are the voices?
The shame of silence in the face of Israeli and US crimes
By Paul J. Balles
Clearing House" -- -- Where are the voices of moral
righteousness that the world has always depended upon to rein in
the evil forces of conquering warlords? The teachers and
professors - why are they silent? The virtuous - the clergy and
elders of church and mosque and synagogue - who covered their
mouths with duct tape and broke their pens and keyboards?
In an earlier time those voices rang out louder than anthems for
the dead. They brought the public who look for their guidance
and counsel into the streets. The places of worship and the
places of learning provided pulpits and podiums from which men
and women of honour and integrity taught and guided the rest of
Where are those voices today when we need them most? Where have
they been in the years since the self-appointed warlords took
the reins of government and turned us all into accessories to
the last half-century's most heinous crimes against humanity?
The constant crimes against the Palestinians alone have been
raging for more than 50 years. For five decades, much of the
rest of the world has tacitly accepted the occupying warlords'
self-justification for murder, dispossession, theft,
destruction, assassinations and torture of Palestinians.
Why the tacit acceptance of these crimes when the justification
is that an Israeli life is worth 200 Talmudic times the life of
a Palestinian? Where have the voices of the righteous been while
these atrocities have been committed in the guise of defence?
Forty-four innocent children have been massacred in Gaza after
two or three Israeli military were killed by Hamas. All of this
hatred was visited upon the innocent while Lebanon burned and
the world's presses rang out with condemnation of Hezbollah.
Here are just a few of the reported casualties of tribal murder
Bara Nasser Habib, aged three (hit by shrapnel to the head and
body, Gaza City, 26 July 2006)
Shahed Saleh Al-Sheikh Eid, three days old (bled to death after
airstrike, Al-Shouka, 4 August 2006)
Rajaa Salam Abu Shaban, aged three (died of fractured skull in
air raid, Gaza City, 9 August 2006 )
Khaled Nidal Wahba, 15 months old (died of wounds from an
airstrike, 10 July 2006)
Rawan Farid Hajjaj, aged six (killed with his mother and sister
in an airstrike, Gaza City, 8 July 2006)
These are only a few of a multitude of babies slaughtered by
indiscriminate tribal hatred of Israelis for Palestinians. Are
these children less human or less deserving of life than their
Ordinary apathetic Americans don't know and don't care what
happens to these "ferners". As with the massacred in Darfur,
foreign children are not children, but numbers. They're mere
data that the news reports play with to convince the masses that
the media is concerned about what happens in the world. They're
The media doesn't show pictures of these slaughtered babies
because revelations of that kind of truth might, according to
the devils in the administration, fuel terrorism.
When someone like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stands at the
podium in the UN and calls G.W. Bush a devil, New York Times
columnist Maureen Dowd labels Chavez "a world-class nutbar". She
can, and does, call Bush names herself, but the Venezuelan
president isn't allowed to speak such truths.
What made Chavez "a world-class nutbar" Maureen? Was it his
statement that "The immoral veto of the United States allowed
the Israelis, with impunity, to destroy Lebanon. Right in front
of all of us as we stood there watching, a resolution in the
council was prevented?" She didn't say. She simply labelled
Chavez a nutbar.
Perhaps Dowd faulted Chavez because he recommended Noam
Chomsky's book Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global
Dominance. Chomsky's is one voice in the wilderness trying to
rein in the evil forces of conquering warlords. Where are the
Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have made, and are
still making, a great effort to speak out against the Israeli
lobbyists who control the US Congress and the media through
their organized Israeli-first campaigns. But where are the rest?
The Internet allows a few, mostly unheard, voices to broadcast
truths to small, select audiences of little consequence. But
where are the hundreds - nay thousands - of voices of the
intellectuals of America who should know better and who should
Professors, ministers, attorneys, medical professionals, judges:
I'm ashamed of you! Have you lost all sense of civic
responsibility? Or do you simply sleep or play while the
business profiteers and the lords of war murder and maim and
massacre innocents in your names?
Paul Balles is a retired American university professor and
freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for 38 years.
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