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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s public presence inappropriate

The act of protesting Olmert at various stops of his current speaking tour in the United States goes beyond any issue of free speech. The issue here is that Olmert is a war criminal, and his proper place is in jail, not on college campuses or in public areas.

The Huffington Post published an editorial on Monday in which author and activist Ali Abunimah — who participated in disruptions of Olmert’s visit to the University of Chicago in earlier this month — reported the facts: “”The recent (United Nations) International Independent Fact-Finding Mission, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, found evidence that Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during a three-week long attack on the Gaza Strip last winter, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and destroying much of the area’s infrastructure.””

The leading Israeli journal Ha’aretz reported at the onset of Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza earlier this year that it was the subject of deliberate, careful planning six months in advance. Accordingly, Olmert, as supreme civilian commander, shares prime responsibility for the attacks.

Olmert is not the first head of state to be the object of civil unrest, however. Former U.S. President Richard Nixon’s highest-ranking henchman, Henry Kissinger, who, now like Olmert, has been protested all over the world for the mass crimes he facilitated and the subsequent deaths of thousands upon thousands of people for which he is responsible.

On May 27, 2004, the New York Times printed quotes of taped conversations between Kissinger and Nixon during America’s own brutal war on Southeast Asia. These tapes capture the Nixon administration’s agitated atmosphere of trying to deal with the extremely unpopular war in Vietnam, wishing to withdraw troops there in order to calm the American public and focus more effort on destroying Cambodia, a neighboring country. Sound familiar?

Nixon is quoted, accurately, appearing as a mouth-foaming, blood-thirsty maniac expressing sadistic concerns that U.S. forces are merely firing into the jungles of Cambodia haphazardly, criticizing his armies as “”unimaginative.”” In an “”especially angry”” mood on Dec. 9, Nixon said “”I want them to hit everything.”” Kissinger then relayed the orders to U.S. forces on the ground explicitly for “”a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia.””

“”Anything that flies on anything that moves.””

There we have it. The most explicit U.S. orders for genocide ever caught on record in the modern era.

Article Two, section 4, of the Constitution says that the President “”and all civil officers of the United States”” may be impeached for “”high crimes and misdemeanors,”” then obviously be subjected to criminal courts. Granted, Israel doesn’t even have a constitution, but if it is to live up to its so-called democratic characteristic it must hold its leaders accountable when they order the mass murder of thousands of innocent people. That goes the same for us, and the mass murderers that we harbor in this country.

Gabriel Matthew Schivone is a junior majoring in art, literature

and media studies. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

 

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