Some people are exceptional

By Jan Oberg

Jan Oberg

July 20, 2014 – 12 days after Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, after Shejaiya and after 400 people on the Palestinian side have been killed.

Some people condemned what they called a planned Serb genocide on Albanians in Kosovo.

Some people were very upset about the siege of Sarajevo. And the massacre at Srebrenica.

Some people believed that the Yugoslav Army occupied Croatia and tried to create a Greater Serbia.

Some people condemned what was then called ethnic cleansing.

Some people thought it was good to kill Saddam Hussein and Moamar Khadafi because they were ruthless people, militarists, dictators and mass killers.

Some people were so angry at Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait that they thought it was good to pulverise his forces and send them running back to where they came from or burn them alive.

Because, they say, ”we don’t accept aggression and occupation.”

Some people think that Iran which doesn’t have nuclear weapons ought to be bombed while they would not bomb any of those that have nuclear weapons.

Some people see Iran as a larger threat to the world than Israel. (Iran has a 10 times larger population and half as large military expenditures as Israel). But Iran has not invaded or occupied any other country for well over 200 years. Anyhow, some people still say that ”all options are on the table”.

Some people thought that Al-Assad, the dictator, must go. ”He kills his own”, they say.

Some people – all of NATO – are very angry with Putin because of the (re)integration of Crimea into Russia by a violence-free referendum.

Some people believe that Putin is a revisionist aiming to establish a new Greater Russia and will swallow one country after another – and that he must be stopped sooner rather than later.

Some people think that terrorism is terrible. It is. Terrorism means deliberately harming or killing people who are innocent and not party to a conflict. And thus they think ”the war on terror” is justified.

Some people argue that when a people is victimised by ruthless mass violence, persecutions, illegal arrest, torture, apartheid and other human rights violations – there should be a ”humanitarian intervention”.

They say we have a ”responsibility to protect”. Or at least they talk about establishing a no-fly zone and harsh sanctions. (It usually means bomb the hell out of the country, kill a leader and suffocate the innocent citizens).

That said!

Some people also think that what Israel does in Gaza in July 2014 is right, morally justifiable. That aggression can be self-defence.

They either keep silent about it or blame it all on the Palestinians. Or tell the story in such a way that the perpetrator of 90% of the atrocities appears a victim.

Some people say: ”You can’t compare these things!” They believe that there are exceptions and exceptionalist states.

Such people think they are exceptionally smart and that you and I are stupid. So they destroy mercilessly for ”peace, democracy, human rights and freedom and…”

Such people dig their own graves. Morally.

And in that I sense a glimpse of hope.

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