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Health Care & Environment
04.24 Disney, the Gap and Pepsi urged to quit US Chamber of Commerce ["Its a small world after all..." – Disney]
04.22 Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Threat of Science Denial [4 videos]
04.22 Nearly 40 million people live in UK areas with illegal air pollution [rather than maximizing profit from fossil fuels, better policy embracing science could dramatically improve life on earth]
04.22 Bill Nye the Science Guy on Trump: 'We are in a dangerous place' [we need the opposite of Trump to advance the country and world]
04.22 Electric flying car that takes off vertically could be future of transport [videos; new solid-state lithium battery technolgy—led? by Dr. Goodenough—may double performance and recharge speed while eliminating risk of lithium battery fire]
04.20 How to Stop Drug Price Gouging [and why hasn't the U.S. Government done this?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
04.22 Group of Mental Health Professionals Warn Trump's State 'Putting Country in Danger' [the Goldwater Rule is excessive courtesy if it shields Trump from suspect mental health evaluation]
04.22 Texas Keeps Failing to Convince Federal Courts Its Voting Laws Aren't Racist [it’s like immorality is their code of conduct]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
04.22 In Latest Populist Betrayal, Trump Executive Order Unchains Wall Street Greed [misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance]
04.24 Trump push for border wall threatens to cause government shutdown [since inexpensive electric flying cars are about to be sold, building any wall is just stupid]
04.24 How France Voted
Not World War III
Instead of seeing this ultimately as a dispute between the Israeli government and the Palestinians, the neocons insist on twisting the latest violence into a global war. This is nonsense.When a war breaks out somewhere, two sound principles for civilized people are: (1) demand an immediate ceasefire and, failing that, (2) keep the war contained--do not broaden it, do not join in.
We can gauge the civility of the Bush administration's neoconservative boosters by the fact that they reject both principles. They oppose an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East, even though it would spare the lives of hundreds of Lebanese and Israeli men, women, and children, because Israel would be thwarted in its ambition to remove an opponent of its occupation policy. And they are doing their best to expand the conflict by pronouncing it World War III or IV and urging U.S. participation--specifically, by bombing Iran or Syria. Instead of seeing this ultimately as a dispute between the Israeli government and the Palestinians, the neocons insist on twisting the latest violence into a global war of "Islamo-fascists" against the "free world." This is nonsense.
When governments make war, innocents get killed. The heads of governments may say they don't intend this, but they take measures they know will have that effect. At best they are guilty of criminal negligence.
By any reasonable definition, the so-called provocation by Hezbollah--the seizing of two Israeli soldiers--was part of a continuing military conflict, not an act of terrorism.The current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, of course, is not between two governments. But it's close. In its rocketing of Israeli civilians, Hezbollah is behaving like a government. The strikes on civilians are not only criminal, they are stupid, although we should bear in mind that ten times more Lebanese civilians have been killed than Israeli civilians. Hezbollah could have held the high ground by abstaining from such immoral conduct. Imagine how President Bush and Israel would look if Hezbollah declared a cessation to all offensive actions. Nevertheless, we should judge the Israeli government's and Hezbollah's respective crimes in light of the context: Israeli's 40-year occupation of Lebanon's Shebaa Farms, Syria's Golan Heights, the Palestinians' Gaza Strip and West Bank. By any reasonable definition, the so-called provocation by Hezbollah--the seizing of two Israeli soldiers--was part of a continuing military conflict, not an act of terrorism.
Thus stopping the threat to innocents is imperative. That cause should not wait until issues are sorted out. But Bush is not content merely with opposing a ceasefire. He is shipping precision bombs to Israel. The Lebanese will know where those bombs were made. This guarantees anti-American violence in the future. Thanks for looking out for us, Mr. President.
If a ceasefire can't be achieved, the least the rest of the world can do is keep the conflict contained. The more governments that join in, the greater the threat to innocents is likely to be. This principle exposes the iniquity of the bomb-Iran World War III crowd, such as Newt Gingrich and the Weekly Standard folks. The root of the conflict is the Israeli occupation of Arab land. Hezbollah didn't exist before Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon beginning in 1982. And Israel invaded Lebanon to root out Palestinian refugees, who had moved there via Jordan after they were forced to leave their homes, first, when Israel was being established, culminating in formal nationhood in 1948, and again during its 1967 preventive war against its Arab neighbors.
This is not "our" fight, unless we foolishly insist on making it so. There is one way to turn the current conflict into World War III: self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation (www.fff.org) and editor of The Freeman magazine.
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This story was published on July 27, 2006.