There is no sugar coating Israel's latest assault on Gaza. It's wrong and likely to backfire on Israel -- similar to the 2006 Lebanon War.
My uneducated guess is that the Israelis notified Washington prior to their bombardment of Gaza. But then again, what does it matter? Even if Washington didn't give Israel the green light, their government is so arrogant they would have attacked anyway.
I hear many calls for diplomacy between the Israelis and the Palestinians. President Bush believes the first step necessary for a cease-fire is for Hamas to simmer down and stop firing rockets into Israel. At the same time it appears as if the Israeli government will accept nothing short of complete submission to Israel from Hamas and the Palestinians inhabiting Gaza -- a non-starter.
I don't want to sound as if I'm blaming everything on the Israelis. But a reasonable response to a small number of rogue Hamas fighters firing rockets isn't a gargantuan bombing campaign leveling Gaza resulting in mass murder of the Palestinian civilian population. I guess just simply viewed as collateral damage.
Collateral damage (in my opinion) is better defined as the unintentional murder of innocent civilians in order to achieve the annihilation of an enemy target. However, it has been the main generator of hatred and resistance to the state of Israel from their neighboring countries since before 1948 -- as well as an intolerant Arab world to the Jewish faith.
Israel has every right to defend itself, but they knew when they fired missiles and dropped bombs on an area inhabited both by Hamas militants and Palestinian civilians that many innocent people would be killed.
It's hard for us here in the U.S. to sympathize with the plight of innocent Arab people because we don't see the appalling slaughter of their women and children. It's so simple it's complicated -- if that even makes sense.
If you're a civilian living in Gaza and an Israeli missile strikes your home killing your family what are you to do? Sit by and blame Hamas -- not likely. Chances are you're going to take up arms and attack anyone and everyone you feel is responsible for the death of your loved ones. In that specific scenario it would be the Israelis.
Americans, for the most part, view any resistance by the Arab world to Israel as terrorism. Is it easier that way?
My simple analysis follows: If any nation were to attack or invade the U.S. killing my family I would fight back in such a way I would put a brand new meaning to the word vengeance. As would every red blooded American.
Unfortunately most Americans don't take enough time to look at both sides and place themselves in the shoes of those currently on the receiving end of Israel's wrath.
Because the casualties are a half a world away Americans are afforded the convenience of having a cavalier opinion regarding the body count of Palestinians stacked up by Israel. But just keep in mind that the entire Arab world's resentment of the U.S. stems from our "unconditional" and "undying" support of Israel and their actions -- good or bad.
Yesterday I saw Israel's EMT services in action on CNN, but there wasn't much action. If those cameras were to cross over into Gaza you'd see a lot more action where wounded Palestinians are filling up hospitals that are running out of medical supplies -- total inhumanity.
I have no personal or situational awareness regarding the tensions between Israel and Hamas that led to this flare-up. It has been reported that Hamas militants started this ordeal by firing rockets into Israel. But there were no reports (to my knowledge) that the actual leaders of Hamas, a democratically elected organization, ordered the rocket attacks.
Israel knows better than any nation on earth that there are many guerrilla fighters who operate independently of their organization's command structure. There is no way for Hamas to have total control over their entire membership from top to bottom.
Israel has sent tanks and troops to the Gaza border signaling an imminent ground invasion. How terrifying it must be for those in Gaza who are just waiting for more death and destruction to be inflicted upon them.
Before taking this any further the Israeli government should understand that the unconditional support from the U.S. they've enjoyed over the last 8 years of the Bush administration may be running out. More importantly, the Israelis should understand the deadly blows they're administering on the Palestinian people are not being viewed favorably in the world community -- not that the Israelis seem to care. They're on the warpath, but every action has a reaction.