CONCERNED ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST?
NOT FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O.
FRESH FACED WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMODEL JOSH EARNEST EXPLAINED THAT THE BATTLES IN GAZA, IRAQ AND ELSEWHERE ARE SEEN BY BARRY O AS "FIREWORKS" SET OFF TO NOTE HIS BIRTHDAY ON MONDAY.
"WE THOUGHT ABOUT TELLING HIM THE TRUTH BUT THEN WE THOUGHT ABOUT HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE TO EXPLAIN IT TO HIM, HOW WE'D NEED HAND PUPPETS AND PROBABLY A SLIDE SHOW SO WE JUST SAID, 'THAT'S RIGHT, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT'S RIGHT'."
For nearly a month now, the Israeli government has ordered an attack on Gaza. The government's actions have led other governments to criticize -- including the US where State Dept spokesperson Jen Psaki has stated, "The United States is appalled by today's disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons." Mick Krever (CNN -- link is text and video) notes Israel's Minister of Intelligence Yuval Steinitz spoke with Christiane Amanpour for her CNN program and responded to criticism by some governments with the following, "Sometimes I feel there is some hypocrisy in the criticism. Maybe [the] United States, Britain, France, and NATO forces can teach us from their experience how to minimize collateral damage -- for example, in their experience in Belgrade; their experience in Iraq; in Fallujah in Iraq; or in Afghanistan."
No, there was no minimizing of collateral damage in Falluja. You can even argue that the November 2004 assault on Falluja -- using conventional weapons as well as chemical ones -- was all about expanding collateral damage as much as possible. There was no concern for safety. Young boys, for example, were judged to be 'fighters' -- merely because they were male -- and not allowed to leave the city, forced to remain for the assault.
Pointing to the US' crimes and culpability does not mitigate those of the Israeli government but they do expose hypocrisy on the part of the US government.
And they expose stupidity.
Stupidity on the part of Yuval Steinitz.
He tells Amanpour, "This idea that if they are launching rockets from civilian neighborhoods or nearby, unfortunately, some schools or hospitals, then we cannot or should not defend ourselves? You know, what alternative to we have?"
The alternative you have is to not attack schools or hospitals or other places where civilians are.
Doing so to kill an element that may or may not be gathered among the civilians?
That's Collective Punishment and it's a War Crime -- it's a War Crime that no one in the Israeli government should be confused over.
But the stupidity here is the Collective Stupidity when it comes to Iraq.
Since the first of January of this year, Nouri has been using Collective Punishment, he's been bombing the residential neighborhoods of Falluja -- killing and wounding civilians.
These are War Crimes.
If Steinitz wants to object that the Israeli government is being wrongly criticized, he shouldn't be reaching back to 2004 or the past. He should simply note that for 8 months now, Iraq's chief thug and hopefully outgoing prime minister has been killing civilians, committing War Crimes, and the White House, England's Prime Minister, etc., have all refused to demand Nouri stop these War Crimes.
Bombing hospitals? Nouri's bombed Falluja General as well as Falluja's teaching hospital.
If you've not noticed in the last ten years, I do prefer precision from news outlets. I try to be sensitive to all religions and especially to religious minorities. But I am troubled by headlines claiming "thousands" of Yazidis were just slaughtered.
Thousands are being targeted and threatened.
But were thousands slaughtered?
If so, the body of your article should have backed that up at some point with a number.
If you didn't, your article's suspect. And if you're claiming 'thousands slaughtered' in anticipation of thousands being killed, don't expect to be believed if/when thousands are killed since you've already stated that it happened.
Rudaw has numbers. They say there are approximately 300,000 Yazidis in Iraq today with "thousands" having fled due to the violence and the refugee population of "Yezidi Kurds and [. . .] Assyrian and Chaldean Christians" have seen the deaths of 20 children from hunger while many of the elderly population have "collapsed from exhaustion in the summer heat."
What we do know is that the Yazidis in northern Iraq were threatened yesterday when three towns fell to fighters/rebels/militants/et al. Adam Chandler (The Wire) noted Sunni fighters "swept across northern Iraq over the weekend, reportedly defeating Kurdish forces for the first time, and was rumored to have captured a vital dam near Mosul." Alan Duke (CNN) explained, "ISIS took control of Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam on Iraq's Tigris River, which provides power to the city of Mosul about 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the south, the commander of the Peshmerga Kurdish fighters who had been defending the facility said Sunday."
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