Sunday, January 18, 2009

communiqué #21: devil's advocate

image forwarded from sara smith.

I am unsure whether the recent sender of images of the suffering being endured in Gaza is seeking to redress the balance after my posting a photograph from the Holocaust, or is doing so merely in an attempt to educate me in outrages I am already painfully aware of. I suspect we have all become inured to images of the atrocities attributable to world conflict to one degree or another. Darfur; Rwanda; Bosnia; Somalia; Vietnam; Korea; Burma; Uganda; Tehran; Tibet; El Salvador; Afghanistan; Iraq; Cambodia... The list is endless. A plague of images. Of blighted lives.

Many of these conflicts continue unabated largely after generations of unresolved dispute. The names of invading or occupying forces may change, the borders may recede or advance from one outcome to the next. There is only one far from superficial constant: the endless suffering of people deemed expendable by one authority or another.

The situation in Gaza is as ugly as in any conflict, the effects of Israeli offensives on a largely invisible enemy untenable in humanitarian terms. The parallels with the sectarian situation in Northern Ireland as it stood until recent times have been familiar to all of us for years. If pressure is to be brought to bear on Israel to cease its offensive - as it rightly should - then pressure must also be brought to bear on Hamas to negotiate. Hamas is a very different political animal to Fatah, its Palestinian predecessor. Hamas refuses to negotiate. In measurable terms, casualties sustained by Israel are dwarfed by those of its neighbour in this most recent turn of events. That much is inarguable. And as such, as a state it has exposed itself to just accusations of inappropriately brutal force, or as it maintains, counter force.

Certainly, too, Israel must now shoulder the incandescent and impotent fury of thousands of Gazans once resistant - privately at least - to Hamas, without persistently shirking responsibility.

Let your outrage pour forth for those innocent men, women and children maimed and slaughtered on the streets of Gaza. Atrocities continue to occur; not least as the result of substantiated reports of the illegal use of phosphorus, which beggars belief. But do not delude yourself that Hamas is an instrument of freedom; it is undeserving of the moral high ground.

This is the last I intend to engage in discourse on this subject. For the forseeable future, at least. I am not qualified to speculate on these events with any degree of authority beyond mere gut reaction. I have no agenda beyond the simple wish, shared by the many, for an immediate ceasefire. And no reasonable expectation for reconciliation.



'And no reasonable expectation for reconciliation.'

Exactly, humanly, humanely, truly said.

word verification is quicc which I guess goes with deadd

ib said...

Ah, fuck.

But I hope I haven't come across in any way as pompous. There is only so much one can say.

The Quick and the Dead is about right.

The weight of evidence regarding the 'illegal' use of phosphorus is hard to refute, let alone attempt to comprehend. It genuinely leaves me incredulous.

ib said...

Just digging myself a hole...

Anonymous said...

Once you start moving, or in this case speaking, once you have momentum, and it works with music that way sometimes as well, you can shift more easily from that than you can get somewhere from a cold standstill, or in this case silence. This is especially true with little kids who are so on fire most of the time stopping them full-stop is or can be traumatic or harsh, but redirecting them is often successful, especially if it channels the same drive and get they were working from and on, anyway you said something that you believed or at least thought you believed at the time you said it and that's another thing lots of times I find out how I feel right in the middle of telling somebody something I didn't know I was gonns say but that's me, you're humble enough goin in, no shame, only growth and expressive confirmation, stay with it, don't be afraid of the changes, and keep tight hold on the heart's whatever it is the heart has that we can hang on to, because all the reason in the world can't touch that shit.
It's about higher things, not facts.
And Houndblog has Mr. Taylor up, which is connected? Or some nice synchrocoincidelic spontinuity.

ib said...

Thanks for this challenging response, Roy Belmont. Encouraging, too.

Sometimes it's all to easy to say nothing at all; either through fear of looking foolish, or simple wariness of saying the wrong thing.

Oh. And the tip on Houndblog, too; a site I don't think I've visited yet.

Anonymous said...

It were better you had never written on this subject at all. How dare you compare the vile Israeli war crimes, genocide carried out by an occupying power - you did know that Gaza is ringfenced and hogtied by Israel, didn't you, stopping medical supplies and food coming in and people going out for education, hospital treatment, &c, &c ? - with the legitimate resistance of Hamas ? What right have you got to pronounce on Hamas ? What do you know or care about what Israel will do now that it has paused its blood-letting ?

I guess that the person who sent you those pictures was as sick as many are of the eternal Holocaust propaganda stream, of its use along with the perpetual cry of 'anit-Semitism' to bury expressions of revulsion at the 60-year plus slow-motion genocide of the Palestinians of the world's most accomplished victims ?


Anonymous said...

Hamas= 65% votos people.
Israel= Terrorism de State.
Rest World Occidental= Bashful Complicity.

ib said...

Thank you for your observation, Germt.

You are correct in the view that the US and Europe are guilty of complicity inasmuch as they are suspicious of Iran funded Islamist factions gaining a foothold after the defeat of Fatah

Usted está correcto en la visión que los E.E.U.U. y la Europa son culpables de complicidad ya que son sospechosos de Irán financiaron las facciones del Islamist que ganan un equilibrio después de la derrota de Fatah.

I am angry that Israel refuses to admit responsibility for their blatantly illegal use of phosphorus, and their contemptible targeting of UN schools.

Soy alcance enojado que Israel rechaza admitir la responsabilidad de su uso evidentemente ilegal del fósforo, y su despreciable de las escuelas de la O.N.U.

More Gazans will be converted to Hamas, and the potential for renewed rocket attacks, as a direct result of Israel's cynical disregard for the wholly innocent population.

Más Gazans será convertido a Hamás, y al potencial para los ataques renovados del cohete, pues un resultado directo de la indiferencia cínica de Israel para la población enteramente inocente.