Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Israel and White Phosphorous

Al Jazeera also reports:
Human Rights Watch has called on Israel to stop using white phosphorus which it says has been used in military operations in the densely populated Gaza Strip.

The US-based group said that its researchers observed the use of the chemical, which can burn away human flesh to the bone, over Gaza City and Jabaliya on Friday and Saturday.


formatted_dad said...

I wonder when the Human Rights Group will get around to calling on Hamas to stop packing it's rocket warheads with ball bearings? Never.

Star Womanspirit said...

I am not advocating that Hamas fire rockets at Israel civilians.....I am angry that Hamas is also utilizing violent measures. However, my tax money and my government are not supplying Hamas with missiles, planes, cluster bombs and white phosphorous so that they can terrorize civilians. My government is making sure that Israel has lots of firepower to launch an inhumane illegal offensive against a civilian population that Israel is supposed to be providing protection under international law.

According to your reasoning...if someone in your neighborhood has the equivalent of a homemade missile and is threatening folks with it (but 99 out of 100 times the slingshot misses it's target. "Maybe" once a year a someone might be killed...then you would advocate that the neighborhood watch purchase a tank to run through your neighborhood shooting everything that maybe suspicious; you would approve killing your neighbors and destroying their homes? Let's make the situation even more realistic. The neighborhood watch blocks all the roads leading in and out of your neighborhood and you and your family are trapped there and NOT allowed to flee.

I would prefer to use undercover agents and sound police investigation tactics be used versus a tank. I don't believe that innocent civilians (especially in the densest populated area in the world) should be placed at risk....especially when the damage ratio ends up being more a 100 to 1 ratio.

We are talking about a significant number of INNOCENT civilians (including children).) We aren't even including an entire population that will be be seriously traumatized by Israel's state sponsored terrorism.

This is basically the Israeli government policy that you are advocating. The reason the International Community is focusing on Israel is because of the great damage that Israel is capable of. According to Dave Lindoff:

"Media outlets such as The New York Times may call "evenhandedly" for a cease-fire by "both sides," as though the handful of homemade unguided rockets fired into Israel by Hamas are in any way comparable to the massive assault by the IDF. But the reality is that Israeli forces, which, thanks to their overwhelming U.S.-supplied and financed firepower, are killing Palestinians on purpose, at a rate of 100:1 compared to Hamas.

It is true that Hamas has been firing its rockets at Israeli towns. These rockets cannot be aimed except in the crudest fashion. Whether Hamas rockets hit a house or a school or a military installation is a matter of chance. And as observers of the conflict have pointed out, the cities being targeted by Hamas pretty much all have military installations located in them, which by the logic of U.S. military strategists, makes them legitimate military targets. This is not to justify the killings of civilians by Hamas rockets -- all such killing is evil and tragic -- merely to point out that Hamas is not doing anything that American military forces haven't done routinely in places such as Vietnam, or, more recently, in cities such as Baghdad and Fallujah.

Israel, however, does not have the excuse of poor technology to justify its atrocities. Israel is using the same "smart" bombs that American forces use. It has elaborate satellite and aerial surveillance images to work with. The same military technology that can pinpoint the location of Hamas commanders and hit them with precise rocket fire, is clearly able to identify whether a vehicle is an ambulance before blasting it with a rocket or a bomb, as the Times reports was done yesterday, killing a Palestinian doctor on a mercy mission. So let's be honest here. The goal of Israel's attack on Gaza (like America's attacks on Fallujah and the Sadr City slum in Baghdad) is a terrorist one -- to frighten the population of Gaza into rejecting the Hamas government that they elected in the last free and fair elections there.

Israel has gone to great lengths to ensure that the world does not know the extent of its crimes against humanity inside of Gaza. Reporters have been barred from the 10-mile-by-1-mile walled-off ghetto. Israeli gunboats, patrolling off the coast of Gaza, have driven off boats that have sought to bring reporters and other witnesses to the assault."

It appears that some Americans will not let the facts or the context get in the way of defending ANYTHING that Israel chooses to do and justifying all of Israel's and the US war crimes against innocent civilians trapped in Gaza.

Unfortunately, It's this sort of thinking that ends up greeen lighting state sponsored terrorist atrocities that end up being the greatest recruiting tool for insuring the survival of radical terrorist organizations. like al qaeda and hamas.

formatted_dad said...

Your hatred of Israel is only too obvious in your posts. Most of what you said either makes no sense or is not true. BTW, The Red Cross just said that Israel is not using white phosphorous illegally. If you care to read a little more of my thoughts on Hamas using human shields and Hamas using mosques, hospitals and schools to store ammo and fire mortars and rockets from you can read my latest post at http://themindoftefft.com/blog

The truth is that Hamas is to blame for most of the casualties, not Israel.Feel free to leave a comment.

Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mac said...

I thought I would pitch in here. Calling a spade a spade is not "hatred for Israel". Furthermore, it's always amazing, although understandable from the propagandist's viewpoint, to see invaders, mass-murderers and aggressors blame their victims for their wanton acts. By your logic, the Red Army, when it was holed in Leningrad under the Nazi siege, was to blame for the Nazis killing thousands of Russian civilians. How dare the Red Army hide in Leningrad! How dare they put civilians at risk! The Nazis only wanted to come in there and protect these citizens from the bad guys, right. They couldn't help it if the infantry was hiding behind civilians.

Under your logic, the Jewish Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto was to blame for all the carnage against the citizens of the Ghetto by the Germans. My God, they were hiding in tenement buildings and storing weapons anywhere they could, carelessly putting the innocent Jews at risk. It's not the Nazis' fault by your logic that they had to destroy the Ghetto. It was the Resistance's fault!

Cargosquid said...

Your analogy is not correct. The Russians did not "HIDE" behind the civilians. They drafted them. And non-combatants were evacuated, if possible. Their doctrine did not use civilian casualties as a talking point so that world opinion would take their side.

HAMAS wants civilian casualties.

Star Womanspirit said...



I find this right wing talking point--Hamas wants civilian casualties--to be extreme. But then again it is a right wing talking point....

BTW--the "international red cross" statement that you cited does not offer proof that Israel is using the white phosphorous bombs in accordance with International law.

I may not have "proof" that Cheney and Bush authorized torture but many of us have sound reason to suspect that Bush/Cheney lied us into an Iraq war AND lied about their roles in authorizing torture. We have enough suspicion that an investigation into these allegations should be undertaken. In this same vein the government of Israel should be investigated for violating International Law and the Geneva Convention.


Do you believe that governments are "above the law" and allegations of illegal activities and human rights abuses should not be investigated?

Cargosquid said...

Of course allegations of illegal activities and human rights abuses should be investigated. However, the allegations need to come from a reliable source. And HAMAS, Reuters, and AP are not reliable sources. In regards to our government, who would do the investigation? Congress? They know everything that was going on. They talk out of both sides of their mouths.

In a war zone, atrocities happen. Who is a valid investigator of the Gaza conflict? The UN routinely condemns Israel while turning a blind eye to everyone else. Would an Israeli investigation be valid to you? I don't think so. The Red Cross? Perhaps. First, there has to be a definition of what constitutes a war crime. Even here, you see different interpretations of what is occurring in Gaza. And if you are speaking of our government, one must decide what are unacceptable actions in the context of the situation? Ie, Waterboarding. Is it acceptable under some conditions? What would you do in substitution? Every military member that goes through escape and evasion school gets waterboarded. Do I think that waterboarding is torture. Yes. Do I think that it may be necessary at times? Yes. Should it become commonplace? Hell No. That is why elections are so important. We must have government leaders that have good judgment. And while I know that our choices for said leaders are 180 degrees apart, I know that in each case, that good judgment is what we both want.

Some investigations may be warranted if there is actual evidence. Again, the crime or charge must be defined before a witch hunt is commenced.

There will ALWAYS be some action taken by a government that is controversial. And that controversy is always defined by the accuser. What I consider "right actions" will not be the same as yours. What Obama does will be judged by the right differently than if McCain was in office. The office holder's INTENT has to be demonstrated.

Do I care if Zawahiri was waterboarded for 3 minutes? No. But, we know who he is and what he has done. An unknown man off a street in hope of getting info, no, he should not be questioned harshly.

Is torture wrong? Yes. And sometimes necessary.

The President has to justify it. If the Democrats decide to question him on it, go for it. He must justify it. And so should ANY Congressman or Senator with prior knowledge that this technique might be used.

Its not just the administration. Pelosi and Co knew all about it.