February 12, 2009

News Flash: We’ve Killed Over 1,000 Palestinians.

by Sarah Janelle Miller

It’s a harsh reality, but we as Americans have helped the slaughter of the Palestinian people to occur. With over 1,000 Palestinians currently dead as a result of the Israeli attacks, we need to get our facts straight.

Several nights ago on my local Pacifica station, I caught the tail end of one of my favorite shows, Arab Voices. They were playing clips from last week’s briefing held on Capitol Hill by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

There were also comments made by Congressman Dennis Kucinich about his request for the State Department to investigate Israel’s possible violations of the US Arms Export Control Act (AECA). He’s the only politician who has openly made this request.

None of this was news to me, but it got me thinking.

We as Americans, are allowing our government to continue their violent blunders. We are allowing them to act- by doing nothing. By being passive and lethargic.

We are also making HUGE contributions to this war (and other wars) through our tax dollars. Over half of our tax dollars go to weapons, military spending or foreign military aid. The US is also the largest manufacturer and exporter of war machines, weapons and arms- bankrolling such giants as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

The largest recipient of such financing and weapons is Israel “who received over $21 billion in US security assistance, including $19 billion in direct military aid under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program. Through the FMF program, Israel remains the single largest recipient of US military aid each year, which they use to purchase US weapons.”

Money talks. Now that the banks are officially owned by the governemnt, Americans will have to be even more mindful of how and where their hard earned dollars are going.

We need more transparency. But we really need more action. If the people of the US could unify (or atleast a strong percentage of us) and demand that individual citizens be able to decide where and how their tax dollars are being used, that would be progress.

We must demand a peace wing, tactics of prevention and responsible peace keeping technologies. We must demand that our government be held accountable for its actions and that it act within the laws- both US and global. This, after all, is the body that represents us. As a people. As a Nation.

As Antony Loewenstein States in his new book, My Israel Question, A peaceful solution for the Middle East exists, but the fuel needs to be cut off. The central theme is money. Money buys weapons. Weapons are fueling this war.

Our Government needs change. But more importantly, the people allowing it carry out its tragic tasks needs to change.

That means you and me.

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