When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared Hamas responsible for all the killings in Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip, it was easy to dismiss it as an expression of the Bush Administration’s “special relationship” with the Israeli government and knee-jerk support for any killings with the word terrorist remotely linked to them. Yet it seems there may have been a more practical concern of culpability at play.
When he Israeli government was bombing every police station in the densely populated strip, some of those attacks were coming by way of US-supplied GBU-39 smart bombs. It is unclear how many of the hundreds of people killed in the Gaza Strip in the past 48 hours died at the hands of American munitions, but to the extent that the carnage has gotten some television coverage in the United States, direct American involvement is likely to be unpopular with a war-weary nation.
And while the Bush Administration is unreservedly in support of the attacks, the incoming Obama Administration, just weeks from inauguration, is using it’s default cop-out excuse to avoid commenting, with David Axelrod declaring that “only one president can speak for America,” and “that president now is George W. Bush.”
But for the rest of the world, outside of the US and British governments, most urge both sides of the conflict to stop their attacks and return to the bargaining table. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni lashed out at the calls for peace, demanding that the international community “support things that are not easy to support,” in this case the evisceration of the Gaza Strip. She insisted that only through backing the Israeli attacks will the offensive be short.