Thursday, January 08, 2009

Yes, They Use Human Shields

It is in the nature of resistance movements and insurgencies to insituate themselves among and, when considered necessary, use civilians as human shields in fighting their enemy.

Why do they do it? They do it because it f**king works. Just like it's always worked, from generation to generation. The only surprise in it is why we always show such surprise and indignation when it happens. It's not like we don't know they're going to do it and it's not like we don't know that we'll ignore all that and go after them with heavy firepower anyway.

It's what we do. They count it. It's how they goad us into doing their job for them. It's how they use us to extinguish the voice of any moderates within their own ranks.

Look at it this way. If you're living in an undefended village and the insurgents move in and the government side, finding them there, employs its heavy firepower to take them out and your kids wind up dead, do you embrace the Michael Ignatieff mentality and blame the insurgents or do you blame the side that sent those bombs that snuffed out your childrens' lives? I damn well know who I'd set out to kill, where I'd look to take my revenge. And so do you.

So, yes, they use human shields. We can't change that so all we can do is weigh our options on how we'll respond. We don't have to kill the hostages. Killing them only makes life worse for us. It only makes life better for our adversaries. They get a dividend every time we whack one of their innocent civilians and we arrogantly keep paying that dividend.

So - until we can change the dynamic where they can exploit civilians as human shields - maybe it would be an idea not to let them collect dividends from us for it.

Either commit enough resources so they can't exploit innocents as human shields or find other opportunities to attach them when those innocents aren't in play. C'mon, do the math. You don't get many propositions more obvious than that. It all begins with the idea that you don't waste your time, effort and resources on activities that are self-defeating. Believe it or not, there was a day when people didn't need that explained to them.

I'm coming to wonder whether there aren't a lot of nasties on both sides who've come to gain a vested interest in keeping the carnage mill turning.

My heart sank today when I read Michael Ignatieff's comments unequivocally supporting Israel's actions in Gaza and, worse, blaming the fallout entirely on Hamas. That's like blaming the neighbour's kid for your own child's truancy.

I had been willing to give Ignatieff the benefit of the doubt that his early support for the conquest of Iraq was a "mistake" from which he'd learned better. I don't believe that at all any more, not in the slightest. The business he so fiercely endorsed went into the crapper and he ran for cover. It's that same mentality that we're seeing today in his unquestioning, unequivocal support for Israeli actions in Gaza. Notice how Iggy is quick to blame, chooses to ignore the history behind this conflict, its roots, and adopts a pure black/white scenario. Thank God the Americans finally have someone better than that.

Cherniak might as well remove me from Liblogs. I'm just not that comfortable here any more. I wish I could switch my support left or right but that's not it. I belong where I am, I just don't belong in an Ignatieff Liberal Party of Canada.


penlan said...

I, too, have a heavy heart & great disappointment in Ignatieff. I've said it before & I'll say it again:
Ignatieff & Harper are looking inter-changeable to me - especially in Foreign Affairs.

It's too much when instead of speaking to truth he (MI) speaks as a politician not wanting to lose certain "ethnic" votes. Harper too. That's what I think it's all about.

Yes, Israel has the right to defend itself. No doubt whatsoever about that. BUT the carnage being wrought on the citizens, the Palestinians, is brutal in the extreme. These people are unable to leave the war zone as they are locked in on all sides by the Israeli's as well as Egypt now, too, at the request of Israel.

In time we will find out more of the truth of what has been done, & will be done, in Gaza. There are already reports on unnecessary actions/bombings/killings done by the IDF & not allowing access, for days at a time, for the ICRC to aid victims.

I do NOT support Hamas & their actions either. But the over-kill, literally, by the IDF is mind-numbing. Western nations could step up to the plate & demand that this mess stop, but they all sit on their morals & defend Israel's actions. I am speaking from a humanitarian viewpoint here. I do not want to see anyone slaughtered anywhere in the world - including Gaza & Israel.

Robert W. said...

Just so everyone is clear, you are actually defending this. Unbelievable!

WesternGrit said...

I think the human shield actions are reprehensible, but the whole situation right now is like a bank robbery with hostages, with SWAT deciding to bomb the bank to get rid of the robbers.

Armed intervention was necessary - and I support Israel doing that, but THIS... this is stupidity. Even if you are a total supporter of Israel, you cannot see this helping you. The only way this will "help" is if you just go ahead and level all of Gaza and the West Bank, then kill everyone in those areas... and that's not exactly humane, now, is it? Or plausible... This is only going to breed thousands more terrorists, and harden attitudes and opinions on both sides...

"I'm coming to wonder whether there aren't a lot of nasties on both sides who've come to gain a vested interest in keeping the carnage mill turning." There are. Dick Cheney's probably making his cut too. Defense contractors are loving this...

Mike said...


Indeed. It looks most certainly like those kids are being used unwilling. So, I guess the IDF has every right to shoot those kids now eh? Because an armed jackass used an unwilling kid, a civillian, as a human shield, the IDF has the right to kill that kid, or lob a missile and kill that kid and all the other one's in the video?

Because THAT is what you are defending.

Don't be a jackass.

LeDaro said...

Hey MoS, I have been thinking the same when I heard about Iggy's ignorance. The man may be a scholar but ignorant about the world situation. Totally disgusting.

Beast said...

It is a complicated issue. Yes, Hamas is wrong for using Human shields. And yes, Israel is wrong for bombing them anyway. But, what are they to do. Are they to just allow the missles to continue raining down on them because of that? Do the people living there as the shields have no responsibility to do something about it? It is easy for us to condemn and judge while offering no solutions. But I wonder how our opinion might be different if it was you and me in Israel's shoes.

penlan said...


I don't think Iggy is ignorant. He just wants to make sure he gets "certain" votes in the next election.

James Curran said...

We have now become, officially, the Warren Kinsella Party of Canada. There. I said it. Aren't we all happier now?

Lucky for us he will be dictating the entire platform strategy as head of the Liberal War Room.

penlan said...

Not happy here, James, no, not happy at all.

BallBounces said...

It is not a complicated issue. Israel has the right to defend itself with force and is right in doing so.

Wfun said...

"If you're 20 and conservative, you have no heart. If you're 30 and liberal, you have no brain."

If you have neither heart nor brain, you post the blog above promoting the violent death of children to achieve political goals.

LeDaro said...

Penlan, the man is ignorant. He is going to lose quite a few seats in Toronto, as they’re a lot of minorities there and votes of progressive Liberals in general. May be he will pick up few neo-Liberals who are not much different than neo-cons.

Jason Cherniak said...

This is outrageous. You are justifying the use of human sheilds? In my personal opinion, you don't belong in the Liberal Party.

James Curran said...

With your comments on my blog yesterday Jason, either do you.

LeDaro said...

Cherniak, you have been justifying killing and slaughtering of women and children by Israeli army. I don't think you belong to human race.

penlan said...

MoS is NOT justifying the use of human shields. He is stating it as fact. Because that is exactly what happens in some areas of the world where there is conflict.

The Mound of Sound said...

Cherniak, give your brain a rest. I am not justifying the use of human shields nor am I condoning it. For your own twisted purposes you've chosen to read that into what I wrote. You must be one hell of a litigator if you're that sloppy.

I said that the practice of using human shields is standard fare for these types of movements. That's historical reality.

I said that one of the reasons they do this is to cause the mightier side to inflict civilian casualties. That serves their purposes. I think it's deplorable and I think it's inhumane and I know it works for them.

It works for them among their own people, in Gaza and in the West Bank. It works for them in Lebanon and Syria and Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan and Egypt.

There are books on this, manuals. They've been written from the guerrilla side and from our side. They're like play books that describe the techniques and analyze them.

Why don't you read them instead of wasting your time fantasizing that I support Hamas and its practices.

By the way in case any of you are interested in reading one of these play books you can start with FM3-24, the latest US Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual. It was written by a team of military scholars headed by some guy named David Petraeus. It digests the lessons of asymmetrical warfare going back to Caesar all the way up through T.E. Lawrence and Che Guevara.

The draft of it used to be available in PDF format on the internet.

But spare me the bully boy tactic of denouncing me as a supporter of Hamas who condones the use of human shields. Shove that straight back up your.. well, you know.

Ted Betts said...


Are you not comfortable and musing about leaving or is that a specific request that you be removed?

Ted Betts said...

I have to say I'm a little surprised at how many former Bob Rae supporters think they now have to leave the party because of the Liberal's statements on this fight between Israel and Hamas.

I think that Bob's influence on the party is shown clearly by the clear support for Israel shown by Iggy and the party statements. You could not have a stronger backer of Israel than Bob and I am glad that he is on the Liberal team and inner circle.

LeDaro said...

Ted, the way you and Cherniak are behaving and alienating people you’re putting a big bloody knife in the back of Liberal Party.

Michael Shaw said...

Check out YouTube for videos produced by Hamas showing children as young as six wearing combat fatiques and training with AK-47 assault rifles. Hamas is using these boys as cannon fodder against the IDF. Once killed by Israeli bullets or shells their little bodies are stripped of weapons and uniforms then desplayed to the gullible western media. They are more valuable to Hamas as corpses than soldiers.

Anonymous said...

My heart sank today when I read Michael Ignatieff's comments unequivocally supporting Israel's actions in Gaza and, worse, blaming the fallout entirely on Hamas.
I had my doubts on him but it seems that the pro-Israel coterie is influencing him.

I will no longer renew my Liberal membership and will actively campaign against them.

Jason Cherniak, I hope that you continue to work behind the scenes - so will I.
Iggy is a poor leader -
Israel is perverse, incomprehensible, morally unconscionable and unscrupulous...

James Curran said...

The rumours of my death are greatly exagerated.

Ted, you and kinsella keep insisting we have left the party. My guess is, its your wish. Unfortunately, I still sit on 3 riding association executives and donate my cash to the Laurier Club. So, unless you wanna have Michael send me a letter asking me to leave, I'd rather exercise my right as a card-carrying (not that we issue cards anymore) Liberal to express my opinion and have it heard.

The Mound of Sound said...

Well Ted I guess I don't have to request to be removed. I expect the former LPC, now LP(I) will be better off without people like me.

Ted Betts said...

Um, Jim... WTF are you talking about? Where have I said you've left the party or, as a more important fact, indicated that I think it would be better for you to leave the party? That would be a truly strange one since I don't think that.

Ted Betts said...

Mound: I'm just wondering if you want to be removed from the Liblogs list or if you are just wondering out loud whether you want to stay on. That's all.

James Curran said...

Ted your Bob Rae comments above are one rung lower than Kinsella's statement that I am a "former Liberal activist" in my opinion. What Bob Rae supporters are leavin the party Ted based on Israel?

None that I'm aware of. Many are leaving because we have now become the party that nobody is allowed to voice an opinion in.
Kinsella will be running a war room that has no apparent room for expressing concern over tragic civilian loss and the loss of precious children.

I've been called a bigot, an anti-semite, an asshole, a neo-nazi, a jew hater and "insignifigant" over these past few days.

Warren has used his blog to sell a few more copies of "Web of Hate" and has chastised all Liberals speeking out against the inhumane condiditons in Gaza. You have snidely remarked about me on Jeff's blog.

Cherniak turned Liblogs into a one-man soapbox giving an opinion as to how all of us on Liblogs should feel.

It wouldn't surprise me much I think if Liblogs loses many more than just one Blogger.

Similarly, it won't surprise me much if the OLO becomes a closed shop to the rest of the party a la the Harper PMO. I find it amazing that not one of the 77 Liberal MPs other than MI and Bob have had anything to say about this conflict.

Today's death total is 768 and 3500 wounded.

Not that that matters much.

Ted Betts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ted Betts said...

Again, Jim, WTF are you talking about? Where have I said that you are leaving, have left or should leave the party or Liblogs? I am just reading comments up above and elsewhere about people leaving the party and voting NDP because of this issue and responding to it. For those people, I'm not sure I understand the logic because they supported Bob and now say they can't support the party because Iggy is taking this position. That just doesn't compute.

You really need to take a step back, man, if you think everything is about you.

And why are you lambasting me for your anger toward people like Kinsella and Cherniak? Fire off an email to them or put up another post. WTF do I care about what you think about them?

Honestly, people, these are comments on a blog post on a blog aggregator. It's not even as significant as a letter to the editor in an almost defunct rag like the National Post. We all need to take heaps of valium.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ted, it's curious isn't it that your man Ignatieff has fallen far to the right of Obama. I think that's a first for a leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Another first? He's got Kelly McParlan of the National Post singing his praises. When the National Post starts praising a leader of the Liberal Party, the Liberal Party has a serious leadership problem.

James Curran said...

Well ted you can blame Cherniak if you like. He included you, jeff Jedras and Denise Brunsdon in his "official Liblogs position" on Israel.

Your cheapshot comment on A BCer's blog about me is well-noted. And don't fucking pull the tough guy act on me Ted.

While guys like you sat out the last 2 years in the party because Iggy wasn't the leader, fuckheads like me were selling memberships, raising money and donating money. S o get off your high horse and have a look at what some other members of the party are saying.
You are the one suggesting Bob's people are leaving the party. (Does Levitt know he's leaving?)

Ted Betts said...

And that's a good debate to be had, Mound. He had you singing his praises a month ago for bring real leadership to the party. He has had others on the left and right praise him and disparage him. Iggy doesn't fit nicely into neat, tidy little pre-conceived notions of left and right and it confounds a lot. And if you want to change the subject and have a discussion about his leadership, be happy to.

Although I think it a tad strange to discuss a "serios" leadership problem a single month (one that includes Christmas and NY holidays) after he became leader, has not completed putting his office together, is in the middle of a cross-country tour to try and define himself before others do, and while we wait for Harper to tell us what his plans are for the country.

I think it is hardly a "serious leadership problem" that the party has taken a position on a foreign issue with which you (and others) disagree. This has very strong caucus support, including from both former leadership candidates (most especially Rae).

I would actually hate to see people like you go Mound. While I disagree utimately with your position on this and my personal view is that you have not given the Israeli position enough of a fair consideration (which is your right), I do think that you are doing exactly what I would hope from someone in the same party who has a different point of view. You have laid out the nuances of your views in detail and in a civil manner, not charged with overblown and divisive rhetoric.

We need a lot of points of view to win the country. Reasonable partisans can have reasonable discussions over issues on which they have differing viewpoints.

Divad13 said...

Wow, this is a pure Dion Liberals!
I support what MI stated
Let's view the situation from the side for a second instead of blaming Israel for everything. Hamas came out and said that they were not interested in renegotiating ceasefire (which is not a peace treaty), and started to bomb Israel's civilians. Israel evacuated from Gaza for a long time, what has happened since except birthrates and weapons smuggling, did anybody thought about creating some kind of economy, create new schools, build bomb shelters (which Israel has all over the country due to which casualties on their side are minimal), none of these things were build or created. Instead talk of hate and defiance against Israel was the main course of action supported by Iran just like the Hezbollah up north in Lebanon, which also started bombing. And of course any Israeli response will be condemned by everybody cause Israel cannot and should not protect their citizens. Let's go back to 2006 and say the Israel attacked Lebanon illegitimately cause who cares if your soldiers are killed, illegal border crossing and bombing your civilians!

Ted Betts said...

"While guys like you sat out the last 2 years in the party because Iggy wasn't the leader, fuckheads like me were selling memberships, raising money and donating money. S o get off your high horse and have a look at what some other members of the party are saying.
You are the one suggesting Bob's people are leaving the party. (Does Levitt know he's leaving?)"

I am so very tired of this whine of yours Jim. Where the hell do you get off saying I have done nothing for the party in the last 2 years? I stopped blogging a year ago and, because you obviously don't realize there is a bigger world out there, the blogoshere is not Canada and it is not the party. I certainly do not need to justify or explain all the things I've been doing to you.

And STOP fabricating things I have said just to try to divide the party. I have NOT said Bob Rae supporters are leaving the party, Jim. Stop making that crap up because you feel so put out.

Bloggers are commenting here that they think they have to leave the party because of the position on Israel that the party has taken. Some of those people I know are Bob supporters. To them, I ask what they think would be different if Bob was leader? Nothing. This is the party policy and it is broadly supported by the party.

Take a strong position one way or another on any issue you like, Jim. But please stop trying to create division by lying about what some have said or done.

agsharma said...

Nice post.

James Curran said...

And some of them are Iggy supporters too Ted.

Wow. A bigot, an anti-semite, a neo-nazi...and now, compliments of Ted Betts...a liar. Stellar week for the aht do I know grit.

Ted Betts said...

Of course they are, Jim. But if you are so insistent on refusing to see the point, let's just move on.

The liar label is easy to dispell. Just point out where I said you have left the party or should leave the party? I didn't. You seem to insist I did.

Michael Teper said...

See the attached video. I hope the IDF continues this war until every school in Gaza is blasted into pieces slightly smaller than the average size of Corn Flakes.

crj said...

Mr CLCL, You are fortunate to have been unmasked as anti-semite.

So, you believe it is as simple as "Either [1] commit enough resources so they can't exploit innocents as human shields or [2] find other opportunities to attach[sic "attack"?] them when those innocents aren't in play."

Brilliant! Pray tell me 1) what are "enough resources"? Were you thinkibg an all-out invasion perhpas with house-to-house search and destroy missions, neighborhood-by-neighborhood? or for 2) Israel just ignores the mortar/missiles, especially those which are from courtyards of/on rooftops of mosques, schoolyards, hospitals and such "high-risk" targets - which appear to be 99% of the launches.

I applaude Mr. Ignatief for fighting for the right side in this debate, unlike other Liberal leaders in the past. That you would have "hoped" for something different provides a remarkable insight into you knowledge of your leader as it was he who whilst at Harvard "underwrote the subtext" for the UN to invade Iraq. Perhaps you should check HIS bloodline too.

** said...

So you are OK with me grabbing you around the neck with a choking forearm, holding you in front of me to absorb bullets while I run through the street killing innocents...hmmmmm

I'll bet you voted Liberal in the last election

Anonymous said...

"It's not like we don't know they're going to do it and it's not like we don't know that we'll ignore all that and go after them with heavy firepower anyway."

Thankfully they do continue to use heavy firepower and kill that pestilence known as Hamas and many of it's Gaza citizens, if you can call them that.

But, why do they do it?

"Why do they do it? They do it because it f**king works."

The Mound of Sound said...

Where to begin. CR Jones, the anti-Semite slur is getting old - and boring. There's nothing remotely anti-Semitic in anything I've written. The thrust of my argument is that Israel should stop playing into Hamas' hands.

It's the same sort of advice as might be had from that other terrorist sympathizer, David Petraeus. Read his team's counterinsurgency field manual. It covers every mistake that Israel persistently makes this being one of the most egregious - and utterly stupid.

Child of God, your remark is not just nonsensical, it's obtuse. This post is anything but supportive of this Hamas tactic. Obviously you didn't read it before you ran your mouth.

Hello Birdy. I had a look at your blog. Think about getting professional help.

Skinny Dipper said...

To JC,

I don't think MoS suggested that Hamas should use human shields. I do think that MoS commented that Hamas gains sympathy from many people in the world when Israeli soldiers kill civilians.

Rob said...

I think Skinny D has a point. But I'd like to know if the reference MoS made to the LP(I) means Liberal Party of Ignatieff or Isreal.

Also whether you have anything to say about penlan's reference to Ignatieff going after the vote of "certain" ethnic groups.

da wolfe

The Mound of Sound said...

Your first guess was correct Robbie, it was indeed the "Liberal Party of Ignatieff"

You're probably right about Penlan also. There were some prominent Jewish Canadians who made a lot of noise about leaving the Dion Liberals for the Harper Conservatives over the Libs position on Israel. People like Gerry Swartz and Heather Reissman (sp?) for example. I think their vocal departure stung some within the senior ranks of the LPC. Obviously the Libs being as cash strapped as they are and hoping to stage a comeback would like to recover some of that affluent support.

James Curran said...

Actually they didn't leave under Dion's watch. They left because of Iggy's comments in 2006 where he stated Israel committed War Crimes in Qana Lebanon. That's when they left.

James Curran said...

And Ted, this sounded like an invite to me:

"I have to say I'm a little surprised at how many former Bob Rae supporters think they now have to leave the party because of the Liberal's statements on this fight between Israel and Hamas."

The Mound of Sound said...

I stand corrected James and I thank you for that.


ed said...

Hamas should use PUPPIES as shields
if they want western sentiment

CHILDREN are only unaborted tissue
and KLEENEX allready makes them

The Mound of Sound said...

Ed, take it outside. You're boring. Ridiculous, but boring.

Rob said...

(robbie hingston)

It's not clear to me how the affluence of supporters makes any difference with the tight cap on individual donations. Not at all... I don't know, maybe you mean affluent in terms of influence?

Come to think of it, that characterization wouldn't make me any more comfortable.

I can't see Penlan's comment in any kind of good light.

Jay Currie said...

Great post!

I had been wondering about the whole "human shields" thing but now I'm not. "It fucking works." pretty much covers it.

If you have an inferior force and you insist on poking the lion with sharp sticks the only way you can hope to survive the lion's response is to hope the lion has a keeper.

But I also like the implications of the "It fucking works" point of view. Stuff can get justified much more easily than by an appeal to reason or, Heaven forbid, ethics.

Let's face it, there are 30,000 Hamas terrorists holding 1.5 million Gazans hostages: solution? Kill every last one of the terrorists and accept the 1:3 colateral damage. I mean it is only 10,000 of 1.5 million and, hey, "It fucking works."

From the caricature Israeli perspective you have now provided the best possible justification for going Roman on the Hamas ass.

"It fuccking works."


The Mound of Sound said...

JC, I'll take some of your remarks as tad facetious but overall you're right.

Yes it does work for Hamas and, yes, one of the few effective responses is, as you put it, to "go Roman."

The history of Roman counterinsurgency is one of putting entire populations to the sword as a warning to others. It did tend to work.

Ed Luttwak and other military historians have written about the Roman solution to guerrilla movements. On January 20, 2007 I wrote a post entitled "Why We Lose to Insurgencies" based on a Luttwak article. It's still available in the blog archives if you're interested.

But that was two centuries ago and Israel, for all its military prowess, isn't Rome.

Were Israel to attempt something like that, it's longstanding, reliable allies would become its enemies, virtually overnight. It would simply bring down the wrath of the world upon its head.

You probably think this isn't fair, that the world operates by a double standard. That's an understatement.

But the rules of war were forged out of two great and disastrous world wars. Hamas didn't exist at the time. These rules are intended to prescribe the minimum standards we would expect for our own populations which rarely reflect what we're willing to find appropriate for our enemies.

So we all have to live within this imperfect, often hypocritical global regime.

Israel, like its enemies, often resists, even flaunts that order but it can't hold out for very long. It never has and the circumstances it finds itself in today are not in its favour.

The Mound of Sound said...

make that "two millenia" ago.

Rob said...

This is a more interesting to me - the actual arguement you're making, and it's well stated.

You frankly acknowledge that there is a double standard, and you're right. It's always been clear to me that Isreal is held to a higher standard first as being one of "us". Liberal anglo westerners especially have a long tradition of, as they say, taking every side but their own. And that could be argued as bigotry... not towards Isreal who are then counted as on our side, but towards the "other" on the other side of the double standard, although I think liberals are right to a degree that demanding a completely equal level from people who grew up with the Jew killing Hamas bunny for their cartoons is also unfair.

Many westerners don't care that vastly more people and more Muslims died in Russia's response to terrorists in Checnya because we don't feel any responsibility for what Russians do. Leave aside the point that liberals of all people should militate against that kind of double standard, it's bigotry towards Russians if anyone.

But there's still this: Isreal is not only held to a higher standard than her opponents, Isreal is also held to a higher standard than her allies.

It's as simple as the fact that nobody questions the American right to respond to 9/11 in the way that Isreal is for responding to worse. It's as simple as the fact that Isreal's efforts to stop thousands of rockets fired at innocents earn vicious slurs like "barbarians" and worse. Under threat of being destroyed England returned civilian bombing for civilian bombing in World War II. Who really holds that against them but some of their own? And that was the first time in several centuries England was threatened like that. Isreal faced annihilation from 60 years ago, on the heels of annihilation.

If rockets were being indicriminately fired at any other "western" people would "proportionality" mean anything but stopping it?

Egypt's border is closed is it not? Yet Isreal is attacked for any percieved blockage in humanitarian supply when they're the only ones providing it. It's not the double standard, it's the size of it. It's the tone of it. Anti-semitism, too, is a millenial fact. What better explanation if Isreal is ostracized for doing or attempting self defence to a degree that nobody else is? It's in the air Mos, even people without it in their heart might have their perspective skewed by it.

And for me it's a double "anti-semitism" - not only holding Isreal to a very exceptional standard below which they quickly and conveniently lose a right to "our" sympathy and support but holding Hamas and their supporters to no standard at all, as if they had no more moral agency than an impersonal force... as if they were not human.

The Mound of Sound said...

The border issue is a fair bit more complex than as you've stated it. Egypt keeps its border sealed mainly to prevent a Gazan exodus, a mass Palestinian migration of the type that bedevilled Jordan decades ago.

The greater border issue is Israel's, by far. Israel has blockaded Gaza not only by land but also by sea and by air. It has the place hermetically sealed.

The siege was brutal and it worked mainly as a form of collective punishment of the civilian population. It didn't accomplish much against Hamas and the other militant groups, witness the rocket barrages.

Every time we get into this sort of thing it always devolves into a chicken and egg argument. Israel did this because Hamas did that. Hamas claims it only did that because Israel did this other horible thing.

We get truly manipulated by that. Each side seeks to frame the argument along a timeline that puts the other side's acts first. It's all "he started it" when it's like watching a tennis match after the serve. Once the ball is in play, back and forth, it's hard to tell who served - who began everything.

That's why the current Israeli narrative cuts this down to a Hamas rocket/Israeli retaliation matrix. Clean and simple, Hamas plainly started it. That deliberately excises the previous history between the two parties and is used to present fault as absolute when, in fact, it's more often to various degrees shared.

Another point is the constant references to the thousands of rockets fired by the militants into Israel. In the mind that can conjure up images of the Stalin's Organ mass rocket launchers the Soviets used against Germany. Big difference. The Soviet rockets killed a lot of German soldiers. They were very effective. The militants' rockets have killed remarkably few Israelis.

It's one of those claims you have to work through to put it in perspective necessary to weigh the proportionality of the Israeli air and ground attack on Gaza.

You are quite right though about the United States. What was the proportionality factor in their war on Iraq? As we all know now, Iraq hadn't attacked America at all. So every bomb dropped, every cruise missile fired, every artillery barrage on Iraq violated the proportionality rule.

That, however, gets us into the murky business of American exceptionalism in a unipolar world which really isn't helpful for considering Gaza.

I've rambled much too long.


filthykafir said...

Interesting post, "Yes, They Use Human Shields." But, I note, you do not offer a scintilla of evidence in support of a single statement you make. That lack of evidence weakens the structure to the point of intellectual collapse, rendering it merely another leftist diatribe and a waste of, otherwise, valuable and functional words.

Do the terms "reason" and "logic" ring any bells?

The Mound of Sound said...

Nicely put, Kafir. Now go outside and play.

Mark said...

The border issue is a fair bit more complex than as you've stated it. Egypt keeps its border sealed mainly to prevent a Gazan exodus, a mass Palestinian migration of the type that bedevilled Jordan decades ago.

The greater border issue is Israel's, by far...

Hold on a second, I saw you palm that card.

Egypt keeps its side of the border closed to "prevent a Gazan exodus"... and so what? Why does that excuse them, when according to you thousands of rockets, hundreds of suicide bombers, and a declared state of war by the government of Gaza aren't enough to permit Israel to close its side?

The Mound of Sound said...

Mark, where does all this fanatacism come from? I never said Egypt was excused from anything. Calm down, take a deep breath or three. By the way, I don't believe I mentioned either "hundreds of suicide bombs, and a delcared state of war by the government of Gaza" in this post. If you're beginning to see words that I haven't written, bed rest might be an idea.