[Marxism] The inexhaustible terror in Gaza

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Sat Feb 7 12:58:39 MST 2004


Aziz Mahmoud Shami, a leader of Islamic Jihad's military wing in Gaza City,
actually died of his wounds according to the latest report.

The Israeli military stated Shami was in the midst of preparing for "a major
attack" on the Gaza Strip settlement of Netzarim. The army also claimed he
was behind a 1995 double suicide bombing near the coastal city of Netanya,
that killed 21 Israelis, all but one of them soldiers, and a more recent
infiltration into a Gaza Strip military base, in which three soldiers were

Members of Islamic Jihad confirmed that Aziz Mahmoud Shami was the leader of
the group's military wing in Gaza City, and cousin of the overall Islamic
Jihad leader, Abdullah Shami. Abdullah Shami said his group, which has
carried out dozens of suicide bombings in Israel, would have its revenge.
"The Islamic Jihad movement is a resistance movement and it will respond to
this aggression with all its force," Shami said, kissing his cousin's
forehead at the morgue of Shifa Hospital in Gaza city.

Also Saturday, a Palestinian military court charged four suspects with
planting explosives along the main road in Gaza, leading from the Erez
crossing to Gaza City. A prosecutor said the defendants targeted Israeli
tanks, but that one of their bombs may also have ripped apart a US
diplomatic vehicle and killed three American security guards October 15. A
military prosecutor said those bombs were intended to target Israeli tanks
entering the Strip, but one of the explosives may have ripped apart a U.S.
diplomatic car in the October 15 attack on the convoy. Palestinian and U.S.
investigators have found evidence indicating that the bomb was detonated by
someone who intentionally targeted the US convoy after watching it pass from
a nearby hiding place. A wire found in the road after the blast was attached
to a remote control device in a nearby shack. The court set a Feb. 29 trial
date for the four men.

US officials want Palestinians to find those responsible, and say they are
disappointed with the level of cooperation with Palestinian police. Recently
US officials warned that US aid money could be cut off, if there is no
progress in the probe.


You see here the deadly logic of "christianist imperialism" championed by
Ollie North's mate Abram Elliot, the butcher of Latin America and the rest
of the PNAC club. It pits one group against another, in a never-ending round
of murderous reprisals. Then Sharon thinks that by systematic tit-for-tat
reprisals, he can reduce the violence and killing, even so, a portion of the
IDF killings cannot be considered "reprisals" in any shape or form. Not even
the latest spying technology can prevent more bloodshed.

The solution is political, and it must be honest, and look to the future.
How does it benefit anybody if you build homes, and the occupants get
murdered ? What are the priorities here ?

The Americans cook up schemes in Washington from behind their writing desks
to be imposed on peoples elsewhere on the planet, and when more and more
people die, they act surprised and say "we're only trying to help" and deny
the existence of American imperialism. But if they cannot win with
firepower, then they say, "we'll withdraw our money".

And that is exactly the end-game of bourgeois politics: it's "your money or
your life". The burble about peacemaking and good intentions is dishonest
and pharasaical, because it abstracts from real interests and stakes the
different parties have in the situation. The Oslo Accords, whatever their
limitations and juridically doubtful moves, were a step in a better
direction, but justabout everything the Bush administration has done has
made things so much worse.

What is behind the "peacemaking" rhetoric ? Well, once upon a time, you
could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up a country's colonies.
But America's modern version of colonialism is the military base and the
multinational corporation. Globalisationists like to focus on the
corporations. Anti-imperialists focus also on the bases.


If you examine America's "footprint," the postmodernist metaphor used by
defense officials to describe the US empire of military bases, you can see
that it covers what those officials like to refer to as an "arc of
instability", and that arc runs wherever they think it ought to run. The
reason for constructing this new chain of US bases is to expand US
imperialism, and reinforce US military domination of the world. Israel is
but one link in this military chain, both as a base, as contractor, and as a

- Overall, the US military deploys more than half a million soldiers, spies,
technicians, teachers, dependents and civilian contractors in other nations.
This includes a quarter million uniformed personnel  plus an equal number of
dependents, plus Department of Defense civilian officials, plus over 44,000
locally hired foreigners.

- The Pentagon dominates the oceans and seas with aircraft carriers, planes,
and submarines.

- The Pentagon operates numerous secret bases outside the US to monitor what
we are saying, faxing or e-mailing to each another in personal
communications without our consent, violating human and civil rights.

- The US Government has 702 military bases in about 130 other countries,
linked by the US navy and the US air force, and supported by a web of
corporate industries which providing weapons, equipment, and services.
These contractors are charged with, among other things, keeping uniformed
members of the empire comfortably housed, well-fed, amused, and supplied
with enjoyable, affordable leisure, sex workers and vacation facilities.
Whole sectors of the U.S. economy have come to rely on the military for
their profits - it's military Keynesianism.

- New bases in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar
and Uzbekistan all were established since 9/11, classified as "temporary" by
the Pentagon.

- Pentagon officials calculated that it would require at least $113.2
billion to replace just the foreign bases - surely far too low a figure, but
still larger than the total GDP of many countries outside the USA, Europe,
China, Japan and Australia.

- US regular defence investment expenditures are now running at well over 5%
of US GDP (2002 = $483.3 billion, including weapons and equipment at $169
billion,  research & development $41 billion, and installation, weapons &
personnel support, transportation & travel $94 billion).

- National defence total consumption expenditure adds another 4% (2002 =
$382.7 billion, including 53.1 billion for civilian employees and 103.8
billion for soldiers and other military employees). But these figures apply
to the situation before the war in Iraq.

- At least one in ten US taxpayers dollars are now being spent on the
American military machine, more likely one in 9 or thereabouts.

Think about that, the next time you hear the US Government talk about
"peace" and "globalisation".

(see further Chalmers Johnson's latest book is "The Sorrows of Empire:
Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic." reviewed in LA Times).

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