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If Only the World Had Listened

Posted on Mar 29, 2009

Tom Hurndall was 21 when he was shot by an Israel Defense Forces sniper in Gaza in April 2003. He died in January 2004 after being in a coma for nine months.

By Robert Fisk

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

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I don’t know if I met Tom Hurndall. He was one of a bunch of “human shields” who turned up in Baghdad just before the Anglo-American invasion in 2003, the kind of folk we professional reporters make fun of. Tree huggers, that kind of thing. Now I wish I had met him because – looking back over the history of that terrible war – Hurndall’s journals (soon to be published) show a remarkable man of remarkable principle. “I may not be a human shield,” he wrote at 10.26 on 17 March from his Amman hotel. “And I may not adhere to the beliefs of those I have travelled with, but the way Britain and America plan to take Iraq is unnecessary and puts soldiers’ lives above those of civilians. For that I hope that Bush and Blair stand trial for war crimes.”

Hurndall got it about right, didn’t he? It wasn’t so simple as war/no war, black and white, he wrote. “Things I’ve heard and seen over the last few weeks proves what I already knew; neither the Iraqi regime, nor the American or British, are clean. Maybe Saddam needs to go but ... the air war that’s proposed is largely unnecessary and doesn’t discriminate between civilians and armed soldiers. Tens of thousands will die, maybe hundreds of thousands, just to save thousands of American soldiers having to fight honestly, hand to hand. It is wrong.” Oh, how many of my professional colleagues wrote like this on the eve of war? Not many.

We pooh-poohed the Hurndalls and their friends as groupies even when they did briefly enter the South Baghdad electricity station and met one engineer, Attiah Bakir, who had been horrifyingly wounded 11 years earlier when an American bomb blew a fragment of metal into his brain. “You can see now where it struck,” Hurndall wrote in an email from Baghdad, “caving in the central third of his forehead and removing the bone totally. Above the bridge of his broken nose, there is only a cavity with scarred skin covering the prominent gap…”

A picture of Attiah Bakir stares out of the book, a distinguished, brave man who refused to leave his place of work as the next war approached. He was silenced only when one of Hurndall’s friends made the mistake of asking what he thought of Saddam’s government. I cringed for the poor man. “Minders” were everywhere in those early days. Talking to any civilian was almost criminally foolish. Iraqis were forbidden from talking to foreigners. Hence all those bloody “minders” (many of whom, of course, ended up working for Baghdad journalists after Saddam’s overthrow).


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Hurndall had a dispassionate eye. “Nowhere in the world have I ever seen so many stars as now in the western deserts of Iraq,” he wrote on 22 February. “How can somewhere so beautiful be so wrought with terror and war as it is soon to be?” In answer to the questions asked of them by the BBC, ITV, WBO, CNN, al-Jazeera and others, Hurndall had no single reply. “I don’t think there could be one, two or 100 responses,” he wrote. “To each of us our own, but not one of us wants to die.” Prophetic words for Tom to have written.

You can see him smiling selflessly in several snapshots. He went to cover the refugee complex at Al-Rowaishid and moved inexorably towards Gaza where he was confronted by the massive tragedy of the Palestinians. “I woke up at about eight in my bed in Jerusalem and lay in until 9.30,” he wrote. “We left at 10.00… Since then, I have been shot at, gassed, chased by soldiers, had sound grenades thrown within metres of me, been hit by falling debris…”

Hurndall was trying to save Palestinian homes and infrastructure but frequently came under Israeli fire and seemed to have lost his fear of death. “While approaching the area, they (the Israelis) continually fired one- to two-second bursts from what I could see was a Bradley fighting vehicle… It was strange that as we approached and the guns were firing, it sent shivers down my spine, but nothing more than that. We walked down the middle of the street, wearing bright orange, and one of us shouted through a loudspeaker, ‘We are International volunteers. Don’t shoot!’ That was followed by another volley of fire, though I can’t be sure where from…”

Tom Hurndall had stayed in Rafah. He was only 21 where – in his mother’s words – he lost his life through a single, selfless, human act. “Tom was shot in the head as he carried a single Palestinian child out of the range of an Israeli army sniper.” Mrs Hurndall asked me to write a preface to Tom’s book and this article is his preface, for a brave man who stood alone and showed more courage than most if us dreamed of. Forget tree huggers. Hurndall was one good man and true.

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By Sepharad, May 3, 2009 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt, exactly right.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 3, 2009 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

Actually it begins with each one of us to look upon others as equals in how we should treat each other. Until that time arrives we will continue to see strife and hardship and mass murder being done human against human for any number of patently ideological and ultimately hateful reasons.

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By Sepharad, May 2, 2009 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

christian96, I agree with Einstein’s quote and also with yours that “Peace must begin in the homes.”

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By christian96, May 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad——I am a Messianic Christian which basically means I keep the Torah dietary laws(I can’t
find anything in the Bible where Jesus(Yeshua) changed people’s digestive system when he was
crucified.)  I also observe the Jewish festivals
discussed in the Book of Leviticus.  I just spent
Passover with a congregation of Jews and Gentiles
who also believe the way I do.  I am a Gentile.  In
a book titled “Ideas and Opinions” Albert Einstein
said, “If people would follow the basic teachings
of Jesus(Yeshua) and forgot all the junk that has
been added by the Priests over the years, we would
have teachings which would lay the foundation for
World Peace.”  Jesus taught love, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, etc.  Can you imagine what it
might be like now in Israel if the Palestinians and
Israelis loved one another, forgave on another,
treated each other with kindness and gentleness and
were concerned how they could make each other’s lives better?  It would be a different place!  I have graduate degrees in counseling and child development.  I can tell you that peace will never
come to the area or any area until the families start talking about love, kindness, and concern for
others in front of their children.  As long as the
children hear their parents talking about hate,
revenge, and killing they will grow up hating,
seeking revenge and killing.  PEACE HAS TO BEGIN IN

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By Sepharad, May 1, 2009 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

NightGaunt & KDelphi—Finally got charger replacement so can use computer again.
Regarding Zionism: I am a Zionist because ever since there was a Diaspora the stateless Jew has been not part of a minority but a symbol of something inhuman in the Western mind, either shrewd or repulsive or a victim, and I refuse to be a fragment of anyone else’s symbol. (The Shoah was not a “catastrophe”, which implies some act of nature, but a deliberate, calculated act of man caused by the weird status Jews have always held in the Western mind.) Because I’m also secular and a humanist, I believe Israel must survive for the redemption of the Jewish people as a nation but NOT the redemption of some “Holy Land”—which ironically makes me less a Jew in the eyes of the theocrats but I don’t really care: Israel exists not to restore some old-time Judaism but to liberate the Jews. At the same time, just because Israel is the only land in which Jews can belong completely, it does not mean that we can ignore the Palestinians who also and rightfully regard the old Palestine as their homeland. As 78% of it is ruled by a non-Palestinian king (Jordan), I still hope that the Palestinians could be given back not just Gaza and the West Bank but a goodly portion on the East Bank as well. In any case, in Israel/Palestine, it’s a question of right against right, and thus more of a Greek tragedy than some Western good-guy-bad-guy scenario. The theocrats want a David/Solomon-size Israel; the secular Zionists just want the little piece they had pre-‘67; the Palestinians want no Jewish state at all. (Obviously there are exceptions in each category but overall that’s the way it is.) Meanwhile, vastly outnumbered and with very little land, Israel will have to defend herself vigorously, yet not fall into the trap of seeing Palestinians as less-than-human symbols. This also means not allowing her citizens and soldiers to abuse other human beings just because their adversaries do so routinely. (It may not interest many reading this, but one of the IDF’s most elite infantry brigades, the Givati, has a disproportionately high number of Druzim and Bedouin soldiers and career officers.)

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By KDelphi, May 1, 2009 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Ibrahim—I didnt give the govt permission to kill anyone.

Old Cold Warriors, armchair or otherwise, need to get over the Cold War—time marches on.

These countries are our allies now. I see no evidence that Saddasm Hussein killed “millions of people” , just as I cannot give you a statistic that US forces have killed a million people in Iraq. I do know that we cannot “kill off all the dictators”, especially when they are dictators that the uS placed and supported.

We broke so many intl laws in Iraq, the uS reputation will never recover.

It is cowardly to insult the dead.

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By Ibrahim, April 29, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another enabler of terrorist is dead and the world is a better place. He would have fit in in the 1930’s telling everyone that the west was no different than the Nazis and The Japanese imperialists. This is a person who refused to see that Sadam was a mass murder who was responsible for the death of a million Muslims. The world is a better place without Sadam and this young man who helped him to stay in power. Don’t forget we killed a half million French men, women, and children in our drive to liberate France from the Nazi occupiers. Would you want to see Europe still under Hitlers rule so we caould save these peoples lives.

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By Fred Flint, April 20, 2009 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment
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Why does everyone harp on Israel that is the size of Rhode Island! HAHHAHA
What about the true genocide of killing & raping of the poor women, children & men in Sudan and other places. You don’t care because they are black?

If you truly look into the deep conflict into the Palestine/Israel war(Look at the true reason and not what your hateful racist heart says) you will see that Terror is a business for Hamas.  With-out terror Hamas would not be getting funded.  Iran and other supporters give Hamas BILLIONS of dollars and they don’t build schools, infrastructure, hospitals, etc… with the funds. Hamas just keeps creating terror so the money keeps flowing in. Arafat before he died housed his wife(Who by the way was catholic not an Arab) in a castle somewhere in Europe that he bought for 25 million dollars but let his people to suffer with old and rotting infrastructure.

What would you do if your neighbor wanted to kill you and your family? Would you not protect yourself and let them kill you and your family?

The FIRST day Israel was recognized as a so called State they where attacked by all fronts from there friendly neighbors. SO who really started this worthless war. RACISM & MONEY started it! WAKE UP and GROW YOUR BRAIN!

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By Night-Gaunt, April 8, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Until the right people can get in control of their gov’ts especially Israel. The minority having so much control in their coalition gov’t, which are the most ardent theocrats in Israel, have a larger sway over the gov’t than they should for their numbers. If the USA would just stop supporting the Zionist expansionist policies of the Israelis in power they would literally have to change how they are acting to the Palestinians and other countries in the region. At least it would be much harder for them to. Until then they will continue the war of attrition to drive the Palestinians into the sea or to somewhere else. Zionism is a form of nationalism, you don’t need the religious mandate but it is intregal to it, for Greater(Complete)Israel to blossom nourished on the blood of Palestinians and Jews till the Zionists fulfill their God’s Holy directive. So anyone not of the Jewish nature/racial strain/belief system are to be extirpated from their shores. The driving force of its creation and perpetuation. If you are not with them then you are against them and their God. You are also not up to their humanity level either. Call Palestinians terrorists and you don’t need to negotiate just bomb and threaten them till they starve or leave. Such is the system in place since 1948.

If Obama really is for change then the best thing to do for the Palestinians and the Israelis is to cut off the $3-10 billion a year to Israel free of restraint. Otherwise the words will mean nothing.

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By Sepharad, April 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt, I agree with you that all Israelis and Palestinians don’t perceive each other in the same way—but some of them, I’d even say a lot of them, do, because I’ve seen it. (Right now in Abu Ghosh and elsewhere there are probably a lot of bad jokes being told by both Arabs and Jews re how much the Jews get sick of matzoh during Passover and how much the Arabs like it because they don’t HAVE to eat it etc.) This is not to minimize the horrible problems there; just to remind people that Jews and Arabs are both human beings and usually interact as such when they are not killing each other. The main problem as I see it—and there are people I love living in Israel—is that there is terrible leadership on both sides when wise and bold leadership on both sides is what is needed. The Israelis have got themselves a really rightwing government; the Palestinians are strongly influenced by religious extremists despite Fatah’s best efforts. Maddeningly, Netanyahu didn’t get as many votes as Livni but she couldn’t put a government together because she refused to include the religious parties in her coalition. She was right but unfortunately Netanyahu knows the religious will back his Likud abominations so he’s now in charge with Avigdor Lieberman who even is threatening the rights of Israeli Arabs. Netanyahu doesn’t really have a mandate of the majority of voters but I don’t think that is going to restrain him so some very tough talk from the U.S. should be forthcoming and fast. Mitchell needs to do more than listen, and someone higher up—Hillary or Obama—should tell Netanyahu and the military guy who thinks attacking Iran is an option that in no way will the U.S. back Israel up in such a thing, and will hit them with economic sanctions if they do anything like that. I don’t feel like I’m betraying Israel in suggesting these things because people in my own party there (MeretzUSA) are on the same page.

I don’t agree with a lot that Fadel says, but it is definitely true that you’re only being courageous if you’re afraid. There are a lot of scared Israelis and Arabs right now, and I hope they can rise above it and grope their way toward a two-state solution. (Just got a copy of Benny Morris’ take on the one-state two-state debate, which is the essential issue facing Israelis and Palestinians at the moment, but haven’t yet read it. If we could remove religion from the conversation it would help a lot. Also would help if—and this is a Meretz position—Israel would apologize for what happened to the Palestinians during war that immediately followed the declaration of Israel as a country, and pay damages that would help the Palestinians resettle and rebuild in the second state. Words are cheap, but in the Middle East people are quite sensitive to the way they’re spoken to, courtesy. etc. and someone has to reach out first.

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By KDelphi, April 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Night Guant—I would agree, but, really, even one nuke per country might as well be a million. If one country sets one off they all will, and there will be two people left, probably fighting over the last potato. Planet might recover, but, we wouldnt.

People that survived would have to be aggressive Social Darwinists.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 7, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

What president Obama should be doing is telling Israel that their special dispensation from the USA is over and that we will show the world they have nuclear weapons and that we will stop dealing with any country with nukes that isn’t part of the Non Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. Any who don’t are hostile and will be treated with the full extent of international law and must atone. Also no more free billions from the USA. Immediate talks must begin on disarming. No, I haven’t forgotten N.Korea. We and all other countries with nukes must begin disarming our nukes as well and as soon as possible. The nuclear umbrella is really a global funeral shroud if we do not remove it forth with. I am willing to grant every country one nuclear warhead. One only. One is more than enough. From Antigua to Zanzibar.

That would be a major shake up but don’t expect it from the man of pseudo ‘change’ in office.

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By Sepharad, April 6, 2009 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

NYCartist—Good links. Thanks.

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By KDelphi, April 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Night-Guant—what do we do? I am not trying to be rhetorical.

I am starting to feel more hopeless about this situation

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By Night-Gaunt, April 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Since the premise is wrong and provocative it will be Israel that brings the wrath of war on their and by extension our shoulders. Its overwhelming need to maintain hegemony in the region and its weapons supremacy that it uses to threaten, quietly, under the table would be lost if Iran was working and actually finished one and had it read to launch. So far no evidence that the Supreme Aytolla Kameni has rescinded his fatwa of 2003 when he said that by his reading the Koran approves of nuclear energy but not nuclear weapons. The UN IAEA has found nothing and such an attack by Israel or USA or jointly would unite all of Iran against them and us. Then World War III would officially be beginning and then you would find a very lively world of hurt.

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By KDelphi, April 5, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

We obviously have very little influence over what Israel does.

If they bomb Iran, any effort to communicate with them , by the uS, will be lost.

“If Iran continues with its programme for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective,” said Mr Mofaz, referring to pressure by the United Nations security council to end Iran’s disputed programme of uranium enrichment. “Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable.” (transport minister Shaul Mofaz,Jan 2009)

Is there really any chance this will change under the new ultra-conservative govt? Of course, the uS “threats” only fall slightly short of that…

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By Fadel Abdallah, April 5, 2009 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Below are two other links to two other informative articles about the increasing danger of Israel’s fascism, apartheid and fanaticism!
It’s A Lieberman Government
By Uri Avnery

“On the first day of the new Israeli government, the fog cleared: it’s a Lieberman government…”

Israel And The Crime Of Apartheid
By Hazem Jamjoum

“In recent years, increasing numbers of individuals around the world have begun adopting and developing an analysis of Israel as an apartheid regime. This can be seen in the ways that the global movement in support of the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle is taking on a pointedly anti-apartheid character, as evidenced by the growth of Israeli Apartheid Week…”

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By Sepharad, April 4, 2009 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

Brooks—Much of what you say is true—most of it actually—but Israel must find a way to survive without damaging more Palestinian lives than the extremists who delude the Palestinians and endanger them are doing. This has just become much more difficult and farther in the future because of the new government (which the majority of Israelis do not favor). Your reasoned arguments are not what TDers want to hear—as you may have guessed by now. The Tom Hurdalls and Rachel Corries of the world mean well, but are addressing the wrong half of the problem. If you really want peace between Arab and Jew, you might look into some of the projects ubderway through the Meretz party (a Meretz USA also exists, primarily secular Jews seeking to end the fighting by setting up economic programs and negotiation of a second state). The Palestinians will only have a decent homeland when their focus is on education which means they must have secure lives, governmental stability and a decent economy to support all of this. These things are a Meretz priority, though the party now only has 3 seats in the cabinet, as they refused to help form a centrist government or cooperate with Labour, which has now joined the ultra-rightwing government. Israel is no different than any other country in that it has good governments and bad, and when the bad ones are in power the role of the opposition is critical. We have to move the government farther from their extreme right to the center because that is what is possible right now (especially because they do NOT have a mandate from the voters we should be able to do it.) It takes organization and persistence and protests, and American friends of Israel need to weigh in for the left-wing parties and policies.

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By KDelphi, April 4, 2009 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Fadel—Yes. Courage can only exist with fear. If youre not afraid, it takes no courage.

From Naom Chomsky, on DN, with Amy Goodman:

“...And there’s much more to this. You know, President Obama appointed a Middle East emissary, George Mitchell, who’s a reasonable choice if he’s allowed to do anything. So far, he’s only allowed to listen to almost everyone, not everyone. For example, he’s not allowed to listen to the elected government in Palestine, the Hamas-led government. Well, it would be hard to listen to them, because half of them are in Israeli prisons, but nevertheless, you know, they have voices. For example, they’ve supported the call for a two-state settlement that the United States and Israel have rejected. So they’ve joined the world on that.

But why are we not allowed to listen to Hamas? Well, because they don’t meet three conditions that were established. One is, they have to accept the road map, which we and Israel reject, but they have to accept it, otherwise we can’t allow them into the civilized world. The other is, they have to renounce violence. Well, we don’t have to discuss the question whether the United States and Israel renounce violence, so we can put that aside. Third, they have to recognize Israel, but, of course, we don’t have to recognize Palestine, nor does Israel. So they have to meet three conditions that we don’t meet and that Israel doesn’t meet. But again, that passes without comment.”

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By Night-Gaunt, April 4, 2009 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

One major problem is that the Israelis and Palestinians don’t perceive each other in the same way. Until they do as equals nothing good will come of it. We already see that Israel is becoming even more reich wing and hardened and more dedicated to harsh militarism and violence to clear the ‘invaders’ and ‘squatters’ out of ‘their land’ as we speak. Even the legal Arab Israelis are on the list to the most extreme nationalists. A bad turn of events for all.

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By christian96, April 3, 2009 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment

While in Israel I walked through the Museum dedicated
to the children.  It was extremely heart-breaking to
listen to the names being read of the children killed
in Nazi Germany.  An incident like the holocaust has
to have created a great deal of fear, hatred, and
distrust which will not be easy to overcome even though they say times heals.  At the same time while
in Israel I visited a 10 year-old deaf mentally retarded Palestinian girl I supported through World
Vision.  I saw the poverty first hand that Palestinians are forced to live in and I am sure it
is worst today.  As a somewhat detached observer, I
can understand the perspective of both the Israelis
and the Palestinians but I can’t do anything about it.  I’ve thought of going to Jerusalem to live and
try to help what little I can but I’m a nobody.  People aren’t going to listen to me.  Albert Einstein
said in a book “Ideas and Opinions” that the teachings of Jesus, if followed, would lay a foundation for world piece.  I would recommend the
people in Israel and Palestinian follow the teachings
of Jesus.  Forgive one another, love one another and
serve one another.  Love your enemies as yourself.
Ask yourself, “What can I do today to make someone
elses life better?”  The Israelis have excellent
business skills.  Use those skills to help your Palestinian brothers build an economy that serves
their needs.  Palestinians are hard working people.
Israel should give those people the opportunity to
work to make Israel and Palestine a place where people from around the world come there and enjoy the
fruits of cooperative labors.  It’s not going to happen overnight.  The hatreds and distrust are just
too deep.  It starts in the homes and families.  Mothers and Fathers on both sides are going to have to change the way they talk about the other side in
front of their children.  When the children see the
parents demonstrating love and serve, they will learn
love and service.

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By Fadel Abdallah, April 3, 2009 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

One psychological problem that most Zionists have without being aware of it is that their world view is so steeped in the complex of Masada and the Holocaust and the desire for revenge. So Tom Hurndall was the victim of the Zionists’ desire for revenge because he was on the other side and so were the thousands of Palestinian children, women and civilians Israel has massacred over the sixty years of its unfortunate foundation!

Had the Zionists ever internalized the wisdom of their Arab cousins, as expressed in the adage, “While seeking revenge, dig two graves- one for yourself,” they would have taken a different course. And thus they continue to ignore the fact that for every grave they cause to create among the other side, they are digging at least a similar grave for themselves, if not more.

Another concept the Zionists don’t understand or internalized is that “Courage on the side of their adversaries is not a lack of fear, but the ability to act courageously while facing fear.” This applies to people like Tom Hurndall and the few thousands of courageous Palestinian freedom fighters who certainly fear Israel superior power of weapons and their superior capacity to terrorize, massacre and destruct. Yet, despite that fear and their awareness of it they continue to resist in the face of that fear.

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By KDelphi, April 2, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Brooks—Good.If you think that there should be no unnecessary deaths, you must be very anti-war. All war deaths are unncecesaary.

NYCArtist—Thanks! I had some of those sites once , before my pc kept crashing. My brother in law is a Jew, but, not a Zionist, and he makes a careful distinction between the two. He believes that any Jew who supports the way Israel is behaving now, is doing great harm to the Jewish people.

Thanks again. Its refreshing to get an answer instead of a smirk. NOw I have to go back and check the links…I can only do about two things at once on this pc…

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By Brooks, April 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt - I am for both. Nir Rosen is not. He is a poor choice to quote. I see blame on both sides. Why bother pointing out all of Israels faults, when every commenter except mine does. I see Palestine going about things the wrong way. There is no easy way. The same with Israel. At some point they have to realize being a terrorist does nothing for Palestine. If they worked on just helping, governing Palestine things would improve quicker. They are slowing the process. So when I talk about how is Hamas helping. That is showing I care for the Palestinians. I do believe Israel has more than enough will to keep fighting, if that is what they want. It would be a poor choice. For both.

This whole article is about glorifying someone who put himself between two combatants. Some how thinking they will stop because he is there. Thinking he will not get shot. Human shields are a foolish concept in my belief.

Just like me as an atheist, it be wise to walk around Iran stating that. He should have thought being on the front was too dangerous, better he helps by motivating people away before it is a front. There is no glory in a death that was not necessary.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

As another Free Thinker and parapatetic moralist it must be understood that when the word ‘terrorist is used by a nation-state it is against others who 1)don’t have an official nation-state and 2) are the weaker side of the asymmetry of warfare as it is fought today. It isn’t the actions that are identified by their outcomes as who the actor is which is why one person’s patriot is another’s terrorist. In a word propaganda. Yes a gov’t lying to promote its side over the other they fight! Imagine that? Terrorism is a military strategy like the phalanx maneuver or the pincer. It is used in a non-sense way for neferious purposes like delegitimizing opponents. See Hamas and the Iranian Guard for examples.

Can’t one be for both Palestinians and Israelis as people, not from a national or religious member? I am aren’t all of you like Brooks?

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By Brooks, April 2, 2009 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

Russian Paul - Since you can not see that Israel is not targeting civilians., you are stuck with your head in the sand. Do you have any idea how powerful the weapons are they have? In one week they could have kill 500,000+ , not even trying hard. They easily could level, kill every person in Palestine with in 3 weeks. That would include all the dummy’s hiding in the tunnel network. You obviously can not comprehend when your supposed freedom fighters hide/shoot and fight with the protection of women and children. You are going to have causalities.

Do you think going in is as simple as a police incident? There is not one guy in a room holding the family hostage. It is whole blocks of people hiding and shooting at the Israelis. They or any army would have no way to safely root out every shooter. Even here in the United States, hostages are on a clock. When the time runs out and criminal hasn’t given up. They go in. As a quote I heard goes. Some days, it is just a bad day to be a hostage. The same works here. Just think about how many people there are, in that area. I am not saying a few soldiers did not do bad things. I really believe they showed restraint. Maybe you need to educate your self with the power and effectiveness of the weapons they wield.

Free thinker signing out

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By keepyourheaddown, April 1, 2009 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

everything is the opposite if the way it appears…

every soul that has taken a life, will have his judgement day, I don’t care what the reason is…

there is only TRUTH, and we all know what that is…

it doesn’t matter what you say or what you believe you will be judged on your TRUTH…



What a waste of everything…

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By keepyourheaddown, April 1, 2009 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

everything is the opposite if the way it appears…

every soul that has taken a life, will have his judgement day, I don’t care what the reason is…

there is only TRUTH, and we all know what that is…

it doesn’t matter what you say or what you believe you will be judged on your TRUTH…



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By Russian Paul, April 1, 2009 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

The difference is who you target.

They BOTH target innocent civilians only Israel is a thousand times more successful at it! Let me repeat that, Israel has killed more innocent civilians than Hamas ever has!

I’m starting to think Brooks really is a computer program. That would explain the redundancies, the circular logic, and the inability to compute anything outside its understanding.

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By Brooks, April 1, 2009 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Yo Russian - Did you read my last comment? Give me a break. Nir needs to strap a belt on and join his friends. Since he thinks it is OK.

His definition of terrorism is incorrect. The difference is who you target. Saying they are weak so it is OK to blow up their own people is insane. Really get a clue.

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By Russian Paul, April 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Brooks - Israel targets and kills civilians a thousand times more efficiently than Hamas, so tell me, why is Hamas a terrorist group and Israel isn’t? Below is an actual excerpt from Nir Rosen explaining this double standard:

Terrorism is a normative term and not a descriptive concept. An empty word that means everything and nothing, it is used to describe what the Other does, not what we do. The powerful – whether Israel, America, Russia or China – will always describe their victims’ struggle as terrorism, but the destruction of Chechnya, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the slow slaughter of the remaining Palestinians, the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan – with the tens of thousands of civilians it has killed … these will never earn the title of terrorism, though civilians were the target and terrorising them was the purpose.

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By Brooks, April 1, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

cyrena - Well well. Nir Rosen is not a journalist. You can go right to his website, and read that it is OK for Palestinians to blow up women and children. Itis OK for Iraqis to target any old man because the terrorist is weak. So it makes it ok to blow up his own population to scare them into following them.

Really? So it would be ok for a Hamas punk to show up at your apartment and beat you, then behead you since they cant fight the Israelis?

What kind of logic is that? I am sane. You are missing a few neurons.

Maybe read a little of what he writes before you back a terrorist sympathizer.

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By cyrena, April 1, 2009 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

By Brooks, March 31 at 6:41 pm #

cyrena - Nir Rosen is not a journalist. He is just a terrorist sympathizer. His views are from that perspective. Not a good source of any opinion.


Brooks, this is why I’ve never bothered responding to any of your sick and demented posts. Nir Rosen is an excellent journalist who has written extensively on Iraq and Afghanistan, and one of his works, (In The Belly of the Green Bird) is so superb at getting to the TRUTH of the dynamics of that occupation, (from the perspective of the people of that sovereign nation state that we have destroyed, along with over a million civilians) that it was assigned reading for a graduate course seminar in Middle Eastern Studies and the History of the Middle East and North Africa. Because here in academia, we strive to get the truth from people who are there and can report it to us.

“Nir Rosen is a journalist who has written extensively on American policy toward Afghanistan and Iraq. He spent more than two years in Iraq reporting on the American occupation, the relationship between Americans and Iraqis, the development of postwar Iraqi religious and political movements, interethnic and sectarian relations, and the Iraqi civil war. His reporting and research also focused on the origins and development of Islamist resistance, insurgency, and terrorist organizations. Mr. Rosen covered the elections in Afghanistan and the differences between the American presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has also reported from Somalia, where he investigated Islamist movements; Jordan, where he investigated the origins and future of the Zarqawi movement; and Pakistan, where he investigated the madrassas and pro-Taliban movements. Mr. Rosen’s book on postwar Iraq, In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq, was published by Free Press in 2006. He has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The New Republic, Boston Review, Time, Mother Jones, and World Policy Journal.”

As an aside, Nir Rosen was one of the original journalists that Truthdig published often when they first got this site up and running.

So your posts simply prove what most other posters to this site have already figured out. You’re a racist asshole, and an ignorant one to boot.

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By NYCartist, April 1, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

KDelphi:For info on Gaza/Palestinians, see
The writing of Phyllis Bennis of
Jews Against the Occupation
Jewish Voice for Peace
(I am an atheist Jew and listing some sources, after DemocracyNow, that are Jews writing and demos on Gaza. Amy Goodman is granddaughter of a rabbi and has mentioned it.)  Finally, I recall Marjorie Cohn,Pres. of National Lawyers Guild, law professor speaking/writing about the Middle East and US policies in re, including Israel/Gaza,Palestine. Also constitutional law and the US gov’t.

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By NYCartist, April 1, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

KDelphi:For info on Gaza/Palestinians, see
The writing of Phyllis Bennis of
Jews Against the Occupation
Jewish Voice for Peace
(I am an atheist Jew and listing some sources, after DemocracyNow, that are Jews writing and demos on Gaza. Amy Goodman is granddaughter of a rabbi and has mentioned it.)  Finally, I recall Marjorie Cohn, law professor speaking/writing about the Middle East and US policies in re, including Israel/Gazz,Palestine.

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By mckathiki, April 1, 2009 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

Beautiful, insightful tribute.  I disagree, however, with the disparing comments regarding “treehuggers” framing the article.  I know many “treehuggers” who are wise, brave and true.  If only journalists and the world had listened over 30 years ago.  Perhaps we would not be facing imminent global catastrophes which will dwarf the monumental stupidity of humanity’s wars.

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By Brooks, April 1, 2009 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

Russian Paul - facts are you are continuing to excuse the behavior of the Palestinians. It is not whether the rockets hit anything, it is the fact they are fired. Size of the army or strength is not the issue. The Arabs in the area never wanted to live in peace with the Jews since 1948. They have been attacking them since then. You look that up. All the Arabs/Palestinians had to do was live in peace and harmony with the Israelis. Having a culture of Islamic honor with no honor they will always chose death, starvation for their families. Out of honor of course. For Alla. Just never to join the world as human or civilized. Really get your head out of the sand.

Once Israels borders were set, I am against the expansion of settlement into the territory. I am hoping that Israel leaves the settlements to Palestine, if they ever learn to live with Israel.

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By Russian Paul, March 31, 2009 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

Brooks - Israel has the 4th largest military in the world. And over a hundred nuclear warheads. These rockets that Hamas use are Qassam rockets, very inefficient and since 2001, they are responsible for at least 28 Israeli deaths. In the same time period, thousands upon thousands of Palestinians have been killed. The rockets are a response to the occupation, which HAS NEVER ENDED AND ONLY CONTINUES TO EXPAND. What do you think the US would do if Mexico began to occupy parts California and Texas?

These are all facts, you can look them up if you like, if you still feel the same way then I suppose your head will permanently be stuck in the sand.

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By Brooks, March 31, 2009 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

cyrena - Nir Rosen is not a journalist. He is just a terrorist sympathizer. His views are from that perspective. Not a good source of any opinion.

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By Brooks, March 31, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi - Well how does any nation react to rockets being lobbed from another country? No other country would have waited so long. None. I really felt Israel used restraint in not crossing the border by the third day of rockets. How many days was it? How many after they where still in? Hamas was defiant to the end. No country in the world will tolerate rockets, suicide bombers, or roadside bombs from a neighboring country. Someone launches rockets at Russia, not how long but how much over kill? Total devastation and total occupation. China? I mean really until the world looks at it like it was their backyard. No one will exert enough pressure to make it stop.

I am no more pro Israel than I am pro France, Germany, Japan, Thailand or Iceland. All countries have the right to defend themselves.

The rest of this is for whoever

And to all those crying genocide. Really? I think that death toll seems very low. If they wanted genocide the number would have been 500,000+ in a week. 1 million people packed in one city. They obviously were very well behaved. Mistakes have been made. Yes, but the numbers show they were not reckless. If any deaths are to many, again they shouldn’t have elected Hamas who they knew would pick a fight with the biggest kid on the block.

Those crying the US supplies Israel with weapons. Hmmm. They are not smart enough to figure out Israel builds some, and would just buy from Germany, China, Russia, N. Korea like the rest of the world. World has no shortage of sellers. Iran is happy to supply Hamas. So please remind me why the US should stop supplying Israel? They are a democratic ally in the most insane region of the world.

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Brooks—I say that both sides act like children, but, ..oh well. The blog is about the “war in Afghanistan”. I was just posting it. Just so you know.

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By Brooks, March 31, 2009 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi - Babysit means that some force needs to be in there to make sure Hamas plays well with others. Since Hamas can not ever play well with others, that is why the UN is affraid to go in there. Yes Hamas is acting like children and that is why I use the reference.

I will check out the blog. Thanks.

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Another War Lost? by William Lind via (posted by samsonsworld, via commondebate,

William Lind is a former Marine Corps officer who is usually far to the right of me politically. But, he is a very astute writer on military affairs, so I usually read his columns. This one is a very nice analysis of what’s wrong with Obama’s plan to ‘win’ the Afghan war. But, its this last bit about politics right at the end that struck me. So, this is the view of rather conservative ex-military officer ....(samson)  the report:

“Here we see how little “change” the Obama administration really represents. The differences between the neo-liberals and the neocons are few. Both are militant believers in Brave New World, a globalist future in which everyone on earth becomes modern. In the view of these ideologues, the fact that billions of people are willing to fight to the death against modernity is, like the river Pregel, an unimportant military obstacle. We just need to buy more Predators.

Meanwhile, the money is running out. The ancien regime syndrome looms ever larger: we not only maintain but increase foolish foreign commitments, at the same time that debt is piling up, those willing to lend become fewer, and we are reduced to debasing the currency. Historians have seen it all before, many, many times. It never has a happy ending.

It appears Afghanistan will be the graveyard of yet another empire.”

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

I dont know what that means.(about babysitting Hamas…) It seemed that you were saying that if I dont support Israeli and American Zionism, I must support fundamentalist Islam.

I support no religion at all.

I support peace. If that sounds like a cliche to you, so be it.

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By Brooks, March 31, 2009 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

Where did I say you believed. I said the problem lies in the religion. I wish the US wasn’t there or anywhere. The UN is affraid to be there. Who would babysit Hamas? No country will.

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Brooks—No, I am right.

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By cyrena, March 31, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

For more real journalism, please read Nir Rosen and Dahr Jamail.

For Nir, his book “In the Belly of the Green Bird” is excellent.

I can’t say that these gentleman are ‘human shields’ in the sense that Tom Hurndall or Rachel Corrie were, (though they’ve both had some pretty close calls reporting from these war torn areas) but they have done some excellent independent reporting, which has been our only means of finding out the truth of what has been going on, since western media has been feeding us lies for years.

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, Muslim religoius fundamentaism is what I am all about. Where is it that I defended Islam?? Or christianity or any religion??

“gawd” doesnt exist, stupid.

Why doesnt the US back off and let the world community decide? Oh, thats right, we always know what s right…

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By Brooks, March 31, 2009 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

I left out honor killing of women, cartoonists. Beheading peace workers. Really it sounds so civilized, where do I sign up.

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By Brooks, March 31, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi - I am right. It does not matter about sides. I am sorry you are choosing to blindly back the Palestinians. The problem lies in a religion that says it is good to die against any that do not believe the way you do. Yes Islam the peace loving religion, that would hurt a fly, nice as pie religion. All Muslims think it is OK to kill any labeled infidel. Die against the infidel. Infidel equals any atheist, any person that doesn’t believe in Alla, any homosexual, plus some I am forgetting. Islam is intolerant of all. The middle east is full of Muslims. The area will always be a conflict zone until, Islam and Muslims change their ways.

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Thou art drawn and talk of peace.

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Brooks—“Israel wants peace”....ok…and I suppose that the US wants peace and whatever side YOU happen to be on is always right.


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By Brooks, March 31, 2009 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi - I am an atheist.

thebeerdoctor - Zionist? Hmmm. I think I would put it that I am a realist. They are in the predicament now. Do you antagonize your jailer? If the Palestinians choose peace, I will be behind them. Israel wants peace. You spewing propaganda does not help your non point. If this was the US having rockets launched into my backyard. I would want the military to stop it. Any civilians that allow it instantly lose my sympathy. If you are having rockets launched at you, I would want them to stop also. If you launch rockets, oh well ... you get what you get.

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

NYCartist—I was just asking about that, where I could find sites on Gaza, etc, that werent propagandized top death.

Brooks, what “religious” group do you belong to?

We are all going to die—yes , you too! As Andrew Young once said, “It is a blessing to die for a cause, because you can so easily die for nothing”.

Like a Zionist Israeli military war criminal.

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By NYCartist, March 31, 2009 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Do some people look at Jews as synonymous with Israel? Do some people view Jews differently than they view people of the US, including Jews who are Americans?

Read all you can by Robert Fisk.  And also, Chalmers Johnson’s trilogy, of which I’ve read the last two (based on availability at my library!), “Sorrows of Empire” and “Nemesis”.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 31, 2009 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

Rave on dear Brooks, rave on. Your Zionist excuses are a grand scale version of absurd opera. You can’t get away if you are not allowed to leave. How strange, the people being robbed are called the thieves. Despite having the U.S. as the weapons enabler, most of the rest world knows you are justifying stealing by lying. You can kill all you want. The United States foreign policies assure that.

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By Brooks, March 31, 2009 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor - I am not the idiot. The territory of Palestine covers around 10,435 square miles almost same size as the state of Vermont in the USA. Israel was not attacking all of Palestine. Since they were so smart and invited Hamas. You would think they would be smart enough to leave. Oh wait….Did I say smart enough to invite Hamas. I meant stupid enough. Since they are stupid. Maybe that’s why they couldn’t pack up and leave battle zone. I am not saying by leaving they would get a vacation some where. Leave with out there belongings. So they would not be in harms way. Yes living as a Hamas caused refugee. Hmmm. Maybe your the one who is an idiot. Seems like I am talking sense. Especially when you invite TERRORISTS to the party. Who on this blue planet didn’t know Israel was going across the border? When Hamas did not stop firing rockets, the whole world knew. All of Gaza knew. They chose to do nothing. They chose to keep Hamas. They are responsible. If those 2 million Palestinians want to cry innocent, I say NO. There is enough of them to make Hamas stop. They have all spent their money on enough guns, they could easily over power Hamas. No more excuses for the terrorist state of Palestine.

When they give up guns for butter, that is when they will be released from their prison. It surely would help them if everyone got on board. Have the world tell them knock it off.

While you are at it, have Iran hold up its end. They have promised many times to help the people rebuild. They seem to think you use guns to build, eat and live.

So while I am at it. Lets have the whole world stop idolizing martyrs. Tom Hurndall may have been a good person. Human meat shields to stop bullets is not intelligent. Now by every one saying - Oh how they wish they were as brave. You are only making it so some other delusional person will lose there life, at the expense of their family.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 31, 2009 at 2:05 am Link to this comment

Brooks’ idiotic rant would be hilarious if it were not so tragic. Just where in hell do the people in Gaza have to go to get out of the way? More propaganda bluster that pretends to be courage… but rest assured, US military aide to the rogue state of Israel will continue unabated, thus your license to kill remains intact.

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By Brooks, March 30, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fadel Abdallah - LOL Yes he made a difference. Now we are talking about him. I think difference would have been to go and get people out before battle. Not hang out and get shot. If the battle is here, and a terrorist organization is next door launching rockets, endangering my family. I have the courage to shoot a neighbor committing terrorist acts. Where is the courage over there? It takes courage to do the right thing and stop Hamas. Anybody can be bad, and be a terrorist. Only the fool is the one in the middle. His life was precious, his family wishes he thought so now.

KDelphi - AS far as not being able to criticize on not wanting to throw away my life. That is funny. Really have you listened to your self. I am no coward.

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By KAK, March 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If more of us would voice anger and disent against invalid unprovoked war, other caring brave souls would not need to feel compelled to go into these insane situations. Care more and try to make your voice heard. Voting is certainly a bare minimum.

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By tres, March 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Brooks: just as you hold Germany as a nation responsible for WWII and Hitler, Israel and Israelis are responsible for the war crimes that have been going on for decades. You can not explain away the enormous human lives lost, just like the Nazis couldn’t.

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By KDelphi, March 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

I wrote for info about being a so-called human shield.

Then I got lit in the mail that said, “Please do not come if you are not completely comfortable with your own mortality.” I thought about it. I could not say that I was completely comfortable with being blown up for this particular invasion—-there are so many to choose from…

I wish I had this man’s courage. But, i still dont know if I do. Unless you yourself have the courage to go, you have no business criticizing. I certainly wont.

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By aziridine, March 30, 2009 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment
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Hurndall was either a brave man who chose a foolish brand of activism. He could have advanced his cause much further by being alive than by lying in some Gaza gutter with his head split in two.

The truth is that those who needed too hear his message did not, while those now hear his message (such as those on this site) didn’t need to hear it.

Amidst the forest or dead and crippled on all sides of these bloody wars we fight Tom Hurndall is just another fallen combatant. As with all others, he took a side and died defending it.

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 30, 2009 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

By Brooks, March 29 at 4:59 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

“Tom Hurndall also knew what happens when you step into a war zone. He either was a fool or committed suicide. I would not have gone there by choice, nor would most sane people.”
Tom Hurndall stepped into a war zone of injustice hoping to make a difference in righting the wrongs. He was a man of principles and a warrior for truth and justice. He was no fool nor was he insane. The fool and the coward ones are people like you who don’t even understand what it means to live by and for noble principles and willing to put one’s life in danger for these principles.

Your cowardly stupid words have only the effect of adding insult to injury! You’re irrelevant and your words stink and seem to come from your stinky rectum rather than from your brainless head!

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By Brooks, March 30, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

thebeerdoctor - So are you saying you are signing up to be a human shield for the next conflict? Obviously he/you have not thought through what being at the front of a conflict would entail. I am sure you are thinking how the front line is like a week vacation in the french riviera. If you like it or not, bad things happen to good people. At the front of a battle you have snipers on both sides. Both sides attacking. Civilians in the middle is horrible. But… do they belong there? No. They are choosing to stay. Playing in the street is foolish. Somebody with a weapon trained, and nervous is going to make mistakes. So some one going into a place like this is foolish, or had a death wish. Soldiers also know that when they sign up, combat is always a possibility. So they placed themselves in that position. It doesn’t make them foolish or suicidal.

Chet Roman - You seem to have selective memory. Yes Sadam let them in. Then threw them out. Then in, then out. Then out. He did everything to hamper any investigation when they were in. He denied access to other areas. He was warned. After a certain point the games stop. Like a child that doesn’t listen, he was made to listen. It is a shame he didn’t have the brains to just let us in, everywhere. Instead of pretending he had weapons. He thought it was a big joke. The US would never enter again. He was wrong. The 17 UN resolutions he was in violation of, plus his behavior was the last straw.

Yes Gazans have the right to elect Hamas. It is a right, and a very poor choice. The only reason they live in a prison is they always have radicals roaming free to misbehave. It doesnt matter what they are called. If they launch rockets into a neighboring state, send suicide bombers, and plant roadside bombs. They are the problem. If they would stop smuggling weapons, and buy food and supplies with the money. Where would Gaza be? How much money has been pumped into Hamas? How many bags of rice can be bought for the $1000 for the one rifle? How many lives would have been saved if they bought food instead of weapons? If they bought food instead of weapons, how long before Israel would have opened the borders to a peaceful nation? A year? 6 months? If you let even a small percentage of your population to act as terrorists, you have allowed the terrorists to be war to your door. When will the Palestinians wake up and give the boot to the extremists? Palestinians are to blame.

Trying to blame Israel for war crimes ... is funny. There may be individuals guilty of individual crimes. Not the nation , there is no way to fight a war in a city with civilian causalities. When your government “Hamas” starts a war, civilians should flee. I am sorry I do not feel bad for a country of suicide wanna bees. Where is the strength of the families to stop the violence? Gazans should have blew up Hamas as soon as they started trouble. Why would the families allow Hamas to hide amongst them? So when the missile, artillery round comes in, the whole family is blown up. At some point you need to stop making excuses for Palestinians. Hamas has all the blood on there hands, except for a few Israelis soldiers that committed war crimes. Hamas owns the blame.

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By Kesey Seven, March 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Purple Girl,

I like what you say and agree. But I would add there is something we can do about the MSM: Break it up.

It isn’t etched in stone that General Electric, Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch have the right to own multiple media corporations. 

Congress can break up the media giants. It can pass laws legislating one national media outlet per corporation. You own FOX, that’s all you own, nothing else. You own CNN, that’s all you get. Ditto for The Wall Street Journal. One national media outlet per corporation.

It needs to be done. How, not quite sure.  Perhaps something like a global turn off your television and cancel your newspaper day? Call it: Break Up MSM Day. 

There are good, even great journalists out there. They just work in a really f’d up industry. Breaking it up would give them a better chance to do their jobs right.

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By Folktruther, March 30, 2009 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Reports from radical and liberal journalists make clear that the Israeli military now routinely shoots rescuers aiding the Palestinians as well as journalists who report it.  While Zionists like Sehpharad continue to maintain the Israeli mantra that the Israeli mantra that the Israeli Defesnse forces are “the most moral military in the world.”  And this AFTER the Gazan atrocity.

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By Chet Roman, March 30, 2009 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re Brooks

First of all, Sadam did let inspectors into Iraq. It was Bush who warned them to get out because he was about to start the invasion.

Second, the Gazans had a right to vote for Hamas and a duty. Gaza is an open air concentration camp and the only group that will stand up for the Palestinians is Hamas. Fatah is corrupt and compromised. Your solution is for them to lie down like lambs and be slowly strangled to death. Israel claims Hamas will not recognize Israeli’s right to exist so it must be crushed. Fatah in the West Bank recognized Israel a long time ago but the theft of land and murder of West Bank Palestinians continues.

Finally, you say Hamas is responsible for Israel’s response. So it is Hamas that is responsible for Israel’s war crimes. The premeditated murder of women and children on a scale that leaves not doubt that it was intentional. This is nothing more than ethnic cleansing.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 30, 2009 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Unregistered commenter Brooks says: “He either was a fool or committed suicide”. Which reveals the total lack of empathy that drives such ignoramus thinking. Under that twisted logic, no one should be concerned about the volunteer troops being torn to bits, because as our Brooks might say, they have to make choices. Anyone who calmly accepts war’s insanity as just the way it is, reveals their cowardice, not someone trying to stop it.

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By christian96, March 30, 2009 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

Purple Girl—-Excellent comments.  I thought immediately on 9/11 that it was more than by chance
that the terrorist struck the heart of their and
others problems; the military(pentagon)and twin
towers(industrial) complex.  There is probably more
than oil men they were going for in the White House
but until someone comes forth we will never know. 
If our government doesn’t start treating our own
people(all people not just wall street) with respect,
along with other nations with respect we will never
regain the trust and confidence from nations around
the world.  Our biggest problem is greed and corruption from Wall Street backed by power from the
military.  I have read more than one person leaving
the CIA because they thought it was nothing more than
a puppet show for the American Business interprise.
The American Business interprise doesn’t need to be
eliminated but it could sure use a good TUNE UP!

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By Purple Girl, March 30, 2009 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

The MSM has blood on it’s hands for not listening and certianly not reporting on those of US who were against these wars to begin with.
Iraq was a war of choice with no real reason to start except for the desires and aspirations of two Oil men in the WH. Who couldn’t connect those dots?
Who missed the abandonment of Afghanistan as soon as the real target was invaded?
Who then couldn’t see that afghanistan was merely the foot in the Door. In fact who was so inept as to forget the lessons the English and the Russians had taught US about Afghanistan- Who didn’t know Afghanistan was a tar pit for Superpowers?
What the real crime of the MSM was had been the fact they refused to point out the obvious after 9/11. That was not an attack on US citizens- it was an attack on the Military Industrial Complex- Foreign policy, military and financing- DUH! If the ‘ilsmaic Extreemist’ wanted to Terrorize the average citizen they would have gone to place which we frequent- amusement parks, malls…At least taken down our Symbol of Freedom - the Lady Liberty. Nope- the WTC, the Pentagon and the unsuccessful attempt at the WH (which housed Two Oil men)
And yet the MSM still refuses to connect the dots leading from the Nixon admin- through Reagan- through HW, right into King George the W’s reign. Come Kids, the rest of US have figured out the common denominators- Cheney Rumsfeld and Wolfie and of course Oil. What is most stunning and evidential is the fact none of you ever bothered to investigate why the majority of attackers were Saudi Native sons- the Oil boys kissin’ cousins. I don’t need proof of interior Demolition explosives to see a clear connection between the events of 9/11 and the unbridled power it granted to those of Cheneycorp.One need only review the historical record and listen to Cheney’s Confession of Abuse of Power (Treason) “So”.
The MSM wasn’t just guilty of ignoring the facts (evidence) it Lied about it and Buried it…Propaganda.
There is No Free press in this country- the MSM has become complicit if not directly, then through their own sheer laziness. Waiting to be spoon fed a Talking point or misrepresentation of the truth.
This is why your papers are dying and cable channels are battling it out with the internet for viewers. You suck and we no longer trust anything that comes out of your mouths- as the saying goes ‘if your mouths are moving- your lying’. We don’t need you ‘Op Eds’, If we want a wider scope on the topic We ‘Google’ it, and sort through the info ourselves- We don’t like to be spoon fed, we’d rather be engaged and enlightened in this Democracy.
I have no idea what the Schools of Journalism have been teaching for the last 20+ yrs- but it sure is not investigative nor Journalistic integrity.

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By christian96, March 29, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

A great piece of writing.  Our generation in America
cannot begin to imagine what people’s lives in War
are like even though we read about it daily.  I lost
one of my best friends and fraternity brother, Donald
“Ducky” Slate in the Vietnam war, a war I still don’t
understand to this day.  The only rational reason for
the war is the same for all wars:  SOMEONE IS MAKING
MONEY OFF OF THE WAR!  THE MONEY WORSHIPPERS!  According to Isaiah 2:4 there is coming a day when the money worshippers will be replaced by the God
worshippers who will turn weapons into plows and
feed the hungry of the world.  That day can’t arrive
soon enough for me.  When I was in Jerusalem in Sept.
1999, I attended Yom Kippur with Messianic Jews,
Jews that believe in Jesus(Yeshua as he is known
in Hebrew).  I heard many stories from the messianic
Jews of being attacked by the non-believing Jews. The
non-believers would stand outside and throw rocks at
the house of the Messianic Jews.  I supported a 10
year old deaf mentally retarded 10 year old Palestinian girl in Rafah in the Gaza strip through
World Vision, a Christian organizations that helps
poor children around the world.  I called World Vision in Jerusalem and ask if I could meet the girl.
On Sept. 9, 1999, two young Christian Palestinian
girls working for World Vision drove me about 2 hours
to Rafah to the school the girl attended.  We had to
go through two Israeli checkpoints and then a Palestinian fellow met us and drove us through the
Palestinian checkpoints.  I met the girl, her father,
teachers, classmates, and school administrators.  I
was treated very well by the Palestinian people. I was also somewhat set back by the high number of
Palestinian Christians I met.  The Palestinian fellow
who drove us to the school kept complaining about the
Jewish occupation of their land.  Years later, when
the Jews were removed from the land and given back to
the Palestinains then the Palestinians started firing
rockets into Israel and once again escalated the war.
The Palestinian and Jewish communities are going to have to take control of the “war mongers” among them
to put an end to this sickening mess in the middle
east.  It would also help if the “money making war
mongers among the Arab and Western nations would cease selling weapons to both sides.

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 29, 2009 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

Tom Hurndall…passed away in January 2004, though unknown to me personally, you’re now my latest hero!

My deepest-felt condolences to your family!

I will read your words in the forthcoming book and will do my best to make sure that you will be immortalized as a noble hero in these times of much cowardliness!

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 29, 2009 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

First, I take my hat off before the memory of this courageous young man in respect for his courage and ultimate sacrifice in the cause of justice and truth.

He’s now on the top list of my few heroes. A man whose pair of shoes are more dignified than the thousands of cowardly American and Israelis so-called leaders and soldiers who carry the stain of his noble blood on their hands!

And talking about blood on the hands of the American and Israeli terrorist cowards in command, we have to start thinking now not only about the rivers of blood of Iraqis and Palestinians they have on their filthy and bloody hands, but we have to start thinking about the increasing innocent blood of their own fellow Americans who were scarified at the altar of the American and Israeli political-military-industrial complex!

The noble souls of those martyrs are crying for justice; but are there any true men and women who are capable of rising to the occasion?!

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By Kesey Seven, March 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Dear Mr. Fish:

You ask: “Oh, how many of my professional colleagues wrote like this on the eve of war? Not many.” 

Not many because journalism rules don’t allow it.  Professional journalists can’t say “I.” In fact, they can’t journal in the traditional sense: writing and publishing their own observations and thoughts. 

Tom Hundall was expressing truths he held to self-evident. Perhaps “professional journalists” need a declaration of independence from their corporate keepers?

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By tres, March 29, 2009 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You are just full of it. Today, the media is still driven by lies, and there are plenty of people telling truth as well. Are you listening?! Can you point out which is which?

Don’t write another piece wishing you had listened 10 years from now.

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By Ed Harges, March 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

Israel hated him because it doesn’t have the guts to face what it really hates: the sight of itself in the mirror.

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By RichardKanePA, March 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Skulz Fontaine’s comment bothered me because Skulz said “Genocide and savage about it”, which is not accurate.

But I am afraid what I feel needs to be said will be more upsetting.

Bin Laden hates pacifists and those who try to avoid taking sides.  Over a dozen Doctors Without Borders staff members were killed, with the first four al Qaeda didn’t even ask for a ransom.

Tom Fox a Quaker went to Iraq, to declare peace, was beheaded as well.  Bin Laden wants one’s life to be a glorious war with as many people as possible dying a martyr’s death.  I don’t think it was a coincidence that terror attacks occurred in Turkey during Britain’s biggest peace demonstration, and Majority Leader Bill Frist who was in charge of the Congressional Investigation on the additional Abu Ghraib photos that weren’t made public was going to call for bipartisan detention reform, but the postings on Nick Berg being beheaded cut Frist off the TV screen.

Choking a kid who likes to play the choking game is not torture. 

Four diehards in Guantanamo said they would plead guilty only if they got the death sentence. Really torturing them, would be putting them in a country club type prison and claiming they are enjoying themselves.  And writing false letters to relatives asking for forgiveness.  Then playing back a tape of their wife and child saying I forgive you dad, at wake up call so they, if they woke up in the middle of the night, they would try to stay up so not to wake up to the tape.

Reward for good behavior could be not listening to the message etc,

I feel bad about saying this because there is already too much torture and hardheartedness in the world.  But we need to know treating prisoners in a traditionally cruel way is a reward from al Qaeda’s point of view.

By the way Russian spy Robert Hanson during the Cold War, as a cover was a member of Opus Day which was a fanatical anti-communist group, and he was able to send the USSR the names of top US spies.  Think if he had been with al Qaeda, instead of a Russian Spy.  An al Qaeda infiltrator could have a knack for killing Muslims, even finding low-level al Qaeda members, all the time working his way up for a perfect attack.

See “Terror attack is imminent”

And as sort of an apology for my comments, see, “Piracy being dealt with without US getting bogged down in a new war, good news that we should learn from,”

Many people are decent, Israel has a soul and both Israelis and Palestinians legitimate longings.  So good luck on human shields helping Palestinians eat.  Most Jews who long for a safe homeland don’t appreciate Rush Limbaugh’s attempts to unite support of Israel with hate toward Muslims and Hispanics. 

Perhaps I can prick the conscience of supporters of a secure Israeli homeland to stop purposely trying to confuse in the mind of the public al Qaeda with ordinary Muslims whose longings are just has hard felt as their own.


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By Ron Ranft, March 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a Vietnam Combat Veteran I have cringed at what the last administration bandied about as being heroic. This man exemplifies what heroism truly is. I am sure that Christ would approve. Even the Jews God would weep at this senseless death at the hands of those who claim to be so righteous. I used to believe that the Isrealis were just fighting for their right to exist but I am now certain that the Jews have become that which they hate most, twins of their Nazi exterminators. It is clear that every so called justification for attacking the countries surrounding them and their own Arab population covers nothing more than an on going attempt to rid Isreal of everyone but Jews. While I do not approve of the extremists like Hamas I can understand why they do what they do. Watching a succession of Extremist Jewish Prime Ministers esculate the rhetoric and the killing of Paletinians has caused me to cheer everytime I hear of some Isreali get killed. Yes, it is wrong but I cannot but help feel that the Jewish people deserve it for continually electing terrorists as their leaders.

What Americans need to do is to stop our unconditional support of a country with weapons and money that allows them to attempt to exterminate the people whose lands they stole!

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By Brooks, March 29, 2009 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is always sad for some one so young to lose their life. For the mother, father and family left behind. It does not matter if the war was right in your opinion or not. There was war going on. He chose to be there.

Until people make tougher choices in places like Gaza and Iraq. Conflict, war and snipers will always be there. Sadam could have let the weapons inspectors in. Iraqis could have tossed his dictator butt out. Palestinians didn’t have to elect Hamas. When Hamas started provoking Israel, Gazans could have told Hamas to leave. They did not. They as a population are also responsible for Israels response. As soon as they allowed Hamas to dig tunnels, smuggle guns, weapons, bombs, and rockets. They knew what what going to happen.

Tom Hurndall also knew what happens when you step into a war zone. He either was a fool or committed suicide. I would not have gone there by choice, nor would most sane people.

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By Rayven, March 29, 2009 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

May this “hero” rest in peace, and know that thousands more are and have taken up the “cause for truth” as well! The vileness of his killings is simply terrible, and knowing what he was killed for and those that killed him….makes it only worse!

“Tom…you will always be remembered as a “real hero”.

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skulz fontaine's avatar

By skulz fontaine, March 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, them Israelis are some funny folk. Genocidal and savage about it.

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By jackpine savage, March 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment


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