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[quote]
I have read numerous reports on Israel’s conduct during their recent military campaign in Gaza which has typically been refuted as pure fantasy by the Israelis but it seems clear to me now they are no better than their rocket lobbing foes to the west.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8149464.stm

While these reports could be fabricated, aiming to discredit the Israeli army and government, I highly doubt it based on the evidence both real and anecdotal that already exists.

I don't really know what my point is here but it seems to me they are all as bad as each other over there! No one leads by example...

Good luck on your Middle East peace mission Mr Obama, you will surely need it.
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Very very average - both them and Hamas have no basic dignity when it comes to this. And I'm sorry, but as the dominant, attacking, democratic, modern side Israel should be held to at least a very basic standard.
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Israel, USA, Nato etc etc they're all doing it

and no one really seems to care
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G-Dub said:
Very very average - both them and Hamas have no basic dignity when it comes to this. And I'm sorry, but as the dominant, attacking, democratic, modern side Israel should be held to at least a very basic standard.


I think you could argue that its only the dominant side, Hamas is modern, just as aggressive and lately with more democratic electioneering.

Otherwise, yeah not a good look, israel have always been very sensitive about their troops, at the expense of Palestinian civilians.

As callous as this sounds, the reality in all of these areas with civilians is that its hard to tell military soldiers to risk their lives by waiting to shoot.

My understanding in regards to the instructions given to troops is that while the israeli command do a generally good job of instructing in rules of engagement there is an independent group that tries to 'counsel' troops that it is their duty to kill as many Palestinians as possible. I know some of you lot will make smart arsed comments about it being 'offficial' etc but i know 2 israeli military people and they claim to take their responsibilities seriously as they know killing civilians doesnt bring peace.

In any situation where people see friends/family die they react with anger, throw in some guns and explosives in there and you have, well the situation we have.

This is the reason I am all for separation by big walls and some way to stop the missiles.
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Israel has no shortage of nutbar settles and other factions that have little regard for the Arabs of the area... as well as liberals who look down upon such attitudes

all facets of Israel society make up the IDF which may account for some attitudes and behaviour - but doesn't excuse it nor the IDF's lack of regard to civilian casulties

nor hamas for that matter

thing is the disproportionate level of criticism leveled at hamas

big walls only serve to prolong the suffering and hate of those being oppressed and enable the Israelis to grow their settlements and stranglehold on Palestinians lives
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yeah because letting them mingle was so much better eh. Have you forgotten the suicide bombings that used to happen all the time? While it protects Israelis it also protects Palestinians because the politicians and military dont come under pressure to respond.

Having to use a pass to get through a check point might offend our 1st world sensibilities but its not be the end of the world compared to the alternative.

A wall might be a symbol of oppression but better a wall than a bullets.
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Funny you say there is more criticism of Hamas/palistinians, that certainly used to be the case 20 years ago but in the past 10 years i think its gone the other way.

Lets not forget Hamas is an organisation that is dedicated to the destruction of israel, hardly something to overlook.
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If I am advancing in urban terrain and I take fire from a building I will have the building destroyed.

You people need to look at pics from Stalingrad.

It's all well and good to talk about 'surgical' war, but urban warfare isn't surgical. People - innocent people - die. Because the alternative is MY soldiers dying.
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bob said:
Lets not forget Hamas is an organisation that is dedicated to the destruction of israel, hardly something to overlook.


lets not forget Israel is slowly but surely destroying the Palestinian population

both (all) sides like to portrait themselves as victims
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vadinho said:
If I am advancing in urban terrain and I take fire from a building I will have the building destroyed.

You people need to look at pics from Stalingrad.

It's all well and good to talk about 'surgical' war, but urban warfare isn't surgical. People - innocent people - die. Because the alternative is MY soldiers dying.


Yes the problem is that these fighters don't seem to mind shitting in their own bed.

Once upon a time real men went to the front line to fight and left the women and children at home relatively safe.

These people have no rules of engagement.

The means do not always justfiy the end.
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Rips said:
vadinho said:
If I am advancing in urban terrain and I take fire from a building I will have the building destroyed.

You people need to look at pics from Stalingrad.

It's all well and good to talk about 'surgical' war, but urban warfare isn't surgical. People - innocent people - die. Because the alternative is MY soldiers dying.


Yes the problem is that these fighters don't seem to mind shitting in their own bed.

Once upon a time real men went to the front line to fight and left the women and children at home relatively safe.

These people have no rules of engagement.

The means do not always justfiy the end.


When?

I mean, when were civilians inviolate?

Chevauchees in the Middle Ages focused on the slaughter of civilians

Except for a short period in the Grotian-inspired 17th C, there was never a time in history that civilians were safe.
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London.

Dresden.

Hiroshima.
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vadinho said:
When?

I mean, when were civilians inviolate?



too true

civilian casualties have always been a fact of warfare

massacres and enslavements of whole populations took place since time immemorial until that most inconvenient age of so-called chivalry (if it ever existed)

but we are supposed to have come a long way since then

or have we?
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When one side doesn't fight in uniform there is always going to be an increase in civilians deaths. Worse when they intentionally try to cause civilians casualties on both sides.
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I'm sure there are thousands of examples from the past to support either view but history should not be used to make excuses for the actions of today.

Perhaps we have not come very far in the last two thousand years or so but I am not wrong to expect better from man however unlikely it may be.

I am aware of course that war is inevitably a messy business and that only real solution is prevention.
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One gets the distinct feeling from certain comments in this thread that the injustice of innocent civilians being killed in warfare is something we must overlook as inevitable, excusable, merely 'unfortunate'.
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Or the simple understanding that - it does happen, people die in war, as in famine, disease, cars, drugs etc

In this situation, on a micro level - To what degree is the difference between a conscripted person in the military and a civilian?

Also, what's your feelings on innocent bystanders dying in police actions - ie the north-western motorway with the courier driver. Is it inevitable, excusable, and unfortunate that one day someone else will die while the police try to catch bad guys?
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wtf has most of this to do with gaza?

both sides in a conflict have a obligation to protect civilans in times of conflict and we should NEVER just write off civilan casualties as inevitable

when sides intentionally target civilans as seems to be the norm these days we have to ask - what ever happened to our international agencies and common decency
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quote:
If you keep on excusing, you eventually give your blessing to the slave camp, to cowardly force, to organized executioners, to the cynicism of great political monsters; you finally hand over your brothers
Albert Camus
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here are some pics of a phosphorous attack (allegedly) in gaza (contains some disturbing images)

http://funtuna.blogspot.com/2009/03/what-is-white-phosphorus.html
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http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10586569
Book tells of Australians' role in 1918 massacre blamed on Kiwis
quote:
In the tape, held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Ted O'Brien described the attack on Surafend following the murder of a New Zealander by an Arab caught stealing from his tent.

O'Brien said he and Australian comrades had fumed at the "wicked" Bedouin - "you'd shoot them on sight" - downed a good measure of rum and then had gone through the village "with a bayonet".

As many as 120 were killed.

Daley told Fairfax newspapers it was always thought Kiwis were mainly responsible for the massacre. "The Australians' participation was assumed, but never really proven."

The massacre took place shortly after the end of World War I, as the Australian Light Horse, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and British troops prepared to go home after a long campaign against the Turks.

The Anzac troopers, a combined, fast-moving unit who used horses for manoeuvre but fought on foot, had moved to Palestine after heavy casualties and great praise at Gallipoli.


Further proof youll always find examples of 'wrong' on every side.

In regards to excusing it etc - I think it is better to understand the reality and then move to change/moderate it than to pretend that humans are capable of absolutely perfection, or even a close approximation - especially in highly charged situations.

War isnt really surgical at the best of times, throw in an urban area and youve got... well Israel v Palestine.
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bob daktari said:
wtf has most of this to do with gaza?

both sides in a conflict have a obligation to protect civilans in times of conflict and we should NEVER just write off civilan casualties as inevitable

when sides intentionally target civilans as seems to be the norm these days we have to ask - what ever happened to our international agencies and common decency


Wrong. Sides seldom intentionally target civilians. However, they don't do absolutely everything to avoid civilian casualties.
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Israel putting pressure on Iran at the moment. submarines and surface ships hovering....
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what's the betting Israel is being granted safe passage by her arab enemies who are the enemies also of iran, whom they fear more than Israel?