Saturday, July 22, 2006

Why we need to speak out on the Middle East!

I don't have to be an expert in the history and cultural aspects of a war to conclude that numerous violations of international law and the Geneva Convention are occurring. When innocent civilians are targeted, it is my duty to speak out. I feel more obligation to speak out when my country is the one committing the war crimes (i.e. Iraq) or another country is given resources by my country.

I am ashamed of my country leading the world into an acceptance of lawlessness. We break international law and violate the Geneva Convention. We support allies in doing the same.

When I see civilians targeted by a government my silence and agreement implies consent(especially when they are supported by my government). I will not remain silent while entire families are being exterminated. All civilians should always be guaranteed safety. If soldiers must fight they should fight each other. There are no valid excuses to attack civilian populations and vital civilian infrastructure. War is a hideous thing. It's dreadful that our leaders eagerly embrace it while refusing to talk and negotiate with anyone they disagree with. We need more talk, more negotiations, and less violence.

I believe that ALL war criminals need to be tried. (I'm not talking low level enlisted personnel in the armed forces…the investigations need to proceed all the way to the top.) If atrocities are committed on both sides…then both sides go to trial. I believe that folks in Israel , Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq , Afghanistan, and the USA are are currently guilty of war crimes. They are committing war crimes as I type. Our silence gives them a blank check to continue their disgraceful war crimes.

I am ashamed that our "allegedly" elected officials and representatives, with no discussionde, have lined up to support Israel's disproportionate response and the war crimes Israel is committing. Israel is our ally and the resources we provide give us bargaining power. Why aren't our leaders joining Kofi Annan and the United Nations and demanding that a ceasefire take place?

Why aren't we demanding that our leaders talk, negotiate, and utilize diplomatic channels rather than use illegal invasions and force as our major tool?

An atrocity is an atrocity folks, no matter how you dress it up. Every living being on this planet is entitled to personal safety, respect, and dignity. If they choose to join the armed forces and choose to put their safety at risk they have that right. But civilians have the right of safety and protection under International Law and the Geneva Convention.

My message to the democratic party--Why aren't you taking a strong stand for the rule of law, international law and the Geneva Conventions? The probability of an "October Surprise" has escalated. Are you going to continue to do the same things that keep costing you elections?
-- Lowell Fields posted, "Why Not To Post on the Arab-Israeli Conflict" on Raising Kaine (July 20). I find his reasoning disturbing for a variety of reasons. One major concern I have is that Lowell pulls out his expert credentials--masters degree in Middle East studies plus extensive time spent in the region—and he does not feel qualified to discuss this very complex situation. The implication is that we should leave this to the "experts." Unfortunately, "experts" can be bought. The experts that are most likely to be interviewed in today's corporate media are usually promoting someone's agenda.
--Recently I published information giving perspectives on the "other side" of the Israeli/Arab conflict. I have not given equal time to Israeli views simply because I provided space to offer alternative views that are not given time in the corporate MSM. It's my attempt to provide some balance to our unbalanced MSM.


hr_conservative said...

Israel is not breaking the Geneva Convention and there is no proof that Israel is targeting civilians. Israel has a right to defend itself and will do so at any costs.

F. T. Rea said...

Lowell Feld is Netroots Coordinator for the Jim Webb camp. Now, it seems Feld wants his usually obedient Raising Kaine flock to lay off the Israel vs. her neighbors issues. Perhaps he doesn’t want the comments sections of the RK/Webb blogging team to catch fire with pro- and anti-Israeli craziness.

And, I can understand that.

So, Feld, the guru, says with a slight-of-hand -- if the issue is too complex for him then it’s useless for the rest of us to even bother. Hubris being used as a distraction?

Behind the curtain, it seems Feld and others have decided the issue can’t help Netroots candidates in the 2006 election. But it could hurt them. I can understand that, as well.

The irony is that I like Jim Webb, and I agree with Kos, Feld et al, on many issues. However, sometimes their tactics rub me the wrong way. Ask yourself this -- when did a bona fide liberal ever say important political issues shouldn’t be discussed?

I'm Not Emeril said...

Oh, F.T. Why did you have to pick this weekend for the "echos" thing. I could have so much fun with Lowell and his children with this one. But I won't. I'll stick to practicing my prose. But come Monday....

Howling Latina said...

Well, Howling Latina thinks that Israel's moral justification for bombing cities filled with civilians is bullshit.

So one person nabs a soldier and you gotta go attack an entire city?

And one takes two soldiers and kills four soldiers, and you gotta annihilate an entire city that had nothing to do with it?

It's mighty nice of Israel to notify folks to leave town; kinna like what they did to the Palestinians in the 40s, and when they returned, oops,someone else was living in their home.

As for Webb and Lowell, yes, I guess Lowell has to be a little more circumspect. He doesn't want to get ahead of message. I have absolutely no doubt that Webb will get around to talking about the subject; and it won't be no bullet talking point, it'll be his honest opinion after serious forethought.

This guy is a dead serious man; and he means what he says and says what he means; and until he's decided the best option, he keeps his mouth shut.

Eileen Levandoski said...

Profoundly inspirational description of Webb I'd say. Thanks for that, HL.