"...as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever." ~ Benjamin Franklin
Billions, Not Bombs
The government of the United States has given a wide assortment of weak justifications for the current war in Iraq. Besides the ever popular 'Saddam's got weapons of mass destruction and a will to use 'em,' we've also heard 'Saddam's a war criminal' and 'Saddam is a brutal despot guilty of ethnic cleansing' as well as 'We're only enforcing UN resolution 1441 ourselves because France won't do it.'
Well, at least some of this is true: Saddam is a war criminal, and he is a brutal despot (but what politician isn't, really?). However, I'd like to give the Kill Saddam crowd something to mull over while enjoying their freedom fries (with freedom mustard, of course) and freedom toast while they try and think of ways to send back the Statue of Liberty.
On March 16, 2003 , the Israeli government murdered 23-year-old American pro-Palestine activist Rachel Corrie. Corrie was killed while trying to prevent the razing of the house of a Palestinian doctor in Rafah. Destruction of private property by an occupying power is defined as a war crime in article 53, convention IV of the Geneva Convention. source
There can be no doubt that the act was intentional. Corrie was wearing a bright jacket and yelling at the driver through a megaphone. After running her over, the driver reversed over her despite the shouting of the other protestors who were present.
While atrocities committed by the IDF against innocent Palestinian victims are commonplace, this one is special. Why? Because only days later, the US government pledged $10 billion in foreign aid to Israel, including $1 billion for the development of the military.
This is important because not only does this underline the brutality and horror of the Israeli government, but of government in general. The $10 billion that the United States is sending to Israel comes from taxation, which in turn comes from taxpayers. Taxpayers like the family of Rachel Corrie. Taxpayers like her friends.
There is no better way to amplify the harm done by a murder than to force the family and friends of the victim to pay the killer under the threat of death. The Corrie family and friends earn their money by sacrificing their time, their energy, indeed some of their very lives for it, and now the government is going to take it and send it to the same brutal bastards that killed their innocent daughter and friend. As if it wasn't bad enough for the Israeli government to rob Rachel Corrie of her life, they're now going to take a piece of her families, friends and millions of others.
So this is my challenge to those that are in favour of T.W.A.T (The War Against Terrorism) and its current phase in Iraq: Justify the blatant hypocrisy expressed by your government when they say that they are attacking Saddam Hussein because he:
a. Has committed war crimes
b. Is a brutal despot guilty of ethnic cleansing
c. Refuses to comply with UN resolution 1441, so you have to enforce it.
In spite of the fact that they send billions, not bombs to Ariel Sharon when he is :
a. A war criminal
b. A brutal despot guilty of ethnic cleansing
c. Refusing to comply UN resolution 242, which has been in place since 1967 source
GW and his yes men claim to be liberators, compassionate conservatives who want to save the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator, yet they happily steal your money and ship it off to an equally brutal one in Israel. I'd like the supporters of T.W.A.T (The War Against Terrorism) to justify this blatant hypocrisy, which costs Palestinian people their lives every day and is about to do the same for the Iraqis. How about justifying the claim that the Americans are only acting to enforce UN resolution 1441, because the UN is too impotent and worthless (it is) to do it themselves, despite the fact that the Americans refuse to enforce resolution 242 on behalf of that same worthless and impotent UN? Can Team T.W.A.T. prove to me that George Bush really cares about Iraqi citizens, in light of the fact that he obviously doesn't care about Palestinians or even American ones? I'd like to have it explained to me how it's morally consistent to bomb Iraq but support Israel .
Can any supporter of any State justify forced taxation, especially when it forces the families of murder victims to pay the murderer?
If this flagrant disregard for the life of one of the citizens it was elected to defend by the state isn't enough to convince you that they don't have your best interest in mind, but rather their own, I don't know what is.
Well, Team T.W.A.T.? I'm waiting.