Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

#flotilla: The Most Cowardly Kind of War

Before the Freedom Flotilla set sail, Turkish officials searched every nook and cranny of those six boats, and videotaped that search, and gave the video tapes to Israel. Before the cargo was loaded onto those boats, every cargo container was searched, and every item that was put into them was videotaped, and those videotapes were also given to Israel in advance. Before being allowed to board, every passenger on those six boats was hand-searched and then x-rayed by Turkish officials, who certified to Israel, in advance, that none of them were armed. Turkey, Israel's only actual ally in the region, wanted there to be no ambiguity over this fact: there were no weapons on board the Freedom Flotilla. Period. In hopes of avoiding war between their two nations, Turkey, which had no legal grounds to stop these boats from sailing, went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that Israel could not accuse the blockade runners of smuggling weapons to terrorists.

Israel sent ships to intercept those boats deep into international waters, at 4:00 am local time, and ordered them to turn around. According to multiple witnesses speaking from those boats in real time via their cell phones, the captains of all six boats said that they would not do so, but that they would only resist passively if the Israelis boarded the boats, forced their way into the cockpits, and stopped the boats themselves. According to multiple witnesses who reported this in real time, via cellphone at the time from the scene, the Israeli navy boats then opened fire on the lead ships. Israel is now holding those witnesses in captivity and denying reporters access to them, in hopes that they can first convince the public that those cellphone callers were lying when they say that Israel fired first; Israel said at the time that before they opened fire, before they even tried to board the boats, they had come under small arms fire from the flotilla ... from guns that Israel's now-former ally certified did not exist, and which even Israel now admits weren't found.

Only after firing what was at the very least suppressive fire in the direction of people they knew for a fact to be unarmed civilians did Israeli commandos attempt to board the flotilla's ships. On the five observer ships, the commandos outnumbered or very nearly outnumbered the witnesses, who surrendered without resistance, but on the actual cargo ship, the civilians who had been shot at by Israeli commandos went visibly berserk, beating the first wave to touch the deck senseless with whatever blunt objects came to hand, visibly tried to wreck their helicopter by anchoring the ziplines to the moving boat, and in two cases stole guns from the commandos and returned fire. Good for them.

Look: I have no love for Hamas, and no meaningful sympathy for any idiot who voted for Hamas. Whatever charity they provide (using Syrian funding), Hamas is the most cowardly kind of warrior the human race has ever seen. Ever since the beginning of the Second Intifadah, Hamas has concentrated all of their attacks on the softest and most vulnerable targets: Israeli civilians. They stopped even trying to fight Israeli Defense Force occupation troops, because that's too hard. They stopped even trying to resist the Israeli occupation government, because they have defenses and sometimes they shoot back. Instead they do horrendous things like the Passover bombing, a few years back, blowing up a synagogue full of elderly people, women, and children during a religious service. It's a legendarily, famously, notoriously stupid and ineffective tactic. No army that has used this as their primary weapon has ever won, because all it does is demonstrate you are too morally corrupt to rule by moral right and too weak to rule by force; if you refuse to fight the enemy's soldiers, and only fight their civilians, you are a loser.

So it's no surprise that, whether or not the Goldstone report's witnesses are telling the truth, we know from (again) first hand reports from the only neutral reporter who was on the ground in Gaza during Israel's last military incursion that Hamas bragged openly to her about their use of human shields, about only firing on Israeli soldiers once from any given position, and making sure that all of those positions were places where Gaza civilians, ideally women and children, were trying to hide from the war, and then running away before the Israelis could return fire. One of them bragged of having done so, in front of a reporter, while getting his own minor wound stitched, to a bereaved man who'd just lost his wife and kids to Israeli counter-battery fire, telling him he should be glad that his family were all "Islamic martyrs" now. Not, of course, that the weakling who was in there using his gun to make sure that the doctors and nurses stopped caring for the dying in order to stitch up his tiny little cut first had any intention of becoming a martyr himself, no. He was, like everybody in Hamas, a coward.

Just like Israel, under Netenyahu, has turned into a nation of losers and cowards who only fight unarmed civilians.

The attack on the Freedom Flotilla, even more than the Gaza incursion and the farce that was their last attempt to dislodge Hizbollah from south Lebanon, shows us a number of things about this second generation of Israeli Zionists, and none of them flattering. The only time Israel brings armed men and deadly force to a confrontation is when they know for a fact that their opponents are unarmed. And among the things that they're willing to fight and kill for is to prevent food, medicine, water purifiers, and home repair tools from reaching not Hamas (who can get all of those things that they want from Syria) but from the voters who voted for Hamas. Israel isn't willing to to go to war with Syria, no matter how many terrorists inside Israel are equipped and funded by Syria, that would be too hard and some Israelis might get hurt. Israel isn't willing to actually declare war on Lebanon, even with Hizbollah, a party dedicated to the extermination of every Jew in the world, in the ruling coalition there and actively engaged in military attacks on Israel. Going to war against Lebanon would be too hard, and some Israelis might get hurt.

No, Israel finds it much safer, and much more satisfying, to wage war against and freely kill unarmed Turkish pacifists and half-starved, increasingly homeless Gaza civilians. Which shows the world what this generation of Israeli government officials and Israeli military leaders really are: cowards, and losers.

(And I am deeply ashamed that the Obama administration, of whom I would have hoped for better, is the only government in the entire world that is taking Israel's side in this. Obama's ambassador to the UN blamed the Gazans and the pacifists for "provoking" Israel to massacre them, and threatened to veto any UN Security Council resolution that even authorized anybody except the Netenyahu government to investigate Israel's crimes. I haven't been this ashamed of my country since 2003.)


( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
Well put.
Jun. 1st, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
I can't find a source for your suggestion of shooting at the convoy before they sent the people to board from helicopters claim in Google News, and it's not even one of the views presented in the Wikipedia article.

And, of course, the Israelis didn't know that nothing had been transhipped at sea onto the flotilla, even if they fully accepted the Turkish certification that it had no firearms when it sailed. (I'm not sure what "no weapons" was intended to mean, "no firearms" is my guess. Some of those knives were clearly weapons in most jurisdictions. And I'd really hate to fight a guy who had 3 feet of rebar barehanded.)

(These are details that I think you give too little information about or assume too much about, but I do not consider them to demolish your argument; I'm not addressing your overall argument / position at all, just these two details.)
Jun. 1st, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
Brad also forgot to mention that Israeli Navy offered the flotilla to reroute to Ashdod, where the cargo would be inspected and transported to Gaza by land, under "peace activists'" direct supervision. If their goal was to deliver food and supplies to Palestinians, that's what they would do. But that was not their goal. They knew very well that if Israel allows one flotilla to sneak into Gaza, very soon there will be many more of them going in there... carrying anything they want. And if Israel wouldn't let them in, well, at least they'd have won the propaganda war. Again.
(no subject) - bradhicks - Jun. 1st, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snowcalla - Jun. 2nd, 2010 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - diesel_driver - Jun. 2nd, 2010 01:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beckyzoole - Jun. 2nd, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - foonix - Jun. 3rd, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hairyfigment - Jun. 2nd, 2010 02:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beckyzoole - Jun. 2nd, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
I’ve seen some people remark that given how much of a diplomatic clusterfuck attacking the flotilla would have been even if there had been no deaths, the Israeli diplomatic corps should have been ready with talking points as soon as the commandos arrived on the scene, but instead, the PM was out of the country and the official Israeli response was delayed for hours.

Now, take a look at the party affiliations here: Bibi, the PM is from Likud; Ehud Barak, the Defense Minister, is from Labor; Avigdor Lieberman, the Foreign Minister, is from Yisrael Beitenu.

I wonder how much rivalry among these three folks has affected the country’s military/diplomatic strategy (or lack thereof).
Jun. 1st, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
Interesting observation. I have no idea what the expected levels of loyalty are for cabinet-level people in a coalition government (well, in that particular one; it must vary by country at the very least). You think the PM might not have known the interception was going to go down when he left the country?

Since Hamas controls Gaza and doesn't recognize Israel, it seems to me that behaving by at-war rules isn't inappropriate; like instituting a blockade.
(no subject) - sethg_prime - Jun. 2nd, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beckyzoole - Jun. 2nd, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)

Israel began releasing activists detained from a Gaza aid flotilla Tuesday as humanitarian cargo aboard the ships was unloaded and taken into the blockaded Palestinian territory.

Also - in your write up - you forgot the part about Israel saying the aid could be delivered, but needed to come in through one of the checkpoints, not by running the blockade. The group choose to run the blockade.

That said - if the IDF fired on unarmed civilians before they assaulted the IDF - those responsible should be brought up on charges.
Jun. 1st, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
what seems to be ignored in the "blockade" issue is that no international body recognizes Israeli jurisdiction over the occupied territory of the Gaza Strip. Officially, it is still considered part of Egypt, even if Egypt itself has granted "autonomy" to it. So imposing a blockade on Gaza is pretty much an act of war against a sovereign nation that Israel supposedly is at peace with.
(no subject) - dd_b - Jun. 1st, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dirkcjelli - Jun. 1st, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snowcalla - Jun. 2nd, 2010 01:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beckyzoole - Jun. 2nd, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jun. 2nd, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beckyzoole - Jun. 4th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beckyzoole - Jun. 2nd, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
Do you have a few good links to the witnesses (or lists of people currently held incommunicado) & videos (or people asserting their videos have been stolen destroyed) from the flotilla side?

The IDF has some strong video on their side as far as what happened once they started boarding, but the sequence of events matters a lot: if the flotilla said they wouldn't resist violently and then did, whether they were fired on in between is the key fact as far as this one fight goes, and I haven't seen it established either way yet.
Jun. 1st, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
Do you have news links to the Turkey story?
Jun. 2nd, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
I'm completely baffled at the people I've seen online going on about how terrible it is that people assaulted the IDF soldiers who boarded the boat. They were boarded by armed men in international waters; they were entitled to defend themselves.
Jun. 2nd, 2010 05:07 am (UTC)
This is the part that confuses me as well.
(no subject) - sethg_prime - Jun. 2nd, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beckyzoole - Jun. 2nd, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - goblinpaladin - Jun. 3rd, 2010 03:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 2nd, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)

Israel is now holding those witnesses in captivity and denying reporters access to them, in hopes that they can first convince the public that those cellphone callers were lying when they say that Israel fired first

They're probably also trying to torture said witnesses into recanting.
Jun. 2nd, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
I believe Reuters just reported that they're being released.
(no subject) - beckyzoole - Jun. 2nd, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 2nd, 2010 06:04 am (UTC)
I'd like to repeat the call for sources to this information.

I know that there are videos out there of Israeli naval vessels firing upon fishing vessels who are obviously engaging in fishing, but we need something more concrete. Something we can post in our own journals, or at lease use to do our own research.
Jun. 2nd, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
I continue to not understand how much support Israel gets from the US administration, regardless of what the Israel military does. I keep hearing that Israel is our only ally in the region, and I keep asking, "How are they an ally? Even if they are an ally, what good are they as an ally?"

Even when Israel does something like attack a rag tag fleet of unarmed pacifists, or when they flagrantly attack our own naval vessels, and kill our seaman, in international waters, the US still continues to provide them not only financial support, but moral and policy support. Allies do not kill each other.

When the actions of an ally become morally reprehensible, it's incumbent upon the offended partner in the alliance to either pressure for a halt of the offending behavior, or terminate the alliance.

All the US has done for the last 50 years, is prove to the world, and Israel, that they can whatever they please with no recrimination. Israel knows we won't do anything, and they're playing us for suckers.
Jun. 3rd, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
"Allies do not kill each other. "

The US has blown up enough Canadians that I'd question that, but I believe that was through stupidity, not premeditated.
Jun. 2nd, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
Brad, I've known you for years and I know that you are generally a very logical person who respects the truth and does not like being tricked.

I think that eventually you will be furious with Hamas and its allies for temporarily being successful in duping you.
Jun. 3rd, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
Well said! I dunno where Brad got his info?
(no subject) - bradhicks - Jun. 4th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ponsdorf - Jun. 4th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snowcalla - Jun. 6th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 5th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC)
which side are you on?
With Peterloo it was 'which side are you on?' If you thought the British establishment had a duty to establish order, then sure, sometimes soldiers would read the Riot Act and then charge mobs who failed to disperse. About half dead soldiers, half dead rioters/citizens.

With Kent State it was a clear atrocity. Some Righties approved, just to annoy the Left, but an awful lot of very hard right-wingers were seriously annoyed at soldiers firing volleys at kids with rocks. No dead soldiers, four dead in Ohio.

Amritsar- in between. Dyer was outnumbered, and for the first volley he was just being an honorary Sikh. Didn't stop there. No dead soldiers, hundreds dead rioters/citizens.

Stopping the Freedom Flotilla? Well, it's not cowardly, much: Flashman would have fired a burst of tracers across the bow, maybe blown off a rudder- all from the safety of an armored hull, never disconnecting from his plucky cabin girl. Sliding down ziplines into a hostile crowd isn't Flashy's touch.

US cops use paintball guns to shoot pepperballs into crowds. Useless on the windswept deck of a ship, very nasty and useful if fired into passively-resisting human rights activists chained to a power room belowdecks.

Palestinians have been using cold weapons in an organized, indeed professional and planned, style, for long enough to keep them from being proof of innocent people just grabbing what they could in a spasm of panic or rage.

Nine dead martyrs/ambushers, no dead soldiers, but some of the soldiers with knife wounds. If Israel has a right to exist, it's going to enforce blockades or worse. Which side are you on?
Jun. 6th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
Re: which side are you on?
I'm for the side that doesn't kill civilians in cold blood. Which, in this case, would be neither of them. Which is why I will never stop being annoyed that my tax dollars are paying for one side, and the profits on every gallon of gasoline sold pay for the other side. If we weren't paying for it, they could kill each other to their heart's content, as they both clearly want to do. But they're both the lowest kind of coward for only being able to fight when they know the other side is unarmed.
Jun. 26th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
Why do you, after years, continue to use the absurd picture of you with horns?? Are you still living in Missouri? What is your employment history update? I hadn't read any of your blogs in several years, and accidently came across your web sight today. It only interests me because you were living in the same town I grew up in. Chazz
( 44 comments — Leave a comment )