Sunday, July 23, 2006

Real Heat

The heatwave that's hit the Bay Area over the past week or so has been blistering, dry, supremely uncomfortable. It's hard to do anything (unless you're in an air conditioned car, mall or office) and not be reminded constantly of the heat.

But this is not 'real' heat. I keep thinking of the heat radiating from buildings that are blown up from US-provided bombs, flown by planes run on US-supplied fuel. I think of Lebanese and Palestinian people and the heat they are feeling, the real heat, on a daily basis, of bombing and fire and death. I think of the innocent children that are dying everyday. Jan in SanFran posts an important reminder in the form of a letter from her friend Tina in Lebanon:

"If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area: imagine an earthquake happening everyday.

Imagine yourself with Oakland Airport destroyed. and next day with the Bay Bridge down again. and then the San Mateo Bridge and then the Golden Gate. and then the San Francisco airport. And then the phone lines falling silent, one neighborhood at a time. Imagine a power plant having its fuel tanks bombed, burning and going up smoke.

Around you, every day, more houses are flattened.

You can't go north. You can't go east. You can't go south. You are trapped."

But the US and other mainstream media continue to paint the suffering in the Middle East in very Israeli-focused terms, as if the lives of Arab people (and Arab people are Christian and Muslim and Jewish, especially in Lebanon) are not really worth as much, as if we don't need to see their suffering, as if their suffering is only an unfortuante consequence. As if these people are not being massacred.

Remember: over 10 times as many Lebanese people than Israelis (mostly civilians) have died in the past several days.

Remember: the messages are skewed.

Remember: these images from Electronic Intifada, of Israeli children writing messages (one can only guess what the messages say) on bombs and bullets that will be used to kill other children in Gaza, in Lebanon.

Remember, we are not invincible, untouchable. We are only human, too. And we can all do something about this tragedy.

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