Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wars and Occupations

Wars and occupations are never completely alike. Yet future historians will marvel over the similarities between the US occupation of Iraq and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Both occupations involve taking what belongs to other nations. The US wants Iraq’s oil and Israel wants Palestine’s water and land. Both involve incredible suffering of occupied populations. After four years, Iraq is without basic services like water and electricity. Four million have fled. In Palestine, the human suffering has gone on for decades, creating one of the largest refugee populations in the world (six million).

The US and Israel employ many of the same tactics including unlimited detention without charges, torture, and daily assassinations that almost always involve civilian deaths. Neither country bothers to count the the number of civilians made homeless or killed. It simply doesn’t matter.

Both occupying countries use high tech weaponry to keep their own troop casualties at a minimum. Both occupying countries use fear to keep people back home from questioning the butchery being committed in their names.

Both occupations are being paid for by the same country, the United States. The occupation of Iraq has cost at least 450 billion with no end in sight. US payments to Israel have exceeded 130 billion, or more than $20,000 for each Israeli citizen. These numbers are well beyond anyone’s imagination, but represent the wealth of the world’s most powerful nation being used for war and oppression.

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