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Charley Reese: The Bloody Cost

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    The Bloody Cost Charley Reese Here s another bit of evidence that when the United States condones the bloody ways of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3, 2004
      The Bloody Cost

      Charley Reese

      Here's another bit of evidence that when the United States condones
      the bloody ways of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Americans pay
      for it with their blood.

      I never saw this reported in the mainstream media, but libertarian
      Justin Raimondo quotes a group that claims credit for the murder and
      mutilation of four American mercenaries in Fallujah.

      "This is a gift from the people of Fallujah to the people of
      Palestine and the family of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin who was assassinated
      by the criminal Zionists," said the statement from the Brigades of
      Martyr Ahmed Yassin. "We advise the U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq
      and we advise the families of the American soldiers and the
      contractors not to come to Iraq."

      The United States cannot stop Sharon from assassinating people. When
      President Bush demanded that Sharon withdraw his military forces from
      the West Bank, Sharon showed Bush the utmost contempt by ignoring
      him. However, the United States could join the rest of the world in
      condemning assassinations. But Bush does not have the guts to do it.
      He swallowed Sharon's calculated insult and, publicly humiliated,
      smiled like a little boy.

      A real man would have called Sharon and said: "Look, Mister, you've
      got 24 hours to pull those troops out of the occupied areas. If you
      don't, I'm cutting off all U.S. aid to Israel immediately, and I will
      instruct the ambassador to the United Nations to inform other members
      of the Security Council that the United States will no longer veto
      any resolutions directed against Israel. Furthermore, if you think
      your Israeli lobby can change my mind, call the lobbyists up and ask
      them how they will feel if the president of the United States goes on
      national television and raises the subject of dual loyalty. You
      seemed to be confused as to who the dog is and who the tail is. Well,
      I'm here to tell you that I'm the dog and you're the tail, and you're
      damned close to getting chopped off."

      Alas, there is no man in the White House.

      Americans ought to hang their heads in shame that every candidate for
      national office feels obliged to pay public obeisance to and pledge
      undying support for a foreign country about the size of New Jersey.
      It's time Americans started asking these bozos: "Just what office are
      you running for: president of the United States or deputy prime
      minister of Israel? And whose interests do you put first — those of
      the United States or those of Israel?"

      It ought to be a source of shame that Congress hands Israel a gift of
      $3 billion every year when there is neither a state nor a
      municipality in this country that isn't hurting for revenue. Israel
      has a high standard of living. It has more F-16s than any country in
      the world except the United States. It has modern tanks and nuclear
      weapons. In short, it does not need the coerced charity of the
      American taxpayers.

      Everything I've said about Israel would apply to any other foreign
      country. The point is, the United States should not allow any foreign
      country to exert undue influence on its internal affairs and on its
      policies. If the Japanese, the French or the Germans tried to
      influence American elections the way the Israeli lobby does,
      Americans would be outraged. Well, the principle applies to everyone.

      Those Americans who say to politicians "My vote depends on your
      support for Israel" ought to stop and examine their conscience. Which
      country are they a citizen of? Which country commands their loyalty?

      As for President Bush, he should realize that every time he condones
      Sharon's crimes, some young Americans will pay for it with their
      lives. It is because of Bush's blind support for Sharon, a right-wing
      extremist with blood on his hands, that hatred for America grows in
      the Arab world. We don't need that. We should cut the apron strings
      and let Israel fend for itself.

      Sharon's willing accomplices

      By Haim Bresheeth

      Al-Ahram Weekly
      29 April 5 May 2004


      Bush and Blair will share in the historic guilt Israel will bear for
      the crimes of Sharon, writes Haim Bresheeth*

      Like a ventriloquist dummy speaking the words of its master, we
      heard the world's most powerful man reciting a script written in
      Jerusalem by one responsible for bathing the Middle East in blood
      for decades. This most bizarre spectacle -- Bush unable to answer a
      simple question, repeating key phrases like a broken automaton --
      was then followed by the even more bizarre suggestion by Blair that
      this was not a departure from what was policy in Washington and
      London for decades.

      For those who were shocked by Bush's retreat from his own nonsense
      programme -- the celebrated roadmap -- let us recall the conditions
      that led to this creature's birth. It was Tony Blair who worked out
      that moving towards a political solution on Palestine may elicit
      Arab favour at a time most needed before the US and the UK went to
      war on Iraq. The plan worked. Now the roadmap is tossed like a
      rotten apple. Bush, reading from his new script, dubbed Sharon's
      plan "historic and courageous", presenting it as a fresh start in
      Middle East history.

      In Sharon's book, Bush is just another pawn. Important as he is at
      the moment, he serves the master plan of ridding Palestine of its
      people -- a result to which Sharon has committed his life's work.
      American presidents come and go while Sharon stands firm for
      decades, defeating all obstacles in his tireless, barbaric mission.
      With the help he now gets from Bush and Blair, he may yet complete
      his mission.

      Sharon was the one to pioneer collective punishment and mass murder
      in the early 1950s as the creator and commander of Israel's first
      notorious death squad, Unit 101. His early military career was spent
      in killing: not enemy soldiers but civilians in villages such as
      Kibyia. In Gaza during the early 1970s, he instigated a reign of
      terror, supposedly designed to end Palestinian resistance to the
      occupation. It was really another phase in his lifelong struggle to
      make as many Palestinians as possible flee their own homeland. He
      destroyed large parts of Beirut, and killed tens of thousands in his
      Lebanon war of 1982, in his obsessive hunt of Arafat and the PLO. As
      is well known, his campaigns have not been fully successful. Gaza
      has become the centre of Palestinian resistance and Arafat returned
      to Palestine after Oslo. But one of his other campaigns is about to
      mature: it is, of course, the grand project of settlements in the
      occupied territories.

      If there is one man who can say he is responsible for the network of
      settlements, numbering hundreds and housing more than half a million
      Israelis, it is Ariel Sharon. As minister in whatever ministry he
      served, he only had one agenda and single-minded priority: to
      enlarge the settlements and strengthen them, surround all
      Palestinian towns and villages with roads which dissect their land
      yet are closed to them; with roadblocks cutting off village from
      village, farmers from their lands, workers from their jobs, water
      from habitations, children from schools and patients from hospitals.
      Four million Palestinians are living in total isolation in
      conditions that resemble more and more those experienced by Jews in
      ghettoes under Nazi control.

      The constant battering of Arafat in Ramallah, the death sentence
      declared, now delivered, against all Palestinian leadership, the
      Apartheid wall, and now the Bush declaration where the settlements
      emerge fresh and clean-smelling, have all been phases in the Sharon
      project of closing all options for Palestinian life and existence.
      The aim here is not to get rid of the resistance to occupation, but
      to inflame the situation constantly, until a "final solution" to the
      Palestinian "problem" can be initiated. The continued resistance
      only fuels the Sharon fire: he will hit at the Palestinians come
      what may, but the resistance helps him to get Bush and Blair on
      board and to get credit for a plan which is against every tenet of
      international law.

      In the sickening climate of fear that has now engulfed the US and
      the rest of the West, the damage that such moves will inflict on the
      rule of international law is not even being considered. Neither are
      comments by Arab or Palestinian voices. Both failures are signs of
      the political disease that took hold in the West, infecting its
      societies. The reign of terror and unreason hailed by Bin Laden has
      only been accepted and enhanced by Bush and Blair, not to mention

      The Bush move is likely to embolden Sharon further into
      ever-increasing attacks on Palestinian life, gradually but surely
      leading towards the goal to which he dedicated his life. The next
      stage for Sharon is the physical removal of most, if not all,
      Palestinians from their homeland. Currently, the unlawful military
      control of the territories occupied in 1967, made Kosher by Rabbi
      Bush, gives Israel over 90 per cent of Palestine. In that area lives
      just over five million Israeli Jews while four million Palestinians
      are consigned to a ghetto encompassing less than 10 per cent of
      their own country. But that achievement is not enough for Sharon.
      The next stage is "transfer" -- the ethnic cleansing of

      Bush and Blair's support for this man of blood brings such a moment
      closer. While Sharon is a master in breaking international law, he
      would have never got away with it without the backing and support of
      the most powerful nation on earth, with the UK holding its train
      slavishly. The responsibility for the blood, misery and global
      mayhem that Sharon is yet to cause will be shared by those who have
      enabled his criminal actions, and by those who stood by and let it

      * The writer is an Israeli academic working at the University of
      East London. He is the co- editor of The Gulf War and the New World
      Order , published by Zed Books.

      Speaking of Sharon:

      Sharon's first documented sortie in this role was in August of 1953
      on the refugee camp of El-Bureig, south of Gaza. An Israeli history
      of the 101 unit records 50 refugees as having been killed; other
      sources allege 15 or 20. Major-General Vagn Bennike, the UN
      commander, reported that "bombs were thrown" by Sharon's men "through
      the windows of huts in which the refugees were sleeping and, as they
      fled, they were attacked by small arms and automatic weapons".
      In October of 1953 came the attack by Sharon's unit 101 on the
      Jordanian village of Qibya, whose "stain" Israel's foreign minister
      at the time, Moshe Sharett, confided to his diary "would stick to us
      and not be washed away for many years". He was wrong. Though even
      strongly pro-Israel commentators in the West compared it to Lidice,
      Qibya and Sharon's role are scarcely evoked in the West today, least
      of all by journalists such as Deborah Sontag of the New York Times
      who recently wrote a whitewash of Sharon, describing him as "feisty",
      or the Washington Post's man in Jerusalem who fondly invoked him
      after his fateful excursion to the Holy Places in Jerusalem as "the
      portly old warrior".

      Israeli historian Avi Shlaim describes the massacre thus: "Sharon's
      order was to penetrate Qibya, blow up houses and inflict heavy
      casualties on its inhabitants. His success in carrying out the order
      surpassed all expectations. The full and macabre story of what
      happened at Qibya was revealed only during the morning after the
      attack. The village had been reduced to rubble: forty-five houses had
      been blown up, and sixty-nine civilians, two thirds of them women and
      children, had been killed. Sharon and his men claimed that they
      believed that all the inhabitants had run away and that they had no
      idea that anyone was hiding inside the houses."

      The UN observer on the scene reached a different conclusion: "One
      story was repeated time after time: the bullet splintered door, the
      body sprawled across the threshold, indicating that the inhabitants
      had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside until their homes were
      blown up over them." The slaughter in Qibya was described
      contemporaneously in a letter to the president of the United Nations
      Security Council dated 16 October 1953 (S/3113) from the Envoy
      Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Jordan to the United
      States. On 14 October 1953 at 9:30 at night, he wrote, Israeli troops
      launched a battalion-scale attack on the village of Qibya in the
      Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (at the time the West Bank was annexed to
      According to the diplomat's account, Israeli forces had entered the
      village and systematically murdered all occupants of houses, using
      automatic weapons, grenades and incendiaries. On 14 October, the
      bodies of 42 Arab civilians had been recovered; several more bodies
      were still under the wreckage. Forty houses, the village school and a
      reservoir had been destroyed. Quantities of unused explosives,
      bearing Israel army markings in Hebrew, had been found in the
      village. At about 3 a.m., to cover their withdrawal, Israeli support
      troops had begun shelling the neighboring villages of Budrus and
      Shuqba from positions in Israel.

      And what of Sharon's conduct when he was head of the Southern Command
      of Israel's Defense Forces in the early 1970s? The Gaza "clearances"
      were vividly described by Phil Reeves in a piece in The London
      Independent on January 21 of this year.

      "Thirty years have elapsed since Ariel Sharon, favorite to win
      Israel's forthcoming election, was the head of the Israel Defense
      Forces' southern command, charged with the task of 'pacifying' the
      recalcitrant Gaza Strip after the 1967 war. But the old men still
      remember it well, especially the old men on Wreckage Street. Until
      late 1970, Wreckage, or Had'd, Street wasn't a street, just one of
      scores of narrow, nameless alleys weaving through Gaza City's Beach
      Camp, a shantytown cluttered with low, two-roomed houses, built with
      UN aid for refugees from the 1948 war who then, as now, were waiting
      for the international community to settle their future. The street
      acquired its name after an unusually prolonged visit from Mr Sharon's
      soldiers. Their orders were to bulldoze hundreds of homes to carve a
      wide, straight street. This would allow Israeli troops and their
      heavy armored vehicles to move easily through the camp, to exert
      control and hunt down men from the Palestinian Liberation Army.

      "'They came at night and began marking the houses they wanted to
      demolish with red paint,' said Ibrahim Ghanim, 70, a retired
      labourer. 'In the morning they came back, and ordered everyone to
      leave. I remember all the soldiers shouting at people, Yalla, yalla,
      yalla, yalla! They threw everyone's belongings into the street. Then
      Sharon brought in bulldozers and started flattening the street. He
      did the whole lot, almost in one day. And the soldiers would beat
      people. Can you imagine soldiers with guns, beating little kids? By
      the time the Israeli army's work was done, hundreds of homes were
      destroyed, not only on Wreckage Street but throughout the camp, as
      Sharon ploughed out a grid of wide security roads. Many of the
      refugees took shelter in schools, or squeezed into the already badly
      over-crowded homes of relatives. Other families, usually those with a
      Palestinian political activist, were loaded into trucks and taken to
      exile in a town in the heart of the Sinai Desert, then controlled by

      As Reeves reported, the devastation of Beach Camp was far from the
      exception. "In August 1971 alone, troops under Mr Sharon's command
      destroyed some 2,000 homes in the Gaza Strip, uprooting 16,000 people
      for the second time in their lives. Hundreds of young Palestinian men
      were arrested and deported to Jordan and Lebanon. Six hundred
      relatives of suspected guerrillas were exiled to Sinai. In the second
      half of 1971, 104 guerrillas were assassinated. 'The policy at that
      time was not to arrest suspects, but to assassinate them', said Raji
      Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza

      Israeli complacency leading to their initial defeat by the Egyptians
      in the 1973 war was in part nurtured by the supposed impregnability
      of the "Bar Lev line" constructed by Sharon on the east bank of the
      Suez Canal. The Egyptians pierced the line without undue difficulty.
      In 1981 Sharon, then minister of defense, paid a visit to Israel's
      good friend, President Mobutu of Zaire. Lunching on Mobutu's yacht
      the Israeli party was asked by their host to use their good offices
      to get the US Congress to be more forthcoming with aid. This, the
      Israelis managed to accomplish. As a quid pro quo Mobutu
      reestablished diplomatic relations with Israel. This was not Sharon's
      only contact with Africa. Among friends he relays fond memories of
      trips to Angola to observe and advise the South African forces then
      fighting in support of the murderous CIA stooge Jonas Savimbi.

      As defense minister in Menachem Begin's second government, Sharon was
      the commander who led the full dress 1982 assault on Lebanon, with
      the express design of destroying the PLO, driving as many
      Palestinians as possible to Jordan and making Lebanon a client state
      of Israel. It was a war plan that cost untold suffering, around
      20,000 Palestinian and Lebanese lives, and also the deaths of over
      one thousand Israeli soldiers. The Israelis bombed civilian
      populations at will. Sharon also oversaw the infamous massacres at
      Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps. The Lebanese government counted 762
      bodies recovered and a further 1,200 buried privately by relatives.
      However, the Middle East may have been spared worse, thanks to
      Menachem Begin. Just as the '82 war was getting under way; Sharon
      approached Begin, then Prime Minister, and suggested that Begin cede
      control over Israel's nuclear trigger to him. Begin had just enough
      sense to refuse.

      The slaughter in the two contiguous camps at Sabra and Shatila took
      place from 6:00 at night on September 16, 1982 until 8:00 in the
      morning on September 18, 1982, in an area under the control of the
      Israel Defense Forces. The perpetrators were members of the Phalange
      militia, the Lebanese force that was armed by and closely allied with
      Israel since the onset of Lebanon's civil war in 1975. The victims
      during the 62-hour rampage included infants, children, women
      (including pregnant women), and the elderly, some of whom were
      mutilated or disemboweled before or after they were killed.

      An official Israeli commission of inquiry - chaired by Yitzhak Kahan,
      president of Israel's Supreme Court - investigated the massacre, and
      in February 1983 publicly released its findings (without Appendix B,
      which remains secret until now).

      Amid desperate attempts to cover up the evidence of direct knowledge
      of what was going on by Israeli military personnel, the Kahan
      Commission found itself compelled to find that Ariel Sharon, among
      other Israelis, had responsibility for the massacre. The commission's
      report stated: "It is our view that responsibility is to be imputed
      to the Minister of Defense for having disregarded ["entirely
      cognizant of" would have been a better choice of words] the danger of
      acts of vengeance and bloodshed by the Phalangists against the
      population of the refugee camps, and having failed [i.e." eagerly
      taken this into consideration"] to take this danger into account when
      he decided to have the Phalangists enter the camps. In addition,
      responsibility is to be imputed to the Minister of Defense for not
      ordering appropriate measures for preventing or reducing the danger
      of massacre as a condition for the Phalangists' entry into the camps.
      These blunders constitute the non-fulfillment of a duty with which
      the Defense Minister was charged". (For those who want to refresh
      their memories of Operation Peace for Galilee, of the massacres and
      the Kahan coverup we recommend Noam Chomsky's The Fateful Triangle.)

      Sharon refused to resign. Finally, on February 14, 1983, he was
      relieved of his duties as defense minister, though he remained in the
      cabinet as minister without portfolio.

      Sharon's career was in eclipse, but he continued to burnish his
      credentials as a Likud ultra. Sharon has always been against any sort
      of peace deal, unless on terms entirely impossible for Palestinians
      to accept. As Nehemia Strasler outlined in Ha'aretz on January 18 of
      this year, in 1979, as a member of Begin's cabinet, he voted against
      a peace treaty with Egypt. In 1985 he voted against the withdrawal of
      Israeli troops to the so-called security zone in Southern Lebanon. In
      1991 he opposed Israel's participation in the Madrid peace
      conference. In 1993 he voted No in the Knesset on the Oslo agreement.
      The following year he abstained in the Knesset on a vote over a peace
      treaty with Jordan. He voted against the Hebron agreement in 1997 and
      objected to the way in which the withdrawal from southern Lebanon was

      As Begin's minister of agriculture in the late 1970s he established
      many of the West Bank settlements that are now a major obstruction to
      any peace deal. His present position: Not another square inch of land
      for Palestinians on the West Bank. He will agree to a Palestinian
      state on the existing areas presently under either total or partial
      Palestinian control, amounting to merely 42 per cent of the West
      Bank. Israel will retain control of the highways across the West Bank
      and the water sources. All settlements will stay in place with access
      by the IDF to them. Jerusalem will remain under Israeli sovereignty
      and he plans to continue building around the city. The Golan Heights
      would remain under Israel's control.

      It can be strongly argued that Sharon represents the long-term policy
      of all Israeli governments, without any obscuring fluff or verbal
      embroidery. For example: Ben-Gurion approved the terror missions of
      Unit 101. Every Israeli government has condoned settlements and
      building around Jerusalem. It was Labor's Ehud Barak who Okayed the
      military escort for Sharon on his provocative sortie that sparked the
      second Intifada and Barak who has overseen the lethal military
      repression of recent months. But that doesn't diminish Sharon's
      sinister shadow across the past half century. That shadow is better
      evoked by Palestinians and Lebanese grieving for the dead, the
      maimed, the displaced, or by a young Israeli woman, Ilil Komey, 16,
      who confronted Sharon recently when he visited her agricultural high
      school outside Beersheba. "I think you sent my father into Lebanon",
      Ilil said. "Ariel Sharon, I accuse you of having made me suffer for
      16 some odd years. I accuse you of having made my father suffer for
      over 16 years. I accuse you of a lot of things that made a lot of
      people suffer in this country. I don't think that you can now be
      elected as prime minister".

      Well, Sharon is the "elected" Prime Minister of Israel and true to
      his ghoulish blood soaked history, he continues to slaughter,
      destroy, and torment the Palestinian people. His policy of death,
      murder, and oppression has earned him the title of "A Man of Peace"
      according to George W. Bush. In fact, our "wise and noble" president
      George W. Bush, we all should be very thankful to Ariel, The Butcher
      of Beirut, Sharon…




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