Category: Gaza

The Common Thread: Cast Lead, July 17th, and Pillar of Defense

 

If the small handful of Israel-Palestine watchers noticed, i didn’t post anything on the recent bus bombing.

i didn’t post it for a reason – i knew immediately it reeked like a rotten egg.

We will likely never be told who the real culprits were.

But if you are simply willing to take Israel’s statements on the incident at face value –

With no physical or forensic evidence –

You’re either an apologist or you’re an idiot, or perhaps both.

 

Anyone who knows the first thing about terrorism is that all explosives leave residual traces that reveal the chemical makeup of the detonated device. Think about it – how could anything blow up that did not leave this “fingerprint”? This holds true if the detonated explosive is somewhat complex or rare, such as nanothermite, or if it is very simple and straightforward, such as an easy-to-make compound of sulfur and aluminum. As for all of the favored compounds: RDX, PETN, Semtex (RDX+PETN), TNT, or the classic ANFO, or “fertilizer bomb” – all leave a telltale “fingerprint” that is very easy for forensic analysts of explosives to discern.

Let me pause here and make the point that if you’re not even aware of these most common explosives, you certainly have no business pointing a finger in anyone’s direction at all, in this case nor in any other.

The point is that this easily-obtainable forensic evidence has yet to surface. Even if it did surface – and if this was not a run-of-the-mill false flag operation on behalf of Shin Bet –

Just as in a nearly identical incident in last August 2011 –

What is even more likely of this type of attack, again, if genuinely from the outside, was perpetrated by Islamic Jihad (Brotherhood extremist) ruffians from Sinai.

 

Oh yes – it is also in accordance with international law that retaliation to violent attack, insofar as it is proportional, is not only legal, but it is just. The tired and farcical notion of “Israel’s right to defend itself”, in the land called Reality, really applies to Palestine, not Israel. But hey, you tell me –

Is it proportional that Israel bombs entire cities full of civilians due to a stray grad rocket that falls in the desert?

Or is it proportional that an entity (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, whoever) lobbies a poor, unguided rocket at Israel in retaliation for massive kidnappings, political assassinations, the starving of its people, the bombing of its cities and massive killing of its civilian population, or the indiscriminate spraying of white phosphorus over what is essentially a restricted, militarily-occupied, open-air prison?

 

Neither Hamas, nor any other group, be it a resistance movement, a fundamentalist  political offshoot, or a genuine terrorist group, has perpetrated a genuine market street-style suicide bombing on a crowded Israeli street in so many years, most authoritative terrorism experts nearly consider it to be a thing of the past. Hamas all but ended their terrorist campaign in 2003; there were two isolated, retaliatory events since, one in 2004, and one in 2005. Since 2006 – when Hamas was democratically elected by the Palestinian people as a political group, they have not taken credit for a single attack.

Since then, Israel has made a few claims over the years, as to be expected – yet the proof, or claim of credit, is always absent.

No proof? No forensic analysis? No credit taken?

 

Duhhh…

Which way did he go…

 

At least the US officials offered the gesture of goodwill after the OKC bombing to offer an investigation and give us a chemical culprit.

Though, it must be said that ANFO was a horrible and pathetic excuse of an offering. Not only would a Ryder van with a few tanks of the stuff be grossly insufficient to nearly level such a massive structure as the Murrah Building, but even an entire tractor trailer full from top to bottom likely wouldn’t be enough – and even then, the “terrorist” would have to actually mix the ingredients within an hour or so of the execution. Given that, even in the case of the Ryder van scenario, this would be far too great a task for one or even two men, this begs credulity and flies in the face of chemistry and human ability. But, i digress – this is certainly way over your head.

The point is, US officials, at the least, gave us a mockery of an investigation. Not that knowledgeable analysts were fooled.

While i’m on the subject of false flag operations and explosives –

 

Don’t you think it odd that, in the show trial of September Morning, all of the evidence was hauled out of “Ground Zero”?

Did you ever  stop to scratch your head at the fact that not only was the evidence removed – a criminal act, to be sure, but, moreover –

That US officials were so intent on removing the evidence that they employed our armed forces to guard the entire crime scene until the last truck full of debris and wildly bent h-beams were carted off – to be sold as scrap metal or otherwise disposed of?

Again, this was removing evidence from a crime scene.

Nothing to hide, i’m sure.

“Nothing to see here, people. Hey, you! Get back from that gate! Put that camera away before i break it over your face!”

In the most mundane and routine homicide investigations – of brown-skinned people in the inner cities, people that most Americans could give two shits about –

They still perform better investigations. They still analyze bullet casings, gunpowder residue, blood, fibers, etcetera.

And yet, in “terrorism cases” ranging from the recent bus bombing in Tel Aviv, to September Morning –

No evidence was availed and no credit was taken.

Mind you –

The intellect required to arrive at rational conclusions regarding these false-flag operations is not immense. It’s not rocket science.

All you have to do is to actually perform this curious and rare act called “thinking”.

Eh, and a little research won’t kill you, either.

 

On the recent false flag operation in Tel Aviv –

Did you ever notice the timing of Israeli acts of aggression, the bombing campaigns, or invasions directed toward Palestinian territories?

i’ll help.

Just in the past year alone – let me explain the correlation of political events and acts of aggression. For, as we all know, war rarely occurs without politics.

 

Q: When did Cast Lead occur?

A: Right before Barack Obama took office.

Operation: Cast Lead, one of Israel’s most brutal campaigns, one in which between 1,200 and 1,300 Palestinians were killed – with civilians accounting for at least 844 of these death casualties, of these, 281 being children. Around 200 were killed and another 700 wounded in the first few days alone. This war on Palestine only lasted three weeks. That’s approximately 400 killed per week. Cast Lead was also the first verified case of Israel using chemical weapons – showers of white phosphorus, raining down on densely populated civilian areas like roman candles – against the defenseless open-air prison, though earlier use may likely have occurred.

 

In the summer of 2011, Israeli air strikes against the territories accelerated yet again. The reason? Funny you should ask.

It was another bus bombing – nearly identical to the one that happened this November. As with the most recent incident, last year’s bombing led to no investigation, produced no forensic evidence, and all Israel had to do was to simply wag their finger and proclaim that “Hamas did it.” In less sensational news about Israel, government officials actually admitted  that they had no clear evidence that could implicate Hamas. The incident occurred in southern Israel – and the enemy fire was reported to have come from Sinai. Ha’aretz reported that IDF forces killed five of the attackers, and Egyptian officials reported that they killed two others; however, the IDF also estimated that between 15-20 terrorists participated in the attack. Not that any of this mattered. Meanwhile, Egyptian officials had discovered a bombmaking outfit on their own soil, and a handful of grad rockets were reportedly fired upon southern Israel, as well – from Sinai. So, if this is all true, what we are left with is Egyptian aggression directed towards Israel, who then takes it out on the relatively defenseless population of Gaza. If this is all true.

Getting closer to the truth – this was also upon the looming Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN – one that obviously failed, though of course, Palestine would indeed become a member of UNESCO. Naturally, the result of this, aside from further acts of Israeli belligerence and petulance, was their withholding of internationally-mandated relief, withholding of the very taxes that they routinely collect from Palestine, as well as the United States’ defunding of millions of dollars to UNESCO, almost causing it to fold altogether.

The irony, of course, is that the US is always urging democracy upon Palestine instead of resorting to violent measures. Yet, when they make any concrete move for diplomacy – aside from “talks”, which is simply doublespeak for getting fucked under the table and out of view of the international community – the US, just like its counterpart, acts with petulance and defiance. Defunding UNESCO – really? What’s next? Hey, maybe if we see one more inner city school shooting, the US will respond by actually feeding the city youth ketchup and relish for lunch – just like Reagan suggested!

Collective punishment – Israel and the United States’ weapon of choice.

“What’s this, a lone, retaliatory grad rocket fired by Hamas (or Islamic Jihad)? Fuck THAT! Time for another 100 Palestinian civilians to kiss their brown asses goodbye!”

What is terribly convenient, however – for Netanyahu, that is – is that all of these attacks, whether actual or not, or in some combination thereof – came right on the heels of Israel’s largest civil demonstrations in history. At least 500,000 Israelis stormed Tel Aviv and other cities en masse, in protest over many socioeconomic issues, with the lack of affordable housing taking center stage; this domestic uprising became known as the July 17th Movement. Many Israelis with 4-year degrees, and still more with even graduate degrees, could not find affordable housing; those that actually were able to afford housing in the cities at all were left with nothing at the end of the month. Despite the glaring contrast with their Arab minority, those in the territories being evicted upon encroaching settlements (with no compensation) and the poverty-stricken majority living in Palestine in general, it was a genuine peoples’ movement – one that immediately set its sights on Netanyahu. All of a sudden, the masses were chanting, “Mubarak, Assad, Bibi Netanyahu!”, and demanding the Israeli Prime Minister’s immediate resignation.

What was Netanyahu’s response? Aside from token gestures and empty promises?

He sent hordes of American-made F-16s to bomb the shit out of innocent Palestinian civilians. The bombing was so intense that many feared, just as in the most recent example of November 2012, that (another) invasion of Gaza was imminent.

 

As for the most recent Israeli bombing spree of Gaza this November, the modus operandi  could not be more clear. In similar fashion to Cast Lead in 2008-2009, Bibi’s trying desperately to show Obama that he will wear the pants in their relationship (though it has become pretty clear that this is not the case). He is shaking his rattle in his dismay at the recent US presidential election results. He is facing another election; while it is nearly certain that he will keep his throne, it is very peculiar that his newly-acquired running mate and longtime thug, Ehud Barak, has suddenly dropped out of not only Bibi’s circle, but politics altogether. Furthermore, Netanyahu is, as he has been since the July 17th Movement, still facing a restless populace, a contracting economy, and even a minor exodus, all due to his fundamentalist, war-crazed tenure. And yet, as stated on this blog countless times, the biggest reason for the current smackdown of Gaza could not be clearer –

It’s the UN vote, stupid.

Every analyst, despite their political leanings, nationality, or their bias toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – has given Palestine very favorable odds regarding the upcoming “observer status” bid. Even France has indicated its support.

And as noted, among other minor perks, the real kick in Israel’s ass is that Palestine would then be able to lodge formal  charges of war crimes and other crimes against humanity against Israel, in a very visible and international forum.

Of course, any charges against Israel would ultimately be vetoed by the US. Yet, observer status would take Palestine one step closer toward one of its primary objectives, that of legitimacy. While this would of course not make it impossible for the US to deny the atrocities against Palestine, it would make it harder, and increase transparency – something that desperately needs to be leveled against a nation with some very transparent motives.

Timing, timing, timing…

 

Just to review, kids:

US election = bombing of Palestine

Israeli election = bombing of Palestine

Massive social unrest in Israel = bombing of Palestine

Democratic Palestinian vote = bombing of Palestine

Palestinian push for international legitimacy = bombing of Palestine

 

Any questions?

 

.

 

Two great videos:

http://www.thedailyshow.com//watch/mon-january-5-2009/strip-maul

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7182

 

One great article:

http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20090119.htm

 

What’s this, then? Grad rockets from – Sinai?

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/officials-hamas-ordered-grad-attack-on-israel-at-request-of-muslim-brotherhood-1.436787

 

By the way, i didn’t mention this in the main text, but the above article is just hilarious. IDF claimed something to the effect of: “The grad rockets came from Sinai on the order of Hamas – at the behest of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is just precious. Reminds me of Pakistan’s runaround on the US: “The attackers were radical Afghani militiamen, working for US-backed “al-Qaeda”, but they’re hiding in Waziristan.” Whatever. Those who ardently track the intelligence agencies and their Frankenstein creations know who’s puppeteering who. Furthermore – the last time i checked, Hamas is not located in the Sinai.

Collective punishment’s a motherfucker.

.

International Law on the Conduct of Hostilities: Overview

 

International law on the conduct of hostilities regulates and limits the methods and means of warfare used by parties to an armed conflict. It aims to strike a balance between legitimate military action and the humanitarian objective of reducing human suffering, particularly among civilians.

 

Limits on the way wars are waged have existed for centuries. It was often a matter of unwritten understandings on how to behave, sometimes a reciprocal recognition of the reality of potential retaliation if certain limits were overstepped. On occasions, common humanity limited the impact of war.

Efforts by the international community to introduce effective legal limits on the conduct of war began seriously in the 19th century. Through a series of treaties such as the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, and the growth of customary law, there is now an extensive body of law regulating the conduct of hostilities.

The general principles are enshrined in the Hague Convention of 1907 and the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols of 1977. But there are a series of other treaties covering specific issues, particularly in the field of weapons. In 2005 the ICRC published a major study on the extensive body of customary international humanitarian law, which is binding on all States.

The central principle of distinction runs through all the law relating to the conduct of hostilities. Indiscriminate military action is prohibited. All sides in a conflict must distinguish between legitimate military targets on the one hand and civilians and civilian objects on the other.

Deliberately targeting civilians is a war crime. All sides must take measures to separate as far as possible military targets from population centres.  While it is accepted that civilian casualties may be sustained in situations where military targets are attacked, both sides are required to take whatever measures possible to minimize injury and death among civilians, and damage to civilian objects. If an attack is expected to cause “collateral civilian damages” that are excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, it must be cancelled or suspended.

IHL forbids the terrorizing of civilian population and the destruction of their means of survival by attacks on crops, water supplies, medical facilities, housing and non-military transport. Hostage taking and the use of human shields are likewise prohibited.

The methods and means used in military action must be proportionate to the military objective. Tactics or the excessive use of power or force that cause unnecessary death or destruction among civilians is prohibited. So too are methods and means that cause unnecessary suffering to enemy combatants.

The wounded and sick and those no longer taking part in hostilities must be respected. Medical facilities and personnel must not be  attacked. All parties to a conflict must respect the use of the protective emblems enshrined in the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, namely the red cross, the red crescent and the red crystal.

Limits on the conduct of hostilities under IHL also cover cultural property and the environment. Targeting cultural property or using it for military purposes is prohibited. Military action must not unnecessarily destroy the natural environment or create environmental problems for the future. Special references are also made to naval and air warfare and the role of civil defence during armed conflict.

Regulations pertaining to the choice of weapons clearly constitute a major part of the law on the conduct of hostilities. Under IHL, this choice is not unlimited. In addition to the principles of distinction and proportionality, IHL has outlawed specific types of weapons through a series of international treaties, in particular biological and chemical weapons, blinding laser weapons and anti-personnel landmines. Most recently, in 2008 the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted.

 

Reproduced in accord with Fair Use law; please visit the International Committee of the Red Cross at:

http://www.icrc.org/eng/war-and-law/index.jsp

A “Democracy” Attacks Democracy – Back To The Ol’ Media Blackout!

Originally posted at https://www.facebook.com/FilterThis on November 19, 2012

 

The Usual Israeli Propaganda:

“The Israeli military said the strikes targeted Hamas communications equipment on the buildings’ rooftops and accused the group of using journalists as ‘human shields’.” (CBS News)

 

Back Here, in the Land Called Reality…

“Around 15 reporters and photographers wearing vests with the word ‘TV Press’ were on the building’s roof at the time, covering the Israeli air strikes.” (Reporters Without Borders)

 

List of international news organizations reporting either wounded journalists and/or destroyed offices:

– Press TV (Iran)

– RT News (Russia)

– Al Aqsa TV (Palestine)

– SAFA TV (Palestine)

– Ma’an (Israel, Palestine)

– Al Quds TV (Lebanon)

– ARD (Germany)

– Sky News Arabia (UAE)

– Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia)

– Reuters (US) (whoops!)

 

ON TOP OF THE USUAL Israeli laundry list of illegal acts, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, such as (but not limited to): the routine targeting and killing of civilians, constant, mass-kidnapping, political assassinations, the settlements and their ultra-violent residents, restriction of movement, restriction on goods, restriction of life-sustaining commodities – such as water, the use of chemical weapons – again, against civilians…

They’re back to targeting – intentionally – the international media.

The targeting and attacking of not only civilians – old people, women, and children – is heinous enough. Not that it’s any worse, but the targeting of the international press is a sordid, blasphemous, and hypocritical affair of its own. Both are war crimes, in gross violation of the Geneva Accord and other mandates of international law. Yet, the irony, i certainly hope, is not lost on you…

For the most powerful nation in the world – as well as the most powerful proxy in the Near East – to call themselves “democracies” is a most callous, offensive, and warped joke, to be sure.

But to add insult to injury and to go ’round the world speaking so loftily of this so-called “democracy”, to make such “democratic” demands of a free press upon other nations wishing to join the international markets and security organizations, and to chide nations such as China and Russia for their own lack of free speech – is a preposterous, farcical, and cynical notion. “Do as we say – but not as we do.” Or, as Noam likes to say:

“Democracy’s fine for us – just not for you.”

Honestly, what do you think US and Israeli leaders are thinking? That by attacking the international news outlets and their journalists that their war crimes will forever go unnoticed?

Then again – judging by most Americans’ handle on international news – this media blackout may, in truth, simply be unnecessary.

Most of you will believe whatever the fuck they tell you, anyway.

 

 

11/18/12: Reporters Without Borders Condemns Air Strikes On News Media In Gaza City:

http://en.rsf.org/palestinian-terr-rwb-condemns-air-strikes-on-news-18-11-2012,43690.html

 

11/18/12: Russian TV office destroyed in Israeli attack on Gaza. Press TV:

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/11/18/273063/russian-tv-office-hit-in-gaza-attack/

 

4/9/03: US bombs Al-Jazeera center in Baghdad. World Socialist Web Site:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/apr2003/jaz-a09.shtml

 

11/13/01: Al-Jazeera Kabul offices hit in US raid. BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1653887.stm