Thursday, November 6, 2008

Elect a president; massacre Palestinians. No change here.

Detain This great timing for another U.S.-subsidized Israeli aggression against Palestinians. Brilliant and original, once again. The headline ratio between the U.S. elections and the Israeli invasion of Gaza must be at least 200–1.

Still, it happened, and The Associated Press reported it. Therefore it can not be ignored, even in the wake of a tritely so-called historic election. Here’s Tuesday’s breaking wire report out of Gaza City, “Israeli troops clash with Gaza militants,” in full:

Palestinian and Israeli officials say troops and Gaza militants are clashing along the Gaza border in first such battle since a June truce. The army says its forces uncovered a tunnel just inside the Gaza Strip meant to abduct Israeli soldiers and has dispatched a special unit to thwart the threat. The army stresses it is not violating the truce, but rather removing an immediate threat. Palestinian medical officials report one person has been injured in the gunbattle. [1]

Ah yes. Troops v. militants. Or is it good guys v. bad guys? In any case, it’s awfully nice of AP to let the aggressor state plead its case in the face of army-less yet amazingly threatening population of militants.

About 40 minutes later an updated version broke, this time with a byline and titled “Israeli troops clash with Palestinian militants.” A couple details were added, including the following excerpt, where the reader is expected to miss a silly but telling contradiction.

It was not immediately clear whether troops were inside Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamic militant group Hamas. Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, said in a text message to reporters that Hamas forces were engaged in a gunfight with Israeli troops in central Gaza. [2]

If all of Hamas is “militant,” then what’s with the ”military wing”? (Perhaps AP just assumes it is a redundancy on the part of Hamas, whose supporters, social workers, and seamstresses alike surely wear boots and pack heat.) Also, if it is not ”clear” whether the Israelis invaded, then when is it clear whether Palestinians actually invaded Israel, or aimed their rockets at Israeli civilians? (Sadly, it seems that in both cases the clarification only comes when the Israelis so attest.)

A couple hours later, an update, “Israel launches first airstrike on Gaza since June,” opened:

Israel launched an airstrike on Gaza early Wednesday after its troops clashed with Hamas militants who fired mortars into Israel, leaving six Palestinians dead. [3]

Firstly, that is just atrocious phrasing: it claims the source of the fighting to be “Hamas militants who fired mortars into Israel.” Secondly, what compelled the AP editor to ruin a perfectly fine sentence (”Israel launched an airstrike on Gaza early Wednesday, leaving six Palestinians dead”) by interjecting a phrase that not only chops the timeline but even makes it seem like the six Palestinians were killed by the Palestinian mortar barrage on Israel!

There has been only one other fatality since the truce, in July when Israeli troops shot and killed a teenage Palestinian militant along the border with Gaza. [4]

That suggests that those Israeli “troops” did break the June cease-fire in an incident that reportedly took place “along the border”; so why does AP insist on suggesting that things are not so clear in the current situation wherein Israeli “troops” entered Gaza to carry out their allegedly preventative aggression?

Are the IDF “troops” wrong for the initial attack? Are Hamas “militants” wrong for fighting back?

Taher Nunu, a Hamas government spokesman, said the group considered the Israeli airstrike a violation of the truce. . . . The Israeli army claimed the move against the tunnel did not violate the truce, but instead was a legitimate step to remove an immediate threat. [5]

OK. That side says this, and this side says that; but what do neutral sources say? An authoritative declaration or two may clear the air on legal and moral grounds. (Fat chance.)

Also, if the targets of the Israeli aggression are “Islamic militants,” then what are the aggressors? Judaic stormtroopers?

Of course not. Israeli and U.S. military and government personnel are ”troops,” “soldiers,” “army,” and “officials.” (Sounds noble, familiar, steady, authoritative, strong.) Their Palestinian, Lebanese, Iraqi, and Iranian antagonists are “militants,” “Islamists” (esp. Reuters), “moderates,” “radicals,” “violent,” anti- or pro-democracy, and anti- or pro-U.S. (Sounds confrontational, polarizing, foreign, unpredictable, unstable, irrational.)

The tactical use of language is just one attribute of the dumbed-down and practically inverted narratives that have helped the U.S. empire and its satellites to loot U.S. citizens over the decades to the tune of trillions in “foreign aid” for the racist apartheid state and other tyrannical regimes. The facade of “change” in the election of Barack Obama and more congressional Democrats is just the latest fraud in the face of those who hold out “hope” for an end to such immoral and unconstitutional policies.

Thanks, Department of Education [sic]. Thanks, think tanks [sic]. Thanks, corporate-state media. Thanks to all conditioning mechanisms of the state. No empire in history ever had it this good.

Now, back to your so-called election coverage


4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.

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