Monday, January 5, 2009
Genocide: The Gaza Invasion, Darfur, and Cambodia.. The Reasons For Intervention, Or Lack Of..
"I understand Israels right to defend itself" George Bush proclaimed in response to Israel's missile strikes/ground invasion. Defend itself? How can this "retaliation" that has killed hundreds of innocent people in any way match the Palestinian offensive which has resulted in casualties that are minimal at best. Many news reporters (correspondents of the Big 3) have compared this onslaught to Mexico launching rockets at San Diego. The amount of civilian casualties has risen to a ridiculous new height. Palestinians have been forced from their homes, murdered and oppressed all the while being hidden under a barrage of bias news coverage that favors Israel's every action and deems any opposition as terrorism.
In my opinion, a better parallel would be police gunning down schoolchildren for throwing stones at their patrol cars. Wait.. didn't this just happen quite recently.. in Greece? Following that atrocity protests and police/civilian clashes roared across the country and spread throughout the European nations. But when Palestinians are being slaughtered on an unprecedented scale, and the whole Middle East is up in arms over the Israeli response, we avidly support Israel's actions. Why is it that we back this nation with such zeal, despite the blatant human rights violations and the invasion's genocidal characteristics? There are many reasons, one being that they are our foothold in the Middle East. The Jewish Holocaust is constantly being commemorated, remembered, and taught in schools across our country.
Little or no attention is given to the genocide in Darfur, or the genocide in Cambodia that followed the war in Vietnam (as well as many other genocides which will be discussed in later entries). To put it quite bluntly, it is because the people being persecuted are not of a "favorable" ethnicity, our government has no major oil interests in these nations, and would essentially gain nothing by intervening. Outside nations tend to only actively intervene if the conflict is occurring in an allied nation, or they stand to benefit from helping. How many genocides in Africa have occurred with no international prevention? It seems as though aid is only devoted after the conflict has happened, when it is to late to save lives. When the aid is finally given, it isn't nearly enough to repair the countrie's infastructure and it fails to provoke any economic growth, these nations are essentially being left out of the global economy (these barriers include unrealistic tariffs and subsidies, this area of global economics will be discussed thoroughly in a later entry). Usually, after a conflict of this scale occurs, irreparable damge is done to the nation's government, and drastic aid must be given to the nation in order to get the country "back on it's feet".
Following the discovery of the "death camps" after World War II, the public was horrified, and the United Nations vowed to never let it happen again, however, these atrocities have continued to this very day. Few of these horrible acts have seen proper recognition, and even fewer have received intervention, or proper attempts to do so. It seems that the only time something is done to stop these acts, there is something that the interventionists stand to gain.
The U.N. did not even declare the events in Sudan a genocide for several years, despite massive evidence supporting this claim. On several occasions, China vetoed intervention attempts due to their oil interests in Sudan, as well as arms interests. Finally, after thousands of I.D.P.s (one of the largest number of internally displaced peoples ever recorded) were left homeless, and thousands of people were murdered, the U.N. devoted an incredibly small amount of personnel to help. They were not there to combat the violators, in fact they did not even have the right to intervene, basically they were there to clean up the mess. With the number of people deployed, it really did nothing to prevent this tragedy, which could have been stopped had the U.N. committed to a real response. Yet, there was nothing to gain in this poor country, and a lot to lose, the resources were there, but no country was willing to take the risk. In Cambodia, the events were not even covered in the media, and nothing was done to stop the slaying of thousands of civilians, as well as the destruction of any remnants of a centralized government. This is because we essentially caused the atrocities in Cambodia, and the government wanted to have no connections with the nation that we had left in such despair. During the war in Vietnam, we bombed numerous bordering villages in Cambodia (as well as carrying out classified operations which is illegal being that Cambodia was neutral) after suspecting them of housing Vietcong. The refugees that were left homeless, and traumatized by the loss of family and friends were then recruited by a new charismatic psycho of a leader (Pol Pot) that was brought into power by the C.I.A., after vowing to fight the Vietnamese. The events that followed were ignored by the United States, and the people of Cambodia were left to endure one of the worst genocides mankind has ever seen, followed shortly after by a horrible famine. The country has never fully recovered and remains crippled and impoverished to this day.
Now we come to the present day, with Israel launching a full out war against the people of Palestine. Is it fair to bomb a city full of innocent woman and children in response to a few rockets being fired by a group of people within that city? If you were forced to leave your homeland and live in poverty and shambles, would you go along with it? Any time innocent people are being killed at a level that vastly surpasses collateral damage, it is wrong. This is a genocide, but our government refuses to call it thus. In this situation we must ask ourselves, who is the greater evil? We live in a country that used terrorism to gain independence. We are the only country in the entire world to drop a nuclear bomb, (2 nuclear bombs) more than that, on cities full of civilians. America remains, the most well-equipped terrorists in the world. In this post 9/11 neo-liberal Orwellian state, where the Patriot Act takes away our civil rights and our government launches wars without the backing of the United Nations, we have sold lives for assets, and in this, we have sold our souls. Look at the guns and tanks and airplanes and bombs that Israel has, and look at the stones and outdated R.P.G.s that Palestine has, who is the real threat?I do not deny that the situation is extremely complex, and has been going on for a very long time, but in this moment, Israel is the terrorist. Instead of indiscriminately dropping bombs, a tactical approach, perhaps involving diplomacy, could be carried out. The conflict continues, and the death toll rises with each day. How many more innocent people must die before Israel is satisfied?
The 2 photos taken from the web are courtesy of "Google Images", there are no factual sources because this article is entirely opinion, and all facts are of my own knowledge and may be subject to verification.
Photos From Top To Bottom: Israeli soldiers firing weapons, Human skulls in a memorial in Cambodia commemorating the genocide (I took this photo), Human remains of a person killed in the genocide in Sudan, and lastly photos of some of the children executed in the Cambodian genocide (I took this photo). I AM GOING TO ADD MORE PHOTOS OF THE AFTERMATH OF THE CAMBODIAN GENOCIDE FROM MY TRAVELS IN ASIA.