The government of Israel today launched a massive air assault on suspected terrorist targets along coastal cities of the United States of America. Termed operation Just Reward II, hundreds of Israeli fighter jets streamed across the Atlantic in precise formation and fired surgical air strikes at alleged terrorist strongholds in the heavy Muslim populations of Jersey City and North Bergen, New Jersey. The jets then continued south into Elizabeth and Newark, inflicting massive destruction in the densely populated northeastern US state.
Reaction to the attacks was swift. President Bush asked for restraint, but stated emphatically that "Israel had the right to defend itself." The President, who took an oath to defend the US and to preserve, protect and defend it against all foreign and domestic enemies, said that the fight against suspected terrorist sites and alleged al-Qaeda involvement, coupled with our close relationship with Israel, requires special sacrifices by the American people and special exceptions to both US and international law.
Earlier in the day, the US Congress passed a unanimous resolution in both houses, backing the Jewish state. Even New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez voted with the 98 other US Senators, backing Israel’s right to self-defense.
Claiming there were terrorists in New Jersey who had links to al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as other radical Islamic groups, New York Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer appeared at a UN rally just across the river from the Israeli incursion and pledged their unwavering support for Israel. "We are all Israelis now," Senator Clinton proudly proclaimed.
The attacks were the first on American soil by a foreign country since the December 7, 1941 assault by the empire of Japan.
The American public was mainly upset and worried about what this would mean for the price of gasoline. NJ has several refineries just south of the suspected safe houses. Across the country, most Americans continued their summer vacations, unconcerned with the developments in foreign countries but quite concerned how this might impact the Dow.
Critics called the Israeli self-defense incursion an attack on the US, and anyone supporting the Israeli invasion of the United States as traitors. They were immediately dismissed as anti-Semites and soft on terrorism.
The MSNBC studios in Secaucus, NJ, just a few miles north of the attack, lost power after the air strikes knocked out the local PSE&G power plant, but stayed on the air with emergency backup generators, as news readers marveled at the pinpoint accuracy of the strikes. They praised the Israeli air force for valuing American First Amendment rights to such an extent that they left the studio intact, so ongoing developments could be broadcast to the American people. Newly installed MSNBC president Dan Abrams, a loyal supporter of Israel, sent a telegram to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, thanking him for his restraint. Former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, then appeared on MSNBC’s "Hardball" with Chris Matthews in the damaged studios, and defended the Israeli strikes against the suspected terrorist safe houses just a few miles away. "There are no safe houses anywhere in the world when it comes to fighting the war on terror," said Netanyahu, as the whir of the backup electrical generators could be heard in the background. Matthews stated emphatically, "That’s right."
The regrettable death toll and collateral damage to the citizens of those stricken cities is expected to be in the hundreds or even thousands, but still below the deaths that occurred on 9/11; this demonstrated the compassion of the Israeli pilots versus the ruthless Muslim terrorists, said an obviously agitated Netanyahu. "We abhor the death of innocent Americans killed in the air strikes, but you have to lay the blame on the terrorists who are hiding in these crowded neighborhoods," he rationalized.
Netanyahu’s justification for the incursion relied heavily on US Vice President Richard "Dick" Cheney’s "1%" doctrine, which treats suspicions of terrorist involvement with a likelihood even as low as 1% as a certainty. "We think therefore there are," he said philosophically.
The European Union, and Canada’s newly elected Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, also supported the Israeli incursion against the US. Both deeply regretted the loss of innocent American lives. British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the Israeli incursion just and proportionate. President Bush phoned Blair and thanked him for his support during this difficult time, and for the sweater Blair had given him on his 60th birthday.
John Bolton, the US Ambassador to the UN, noted that the American casualties from the Israeli raids were not equal to those killed in terrorist attacks, such as those that occurred here on 9/11. “There is no moral equivalence between those killed by a democratically elected government like Israel and those killed by Muslim terrorists,” Bolton emphasized.
UN General Secretary Kofi Annan also refused to criticize the Israeli actions, but suggested he mediate a cease-fire. According to those close to Annan, he offered to end all of this "shit" with a simple phone call to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine.
The newly elected NJ Governor was harshly criticized by both the Israeli government and the Bush administration for not doing enough to rein in the suspected terrorist guerillas in his state. With tears in his eyes Corzine, the former US Senator and former top executive of Goldman Sachs, took responsibility for neglecting to investigate potential terrorist activities in his state.
Despite damage to several synagogues in the bombardment, traditional liberal Jewish American leaders remained steadfast in their defense of Israel, out of an unquestioning solidarity and blind loyalty to the Jewish state. These are many of the same Jewish Americans who passionately opposed the Vietnam war and even marched with Dr. Martin Luther King during the American civil rights struggle.
But critics of the incursion contend that the Muslims are protected by American and international law, and the strikes against the US should be construed as war crimes. US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez stated emphatically that the war on terror supersedes all constitutional guarantees, and international law does not apply to anyone suspected of terrorism or links to Al-Qaeda, Hamas or Hezbollah.
In the UN, a Security Council resolution introduced by France, condemning the Israeli attacks on the United States, was vetoed by the United States.
Local hospitals overflowed with victims of the Israeli strikes. One of the victims is an Israeli pilot, badly injured after he bravely steered his stricken F-16 fighter jet away from a populated area and crash-landed in New York’s Central Park, so as not to endanger innocent civilians. The NY Times ran his heroic story on the front page, and NY Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is expected to present him with the key to the city after, as expected, he makes a full recovery. His co-pilot parachuted and was kidnapped by local sympathizers. The government of Israel and the Bush administration have demanded the kidnapped pilot’s immediate release. Bush promised Olmert he would send troops to aid in the rescue of the kidnapped Israeli pilot.
But victims of the Israeli self-defense air strikes, many of whom are less than 10 miles away from where the Twin Towers once stood, are now starting to ask not "why do they hate us?", but rather "why do we love them?"
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