Israeli war planners had vowed to destroy the infrastructure of terror in Gaza. But most Gazans believe that the military operation was directed against general infrastructure. It certainly demolished much of Gaza’s economy and civil society. All along Gaza’s factory row hardly a single building remains standing.
The Israeli military targeted tunnels, arms caches, police stations and the hideouts of several Hamas military commanders. But Israeli attacks also destroyed more than two hundred factories, nearly fifty schools and two dozen mosques were damaged as well as government buildings, including the Presidential Compound and the Assembly building, which Gazans viewed as the possible foundation for a Palestinian state. Representatives of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) say it chose its targets carefully in order to minimize destruction to surrounding property and human lives. The IDF accuses Hamas of putting ordinary Gazans in harm’s way by firing rockets at Israel from within crowded neighborhoods.
Gaza businessmen insist that no militants were taking refugee inside the factories bombed by Israel. The IDF wants people to believe that militants were firing at them from a building, and when the IDF returned fire and utterly destroyed the building that military tactic worked so well that they ran to the next building and did the same thing again, repeating the process over two hundred times until Gaza’s ability to produce anything as little as a bubble gum wrapper was ruined.
Israeli planes targeted the American International School, an institution that served the sons and daughters of wealthy Palestinians. The school had high walls and very good security so the possibility that it was used as a base of attack is nil. A guard at the school wanted to bring family to stay with him because the school was safer than his neighborhood. The guard was killed when an Israeli aircraft fired several rockets at the facility, regarded as Gaza’s finest school.
Initial estimates by Gaza’s Public Works Ministry point to more than two thousand houses destroyed and another forty five thousand left in need of serious repair. Total reconstruction costs for Gaza as a result of the three-week offensive are estimated by the United Nations to be more than one point five billion dollars. But the delivery of reconstruction aid into the territory is a contentious issue for Israel as long as Hamas, the elected representatives of the Gaza people, remains responsible for the distribution of that aid.
Without a doubt there are people in Gaza who are so angry with Israel that they would happily spend every bit of aid in some kind of retaliation. People lost family and their entire means of earning a living. People’s homes were destroyed under some pretense that militants were using them to launch dangerous counterattacks against the IDF. So the chance that aid would be used nefariously is just too great to help the many others in need of help.
To add insult to the IDF inflicted injury Israel is pressing for a continuation of the eighteen month economic siege imposed on the people of Gaza by Israel, America, and other entities in Europe and the Middle East. Obviously, there are people in Israel who think of nothing but imposing as much punishment as possible on the Palestinian people. These are the kind of people who see a few of some of the most rudimentary rockets falling in their streets as an excuse to unleash all out war. Unfortunately for the people of Gaza, the people who want to punish Palestine at the maximum setting are large and in charge.
So now that the Palestinians have to pick themselves up by their bootstrap without the ability to provide for themselves with the lost of their manufacturing base. And without their manufacturing base and trying to recover from being pummeled with American sourced weaponry, people think the people of Gaza should go back to their existence behind an economic blockade. People who were starving before should go back to starving in their shell shocked hovels.
The idea that Israel was striking only at militants with the surgical precision of smart weapons just doesn’t hold water when entire neighborhoods lay flatten. It’s hard to buy into this supposition when every factory lies in a pile of ruin and every school has been obliterated. Israel practiced the same level of restraint and precision with smart bombs that a tsunami would employ trying to pull a single grain of sand off of a beach. For every Israeli killed a hundred Palestinians were killed. For every Israeli injured thousands of Palestinians were made to suffer. And America protects Israel why? Sounds like a fox needing protection from the hens.
It is very true that the United States of America only has one President at a time. No one ever said otherwise. We had one President when the junior Senator from Illinois announced his bid for the White House. We had one President when Barack Obama debated his opponents for the Democratic primary when he was trying to drive home the point that his policy and ideas run contrary to the then current executive branch administration and why he was the best hope for a change in policy. We had one President when Mr. Obama was driving home the point that his Republican Party opponent from Arizona was little more than a continuation of Mr. Bush’s failed economic, foreign, and domestic policy. We had one President when Mr. Obama promised us he would change the way the White House operated. Why does he now back away from differentiating himself from Mr. Bush’s failed policies now under some guise that we only have one President?
We had one President when Mr. Obama went on record saying that if someone was firing rockets into his daughter’s bedroom at night he would do everything in his power to make it stop and expected the people of Israel to do the same. We had one President when Mr. Obama stood in front of AIPAC, an organization very sympathetic to the nation of Israel , and said unequivocally that as President the people of the United States would stand with the Jewish nation. We had one President when Mr. Obama said that Jerusalem should remain under the control of Israel. Why is it so important to remind the world that the American people have only one President now?
In the past few days Mr. Obama, like many people who have a high profile in the public’s eye, has been asked for his opinion regarding the conflict between the government of Israel and Gaza. Frustrated with the blockade that continues to choke the life out of the people of Gaza , Hamas broke a cease fire by launching rockets into the southern part of Israel . In retaliation, Israel launched a massive retaliatory strike against its Gaza making little distinction between civilians and combatants. The conflict is escalated even further with rocket fire into Israel from Lebanon to the north. And through all of this the only thing Mr. Obama has to say is that his team is keeping abreast of the situation and we only have one President at a time.
I have a question. When did Mr. Obama ever hear the question how many Presidents run the executive branch of the United States at any single given point in time? The President-elect has never given anything less than a clear direction as to what his economic policy will be without ducking under any claim that we only have one President. Mr. Obama knows that people need to understand that he and his team are on top of the economic turmoil that plagues our markets globally and our pockets individually. But when it comes to revealing his position on the conflict in the Middle East Mr. Obama wants to be careful not to step on Mr. Bush’s toes. Obviously, somebody is about to be made seriously unhappy with the direction Mr. Obama wants to go when it comes to foreign policy in the Middle East. We have no clear direction of any change. We have no clear direction of any continuance of current policy. We have nothing but an excuse as to why we don’t know anything for the next few days. We only have one President after all.
Actually, at the most, we only have one President making policy. There is always the chance that a President refuses to put forth any clear policy on a given issue. Maybe Mr. Obama, like Mr. Bush, will let the fires of the Middle East expand until the place explodes into a major conflict that could drag the rest of the world into this conflict. Rockets are already being fired into Israel from Lebanon . More than likely, feeling threatened at the possibility of dealing with two conflicts on two fronts the Israeli army will respond just as harshly on Lebanon . What if there are plans to initiate rocket fire from Syria and Jordan as well? A brew of war bringing imminent destruction and death throughout the region might be in the very early stages. It would help ease people’s minds to know that the current American administration as well as the future administration will do what it can to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
Instead the United States protects Israel from facing any global political retribution by using its veto authority to block any move from the United Nations to rein in Israel ’s attempt to bomb the people of Gaza back into submission. The United States is the only country in the world with any kind of influence over Israel . And yet, the United States does nothing to influence Israel to stop. Weapons of mass destruction are being used against a people who can poorly defend themselves. And the leadership of the United States does nothing but sits back and watches. There is little hope for change when the President-elect is ready to capitulate to the status quo under the lame excuse that we only have one President. When there is a lack of true leadership from the President it is the President-elect’s privilege to step up to the plate and fill the void. We only have one President is not the change we hoped for.