I can’t post them directly to my wall, but I implore you to watch these videos. The Guardian have revealed that Israel was guilty of war crimes in the so-called conflict in the Gaza strip at the start of this year.
The report says:
“The drones are operated from a remote position, usually outside the combat zone. They use optics that are able to see the details of a man’s clothing and are fitted with pinpoint accurate missiles. With a weapons system that is so accurate, and with such good optics, why are we experiencing so many civilians being killed?
As we all know thanks to figures published by the World Health Organisation, 1,380 Palestinians perished, 431 of them children, during Israel’s 23-day offensive. 48 civilians were killed by the drones.
Sitting here watching the Guardian’s videos earlier, the only conclusion I could come to was; if my family was smeared around my garden when we were sat out eating tea one evening because an unpeopled drone five miles high dropped a bomb in my back garden, I would have little reason to continue living and would never be able to come to terms with the arbitrary randomness which allowed me to survive and them to die.
If I chose to kill myself, would I do it peacefully and quietly in some room somewhere, or would I be so consumed with vitriol that I felt I deserved a small bit of justice or, if that word ceased to have any meaning or relevance, plain old revenge?
I think these feelings would be sharpened if this act of gratuitous and extreme violence of towards those I love was acted out and then attempted to be justified by people willing to attribute it to an act in the ongoing war against terrorism.
The Guardian videos reminded of this scene in Munich, Steven Speilberg’s best film. It expresses in dramatic form the phrase “violence begets violence,” arguing that, as soon as one is proactively uses aggression in order to achieve an objective, it becomes almost impossible to return to co-operation and diplomacy, and the primary objective is eventually forgotten. It’s worth watching the full ten minutes, but if you don’t have time watch between just before the third minute to about the middle of the fifth.
The War on Terror was an idiotic sham, perpetrated by the arrogance and near-sightedness of democratically elected individuals obsessed with their own moral conviction.
We have watched half a million people die in Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, the continued appeasement of corrupt dictators in Pakistan and Afghanistan, our Government grant itself the ability to lock people up without trial or question for six weeks, home grown Britian’s blowing themselves and 52 others up on the London Underground, extraordinary rendition, and the continued arming of Israel who now possess one of the most advanced and bloated weapons arsenal in the world.
The over-arching justification for this? WMDs that didn’t exist and the belief in human rights and civil liberites.
Gaza was the epilogue to the war on terror, not another chapter in it.
The Guardian’s video illustrates why we need to cease using terrorism as an excuse or a justification. It is a redundant term. Terrorism is the latest in a long line of terms that succeeded in dehumanising somebody else- Communism, Fascism, Anarchism, Atheism, zionism. All these terms, these -isms, paradoxically invite people to ignore the question of motive while simultaneously intellectualising it, safe in the knowledge that they possess the moral high-ground, that they are in the right.
For almost ten years we had two leaders whose administrations were propelled by religious conviction. How many times did we hear Bush and Blair talk about right and wrong and good and evil?
“Hegel’s philosophy of right doesn’t assign a moral category to wrong.”
I’m not going to pretend I’ve read Hegel or Marx or really understand this sentence, but it still makes sense I think. Right and wrong are a semantic exercise in dividing and then understanding the world in its most simplistic and cursory forms. They express part of an equation within a continuous struggle.
People are people. People have causes. People can be misled. We differ enormously but essentially we are all the same, with the same motivations and impulses, and the same occasional belief in violence.
Violence begets violence. It makes no difference who the victims or the perpetrators are.
I have asked a lot of questions here, and I do not possess the intellect to provide answers, if such things exist. All I can hope is that things will progress. All I know is that, despite the fact that my life has no direct connection to the people of Gaza captured so dispassionately by the Guardian’s cameras, watching these videos inspires anger and frustration in me, and leads me to thrash around trying to make sense of something which is at heart completely illogical and beyond understanding.
My conclusion? if anyone ever doubts the importance of investigative journalism, direct them towards these videos. I would rather have the Guardian telling me what the truth is than accept the official explanation from the Israeli Defence Force or the Home Office. At least it gives us the chance to try and work stuff out.