Monday, December 29, 2008

Attacks on Gaza intensify

Israel's attack on Gaza has now killed 300 Palestinians, with two Israelis killed in return rocket fire, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appears to be readying the IDF for a ground invasion. The UN, the EU and others around the world are calling for a halt to the violence, while the Bush Administration says that Israel's overwhelming force is necessary and that Hamas is to blame.

There was a ceasefire recently, but Hamas has increased the number of rockets launched toward Israel in the days leading up to the unleashing of air strikes. However, this action from Israel is disproportionate and in as densely-populated a place as Gaza -- about 1.5 million people in 140 square miles -- civilians are going to be killed and injured.

The simplistic viewpoint offered by our government is in keeping with how George W. Bush and his minions have seen the world for eight years: good guys vs. bad guys, as if everything can be synthesized down to the sophistication of professional wrestling. The West created the underlying problem by carving Israel out of land occupied by others, and now we are still living with the inequity and injustice of the past 50 years.

I'm not defending those who've been launching rockets or causing other mayhem on the Palestinian side, but Hamas does things like provide education, police and medical care for a people otherwise left behind by the world. Is it any wonder that the residents of Gaza support the organization?

Isreal is also a month away from elections, which might have to do with the timing of the current attacks. As we've seen in the country, politics often plays a large role in the formation of military policy.

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