Sunday, January 25, 2009

Who Cares??

In 1997 I read a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death, the premise of the book was that Aldous Huxley’s book Brave New World, was becoming true. I didn’t care for the book at all, but recently I have been thinking about its theory again. The thought is that the government doesn’t need to control information or the media, because there will be such an information overload that officials will be able to lie, while the truth lays in plain sight. What sparked my rethinking about this the war on Gaza. President Obama gave his first substantial statements on the conflict on Thursday the 22nd of January. He was able to mislead in plain view of the truth, no one seemed to notice, no follow up stories in the press.

Obama repeated the same old tired line that all US presidents since LBJ have said, “Let me be clear: America is committed to Israel’s security.” Once it would be nice to hear “America is committed to the security of the Arab population.” Actually, Eisenhower was the only US president to not support Israeli aggression against the Arabs and he seems like he will continue hold that position alone. Obama refused to acknowledge that Israel, not Hamas, violated the cease-fire agreement (November 4th 2008, Israeli special forces invaded Gaza and killed 6 men.) Obama also refused to acknowledge that the rockets, that he claims “started” the conflict were not fired by Hamas. He also said nothing about the UN run schools bombed by Israel, despite the fact the UN had given Israel the GPS location of the schools to their military. Nothing was said about 1/3 of the Palestinian victims who were children, while 1/3 of Israeli victims were the result of “friendly fire.” President Obama said the Palestinians need to renounce violence. This is the part of the speech that made my face grow bright red with anger. Renounce violence? How about Israel? Or the US? What a completely stupid thing to say, no country ever would renounce violence. The US refuses to see Hamas as a resistance force practicing self-defense. In the same breath Obama can say “we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself against legitimate threats” and “Hamas must meet clear conditions…renounce violence.” Truly amazing that these things can be said and no one bats an eye. Americans knowledge on the Israeli-Arab conflict is truly depressing, especially because without massive US support none of it could happen. When I talk to people about the conflict, I have to repeat so many of the same basic facts, “yes Hamas is religious but is not fundamentalist… Hamas democratically won the elections… Israel is withholding money taken from the Palestinians to punish them for voting in Hamas… Hamas is a creation of the Mossad and the CIA… Hamas has a military wing, and a wing that runs schools, a wing that feeds the poor, a wing that builds people’s homes… Hamas does get some money from Iran but it is a Sunni organization… Israel has blockaded Gaza for over a year because of the election of Hamas… yes Hamas has tunnels into Egypt, and some weapons come through, also fuel for hospitals, food, medicine and other basic supplies because of the blockade…Hamas does not use suicide bombers, hasn’t for nearly 5 years… Hamas is not Fatah or the PLO or Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda or Black September or any other group…the founder of Hamas was killed in an Israeli missile strike launched as he left a mosque after Friday prayers killing him and 9 civilians, Kofi Annan condemned the killing and the UN sought to a resolution to condemn the attack, the United States vetoed it…”

These things are not things I discovered after lengthy research. I read most of them in the mainstream media (CNN, New York Times, NPR etc…). They are there and easily accessible for anyone to find out. Its information overload, look at the dates Israel violated the cease-fire November 4th, the day of the US elections, when does it end, a day before Obama takes the oath of office. Hidden in plain sight, right under our noses. In fact, the best piece I read in all of 2008 on Hamas and the blockade of Gaza appeared in the April issue of Vanity Fair, the story didn’t even appear on the cover. I suppose an article titled “Who Says Women Aren’t Funny?” about Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey and other women comics is far more important then “The Gaza Bombshell” a detailed account of Hamas election and the US role. It is a brave new world, but who cares?