But this is not the war of democracy versus terror that the world will be asked to believe in the coming days. It is also about American missiles smashing into Palestinian homes and US helicopters firing missiles into a Lebanese ambulance in 1996 and American shells crashing into a village called Qana and about a Lebanese militia Â paid and uniformed by America's Israeli ally Â hacking and raping and murdering their way through refugee camps.
Ask an Arab how he responds to 20,000 or 30,000 innocent deaths and he or she will respond as decent people should, that it is an unspeakable crime. But they will ask why we did not use such words about the sanctions that have destroyed the lives of perhaps half a million children in Iraq, why we did not rage about the 17,500 civilians killed in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. And those basic reasons why the Middle East caught fire last September Â the Israeli occupation of Arab land, the dispossession of Palestinians, the bombardments and state-sponsored executions ... all these must be obscured lest they provide the smallest fractional reason for yesterday's mass savagery.
It's quite tragic; and will be undoubtedly buried behind simplistic Good-Versus-Evil rhetoric as the Western world marches off to war against the crazed, evil Arabs, without considering what could motivate people to commit such horrific crimes (other than perhaps dismissing it under the broad category of "madness" or the Devil). And so, all are punished and innocents die on all sides.
(Of course, this is not to in the least way excuse the atrocity. It was an utterly evil act, in the most chillingly premeditated way.)