The disturbing video of yesterday’s slaughter by the Israeli navy of four young Palestinian boys, which can be seen here (you may need Quicktime to view it), courtesy of Mondoweiss, brings home more than any amount of words the real strategy behind the military offensive: terrorise the civilian population in Gaza so that they pressurise their political leaders to grant Israel what it wishes.
Exactly the same strategy was employed by Loyalist paramilitaries in the first two decades or so of the Troubles in Northern Ireland when innocent Catholics were targeted and murdered, sometimes with psychopathic brutality, in the hope that the resulting terror would persuade the larger Nationalist community to turn against the IRA.
Instead the opposite happened. Catholics were more inclined, not less, to turn to the IRA for defence, especially as Britain’s forces of law and order often either turned a blind eye or colluded, directly or indirectly, in the murder campaign.
The US government’s role in the Israel-Palestine conflict is analagous to that played by the British in Northern Ireland in as much as the claim to be an impartial arbiter was undermined by the reality of their behavior on the ground, in the case of the US with no strings, massive military, political and financial aid to Tel Aviv.
And once again the US stepped up to the plate on behalf of Israel after yesterday’s beach massacre with a State Department spokesperson implicitly blaming Hamas for the death of the four boys by failing to accept the Blair-Egyptian-Netanayahu ceasefire proposal.
Just as the Loyalist terror tactic failed to deter Catholic support for the IRA, and may even have fueled it, the Israeli military strategy will likely drive Palestinians in Gaza into the arms of Hamas, intensifying a conflict which is rapidly becoming a public relations and political disaster for Israel and a geopolitical catastrophe for the US.
Believe it or not, the people who devise America’s foreign policy in Foggy Bottom are all said to be intelligent, aware and perceptive people.