Vera Macht
Gilad Atzmon's Blog

[A Palestinian gravel worker was killed in the north of Gaza Strip on Monday afternoon (February 28) while he was collecting gravel. Adham Abu Salmiya, spokesman for medical services, reported that Omar Maruf, 19, was hit in his abdomen by an Israeli bullet and was killed instantly. Palestinian Ministry of Interior]

This article is about Omar Maruf. What makes this one so important when every day dozens of innocent people die all over the world? Why an article about this one?

Omar Maruf was killed by a soldier who was heavily armed, and well equipped with everything the latest Western military industry has to offer. Omar was wearing old, dirty clothes, and collecting stones with his donkey. Omar was not even a so-called "collateral damage" who was unfortunately hit by a misguided bullet or bomb during a military attack. In our modern wars, where everything is precisely calculated, sometimes someone is just at the wrong time at the wrong place. But it wasn’t like that. No, a young soldier, heavily armed and well equipped, targeted Omar, who was standing there, with shabby clothes and stones in his hands, and decided to shoot him. A young soldier on a sunny winter morning felt the need to kill a man his same age who he probably considered as not so important. He knew that this act would never have any consequences. That he wouldn’t have to justify that deed to anyone. Because it was a Palestinian who has no rights, whose life doesn’t count.

This article is about Omar Maruf, because his life does count. Because his death deserves outrage and a demand for justice. Because I've looked into the silent faces of Omar’s grieving brothers, because I have listened to his cousins, who spoke all the more, out of anger and helplessness. How can you just murder a young man, they asked me. How it is possible that the Israeli soldier will not be sued, that there is no justice, that no one cares? Why you can just kill people like us, why you can just shoot Palestinians? Why does no one do anything? Why no government in the world is helping us, when the Israeli government believes that international law does not apply for them?

Army’s Mafia Abuse of Pvt. Bradley Manning

Ray McGovern

Is the U.S. Army stooping to Mafia-style tactics in seeking to imprison 23-year-old Private Bradley Manning for the rest of his life, essentially making him an example for other U.S. soldiers who might be tempted to put conscience and commitment to truth ahead of military discipline and going by the book?

If the Mafia comparison strikes you as a tad over the top, perhaps a seven-year trip down memory lane may prove instructive. Remember what happened after the U.S. Army learned of the obscene and brutal treatment of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in early 2004?

Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba led the first (and only honest) investigation of the scandal. In May 2004, he completed a report that sharply criticized the Army and the higher-ups in the Bush administration for creating the conditions that permitted the mistreatment to occur.

When the report leaked to the press, Taguba found himself treated like a disloyal capo who had talked out of school about the Family business.

Rather than thank Taguba for upholding the honor of the U.S. Army, the Bush administration singled out this hard-working, low-key general for retribution and forced retirement.

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