The saddest of all the images that have appeared on TV recently showing the horror of war were not the scenes of dead children, but the happy faces of the little Israeli children writing pleasant greetings and birthday wishes on big bombs meant for Lebanon and signing their names to them.
All of Israel should be ashamed and alarmed at this. All Americans should be shocked and troubled in their hearts. All the peoples of the world should feel a sickness in the pit of their stomachs to see these images and realize what it says about the progress of the human race and where we’re heading.
If we are engaged in a global war on terror, as America and her allies claim, it does not make logical or moral sense for us to wage this war through the use of terrorism.
Regardless of how people and nations spin it, terrorism has no meaning if it doesn’t mean the killing of innocent people on purpose in large numbers.
Calling it collateral damage is just a way of justifying it, but it is still killing the innocent in order to beat the enemy, anyway you slice it.
Killing the innocent cannot be justified by claiming that it is the natural price that has to be paid when fighting an asymmetrical war where the enemy lives among the innocents and uses them as shields while they do their dirty work.
The dirtiest work of all can never escape the rules of mathematics. The most bloodthirsty and dangerous terrorists are the ones that kill the greatest amount of innocents.
It’s all in the body count, and there can be no excuses, whether it be called collateral damage or the natural price for an asymmetrical war, or by any other name. Killing the innocent is killing the innocent.
Whichever side kills the greatest number of innocents is the greatest terrorist. Uniforms and regular armies as opposed to civilian clothes and guerilla tactics doesn’t change a thing.
It’s all in the numbers. It’s in the arithmetic, the body count. The last count I heard regarding Israel’s latest invasion of Lebanon was about 1,000 Lebanese dead, mostly civilians, compared to less than 100 Israeli dead, mostly soldiers.
The number of civilian deaths have been lopsided from the beginning when Israel attacked Lebanon on July 12, claiming that she was defending herself because Hezbollah had crossed her borders and kidnapped a couple of soldiers, killing a few others in the process.
Israel attacked Palestine only a couple of weeks before, claiming the same thing, that she was defending herself because some militant members of Hamas had captured one of her soldiers.
For the past month Israel has been raining death and destruction on two fronts, the democratic states of Palestine and Lebanon, racking up a lopsided body count of innocent civilians in both places.
About one million Lebanese people have been displaced and the infrastructure of the country destroyed. Many more civilians are bound to die because of the hardships they will have to face because of the bombings.
Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and Palestine, along with the disproportionate civilian deaths and destruction she has wrought go beyond the meaning of self-defense and can only be regarded as state terrorism.
State terrorism, in the moral and logical sense, is far worse than plain old terrorism because it kills far more innocent civilians and causes far more infrastructural damage than plain terrorism ever could.
State terrorism causes more hate and brings about much more suffering, both immediately and over the years. It should be clear, both logically and morally, that terrorism – whether under the cover of government policy or hatched up in a dark cell or cave in the mountains – only begets more hate, more dehumanizing of ones enemies and more terrorism.
What else could have brought those smiles to the faces of the little Israeli children as they wrote their happy messages on the bombs and signed their names?
They must have been under the belief that the bombs had nothing to do with the killing of children like themselves. They must have been under the belief that the bombs were just for killing people who were not really human, but terrorist rats that needed killing.
Fighting terrorism with terrorism is a losing battle for all sides and can only lead eventually to the destruction of all life on earth.
It’s discouragingly ironic that this past week – even as the civilian death toll in Lebanon was running so high so quickly – marked the 61st anniversary of our dropping the atomic bomb on Japan, killing over 100,000 immediately and several more hundreds of thousands later from radiation poisoning.
The majority of Americans will always argue that that was necessary and just in order to end the war early and save lives. But it will go down in history as the greatest single act of state terrorism since the beginning of time, if we have a history coming to us.
America, claiming she was defending herself and fighting terrorism, committed the act of state terrorism when she attacked Iraq without just cause. Calling the civilian deaths - which may be as many as 100,000 – collateral damage doesn’t make it right or wipe away the sin.
America’s attack on Iraq was an overreaction to the terrorism of 9/11, just as Israel’s attacks on Palestine and Lebanon were overreactions to the capture of three soldiers by militant elements of Hamas and Hezbollah.
America and Israel have too much innocent blood on their hands to dehumanize all other terrorist organizations as being unworthy to talk to and unworthy to be left alive, regardless of how many innocent civilians we have to kill in order to get to them.
Both Hamas and Hezbollah began as resistance movements fighting against the occupation of their countries by Israel. Over the years they have become part of the fabric of their countries. Hamas was elected to head the government of Palestine. Members of Hezbollah serve in high elected places within the government of Lebanon.
Moral logic – if we are to have peace in the world – should tell us that we need to be talking to these people and listening to their complaints, instead of taking the position that they should be shot down like dogs in the street regardless of the innocents we have to kill in order to get to them.
The same goes for al-Qaida and all other terrorist groups and all those we consider our enemies. Al-Qaida didn’t attack us because they hate our freedoms. They attacked us because we shed Arabian blood on Arabian soil in the Desert Storm War instead of leaving it up to the Arabs to settle their differences.
We need to think and react according to moral logic and not blind emotion and the thirst for revenge. On what moral ground can we condemn Syria and Iran for helping supply weapons to Hezbollah while we provide weapons for Israel, including nuclear weapons?
America, if she were a true friend to peace in the world, would have stepped in at the beginning of Israel’s attacks on Palestine and Lebanon, just the way a person breaks up a fist fight between two people.
Any person who has ever broken up a fist fight can tell you that that was exactly what each party was hoping for, even though they were unwilling to stop fighting on their own.
Israel and Hezbollah would have stopped the fighting and killing if America had stepped in. All these deaths of innocent civilians and all the destruction – infrastructure, civil and political – could have been avoided.
But America, God help her, decided to take advantage of the situation and allow Israel to chew into Hezbollah as much as possible, regardless of the cost in innocent life.
And then, as if she were parading before a world audience of idiots, she has insisted for weeks that an immediate and unconditional ceasefire was no good because it would just mean a return to the status quo ante.
America, in her wisdom, was willing to let the killing continue until she could maneuver the situation to her best advantage in the hopes of killing off as many Hezbollah and Hamas as possible, regardless of the killing of innocent civilians or the destruction of Lebanon and Palestine.
The status quo ante, my foot. The status quo ante is that America and Israel and our allies are going to continue to use state terrorism to make over the world according to our own desires, regardless of how many innocent civilians have to be killed for the cause of democracy in the world and the glory of God.
Take a good look in the mirror, America, if you want to see the ugly, horrible face of terrorism close up and personal.