“That’s not why the US sells weapons abroad – for the killing of innocent civilians.” At least, that is the sentiment expressed by CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, who warns that America’s role in arming the Israeli military that is killing a growing number of civilians in the Gaza Strip “is becoming very problematic.”
Among the tens of billions of dollars of weapons the United States delivers to Israel annually is the GBU-39 smart bomb, which Israel has been using heavily in its aerial strikes on the Gaza Strip. They’re smart in that they hit what they’re aiming at, but what they’re aiming at is a tiny strip of land teeming with civilians and in recent days fewer and fewer actual targets.
In the past, the State Department has expressed “concerns” about Israel’s use of US-made jets and bombs in residential neighborhoods of Gaza City. But with the outgoing Bush Administration cheering on the Israeli attacks and the incoming Obama Administration avoiding like the plague having to go on record about the war, it seems unlikely that this is a realistic possibility. Still, America’s role in the killings will not go unnoticed abroad, and may have long term diplomatic consequences.