Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Opinion: Defying Logic - Ian Williams

The Guardian, Comment is Free, February 3, 2009 - As they were still reassembling dog-eaten cadavers of kids in Gaza, an envelope from Aipac dropped in my mailbox. The self-proclaimed most powerful lobby in Washington had sent me a pre-printed post card to sign and mail to my congressman, urging him to support increased military aid to the Israel over the next decade.

To compound it, just before Barack Obama's inauguration, Condoleezza Rice had signed an agreement, probably written on a fig leaf, to show that Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak had got something out of their rampage across the strip. Dangerously, it implied that the US navy is going to intercept neutral ships on the high seas looking for alleged contraband being shipped to the elected authorities in Gaza. This was of course the casus belli of the 1812 war, which the US declared against Britain for stopping American ships trading with Napoleon. The memorandum does not explain what international law is being invoked for this, although it does have shades of Kennedy threatening to do the same to Soviet ships going to Cuba.

British and European governments, in a spirit of me-tooism, rushed to offer to join in....

Ian Williams has written for newspapers and magazines around the world, ranging from the Australian, to The Independent, from the New York Observer and the Village Voice to the Nation and the New Statesman and Newsday, to the Financial Times and the Guardian. His byline has been in the Baptist Times, Penthouse, and Hustler.

He has also "pundited" on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBC and innumerable radio stations, for example appearing on Hard Ball, the O'Reilly Factor, etc.

His first book was
The Alms Trade, a study of the role of charities in Britain and the second was The UN For Beginners. Deserter: Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans, and His Own Past was published by Nation Books July 2004 and his latest is Rum: A Social & Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776.

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