Polite and deadly silence
Discussion of the U.S. role in the factional war now raging in Gaza puts one beyond the pale in U.S. politics. But ignoring it doesn't make it disappear.
We're arming and supporting a faction of Fatah in order to end the Palestininan governing coalition and bring down the elected Hamas government. Even if it fails to bring about such a collapse, this policy achieves a host of subsidiary goals: dividing Palestinians, driving the population to a point where they will be willing to accept rule by anyone as long as the fighting stops and the economy is allowed to function, and painting Palestinians to the world as inherently violent and unstable.
This crime, facilitated by a despicable man as part of a policy with a long, vile history, makes me so angry and sick that I have to struggle to avoid letting it paralyze me. One way to do that is simply not to stay quiet.
The results on the ground in Gaza are pushing Palestinians over the edge into despair. Read one mother's personal account here, and her journalistic and political analysis here. Most of all I recommend the excellent, linkful overview by Tony Karon. Update: 19 May 10:45 am - Another worthwhile piece by Paul Woodward and Mark Perry on the news coverage (and suppression) of the plan. End update.
The unwillingness to talk about this use of our tax dollars allows liberals to read the news from Gaza and tut-tut to themselves about "those people." Let's end the polite silence and averted eyes. As Laila El-Haddad says:
"The most troubling part is how this is unfolding with such purpose, and yet with so little protest.Footnote: Although for the last year and a half I've been expecting and tracking the usual U.S. government reaction to the wrong party winning an election held with its approval, it took Jonathan Schwarz applying his gift of dark comedy to make me realize that my own silence about it is a big part of why the situation eats at me so. I aspire to post again someday without being prodded by A Tiny Revolution, but in the meantime: read him daily.
Update: 20 May 6:00pm - Coverage on the front page of Friday's Washington Post means that media silence on this U.S. policy is over: 'Fatah Troops Enter Gaza With Israeli Assent; Hundreds Were Trained in Egypt Under U.S.-Backed Program to Counter Hamas'. It's in the open; when is anyone in a position to affect it going to speak up?