Op-Ed by Brett Redmayne-Titley
“…When Darkness and Disorder Began to Reign in a Kingdom…There Appeared the Loyal Ministers.” – The Tao Teh Ching.
Eighteen more Palestinians were unapologetically murdered this past “Good Friday” by the Israeli military. They were unarmed. They were on their own land. They were desperate. They screamed their desperation as they marched. Then, they shouted their daily reality of personal horrors too close to Israel’s attention. So, they were killed.
These innocents were shot like fish in a barrel: No place to hide, no place to run, no chance of escape. The hunters all around them. Easy targets. In what now seems like a national sport, Israel has picked up the pace beyond tormenting Palestine…because it can!
For the record, it is important to accurately understand the current Israeli imposed rules of engagement for this latest round of unjustified violence. A synopsis is in order:
As any rational person should know well, Israel has been slowly – since the complete blockade of Gaza eleven years ago – torturing, by choking, what little is left to be stolen from Palestine. Thanks to the Israel-friendly inhabitants in the US White House, Israel has been given carte blanche to increase this inhuman stranglehold. The new US/ Israeli policy towards Palestine holds the draconian view that any Palestinian’s love for their nation, their futures, their health, their families, and their happiness can be wiped away. Israel truly believes it can change the fundamental human mind of all of Palestine…if their imposed arbitrary torture and their killings are sufficient.
Beyond this increasing isolation, deprivation and degradation of Gaza and Palestine and the military takeover of the West Bank for more illegal Israeli settlements, the Likudists that dominate both Israeli and American politics, have managed to require their US president to hand them the Palestinian capital of Jerusalem as a gift for his ascendancy. Strangely, both these antagonists were then surprised that the Palestinians did not find this departure from history an acceptable US decision.
Despite having slowly seized, coerced or purchased 90% (95% if you count the Golan Heights) of original Palestine since the inception of Israel in 1948, suddenly sensing trouble, the IDF next declared a 350-meter no-go zone within the borders of what they had not already taken from Palestine. With their futures sinking like a bag of kittens wantonly cast adrift, direct action within what remains of Palestine was understandable. On March 30 “Land Day,” an annual commemoration of the deaths of six Arab citizens of Israel killed by Israeli security forces during demonstrations over government land confiscations in northern Israel in 1976, Hamas called for the start of a march called, “The Day of Return.” In protest they marched, some 17,000 strong, towards the border: To their border… right up to that fence.
Well, not quite.
One, two, three, four, five…eighteen…they were murdered. The videos do not lie. Bullets from the 100 Israeli snipers not being sufficient enough, however, a tank was used to blow to pieces a distant lonely farmer who was out of rifle-shot. Why? Not because they dared to visit the DMZ border zone. Not because they threw rocks that could never reach the fence. Not because the petrol bombs and burning tires of this desperate protest were hurled ineffectively in the direction of the thirty-foot-high, electrified, steel fence.
No. These little fish were killed for one simple, nay fundamental, reason: They refused to accept their fate. They would not change their minds. So…an example had to be made.
Are We Not All, Today, Palestinians?
“Resistance is futile.” That is the message of the IDF this week. It is also clearly implied within new US foreign policy designed to bring the Palestinians, and particularly Gaza, to its knees. America considers this increased horror the means to a peaceful end to the bitter conflict of decades. This policy of delusion, however, too clearly echoes existing US foreign policy across the globe. That same threatening message is certainly explicit in too much of what is wrong with our world today. The arrogant Israeli horrors that are ongoing at this border protest are really just an extension of a collective worldwide US foreign policy that demands acquiescence and allegiance. Or Else!
Is resistance futile? In this, America is forcing everyone worldwide to become a Palestinian.
Take as example the Israeli military court decision -which met in Secret-to send 17-year-old Palestinian protester, Ahed Tamimi, to join hundreds of other convicted children in an Israeli prison for eight months. Her crime? Not, that the IDF had just marched into her home. Not that her brother had just been shot in the face by the IDF for throwing stones in their direction. No. Her crime was that she did not willingly accept these horrors. She resisted; slapping the two soldiers for what they had done. This opinion was echoed by her lawyer, Gaby Lasky, who stated after the trial,
They want to deter other Palestinian youth from resisting occupation.
So, because she refused to accept being witness to this arbitrary horror, one that should shock the conscience, she is thus guilty of… resisting.
One look at the failures of recent attempts at, and enthusiasm for, national democracy seems to clearly bolster this point. Take Greece. It took less than 150 days for the fledgling Syriza party to go from achieving a stunning legitimately democratic victory to allowing the whole country and its future to be functionally overthrown by the feared Troika: the IMF, EC and ECB. The country was thus sold-off for pennies on the Euro – merely to obtain more debt. Greece is now economically and politically beholden to Brussels as is their treasonous president, Alexis Tsipras, the usual slippery politician who single-handedly (well, Finance Minister Varoufakis certainly helped) sold Greece, his own government , and his soul willingly to a higher authority that controls virtually all of the future of Greece. A future that is already far worse, and of which they have no control.
Like the Palestinians?
Ukraine is an easy one. The US admits that it funded the overthrow of the Viktor Yanukovych’s presidential democratic election victory and that it has recently sent massive amounts of new high-powered weapons for a spring offensive of horror and wanton killing. America, its hand-picked president Poroshenko and his neo-Nazi themed government hope to break the will of the eastern Ukrainians in the Donbass region using increased violence, and bringing them, too, to their knees and stealing their future.
Like the Palestinians?
Then there was Spain and the Catalonia election, failed, sadly, before it all got started due the leadership’s lack of understanding – like Greece – of the true strength of their adversaries within the EU and Spain. Theirs was a drastic overestimation of their true political power. Post-election victory, the result has been a disaster with independence referendum president, Carles Puigdemont, also being arrested – with obvious EU complicity – in Germany this week. Catalonian resistance has been again squashed, its leaders taken, its people told to go home, return to work…or else. Yes, do as they are told by a foreign governing body of immoral politicians that they did not choose to elect.
Next, consider the UK and Brexit, the monumental, shocking and successful democratic vote for resistance to foreign hegemony. Like Ukraine, Greece, and Catalonia the primal forces of nature are doing their very best to ensure that democracy here, too, will fail. As described in a June 27, 2016 article, Brexit was an easy target for delay and tactical overthrow well before it went to a vote. Almost two years later, Brexit is arguable, as predicted, further away from becoming a reality than before the vote because of the duality of the true allegiances of the UK politicians. So, who really holds power over the people of Britain? Politicians. The House of Lords. The EU. Certainly not the people.
Like the Palestinians?
A Mind Programmed to Violence: The American Foreign Export.
The cause, the epicenter, of this mental malady that demands subservience at the end of the gun is the American Congress and its foreign and domestic policies of obedience. The fault here also lies with the American public’s tacit willingness to accept this increasingly authoritarian rule without complaint.
One would have thought that in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election and the proven revelations of DNC corruption and Hillary Clinton criminal complicity, Americans would well know that they, too, do not have an opposition political party. Add the recent documentation of FBI and CIA collusion in the same conspiracy to bring HRC to power, while burying here proven crimes, and it is indeed a wonder that voters are once again excitedly heading off to the slaughter of the 2018 mid-terms.
Of course, few Americans see reality for themselves, but evidence abounds and with American foreign policy embracing, excusing and justifying these and a growing list of imposed horrors upon the conscience, the world would do well to understand from whence these are spawned: A country where violence and killing seem endemic. Where an artificially elected Congress likes it that way.
Take the increase in police killings of unarmed citizens. For many, these US citizens’ resistance amounted to having their back turned, their hands in the air and/or running away. The US is certainly number one is this horror as well as in the least number of police convictions for same. The current White House marionette has already publicly embraced police brutality. Protests against these extra-judicial killings are paltry at best. So, the killings increase yearly.
Since taking office, Trump not just guaranteed that the Guantanamo Bay torture center will stay open, he has provided massive new – and undisclosed – funding for it. Ensuring that it will soon be at full capacity, he then named arguably the two most righteous, self-serving zealots of arbitrary torture and unabashed horror, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, to help with this goal: showcasing America’s hatred of human resistance. Philip Giraldi in an article on March 22, 2018, noted this point,
… every change reflects an inexorable move to the right in foreign policy… so he [Trump] is inevitably being directed by individuals who have long American global leadership by force if necessary.
Just in case, back in the USA Trump re-authorized the distribution of returning Mid-East military hardware to be distributed to towns across the country. Despite the best attempts of US media complicity, propaganda, and censorship, the government knows the people are slowly waking up to their own dismal futures. To this government and its military, it seems only a matter of time before the Second Amendment and the US military square-off against each other. They are preparing to crush this resistance.
Like the Palestinians?
But the American mind, one with a slowly building penchant for violence, helps to allow Trump and his monocracy in Congress to continue to get their unchallenged path to war by playing on this mindset. This is becoming endemic in the American mind; one that enjoys guns and killing. Spend just one hour watching American TV commercials and the routine level of violence shown via movie trailers, video games featuring ultra-violence and US military armed forces recruitment adverts is – hour after hour – like no country on Earth. Congress and the NRA legislatively propagate this blood-lust, using America’s entrenched love for guns and killing as the misunderstood base rationale to increase the US budget for any and all the tools that kill.
This was sorely evidenced this past year, when the US House and Senate passed legislation – as an attachment – that allowed hunters to, not only kill wolves and bears, but to increase the thrill of the hunt, this Congress said it would be OK for these same hunters to now kill new born wolf puppies and bear cubs, too. So, the true morality of these humans was shown clearly. Despite every US senator being individually contacted by this reporter with the additional horrifying fact that this barbaric earmark of legislation would also allow these hunters to kill the pups and cubs during springtime and in their mothers’ dens, the bill passed easily without any debate regarding this new degradation of the American conscience.
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But, they had a good reason, as shown in their staff letters of reply, to abandon their conscience.
The earmark that all but doomed the North American wolf back to extinction after decades of recovery, was tucked away in a spending bill. As goes the US budget year after year, this was, in majority, a military spending bill. It needed Republican votes to pass. The price for one single lowly congressional vote, dangled by Alaska state rep., Don Young, was to allow tiny newborns to be slaughtered at will. In the face of a military that needs to be fed and congressmen who need money and have a vote (soul) for sale; the wolves never had a chance.
Defenseless wolves or slaughtered Palestinians must be considered an example to the world. A call to action. Compared to a tranquilized US-sponsored First World that ignores the real plight of the remaining civilized world around them, worldwide Palestinians know well, what these disaffected and apathetic populations refuse to admit: That, election results mean nothing, their government officials are controlled by others, their future and their lives are at the whim of American corporate economic interests, and… their happiness in life is of no concern to politicians at all.
Just like Palestinians?
Yes, the American man on the street will proudly tell you that his country is #1 in the world in everything. Of course his argument does not include the fact that America is also number one in: Mass killings, prison incarceration, police killings of civilians, personal debt per person, share of national debt per person, military expenditure, private military contractors, money printing (QE), manipulating elections, overthrowing governments, drone killings of the innocent, money donated to Israel, weapons given to Israel or UN vetoes of humanitarian resolutions, etc.
This military madness was all too evident in the recent US spending bill of mere weeks ago. Yes, the military had its budget demands as did the Israel lobby within Congress. In a stunning example that proves who is really in charge in Washington, the Congress within the $1.3 trillion spending bill incredibly approved $15.5 billion extra for the US military despite it having only requested a paltry $654.6 billion. Also, Israel was granted an additional $$558.4 million over their own budget request of $147.4 million. The total of $705.8 million is an increase of $105.4 million over what congress bequeathed to them last year.
Of course, there was not a penny extra for any of the social services that were gutted in the first two rounds of budget ping pong.
Still, America is number one? This irrational mind is a tribute to America’s media. This also highlights the one most threatening fact about the American understanding of its role in the world: Willful, delusional ignorance. One that increasingly suffers at the hands of their politicians yet cheers on the cause of their own demise. As an American journalist, Robert Bridge, noted this week;
This apathetic attitude on the part of so many Americans to this wave of death and destruction against foreigners in foreign lands suggests that any semblance of an anti-war consciousness has left the building.
More so than in any country, in the US fact and truth so are easily accepted as lies. This shows a madness deep inside. A failure of the mind, one that watches passively at the violent destruction of so much of the world, at the hands of their own country, yet fails to notice that their own homeland’s myopic, insular, flag-draped future is also, piece by piece, month by month, being removed from their grasp; until there is nothing left.
Just like Palestine.
When US Foreign Policy Meets Criminal Insanity.
This weekend, after the Good Friday Massacre, Israeli Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, not only proved charges that he and his Likudist part are criminally insane (“a depraved indifference to human life”) and guilty of genocidal apartheid, he brashly showcased to the world a brand new crime of conscience: Criminal Hypocrisy.
The most moral army in the world will not be lectured by those who have indiscriminately bombed civilian populations for years.”
His sick joke failed to note, of course, Israel’s actual inclusion the club of nations without consciences such as its US, EU, and UK patrons, and an incredible new allegiance with their new BFF, the Saudi Arabian, Mohammed Bin Salman. All collectively have the blood of millions on their hands. Distortion of this kind by Netanyahu shows the depravity of the mind aforementioned. As if these words were not enough to prove the point, IDF leader Avigdor Lieberman removed all doubt, stating with glee that the Israeli troops were, “doing their job” and that all involved in the slaughter ” deserved commendations.”
Only the insanity of US inspired military arrogance can utter such rot. Only those of a similar mind will believe it.
These self-serving – and false – statements belie the accurate casualty figures of the two previous Israeli inspired wars in Gaza and three in Lebanon when previously Israel felt the need to “cut the grass.” When it comes to war, however, the actual facts forever prove a very different result of Israeli army tactics that can best be summed up in one word: chickenshit!
Casualty figures and the eyes of the world show without doubt that Israel never picks a fair fight, preferring civilian deaths to IDF body bags. Despite the world’s seventh largest military, Israel will not fight any Army without full US financial, military, munitions, intelligence, foreign policy, and UN assistance. Its massive, America-funded military, prefers to attack the defenseless, the innocent and the civilian. This was shown clearly in daily TV horrors during the 2006 Lebanon War and the 2014 Gaza war. To argue otherwise is madness.
Worse, Israel leaves the on-the-ground killing to its proxies in the US, UK, EU nations and Saudi Arabia, nations that regularly use their national coffers and militaries, not for their own people, but to affect what, in reality, provides only a positive geopolitical bearing for Israel; not their own countries.
In doing so, it is the political leaders – not the citizens – of these many countries, and far too many others, that have almost thoroughly sold out their voters and their country to be co-opted into the embrace of America’s pro-Israel/ pro-war modern doctrine; one that increases in its threat to humanity with each and every Trump cabinet replacement.
The list of countries similarly affected, as are the Palestinians, by US foreign policy, beyond those referenced here, is so long and well established that one must pause in the task and reflect: why it is necessary to write it again? If the world, the Palestinian world beyond Gaza and the West Bank, has not, after all the worldwide horror – taken note on their own, it is not worth the effort. For thus they have not, despite all this evidence, realized their kinship with the beleaguered Palestinians of the world, and this is indeed a their own madness.
This madness predictably continued this past week in the aftermath of just one day of the Good Friday protests.
An investigation was called for by a special session of the UN Security Council, which the US vetoed. Going further, an Israel IDF spokesperson stated that there would be no investigation on their part. This is not surprising from a new world order that makes no apologies, much less admission, for its war crimes against humanity.
Amazingly, an IDF spokesperson did exactly that, publicly and disgustingly admitting ,via Twitter, Israel’s guilt when issuing his proud statement:
Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.
Nothing was ever so clear.
Back in America, the next few weeks will see Trump, his foreign policy, and the American people’s attention have their own Land Day-style protest problem come to their own border. Approx. 1700 people are walking directly towards Trump’s symbolic wall. The majority are desperate refugees from Honduras, a country destroyed many times over by malicious US control that continues to inflict daily military horrors on its people with US weapons. The recent Honduran presidential election was overthrown by the US collusion in a very suspect recount when the US-backed presidential candidate initially lost by too slim of a margin. Now the country is in turmoil, killing routine, and these Honduran Palestinians have vowed to walk right up to Trump’s US border wall and demand asylum. Since the US directly caused their plight this would seem a fair request.
However, considering the true nature of the intent of US foreign policy, their example of resistance will have to be quashed. This will certainly be the case since today, April 3, 2018, a publicly nervous US president Trump authorized the US military to take control of the US southern border. What will transpire upon the refugees arrival will be an interesting test – if Mexico doesn’t stop it first. How many feet before the border will these refugees be allowed before being shot in cold blood? Will the US ship them all back to uncertain death in their home countries as the Israelis are doing to the black North African refugees now?
A good part of the world too well understands our current relationship to our national politicians. Those that have experienced or witnessed their horrors. The rest needs to awaken quickly.
A battle now rages worldwide. To merely witness it is to perish. The shrinking civilized world of correct and moral conscience is in a fight against those who believe that they can infect the mind of the whole planet with the same madness that drives them to climb over the backs of all others onwards to their own oblivion, as if this were a cherished goal.
This is the mind that believes in one fundamental: The rest of us? We are all Palestinians.
It is time to resist the temptation to do nothing. It is time to resist this madness that would numb us into willfully watching our own demise. It is time to march right up to walls of power across the globe – and cast these world leaders out from their citadels. It is time to tell them, “Je Suis…Palestine! “
Just like Palestinians.
About the Author: Brett Redmayne-Titley has published over 150 in-depth articles over the past seven years for news agencies worldwide. Many have been translated. On-scene reporting from important current events has been an emphasis that has led to multi-part exposes on such topics as the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, NATO summit, KXL Pipeline, Porter Ranch Methane blow-out and many more. He can be reached at: live-on-scene((at)) gmx.com. Prior articles can be viewed at his archive: www.watchingromeburn.uk
Image credit: The Jerusalem Post