House of Reps, US Media turn a blind eye to war crimes

Azbet, Jabalia in Gaza: January 2009

Image by freegazaorg via Flickr

As the corporate media scurries about, desperately trying to decide what simple-minded narrative to congeal around concerning last night’s elections–“Does everybody hate Obama now?!”; “Does NY-23 signal the demise of the teabaggers?!”–a far more important story has gone virtually unnoticed in the American media.

The Guardian reports that:

“The UN general assembly is expected to approve a resolution this week calling on Israel and the Palestinians to carry out independent investigations into serious allegations of war crimes committed during the Gaza conflict last January.”

Those investigations were recommended by Richard Goldstone in a UN Report that has drawn unsophisticated criticism from Congress and the Obama administration, even though it accuses both Israel and Hamas of possibly committing war crimes.

Yesterday the House of Representatives voted 344 to 36 “to oppose unequivocally any endorsement” of the Goldstone report, which reflects the disproportionate destruction Israel reigned down on Gaza–as opposed to the violence that Hamas was able to inflict upon Israel–so, according to the House, the report is a filthy lie that must be discredited.

 The New York Times wrote yesterday that sponsors of the House bill said, “it was necessary to formally denounce the document because it displayed a bias against close U.S. ally Israel.”  Obama has also called the report “flawed,” which provoked Goldstone to respond:

“I have yet to hear from the Obama administration what the flaws in the report that they have identified are. I would be happy to respond to them, if and when I know what they are.” 

Neither the Obama administration, nor any congress-people have offered specific critiques of the report.  They simply don’t like its conclusions and call it biased, which makes them guilty of engaging in an argumentative tactic more appropriate for the playground than the Capitol. 

Not only has the House passed this new resolution with overwhelming support, it’s also assumed that the US will exercise its veto power in the Security Counsel if and when the report is brought before that body.  As the Guardian reports: 

“A resolution from the general assembly would not be legally binding, but would be easier to reach than one before the security council, where it is likely to be opposed by the US and China.”

This behavior is shameful, but it illustrates exactly where we stand as a country.  We are currently occupying two Muslim countries, and not only supplied the weapons for another country (Israel) to engage in a three-week massacre of a trapped and terrorized civilian population, but we are now engaging in every effort possible to ensure that there are no internal investigations in Israel to hold potential criminals responsible.  

Just as Obama has irresponsibly envoked the phrase “look forward, not backwards”–like a hypnotist telling the country to stare at his pocket watch and take deep breaths–to ensure Bush administration officials are not held accountable, so too are we doing the same thing to protect Israeli officials.  Israel’s crimes are only possible because of US support, and the whole world knows it.  And, what’s not surprising (though it should be), is that all of this happens without much notice from the media at all.     

The United States is a good country.  Israel is our ally, so therefore they are a good country too.  Good counties simply don’t inflict collective punishment on a civilian population, so the Goldstone report must be “flawed.”  How it’s flawed, no one could tell you.  But it must be, and, either way it isn’t very polite to accuse people of crimes against humanity now is it? 

Now, about these two local Governor’s races where, in both states, 60% of voters said their vote had nothing to do with Obama.  What does this mean for Obama!?   

 

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4 Responses to House of Reps, US Media turn a blind eye to war crimes

  1. robm425 says:

    Got to agree with you here John! Personally I am not a fan of the USA supporting Israel. Israel has been violating the UN regulations since 1967. Regulations which go so far that would require the UN to declare war against the Israel. Luckily for Israel they are allied with us as we for the UN to declare war there needs to be a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council. The USA a member on the security council has been the only country voting NOT to attack Israel for their UN violations.

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  3. Eileen White Read says:

    Hey John – Welcome to the paradoxical world of Middle Eastern politics. If this subject is one you want to really get into, I recommend “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by Profs. Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of U.Chicago. The book describes how AIPAC works at the local level to influence the legislative branch of the government, stifling criticism of Israel even when the government in power there is several degrees to the right of Dick Cheney – as it is now. There was a firestorm of criticism orchestrated by the “Israel lobby” when this NYTimes bestseller was published in 2007; on the left, though it’s a bible – pun intended – to the peace movement among American Jews and Israelis. Walt, BTW, writes a very popular regular column at http://www.foreignpolicy.com.

    • John Knefel says:

      Eileen–
      I haven’t read Walt and Mearsheimer’s book yet, but I remember hearing them interviewed when it was published. It sounds like an invaluable resource, made even more important because of the political risks involved in taking on AIPAC.

      Thanks for the heads up as well on Walt’s column. I’ll check it out.

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