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Now we know: Israel military killed mostly civilians in Gaza





handfleisch
and over 20% of them were children
Quote:
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A human rights group says more than half of the Palestinians killed during Israel's three-week offensive against Hamas in Gaza earlier this year were civilians, contradicting an Israeli military claim.

Israel had said that more than 60 percent of those killed in the military campaign were "terror operatives."

The Israeli human rights organization B'tselem released figures Wednesday, saying that, of the 1387 killed, 773 "did not take part in the hostilities" and, that of those, 320 minors were killed.


http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/09/09/israel.gaza.civilians/
ocalhoun
See, that's the problem with disguising your soldiers as civilians... it increases the number of civilians hurt. It also makes it very difficult to tell if casualties are civilians or not.

Also, a minor note, the source quoted would benefit greatly from larger civilian casualty numbers...
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
See, that's the problem with disguising your soldiers as civilians... it increases the number of civilians hurt. It also makes it very difficult to tell if casualties are civilians or not.
My thought too. We had a thread on this earlier in the year:
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-101820.html
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
See, that's the problem with disguising your soldiers as civilians... it increases the number of civilians hurt. It also makes it very difficult to tell if casualties are civilians or not.
My thought too. We had a thread on this earlier in the year:
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-101820.html


You're saying it was the civilians own fault that Israel killed them. That's morally depraved. Over 20 percent of the dead civilians were children. Are you saying the Palestinians were disguising soldiers as children? Oh the twisted logic of massacre deniers.
Moonspider
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
See, that's the problem with disguising your soldiers as civilians... it increases the number of civilians hurt. It also makes it very difficult to tell if casualties are civilians or not.
My thought too. We had a thread on this earlier in the year:
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-101820.html


You're saying it was the civilians own fault that Israel killed them. That's morally depraved. Over 20 percent of the dead civilians were children. Are you saying the Palestinians were disguising soldiers as children? Oh the twisted logic of massacre deniers.


No, heís saying that when an enemy force chooses to operate out of civilian areas without wearing uniforms or clothing elements identifying themselves as combatants, then one may expect civilian casualties to be higher. Furthermore, without elements of identification, true counts of civilian casualties vs. military casualties can be problematic. But a cursory look at BíTselemís comments indicate that they were quite meticulous in their efforts.

But itís not the civiliansí fault by any means and nothing in ocalhounís or deanhills comments implied as much.

Like all combatants, by international law and tradition Israel is responsible for limiting civilian casualties as much as possible while still retaining the freedom to achieve its military objectives. However their enemies, by choosing to operate out of civilian locations and choosing not to identify themselves as combatants, logically place civilians near them and in those areas of operation at risk.

By my calculations, according to BíTselem 55.7% of the casualties during Operation Cast Lead were civilian. Thatís not entirely out of proportion for a conflict or large-scale operation fought in an urban area which civilians have not vacated, but I think it is higher than need be.

Perhaps BíTselem summed it up best:
BíTselem wrote:
B'Tselem recognizes the complexity of combat in a densely populated area against armed groups that do not hesitate to use illegal means and find refuge within the civilian population. However, illegal and immoral actions by these organizations cannot legitimize such extensive harm to civilians by a state committed to the rule of law.

The extent of civilian fatalities does not, in itself, prove that Israel violated the laws of war.

I agree with BíTselem that the incidents and the extent of civilian casualties should be properly investigated. For me two reasons require this.

One, for legal reasons should laws have been violated in the prosecution of Operation Cast Lead.

Two, whether laws were broken or not, the IDF needs to fully understand why so many civilian casualties occurred in order to minimize them in future operations. Until peace is achieved, Israelís enemies are waging a 4th Generation war against them. High civilian casualties, no matter the military achievements that accompany them, grant victories to Israelís enemies in 4GW conflicts.

Israelís enemies will not do anything to minimize civilian casualties, because suffering fewer civilian casualties actually damages their cause. Furthermore, Israel can point fingers at their enemies for violating international laws and traditions regarding warfare all they want to no avail because the vast majority of people in the world donít care. Therefore the burden normally shared by combatants in war must be shouldered fully by the IDF for legal reasons, for geo-political reasons, and as a requirement for victory should they wish to achieve it.

Respectfully,
M
handfleisch
Moonspider wrote:

No, heís saying that when an enemy force chooses to operate out of civilian areas without wearing uniforms or clothing elements identifying themselves as combatants, then one may expect civilian casualties to be higher. Furthermore, without elements of identification, true counts of civilian casualties vs. military casualties can be problematic. But a cursory look at BíTselemís comments indicate that they were quite meticulous in their efforts.

But itís not the civiliansí fault by any means and nothing in ocalhounís or deanhills comments implied as much.

Like all combatants, by international law and tradition Israel is responsible for limiting civilian casualties as much as possible while still retaining the freedom to achieve its military objectives. However their enemies, by choosing to operate out of civilian locations and choosing not to identify themselves as combatants, logically place civilians near them and in those areas of operation at risk.

By my calculations, according to BíTselem 55.7% of the casualties during Operation Cast Lead were civilian. Thatís not entirely out of proportion for a conflict or large-scale operation fought in an urban area which civilians have not vacated, but I think it is higher than need be.

Perhaps BíTselem summed it up best:
BíTselem wrote:
B'Tselem recognizes the complexity of combat in a densely populated area against armed groups that do not hesitate to use illegal means and find refuge within the civilian population. However, illegal and immoral actions by these organizations cannot legitimize such extensive harm to civilians by a state committed to the rule of law.

The extent of civilian fatalities does not, in itself, prove that Israel violated the laws of war.

I agree with BíTselem that the incidents and the extent of civilian casualties should be properly investigated. For me two reasons require this.

One, for legal reasons should laws have been violated in the prosecution of Operation Cast Lead.

Two, whether laws were broken or not, the IDF needs to fully understand why so many civilian casualties occurred in order to minimize them in future operations. Until peace is achieved, Israelís enemies are waging a 4th Generation war against them. High civilian casualties, no matter the military achievements that accompany them, grant victories to Israelís enemies in 4GW conflicts.

Israelís enemies will not do anything to minimize civilian casualties, because suffering fewer civilian casualties actually damages their cause. Furthermore, Israel can point fingers at their enemies for violating international laws and traditions regarding warfare all they want to no avail because the vast majority of people in the world donít care. Therefore the burden normally shared by combatants in war must be shouldered fully by the IDF for legal reasons, for geo-political reasons, and as a requirement for victory should they wish to achieve it.

Respectfully,
M


Repeating the same old saw of Palestinians hiding behind civilians, when Israel is guilty of the same act, is to be an apologist for war crimes. And contrary to what you claim, Israel was not meticulous at all -- what is meticulous is the new UN report finding that Israel committed crimes in Gaza, and those crimes amounted to war crimes and possible even crimes against humanity. It finds the overwhelming balance of guilt on the side of Israel. Everyone talks about the Palestinians using civilians, but the report concludes Israel used human shields to protect it soldiers. Israeli also bombed civilian food supplies, used white phosphorus (a napalm-like weapon) on civilians, bombed hospitals, disregarded the lives of UN workers and civilians. True barbarity. And with US-made weapons.
Quote:
Gaza acts amounted to war crimes, U.N. report says

...the Israel Defense Forces "failed to take feasible precautions required by international law to avoid or minimize loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects."

The U.N. findings also conclude that Israel fired the chemical agent white phosphorous in civilian areas, intentionally fired high-explosive artillery shells upon hospitals, and failed to provide effective warnings to civilians or U.N. workers before attacks. It also claims that Israel used Palestinian civilians as human shields and deliberately attacked Palestinian food supplies in Gaza.

The report recommends that the U.N. Security Council require the government of Israel to launch appropriate independent investigations into the findings of the report within three months. The findings also recommend that the alleged Israeli war crimes be explored by the International Criminal Court's prosecutor.


http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/09/15/un.gaza.incursion/index.html

I believe it's a delusion to think Israel wants to minimize these casualties. The continuing invasion of and emigration onto occupied lands while taking any excuse to inflict maximum civilian casualties shows they are not acting in good faith about international law or Palestinian human rights or anything else they give lip service to; they are conducting a land grab by extermination and occupation.
Moonspider
handfleisch wrote:
Repeating the same old saw of Palestinians hiding behind civilians, when Israel is guilty of the same act, is to be an apologist for war crimes. And contrary to what you claim, Israel was not meticulous at all...


You misunderstood the context of my comments. When I said "they" I meant B'Tselem. In the previous sentence I said that distinguishing civilian from military casualties can be problematic. But a cursosry review of their report led me to believe that B'Tselem had been meticulous in their accounting of the casualties.

If Palestinian combatants are operating out of civilian areas and buildings and not distinguishing themsleves or their vehicles from civilians, they are "hiding behind civilians." That is not being an apologist or "repeating the same old saw." That is stating a fact that stands alone irregardless of the behavior of their enemies (Israel).

I have yet to read the full context of the UN article, but I'm surprised by the statement that Israel used human shields to protect its soldiers. For human shields to work, their presence must be a deterrent to one's enemy. This implies that the Palestinian combatants would refrain from firing on Israeli soldiers in civilian areas. Since rocket attacks from the territories tend to be indiscriminate under any circumstance (whether by function of their technology, intent, or both) the notion that Israeli civilians would provide some sort of deterrent to an attack does not make sense at all.

handfleisch wrote:
I believe it's a delusion to think Israel wants to minimize these casualties. The continuing invasion of and emigration onto occupied lands while taking any excuse to inflict maximum civilian casualties shows they are not acting in good faith about international law or Palestinian human rights or anything else they give lip service to; they are conducting a land grab by extermination and occupation.


I disagree. Killing small numbers of civilians in disproportionate ratios to enemy kills does not help Israel in any way. Therefore, logic dictates that Israel has no reason to do so.Furthermore, Palestinian civilian deaths do help the cause of the Palestinians in several ways (geo-politically, fund-raising for terrorist organizations, recruitment, etc.). Thus logic dictates that Israel minimize those casualties as much as possible whenever they enter into combat operations.

If Israel wanted to inflict "maximum civilian casualties," as you suggest, they have the means at their disposal to do so 50 fold or more over what they have done. A few hundred deaths here in there do not a genocide make.

No where in my comments did I defend Israel. To my knowledge, I stated only what I believe to be the logic of the facts before us (some of my opinions may have conflicted with your own). I even agreed with the article you quoted in your opening statement, that an investigation should be launched by Israel in their own best interest.

Respectfully,
M
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:


Repeating the same old saw of Palestinians hiding behind civilians, when Israel is guilty of the same act, is to be an apologist for war crimes. And contrary to what you claim, Israel was not meticulous at all -- what is meticulous is the new UN report finding that Israel committed crimes in Gaza, and those crimes amounted to war crimes and possible even crimes against humanity. It finds the overwhelming balance of guilt on the side of Israel. Everyone talks about the Palestinians using civilians, but the report concludes Israel used human shields to protect it soldiers. Israeli also bombed civilian food supplies, used white phosphorus (a napalm-like weapon) on civilians, bombed hospitals, disregarded the lives of UN workers and civilians. True barbarity. And with US-made weapons.


True Israel doesn't have a clean record either...

What I don't understand though, is why you focus only on Israel's crimes, when nearly everything the other side did was a war crime?

(By the way, neither the use of white phosperous NOR napalm is a war crime... Only killing civilians is, if done unnecessarily, on purpose, or negligently. It doesn't matter what weapon was used in that case, as long as it isn't a chemical toxin or biological agent. Needless killing of civilians with napalm and needless killing of civilians with explosives are equal crimes.)
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
See, that's the problem with disguising your soldiers as civilians... it increases the number of civilians hurt. It also makes it very difficult to tell if casualties are civilians or not.
My thought too. We had a thread on this earlier in the year:
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-101820.html


You're saying it was the civilians own fault that Israel killed them. That's morally depraved. Over 20 percent of the dead civilians were children. Are you saying the Palestinians were disguising soldiers as children? Oh the twisted logic of massacre deniers.
Moonspider did an excellent posting on this. In addition, going back to our previous thread, as well as echoing what Moonspider has said, obviously all of this needs to be investigated. I think both are guilty. And the civilians were allowed to be sacrificed by Hamas.

It was quite interesting, that in spite of the press not allowed into the combat areas in Gaza, that photos of awful brutalities were readily available, almost immediately after strikes and circulated very widely. It felt as though Hamas was fighting the war on two fronts, using the media for which its civilians got sacrificed to get the message out as wide as they could, and engaging Israel when it fully knew that the odds were stacked against the Palestinians. I also can't understand why when Hamas was fully aware that their civilians were in harm's way, that they did not stop, they continued with strikes at Israel. On the one hand they were acting hysterically about their people being hurt, but still continued when they fully knew what the results would be for weeks after. In fact Hamas knew exactly what could happen to the civilians when they were taunting Israel with missiles when Israel was warning of retaliating. Israel also knew what could happen to the civilians when it started its missiles.
handfleisch
Moonspider wrote:

If Palestinian combatants are operating out of civilian areas and buildings and not distinguishing themsleves or their vehicles from civilians, they are "hiding behind civilians." That is not being an apologist or "repeating the same old saw." That is stating a fact that stands alone irregardless of the behavior of their enemies (Israel).

Something that starts with an "if" is not a fact, it is conjecture. For you to mention it in reply to a charge that Israel committed war crimes -- in this case, did not care if the targets were civilians or not -- when there is no connection between the two (the charge is precisely that civilians were targeted irregardless) is misleading and apologist.

Moonspider wrote:

I disagree. Killing small numbers of civilians in disproportionate ratios to enemy kills does not help Israel in any way. Therefore, logic dictates that Israel has no reason to do so.Furthermore, Palestinian civilian deaths do help the cause of the Palestinians in several ways (geo-politically, fund-raising for terrorist organizations, recruitment, etc.). Thus logic dictates that Israel minimize those casualties as much as possible whenever they enter into combat operations.


Other massacres in history have been built on such cold logic and moral error. Israel has plenty of reason to kill civilians; it devastates the will and ability of Palestinians to stand up to the occupation of their land, as does the destruction of civilian infrastructure, another Israeli war crime. I wouldn't be surprised if this is understood as the modus operandi of their operations -- we will kill as many Palestinians as we can diplomatically get away with, and that's a lot.

The argument that killing Palestinians helps their cause is perverse. Their cause was not and has not been forwarded from this Israeli war crime; in fact most have forgotten about the slaughtered innocents and the still suffering survivors, and they have gained no land or justice after years of being slaughtered or forced to live in refugee camps for generations. And Israeli has lost nothing, it is still building settlements in occupied territory while promising not to, still receiving US aid in the billions, still having their ambassadors accepted as representatives of the community of nations, and not as a government of war criminals. To say that the Israeli generals sit in the backlines and the politicians view the killing fields and say that they cannot target Palestinian civilians because it will increase Palestinian fundraising is ridiculous.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Something that starts with an "if" is not a fact, it is conjecture. For you to mention it in reply to a charge that Israel committed war crimes -- in this case, did not care if the targets were civilians or not -- when there is no connection between the two (the charge is precisely that civilians were targeted irregardless) is misleading and apologist.
In other words, it is OK to accuse Israel, but it is not OK to accuse Hamas? You need evidence for the latter, but the former goes without saying? Where is the evidence that civilians were targeted irregardless? And if that should be proven to be true, why did Hamas continue with the war regardless? As the war did last longer than one day. Longer than one week, longer than two weeks. From 27 December to 18 January, day after day of bombing. There are two parties that are guilty Handfleisch. The war was conducted by two sides. How did Hamas protect its own civilians? Or was that a case of more justifiable human sacrifice in the hope of obtaining outside intervention for Hamas's cause? How innocent could that possibly be?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Something that starts with an "if" is not a fact, it is conjecture. For you to mention it in reply to a charge that Israel committed war crimes -- in this case, did not care if the targets were civilians or not -- when there is no connection between the two (the charge is precisely that civilians were targeted irregardless) is misleading and apologist.
In other words, it is OK to accuse Israel, but it is not OK to accuse Hamas? You need evidence for the latter, but the former goes without saying? Where is the evidence that civilians were targeted irregardless? And if that should be proven to be true, why did Hamas continue with the war regardless? As the war did last longer than one day. Longer than one week, longer than two weeks. From 27 December to 18 January, day after day of bombing. There are two parties that are guilty Handfleisch. The war was conducted by two sides. How did Hamas protect its own civilians? Or was that a case of more justifiable human sacrifice in the hope of obtaining outside intervention for Hamas's cause? How innocent could that possibly be?


You're floundering in confusion and nonsense. Your post is not worth replying to. You probably wrote it without taking even a moment to think about what you were writing, or taking another look at the actual words I used.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Something that starts with an "if" is not a fact, it is conjecture. For you to mention it in reply to a charge that Israel committed war crimes -- in this case, did not care if the targets were civilians or not -- when there is no connection between the two (the charge is precisely that civilians were targeted irregardless) is misleading and apologist.
In other words, it is OK to accuse Israel, but it is not OK to accuse Hamas? You need evidence for the latter, but the former goes without saying? Where is the evidence that civilians were targeted irregardless? And if that should be proven to be true, why did Hamas continue with the war regardless? As the war did last longer than one day. Longer than one week, longer than two weeks. From 27 December to 18 January, day after day of bombing. There are two parties that are guilty Handfleisch. The war was conducted by two sides. How did Hamas protect its own civilians? Or was that a case of more justifiable human sacrifice in the hope of obtaining outside intervention for Hamas's cause? How innocent could that possibly be?


You're floundering in confusion and nonsense. Your post is not worth replying to. You probably wrote it without taking even a moment to think about what you were writing, or taking another look at the actual words I used.
To the contrary Handfleisch, I did read your posting a second time before I responded to it, I always do. I also had to do searches to refresh my memory of our discussions from the beginning of the year. My point of view has been consistent from the beginning. Both parties have to carry responsibility for the war, including its casualties. And if there were any rules that have been broken by Israel or Hamas that is up to an International Court to decide.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

You're floundering in confusion and nonsense. Your post is not worth replying to. You probably wrote it without taking even a moment to think about what you were writing, or taking another look at the actual words I used.

Nonsense, hm?
I notice you've dodged the question twice now,
Why the focus solely upon Israel's crimes, while ignoring all the crimes of Hamas?
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

You're floundering in confusion and nonsense. Your post is not worth replying to. You probably wrote it without taking even a moment to think about what you were writing, or taking another look at the actual words I used.

Nonsense, hm?
I notice you've dodged the question twice now,
Why the focus solely upon Israel's crimes, while ignoring all the crimes of Hamas?

I stopped answering your questions long ago. Plus, your question contains a falsehood and your signature-picture contains a horse's ass.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Something that starts with an "if" is not a fact, it is conjecture. For you to mention it in reply to a charge that Israel committed war crimes -- in this case, did not care if the targets were civilians or not -- when there is no connection between the two (the charge is precisely that civilians were targeted irregardless) is misleading and apologist.
In other words, it is OK to accuse Israel, but it is not OK to accuse Hamas? You need evidence for the latter, but the former goes without saying? Where is the evidence that civilians were targeted irregardless? And if that should be proven to be true, why did Hamas continue with the war regardless? As the war did last longer than one day. Longer than one week, longer than two weeks. From 27 December to 18 January, day after day of bombing. There are two parties that are guilty Handfleisch. The war was conducted by two sides. How did Hamas protect its own civilians? Or was that a case of more justifiable human sacrifice in the hope of obtaining outside intervention for Hamas's cause? How innocent could that possibly be?


You're floundering in confusion and nonsense. Your post is not worth replying to. You probably wrote it without taking even a moment to think about what you were writing, or taking another look at the actual words I used.
To the contrary Handfleisch, I did read your posting a second time before I responded to it, I always do. I also had to do searches to refresh my memory of our discussions from the beginning of the year. My point of view has been consistent from the beginning. Both parties have to carry responsibility for the war, including its casualties. And if there were any rules that have been broken by Israel or Hamas that is up to an International Court to decide.

Quote:
ocalhoun wrote:
See, that's the problem with disguising your soldiers as civilians... it increases the number of civilians hurt. It also makes it very difficult to tell if casualties are civilians or not.
deanhills wrote:
My thought too. We had a thread on this earlier in the year:


Accusing Hamas of being responsible for Israel's war crimes is the military-political equivalent of telling a rape victim "It's your fault for wearing a short dress." Would you say that, too?
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Something that starts with an "if" is not a fact, it is conjecture. For you to mention it in reply to a charge that Israel committed war crimes -- in this case, did not care if the targets were civilians or not -- when there is no connection between the two (the charge is precisely that civilians were targeted irregardless) is misleading and apologist.
In other words, it is OK to accuse Israel, but it is not OK to accuse Hamas? You need evidence for the latter, but the former goes without saying? Where is the evidence that civilians were targeted irregardless? And if that should be proven to be true, why did Hamas continue with the war regardless? As the war did last longer than one day. Longer than one week, longer than two weeks. From 27 December to 18 January, day after day of bombing. There are two parties that are guilty Handfleisch. The war was conducted by two sides. How did Hamas protect its own civilians? Or was that a case of more justifiable human sacrifice in the hope of obtaining outside intervention for Hamas's cause? How innocent could that possibly be?


You're floundering in confusion and nonsense. Your post is not worth replying to. You probably wrote it without taking even a moment to think about what you were writing, or taking another look at the actual words I used.
To the contrary Handfleisch, I did read your posting a second time before I responded to it, I always do. I also had to do searches to refresh my memory of our discussions from the beginning of the year. My point of view has been consistent from the beginning. Both parties have to carry responsibility for the war, including its casualties. And if there were any rules that have been broken by Israel or Hamas that is up to an International Court to decide.

Quote:
ocalhoun wrote:
See, that's the problem with disguising your soldiers as civilians... it increases the number of civilians hurt. It also makes it very difficult to tell if casualties are civilians or not.
deanhills wrote:
My thought too. We had a thread on this earlier in the year:


Accusing Hamas of being responsible for Israel's war crimes is the military-political equivalent of telling a rape victim "It's your fault for wearing a short dress." Would you say that, too?
Perhaps you're guilty of not reading my postings properly Handfleisch. Check my posting above, I regard both Hamas and Israel as guilty. They were the two parties in the war. And it is for the International Court to decide whether any of the two or both have been guilty of war crimes.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

I stopped answering your questions long ago. Plus, your question contains a falsehood and your signature-picture contains a horse's ass.

Stopped? You never started... I do recall that some of my first bouts with you had to do with me over and over repeating a question I wanted an answer to... that you would always ignore or dodge.

What falsehood does the question contain?

What's wrong with a horse's ass? They're a LOT prettier than human asses.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:


Fine, then here's a compliment: You're a horse's ass.

1: You avoided the important question again: what falsehood is contained in the question: "Why the focus solely upon Israel's crimes, while ignoring all the crimes of Hamas?"

2: I'd prefer to be a whole horse, not just the ass, thank you.
Vladalf
And Israel will get some good profit from Iran too. Seems like how things are going, a war will start there as well. First everybody talking about the revolution and dictatorship, videos with killing not beeing censored on Youtube, then everybody talking about that interview with Ahmadinejad and the holocaust, then the rocket thing, I'm quite sure the states will get some petrol pumping from that place.
~Vlad
ocalhoun
Vladalf wrote:
I'm quite sure the states will get some petrol pumping from that place.
~Vlad

The petrol already is flowing...
Why start a war, which will at least temporarily slow or stop that flow when we can just get as much as we need of it by trading them money for it? (Money that was borrowed from China and Japan, with the secret intention of never paying it back, by the way.)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
(Money that was borrowed from China and Japan, with the secret intention of never paying it back, by the way.)
Laughing Laughing Laughing Now that is really putting it well, I like it.

I doubt that anyone would want a war with Iran at this time. So possibly it would be a good idea to keep the troops in Iraq as much as possible, as I think the time when war may become necessary would be if the US were to withdraw their troops from Iraq, and Iran invades Iraq, which could be a real possibility. There may certainly be some tough decisions coming Obama's way.
dickyzin
Can't we all just get along and coexist? I think we all should remove countries and borders and religion out of our brainwashed heads. There's no difference between soldiers and civilians. They are all humans and be treated as humans.
ocalhoun
dickyzin wrote:
There's no difference between soldiers and civilians.

There are a LOT of differences between soldiers and civilians.
(The ones over there trying to blur the line between the two don't rightly deserve to be called soldiers.)
GLOBALSTRATEGY
What Israel did to minimize civilian casualties during the Gaza operation was described by Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, as unparalleled in the history of warfare. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) dropped 2.5 million leaflets and telephoned 165,000 civilians providing them four hours' notice to evacuate areas in advance of airborne attacks. Missions were cancelled at the last moment after discovering that civilians had been placed as human shields next to ammunition dumps or rocket launchers.
handfleisch
GLOBALSTRATEGY wrote:
What Israel did to minimize civilian casualties during the Gaza operation was described by Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, as unparalleled in the history of warfare.


Not according to the the independent report that the UN Human Rights Council is set to endorse. But with Israel playing politics with it, it seems determined to do more war crimes whenever they like, with the massive support of US money and weapons. Israel's position is basically, if you dare call it war crimes we'll have no choice but to engage in more war.
Quote:
Israel threatens to quit peace talks over UN war crimes vote
Israel has threatened to pull out of Middle East peace talks if Britain and other European nations fail to back the country in a key vote at the United Nations.

A furious Israel said it would not continue with the peace plan if the UN Human Rights Council endorses a controversial report condemning the Jewish state for war crimes during the Gaza offensive in January.

Britain is planning to abstain in the vote, the Times reports, prompting a heated telephone call between Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, and Gordon Brown on Wednesday night.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/6342199/Israel-threatens-to-quit-peace-talks-over-UN-war-crimes-vote.html
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
Israel's position is basically, if you dare call it war crimes we'll have no choice but to engage in more war.

Or, perhaps they just realize a war-crimes accusation would weaken their position at the bargaining table, so they're trying to use threats of walking out to avoid having their position weakened.

I view the whole 'peace talks' process as ridiculous anyway. If both sides were really interested in peace, they could just agree to stop killing each other now, and work out their differences later. At least one side values what they hope to gain through violence more than they value peace though, so of course negotiations will always fail.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
GLOBALSTRATEGY wrote:
What Israel did to minimize civilian casualties during the Gaza operation was described by Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, as unparalleled in the history of warfare.


Not according to the the independent report that the UN Human Rights Council is set to endorse. But with Israel playing politics with it, it seems determined to do more war crimes whenever they like, with the massive support of US money and weapons. Israel's position is basically, if you dare call it war crimes we'll have no choice but to engage in more war.
Quote:
Israel threatens to quit peace talks over UN war crimes vote
Israel has threatened to pull out of Middle East peace talks if Britain and other European nations fail to back the country in a key vote at the United Nations.

A furious Israel said it would not continue with the peace plan if the UN Human Rights Council endorses a controversial report condemning the Jewish state for war crimes during the Gaza offensive in January.

Britain is planning to abstain in the vote, the Times reports, prompting a heated telephone call between Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, and Gordon Brown on Wednesday night.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/6342199/Israel-threatens-to-quit-peace-talks-over-UN-war-crimes-vote.html
Handfleisch, you forgot to mention that this report is not only looking at the role of the Israelis, but also Hamas. if you look at the facts surrounding the report, it is not only investigating Israel's role but also the role of Hamas blaming both and asking for the role of both to be investigated by the two parties, and if that should not happen within 6 months, by the International Criminal Court:
Quote:
The 575-page document concluded that Israel used disproportionate force, deliberately targeted civilians, used Palestinians as human shields and destroyed civilian infrastructure during its incursion into the Gaza Strip to root out Palestinian rocket squads.

It also accused Palestinian armed groups including Hamas, which controls Gaza, of deliberately targeting civilians and trying to spread terror through years of rocket attacks on southern Israel.

The report recommends that the 15-member Security Council require both sides in the conflict to show within six months that they are carrying out independent and impartial investigations into alleged abuses.


If they are not, the matter should be referred to prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, the report says.

In order to be adopted, a U.N. Security Council resolution must get nine yes votes, and not be vetoed by a permanent member. The U.S. is likely to use its veto to block any call to get the International Criminal Court involved in the dispute over Gaza or to take action against Israel.


http://www.lufkindailynews.com/news/content/shared-gen/ap/Middle_East/UN_UN_Gaza_War_Crimes.html
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