At least 100 Palestinians, including many women and children, have been killed in the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since November 14. More than 700 people have also been injured, with some of the wounded in critical conditions.
An interview Gordon Duff, a senior editor with Veterans Today, from Ohio, to further discuss the issue. Duff is joined by Roula Talj, a Lebanese political analyst from Beirut; and Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East analyst from Washington.
Q: It’s been the end of the fifth day now of this onslaught by Israel. We’re talking about one of the best equipped militaries in the world thanks to American taxpayer dollars, basically bombarding an area that is very densely populated; and yet, the Israelis say that it is in defense. As Mr. Katzman said in Washington, they are defending themselves. Your take on this Israeli perspective of things.
Duff: First of all, I think we’re all prisoners of mythology, of conspiracy rhetoric here. This war is a political war. There are no totally-innocent parties in this whatsoever.
Israel planned this war to a large extent through provocation. Then when they had responses which were well intended, they’re tied to a particular agenda.
Frankly, Hamas is more than willing to play along because it politically benefits both parties, if we’re going to be honest about this.
Additionally, rockets with a 70 mile range are not homemade. Although the accuracy has been low, you don’t make these around the house. The engines for these, the rocket motors are very high quality. These are not standard artillery rockets. The guidance systems are primitive.
Another issue, we have weapons that have entered Gaza from Libya. Advanced anti-tanks and air defense weapons, although they are not used in a coordinated manner, they have made the risk of an invasion and the use of helicopters and tanks potentially untenable. That’s why we have no ground war.
The other issue, of course, I’d address is the idea of the Iranian nuclear program. I worked with Clinton Bastion, the former chief weapons designer for the Department of Energy. I was party to a discussion between Bastion who worked with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] for ten years, and David Albright, and Bastion is more than certain and, certainly he is the senior party here, that there is no possible way for Iran, using its current equipment, to ever make a nuclear weapon. It would never happen. It’s technically impossible.
Bastion went so far as to state that Albright, who is the primary source of information that’s being spread through James Broad and others at The New York Times, that Albright has no idea, as to other IAEA inspectors, how nuclear weapons work at all.
Q: Getting back to the peace table and talking again with the Israelis and Palestinians, which we haven’t seen a whole lot except basically an expansion of settlements and more land lost by the Palestinians. Your take, sir.
Duff: I think our previous speaker, I have to disagree with almost everything he said. It’s a popular mythology that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.
In truth now, I think we’ve demonstrated clearly that the Likudists are an ultra-nationalist military regime, that Netanyahu is an unstable dictator, that Israel’s a highly propagandized apartheid regime.
You have six million Palestinians that have legal residency and should have full freedom, according to the United Nations Human Rights Provisions, in Israel, but don’t.
Israel possesses, illegally, hundreds of nuclear weapons, plays rope-a-dope games about this. Frankly, Israel is involved here. This is Netanyahu’s methodology for maintaining dictatorial control of Israel is by playing these games.
As far as the United States goes, this last election was a repudiation of Israel, the election of Barack Obama, the blood enemy of Israel, despite the statements made theoretically in support of Israel, and that the Jewish community in the US has been a close ally of the Democratic Party, which I belong to, along with the Jewish community in the US, as do so many of the rest of us.
…Everything is about ‘Israel, Israel, Israel’, and you have six million people who have been denied their basic human rights.
Q: Staying with you, because you just made a point that I’d like you to expand on. You said that President Barack Obama definitely his election was a vote against the Israeli situation.
Please explain then your perspective on the statements that have come out very strong in support of this Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip by Washington.
Duff: Everything that comes out of Washington is mythology and political double speak. People living within the intelligence communities, we all speak. I have many friends in Israeli intelligence. We all speak. We all have friendship, mutual respect for each other. We listen to the rhetoric that comes out of the capitals and we’re disgusted by it.
There needs to be leadership and a general settlement that is going to respect the human rights of everyone…a settlement which we believe is being negotiated with Iran right now, and we want to see implemented.
The problem here is that politics, game playing, manipulation of oil prices, resources and the upcoming terror wars in Africa - and they’re being negotiated right now - those things are the realities, and all of the rest of this is being handled theatrically except for the dead.
We’re playing games on a worldwide basis, and we’re killing innocent civilians in the process, and that has to come to an end.