yesterday, i cried

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    Yesterday, I Cried
    Isaac Kohn
    08 April 2003

    The ears refuse to hear and the mind is numbed; the hypocrisy so rampant in the war against Iraq has jettisoned much of the deep sympathy felt for the falling Marines. As the war continues to roll towards the final and ultimate showdown with Saddam´s murderous regime, the application of the double-standard becomes vividly apparent. The so-called ´moral standards´, set against the background of roaring gun barrels, dissipate in the rising smoke of battle. The value of one people rises like oil in water, while the value of another, like a heavy stone sinking to the bottom of the ocean. The phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do” becomes a banner prominently displayed, in its true colors.

    And for that... yesterday, I cried.

    The American army advancing towards Baghdad encountered what was utterly unexpected. The deployment of homicide-bombers against US Marines and the subsequent killing of a number of soldiers is decried as “terrorist” and its perpetrators, “murderers”. Yet, the killers of the same color and genes, spilling the blood of innocents in Israel are tagged as mere “militants”. The “one man’s ‘terrorist’ is another´s ‘freedom fighter’” sensibility is applied by media reporters to the ongoing terror against Israel to minimize and denigrate.

    And for that, too… yesterday, I cried.

    Unfortunate Iraqi civilians stood in the path of incoming American cruise-missiles; fifty, in one count, and the numbers of those innocents keeps growing as the bombs keep falling. "The accidental casualties are unavoidable in the engagement of war," the military commander issues a perfunctory apology, as his next few words really hit home: "The lives of my soldiers come before these civilians." A UN Security Council condemnation is what Israel would expect; an apology, though sincere and truly from the heart, is never sufficient, as Israel, in likewise circumstances, is branded an aggressor.

    And for that, too… yesterday, I cried.

    Agents of the CIA have been given a delicate mission; the words comprising the order can not be interpreted in any other way: "Find Saddam´s henchmen and, if you can, kill them." A new phrase was born and inserted into the vernacular of America´s secret army. ´Target Killing´ of men deemed terrorists and killers is suddenly a holy mission; hunting down these degenerate imitations of human beings has, in one swoop, become acceptable, necessary and an unquestionable goal. The Hamas murderers, their hands dripping with the blood of hundreds of murdered Jews, are automatically granted UN protection. ‘Targeted killing’ of these ruthless despots are decried as brutal, illegal, in-human. Murderers of men, women and children are given safe haven (with US blessings and consent) to live in Cypriot luxury.

    And for that, too... yesterday, I cried.

    Bombs of heavy tonnage rain down on Baghdad. Cobra and Apache helicopters, tanks and mortar, smart bombs, B52 and bombers called ´Stealth;´ bunker-busting missiles, cruise and Tomahawk and so many others. All these and more are deployed in the name of a war justifiably launched to counter and prevent. Israel´s use of military hardware in her war of defense is criticized and earns her ostracism. “Too-much force”, “unnecessary”, “beyond measure”, “unequal” - these are the daily doses of manna handed Israel on the hypocritical plate. The use of “unequal force against civilians” (terrorists, in current US army terminology) are repeated phrases echoing in the halls of our human zoo.

    And for that, too... yesterday, I cried.

    Roads to Baghdad are cut off; civilian traffic and movement is forbidden at any time. Careless drivers would not heed; American fingers pulled the triggers. "Hardships for the average citizens," protested some media personnel. "They can not go to work or continue on their daily chores." In a statement of unequivocally tough persuasion, a response was in order: " I need to worry about my men´s safety. If this creates hardships and discomfort for the Iraqi population, so be it." As homicide-bombers cut a bloody swath through Israeli towns, Israel responded with closures of the PA cities and towns; perhaps the denial of ease of transit may deter another carnage. But the ever-present international condemnation thundered through. "Ease the closures," demanded the White House, "you can´t allow the ´innocent´ civilians´ to suffer. They must be allowed the freedom of travel and work." And the next homicide-bomber was allowed in. And the next. And the next.

    And for that, too... yesterday, I cried.

    President Bush threw down the gauntlet as he raised the flag of "Freedom for Iraq", determined, come what may, to ´free´ the Iraqi people from the stranglehold of Saddam´s hands. Nothing will stop the advancing forces of freedom and justice in their endeavor to liberate; a democratic new-Iraq shall rise from the smoldering ruins of devastation. At long last, so Bush has vowed, a democratic Arab state shall be established in the Middle East, to lead the way for others. A noble goal; nothing will stand in the path of setting up such a brilliant institution. Terrorism in Iraq will be eliminated; a peaceful, democratically elected and established government will lead the Iraqi people into a bright and enlightened future. And as this wonderful idea is being implemented, another flash of sheer genius is gathering momentum. The building blocks are falling into place; a step-by-step ´road-map´ for the unavoidable establishment of another totalitarian, anti-American, anti-democratic (not to mention, rabidly anti-Semitic), terrorist State of Palestine is about to become a reality. Bush´s Vision, Powell and Rice call it - a vision so utterly blind it defies logic and hazes the mind.

    And for that… I shall forever cry.
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    Isaac Kohn writes from Brooklyn, New York. He can be reached at [email protected]
 
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