Monday, December 29, 2008
Sortie after Sortie
Sitting at our gate in the Cleveland Airport.
Just after Christmas
CNN showing Israel bombers making “sortie” after “sortie”. (I find that word, sortie, rather nauseating, makes a bombing run sound like…..going for a bike ride, visiting the farmer's market, or something equally innocent).
How about a murder run? Stukas over Poland. The terror. The British and Americans over Dresden during the Second World War. Flying sortie after sortie after sortie. The sorcerer’s apprentice of firestorms and death. Endless..
Then cut to Israeli tanks roaring into Gaza.
Blitzkrieg. Lebensraum. (wow, lebensraum is even in my spell checker!)
Everything old is new again.
The news voiceovers a scene of a house demolished saying “the Israeli army is destroying houses as they go”. Casually. Like the Patriots demolished the Bears yesterday with a strong ground game of football.
Over 300 dead, the voice says.
But they never show the dead.
On either "side".
All lined up.
Or all blown up.
The pieces, both humans and.....
The fragments of bombs and rockets made in the USA.
The announcer calmly mentions that a refugee camp has been “overrun” but she doesn’t say where. Or exactly what “overrun” means. She does look serious behind the makeup. I’ll give her credit for that. Cut to commercial for exercise videos. Oh, and a plug for good old Oprah. Overrun. Sortie. Numbing words.
I voiced my anger and horror.
An old man overheard.
Looked at me.
Said grimly, “It’s a tough time”.
Pulled his hat down over his ears, and walked away.
They’re human, my friend says. Yes, I agree.
It's not just Jews against the Palestinians. Good guys vs bad guys.
But I want to vomit.
Another friend opined: “I lost family in the camps. If we don’t defend ourselves, they will kill us all”.
My head is dizzy.
I’m flying west, now, enjoying my inflight beverage as I write this, above the clouds, into the sunset bloody red.
Goodbye to all that.
Until I turn on my television and let some of the world leak into my privileged life.