Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This must stop

I am relieved we are no longer to be counted among the bully nations... but I believe its also time to call Israel on the carpet for their behavior in Gaza, IF they are to continue receiving our military support in the region. Its not enough that we cease our own bad behavior if we supply weapons and protection to a nation that seems hell bent on acting that way themselves.

This must stop.

Personally I think its time the Israelis gave Gaza to the Palestinians. How much bloodshed is necessary before both sides decide that enough has been shed?

Israel: Just let it go - pull out of Gaza. Let the Palestinians live there in peace and perhaps Hamas will stop trying to free the area with rockets. No one condones the rockets fired by Hamas at Israel... but when Israel responds by massacring civilians, who wins? As Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof) wryly noted, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth' will never end until everyone is 'blind and toothless.'

Just a thought. And yes I am aware that the US is responsible for a multitude of civilian deaths in Iraq. We the people do not condone that either. We voted the authors of that behavior out of office.

Bodies dug from rubble during Gaza cease-fire

GAZA CITY, Gaza (CNN) -- Palestinians in Gaza's Zeitoun neighborhood Sunday used bare hands and bulldozers to unearth 23 bodies of people killed in what witnesses say was an Israeli attack during Israel's three-week Gaza offensive.

The recovery of the bodies -- about half of which were of women -- came as a cease-fire took hold.

A United Nations brief issued shortly after the incident said about 30 people were killed in the attack, half of them children.

Abed Zamuni said two generations of his family were wiped out in the attack. Watch efforts to find bodies in the rubbleVideo

"Not one of my sisters is left," he told CNN. "My nephews and nieces have been executed and my home has been destroyed by the Jews."

He said that, during the first hours of Israel's ground offensive in Gaza on January 3, Israeli soldiers rounded up 110 men, women and children and herded them into a house, where they remained until January 5.

His nephew, Salah Zamuni, also said 110 Palestinians were ordered into a house, where they remained for two days without supplies.

"When we went outside to try and get some firewood, they opened fire with rockets," he said.

Salah Zamuni's father was among the dead.

Abed Zamuni said he was in a nearby apartment when the attack happened, and that he called his sisters, who were in the building, after the blasts.

"They were shouting and screaming, saying they were on the floor, that they were in a desperate situation," Abed Zamuni said.

Israeli soldiers stopped Palestinian paramedics from reaching some of the wounded for 48 hours, the International Committee of the Red Cross said. And when the paramedics were allowed passage, the Israelis did not give them enough time to recover the dead, the ICRC said.

"I begged them for medical help in God's name," said Salah Zamuni, referring to Israeli soldiers. "They just told us to go and die."

And now... potentially war crimes.

What a terrible influence we have been for the last eight years. Israel now admits they used phosphorus gas in Gaza, which explains the reports of severe chemical burns - on civilians - that have been received from doctors in the area.

Of course we now know that the US used phosphorus gas in Fallujah.

The use of phosphorus as an incendiary weapon as it now appears to have been used against Hamas fighters – as opposed to a smoke screen – is covered by the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons to which Israel in not a signatory.

However, Israel also is obliged under the Geneva Conventions and customary international humanitarian law to give due care to protecting the civilian population when deciding on appropriate military targeting and response to hostile fire, particularly in heavily built up areas with a strict prohibition on the use of indiscriminate force.

"They obviously could not have gone on denying the use of phosphorus," Donatella Rovera, Amnesty researcher for Israel and the Occupied Territories, told the Guardian yesterday. "There are still phosphorus wedges burning all over Gaza including at the UN compound and at the school.

"It is clear they are not using it as smoke screen as they claimed. They used it in areas where they had no forces, and there are much less problematic smoke screens that they could have used."

Amnesty on Monday warned that Israel could be guilty of war crimes, saying the use of the shells in a civilian areas was "clear and undeniable".

Rovera demanded too that Israel produce clear evidence that there were fighters in the areas it says its troops were fired upon when the phosphorus munitions were fired.

The admission that the shells may have been used improperly follows yesterday's demand by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon for an investigation into the targeting of UN facilities – including by phosphorus weapons.

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