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War-fighting tips from the Boston Globe

The Boston Globe has an editorial about Israel's recent retaliatory strikes into Gaza, offering their valued opinions on the matter. Let me condense it for you:

1) Under no circumstances allow a civilian to be harmed, even if the civilians are standing around known terrorists and offering themselves as human shields.

2) Don't attack power stations, because the same electricity (provided by Israel, largely) that powers the streetlights and makes night-fighting more dangerous for Israeli soldiers is also used by civilians.

3) Attacks with unguided rockets, suicide bombers that target civilian targets, and the invasion of Israel resulting in the deaths of two soldiers and the kidnapping (NOT capture) are acts of war, BUT restraint must be shown.

4) Rocket attacks on schools and suicide bombers on buses don't respresent "targeting of civilians." They may be bad, but they don't quite rise to the level of condemnation as turning off someone's air conditioning.

Apparently, the Boston Globe believes in the subtle liberal racism here. The Israelis can be held to the highest moral standard, because they're "better" than the Palestinians. The Palestinians, though, are pretty much immune from any demands of restraint or civilized behavior, because they're the "victims," and "victims" can't be held to any kind of moral standard.

Sometimes trying to understand this stuff makes my head hurt.


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Comments (16)

Jay:The Israeli... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Jay:

The Israelis can be held to the highest moral standard, because they're "better" than the Palestinians.

Funny how that works. You'd think it'd encourage us to be more like them so we could escape any blame for our actions. But that wouldn't work...if you are more civilized and have a better military, suddenly you're an imperialistic oppressor, while they magically transform into freedom fighters.

The nutball Iranian "Presid... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

The nutball Iranian "President" today warned Israel that if didn't withdraw from Gaza then Iran and other muslim nations would "target Israel for violence".

wowser!! so from 1948 on they HAVEN'T been targeting them???

Um, I don't read this as th... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Um, I don't read this as the Globe asserting racial superiority of Jew over Arab. (That's LGF territory.) I read it as asserting moral superiority of Israeli soldiers over terrorists. When you're morally superior, as I think we can agree the Israeli soldiers are, you ought to have a more stringent code of conduct than your enemy. Keeps the line between good and evil, right and wrong, stark. Fuzzy line bad. It makes it harder to kill your enemy, sure, but war isn't, and shouldn't, be easy or convenient.

...unless you're conflating "Palestinian" with "terrorist", which is crazy.

And Palestinian people are victims, of their own corrupt government and a bunch of other creeps from a variety of nations that have financed terrorists but made very little sacrifice for their brethren on the West Bank. They've been convinced that all of their plight is a result of Israeli and Western aggression and/or neglect. While there may be something to that (and is a separate issue that I don't want to get into), the fault definitely lies with their own leaders, but those same leaders are good at persuading their people of the contrary.

As to your snide remark about showing restraint, are you suggesting that once war is declared, restraint and caution are antithetical to success? Should they just rush in and shoot everybody with a bandana over their face? Knocking the power out is a reasonable action to take, but declaring that civilian shields are fair game is madness.

Amazing how many Jews can r... (Below threshold)
ted:

Amazing how many Jews can remain liberals and support such anti-semitic organs like the Boston Globe!

To hold that someone who vo... (Below threshold)
thomas:

To hold that someone who volenteers to place themselves between a terrorist and an IDF soldier is innocent is absurd. The human shield has made a choice one step removed from actually shooting at the IDF. Restraint should be used if a terrorist held a hostage in front of him, but a "human sheild" has sided with and therefore supports the terrorist.

Amazing how many Jews ca... (Below threshold)

Amazing how many Jews can remain liberals and support such anti-semitic organs like the Boston Globe!

Not to mention liberal politicians who, by nature, support only underdogs and hence gave up supporting Jews in the 60s and 70s and are now firmly in bed with PalArabs.

"HymieTown" anyone?

Yeah, liberals only support... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Yeah, liberals only support underdogs, like trial lawyers and Hollywood-types. Sweet generalization, rwilymz. Sure beats thinking.

I suppose, thomas, that this is kind of like the torture debate: of course it's going to happen, but you don't bloody well codify the practice in official policy, and you don't declare to the world that children naive enough to support terrorists will be shot, the same way you don't have your VP running around trying to get Senators to publicly support torture. Furthermore, people aren't even legally accountable for their actions until they're, what, 16? I honestly forget. But a 12-year-old cannot be guilty of aiding and abetting terrorists by virtue of the fact that he is twelve years old. When civilian shields are wounded or killed, the Israeli government should offer its condolences while rebuking them and their proffered justifications and compensate their families afterwards, because that is the noble, compassionate thing to do. I don't think this because I'm a wimp; I think this because the Israelis ideally would like to win the hearts and minds of the Palestinians, if only for the sake of their own security. I think the situation is pretty fucked, but I've not given up hope that the two nations can coexist within the same state. Until we know for sure that they can't, though, Israel should take extraordinary measures to ensure that if and when the shit does hit the fan (meaning all-out war), reasonable people will be forced to accept that Israel explored all of its options (except pacifism), and won't be able to morally equivocate throughout the conflict.

Yeah, liberals only supp... (Below threshold)

Yeah, liberals only support underdogs

Glad to see you're plugging into reality, there, bud. About time.

like trial lawyers and Hollywood-types

They do as well, which makes them siblings-in-metaphorical-arms.

Sweet generalization, rwilymz. Sure beats thinking.

For someone who has been caught as often as you gazing into your own navel to divine the world for it, you have ab. so. lutely no authority to complain about others generalizing.

I hope you understand that pretty well immediately.

...people aren't even legally accountable for their actions until they're, what, 16?

Case in point, buckwheat. You are talking about, by definition, an international subject, and applying god-knows-what standard to it -- as if the various nations have a generalized concept of what 'age of majority' consists of.

You are, in short, applying the same sort of arrogant thinking that deigns to settle -- for example -- "appropriate" US AIDS policy for the continent of Africa based upon the prevailing political "wisdom" of Americans. I.e., "abstinence" or "condoms".

Here's the answer: it doesn't matter, because in either event it is arrogant Americans making decisions for Botswana.

The cultures which bear and raise terrorists have their own definitions of who is and who is not 'age appropriate' to participate in their "freedom fight", and for us, or Israel, or anybody else to not acknowledge their reality is foolish and/or suicidal.

Now, son, if you have a particular problem with a generalization in an online discussion and which is not -- BY DEFINITION -- a doctoral thesis, then make your objections known and refrain from standing behind the bushes calling names.

Comprende?

Okay dude, you're right: be... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Okay dude, you're right: because less civilized societies might treat child criminals the same way as adults, the Israelis should too. My point was that the Israelis should be more civilized than their enemies. Keep the moral high ground. Don't treat child soldiers or child terror facilitators the same way they would adults. Because it's wrong to do that, whether or not it's legal. That was my point, which you have disagreed with based on the argument that security trumps morals. Well it doesn't, nor should it. They're interconnected.

Hey RW, don't be distracted... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

Hey RW, don't be distracted from the issue. Distraction is a normal event for Kommiecrats just like spoiled brats.

The BG BS also ignores allowing "innocent until proven guilty" ie their for it if its Saddam, against it if its "The Hammer", legal protection for terrorist but not Marines; appalled at torture in Gitmo but not for our 2 troopers killed last month and mutilated. etc etc.

As for loidoids, America, love it or leave it...

serfer, a blog is not the p... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

serfer, a blog is not the place to nitpick spelling and grammar, but you are so incredibly inarticulate that somebody has to say something. (Like if you had spinach in your teeth, or ketchup on your chin.)

Just being a bleedin' heart liberal, lookin' out for ya, bro.

As to those power stations,... (Below threshold)
Whitehall:

As to those power stations, the last one the Israelis blew up was insured by the US taxpayer to the tune of $150 million.

So, please, spare the power stations!

BTW, that insurance deal was another Enron legacy. We also paid a $600 million claim for an Enron project in India that went bust (Dahbol.)

Funny all those sweetheart Enron deals from the Clinton Administration!

I'm a liberal and I have a ... (Below threshold)

I'm a liberal and I have a far different opinion on this matter. While I strongly support Israel, I cannot support this military event by Israel. As bad as Hamas is, I doubt they can control the actions of all radicals or even organize all of these attacks. It only endangers future MidEast peace and will propel more future terrorism that will cost lives in both Israel and among American soldiers serving in Iraq.

The rocket attacks into Israel are very ineffective, and more juvenile than anything. These small rockets are like a grade school science project in technology or danger level. Arresting 1/3 of the Palestinian Government as well as major damage to this poverty stricken Palestinian region are hardly comparable to a few lame terrorist rockets that Israel's huge army could easily take out by more limited means.

The U.S. promotion of the MidEast Peace Process is set back by years with the Israeli military overreaction. This hardly makes Israel any more safe in the near future. It only encourages more terrorism.

This military event also gives Iran fresh reasons to only work harder on development of their nuclear bomb program as some sort of terrible "final solution" to the problems of Israeli-Arab relations.

Israel needs safety and security, but attempting to bring down the elected government of the Palestinians, including both Hamas and Fatah, leaves no political element to even have a political dialog with. It also brings both the rival factions of Hamas closer together in mutual opposition to Israel. This achieves nothing at all. There simply is nothing good in this latest Israeli military event. It only sidetracks the MidEast Peace Process with little hope of it resuming very soon. I'm frankly surprised there wasn't a stronger world reaction so far. Both Israel and North Korea have been flexing their military muscles in unacceptable ways the last few days. Both should return to responsibility as soon as possible.

In light of your discussion... (Below threshold)
Peter:

In light of your discussion of civilized behavior restraint, and double standards, you might want to read this action alert from the Amnesty International Netherlands, written before the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit:

"Since the beginning of this year Israeli forces have killed some 150 Palestinians, many of them unarmed, including more than 25 children. About half of the victims were killed in the Gaza Strip. To date none of these cases have been adequately investigated.

Since the end of March 2006, the Israeli army has launched close to 6,000 artillery shells and more than 80 air strikes against densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip. Such disproportionate attacks have killed dozens of Palestinians, including several women and children; many more have been injured. Only yesterday, three Palestinian children, aged 5, 6 and 16, were killed when an Israeli aircraft fired a missile into a densely populated area of the Gaza Strip -- apparently in an attempt to extrajudicially execute two members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a Palestinian armed group. Many other Palestinians, including children, were injured in the attack.

In the same period Palestinian armed groups have launched hundreds of 'qassam' rockets at Israel, injuring several Israelis. Most of these rockets have fallen in open spaces, without causing Israeli casualties, but eight Israelis were killed in such attacks in previous years.

Interesting points, Peter, ... (Below threshold)

Interesting points, Peter, but I have a few questions:

1) How does AI define "civilians?" Most of the Palestinian terrorists look a hell of a lot like civilians most of the time -- that's part of the definition of terrorist.

2) It's well established that the Qassam rockets are unguided, and land randomly. How many of those Israeli attacks were random, and how many were at points that had been used for attacks? For example, if terrorists set up a rocket launch point next to a school and fire off a barrage, and then Israel retaliates by bombarding the launch point, whose responsibility is any damage done to that school? I would argue the onus was on the terrorists.

3) Are you advocating we hold the terrorists less responsible for their deeds because of their ineptness? It seems to me that to dismiss their attacks as "minor" or "relatively ineffective" or "useless" merely encourages them to keep trying and improve their skills.

4) Some time go take a look at the "Palestinian Child Abuse" photos over at Little Green Footballs. The Palestinian terrorists delight in surrounding themselves with children as they carry, set up, and fire their weapons. They are using them as human shields. Is that Israel's fault? I think not.

J.

So Paul - Is Israel just su... (Below threshold)
Thor-Zone:

So Paul - Is Israel just supposed to kick back and do nothing about bombings and rocket attacks? If so- how many people need to die before you would allow them to respond.

It seems to me that if the Palis would just stop with the killing and the attempted killings that this fighting would end very quickly.

Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall a cycle of violence that was started by Israel.




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