Editorials: Not a threat but an observation; and End the Gaza War

in everyone's face
In everybody’s face, from a passing bus: a slain ASOPROF teachers’ union leader in the middle of the road, gunned down by a veteran organized crime consigliere whose family is intermarried with that of Vice President and PRD presidential candidate Gaby Carrizo. Photo by Eric Jackson.

There must be consequences. Issues
must be resolved in Panama’s favor

‘Can’t do anything about that, because he’s a professional, he’s related to the Carrizos and the Mossacks, he’s too old to be punished and it was time to teach organized labor a lesson….’???

‘Can’t shut the mine, because even though they have been cheating us for years they make all these fabulous projections about how rich they will make Panama and we MUST take their word for it….’???

‘If the rape of our protected environmental corridor doesn’t continue, the PRD says that they won’t pay retirees their pensions, so we have to do what they say….’???

‘If we invoke Panamanian law and expel the foreigners who live here and are taking to the Internet to cheer the gunman in violation of our laws, we will only annoy those individuals’ embassies here….’???

‘If we don’t give the company control over the airspace above their operations and the Caribbean Sea off of their mine, they might sue us….’???

Is it time for Panama to lay down the law? ACTUALLY the laws are long established. It’s time to apply them to people and companies who think that they are above them.

If everything gets arranged so that the gunman gets off and the company that bought an unconstitutional concession and beyond that abused the situation by its terms, Panama is likely to explode. It’s not good for anybody if that happens. A crime spree needs to end, with people, companies and political parties held accountable for their actions.


arabs and jews
Hundreds of Israeli citizens, both Jews and Arabs, gather in Jerusalem to demand an end to the Gaza War and the beginning of real peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Photo by Alon-Lee Green of the Standing Together Movement.

There is no big secret about what needs to happen

“…children, women and men have been victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shocked the conscience of humanity….”

That was the standard set forth in the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court, echoing the words of the world’s top prosecutors of a generation before in the Nuremberg war crimes trials.

The use of the International Criminal Court in The Hague has been discriminatory. Third World government and insurgent leaders have been brought to the bar, while so many of the “advanced” countries have declined to sign the treaty, calling themselves the good guys by definition. But there is no master race and there are no chosen people. By prevailing custom now, everybody is liable to be held to the same standard.

The children slaughtered in the Gaza offensive are counted in their thousands now. Do we want to hear any arguments about “…but Hamas….” The proper response to any such argument, and knowing well the religions and customs involved, can only be “You pigs….” Really. No insult is too vile for the people who have committed these crimes.

Nor is there any justification for the murders, abductions and grievous wounds, physical and psychological, that Hamas inflicted in its October 7 offensive. It was a clear violation of Islam’s Sharia legal system, one that would have made The Prophet Muhammad cringe — and order stern punishment of those responsible.

Once there was a peace agreement that would have gradually set up two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side and cooperating to keep the peace. A vicious religious fanatic murdered the Israeli co-architect of this, Yitzhak Rabin, and ever since then it has been the policy of the State of Israel to ratify, amplify and extend the assassin’s verdict. Sometimes the targets of this, the Palestinians, have tried to respond in kind but these attempts to fight back have been pitiful.

What to do? In the perverse political jargon of the main Western powers, the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel is treated as a racist hate crime. It’s not. It’s complementary to what needs to be done.

There are sufficient records. Certain Israeli settlements should be treated as terrorist organizations, with criminal penalties for anyone who does business with them and any government that lays hands on any of their members having the same “enemy of all humanity” jurisdiction to treat such persons as they might deal with maritime pirates or slave traders.

Better, though, to have the International Criminal Court try all of the criminals in this war — Palestinians, Israelis, US citizens despite their country’s objection, ANYBODY with bloody hands from a Gaza or nearby crime scene — so that the whole world watches and the record lasts as long as the Book of Joshua, the cuneiform Assyrian atrocity boasts, the transcripts of the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials. 

The world should never forget, nor ever allow it to happen again.

It might take a United Nations force to occupy the entire Holy Land and restore order. So be it.


the original goth?
Ann Radcliffe, pioneer of the Gothic novel

When the mind has once begun to yield to the weakness of superstition, trifles impress it with the force of conviction.

Ann Radcliffe

Bear in mind…

If you don’t have a strategy, you’re part of someone else’s strategy.

Alvin Toffler

What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.

Susan Sontag

If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.

Ludwig Wittgenstein


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