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The Walls in Bethlehem, Baghdad and Afghanistan

by Eileen Fleming

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters speaks about his passionate campaign for the rights of the Palestinian people and why, more than 30 years after he wrote the globally-acclaimed album ‘The Wall’, he is focusing on another wall – the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank:

Ann Jones, humanitarian aid worker and author of Kabul in Winter recently wrote from Kabul, Afghanistan:

“I’ve come back to the Afghan capital again, after an absence of two years, to find it ruined in a new way. Not by bombs this time, but by security.The heart of the city is now hidden behind piles of Hescos giant, grey sandbags produced somewhere in Great Britain. They’re stacked against the walls of government buildings, U.N. agencies, embassies, NGO offices, and army camps (of which there are a lot) — and they only seem to grow and multiply…What’s called security generates fear.

“How Lies Begat Illusions Begat Lies…you can’t understand the Taliban without knowing about America’s covert operations in the region in the 1980s.Back then, President Ronald Reagan’s administration, mainly through the CIA, used the Pakistani Intelligence services to fund, arm, and train Afghan and foreign Islamist jihadis to defeat the Soviet army in Afghanistan. Pakistan subsequently used “channels built with U.S. money” to install in Afghanistan a friendly government — the Taliban.

“Later, after the George W. Bush administration invaded the country and the U.S. ousted the Taliban, it installed Hamid Karzai as president and returned many of the old Islamist jihadis to power in his government. Thus, this peculiar, well-established fact underlies the current war in Afghanistan: the United States sponsored both sides.

“Only the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has called, year after year, for a moral accounting. Its surveys of Afghan citizens consistently find that the people want lasting peace, and to attain it, they would prefer some sort of truth and reconciliation procedure, like the one that took place in South Africa, to cleanse the country and set it on an honest intellectual and moral footing.

“As I write, 4,000 newly arrived U.S. Marines are trudging through the blistering heat of Helmand Province to push back the Taliban so local Pashtuns can turn out to vote next month for Karzai, their fellow Pashtun. What’s wrong with this new Obama strategy? For one thing, in some areas the local Pashtun population has instead turned out to fight against the foreign invaders, side by side with the Taliban (who, it should be remembered, are mostly local Pashtuns). They’re as fed up as anybody with the puppet Karzai. Like millions of other Afghans, they say Karzai has done nothing for the people. But saddled with history, Karzai remains the horse the U.S. rode in on.” [1]

The Hescos of Afganastan and the twelve foot high concrete walls in Baghdad that divide the Sunni and Shia populations-see video here: are dwarfed by the 30ft high concrete ones in the ‘Holy’ Land; which is in pieces, Bantustans.

All the builders of these barriers and walls claim that they are democracies and that the walls are all about Security.

Eileen at the Walls in Bethlehem

All builders of these barriers and walls exhibit the schizophrenic discipline of thinking two contradictory truths at the same time. Coined by George Orwell in “1984″ as ‘doublethink’ the Ministry of Peace wages war, the Ministry of Truth fabricates lies and the Ministry of Love tortures and kills any it deems threatening. Most threatening of all for Big Brother are those with independent thought.

In 2007, Naomi Klein, in her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, argued that at the height of the 2003-07 economic boom, the military industrial complex was driving Israel’s tremendous economic growth, and Israel had the largest GDP growth of any Western country.

Klein theorized that the source of Israel’s tremendous economic growth in the past five years cannot be attributed simply to its encouragement of high tech entrepreneurship and basic science. Its success must be understood, rather, as a product of its ability to use the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank as a laboratory for defense industry innovation — and to showcase their wares.

“Young Israeli computer scientists and engineers gain their training in the military, and then go on to start the kind of technology companies that have proliferated wildly in Israel and whose products are much sought after abroad. The entire Israeli hi-tech sector and not just military technology per se, is thus an outgrowth of Israel’s hyper militarization. The Israeli economy’s tech sector grew by 20% in 2006 alone, and Israel is now the foreign country with the second most US stock exchange-listed companies. Klein’s point that Israel’s military-derived technologies are an economic growth-driver because they can be tested in situ is correct, but it is insufficient for describing the magnitude of the military’s tremendous penetration of the country’s economy. Palestinians under occupation can indeed be seen as human ‘guinea pigs’ and not just merely military targets, as Klein claims, but the society’s militarization is far more profound than even she suggests.

“After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Israel’s economy was devastated, but then came 9/11, and “suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners…Many of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel’s status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of twenty-four-hour-a-day showroom–a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war…Israel now sends $1.2 billion in “defense” products to the United States—up dramatically from $270 million in 1999…That makes Israel the fourth-largest arms dealer in the world…Much of this growth has been in the so-called “homeland security” sector.

“Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2 billion–an increase of 20 percent. The key products and services are …precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories. Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the ‘global war on terror.’”

Israel’s policy of erecting walls and checkpoints to seal off the occupied territories are also “laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested Palestinians–whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling “Hamasistan”–are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs.”[2]

In July 2005, the International Court of Justice released its Advisory Opinion on the “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”.

This opinion detailed the court’s findings that the Wall violated Israel’s obligations under international law, that the Wall should be removed, and that Israel ought to lift its travel restrictions on Palestinians. Today, construction of the Wall continues and Israel’s restrictions on Palestinians have only intensified, and we the people who pay taxes in the USA provide “$1.5 million per mile [to construct] the Israeli wall that prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves, which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” [3]

On page one of Jeff Halper’s, Obstacles to Peace, A Re-Framing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, he wrote, “Missing from Israel’s security framing is the very fact of occupation, which Israel both denies exists…and that ‘security’ requires Israel control over the entire country…rendering impossible a just peace based on human rights, international law, reconciliation.”

International Law also states that military occupation is to be temporary and by what RIGHT can any State claim to put up a WALL on somebody else’s property?

1. Tomgram: Ann Jones, Creating Hescostan in Kabul

2. Eye Witness Reporting on Israel Palestine

3. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007

About the Author: Eileen Fleming, is a Citizen of Conscience for House of Representatives, founder of, Staff Member of, a Feature Correspondent for, Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu” and Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory” and BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010

In Solidarity YES WE CAN begin the world again.


View the original article at Veterans Today

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