A young landmine victim(anonymous) is having prostethics made at the handicap centre in Nabatiyeh, Lebanon. I would consider myself very aware and knowledgeable about the conflict in the Middle East, since the creation of the state of Israel. I have been involved personally, another story for another time, yet it wasn’t until I stood in southern Lebanon, watching the devastation of the IDF, watching the children suffer and perish, without the so called International community blinking an eye, that I felt the urge to say the following. “It is important to realise that states and presidents are not the only ones who bear responsibility for the atrocities of war. People of democratic states sanction war, support the waging of war, supported troops being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. If we look deeply into this, we know that those who don‘t fight are not separate from those who fight; we are all responsible for war. War is not something that happens external to us; it is an extension of us, its roots within our very nature. It happens within all of us.
Journalists and politicians also experience the dream-like sense that their actions are disconnected from the suffering they cause. But their actions, also, are very real.
It is astonishing that our mass media system is not in fact state-controlled. Who could guess from the unvarying support of our media corporations for mass violence committed by our governments? From their eager demonisation of leaders and countries labelled ‘enemies’ of the state? From their consistent indifference. For this photo and my time in Lebanon, the following statement by George Galloway to a Sky News journalist is appropriate:
“You don’t give a damn. You don’t even know about the Palestinian families. You don’t even know that they exist… Because you believe, whether you know it or not, that Israeli blood is more valuable than the blood of Lebanese or Palestinians. That’s the truth, and the discerning of your viewers already know it.”