Oh What a Day! by Cynthia McKinney

Dandelion Salad

Crossposted with permission from
Cynthia McKinney (OFFICIAL)

by Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia McKinney’s blog post
Dec. 30, 2008

From Cynthia McKinney’s Notebook…

I’m so glad that my father told me to buy a special notebook and to write everything down because that’s exactly what I did.

When we left from Cyprus, one reporter asked me “are you afraid?”  And I had to respond that Malcolm X wasn’t afraid; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t afraid.  But little did I know that just a few hours later, I would be recollecting my life and mentally preparing myself for death.

When we left Cyprus, the Mediterranean was beautiful.  I remember the time when it might have been beautiful to look at, but it was also filthy.  The Europeans have taken great strides to clean it up and yesterday, it was beautiful. And the way the sunlight hit the sea, I remember thinking to myself that’s why they call it azure.  It was the most beautiful blue.

But sometimes it was rough, and we got behind on our schedule.  We stayed on course, however, despite the roughness of the water and due to our exquisite captain.

There were no other ships or boats around us and night descended upon us all rather quickly.  It was the darkest black and suddenly, out of nowhere, came searchlights disturbing our peace.  The searchlights stayed with us for about half an hour or so.  We knew they were Israeli ships.  Who else would they be?

They were fast, and they would come close and then drop back.  And then, they’d come close again.  And then, all of a sudden there was complete blackness once again and all seemed right.  The cat and mouse game went on for at least one half hour.  What were they doing?  And why?

Calm again.  Black sky, black sea.  Peace.  And then, at that very moment, when all seemed right, out of nowhere we were rammed and rammed again and rammed again the last one throwing me off the couch, sending all our food up in the air; and all the plastic bags and tubs–evidence of sea sicknesses among the crew and passengers–flew all over the cabin and all over us.  We’d been rammed by the Israelis.  How did we know?  Because they called us on the phone afterwards to tell us that we were engaging in subversive, terroristic activity.  And if that if we didn’t turn around right then and return to Larnaca, Cyprus, we would be fired upon.  We quickly grabbed our lifevests and put them on.  Then the captain announced that the boat was taking on water.  We might have to evacuate.  One of my mates told me to prepare to die.  And I reflected that I have lived a good and full life.  I have tasted freedom and know what it is.  I was right with myself and my decision to join the Free Gaza movement.

I remembered my father’s parting words, “You all will be sitting ducks.”  Just like the U.S.S. Liberty.  We were engaged in peaceful activity, a harmless pleasure boat, carrying a load of hospital supplies for the people of Gaza, who, too are sitting ducks, currently being bombarded in aerial assault by the Israeli military.

It’s been a long day for us.  The captain was outstanding.  Throughout it all, he remained stoic and calm, effective in every way.  I didn’t know how to put my life jacket on.  One of the passengers kindly assisted me.   Another of the passengers pointed out that the Israeli motors for those huge, fast boats was U.S. made–a gift to them from the U.S.  And now they were using those motors to damage a pleasure boat outfitted with three tons of hospital supplies, one pediatrician, and two surgeons.

I have called for President-elect Obama to say something.  The Palestinian people in the Gaza strip are seeing the worst violence in 60 years, it is being reported.  To date, President-elect Obama has remained silent.  The Israelis are using weapons supplied to them by the U.S. government.  Strict enforcement of U.S. law would require the cessation of all weapons transfers to Israel.  Adherence to international law would require the same.  As we are about to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, let us remember that he said:

1.  The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, and

2.  Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter.

I implore the President-elect to not send Congress a budget that contains more weapons for Israel.  We have so much more to offer.  And I implore the Congress to vote “no” on any budget and appropriation bills that provide more weapons transfers, period.

Israel is able to carry out these intense military maneuvers because taxpayers in the U.S. give their hard-earned money to our Representatives in Congress and our Congress chooses to spend that money in this way.  Let’s stop it and stop it now.  There’s been too much blood shed.  And while we still walk among the living, let us not remain silent about the things that matter.

We really can promote peace and have it if we demand it of our leaders.


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6 thoughts on “Oh What a Day! by Cynthia McKinney

  1. Pingback: Riz Khan: Breaking the siege on Gaza with Cynthia McKinney & Clare Short « Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Israeli warplanes attacked the Hamas run television station in Gaza city « Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: We Lived to Tell the Story: Lebanon Rescued Us by Cynthia McKinney « Dandelion Salad

  4. Maor, nothing justifies this Holocaust. You can write pages and pages of BS comment to try to convince yourself that mass murder and genocide is a good thing but then to do this you’d have to be equally convinced that everything that Hitler did to his victims was a good thing too. Just go [edited].

  5. IF ONLY ISRAEL had bombed her boat, she’d be dead….

    so i guess she’s just full of shit

  6. I’ve decided that it’s time to systematically refute the “disproportionate reaction” argument once and for all and build the case for Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. I hope that you would find my arguments convincing enough.

    1. Let’s first understand the context – Israel left the Gaza Strip in August 2005 and does not constitute an occupying force in that area. There is currently only one Israeli soldier in Gaza – his name is Gilad Shalit. He was kidnapped by Hamas from Israel’s territory in 2006 and since then no one has heard from him.

    2. Gaza Strip since the summer of 2005 is a non-state region taken hostage by a militant radical Islamist group. Since Hamas ultimately fights for the destruction of Israel (take a look at its Charta to verify), Israel should not negotiate with Hamas, and it is in fact obligated to refrain from any contact with the organization. That includes closing the crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel. While this would be justified, Israel continues to provide services and resources to the Palestinians in Gaza despite the fact that it is being ruled by a hostile entity.

    2. Hamas has fired more than 6,000 rockets on Israeli civilians in the last 3 years, while having no official excuse like “fighting the Israeli occupation”, which has ended in 2005. Israel, unlike what many Israeli spokesmen like to say, does not have the right to defend its citizens from those rockets – it must defend its citizens from any external threat on their lives and their daily routine. Again, it is not a right- it’s a duty.

    3. After establishing that Israel must act against Hamas – let’s review the conditions of the latter’s actions: Hamas is not an official state’s army, but an internationally recognized terror organization. Its people are civilians in Gaza, operating within a civilian population. The rockets are held in storage within civilian private and public places, and are often launched from these areas directly at Israeli communities.

    4. If Israel is to attack Hamas, as an act of self defense, it becomes clear that there will be civilian casualties on the Palestinian side. They are clearly, however, not the target. Not only that the Israeli army does not aim at attacking civilians, it also invests milliards of dollars in developing and purchasing technologies that will minimize civilian collateral damage and will allow an accurate hit on military-terrorist targets. In fact, the Israeli army makes more efforts to refrain from civilian casualties than any other army in the world, and that is why Palestinian civilian casualties in Israeli military actions have constituted so far less than 5% of the total number of casualties.

    5. A common accusation that comes even from those who do understand all the above is that Israel attacks the Palestinian terrorists “disproportionately”. For instance, in the current war against Hamas it is given that Israel has killed more than 300 Palestinians, while only 4 Israelis died from Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. Here I would like to make three points:

    5. 1. Proportionality is not measured by the outcome but rather by the intention. Every single rocket Hamas fires on Israel is meant to cause civilian casualties. However, Israeli air and ground attacks against Hamas are meant to cause as less damage as possible to civilians, and as much damage as possible to the terrorists. The optimal result for Israel would be 100% Palestinian militant casualties, while Hamas’ optimal result is 100% Israeli civilian casualties.

    5. 2. 6,000 rockets Hamas fired on Israelis can result in dozens of thousands of Israeli civilian casualties. This is not the case not because Hamas doesn’t want to target so many Israelis – but simply because Israel protects the potential victims. People in the city of Sderot, near the border with Gaza, which is being attacked by Hamas for almost 8 years now, are sitting in shelters and protected areas when Hamas fires rockets on the city. They go to school with protection from rockets, play in secured playgrounds, and receive a 15 seconds alarm before a rocket is about to explode. This point should be as clear as possible – there were “only” 4 dead Israelis from Hamas’ rockets in recent days because all the people who live in the range of the rockets (around half million people now) sit in shelters and are protected when Rockets are being launched.

    5.3. Israel response, it can therefore be said, is indeed disproportionate. A proportionate response, if that’s Israel’s aim, would be to fire 6,000 rockets directly at civilians in Gaza. If these civilians sit in Shelters like their Israeli counterparts, there would be much less Palestinian casualties. This is of course not the case – Israel does not target civilians, since its aim is not to “get even” with the Palestinians – but to remove the threat of Hamas on Israeli civilians, a threat that has made the life of half million Israelis unbearable for such a long time.

    6. In conclusion, I would like you to ask yourself, how is it that in Israeli attacks on Hamas’ headquarters in Gaza there are civilian casualties? What are civilians doing in a place from which rockets are being fired? And why aren’t they protected by Hamas the same way that Israeli citizens are protected by Israel when rockets explode? When you understand the answer to these questions, you will understand the reason for civilian casualties in the current war.


    Comments? Questions?

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