"Crying and shooting" is the term used in Israeli political discourse to describe those Israelis who agonize over what they are doing to the Palestinians, but carry on doing it anyway. It's a way for Israelis to feel better about themselves, by reasserting their liberal, progressive and humanitarian values, even as they carry out illiberal, regressive and murderous actions... Bradley Burston wants you to know how bad he feels that his army keeps killing innocent Palestinians, but he doesn't really want to take responsibility for the killings any more than the blame-shifting Israelis he criticizes in his article. He wants you to know he feels terrible about dead children - even the dead children of his enemy, see how liberal he is! - but he also wants you to believe that their deaths are essentially inadvertent, because the Israeli army never intentionally targets non-combatants.Basically, the IDF has gotten away with murdering thousands of Palestinians since 2001 just by saying some variation of 'We didn't mean it. Gee, we really feel bad. It's too bad the terrorists insist on hiding themselves among the civilian population and using people as human shields. You people really should do something about that before someone gets hur---oops! Too late. When are you people going to learn? (shaking head in exasperation)'
Now another approach, popular in the US, is to just stick a bunch of fancy-sounding words together in various swirly patterns that dazzle and hypnotize Americans, especially when delivered by serious men in crisp uniforms adorned with lots of colorful pins and patches. It goes down like candy. For example:
Petraeus ‘rule book’ prioritizes “security and task sharing as a means of empowering civilians and prompting national reconciliation.”A thing of beauty, no? Who could be against that? But watch how this morphs under examination:
‘Security’ is elusive because what the US Commander considers ‘security’ is the free movement of US troops and collaborators based on the insecurity of the colonized Iraqi majority. They continue to subject the civilian Iraqis to arbitrary house-to-house searches, break-ins and humiliating searches and arrests.For more on how this works in real time, for example what's happening in Sadr City, read this.
While the death toll of civilians declined from ‘hundreds a day’ to ‘hundreds a week’, it demonstrated Petraeus’ failure to achieve his most elementary goal. ‘Task Sharing’ as defined by Petraeus and his officers is a euphemism for Iraqi collaboration in ‘administrating’ his orders. ‘Sharing’ involves a highly asymmetrical relation of power: the US orders and the Iraqis comply. Petraeus defines the ‘task’ as informing on insurgents. The Iraqi population is supposed to provide ‘information’ on their families, friends and compatriots, in other words betray their own people. The concept sounded more feasible in his manual than in practice. US troops still are ambushed on a daily basis and insurgents, operating among the population, bomb their armored carriers.
'Empowering civilians’, another prominent concept in Petraeus’ manual, assumed that those who ‘empower’ give up power to the ‘others’. In other words, that the US military cedes territory, security, financial resource management and allocation to a colonized people or to the local armed forces. During his 18 months in command, it is the ‘empowered’ people who protect and support insurgents and oppose the US occupation and its puppet regime. In fact what Commander Petraeus really meant was ‘empowering’ a small minority of civilians who were willing collaborators of an occupying army. They were frequently the deadly target of the insurgents. The civilian minority ‘empowered’ by the Petraeus formula requires heavy US military protection to withstand retaliation. In practice no neighborhood civilian collaborators have been delegated real power and those who were delegated authority, are dead, hiding or secretly allied with the resistance.
Petraeus’ goal of ‘national reconciliation’ has been a total failure. The Iraqi regime is paralyzed into squabbling sects and warlords. Reconciliation between warring parties is not on the horizon. What Petraeus fails to recognize, but even his puppet allies publicly state, is that US colonization of Iraq is a blatant denial of the conditions for reconciliation. Commander Petraeus and his army and the dictates of the Zionist White House play off the warring parties undermining any negotiation toward ‘conciliation’. Like all preceding colonial commanders, Petraeus fails to recognize that Iraqi popular sovereignty is the essential precondition for national reconciliation and stability. Military imposed ‘reconciliation’ among warring collaborator groups with no legitimacy among the Iraqi electorate has been a disaster.
You see, it's all about how we use language. Do you remember The Lorax? When the Once-ler chopped down the first Truffula tree and knitted his first Thneed, he defended it thus to the Lorax:
I'm being quite useful. This thing is a Thneed. A Thneed's a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need! It's a shirt. It's a sock. It's a glove. It's a hat. But it has other uses. Yes, far beyond that. You can use it for carpets. For pillows! For sheets! Or curtains! Or covers for bicycle seats!"Yeah you poor stupid goy, I mean guy.
The Lorax said, "Sir! You are crazy with greed. There is no one on earth who would buy that fool Thneed!"
But the very next minute I proved he was wrong. For, just at that minute, a chap came along, and he thought that the Thneed I had knitted was great. He happily bought it for three ninety-eight.
I laughed at the Lorax, "You poor stupid guy! You never can tell what some people will buy."