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#38986 - 20 Dec 06 03:13 MEN WHO LOVE KILLING
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
The men who love killing

If Israel and its Western allies break Hamas, they will face an even deadlier foe
By Johann Hari
The Independent, London
(Dec 18, 2006)


I am sitting in a poky bedroom somewhere in Gaza City -- I'm not allowed to know where -- and opposite me is a huge beaming picture of Osama bin Laden, with the smoke from a burning World Trade Center forming a black halo around his head. Osama is surrounded by a gaggle of jihadi angels: some Chechen fighters, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the British subway bomber, Mohammed Sidique Khan.

"Would you like to see our weapons?" a masked jihadi says cheerfully, before thrusting a grenade into my hand.

I have come to see what Israel will confront in a generation if -- as now looks certain after this weekend -- they never, ever deal with the democratically elected Hamas government, but instead resolve to break it.

Coining one of the dullest cliches about the Middle East, Abba Eban, one of Israel's longest serving foreign ministers, famously claimed that "the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

Precisely the opposite is the case. As Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah leader, tried desperately on Saturday to dislodge Hamas by calling for early elections, we need to remember a stark truth. Every time the Israeli government rejects a Palestinian leader because he is too hard line, they do not get a cuddly Gandhian moderate in his place.

They get somebody more hard line still.

Yasser Arafat endorsed a two-state solution, but couldn't accept a forever-and-always string of Bantustans bisected by Israeli settler-only roads as his half of the deal -- so they rocketed and shelled the old man's compound until he died. Many Israelis now look back on Arafat with near nostalgia.

Today the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, says he can never accept Israel's existence. But he is offering a 40-year-long ceasefire, provided Israel withdraws to the internationally recognized 1967 borders.

Haniyeh is offering to kick all the tough issues down the road until 2046 and build two peacefully coexisting states, with no mutual violence. His track record of keeping his word on ceasefires is strong. In the current short ceasefire, Hamas has held its fire even as Fatah fires a few Qassam missiles.

But the governments of the United States, Europe and Israel are snubbing this deal, too. They say Haniyeh has to recognize Israel totally and today. Until he does, his people will be "put on a diet," in the words of one Israeli government adviser. I have seen what this means: hospitals shut and shuttered across the West Bank, with women left to give birth at home like premodern peasants. The yellowish hue of malnutrition on children's faces.

The empty and echoing schools.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been at the forefront of this program to force Hamas to concede and is in the Middle East to promote it further. For him, the onus is on the Palestinians living under military occupation to justify why they should be freed -- rather than on the people who have been oppressing them on their own land for 39 years to explain why it should continue.

The result of breaking the democratic will of the Palestinian people will not be greater softness on their part. It will create more men like Abu Ahmad (a nom de guerre), whom I sat with last week in the shadow of bin Laden in a corner of Gaza.

"I want to kill and kill and kill again. I want to be a killing machine until, inshallah (God willing), I become a martyr," he said, staring at me intensely. He is 27 -- my age -- and murderous. He has just described how he slashed the throats of four female Israeli soldiers in an illegal settlement in 2002 and he chuckled as he described how they cried for their mothers. "All the Jews have to be killed," he says.

The children? The women? "I prefer to kill soldiers, but they must all be killed in time. "Soldiers first."

These crazed young men -- the "troops" of Islamic Jihad -- are the children of the first intefadeh. They saw their parents peacefully protest and the Israeli troops be ordered to "break their bones" as punishment.

Abu Hamza, a sober, severe 26-year-old, explained he first joined Islamic Jihad when he was 10 -- a year after he took his first Israeli bullet in the skull. He had been throwing stones and setting fire to old tires in the street when it happened and he became a local celebrity as the first child victim of the violence.

"I was so proud," he said. He invited me to feel the scar on the back of his head. "Yes," he said with a smile, "we have been growing in popularity over the past few years. Very much."

All over Gaza and the West Bank, the assault on Hamas is creating groups like this to their right, deranged little pockets that will swell if Hamas is totally humiliated.

At the moment, they are small, speaking --as Hamas did a generation ago -- for only a small fraction of Palestinians. But for how long?

Last week, I tried to trace the footsteps of a new streak of Islamist fanaticism that has jutted suddenly into Gaza over the past month. A group calling itself Swords of Islam has started blowing up Internet cafes -- a symbol of extra-Koranic knowledge and cosmopolitan connection to the world.

They have issued Talibanist threats warning that women who do not wear the hijab will be "burned."

In a bombed-out cafe named Montada Donajoun in the Jaballiya refugee camp, I spoke to the terrified owner. Basa Abu-Jased, 29, said: "Of course women are frightened now. (Even as a man) I am really frightened! I used to sit on the street and talk to women. Now I won't do it. You don't know what's going to happen."

Almost everybody on the street was too frightened to speculate about who these people were. One woman suggested they were, "maniacs who had returned from fighting in Iraq," but then hurried away.

It took a very long time to rouse the Palestinians to violence and produce these pathologies. Between 1967 and 1982 -- as 200,000 Palestinians were expelled and more than one-third of their remaining land was stolen by fanatical settlers -- just 282 Israelis were killed by Palestinians. But Israeli policies have virtually guaranteed a tip towards great violence and forms of madness.

Every time the Palestinians have peacefully protested or negotiated, they have been choked further.

There is still a majority in Palestine for peaceful coexistence with Israel, with 67 per cent supporting the Hamas proposal for a 40-year ceasefire.

But if their democratic will is treated with contempt by humiliating Hamas, this historical window will close.

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#39021 - 20 Dec 06 14:20 Re: MEN WHO LOVE KILLING [Re: riccardo]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
The fascinating thing about this is that the journo, Johann Hari, falls into the trap of apologizing miserably for these utter and total psychos by shamelessly placing ALL the blame on Israel, Blair and Bush.

The problem with the US and UK is he/she has millions of "yes men" in those places that are nodding rhythmically in agreement with her like stoned sheep listening to a broken heavy metal record.
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#39022 - 20 Dec 06 14:25 Re: MEN WHO LOVE KILLING [Re: riccardo]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
It's fair enough sweetie for you, Johann, to go and "bro' down" with these murderers and tell us their story, but goodness, gracious sakes honey PUHLEEAASSE spare us your armchair-quarterback analysis of the politics -- of which you are so far out of your league it isn't even in the ballpark, not even the same sport.
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#39433 - 26 Dec 06 12:24 Re: MEN WHO LOVE KILLING [Re: riccardo]
bayi Offline
Member

Registered: 26 Dec 06
Posts: 1
Loc: malaysia
Men like Tony Blair string along stronger personalities like Bush. The longer he associates with his neocon friends, the deeper he finds himself in deep shit which he finds increasingly difficult to extricate himself from. It is no secret that the American economy, and hence the political system, is controlled by Jewish interests. All the developments in the Middle East, and the rest of the world, are reported from skewed perspectives that serve the intentions of the Israeli regime.

I believe Tony is aware of the small window of opportunity to make amends but he is faced with obstacles of his own creation. The Americans are arrogant,ignorant and prejudiced. It's not just the Republicans. Congressman Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who is the incoming Democratic Chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is said to be unable to differentiate between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims. Neither does he understand what Hezbollahs believe in. Like his predecessor, he is clueless but make important decisions that move the resources of the US and commit them to "blind" causes.

One of the few notable achievements of Tony Blair was to fly to Washington to talk the Bush neocons out of bombing al-Jazeera's headquarters in Doha at the height of the war in Iraq.

The Americans don't understand why they are hated all over the world and they are too complacent to get to the truth. For this, they will be blind to the "historic window" that will exist for a limited time. They will ba the cause of the hardening of attitudes and political will to escalate the war. when this continues, it is no wonder that peace is alien to the Middle East.

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#39435 - 26 Dec 06 12:56 Re: MEN WHO LOVE KILLING [Re: bayi]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Quoting: bayi
It is no secret that the American economy, and hence the political system, is controlled by Jewish interests. All the developments in the Middle East, and the rest of the world, are reported from skewed perspectives that serve the intentions of the Israeli regime.


Those DAMN JEWS! I just knew it. I knew they were controlling everything. Thanks for confirming that. Now I know.

On Congressman Reyes, there was another thread in here somewhere that we discussed that whole debacle. I'll try to find it for you BAyi
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#39436 - 26 Dec 06 12:58 Re: MEN WHO LOVE KILLING [Re: riccardo]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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