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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Hard on the heels of the previous post: "You are the law. You are God."
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hard on the heels of the previous post: "You are the law. You are God."

from an article in the uk observer via juan cole...

ok, the article is about israeli soldiers in palestine and gaza, but it could just as well be about u.s. troops in iraq...

Nufar Yishai-Karin, a clinical psychologist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem: [...] "At one point or another of their service, the majority of the interviewees enjoyed violence. They enjoyed the violence because it broke the routine and they liked the destruction and the chaos. They also enjoyed the feeling of power in the violence and the sense of danger."

in the soldiers' own words...

(note: not for the squeamish...)

  • The truth? When there is chaos, I like it. That's when I enjoy it. It's like a drug. If I don't go into Rafah, and if there isn't some kind of riot once in some weeks, I go nuts.
  • The most important thing is that it removes the burden of the law from you. You feel that you are the law. You are the law. You are the one who decides... As though from the moment you leave the place that is called Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] and go through the Erez checkpoint into the Gaza Strip, you are the law. You are God.
  • We were in a weapons carrier when this guy, around 25, passed by in the street and, just like that, for no reason - he didn't throw a stone, did nothing - bang, a bullet in the stomach, he shot him in the stomach and the guy is dying on the pavement and we keep going, apathetic. No one gave him a second look.
  • With women I have no problem. With women, one threw a clog at me and I kicked her here [pointing to the crotch], I broke everything there. She can't have children. Next time she won't throw clogs at me. When one of them [a woman] spat at me, I gave her the rifle butt in the face. She doesn't have what to spit with any more.
  • After two months in Rafah, a [new] commanding officer arrived... So we do a first patrol with him. It's 6am, Rafah is under curfew, there isn't so much as a dog in the streets. Only a little boy of four playing in the sand. He is building a castle in his yard. He [the officer] suddenly starts running and we all run with him. He was from the combat engineers. He grabbed the boy. I am a degenerate if I am not telling you the truth. He broke his hand here at the wrist, broke his leg here. And started to stomp on his stomach, three times, and left. We are all there, jaws dropping, looking at him in shock. The next day I go out with him on another patrol, and the soldiers are already starting to do the same thing.
the conclusion of the report cited in the observer article was that israeli soliders suffered from poor training and lack of discipline... no... i'm sorry... what's depicted here is only to be expected when a society uses war and the dehumanization of its "enemies" as tools for advancing its "interests..." the real tragedy is that most of us do not want to acknowledge the brutal and horrifying truth...

juan cole agrees but, unfortunately, fails to include our own troops in his condemnation...

The idea that these sorts of actions derive from 'lack of training' is absurd. They derive from hatred and from being able to act with impunity. They are a burden of the strong who have the opportunity to abuse the weak.

The US political elite and media that conceals the brutality of the Israeli occupation for sectional political gains are accomplices to this sadism, and their silence endangers the security of the United States. When we cannot understand why Arab audiences, who are perfectly aware of what the Israeli army has been doing to Palestinians for decades, are outraged, it leads us into policy mistakes in dealing with the Middle East. No one in the US media ever talks about Zionofascism, and the campus groups who yoke the word 'fascism' to other religions and peoples are most often trying to divert attention from their own authoritarianism and approval of brutality.

the hope for peace in this world can only be realized when these kinds of nightmares come to an end...

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