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Time for a War Crimes Tribunal?

Posted on Jan 19, 2009
Ki-Moon
AP photo / Hussein Malla, Pool

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives at the South Korean U.N. peacekeepers base in Teir Debba, southern Lebanon, on Saturday.

By Robert Fisk

Editor’s note: This article was originally printed in The Independent.

It’s a wrap, a doddle, an Israeli ceasefire just in time for Barack Obama to have a squeaky-clean inauguration with all the world looking at the streets of Washington rather than the rubble of Gaza. Condi and Ms Livni thought their new arms-monitoring agreement – reached without a single Arab being involved – would work. Ban Ki-moon welcomed the unilateral truce. The great and the good gathered for a Sharm el-Sheikh summit. Only Hamas itself was not consulted. Which led, of course, to a few wrinkles in the plan. First, before declaring its own ceasefire, Hamas fired off more rockets at Israel, proving that Israel’s primary war aim – to stop the missiles – had failed. Then Cairo shrugged off the deal because no one was going to set up electronic surveillance equipment on Egyptian soil. And not one European leader travelling to the region suggested the survivors might be helped if Israel, the EU and the US ended the food and fuel siege of Gaza.

After killing hundreds of women and children, Israel was the good guy again, by declaring a unilateral ceasefire that Hamas was certain to break. But Obama will be smiling on Tuesday. Was not this the reason, after all, why Israel suddenly wanted a truce?

Egypt’s objections may be theatre – the US spent £18m last year training Egyptian security men to stop arms smuggling into Gaza and since the US bails out Egypt’s economy, ignores the corruption of its regime and goes on backing Hosni Mubarak, there’s sure to be a “compromise” very soon.

And Hamas has had its claws cut. Israel’s informers in Gaza handed over the locations of its homes and hideouts and the government of Gaza must be wondering if they can ever close down the spy rings. Hamas thought its militia was the Hizbollah – a serious error – and that the world would eventually come to its aid. The world (although not its pompous leaders) felt enormous pity for the Palestinians, but not for the cynical men of Hamas who staged a coup in Gaza in 2007 which killed 151 Palestinians. As usual, the European statesmen appeared hopelessly out of touch with what their own electorates thought.

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And history was quite forgotten. The Hamas rockets were the result of the food and fuel siege; Israel broke Hamas’s own truce on 4 and 17 November. Forgotten is the fact Hamas won the 2006 elections, although Israel has killed a clutch of the victors.

And there’ll be little time for the peacemakers of Sharm el-Sheikh to reflect on the three UN schools targeted by the Israelis and the slaughter of the civilians inside. Poor old Ban Ki-moon. He tried to make his voice heard just before the ceasefire, saying Israel’s troops had acted “outrageously” and should be “punished” for the third school killing. Some hope. At a Beirut press conference, he admitted he had failed to get a call through to Israel’s Foreign Minister to complain.

It was pathetic. When I asked Mr Ban if he would consider a UN war crimes tribunal in Gaza, he said this would not be for him to “determine”. But only a few journalists bothered to listen to him and his officials were quickly folding up the UN flag on the table. About time too. Bring back the League of Nations. All is forgiven.

What no one noticed yesterday [Sunday] – not the Arabs nor the Israelis nor the portentous men from Europe – was that the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting last night was opening on the 90th anniversary – to the day – of the opening of the 1919 Paris peace conference which created the modern Middle East. One of its main topics was “the borders of Palestine”. There followed the Versailles Treaty. And we know what happened then. The rest really is history. Bring on the ghosts.


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By John R. Bloxson Jr., January 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Talk about warpodoodle your whole spill is just that a complete propaganda lie of the left coasters of Medea Matters, and the Daily Kos.  I am tired of this bull being spread over the truth by you and these other Fanatics Israel is a target because it is a working democracy where every other country id ruled by a family, or some autocrat.  Your side says leave W.W.II out of the equation but you refuse to recognize that the Arab/Palestinians themselves have sworn to wipe Israel from the Map.  Even when Israel has the better right to all the land they have always been willing the share it. But that would not avenge the Hamas, Hezzbulloh hatred for the Jew so keep up the spewing of the propaganda swil and by all means fill free to call those of use for real moderation the Idiots you believe we are.
        Trithoverlies/Truthoverlies.
          John R. Bloxson Jr,

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By Folktruther, January 22, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, I agree with you about the Holy Land which is why I tend to look askance at Tau’s view of Mother Earth.  What the hell is holy about the land?  A leftover value from feudal and prefeudal days.

Unfortunately however, you are wrong about Israel’s leaders being completely cynical.  They are fucking fanatics, like Howard and Sepharad.  They believe in Jewish Power and many of them will die for it.  Certainly they will kill for it, which is why they are so dangerous.

My relatives are like that.  Reason and evidence simple will not penetrate the mindless adherence to to Israeli ethnic cleansing.  And the Jewish billionaires, like Saban and Adelson, are much worse.  They will destroy the US if it will save Israel.  And the bloodlust of the Zionist power structure is increasing dialectically as their military and political weakness becomes more evident, and they can’t accomplish their military goals.

They really wanted to bomb Iran, and I have relatives that maintained that this was a necessary defensive move.  They are politically insane and they largely control Obama.  The problem with Zionism is not cynicism, it is fanaticsm.  And that fanaticism contaminates US power.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 22, 2009 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

This link is not intended for the Zionists and their supporters, for killing children is the art that cowardly Zionists most excel at doing!

But this link is a challenge to the Americans whose treasure, cheering or silence make the massacre of those children possible. I dare you to watch all these pictures and have a moment of reflection about what all this should mean to you! Needless to say that a picture is worth a thousand words!

http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/phopto- gallery-of-gazas-martyred-children/

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By justice, January 22, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ThnkUBush,

In the real world the U.S. Government sent Joe Wilson to Niger to investigate claims that its government sent Saddam materials to used in making a bomb.  Joe went there and found the accusations completely false.  To discredit him, administration officials obstructed his findings.  The real evidence was available-that Iraq posed no military threat to the US, Yet the administration (and congress for that matter)continued to push their war agenda with “message force multipliers”.  If the evidence was so overwhelming, why did they have to pay people to push the agenda?

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By Anarcissie, January 22, 2009 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Folktruther—if the goal had been to eliminate Hamas, they would have kept at it regardless of the Inauguration or any other such event.  No doubt executing the entire leadership and cadre of Hamas would have been a welcome opportunity, but I don’t think they were looking for that.  Rather, the effective interregnum was to be exploited for whatever could be gotten out of it, and according to what I read there is an election coming up in Israel (or some kind of political contest) and piling up several hundred Arab bodies was evidently thought to conduce to one’s popularity.  Israel must be a lot like some other countries I can think of.  The policies and actions of the leadership seem to be totally cynical, which is probably a bad sign for their future.

I usually avoid discussions about the Middle East because they are so infinitely depressing.  The activities carried on in the Holy Land confirm my view of religions all too thoroughly.

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By Tony Wicher, January 22, 2009 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

cyrena,

Here is a post from Google News. What Obama is doing today is indeed huge. If events continue to follow their natural course, this is going to lead to complete exposure of 9-11.

(RTTNews) -  President Barack Obama is expected to take a drastic step to break from the policies of the Bush administration Thursday when he will reportedly sign executive orders to close the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The camp, opened after the September 11th terrorist attacks to house suspected terrorists, will reportedly be closed along with a series of secret prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency as Obama works to reverse some of the actions of the Bush administration.

Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union have been pushing for the closure of the prison, which currently holds 245 suspected terrorists without trial, violating detainee rights. The closing of the prison could take up to a year.

The order for the closing of CIA secret prisons would end a practice that sparked severe criticism, as well as bring an end to harsh interrogation methods.

ACLU’s executive director Anthony Romero praised Obama’s order to halt military commissions by ordering prosecutions to seek a 4 month suspension.

“Within hours of taking office, President Obama took the important first step to close Guantánamo: halting the unconstitutional military commissions by ordering the prosecution to seek a 120-day suspension,” Romero said in a statement. “It’s the first step in what we hope will be a series of bold measures to free America from the civil liberties outrages and human rights abuses of the Bush era.”

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By Freedom lover, January 22, 2009 at 4:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena,

“I’m tired of connecting the dots for the same bitchers and moaners, because I’ve explained this in layperson’s language at least a half dozen times,”

Much arrogant self important personality at work above?

Calm humility is a great virtue

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By cyrena, January 21, 2009 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

Does anybody know what happened to the article was talking about Ban ki-Moon calling for a full UN investigation?

Seems like I remember seeing it for a day or so, and now I don’t.

On an extremely crucial matter, in this very same vein, has anybody bothered to pay any attention to the fact that Obama has called for a suspension of the pending kangaroo trials at Gitmo?

I’m tired of connecting the dots for the same bitchers and moaners, because I’ve explained this in layperson’s language at least a half dozen times, in response to the “Anti-Everything Obama Crowd” about what he will or will not do, in terms of prosecuting the criminals on the Domestic/National level.

BUT, for those for those just tuning in, this is a critical first step in what many of us are hoping will be the complete reversal of the Military Commissions Act of 2006…the Act that for the most part, provided legal cover for the crimes for the former criminal regime. It is no small thing, (in fact, it’s HUGE)that one of the first things Obama did, was to suspend those tribunals. If this is a lead-up to an Executive Order that will repeal or otherwise invalidate the MCA, THEN…THAT would open the door for prosecution (HERE) of the criminals.

Meantime, The INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY has a wealth of tools at its IMMEDIATE DISPOSAL, specifically all of the legal language and documents they need, to prosecute the former US criminal regime at the Hague. We’ve had these tools in the form of the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Trials as the precedent for over 60 years. We’ve had the Genocide Convention and the Torture Treaty for just as long.

They haven’t been effective primarily because as I believe Shingo pointed out, the US (as a permanent member of the UNSC) has a veto power, and it only takes one to prevent or pass any action that it undertakes as the Universal entity that it is. 

http://www.library.umass.edu/subject/geneva/

I’ve searched through several references that I’ve used over the years, just to provide (AGAIN) some of this really basic information. I think it’s more than just ‘helpful’ to have at least a working knowledge of the basis of International Law if one is going to have an INFORMED opinion. Anyway, the link above is excellent. (Wish I’d had it several years ago when I was needing to commit so much of this to memory, but I’ll certainly use is as an excellent index reference in the future.)

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By Robert, January 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Unanimous Consent    

When Israel acts, Congress applauds. No debate required.

By Glenn Greenwald

“January 21, 2009 “American Conservative”—-In most of the world, the Israeli attack on Gaza is viewed as an intensely controversial act and, more commonly, an excessive, unjustifiable, and brutal assault on a trapped civilian population. But not in the United States—at least not among America’s political and opinion-making elite. Here one finds a bipartisan consensus as simplistic as it is unquestioned: Israel’s bombing campaign and invasion of Gaza are right and just, and it is the duty of the U.S. to support these actions unequivocally.

From the moment Israel began dropping bombs on Gaza, leaders of America’s two major political parties rushed to announce their total support, competing to see who could most fulsomely praise the offensive. So complete was the agreement that they all seemed to be reading from the same script. While other Western governments issued even-handed statements condemning both Israel and Hamas and their diplomats worked furiously to forge a ceasefire agreement, America’s political leaders stood on the sidelines, cheering with increasing fervor.

When it comes to Israel’s various military actions, there is far more dissent within Israel, where one commonly finds prominent, vehement criticism of the Israeli government, than there is within the U.S., where such criticism is all but nonexistent. Indeed, in the U.S. Congress, there is far more unqualified support for Israel’s wars than for America’s own.

The refusal of our political leaders to deviate even slightly from this ritual reached its zenith during the week of Jan. 5, when events in Gaza heightened worldwide opposition to the Israeli attack. The Palestinian death toll exceeded 800, with more than 3,000 wounded. The UN reported that roughly a third of the dead and wounded were children, that Gaza was on the verge of collapse, that its residents were on the brink of mass starvation. Israel bombed a school where the UN had established a shelter, killing 40 refugees hiding there in terror. The Israeli Defense Force initially claimed that Hamas militants had shot from a rooftop of the school and Israel merely returned fire. But the following day, when the UN investigated and found that claim to be false, Israel was forced to acknowledge that no such provocation occurred. Instead, the IDF said, the bombing of the school was merely an accident.

The next day, the Red Cross, which for a full week had been prevented by the IDF from entering Gaza, unveiled a gruesome discovery: numerous children, too emaciated even to stand up, had spent days in an apartment complex lying next to the corpses of their parents and other relatives as the IDF blocked ambulances from reaching them. The same day, the UN suggested that Israel had committed war crimes, citing an appalling incident in which the Israelis ordered some 110 civilians to enter a house and stay there, then proceeded to shell the building, killing 30 civilians inside. Though the IDF physically prevented journalists from entering Gaza, even in the face of a week-old order from the Israeli Supreme Court directing them to allow access, documented stories began emerging of large extended families in Gaza—parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and small children—extinguished by Israeli attacks.”


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21805.htm

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By Folktruther, January 21, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

No, Anarcissie, there WAS a military goal, a bad one.  It is true that the massacre was intented to win the election and was planned to stop when Obama was inaugurated.  But, in addition, the purpose was to terrify and intimidate the Gazans and Palestinians to inculcate the notion that they are, in an Israeli general words, “a defeated people.”

If they could stop the tunnels delivering food and ammunition to Hamas, then Israel could impose a starvation blockade and then invade again to kill the Hamas fighters, which are about twenty thousands.  What they did was bomb and shell the services that Hamas distributes to the Gazan people, the schools, food centers, hospitals, UN facilities, ambulences, etc.

What this does is increase the population’s support for Hamas, just as US bombing of Germans increased support for the Nazis.  What choice is there,they are the only defenders of the population.  but Israel, and increasing fractions of the Israli population, want to increase the horror, which they will do under Obama’s support.

Obama was ushered into office by the Gazan war and the first thing he did on gaining it was to call Israel and the Egyptian and Jordan US client-states to devise plans to stop the tunnels of Hamas.

John Mearshiemer, he of the critic of the Israeli lobby, has a good piece in the AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE about Israeli military plans and their ienvitable failure.  An attack on a population is futle when it provkes more anger than fear, and this is the case in Gaza, Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.

All of which Obama has been put in office to fight, despite his rhetoric.

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By OzarkMichael, January 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

Tribunals for War Crimes… and Hate Crimes.

There was a movie made one year ago. When it was released no television station would run it. The name of the movie was Fitna, which is about the connection between the Qur’an and terrorism. No public theatre would show it. For a few days it was on the internet on Liveleak but they were forced to take it down. The reason the movie was never shown is best explained in this brief article:

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/03/28/fitna.reaction/index.html

On the one hand there were threats of violence. That is the radical Islamic terrorist threat. The man who made that movie is still under death threats, his name is Geert Wilders, a member of the Parliament of Netherlands. Although death threats is a reflection of how some Muslims reacted, it is not the reaction of most Muslims. Let us be clear about that.

But there is another type of Jihad, which is more of a struggle for a “good society”, and it is not violent. Many Muslims support this type of Jihad. When we think of the world as a society certainly people should express their opinion of what is good. Let us be clear about that too.

The opinion of the 56 member Organization Islamic Conference has been that criticism of Islam is a crime. They have pushed this at the UN for many years. But on another front they have wanted to make an example of Geert Wilders.

My post today is about that sort of Jihad, the nicer Jihad which does not promote violence at all, but which does promote Islamic principles in order to make a better world society. One of which is that the Qur’an and Mohammed must not be insulted or criticized.

The nicer Jihad has had a great success this week. After a year of resisting the nicer Jihad pressure, the government of the Netherlands has agreed to prosecute Geert Wilders for hate crimes. See below:

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/01/21/wilders.netherlands.prosecution/

This brings up a specific question. Is the movie Fitna a hate crime? I am not asking if you agree with the movie, and I will show it to you in a moment so you can decide. If the movie is not a hate crime, then we have to conclude that the nicer Jihad is attacking free speech. I want each of you to take a moment and remember some of the more wild verbal attacks on “fascist American Christians” that occured in these forums.  Many of you enjoy that, and i am glad you are free to do so even though I do dont agree with the premise. But your freedom to attack is fundamentally important. Some of you excerzise that freedom in regsard to the Jews, to Israelis, to Zionists.

Now I wonder if you will defend the right to free speech, including the right to criticize religions and religious people?

The original movie opened with the famous Mohammad turban bomb cartoon, but after death threats the cartoonist demanded the turban cartoon be removed. A crude cartoon replaces it in the version you will see. Here is Fitna:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/020472.php

If you Truthdiggers want the right to criticize any religion, especially in the most outrageous terms that many of you enjoy, it is time to do something to protect that right.

Tell the Netherlands that they are wrong to give in to the nicer jihad. ... in short, they are wrong to enforce an aspect of Sharia law. Free speech comes first!

http://www.petitiononline.com/wilders/petition.html

Sign the petition, and please post a reason why you did or did not do so.

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By KDelphi, January 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1488/t/4096/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2513

That link is GreenChange, which is supporting HR 104, to “investigate” Bush et al of war crimes….

Thanks, greenferrett, and, many of you for emailing for rep!

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By vico, January 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

hey think, do you also follow orders? As the saying goes ‘the weed of crime bears bitter fruit’.

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By Robert, January 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

How American News Media Works In Favor Of Israel

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21744.htm

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By Dave Schwab, January 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Tell Congress to support HR 104 and investigate wrongdoing by the Bush administration. If we let Bush escape accountability, then we invite similar abuses of power by future administrations.
GreenChange.org makes it easy to tell your representatives in Congress to support an investigation; just go to http://tinyurl.com/85zrq4

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By Robert, January 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

January 20, 2009

Bombs Meant to “Send Gaza Back Decades”
Israel’s Doctrine of Destruction

By JONATHAN COOK

Nazareth.

“In the last days before Israel imposed a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza to avoid embarrassing the incoming Obama administration, it upped its assault, driving troops deeper into Gaza City, intensifying its artillery bombardment and creating thousands more displaced people.

Israel’s military strategy in Gaza, even in what its officials were calling the “final act”, followed a blueprint laid down during the Lebanon war more than two years ago.

Then, Israel destroyed much of Lebanon’s infrastructure in a month of intensive air strikes. Even in the war’s last few hours, as a ceasefire was being finalised, Israel fired more than a million cluster bombs over south Lebanon, apparently in the hope that the area could be made as uninhabitable as possible.

Similarly, Israel’s destruction of Gaza continued with unrelenting vigour to the very last moment, even though according to reports in the Israeli media the air force exhausted what it called its “bank of Hamas targets” in the first few days of fighting.

The military sidestepped the problem by widening its definition of Hamas-affiliated buildings. Or as one senior official explained: “There are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel.”

That included mosques, universities, most government buildings, the courts, 25 schools, 20 ambulances and several hospitals, as well as bridges, roads, 10 electricity generating stations, sewage lines, and 1,500 factories, workshops and shops.

Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah estimate the damage so far at $1.9 billion, pointing out that at least 21,000 residential apartment buildings need repairing or rebuilding, forcing 100,000 Palestinians into refugeedom once again. In addition, 80 per cent of all agricultural infrastructure and crops were destroyed. The PA has described its estimate as “conservative”.

None of this will be regretted by Israel. In fact the general devastation, far from being unfortunate collateral damage, has been the offensive’s unstated goal. Israel has sought the political, as well as military, emasculation of Hamas through the widespread destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure and economy.

This is known as the “Dahiya Doctrine”, named after a suburb of Beirut that was almost levelled during Israel’s attack on Lebanon in summer 2006. The doctrine was encapsulated in a phrase used by Dan Halutz, Israel’s chief of staff, at the time. He said Lebanon’s bombardment would “turn back the clock 20 years”.

The commanding officer in Israel’s south, Yoav Galant, echoed those sentiments on the Gaza offensive’s first day: the aim, he said, was to “send Gaza decades into the past”.

Beyond these soundbites, Gadi Eisenkot, the head of Israel’s northern command, clarified in October the practical aspects of the strategy: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. This is not a recommendation. This is a plan.””

http://www.counterpunch.org/cook01202009.html

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 21, 2009 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

As a supplement to my previous comment under this thread, I would like to add that in order to really size up the damage in Gaza, we need to remember that most of Gaza’s Palestinian population are in fact refugees who were driven out pre-1948 Palestine and their villages and towns were subjected to terrible massacres, dispositions and terrorism.

By the time their lives started to have a minimal level of normalcy, here comes Israel with its 21 century terrorist power to bring them back to the memories of their first massacres and dispossession.

If I were one of those Gazans who suffered so much, and in the absence of swift justice from a war crimes tribunal, I will devote the rest of my life to acquiring the most deadly weapons I can muster to take revenge at the largest number of the enemy and their supporters wherever they are in the world!

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 21, 2009 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Though the official number of those Gazan killed by terrorist Israel, with American made weapons and treasure, runs around 1300 and the physically injured are estimated at four times that number, the real number of injuries runs in the 1.5 million figure, to include all the surviving Gazans. The permanent psychological injuries cover all the inhabitants of Gaza, as they are going to spend years and months trying to rebuild their infrastructure back to the level it was before the Israeli state-sponsored terrorism, cheered by political America.

What I know for fact is that deep psychological scars don’t heal easily, and I am sure there will thousands of Gazans who would want to seize an opportunity to get even and avenge their dead from both Israelis and their American supporters. I advice official Israel and official America to increase their security expenditure by ten folds (if the can bear that) for they had created thousands of would be “counter-terrorists” from among the people of Gaza.

The following link is for an article whose title speaks eloquently and metaphorically about the extent of the damage done!

Israeli assault injures 1.5 million Gazans!

http://www.antiwar.com/orig/cook.php?articleid=14082

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By vico, January 21, 2009 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

We tried people at Nuremberg and as the attorney general nominee said we did torture. What about the war crime trials of the Japanese after WWII?
The military should enforce the USCMJ for those in the military; for those who were civilian they should be turned over to the justice department.
Not to prosecute will leave a big stain on our country and could lead to a bad principle. It will grow like a cancer.

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By hippy pam, January 21, 2009 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Dear WORLD COURT;
Since you are going to have TRIBUNALS concerning genocide and the out right lies resulting in murder that some world “leaders” participated in[wholeheartedly]...How about you please indict George “dubya” Bush for HIS WAR CRIMES as well as HIS RUIN of an ECONOMY that impacted the WHOLE WORLD…

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By ThnkUBush, January 21, 2009 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

KDelphi,

In the real world the U.S. Democratic Leadership had   been fully informed on matters of military force around the globe in the past 8 years. In the real world the House and Senate voted the use of military force to remove Saddam Hussein from power. In the real world every nation on earth reported that Saddam Hussein held weapons banned to him by the United Nations. In the real world the Patriot Act has now twice been “re-authorized” by a democratically lead Congress. In the real world Khalid Muhammad was water boarded with the full knowledge and consent of Congressional leadership and, this action prevented further attacks and led to the capture and death of several Al Qaeda operatives and leadership. In the real world there are people who want you dead because you breath. These are but a few of the lesson you fail to grasp.

There will never be war crimes tribunals of the Bush Administration. Such tribunals would involve thousands of people from the House, Senate and the White House. Not the few you appear to vehemently and emotionally hate and fear.

Get passed the idea of war crimes tribunals. It will never happen. You need to move on.

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By Ed Harges, January 21, 2009 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

re: By Sepharad,, January 20 at 8:49 pm:

Seph, a proper assigning of blame to Israel does not imply an endorsement of Hamas.

Your hatred of Hamas has nothing to do with its illiberal, Islamist character. Before Hamas took over, Israel did everything it could to demonize and cripple Fatah. You hounded Arafat to his grave, then you humiliated and thwarted Abbas every chance you could. Then, in frustration, the Palestininas freely elected Hamas, because there was nothing else left. Immediately Israel imposed an embargo that made life even more impossible than it was under Fatah.

Israel doesn’t hate Hamas because it’s unprogressive or unsecular. Israel hates Hamas because it hates the Palestinians — because they refuse to cease to exist, and they refuse to accept inferior status in a Jewish religious/ethnic chauvinist Greater Israel.

And Israel is not satisfied with stealing all of the Palestinians’ land and water, Israel insists also on controllingg the US Congress and White House. Israel’s insatiable greed is the source of the problem.

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By elianita55, January 21, 2009 at 12:40 am Link to this comment

One of the lessons we learned from Gaza is that Israel is still above international law.

There is little doubt that accusations of war crimes perpetrated by Israel will continue to drift in. Amnesty International on Monday accused Israel of indiscriminate and illegal use of phosphorus, a claim previously also made by Human Rights Watch. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has also called for independent investigations into possible violations by Israel of international humanitarian law.

But just as we can be certain that we have not seen the end of such accusations, we can also ascertain that in all likelihood, no concrete legal actions will be taken on this issue. When a Palestinian group called the International Coalition against Impunity called upon the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate possible war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip, an ICC prosecutor quickly announced that the ICC lacked the jurisdiction to investigate the issue.

We should remember that the 108 countries that signed the Rome Statute creating the ICC do not include Israel or the United States.

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By Sepharad,, January 20, 2009 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If anyone really cares about the loss of life in Gaza, they might look at some of the youtube footage from the idfna desk, showing Hamas-set secondary explosions to create and magnify loss of civilian life from IDF strikes on targets ... Hamas using UN ambulances for their own arms and fighters use, earlier ones to attack Israeli soldiers and escape, still others smuggling weapons and even suicide belts under stretchers carrying bodies ... Hamas fighters launching rockets against the wall of the UN school and running away ... fire against soldiers coming from school windows ... a UN spokesman saying they do not question ambulance volunteers re their politics (in answer to why there were Hamas people using ambulances for other purposes, which the same UN guy said he was not personally aware of ...

It’s like one Gazan said in yesterday’s NYTimes, “Hamas shoots, hides underground, but we die.”   

Hamas is something that a true progressive/liberal human being would be repulsed by.

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By KDelphi, January 20, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

The “internet” cannot prescribe justice for these basterds! I dont know why, it seems , that the “real-liberals-progresives” dont have the stomach to convict the m-fers!!

Things are always “being worked on”—-these things wll go on to haunt, and destroy , any attempt to really change US foreign policy!

Ir is very true—I just do not think that people “forget” these things!How could they??

If we let our “rulers” get awawy with it, how are we going to convict anyone else?

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By Ed Harges, January 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

And let’s not forget, this vicious crime was almost unanimously applauded by Israeli Jews:

“… it is not so surprising that 78% of Israelis, or about 98% of all Jewish Israelis, support the war.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/16/gaza-middleeast1

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By SteveL, January 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

If all the Bush administration garbage is not fully documented we will end up someday with Jeb as President.  Memories in this country tend to be short and twisted.

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By KDelphi, January 20, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

We most certainly have a war crimes tribunal—here, first, then, in Israel. If we will not convict our own, we will have problems getting the rest of the world to back us, convicting anyone else.

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By godistwaddle, January 20, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Hippy Pam is correct.  When the HUNDREDS of American war criminals of the past 50 years are brought to trial, conviction, and incarceration, then the rest of the world (Hey, if the U.S. can do it, why can’t we?) may listen up.

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By Anarcissie, January 20, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

I agree with Cyrena.  I am pretty sure the Israeli government did not have a specific goal in the recent adventure; the time frame, that of the last days of the Bush regime, dominated the plan, and according to what I read, its purpose was to affect domestic politics, not create any kind of substantial difference in Gaza or elsewhere.  The Israelis even let Hamas get the last rocket in.  1300 or 1600 or whatever people have been killed, and many thousands more maimed or terrorized, on the most cynical of calculations.

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By hippy pam, January 20, 2009 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

Name #1 on that list??.......George “dubya” Bush

Maybe if he had NOT BEEN ALLOWED to invade Iraq and Kill ??how many??......Israel just followed “ole bullshits” lead….

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By nefertiti, January 20, 2009 at 1:41 am Link to this comment

rwmenser

Brilliant comment . thank You . I share the same utopia as you , seeing the criminals at the Hague but it wont happen we know it (unless the are from an African or Arab country or a Banana republic ) when the itraelis have ignored most the UN resolutions , and international law , and killed so many in palestine and lebanon and got away with murder all the time . and there is nothing we can do about it .

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By nefertiti, January 20, 2009 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

coloradokarl

The destruction in Gaza and its thousands homes and schools , and infrastructure is higher than a billion dollars (said a minister of Planning last night ) 
I hate it when the saudis are ready to fund israelis destruction in the region . I wish it was israel that paid for it may be it ll stop destroying everything around it .
I wish the Saudis stopped the bloodshed earlier and kept their stupid money , money will not bring loved ones . they could do so much , threaten with shutting oil flow, withdrawing their trillion dollars from US banks , withdraw their UN membership etc… they could have stopped the bloodshed on the second day , but they did not . cowards .

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By nefertiti, January 20, 2009 at 1:27 am Link to this comment

There will not be a tribunal , never has . Deir Yassin , kafr Qassim, Qana 1996 and Qana 2006 , Beit hanoun , Jenin ALL totally Ignored by the UN which did not have the guts to have an investigation . they have all the time to set up a tribunal for the death of Rafik AL Hariri (to blame it on syria ) But the 1325 Dead in Gaza do not deserve an inquiry as usual . Hypocrits .

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By nefertiti, January 20, 2009 at 1:24 am Link to this comment

Just to correct Mr Fisk ( with due respect ) Hamas never staged a coup in Gaza, hamas WON the elections and Majority of Parliament seats . Mr fisk is repeating US and ABBAS propaganda. Since America did not like Hamas winning the elections , they urged a coup against a Legitimate government . General KEITH DAYTON and MOhamed Dahlan and his men (trained in Jordan and egypt with US money) staged a coup in Gaza to overthrow the gov of Hamas but Hamas was not asleep and Defended Gaza from the US-Abbas COUP and defended its people from the criminals and the drug warlords who set up home in Gaza , and Hamas cleaned up Gaza , but was never given chance to prove its effectiveness . AID was withdrawn, Salaries cut off , fuel and electricity , even clean water cut , Food and spare parts and all the necessicites stopped coming in.  Israel shut the doors of the Ghetto , while committing atrocities from the AIr and they wanted to punish the people of Gaza for voting for Hamas .
but Israelis have every right to vote for criminals like Sharon , Olmert , and Barak who had so much blood on their hands . Hypocrits

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By KDelphi, January 19, 2009 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

It is all so politically obvious.


“Israel’s security Cabinet convened a meeting tonight, and officials said they expected a decision to halt its 3-week-old offensive in the Gaza Strip but to keep the army there while Egypt mediates a long-term cease-fire deal with Hamas.”

“We believe that our military campaign has achieved its goals and that we are now in a situation where we can cease our military operations against Hamas,” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said.”

The Israelis were helpful enough to say outright:

Officials in Israel also said they wanted to stop the fighting before Barack Obama is sworn in as president Tuesday to avoid clouding a historic day for the Jewish state’s main ally and creating friction with the new U.S. administration.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-gaza18-2009jan18,0,2983698.story

I do not see why that would necessarily be a ‘bad” thing. 


Here is the issue from , apparently , zionist Israelis piont of view:

“All of which leads to the real question: Did the incoming Obama administration pressure Israel to end the Gaza war so as not to ruin the party coronation taking place in Washington on Tuesday.

From what I hear from the US, the incoming Obama administration placed ‘enormous pressure’ on Israel to end the operation. Why? Here’s one possibility:

Second, increased tensions and polarization in the Middle East undermines Obama’s ability to pursue a new policy towards this region, including a shift in America’s 30-year old policy of isolating Iran.”

http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2009/01/did-obama-administration-force-israel.html

These are opinions I have read. NOT isolating Iran would be a very good thing.

If these reports are to be believed.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 19, 2009 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

Today at 12:00 Noon it would be:

The end of an era = the end of a grievous error!

Certainly a momentous relief though we don’t know for sure what the future will bring!

However, if the future is hoped to be better, then it’s necessary for the new administration to seriously consider and support a war crimes tribunal. Any thing short of that will a treason to the idea of basic justice and universal human rights!

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By radson, January 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

Welcome back Mr Fisk you really stirred up a hornests nest with your article (WW2 and Gaza).The unilateral cease fire initiated by the Israeli Govt. is a powerful tool in their bag of tricks
with regard to the Gaza Strip and Palestinians of the West Bank .It not only gives them an ace in their hands with regard to the continuation of their suppression of the Palestinians ,but also
a very sustainable argument for the mainstream media to exploit.Many folks including yourself have been discussing the possiblity of holding a sort of war crime tribunal under the auspices
of the UN. possibly at the Hague.How to you think that this idea will even be considered when the nations that dominate the organization maintain an unfaltering Veto.Going back into time gone
past the Nuremburg Trials were designed to punish the Tyrants who lost ,regardless of what crimes were commited by the victors.The British Govt would have to rescind it’s law protecting
the persons that do and or did qualifie as perpetrators of criminal acts,before the proposition that you wish to bring before the courts will even be considered.Perhaps if the historians of this world
will understand that one does not have to wait fifty or seventy years before being able to write about an historical event -you may actually find some allies,as Howard Zinn has stated “You Can’t
Stand Still On a Moving Train” .Nevertheless the Saudi Govt has pledged one billion dollars to the rebuilding of Gaza and the EU has stated that they will defer from aiding the Gazans as long as their
in power—because they are listed as a Terrorist organization-.I mention this because i am intriqued as to how this money will be doled out and to whom will be given the task of distributing it.Perhaps
the UN could be of immense value here with regard to the beneficiaries.  Who is richer when two persons meet in the desert ,the one with the water or the one with the bag of gold.

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By cyrena, January 19, 2009 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

•  “But Obama will be smiling on Tuesday. Was not this the reason, after all, why Israel suddenly wanted a truce?”

I dunno Fisk, WAS it? Sounds kinda retarded if ya ask me. Do YOU really believe that Israel cares whether or not Obama is smiling? And while we’re at it, do YOU honestly believe that Israel “SUDDENLY wanted a truce?”

I think NOT!

Let’s review. Israel planned this operation over 6 months ago, and made it’s first move in this latest assault on November 4th, 2008 – killing seven Palestinians that were allegedly “Hamas Militants”.

http://www.countercurrents.org/kantar050109.htm

At the time (November 4th, 2008) the eyes of the WORLD were focused on the US election, the outcome of which was determined by the US electorate. And while it is a very sad thing, the majority of the US population that elected Barack Obama, probably didn’t know or care about what was going on in Gaza.

Anyway, the operation was planned over 6 months ago, BY the Israelis. There’s no way to know, (without asking Olmert and the rest of that terrorist regime) if they would have carried it out if it looked like the neocons were gonna be able to pull another rabbit out of the same funky hat they’ve been using the past 8 years, and actually push McSame in.

But what is OBVIOUS is that it was planned and intended to happen within this very time of a power vacuum in the US government/political structure, because they KNEW they wouldn’t be able to continue the reign of terror beyond January 20th.

So Israel didn’t ‘suddenly’ want a truce. They planned to end it when they did, and not a day sooner, which is why Olmert instructed GW to instruct Condi Rice NOT to support the first ceasefire attempt over 2 weeks ago. They were only a couple of weeks into their already planned terrorist operation, knowing it would be their last.

Seems like you’d know this Fiske; this is how the zionist terrorists have operated for DECADES! So they’re hardly concerned about Obama smiling or not.

In fact, it’s been more like they’ve been taunting him AND the change they know he represents to their former ability to violate all the laws of the land with impunity. They knew he couldn’t do a damn thing about it, at least not until after tomorrow; which is exactly why they planned the ‘truce’ for last Friday. It’s like they’ve been saying nah nah nee naha naha, we’ll do whatever the hell we want, and you can’t do shit about it, at least until January 20th.

Oh..BTW, for that part of the US population that actually IS paying close attention to Israel’s atrocities, the Israelis DON’T come out looking like the good guys here, (because of the farce of a unilateral cease-fire) and they never have. They don’t FOOL everybody.

That is INDEPENDENT of the significance (to the US electorate) of our historical governmental transition at this time of historical crises.

So I guess I’ll just get back to my parade.

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By Verne Arnold, January 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

As the world moves away from the rule of law and the thugs govern; we will be more and more isolated from justice. With justice gone; the thin veneer of civilization will crumble and all hope abandoned. Life orchestrated and choreographed will be a mere harlequin called reality.

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By coloradokarl, January 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

The Saudi $1billion will go a long way to stabilize the situation in the “occupied” territories. High unemployment causes 98% of the “terrorism” the world experiences today. The sadness that is the Israel experiment is rooted in an unfounded fear brought on by the “seven deadly sins” of the Human condition. The only true solution involves Love and Compassion. All Religion is based on these tenants and as such the issues in the occupied territories involve personal corruption and not ANY belief of a Higher Power. I venture the problem is Money and a Hunger for Power and Control. None of which can ever bring true Salvation. PEACE,LOVE and HOPE is the true meaning of LIFE

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By rwmenser, January 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Will a sorely needed balance of powers within the three branches of government be re-established by the incoming Obama administration after being so severely distorted over the past 8-years? I suppose that depends on Congress and I don’t expect much from them.
Can we as a nation break off the ownership Israel has over this country? It’s long overdue, but the Israeli lobby must be given the boot.
Will Obama have the guts to back the Pentagon into a corner and force them to close the huge military bases in Iraq and elsewhere in the world? The Project for a New American Century (or the Bush Doctrine if you prefer) called for the imperialistic control of the Middle East first, then spreading from there. Sort of like the plans the the USSR had with it’s thoughts of spreading communism. Obama doesn’t have the internal fortitude to upset the apple cart and just shut them down, bring our troops home and with them the dollars being wasted there.
Bring home all those contractors while you’re at it. Leave the Iraqi’s, Afghans and Paskistani’s to their own devices. Give them some aid money so that they can re-build what we destroyed. I believe they would do a much more efficient and better job than the war profiteers.
Last, and this is pure fantasy on my part, I’d really like to see Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Wolfowicz, Rice et. al, paraded out in chain-gang like fashion in neck irons with one-way tickets to The Hague as Obama is being sworn in. Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing the heads of the war profiteering companies treated in a similar manner.
However, I fully expect a lot of warm, fuzzy good feeling words backed with a total lack of action.

Thank you to the very few (especially Dennis Kucinich) members of congress who stood up for what was right and constitutionally viable.
Bob

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By Roger Lafontaine, January 19, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They may have stopped for Obama’s inauguration but they really didn’t need to. Our media was already pretty much ignoring what was going on in Gaza relegating it to a sentence or two and then going on to more entertaining news. The American public doesn’t like to be distressed by ‘difficult’ events that interfere with its constant entertainment. On the other hand Obama will probably be eternally grateful to Israel for accommodating him in his moment of glory.

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By jr., January 19, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

In light of the excessive destruction brought on by a zionist regime where was all that hoopla regarding radical extremism. Is extremism only about religion??

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