Friday, January 02, 2009

Regrettably, Palestinian civilians have been killed in recent days

Obama continues his famous “message discipline” on the subject of Gaza, by not saying a fucking word. Remember, when he attempts to adopt a position of moral superiority in order to lecture, say, China or Zimbabwe about human rights, that his silence at this time demonstrates clearly that his adherence to humanitarianism, like that of Bush and every other president, is purely instrumental.

George Bush, however, has finally made a statement of his own, in the form of tomorrow’s weekly radio address.

He got right to the most important issue in analyzing any event in the Middle East: who started it. “This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas”. They did so with “a barrage of rockets and mortars that deliberately targeted innocent Israelis.” He didn’t get around to mentioning the rather more numerous Israeli rockets or whom they might be targeting. (Also, what mortars?)

He did say that “Regrettably, Palestinian civilians have been killed in recent days.” Somehow, it’s always the passive voice when Palestinians “have been killed,” isn’t it? He put the blame for these deaths on “Hamas terrorists” who, “as part of their strategy” (8 years as commander in chief and he still doesn’t know the difference between strategy and tactics), “often hide within the civilian population, which puts innocent Palestinians at risk.” Some of them were “hiding” within their own homes, the sneaky so and sos.

He claims that “The United States is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people,” which seems a dubious proposition, and mentions the decline of Gazan living standards, without mentioning the Israeli blockade. Rather, “By spending its resources on rocket launchers instead of roads and schools, Hamas has demonstrated that it has no intention of serving the Palestinian people.” Imagine, if you can, what it would be like to have a government that prioritized rocket launchers over roads and schools.

Bush does offer words of reassurance, words that have never failed to be followed by swift action and positive results: “Secretary Rice is actively engaged in diplomacy.”

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