ASIA TIMES ONLINE
By Pepe Escobar
June 2, 2010
Just imagine if these were Iranian commandos attacking a multinational, six-boat aid flotilla in international waters. The United States, the European Union and Israel would instantly make sure to shock and awe Iran to kingdom come.
Instead, it was Israeli commandos who perpetrated this bit of gunboat diplomacy ~ or "self-defense" ~ in the dark hours of the early morning, in international waters, some 130 kilometers off the coast of Gaza.
And what if they were Somali pirates? Oh no, these are Israeli pirates fighting shady, "terrorist" Muslims ~ It doesn't matter that Arab, Turkish, European, developing-world public opinion and governments are fuming.
Israel always gets away with ~ as Turkey is stressing ~ "murder" (or "state terrorism", according to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan).
Footage from the deck of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara ~ played across the world, but not much on US networks ~ is unmistakable. Fully body-armored and weaponized Israeli commandos have approached the flotilla on high-speed marine dinghies, deployed stun grenades and tear gas and shot everything in sight ~ a military helicopter is hovering over the flotilla.
At a certain point the commander of the Marmara is heard, in English: "Please stop all resistance. They are using live ammunition."
Ah, the "resistance" ... Debka, essentially an Israeli intelligence digital spin machine, described the peace flotilla occupants as armed with "firebombs, stun grenades, broken glass, slingshots, iron bars, axes and knives". Were the commandos only carrying paintballs and pistols?
So there you have it ~ Monty Python once again (tragically) remixed for the 21st century.
The best-trained special forces in the world just wanted to "talk" and were attacked by a bunch of knife-wielding terrorists in a Turkish boat carrying tons of aid ~ medicine, building materials, school equipment, food, water purifiers, toys ~ for the 1.5 million Gazans who have been slowly dying under an Israeli blockade for the past three years, ever since they democratically elected a government by Hamas.
Debka even laments that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) ~ "famous for its innovative electronic warfare capabilities" ~ did not bother to jam the signals and images coming from the flotilla, so the whole world wouldn't see a thing.
They also lament the attack was in international waters; "the blockade zone is 20 nautical miles deep from Gaza. An Israeli raid at that limit would have been easier to justify". Obviously, they ignore the fact that Israel has no legal international claim to the (illegally occupied) Gaza coast.
We're Such A Suffering Lot
war-is-peace newspeak as Israel.
Not only the Israeli commandos are being spun as the victims;
the world is being subjected to a complete Israeli-orchestrated news blackout.
Nobody really knows how many civilians were killed (nine, 19,20? Mostly Turkish? Maybe two Algerians? Any Americans or Europeans?)
Nobody really knows if they were carrying "weapons".
Nobody really knows at what point the commandos freaked out (eyewitnesses tell of people being killed in their sleep).
So how does it feel, Mr President, to be the fool on the hill?
And how does it feel for the rest of us, the real, flesh-and-blood international community ~ apart from manifesting immense outrage (as did the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) plus Turkey, France and Spain)?
A distinct possibility ~ already considered in quite a few latitudes ~ is to boycott all things Israeli, or impose sanctions. To really hurt their economy. To totally isolate them diplomatically. If for a majority of Israelis the whole world is their enemy ~ governments, organizations, non-governmental organizations, aid agencies, public opinion ~ why not return the compliment?
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
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