Irony Is Dead

Targeting civilians is immoral, no matter what the circumstances.

The cognitive dissonance is killing me!

The tanks roll into Bethlehem

Welcome to Bethlehem

Sharon yells and thrusts a hand outwards

Arik Sharon bellows something about how more civilian deaths on both sides will lead to greater security.

Our Fearless Leader

If we keep our voices down, they might not notice the stench of the bodies.

No, that’s not an anti-war radical crying out against the war on Afghanistan or the possible future attack of Iraq. It’s not some starry-eyed Nobel laureate peace organization. It’s Donald Rumsfeld, speaking with a completely straight face, on national television, asserting the United States’ position in support of the Israeli government’s war on Palestine. Irony is now officially dead.

Meanwhile, the tanks rolled into Bethlehem, with $2,400,000,000 of your and my tax dollars paying for gasoline. Assaults were launched against the Ayda and Dehaishe refugee camps, with massive tank fire, mortar fire, gun clashes, and F-16s flying overhead. The IDF has attacked Red Crescent and UN ambulances, television and communication stations, and journalists.

On the other side of the world, Our Fearless Leader sits back on his ass and opines that he’s doing enough already about this human rights catastrophe, that Israel has a right to defend itself and that Yasser Arafat should, somehow, be doing more to stop suicide bombing from his highly strategic position penned in his own basement and surrounded by tanks and barbed wire. Apparently the idea that Palestine might also have a right to defend itself from a brutal occupation and assault is lost on Bush. Lost on everyone in the mainstream political discourse, for that matter. This does not, of course, include a right to murder civilians in suicide bombings. But it does include a right to fight back against the brutal collective punishment assault being launched in the Occupied Territories as we speak.

Then again, perhaps I’m a bit late already for irony’s memorial service. After all, for a week now, Ariel Sharon has declared that he is out to defend the safety and lives of Israeli citizens… through a scorched-earth assault on Palestine which has driven Palestinians to commit 7 suicide bombings in 7 days. Since Sharon isn’t the one who has to bear the consequences of this blood-soaked war he’s launched, I suppose his safety is doing just fine. Meanwhile, however, a lot of people are dying on both sides precisely because of his actions.

For further reading:

4 replies to Irony Is Dead Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Martin Striz

    Independent Media Center has no quality control over the content that it publishes. It’s well known to be a repository of rumors, myths and fabrications. One clue should be that the source of that information is some Palestinian organization. Palestinian media and other information sources have been well known to completely make up egregious stories to foment support, even to incite more Palestinians to commit suicide bombings. I’m highly skeptical of those claims. Even if the Israelis wanted to commit such abuses, do you think they would be stupid enough to do it in light of America’s views of terrorist activity after 9/11?

    Think about it.

  2. Charles W. Johnson

    Martin,

    While I agree with you that the IMC must be taken with more than a grain of salt, in times of crisis it’s also an invaluable resource because it acts to compile on the ground, eyewitness accounts. The lack of filtering is precisely what makes it valuable when the mainstream media is basically reporting Bush administration and IDF press releases, interspersed with occasional belligerent outbursts from Sharon (they’d be putting in belligerent outbursts from Arafat, but the IDF keeps cutting off Arafat’s phone calls with the outside world).

    Concerning the specific claims made, Palestine Red Crescent (http://www.palestinercs.org/), a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, confirms numerous incidents of harassment and detention of their crews, including IDF tanks used to block ambulances and arrest the emergency crew. Journalists and international civilian activists have both directly confirmed being attacked by IDF forces.

    I have to say that I’m a bit puzzled by your comments about “America’s views of terrorist activity after 9/11.” As far as I can tell, the American media and government have given a more or less complete green light to grevious human rights abuses as long as they are committed, as the IDF is committing them, with the excuse of counter-terrorism. Sharon has been very scrupulous over the past week in his efforts to directly crib from Bush administration “War on Terror” rhetoric, so as to put himself in a position where DC cannot criticize him without looking like major hypocrites. Indeed, I think the Bush administration knows that it is being hoisted by its own rhetorical petard; no wonder the administration’s response has been so directionless and half-hearted.

· August 2002 ·

  1. Dean

    Dear Mr. Johnson,

    I sympathize with you position. However, I also try to live by truth, if at all possible. Ref. your article, “Irony Is Dead.” In the right hand side bar, under a picture of A. Sharon, you quote from a supposed 1982 interview in the Israeli daily, Davar. Much to my chagrin, I, too, have used that ‘interview’ with Sharon. That is, until I viewed the following: http://www.broeckers.com/jensen.htm

    Better a friend bring this to your attention than an enemy.

    I wish you well,

    Dean

  2. Charles W. Johnson

    Last April when I posted this article, I included a link (http://www.dubaiphotomedia.com/english/voice/interviews/sharonoz.PDF) to an interview that famed Israeli journalist and author Amos Oz had held with a veteran of the 1982 assault on Lebanon, whose identity he shielded under the letter Zayin (‘C’ or ‘Z,’ as you prefer). Oz had interviewed several Israeli military officials and there was a great deal of controversy over who was who of the anonymous interviews.

    I had seen repeated sites (some extremely disreputable, others much more reputable) which claimed that the subject of the interview was actually Ariel Sharon, the current prime minister of Israel. The description Amos Oz had given of his subject seemed to closely match Ariel Sharon in a number of ways. The attitudes expressed also actually made a lot of sense in understanding his apparently directionless policy in occupied Palestine, the insanity of his claims about security when his actions were clearly making things worse. It seemed to explain his willingness to put bloody retribution above not only human rights, but even basic security for Israel.

    I spent several minutes while putting the article together trying to find any documents which denied the attribution to Sharon and couldn’t find any. However, Dean has done my work for me here: he found letters by journalists Mathias Broeckers and Holger Jensen stating that the attribution, while understandable, was mistaken, and that the subject of the interview was actually another Israel soldier whose identity Oz has declined to reveal.

    I have removed the quote ("Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us …") that I wrongly attributed to Sharon from the caption of Sharon’s photo above. I apologize to my readers for my error.

Post a reply

By:
Your e-mail address will not be published.
You can register for an account and sign in to verify your identity and avoid spam traps.
Reply

Use Markdown syntax for formatting. *emphasis* = emphasis, **strong** = strong, [link](http://xyz.com) = link,
> block quote to quote blocks of text.

This form is for public comments. Consult About: Comments for policies and copyright details.