occupation watch: Rachel Corrie killed

It's a disturbing tale - an American human shield dies, crushed under a buldozer, while trying to stop the illegal demolition of an innocent Palestinian's home. Or is it a tale of a terrorism-apologist, rightfully stomped on as she interfered with the right of a great society to defend itself? Two perspectives on Rachel Corrie:

via LGF:
woman from Olympia, Washington got herself run over by a bulldozer in Gaza when she interfered with the demolition of a terrorist's house.
Today, I swear an oath. If this terrorist-defending swine is buried in her hometown, the next time I go there I will piss on her grave.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the bulldozer. I hope it is okay after being attacked by this berserk idiot. With God's grace, it can be hosed off quickly and put back in service to knock down more homes of terrorists.

73 Laura 3/16/2003 02:30PM PST
If people are a little unsympathetic, it's because she lost her life taking action to defend criminals (accomplices to terror). And as for how they should have acted - see #58. It was an ACCIDENT. Accidents happen in this country, as well - didn't a cop recently run over 2 women sunbathing?? Would you ever go to a construction site and stand close to a bulldozer? No, because they might not see you and you might get hurt. Visibility is poor from big machines.

Furthermore, as lefties keep intentionally ignoring, Israel is AT WAR with the Palestinians. Therefore, the rules of engagement are DIFFERENT than the rules governing police actions involving citizens of one's own country. If you interfere with military personnel doing their job, you are much much more likely to get hurt than if you interfere with the police.

#21 Brenda 3/16/2003 01:15PM PST
Does this make her an honorary martyr? Does she get 72 buffed dudes in paradise?

#88 Martha 3/16/2003 02:52PM PST
#63 Bernie-- I'd like to give a damn about a girl's life if the girl hadn't devoted her life to aligning herself with people who blow other people up in buses and in nightclubs and in grocery stores in order to make a point. In the end, she thought and then acted exactly like the murderers she chose to openly support. Living the life she foolishly chose to live, she brought unncecessary danger and risk onto herself, until finally she killed-who else?- herself. What a surprise. And only sad for her family, by the way.
via Body and Soul:
March 18, 2003
Rafah, Gaza Strip, Palestine

Many of you will of heard varying accounts of the death of Rachel Corrie, maybe others will have heard nothing of it. Regardless, I was 10 metres away when it happened 2 days ago, and this is the way it went down.

Rachel Corrie, 23, Killed by Israeli Bulldozer

We'd been monitoring and occasionally obstructing the 2 bulldozers for about 2 hours when one of them turned toward a house we knew to be threatened with demolition. Rachel knelt down in its way. She was 10-20 metres in front of the bulldozer, clearly visible, the only object for many metres, directly in its view. The Israelis were in radio contact with a tank that had a profile view of the situation. There is no way she could not have been seen by them in their elevated cabin.
They knew where she was, there is no doubt.

The bulldozer drove toward Rachel slowly, gathering earth in its scoop as it went. She knelt there, she did not move. The bulldozer reached her and she began to stand up, climbing onto the mound of earth. She appeared to be looking into the cockpit. The bulldozer continued to push Rachel, so she slipped down the mound of earth, turning as she went. Her faced showed she was panicking and it was clear she was in danger of being overwhelmed. All the activists were screaming at the bulldozer to stop and gesturing to the crew about Rachel's presence. We were in clear view as Rachel had been, they continued.
They pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit. They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time. Every second I believed they would stop but they never did.

I ran for an ambulance, she was gasping and her face was covered in blood from a gash cutting her face from lip to cheek. She was showing signs of brain hemorrhaging. She died in the ambulance a few minutes later of massive internal injuries. She was a brilliant, bright and amazing person, immensely brave and committed. She is gone and I cannot believe it.

The group here in Rafah has decided that we will stay here and continue to oppose human rights abuses as best we can.
Sincerely, Tom (Forwarded by John Steppling)

To be honest, I treat the actual witness account as more valid. After all, this happens every day with innocent Palestinians, the only difference here is that Corrie was an American. It's clear from the eyewitness account that she was killed deliberately, in full view. Palestinian terrorists are not alone in demonstrating a clear pattern of reckless disregard for human life (and Palestinian civilians are not alone in valuing it all the more highly for the constant threat it faces).

Jeanne D'Arc has more on this in her posts: here, and here. Also Barry of Amptoons has a long and thoughtful post on the subject as well.

But the most important thing about Rachel Corrie's presence in Gaza, is what she said herself:

I am asking people who care about me-- or just have some passing interest in me--to use my presence in occupied Palestine as a reason to actively search for information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and of course particularly about the role of the United States in perpetuating it. I am here because I recognize that as a citizen of the United States I have some responsibility for what is happening here. I'm also here because I need to see for myself.

UPDATE: From Electronic Intifada, comes photos before and after Corrie's death. It's clear from the photos that Corrie was highly visible, carrying a megaphone, wearing a bright red jacket. Here are more eyewitness accounts, and also this story detailing how Rachel Corrie's memorial service was interrupted by another bulldozer sent by the IDF.

and here's one more quote from Corrie, because she really deserves the last word:

I spent a lot of time writing about the disappointment of discovering, somewhat first-hand, the degree of evil of which we are still capable. I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances - which I also haven't seen before. I think the word is dignity.

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