As the Middle East boils with violence and war, it comes as no surprise that once again (regrettably), the failings of Bush's foreign policy are to blame.
Israel's military incursion into Palestinian Gaza last week resulted in over 100 deaths, many of those innocent civilians and some small children. Read about it here. This in retaliation for the 7th death of an Israeli citizen by rocket fire in ten years. It's no wonder the Secretary General of the UN described the Israeli response as excessive and disproportionate. By any measure, that's what it was.
Under the laws of war, we're told, civilians may be placed at risk only for reasons of military necessity. They must never be targeted to create political pressure, or for reasons of revenge. That's just morally wrong. Israel promised the Palestinians a Shoah, or holocaust, if their efforts to fire rockets continued. Read the BBC account of the threat here. So the victims of the Nazi Shoah are now promising their adversaries the same kind of treatment? And as it turns out, this current disaster is largely due to pressures and miscalculations by the Bush Administration. Here's the story.
After Arafat died and left the Palestinian people and state without a clear leader, the Bush administration insisted on immediate elections - though neither Fatah or Hamas really wanted them. Well, Hamas won the elections and Condi Rice famously observed: "...nobody saw that coming." Exactly my point. Cluelessness at the highest levels. So rather than support the will of the Palestinian people as expressed in a free and fair election, Bush decides to create a civil war between Palestinian factions. Another very bad idea from the mental midget we call president of the United States. The plot was first reported in late 2006 by Debka File, then here in Dec. 06 at the Arabist blog. Read some of the posted comments for additional background.
Now, Vanity Fair exposes the entire SNAFU in this revealing piece. A must read. His elections a failure from the US point of view, and his civil war lost, Bush has apparently given the Israeli military a green light to clean-up the whole affair in their usual, very heavy-handed manner. Not a pretty picture. This has inflammed Arabs and Muslims around the world at precisely the moment when the Middle East can least afford additional stress. One has to wonder just who's in charge and what they're thinking.
For more background on Gaza, check out these blogs. TabulaGaza; A mother from Gaza; and, FromGaza.