Saturday, January 10, 2009

Media Downplay Israeli War Crimes & UN Reports Israel Uses US Weaponry On Gaza

Photographic Evidence of White Phosphorus Being Used By Israel In Gaza

Israel commits more atrocities- Bombing UN Schools & Refugee shelters- fires on UN aid Workers and Medics-
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Condemn Israeli Action in Gaza-
American and Canadian Media & politicians downplay Israeli War Crimes-
Media Accepts Israeli Talking Points & blames Hamas for Civilian deaths-
Canadian and American Media Part of Israeli Public Relations Campaign & Propaganda Machine -
Gaza children left alone starving for days as mothers lay dead!-
Media Not Given Access to Gaza or to Israeli Troops -

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN have condemned the Israeli's actions in Gaza.

Note the American reporters show more sympathy for Israel and the Israeli soldiers than they do for the wounded and killed Palestinians. The media is not really interested in pointing out how Israeli soldiers are disregarding or ignoring the Rules of Engagement under the Geneva Conventions which requires that an invading force has a responsibility to all those who are wounded especially civilian non-combatants and to give them food and medical treatment if needed.

If there all these booby traps set up by the Hamas forces how is it that so few Israeli soldiers are wounded or killed.

If these accusations are not mere talking points then this matter should also be investigated by an independent organization. The problem is that the Western Media tends to buy the Israeli argument that the United Nations, The International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and other humanitarian groups working in Gaza are all anti-Israeli and therefore all of these groups and individuals are anti-Semitic.

The American and the Canadian media play up the fear felt by Israelis being hit by Hamas rockets but downplay the fear and horror of the attacks by the Israelis on the people of Gaza. Ah well the view of Canadians and Americans in general is that the people of Gaza are only getting what they deserve for voting Hamas into power and continuing to support Hamas.

There is also little mention of the great imbalance of the fighting capabilities between the two sides. Israel has one of the biggest militaries in the world while the Gazans have rifles and home made rather ineffective rockets.

Gaza children left alone starving for days as mothers lay dead!

Anderson Cooper - Media Kept out of Gaza by Israel
Media barred access in covering Israeli attacks on Gaza

Anderson cooper reports that the media is not given access to Gaza and yet the Media in the West continues to act as if they really know what's going on in Gaza.But the Western Media doesn't necessarily have a clue about what is going on in Gaza except what the Israelis tell them. Yet these Media personalities report their stories with such confidence and bravado as if they did know what's going on . But it is just another case in which it should be obvious that these news personalities put away any notion of journalistic integrity a long time ago.

In the Wars in Iraq or Afghanistan most of the media rarely goes out of their way to dig beneath the propaganda they are fed by the US government and military and their allies.

The media in Iraq during the early days of the war were as triumphant about America's success as was Cheney and Bush. Later on the so called insurgency began which Cheney called the last resort of a bunch of dead enders but the fighting has continued in Iraq even to this day.

The Media accepted the Bush administrations excuses and rationalizations about the abuse and torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib as " a few bad apples" but it turns out those soldiers were carrying out written or unwritten policies of the Bush Regime. Further the abuse and torture of detainees appears to have been a common widespread practice on the part of American personnel across Iraq and Afghanistan.

American soldiers were indoctrinated from the moment they entered boot camp to treat the Iraqis as a lesser race as a barbaric race of people who have very different values than Americans and so one must treat them accordingly. So the officers in the US military referred to Iraqis as Haji or Ragheads, Camel jockeys and Sand N****** etc.It is no wonder that the US military has attracted some 20,000 white Supremacists and have allowed them to take part in the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But most Americans and Canadians it appears have no problem with this form or racism and the dehumanization of a whole nation.

President-Elect Obama's approach to issues in the Middle East is hopefully going to be more rationale and reasonable than that of the Bush/Cheney Regime. He does appear to believe that America should be playing a bigger role in trying to broker a peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But in order to do so he will have to give up on this notion of supporting Israel unconditionally. Let us hope he can do that. As Robert Fisk and other observers point out it is the inhumane treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis which is one of the biggest problems for the US in the Middle East.
It would be nice if he could humble himself and America in a true spirit of change by apologizing to the people of Iraq for the mess the Bush Regime made in that country.

As Michael Hirsh at Newsweek writes that Obama's approach to the Middle East will be in sharp contrast to that of the Bush/Cheney Regime especially since he is taking on a Middle East expert Dennis Ross who believes in the use of diplomacy and persuasion and not just threats and military intervention.

"Obama's Peace Offensive

The new president's got big plans for the Mideast, starting with Dennis Ross".by Michael hirsh Newsweek Jan 8, 2009

"Challenged by a reporter over what he really thought about Israel's Gaza invasion, Obama said everyone would find out after Inauguration Day. 'On January 20th you will be hearing directly from me and my opinions,' he said. 'Starting at the beginning of the administration we are going to engage effectively and consistently in trying to resolve the conflicts that exist in the Middle East.... Until then my job is to monitor the situation and to put together the best possible national security team to hit the ground running.'"

...Dennis Ross, the longtime Mideast peace envoy who suffered through the rise and fall of the Oslo process in the '90s—working for both the first President Bush and Bill Clinton—before writing a thick, largely ignored book on the experience. He spent most of the past decade at the policy wonk's version of purgatory, a think tank. Now Ross is back in a new, more powerful role that offers substantial evidence that Obama intends to treat the problems of Mideast peace as all of a piece, from Gaza to Tehran to Syria. In an announcement prepared by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, his current employer, Ross is described as the new Obama administration's "ambassador at large" and Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton's top adviser on a wide range of Middle East issues, from the Arab-Israeli peace process to Iran."

But until now Ross has been one of Obama's top transition advisers on the Middle East, along with Deputy Secretary of State-designate Jim Steinberg, former ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer and longtime aide Dan Shapiro. There's little doubt Ross will get the job. And this should tell us a great deal about what the new president intends to do "starting at the beginning" of his administration: Obama will seek to take a broad-based approach to the region, folding what have been separate tracks into a single conceptual framework. Until now the dickering between Israel and the Palestinians, between Israel and Syria, and above all between Israel and the Arab world and Iran have been treated as separate problems when in fact they are all but inseparable. Obama will seek to correct that, according to conversations I've had with his foreign-policy advisers, drawing on the obvious linkages: for example, that Iran's growing influence in the region rests on its support of Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza and its alliance with Syria, and that both Tehran and the Arab regimes continue to use the unresolved Israel-Palestinian dispute as an excuse for confrontation and a lack of progress.

One of the Myths promulgated by the Bush Regime and its lackey Media is that Hamas is fighting a proxy war for Iran against Israel but there is no substance to this claim as the following article shows:

Hamas Is Not Iran's Puppet"By William O. Beeman, New America Media. Posted January 6, 2009.

That the conflict between Israel and Hamas is a proxy war with Iran is a myth that has grown up during the Bush administration.

...No one promulgating the theory that Hamas’s attacks on Israel are directed by Iran bothers to think much about geography. Hamas has been effectively sealed off from the world by Israel, and by Egypt. The Israelis have essentially controlled the import of food and medical supplies. The idea of Iran shipping arms to Hamas under these conditions is patently absurd. The rockets launched against Israel that started the current conflict were clearly homemade, low-level weapons, not sophisticated arms.

A parallel claim is that Iranians are providing training to Hamas. Given the rhetoric, one would imagine that this is being done on a massive scale. However, on March 9, 2008 the Times of London reported that 150 Hamas fighters were being trained in Tehran. Hamas itself claims to have 15,000 fighters, and Israel has millions of potential fighters at its command. Thus training for a team of 150, if the facts are correct, is hardly much of a threat to Israel.

Hezbollah in Lebanon is sometimes cited as an Iranian cat’s-paw in the region, but Hezbollah has no geographical access to Gaza. Therefore they are limited to leading protests in Lebanon. Timur Goksel, former adviser to U.N. Peacekeepers in Lebanon, told Reuters News Agency on Dec. 30, “With all their rhetoric about Palestine, there is not much [Hezbollah] can do about Gaza, short of getting Lebanon involved in another disaster. So they are leading the popular reaction.

also see:

"Gaza Victims' Burns Increase Concern Over Phosphorus" by Michael Evans and Sheera Frenkel, at the Times Online/UK,Jan. 9,2009

JERUSALEM - Photographic evidence has emerged that proves that Israel has been using controversial white phosphorus shells during its offensive in Gaza, despite official denials by the Israel Defence Forces.

There is also evidence that the rounds have injured Palestinian civilians, causing severe burns. The use of white phosphorus against civilians is prohibited under international law.

The Times has identified stockpiles of white phosphorus (WP) shells from high-resolution images taken of Israel Defence Forces (IDF) artillery units on the Israeli-Gaza border this week. The pale blue 155mm rounds are clearly marked with the designation M825A1, an American-made WP munition. The shell is an improved version with a more limited dispersion of the phosphorus, which ignites on contact with oxygen, and is being used by the Israeli gunners to create a smoke screen on the ground.


"US Weaponry Facilitates Killings in Gaza", by Inter Press Service by Thalif Deen, Jan. 9, 2009

UNITED NATIONS - The devastating Israeli firepower, unleashed largely on Palestinian civilians in Gaza during two weeks of fighting, is the product of advanced U.S. military technology.

The U.S. weapons systems used by the Israelis -- including F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters, tactical missiles and a wide array of munitions -- have been provided by Washington mostly as outright military grants.

The administration of President George W. Bush alone has provided over 21 billion dollars in U.S. security assistance over the last eight years, including 19 billion dollars in direct military aid as freebies.

"Israel's intervention in the Gaza Strip has been fueled largely by U.S. supplied weapons paid for with U.S. tax dollars," says a background briefing released Thursday by the Arms and Security Initiative of the New York-based New America Foundation.

"The Bush administration has been unwilling to use its considerable influence -- as Israel's major military and political backer -- to dissuade the government in Tel Aviv from its pattern of claiming self-defence while perpetrating collective punishment, human rights violations and undertaking massively disproportionate attacks that harm and kill civilians," Frida Berrigan, senior programme associate at the New America Foundation, told IPS.

Besides military aid, the United States has contracted more than 22 billion dollars in arms sales to Israel in 2008 alone, including a proposed deal for 75 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, nine C-130J-30 military transport aircraft and four combat ships.

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