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SARAJEVO

– Perhaps this is not a poem but at least I say what I feel

Now that a revolution really is needed, those who once were

fervent are quite cool.

While a country murdered and raped calls for help from the 

Europe which it had trusted, they yawn.

While statesmen choose villainy and no voice is raised to call it by

name.

The rebellion of the young who called for a new earth was a

sham, and the generation has written the verdict on itself,

Listening with indifference to the cries of those who perish

because they are after all just barbarians killing each other

And the lives of the well-fed are worth more that the lives of the 

starving.

It is revealed now that their Europe since the beginning has been a

deception, for its faith and its foundation is nothingness.

And nothingness, as the prophets keep saying, brings forth only

nothingness, and they will be led again like cattle to

slaughter.

Let them tremble and at the last moment comprehend that the

word Sarajevo will from now on mean the destruction of their

sons and the debasement of their daughters.

They prepare it by repeating: “We at least are safe,” unaware that

what will strike them ripens in themselves.

-Milosz, Czeslaw. Facing the River: New Poems. The Ecco Press; New Jersey, 1995. pg. 34-5

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Forced to Admit…

February 23, 2009

american-flag-2a

“The Obama administration should immediately suspend U.S. military aid to Israel,” Smart said.Much of the key equipment used by the IDF in the Gaza bombing campaign is produced in the United States, including the F-16 fighter and Apache AH-64 helicopter.

Many of the controversial weapons used in the campaign, such as white phosphorus shells and flechettes, also originate in the United States.

http://www.metimes.com/International/2009/02/26/amnesty_slams_hamas_israel_for_war_crimes/7193/

Even after the start of the current conflict and reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza, U.S. authorities continued to authorize large shipments of U.S. munitions, including white phosphorus munitions, to Israel. 

Amnesty International researchers found fragments and components from munitions used by the Israeli Army — many U.S.-made — littering school playgrounds, in hospitals and in people’s homes. They included artillery and tank shells, mortar fins and remnants from Hellfire and other airborne missiles, large F-16 delivered bombs, and still-smoldering, highly incendiary white phosphorus remains.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/israel/occupied-palestinian-territories/investigate-misuse-of-us-weapons-in-gaza/page.do?id=1641009

According to Article 16 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, “A State which aids or assists another State in the commission of an internationally wrongful act by the latter is internationally responsible for doing so if: (a) that State does so with knowledge of the circumstances of the internationally wrongful act; and (b) the act would be internationally wrongful if committed by that State.”

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/silence-is-betrayal/

 

Medea Benjamin, in this article for AlterNet, tells us that “Compassion, the greatest virtue in all major religions, is the basic human emotion prompted by the suffering of others, and it triggers a desire to alleviate that suffering.” After seeing the photo that accompanies this essay, after remembering the voices of the many, many apathetic, misguided or ideologically subservient members of the American Congress, the Israeli news network and our own president, I am not quite so sure. 

Visiting Gaza filled me with unbearable sadness. Unlike the primitive weapons of Hamas, the Israelis had so many sophisticated ways to murder, maim and destroy-unmanned drones, F-16s dropping “smart bombs” that miss, Apache helicopters launching missiles, tanks firing from the ground, ships shelling Gaza from the sea. So many horrific weapons stamped with Made in the USA. 

http://www.alternet.org/audits/127675?page=2

 

The line, “Who could describe, even in words set free? ” is from Dante’s The Inferno.