Self-defense or war of annihilation? [Archives:2006/964/Opinion]

July 17 2006

By: Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh
Under what claim and logic could the declared war of annihilation now going on against an entire people be called self-defense? How can a person possessing the minimum degree of his mind and humanity believe that what has been occurring in Gaza against the Palestinians, with the obvious features and dimensions of a war of annihilation, is an act of self-defense, as the White House and its head repeatedly claim?

In exporting such a dubious logic as this, either the language used by the White House and president George Bush possesses indications and implications completely different from the concepts of language used by people all over the world, or the ridiculing of human mentalities on part of this government and its president has reached such an extent that it is too difficult to maintain a minimum degree of credibility towards those who use this type of language.

I wonder how can a human having even a small of amount of reason, let alone a man possessing full reason, see all that the Israeli army of occupation is doing against the Palestinians as a sort of self-defense, as if the warplane raids and army tank poundings were Palestinian planes and tanks and the Palestinian martyrs of children, young and elderly people and women constitute the occupiers' need to defend themselves?

Justifying the killing and searching for excuses to provoke the mind and conscience is worse than killing innocents and entertaining the sight of dead bodies covering the streets with blood everyday. This outrageous justification is considered the downfall of conscience before it could be an expression of the fall of the language and its familiar concepts and indications. Who would believe that an all out offensive, as this against Gaza and its besieged and starved people, is nothing but an act of self-defense?

This is a distasteful irony not governed by the logic of language or the logic of politics or that of human beings. Moreover, it is deriding human reason. It is rather a call instigating the aggressor to go too far in his aggression and continue killing the innocent and destroy their houses and any hope in life. This stand, bias and support of oppression and tyranny, generates angry reactions from many people against the United States of America and against all the White House's calls for political reform and respect of human rights.

If Zionist terrorism is considered self-defense, the forms of terror present in various parts of the world would find justification, according to the American logic. Terror would change into self-defense and thus the card that the White House uses to justify its losing wars and biased stands would be dropped. This also emphasizes the policy of double standards that has become the main basis of American policy. This policy has become clearer and more atrocious since the new conservatives have been in control of the ruling system and they herald a dark future for the world nations, the American people in particular.

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh is Yemen's prominent poet and intellectual. He is the director of the Yemeni Center for Studies.