Friday, July 21, 2006

All Bombing is Terrorism

All bombing is terrorism. All wars are wars against children. These photographs document two war crimes, though I admit that "war crime" is a term that can only exist in an insane culture, in which war can be something other than a crime.

The top photograph documents a girl who has been brought out of an underground shelter in Northern Israel long enough to inscribe messages on bombs that will later be used by the Israeli army in their murderous attack on the people of Lebanon. Language is important here: the overwhelming majority of the casualties of Israel's aggression are Lebanese civilians, not members of Hezbollah's army. Who brought the girl to this artillery position in the north of Israel? Who taught her to smile at war? Shouldn't she be taken far away from the hideous people who staged this scene, who encouraged her, who allowed her? Can anyone give me a reason why the people responsible for the physical and emotional welfare of this child should be permitted to maintain custody of her? Why should they be forgiven?

The bottom photograph shows a Lebanese girl. Dead. Murdered. Weapons made in the United States of America killed her. They were used by young Israeli people who were forced by insane laws and rabid societal pressures to join their country's belligerent army. Maybe the weapons had been inscribed. People make fortunes from the production and sale of weapons like the one that killed this girl. It is also quite profitable to invest in the companies dedicated to killing children. Who knows, maybe your stock portfolio includes a company making the machinery that turns little girls into statistics for Israeli generals to gloat over.

Turning our attention away from the sunny Mediterranean for a moment, I would like to point out that the Bush Administration, but more importantly the entire United States Senate, has officially backed the Israeli government's despicable violence. The entire goddamn Senate, and perhaps most notably that bloodthirsty political demon angling for a shot at the presidency, Hillary Clinton. The House of Representatives [sic] is expected to do the same. Why the hell not?

How dare they? What a bunch of indescribably horrible people. What do we wish for them when we turn out the lights and try to sleep while others, elsewhere, duck into shelters or have their families blown into a thousand little pieces? Should we say the prayer these vile excuses for human beings say at the end of their inane political speeches? Should god, their God, their Christian God, their God formerly of forgiveness but now marching in lockstep to murder the meek, rape women, poison water and steal land and construct on it bases, prisons and weapons factories---should their God bless America and the thugs running it?

The violence must stop. We (if you're reading this it doesn't matter where you're from) have a hand in the violence and a responsibility to stop it. You paid for the bomb that destroyed that little Lebanese girl (and hundreds of thousands like her from Lebanon to Gaza to Iraq to Afghanistan). Perhaps you even invested in it.

We have to put ourselves between the next little girl and the bullet or the bomb aimed at her.


michael the tubthumper said...

brillaint stuff.

one of the most absurd/obscene things in history is when the US troops were not allowed to write "fuck" on the atom bombs dropped in japan becqause it was obscene.

the dropping of the bomb apparently wasn't

JOS said...

Great post, Keir.

Amelopsis said...

Excellent post, Keir.

Mickey Z. said...

Let me add my "great post," too.

Amelopsis said...

Keir I just happened across this blogger for the first time today and I thought you might like to take a gander.

This linked page contains a link to download "Starry Night" - an improvised musical piece, and a link to the blogspot of the musician...

Keir said...

Thanks everybody for the encouragement. Michael I know you're not surprised by the warped logic and double standards of people who make and use nuclear weapons, right?

Amelopsis I also caught that Mazen Kerbaj recording earlier today somewhere else. I will have a post coming up on making art in war zones. The documentary audio footage of the bombing of Beirut is actually much more impacting when you know there's a lone musician listening (and at risk of being hit) and improvising along with it. You start to hear the bombs through his ears. Chilling.

Amelopsis said...

Yes, the audio certainly has impact. I didn't have the volume loud enough to hear as much detail in the silences as I would like, but it was so chilling that I feel as though I want to listen to it again in spite of myself, it's a piece which invokes primal emotion. I can't think of anything else I've heard that I could call "pleasantly disturbing."

Anonymous said...

Not all of readers of your blog are unanimous in praise of your latest one. True, it is eminently provocative and will surely elicit much response, mostly by those in lockstep with your apparently very strange view of things. Let's stipulate that war is hell; violence is terrible; and there is no higher calling than to advocate for peace and the achievement of a state of peacefullness. But that does not mean that blaming those on whom violence is perpetrated is rational. Your thinking leads one to conclude that you would surely blame Mr. T. Van Gogh for somehow causing that utterly useless and deranged individual to have slaughtered him in the street. Blame the victim says you. And you have been saying that for quite a while now. An absurd position says we. You don't want to take sides? O.K., don't. But please get out of your auto-pilot mode that has you suggesting that EVERY nasty that goes on is the fault of either the U.S. or Israel. That analysis is naive, immature, and devoid of ANY appreciation of the complexities extant in the world today. You are extraordinarily well read. We simply cannot believe that you harbor such a closed minded view of today's extremely complicated geopolitical situation. No easy answers, perhaps, but we could use a bit less of the auto anti-U.S./Israel rejoinder from folks like you. And finally, if you would like to give ANY credence to your point of view, we humbly suggest that you stick to conducting an informed debate regarding FACTS and IDEAS. Leave your ridiculous ad hominem attacks out of the discourse. It is so obvious that you throw such meaningless pap into the mix just to get some attention. Hint: no need. You are a powerful writer without having to crawl in the gutter. And we do look forward to your next post.

Keir said...

Anonymous: I regret that you cannot put your identity behind what you've written. I might not even go any further if I didn't know who you are. But I do, so here we go.

Your lengthy comment reveals you to be an intelligent person who does not want to face the need to adhere to the most basic moral code: that the greater something is our responsibility, the greater our moral obligation is to do something about it. (That's something often repeated by Noam Chomsky, with whom you may feel free to say I am "marching in lockstep".) The weapons are American-made. Sold to the Israeli Army at huge profits for a certain sector of the population in the US (and elsewhere). Then the Israeli Army began using them to destroy Lebanese civilians and infrastructure. Check the statistics. You and I have a moral obligation to stop the outrageous state terrorism of the US and its major proxy army in the Middle East.

It is necessary for you to receive information from outside the mainstream rags and the televised news-entertainment that corporate America provides you. Seriously. Try some of the links at the side of this blog.

Nothing in your comment responds to the actual content of what I have written. It seems to be a gut reaction to any condemnation of Israel's war crimes and US support of same.

I do not aim to avoid taking sides. I take the side of the people under fire. The people under fire are overwhelmingly Lebanese civilians. Now where does that come from? Note to the criminals prosecuting this latest aggression: killing Lebanese is Not Going to Stop Hezbollah. Bombing Afghanistan did not stop al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Invading Iraq has done anything but liberate the Iraqi people.

How dare you suggest that I blame van Gogh for his murder? How dare you? And how dare you equate his murder with your imaginary victimization of Israel? You don't get to be a "victim" if you're fighting an offensive war in which you've caused the displacement of over half a million people and thoroughly destroyed your chosen enemy's insfrastructure. And casualties statistics? Look into it. Even your precious New York Times has reported on how overwhelmingly the people of Lebanon are suffering for the crimes of Israel and Hezbollah.

Lastly: Hezbollah was created in response to Israel's similar crimes in 1982. Do you honestly believe that Israel's current actions will disarm and dismantle Hezbollah? Are even Israeli lives being saved? This is the wrong thing to do in every sense.

JOS said...

I wonder who "we" are in Anonymous' comment?

Anonymous said...

Fair enough question from "jos", the one who said "Great post, Keir" without telling us why it's a "great" post.

"WE" happened to be a rather large group who believe that geopolitical situations are not simply (and naively) black or white. "WE" believe that there are in fact subtle nuances that are probably not nearly appreciated nor understood by most of you blogger-heads.

"WE" believe that it is oh so easy to condemn and find fault in and with almost everything, and that in the final analysis, it is incredibly difficult to stand tall and propose meaningful, workable solutions. Like, resolving the "differences" between Hizbullah and the Israelis. Or maybe better yet; between Iran and Israel. Maybe "jos" would want to take a crack at that.

"WE" are folks who believe that the carnage of Chechnya is not the fault of the Israelis, as some of you would probably suggest. (Isn't everything negative ultimately the fault of the U.S. and Israel? Be honest now)

"WE" are a growing crowd who recognize that Europe is remarkably impotent in formulating realistic solutions to ANYTHING. Included in the group of course is, sadly, the Netherlands. Understanding this, "WE" also acknowledge that the U.S. is currently and temporarily being led and run by crazies and certifiable wackos. But that does not mean that the people are also nuts.

Finally, "WE" are convinced that your trying to rationalize the barbaric behavior of people who crave a swift passage to paradise is in itself an act of lunacy. You see, there is after all a war going on between those who are rational and those who are not. It is YOUR job to propose solutions rather than condemn those excersizing their instinct for self-preservation.

We await your enlightened response.

Keir said...

Anonymous, you and I should talk about this over the phone. I do not understand how or why you would say these things. Why not post your hateful, thoroughly irrational comments on the blog of someone who doesn't know you, and see how they treat you? With this last salvo---which I see as not only a personal attack but also dissappointingly lacking in meaning---you make it difficult to treat you with the respect you deserve as a person (but certainly not as a commenter).

You have yet to make a point. My post obviously hurts you is some way but you seem unable to address this pain. Again, you have neither responded to the content of my post nor the content of my rejoinder.

If you want JOS to take a crack at the Iran-Israel conflict, why not go to JOS's blog and ask? JOS stands behind his web identity and knows how to deal with trolls.

With your mention of Chechnya you utilize the right-wing's oft-employed "thief, thief" trick. A puts B on the stand, asks a question, and B points to the back of the room and yells "thief, thief!". While everyone turns around to look at C, B ducks and runs out of the room. I'm not taking the bait. You do the same when you bring up Europe. (What does your empty condemnation of Europe in general and the Netherlands in particular have to do with Israeli girls encouraged to inscribe bombs that target the homes and cities of Lebanese girls? What does it have to do with the spineless behavior of the US Congress? What does it have to do with your (my) part in all of this? Nada.) Meanwhile, bombs are falling and lives are being destroyed and this back-and-forth is not worth the time. I will ask you nicely: if you wish to comment, please respond to the content of the posts. If you have a substantive suggestion for how to resolve the crisis in Lebanon, we're all listening.

JOS said...

I'm with Keir here, Anonymous. Your explanation of who "WE" are amounted to absolutely nothing of value.

One thing I can comment on is the ridiculous blanket truth used by many of your kind that so called terrorists in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine are fighting in order to die and gain "swift passage to paradise." Also, that these people are somehow inherently crazy and irrational.


These people have had their countries invaded and illegally occupied. They are fighting and dying to remove these occupiers who are killing their families and destroying their land.

This has nothing to do with virgins in paradise or racist ideas of craziness.

Please feel free to visit my blog anytime...JOS stands for James O'Shea...I live in Chicago, IL.