Friday, March 01, 2013

Manufactured crisis

In a story that dropped like lead from the front pages, it was revealed last month that some 900 civilians were deliberately murdered by British forces in Iraq.  Apparently there was a culture in the British Army in Iraq that included a systematic policy of torture (  However, this was covered up so that investigations never resulted in charges being brought against individual soldiers. 
In Syria, the Army has been firing scud missiles into towns, and one such hit killed 140 people in Aleppo. Until now there have been ca. 30,000 deaths estimated in Syria, and ca. 1 million refugees.  In Egypt the police were videotaped stripping a man of all his clothes and then severely beating him and in S. Africa the police beat and arrested a Mozambiquan taxi driver, then handcuffed him to the back of a van and dragged him down the road.  Later he was found dead in his cell from head injuries.
Yet, much more media attention has been focussed on one Palestinian, Arafat Jaradat, who died in a clash in the West Bank.  It's a pity that anyone dies, but give me a break, Palestinian youths are rioting all over the West Bank, trying to start a third intifada against the IDF forces that they consider are "occupying their land."   Considering the scope of the demonstrations and attacks it's amazing that only one person died, and according to police reports he died of a heart attack and not from IDF action.  Let these other countries put their own houses in order before their citizens extensively criticize Israel.
Israel holds ca. 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, all of those held for lengthy periods have been charged and tried and found guilty of terrorism.  About 20 of them went on a hunger strike, arranged from outside as a provocation to heat things up before the visit of Pres. Obama.  One of the prisoners, Samer Issawi, is reportedly near death and is being fed by a drip tube. But, two others have stopped their hunger strike in view of concessions that Israel has reportedly made. 
Does any of this justify the widesperead rioting that is occurring in the Palestinian areas?  No, this is a manufactured mini-crisis, so that the Palestinians can grab some headlines because they are losing media coverage to the carnage in Syria, the Iranian nuclear development and the Egyptian riots.  What better time to get PR coverage than when the US President is coming to visit.  If you want to get attention, then you must heat things up, that's the way it goes.


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