Author Topic: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza  (Read 17216 times)

Planeswalker

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2009, 11:47:53 am »
Another big leftie wankfest in town: ghar, I don't know if I want to kick them in their monkey faces or sell them buttons and other cheap merchandise from some chinese sweatshop to make a bit of cash out of all this bullshit.
As it turned out today, I am apparently an insensitive asshole who not only doesn't care about innocent people suffering, no I am also a horrible human being with serious visual problems for not being sufficiently antisemitic.
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Is this serious or do I am a bad detector of sarcasm

Well, you do make a weird sentence there. Maybe that detector of yours is broken?
Just this one time, I'll help you out. See that slanty part? It's probably some form of sarcasm. I had a fun day with lots of angry people in it.

Wow I failed at the English language
I'll fix that
Its hard to detect sarcasm over the Internet
My apologies
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Pentagram is on the trolly there. Googles on! Detectors were yesterday...


Anyhow, let's get this back on the road: it seems like the IDF & Hamas are preparing to fight this one out inside Gaza City and the WP discussion comes back as well.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/09/airbust-shells-gaza-phosphorus
Quote
The use of white phosphorus as a weapon - as opposed to its use as a smokescreen - is banned by the third convention on conventional weapons. Israel is not a signatory to the convention but its military manuals reflect restrictions on its use in that convention.
...
But Neil Gibson, technical adviser to Jane's Missiles and Rockets, described the likely unpleasant effect for people exposed to them as "irritation".
Just deploy your smokescreens properly to clear those rooftops. After all, it's not WP being fired at people, it's just a new generation of incendiary ammunition. 2009, I love you even more.

Taking official figures we get a kpj ratio (kills per jew) of ~55 right now (770 to 14).
Can you top this? http://uploads.ungrounded.net/476000/476393_Raid_Gaza_.swf
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Cain

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2009, 11:58:00 am »
The best thing about this so far is the hacker war between Israeli nationalists and Hamas.  Hamas so far has managed to cause an upset by making IDF reservists turn up to bases when they weren't needed, and by taking down certain Israeli sites.  In return, Israeli hackers have created a "patriotic" attack program for people to download...which, uh, acts as a backdoor into your PC allowing them complete control over it.  Also, their IRC got hit hard by mystery attackers, while they have done little damage in return.

Cain

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2009, 02:21:12 pm »
Oh dear, the jokes have started:

One of the inevitable consequences of any Middle Eastern conflict is the collateral damage caused by the unprovoked and disproportionate attacks which tend to be launched by Michael Walzer on his own credibility

http://crookedtimber.org/2009/01/10/there-aint-no-just-war-theres-just-war/

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2009, 06:33:14 pm »
The construct of israel has been inherently wrong from inception. Forcing people out of their homes to create an artificial "Holy Land" and refuge for other people who have been forced out of their homes rights no wrongs.

And it's led to problems; surprise!
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Pariah

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2009, 06:47:02 pm »
The construct of israel has been inherently wrong from inception. Forcing people out of their homes to create an artificial "Holy Land" and refuge for other people who have been forced out of their homes rights no wrongs.

And it's led to problems; surprise!

Agreed

On a side note what would happen if white phosphorous got into the water supply. Any effects? Would it dissolve? I don't know a whole lot about the chemistry of white phosphorous.
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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2009, 07:14:14 pm »
"So she says to me, do you wanna be a BAD boy? And I say YEAH baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! I'm makin' gravy... Without the lumps. HAAA-ha-ha-ha!"


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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2009, 07:22:47 pm »
I don't know a whole lot about the chemistry of white phosphorous.

It is white, and composed of phosphates.

Cain

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2009, 07:56:40 pm »
Also, in response to proportionality, I wrote this on another forum


Prorportionality, as a concept within Just War Theory, is notoriously dodgy and hard to quanitfy, to say the least. But then again, so are all the concepts within Just War, because its the application of about 2000 years of thought to a very complex problem. However, if we use the Geneva model to discuss proportionality, I think we get a much clearer picture. As Kalshoven and Zegveld show in the above link, the commander must:

Do everything possible to make sure the target is a military one
Take all feasible steps when it comes to methods and means to minimize civilian casualities
To not undertake an attack if it may reasonably be expected to cause harm in excess of the military advantage or against the threat posed

Going by this framework, civilian casualties could be as minimized as possible, in terms of steps taken to prevent deaths, while still being excessive in terms of the importance of the target. Interestingly, these protocols bound signatory countries even if the enemy refuses to adhere to the same rules, for example by using human shields or attacking civilian targets. This is still not as quantifiable as it could be, however it does apply a certain standard which can be debated and discussed. For example, one could claim a command and communications centre is a far more valuable target than an individual member of the targeted organization. Equally, a top leader or commander within that organization is a more compelling target than a group of combatants located far away from the scenes of the fighting, and making no attempt to move towards the conflict zone (as hypotheticals).

Of course, the 'fog of war' makes this much more difficult. You are usually required to act swiftly, based on minimal or unreliable evidence, against a potentially deadly threat. Weighing the variables is going to be difficult in the extreme, in a highly stressful environment, even for experienced commanders.

Israel is, I should point out, not bound by this treaty, and neither is the USA (I believe the latter signed the treaty, but never ratified it). It is accepted by the international community at large, with over 160 signatories (with varying degrees of loyalty to the ideas expressed within), which suggests even though some countries haven't signed the treaty, it could be considered something of an international legal norm. But then we get into debates about sovereignty and the like, and I know we are struggling to stay on topic as it is.

I think, if we set aside the legal argument for the moment, there are still significant political/grand strategic advantages from adhering to a broadly accepted level of proportionality. Because of the nature of the media and the political system, this unfortunately means taking into account the views of people not in the firing line, or highly ambivalent towards the particular cause behind this conflict, but as they say, life's a bitch, then you end up in a transnational conflict situation. Well, I say that, anyway.

Claims to proportionality, for example, help legitamize the conflict itself. Especially in liberal democracies, who place heavy emphasis (rightly or wrongly) on the rule of law when it comes to their internal actions as much as their foreign policy. Suggestions that ones leaders are not concerned with proportionality suggests a lack of rule of law, of a rule of the strong which is anathema to the ethos of the aforementioned democracies. It suggests a political leadership not concerned with the rule of law, which could really undermine its claims to governance.

Furthermore, as conflict becomes less about states taking on states, with the associated nastiness of of total war, and more about taking on non-state actor engaging in asymmetrical conflict, Van Creveld's paradox comes into play. Namely that:

 
Quote
  he who fights against the weak - and the rag-tag Iraqi militias are very weak indeed - and loses, loses. He who fights against the weak and wins also loses. To kill an opponent who is much weaker than yourself is unnecessary and therefore cruel; to let that opponent kill you is unnecessary and therefore foolish. As Vietnam and countless other cases prove, no armed force, however rich, however powerful, however advanced, however well motivated is immune to this dilemma. The end result is always disintegration and defeat...



Interestingly, and I'm not sure if Van Creveld is aware of this, Chinese military theorists may have come up with a solution to this paradox, which informs the operational and tactical level of the conflict in more detail (which I had been ignoring up until now, because of the manifest differences involved in discussing it). In Unrestricted Warfare, the infamous PLA military theory text, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui take the idea of conflict without restrictions to its obvious conclusion, which is not the use of absolute force against ones enemy, as some have suspected, but the use of the full spectrum of methods available to end a conflict. Because warfare is inherently political (insert misquoted sentence from Clausewitz here), and politics is co-determinant with society at large, the book focuses on using a variety of methods, such as international law, NGOs, the media (and any other examples of soft power you can think of), hacking, terrorism, financial attacks and any other method designed to stop the enemy from having either the will or ability to pose a threat.

One of their main points is that the inceases in nonlethal weapons technology over recent years (and the book was written ten years ago) meant that a focus on causing nonlethal damage was not only possible, it could be desirable. Via maiming and temporarily wounding target combatants, one could reduce their military threat, keep the war in proportion and actually cost the enemy a lot more. Even quasi-states such as Hamas and Al-Qaeda have well developed welfare systems and payment for its 'employees'. By reducing their capacity for conflict while increasing their outgoing expenses, one would significantly undermine the organization. Morale, which is usually only hardened by enemy shows of force, could also take a hit. Equally, by reducing civilian casualties, one could focus on various soft power methods designed to decouple a subject population from the organization hiding among them. I could go off on another tangent here, but again, I'm going to try and stick to proportionality as much as possible.

Obviously this is not entirely feasible. The switch to non-lethal forces would take time and money, and one would still need to retain lethal forces for situations where their level of force is necessary. To be able to respond to all levels of conflict, from those directly on the political end of the politcal-conflict axis, and those on the opposite end, total war, one must have the means to respond to these various levels of threat.

Equally, the problem of using too little force is immediately obvious as well. The results will be a loss in confidence of the government by the people who elect it, and if responses are inffective (because this is often confused with proportionate, for some reason) then the security threat will persist, or worsen. At best, this results in a continuation of the status quo, in other words a continuation of the conflict, which is clearly suboptimal. In the very worst cases, this results in the collapse of the state as a viable social organization.

To a degree, I think drawing up a quantifiable guideline to what is or is not a proportionate response is a fool's errand. Its going to be a continual process of self-examination, tailored as a response to the percieved and actual threat of the moment. Since conflict isn't static in and of itself, at various times in the course of a conflict, and with various targets, certain responses will be acceptable and proportionate, and at other times they will not be. This is unfortunate, but it shouldn't stop people from attempting to pass judgement. I think, to use a non-hypothetical example, we can safely say that bombing a school, and killing 42 civilians, in order to remove the threat of two gunmen, is not proportionate. If the circumstances had been different, then perhaps it could have been. If the men were transporting a WMD, for example, it would be very hard to decry Israel's actions, as horrible as those deaths still would have been. Even if they had been operating a missile launcher, from a fortified position within the school which would have made other attacks impossible, could be considered legitimate (though I am reminded of the RAF captain who used to risk his life flying over factories during WWII, giving civilians enough time to escape). Equally, the deliberate targeting of policemen in Gaza, who are not taking part in the conflict (such as the Gaza chief of police, who was not even a Hamas member) does not serve any legitimate military function. Any civilians killed when attacking him, by virtue of his role, would not be proportionate.

We can also consider the overall strategic aim. As many, many people have pointed out, if Israel's goal is to stop the conflict, they are doing a piss-poor job of it. Do attacks which apparently do not consider the possibility of civilian casualties actually help, or hinder, Israel's aims? Most evidence suggests the latter. Urban warfare is bloody and protracted, and bombing campaigns againt civilians are notoriously ineffective in breaking the will of a target population. In which case, attacks which do not serve the overall strategic aim are also disproportionate. Furthermore, with sabre-rattling from Hezbollah and the possibility of international jihadist ("Al-Qaeda", if you will) infiltration into Gaza in a power gap left by a reduced Hamas, as well as the destabalizing impact of refugees on surrounding countries, suggest a strategy which is not "proportionate" in the sense that it does not deal with the problem at hand, while still resulting in lots of dead bodies.

Pariah

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2009, 08:00:22 pm »
I don't know a whole lot about the chemistry of white phosphorous.

It is white, and composed of phosphates.

I probably should've said
I don't know much about chemistry
Period
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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2009, 09:14:11 pm »
I don't know a whole lot about the chemistry of white phosphorous.

It is white, and composed of phosphates.

I probably should've said
I don't know much about chemistry
Period

Basically overdosing on fertilizer.
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Cain

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2009, 01:52:07 pm »
Israel is banning an Arab party from particpating in the upcoming election over there.

The Balad party is a typical Arab nationalist/social democratic party, who has opposed the war in Gaza.  As such, they tend to be popular with Israeli Arabs, who make up roughly 20% of the population.  Balad are controversial because they deny the "Jewish" nature of the state of Israel, and seek to turn it into a socialist republic with no ethnic or religious identity, that respects the human rights of all of its citizens.

Balad were previously banned from the 2003 election on the grounds of supporting terrorism, but this was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court.  However, in a ruling yesterday, the Central Elections Committee by a vote of 26 to three, with one abstention, barred the party from competing in elections. It was disqualified on grounds that it does not recognize the State of Israel and calls for armed conflict against it. Zahalka argued that the decision was related to Operation Cast Lead, and said that he is not surprised by it "because the vote was taken for political motives due to the war atmosphere... The committee members sought to increase their popularity at our expense on the backdrop of the elections"

More can be found at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3654866,00.html

I say, personally, that this is incredibly stupid, to say the least.  One of the things riding in Israel's favour is that it is a liberal democracy, albeit with a strange ethno-religious component.  This swings the balance between the former and the latter in favour of the latter to some degree.  Furthermore, this will only help alienate the Israeli Arab population, who may well feel disenfranchised.  Sure, they can still vote, but not for a party which had set itself up with the aim of defending their interests.  There are Arab members of Communist and Zionist parties, of course, but this is punishment for Balad opposing the current levelling of Gaza.  It suggests Arabs, both inside and outside of Israel, don't really matter to the Israeli government.  And that is not a message you want to be sending out during a very bloody and highly unpopular (in the rest of the world) campaign.

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2009, 03:00:41 pm »
Here's what I don't get about the Joo Govenrment. They appear to me to be "throwing their weight around" with blatant disregard for the opinions of the rest of the world, in a fashion that we've come to expect from America, with one significant difference - America is the last remaining, nuclear-armed global superpower and teh J00s are half a dozen nobodies with no clout whatsoever.

Other than buying into zionist conspiracy theories - what exactly makes these pricks think they can get away with it, other than the fact that they actually seem to be getting away with it? Does it come down to middle eastern clusterfuck, that no one wants to fuck with cos they have no oil or is there more to it?
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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2009, 03:06:41 pm »
Israel has Teh Bomb.

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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2009, 03:09:11 pm »
Ah, of course, absolute power corrupts....  :lulz:
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Re: Israeli ground forces to enter Gaza
« Reply #59 on: January 13, 2009, 03:10:25 pm »
Because Christians don't want the "dirty Arabs" to be running all of the Christian Tourist Traps. 
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