By William A. Cook
01 September, 2013
“This (chemical attack in Syria 8/21/2013) is the first use of chemical warfare in the 21st century. It has to be unacceptable, we have to confront something that is a war crime, something that is a crime against humanity. If we don’t do so, then we will have to confront even bigger war crimes in the future.” : William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, 8/28/2013
Unfortunately, tragically, William Hague’s empathy for those mutilated by chemical weapons does not apply to the UK’s allies, the United States and Israel, as the heinous picture below attests: the children of Palestine seared to death by white phosphorus during Israel’s savage invasion of Gaza during this 21st Century, the Christmas slaughter of the innocents (2008-2009), a repetition of Herod’s pathology from the first century, when the Roman appointed King of the Jews attempted to control those who could live and
those who could die. How fortunate for William Hague to forget this earlier use of illegal chemical weapons to save embarrassment for his country’s allies while verbally savaging his perceived enemies.
While the rest of the world debates whether chemical agents were used, what kind were used, and who used them, whether or not this attack should be or must be the determinant of action required because the “red line” has been crossed, whether the west must wait for the UN inspectors to report to their superiors, whether or not we have already acted illegally against International law by arming and training these rebels, or whether there is any known consequences should we attack Syria, one concern, it seems to me, rides high above all others, how can the United States and Israel be the determiners of who will use chemicals of mass destruction since they are culpable of this crime multiple times over in this very century? Witness the bombing of Baghdad, the attempted erasure of Fallujah, again and again, and the US supported invasion of Gaza. How hypocritical of the British Secretary to claim righteousness to invade a sovereign nation when he and his nation have been allies to such mayhem?
Here the righteous stand in all their finery, their striped ties set against the blue pin-striped suits, lashing at the people of the world for not getting upset that they do not want more wars despite the “evidence” that they fail to present, after all they are the government and the people must trust them. Well here is evidence, the picture taken in Gaza and should you have the stomach for it, hundreds of pictures taken as the invasion there unfurled (see Operation Cast Lead, a video stream put together by Dr. Arthur Billy and made available on You Tube). But there’s more evidence coming right from the perpetrator of this slaughter as reported by Idan Landau:
“It doesn’t photograph well. (the white phosphorus)” In all honesty, the man is right.
This item caught me by surprise. The IDF is giving up white phosphorus? Wait a minute; the IDF never used white phosphorus during Cast Lead. So how exactly do you give up something you never had? Chemical weapons are something the Syrians use, no?
Okay, after a while the army did remember that it had been confused, and it did use white phosphorus, but only in open territories and not against people.
Okay, then the IDF remembered that it got it wrong again and that it did use white phosphorus in urban areas. Two hundred bombs, actually. But this was only in order to create a “smoke screen,” and there is nothing wrong with that. And if there was something wrong, it’s insignificant and unintentional, and it would be thoroughly investigated, so that no stone is left unturned.
That’s all well and good, except that at least 12 Gazans met their horrific death this way, burned to death by white phosphorus. Among them were three women, six children and a 15-month-old baby girl. Dozens more suffered burns from the material which continues to burn through flesh and tissue until it reaches the bone. Doctors in Gaza were helpless in treating the unfamiliar burns. Israel didn’t give them time to prepare themselves; white phosphorus shells hit Al-Quds Hospital and completely burned the top two floors.”
There’s the evidence and proof that neither Kerry, Obama, Cameron nor Hague can produce. And shouldn’t we be able to see photos taken of this tragic event by phone cameras as happened in Gaza? The allies are those guilty of the use of this horrific weapon but we fail to condemn ourselves and certainly not our “democratic, only friend” in the mid-east, Israel. But why condemn if we control the UN and make it impossible to bring Israel to the international court as the Goldstone Report stated must be done.
And so we continue this inevitable march to disaster granting impunity to the cause, the nation that drew the red line Obama has to address or be unbelievable forever after. How prescient that we provide a point of absolute action that can be used by our own CIA, Mossad, and mercenaries, blame the Syrian government for false flag operations, and attack regardless of truth and evidence to support it. What else justifies the only excuse our governments use to not provide transparent evidence: it can’t be revealed because it would aid the enemy in determining our sources of information.
Let me close with some further observations by Idan Landau that cannot be refuted yet were never allowed to be presented to the International courts. Had that happened perhaps Hague’s attempt to use the use of chemical weapons to day would not have been necessary.
“These facts were already known in the first days of Cast Lead. Human Rights Watch published a thorough investigation – one of the most thorough I have read – of Israel’s use of white phosphorus and its devastating effects. IDF soldiers who took part in the Gaza campaign also testified on the extensive use of white phosphorus, including direct fire on houses suspected of being booby-trapped (and not for “masking” purposes as the IDF later claimed).
Indeed, the outcome “didn’t photograph well,” and that’s the reason the IDF is parting ways with white phosphorous. Not, god forbid, the hell that Ghada Abu Halima went through from the moment she was burned by white phosphorous and lost five family members, up until her death two and a half agonizing months later. Ghada managed to give her testimony and to have her photo taken, which “didn’t look good,” and “burdened Israeli hasbara [propaganda],” as the Maariv reporter put it.”
Only the “vanquished know war” Chris Hedges weeps, but few will confront the victors that vanquish truth with lies pretending to be civilized. Thus does ignorance and might control our lives.
William A. Cook is a Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. He writes frequently for Internet publications including The Palestine Chronicle, MWC News, Atlantic Free Press, Pacific Free Press, Countercurrents, Counterpunch, World Prout Assembly, Dissident Voice, and Information Clearing House among others. His books include Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East policy, The Rape of Palestine, The Chronicles of Nefaria, a novella, and the forthcoming The Plight of the Palestinians