Tag Archives: children die

Did Israel Win A Battle And Lose A War?

There is no question Israel bombings and its land invasion has destroyed numerous sites where Hamas launched rocket attacks, but there is growing evidence it has been a political disaster of the first order. Throughout the West Bank, Palestinians are rallying in anger against the bombing of schools in Gaza and the killing of innocent men, women and children. Many people now wear signs indicating, “we are all Hamas now” in order to protest their fury at what has happened in Gaza. President Abbas is now even in a more difficult position since he continues to fight for an independent Palestine, but he has little to show for his fight except minimal gains. Pictures show little girls wearing a Hamas banner around their head and carrying dolls whose bodies have been smeared with red to show alliance with the children of Gaza.

Bassem Khoury, president of the Palestinian Federation of Industries put it bluntly but accurately: “This is unbelievable. How will this help Israelis? It only generates recruits for Hamas.” It would have been wiser for Israel to have launched air attacks and then used its troops to deal with destroying tunnels leading into Gaza.

An ongoing problem for Israel leaders is believing that George Bush policies are a model of how to interact with the Arab world. Hopefully, Barack Obama will focus Israel on winning the propoganda battle for the minds of Arabs.

Iraq Death Figures Contradict Bush Claims

According to President Bush, his “surge” has produced dramatic reductions in the level of violence in Iraq and the number of dead people. However, recent figures released from the Iraq Body Count(IBC) which has extensive experience working in that country, concludes that violence outside of Baghdad actually rose until September. its figures recognize a significant drop in violence within the Baghdad area due to the presence of more American soldiers in the city. IBC states that between 22,586 and 24,159 civilians died in 2007, the majority being from the period of January through August. The number of civilian deaths involving US forces rose from between 544-623 in 2006 to between 868 to 1,326 in 2007. Most of these were linked to air strikes which led to the deaths of 88 children.

There is little question placing thousands of additional American soldiers within the Baghdad area has led to a reduction in violence. Of course, what no one knows is will violence zoom again once American troops leave or will it require the presence of those forces for a long term basis in order to ensure security within the Baghdad area? After all, militants are not stupid, why not lie low and wait for the Americans to depart?