Sunday, January 25, 2009

Revealing an Evil State of Mind

One evening during the fighting a young man from Sderot came up to Jerusalem and gave a talk at a public forum. He told about the debilitating effects of living under fire for eight years. How suppliers of his grocery store preferred not to make deliveries so the locals needed to go to the large supermarket outside town because they were better stocked. How he did his best to fire no-one after an employee who could have been his father burst into tears when informed there wasn't enough income to keep him on the books. How families broke apart under the never-ending strain. How his twins aged five, who have never known a life free of sirens panicked when on a trip to the quiet north they heard a distant ambulance and didn't have their safe protected corner to escape to.

It made his audience embarrassed for having lived their lives disregarding all this.

Gideon Levy published another screed on Friday. You don't have to go read it; it's the usual jumble of inaccuracies, facts strung together in the opposite chronology from reality, lots of ideology and hatred... the usual. But he did have a revealing slip, one that his editors in the Hebrew paper version promoted from the text to the caption under the picture. Describing the Hudna period of semi-calm since last summer, he tells
The fact that the residents of the south experienced a period of calm, almost without Qassam rockets, was blurred....
Yes, there were Qassams and mortar shells - few, unnecessary, barren - which should have been forgiven with wisdom.
Perhaps the single most important thing about the operation we just waged is that we finally roused ourselves form our cruel lethargy and made it clear that there's no such thing as an acceptable level of violence against some of us that the rest can overlook and pretend not to see. We're responsible for all of us.


Anonymous said...

It is all very well making your audience feel embarrassed about disregarding your plight but much to my amazement I have found out over the last two years that talking in my Sderot-similar German neighbourhood about the possible damage to their lawn mowers from all those Qassam-scraps lying hidden in your grass creates an intense reaction of outrage at the perpetrators -
I kid you not -
it really works that way -
must be something in the human psyche, possibly not something very nice, but worth exploiting (at least if the story about marriages breaking up over differences in the handling of tooth paste tubes*) is true)
rgds, Silke
*) at least when the tubes still were of metal it seems that people who rolled them up at the end could not tolerate using the same bathroom with people who kept them straight.

Anonymous said...



I noticed that you recommend a book about Fallujah. So I went to Amazon (here in the USA). The book has 121-FIVE STAR reviews!

Yes, America's marines have experience, now, fighting "men who jump out of taxi cabs to fight," and then run away. The IDF did, indeed prove what's possible to do. And, to grab all sorts of video, too. While the soldiers, were, in fact, kept safe.

In some cases dogs were used to find the booby traps.

And, I thank you for the tip that the BOOK on Fallujah gives a very honest, and sad appraisal, of the marines learning curve.

Why did the sunnis do this? They didn't want to give up power! While you were mis-directed into believing that Saddam had WMD's. Didn't. And, also wasn't a part of 9/11.

Since this book has received 121 comments, and remains up there with FIVE STARS, means there are plenty of Americans, now, who aren't dependent on the BBC for anything out of gaza that isn't propaganda.

I'm sure Dubya, on the way out the White House door, took to kicking the furniture.

And, as I said, Turki got furious that at the last minute some mouse came along and stole his cheese.

Books to a reading public, makes all the difference.

I sure wish I knew your name. But I'm grateful that you told people to go to Amazon and look for NO TRUE GLORY ... frontline Fallujah.

Anonymous said...

to Carol Herman from Silke
sorry to pour water in your wine - I guess Bing West is read mainly by soldiers and so it is them who are responsible for the 5 stars. It is not that he is worth any of them it is that a lot of what he tells is only understandable if you know about weaponry. But the remainder is enough to give a laywoman like myself an idea of what the military has to cope with in urban warfare (did you know that the "boots" had infusion needles in their arms during battle so they could be rehydrated quickly? - brrr and girls performances were far from bad also) and sadly enough I got the impression from his latest book presentation (link below) that he and the boots on the ground for whom he is writing are not quite as adoring of General Petraeus as the rest of the world - further towards the end during Q&A he comments on the possibilities to get a grip on Afghanistan and they are terrible and as Afghanistan is next to Pakistan the former??? supermarket for nukes - I find that depressingly interesting
and if you want to get a first impression on how he reportson the military there is a piece in The Atlantic on Haditha by him which gives you an idea of how it must have been for the "boots" whom all the world accused of misbehaving long before anything had been investigated - sounds familiar, doesn't it?

PS: I looked up the NYT-piece on Rahm Emanuel you commented on and find the knuckle snapping incident described at the beginning highly disturbing - publicly watchable boy stuff of the not quite amusing kind at that level?

kai said...

There is a most disturbing sentence in G. Levy's statement, saying: "Qassams and mortar shells [..]should have been forgiven with wisdom."

If at all - the people living under those Qassams might forgive them. Not those in Tel Aviv, London, Berlin.

It's the same brutal scheme earlier depicted by Erich Maria Remarque ("Im Westen nichts Neues"): It's easy to sacrifice the blood of others.

On contrary, the great peacenik Martin Luther King of blessed memory had said:
It might be that we have to shed blood in order to reach our goals. But it must be ours.