to the current crisis in Gaza: the Palestinians continue to launch missiles into Israel, and they abducted an Israeli soldier. Both these things are wrong of course, but the Israeli response is completely disproportionate. They have bombed parts of Gaza, hitting bridges and a power plant, causing suffering to many thousands of Palestinians. The Israelis have launched airstrikes on many locations and have hit several civilian targets including schools and homes; unknown numbers of civilians have been killed. The full extent of the Israeli operation is reported here: Deaths mount in Gaza incursions. In the article, a comment from one reader (Omar, Washington DC) is quoted:

“Why do thousands of Palestinians have to suffer death, destruction, lack of water, and electricity for the fate of ONE Israeli soldier?”

This is a fair point. The onous should be on the Israeli government to show restraint and not resort to indiscriminate airstrikes and tank machine gun fire that run the risk of killing civilians. Constantly we see examples of government forces killing civilians: often these actions are seen as retaliation or countries ‘defending themselves’ but usually the scale of the action is far greater than the original act.

As a direct result of the attacks on 911, 2001, the Americans and their allies have invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and tens of thousands of people have been killed, some so-called militants or terrorists, but many more innocent civilians. How many deaths will it take for America to feel it has won the ‘war on terror’? You must ask the blunt question: How many lives are worth the life of one American? (For ‘American’ you could read ‘Israeli’ or more-or-less ‘any person living in the west’.)

I don’t excuse terrorist acts, they are clearly wrong, and I’m sure the threat from global terrorism is a real one, but the tactics of western or powerful governments in combatting this problem is not working and continues to create more pain, death and destruction.


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