Friendly Fire: Americans Caught in a Bush-Backed Circle of Slaughter

Excerpt: A five-ship United States naval group and a British flotilla steamed toward Lebanon today to help in a large and hastily organized evacuation — and perhaps to send an implicit message — as thousands of foreign nationals continued to flee the violence by helicopter, passenger ships and chartered ferries, or by bus or car to Syria.

…And many Americans said they were distressed to learn they would have to pay their own evacuation costs. Some lawmakers called on the government to waive a portion of a 2003 law requiring such payments.

The Navy said it was sending a strike group led by the amphibious-assault ship Iwo Jima to assist in the departure of some of the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon. The ships have hospital facilities, and carry 2,200 marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Well, here's something you don't see everyday: a nation evacuating its citizens so they won't be killed by their close and faithful ally.

Is this not a tacit admission that Israel is carrying out indiscrminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure – i.e., committing state terrorism? If they are "carefully targeting military objectives only," then why are American citizens in danger? The subtext of this story – which will never, ever be stated anywhere in the mainstream American media – is clear: American citizens in Lebanon are at dire risk of being killed by Israeli bombs, despite the fact that few if any of these citizens have even the slightest connection to Hezbollah, because the IDF is methodically laying waste to the whole country regardless of how many civilians they kill, or where they might come from.

This is what the Bush Administration is saying – through deeds, not words – with this evacuation. It is a remarkable admission. Yet at the same time, the Bushists are sending $210 million worth of vital jet fuel supplies to Israel to help run the IDF war machine (which is already well-stoked by American largess) as it wages mass slaughter and threatens the lives of up to 25,000 Americans. Obviously, Bush doesn't really care how many civilians the Israelis kill, or where they might come from, either.

But we have certainly arrived at yet another surreal moment in the Bush Imperium: American taxpayers are paying millions of dollars to fuel a war machine that is menacing the lives of thousands of, er, American taxpayers. Here is a policy worthy of the Shakespearean epithet: "too cunning to be understood."

*This piece has been edited since its original posting.*