Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Calling Out Bush’s War in Gaza

Published on Monday, January 5, 2009 by CommonDreams.org

by Robert Naiman

It may well be that in denouncing “Israel’s” attack on Gaza one, in an important way, unwittingly does a disservice to the cause of holding the Bush Administration accountable for its crimes.

Is there any doubt that the Bush Administration approved this assault? Is there any doubt that it could not have taken place without the Bush Administration’s approval?

Is there any doubt that it could not continue without the support of the Bush Administration and the protective umbrella of its veto at the UN Security Council? Is there any doubt that it will stop the very day that the Bush Administration says that it must?

If so, is it in the interest of humanity that we Americans engage in the charade that the Israeli government is an autonomous actor in this matter?

All these observations are true in general, but we have plenty of specific evidence in this case.

In August, Haaretz reported that the U.S. had “rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel’s ability to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

The Americans viewed the request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran. They therefore warned Israel against attacking, saying such a strike would undermine American interests. They also demanded that Israel give them prior notice if it nevertheless decided to strike Iran.

In early September, Haaretz reported that the request had included GBU-28 “bunker-buster” bombs.

In mid-September, the U.S. agreed instead to sell Israel 1000 GBU-39 “bunker buster” bombs which Israeli military experts said “could provide a powerful new weapon” in Gaza, AP reported.

These bombs have been used to bomb tunnels in Gaza in the current offensive, the Jerusalem Post reports. Israel claims that its goal in bombing tunnels is to stop the smuggling of weapons, but tunnels are also used to bring in goods, so blowing up tunnels has the effect of reinforcing the blockade on Gaza.

So: when Israel requested weapons that the U.S. expected would be used for bombing Iran, the U.S. said no, and added explicitly that it did not want to see an Israeli attack on Iran. And there was no Israeli attack on Iran.

Instead, the U.S. provided bombs that it had every reason to believe would be used for an attack on Gaza. And now there is an Israeli attack on Gaza, using those very bombs.

And therefore, there is no reason to doubt the active approval of the United States government for the current attack.

So, if one happens to be living in the United States, it seems clear that one’s complaints ought to be addressed to U.S. officials. You can write to President Bush and your Congressional representatives here and to President-elect Obama here.

Robert Naiman is Senior Policy Analyst at Just Foreign Policy.

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