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The Middle East v5: The Fourth Gulf War

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    MvrckMvrck Dwarven MountainhomeRegistered User regular
    Taramoor wrote: »
    It's still a war crime to target armed enemy forces, if you do so in such a way that the collateral damage is not in line with the anticipated military benefit. While that is an incredibly vague standard, considering the casualty numbers, well, I think you could begin to make a case on that. And by case, I mean the ICC should consider actual prosecution.

    I think the US can and will veto any attempt at anything resembling that.

    We're not on the ICC

    It still won't matter, because the ICC won't be able to enforce any ruling without the US support.

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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    Mvrck wrote: »
    Taramoor wrote: »
    It's still a war crime to target armed enemy forces, if you do so in such a way that the collateral damage is not in line with the anticipated military benefit. While that is an incredibly vague standard, considering the casualty numbers, well, I think you could begin to make a case on that. And by case, I mean the ICC should consider actual prosecution.

    I think the US can and will veto any attempt at anything resembling that.

    We're not on the ICC

    It still won't matter, because the ICC won't be able to enforce any ruling without the US support.

    Assuming no one in the Israeli government wants to ever travel to a country that will?

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    KanaKana Registered User regular
    Whether or not Israel is purposefully targeting civilians I think kind of depends on what exactly we're defining as "purposefully"

    Like, Israel is not purposefully engaging in the mass killing of civilians. It's true that a ton of Palestinians have been unkilled, often in completely unjustifiable attacks... But if Israel was purposefully trying to kill civilians that number would be way, way, waaaay higher.

    On the other hand Israel clearly puts little to no value on innocent Palestinian lives, and so if there's 3 dudes sharing a motorcycle carrying at AK-47, the Israeli military clearly has no concerns about ordering an airstrike right down on their block. And similarly while Israel probably doesn't officially view wiping out civilian infrastructure as a plus, they don't really seem to view it as a negative, either.

    Basically, Israel doesn't want to kill civilians as policy. They just want every other kind of solution less.

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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Kana wrote: »
    Whether or not Israel is purposefully targeting civilians I think kind of depends on what exactly we're defining as "purposefully"

    Like, Israel is not purposefully engaging in the mass killing of civilians. It's true that a ton of Palestinians have been unkilled, often in completely unjustifiable attacks... But if Israel was purposefully trying to kill civilians that number would be way, way, waaaay higher.

    On the other hand Israel clearly puts little to no value on innocent Palestinian lives, and so if there's 3 dudes sharing a motorcycle carrying at AK-47, the Israeli military clearly has no concerns about ordering an airstrike right down on their block. And similarly while Israel probably doesn't officially view wiping out civilian infrastructure as a plus, they don't really seem to view it as a negative, either.

    Basically, Israel doesn't want to kill civilians as policy. They just want every other kind of solution less.

    It isn't anything so neat as solutions. It's an attitude.

    They don't give a flying fuck and view anyone in there as the enemy.

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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    They don't put a huge amount of effort into hunting civilians, but if it's around then it's fair game.

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    TaramoorTaramoor Storyteller Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    They don't put a huge amount of effort into hunting civilians, but if it's around then it's fair game.

    So it's like Oregon Trail. Sure, they can only carry 100 pounds back to their wagon, but they're still going to kill every Bear and Buffalo in the central United States.

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    KanaKana Registered User regular
    It's true that a ton of Palestinians have been unkilled

    what the heck me

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
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    PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Purely in terms of civilians killed on both sides, how close is Israeli deaths:Palestinian deaths to, say, 9/11 : Hiroshima?

    Stricly off the top if my head, Israeli civilians is <10, Palestinians is on the order of thousands along wiith 9/11, and Hiroshima was at hundred-thousands. So by orders of magnitude, this would be like if we had responded to 9/11 with carpet bombing or nukes. And yes, I know thats a terrible analogy, I just want to know how numbers line up.

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    ToonToon Registered User regular
    @‌preacher

    You said that the US owns up its killings

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/22/iraq-war-logs-military-leaks

    How do you hold this view faced with facts?

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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    Asokolov wrote: »
    I stand by my statement. I don't think they are aiming at civilians. I don't think the soldier who fired on fleeing men was thinking "Oh look, civilians." I think he was thinking "oh shit, men running."

    Likewise with the person emerging from the house with his hands up who got shot in the jaw. If the soldier was thinking "good, a civilian target!"—as opposed to "adult male emerging from cover"—why not kill everyone else in the house too?

    In Iraq, American soldiers mowed down literally thousands of civilians approaching checkpoints because they were driving too fast or because of miscommunications or just because the soldiers were frightened and in their mind the possibility of killing an innocent Iraqi was on the balance not worth as much as the possibility of avoiding death by a suicide bomber in a car.

    There is a difference between being trigger-happy and aiming. There is a difference between criminally trigger-happy—which I believe qualifies for the IDF—and deliberately aiming for civilians. I am willing to give soldiers who are in life-or-death situations some benefit of the doubt. I honestly have no idea how I would react in a situation where I was being shot at from multiple angles by people dressed in civilians.

    That said—you are right that the strategy here, the policy promoted by the Israeli government, is basically cleansing. That strategy puts these soldiers in this situation and has not adjusted its ROE to protect civilians remotely. I also think that, while IDF soldiers are not deliberately aiming at civilians, many are probably racists who simply do not value Palestinian life as much as their own, which means they are more likely to fire into civilians if they perceive even the slightest threat.

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    programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Mvrck wrote: »
    Taramoor wrote: »
    It's still a war crime to target armed enemy forces, if you do so in such a way that the collateral damage is not in line with the anticipated military benefit. While that is an incredibly vague standard, considering the casualty numbers, well, I think you could begin to make a case on that. And by case, I mean the ICC should consider actual prosecution.

    I think the US can and will veto any attempt at anything resembling that.

    We're not on the ICC

    It still won't matter, because the ICC won't be able to enforce any ruling without the US support.

    Assuming no one in the Israeli government wants to ever travel to a country that will?

    Yeah. Let's be honest, a lot of them will retire to a quiet life of luxury, perfectly content to live with the blood they have on their hands in Israel, but having them be international fugitives from justice would at the very least send a message.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Mvrck wrote: »
    Taramoor wrote: »
    It's still a war crime to target armed enemy forces, if you do so in such a way that the collateral damage is not in line with the anticipated military benefit. While that is an incredibly vague standard, considering the casualty numbers, well, I think you could begin to make a case on that. And by case, I mean the ICC should consider actual prosecution.

    I think the US can and will veto any attempt at anything resembling that.

    We're not on the ICC

    It still won't matter, because the ICC won't be able to enforce any ruling without the US support.

    Assuming no one in the Israeli government wants to ever travel to a country that will?

    Yeah. Let's be honest, a lot of them will retire to a quiet life of luxury, perfectly content to live with the blood they have on their hands in Israel, but having them be international fugitives from justice would at the very least send a message.

    Why would it? Their own courts determined Sharon to be a war criminal, yet he was elected PM.

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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    Qingu wrote: »
    Asokolov wrote: »
    I stand by my statement. I don't think they are aiming at civilians. I don't think the soldier who fired on fleeing men was thinking "Oh look, civilians." I think he was thinking "oh shit, men running."

    Likewise with the person emerging from the house with his hands up who got shot in the jaw. If the soldier was thinking "good, a civilian target!"—as opposed to "adult male emerging from cover"—why not kill everyone else in the house too?

    In Iraq, American soldiers mowed down literally thousands of civilians approaching checkpoints because they were driving too fast or because of miscommunications or just because the soldiers were frightened and in their mind the possibility of killing an innocent Iraqi was on the balance not worth as much as the possibility of avoiding death by a suicide bomber in a car.

    There is a difference between being trigger-happy and aiming. There is a difference between criminally trigger-happy—which I believe qualifies for the IDF—and deliberately aiming for civilians. I am willing to give soldiers who are in life-or-death situations some benefit of the doubt. I honestly have no idea how I would react in a situation where I was being shot at from multiple angles by people dressed in civilians.

    That said—you are right that the strategy here, the policy promoted by the Israeli government, is basically cleansing. That strategy puts these soldiers in this situation and has not adjusted its ROE to protect civilians remotely. I also think that, while IDF soldiers are not deliberately aiming at civilians, many are probably racists who simply do not value Palestinian life as much as their own, which means they are more likely to fire into civilians if they perceive even the slightest threat.

    The vast majority of the civilian casualties have been from airstrikes, not soldiers firing into civilians. And no, IDF doesn't seem to care that targeting airstrikes at rocket firing positions in residential neighborhoods might result in civilian casualties.
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Purely in terms of civilians killed on both sides, how close is Israeli deaths:Palestinian deaths to, say, 9/11 : Hiroshima?

    Stricly off the top if my head, Israeli civilians is <10, Palestinians is on the order of thousands along wiith 9/11, and Hiroshima was at hundred-thousands. So by orders of magnitude, this would be like if we had responded to 9/11 with carpet bombing or nukes. And yes, I know thats a terrible analogy, I just want to know how numbers line up.

    3 Civilians on the Israeli side (2 Israelis and 1 Thai)
    ~1,100-1,500 on the Palestinian side according to the UN.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Screen-Shot-2014-08-04-at-12.23.57-AM.png
    Screen-Shot-2014-08-04-at-12.24.18-AM-300x268.png
    Screen-Shot-2014-08-04-at-12.24.30-AM.png
    Screen-Shot-2014-08-04-at-12.24.43-AM.png
    Screen-Shot-2014-08-04-at-12.24.51-AM.png

    Yes, that was a real article in the Times of Israel, which has since been pulled.

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    DacDac Registered User regular
    I don't think Israel is deliberately targeting civilians, but I also don't think they factor into their decision making at all.

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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    It's true that a ton of Palestinians have been unkilled

    what the heck me

    i didn't see that either when reading it

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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    tsmvengy wrote: »

    The vast majority of the civilian casualties have been from airstrikes, not soldiers firing into civilians.
    Do you have a source for this? I was under the impression that the opposite was true ...

    The death toll was around 250 when they launched the ground invasion. Possibly less (couldn't quickly find a number right before start of invasion).
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/18/israel-us-caution-deaths-gaza-ground-fighting

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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Qingu wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »

    The vast majority of the civilian casualties have been from airstrikes, not soldiers firing into civilians.
    Do you have a source for this? I was under the impression that the opposite was true ...

    The death toll was around 250 when they launched the ground invasion. Possibly less (couldn't quickly find a number right before start of invasion).
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/18/israel-us-caution-deaths-gaza-ground-fighting

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_strikes_and_Palestinian_casualties_in_Operation_Protective_Edge

    Plus just reading articles. Most of the civilian killings mentioned are due to airstrikes, shelling, drone missile, etc.

    "Ground Invasion" doesn't mean they're going home to home indiscriminately shooting people. It's mostly because rocket/mortar fire is met with an airstrike or shelling at wherever the rocket or mortar came from.

    EDIT: Not to mention it would be pretty hard to get by with as few IDF casualties as they've had if they were exposing soldiers like that.

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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_strikes_and_Palestinian_casualties_in_Operation_Protective_Edge

    Plus just reading articles. Most of the civilian killings mentioned are due to airstrikes, shelling, drone missile, etc.
    First of all, "shelling" is not airstrikes, it's ground or in some cases naval artillery strikes.

    And the Wikipedia article doesn't seem to support your point. In the early days of the war (when just the IAF was attacking) daily death tolls seem to average around 20. When the IDF launched a ground invasion the daily death tolls swelled to around 100 per day.

    And look at the targets. Drones and airstrikes almost always strike specific houses and buildings. Shelling victims appear to be more happenstance.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong here, it's a lot of data to parse.
    "Ground Invasion" doesn't mean they're going home to home indiscriminately shooting people. It's mostly because rocket/mortar fire is met with an airstrike or shelling at wherever the rocket or mortar came from.

    EDIT: Not to mention it would be pretty hard to get by with as few IDF casualties as they've had if they were exposing soldiers like that.
    You mean the IDF has few casualties because its soldiers indiscriminately fire and call in airstrikes on even the slightest threats? Possibly that's a factor. But then this just means a ground invasion leads to close air support "firing into civilians" for the same reason that soldiers on the ground fire at civilians—because they're scared, trying to protect their own, etc.

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    MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    My impressions of the Kurds is that they're about the most progressive people in the region - I mean this isn't saying much but they are at least trying with their incredibly limited resources stretched thin by their war against ISIS or the Islamist State or whatever the hell they're calling themselves today. Iraqi Kurdistan banned female genital mutilation and honor killings (though it still happens - incredibly limited resources to prosecute) and women fight in the Peshmerga, and they're fine with having people of multiple cultures and religions all living together and side by side, which is why Christians and members of various small Muslim sects are fleeing to Kurdistan now. The reason why no nation will go out and help them directly is because of the political issues of all the surrounding countries that also have Kurdish populations, particularly Turkey. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

    This gets complicated, but IIRC most kurds belong to a fairly conservative school of Islam, by regional standards - not fundamentalist reactionaries that are outside conventional Islam like the Wahabis or Salafists but one of the more conservative traditional Sunni sects, but politically they are progressive, and this tends to be a big conflict in their society, but they've been busy fighting existential external conflicts so its been on the back burner.

    This almost makes me think that things would be worse off for women there if the Kurds weren't facing literal actual extinction from ISIS, meaning people have more important concerns than trying to repress women. Not that I think ISIS actually has the power to kill off all the men and sex-enslave all the women and burn all their mosques and Korans and wipe their culture from the face of the Earth, but if ISIS did have that power they definitely are inclined to do it; they do it now as much as they can.

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    PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    Organics, am I right, Geth?

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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/39332-140806-poll-israelis-stand-behind-their-prime-minister
    ...

    A new poll published Wednesday by Israeli daily Haaretz found that the majority of the Israeli public is very satisfied with the way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz handled Operation Protective Edge.

    83% approved of Gantz’s performance. Netanyahu and Ya’alon received 77% approval ratings.

    However, the Israeli public does not feel the war in Gaza was a victory.

    According to the poll, conducted for Haaretz by the public opinion firm Dialog on the first day of the Israel-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza, 51% said neither side had won, while 56% said the main targets set by the Israeli government – destroying Hamas’ tunnels and dealing Hamas a severe blow – were achieved only partially.

    In response to questions about whether Israel should renew negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and take steps to “bolster” him, the majority of those surveyed said yes.

    ...
    I honestly don't see how you square them only accomplishing their goals partly or neither side winning with approval of their performance other than lowered expectations.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-gaza-conflict-2014/1.609116
    11:05 A.M. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett: Palestinian state would destroy Israel's economy (Ch. 10)
    Fucking crazies.

    Edit:
    http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/international-development-committee/news/opts-substantive-press-notice--/
    In the absence of a full and final peace settlement for a two-state solution, significant effort can and should be made to secure greater Palestinian economic activity within the Occupied Territories (OPTs) without compromising Israel’s security, say MPs on cross party International Development Committee in the UK Parliament.

    Launching a report examining the UK Government’s long-standing bilateral programme in the OPTs, Sir Malcolm Bruce, Chair of the International Development Committee said,
    “The ongoing violence by Palestinian and Israeli extremists does not bode well for peace negotiations for a two -state solution, but as much of the coverage surrounding recent violence has highlighted, restrictions which restrain economic development within the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) remain a key issue for the Palestinians.

    “We believe that significant effort to improve conditions and the economy within the OPTs is in everyone’s interests. In particular, as the World Bank made plain in a report last year, there would be scope to raise Palestinian GDP by over 20% if Palestinian businesses were allowed to invest in Area C*, that part of the West Bank controlled exclusively by the Israelis.

    “We argue therefore that the conflict between Hamas and Israel and the stalling of the peace talks should not prevent the UK and other European countries from pressing Israel to end unnecessary restrictions, especially in the West Bank.

    “In particular, we challenge the assertion that restrictions which curtail economic development in the OPTs are based on Israel s security needs and can be justified on security grounds. We argue that the UK in concert with other European countries should put pressure on the Government of Israel to lift some of the restrictions in the OPTs as a matter of urgency.

    “For instance, we were shocked by what we saw during our visit to Hebron. While we fully appreciate Israel’s security concerns, these in no way justify the present restrictions on Palestinians in Hebron, which affect their livelihoods, economic development and security.

    “In particular, the UK should encourage both sides to negotiate to address the disputed issues, including Palestinian access to 3G and 4G services in the West Bank, and greater access to the West Bank aquifer, construction permits, demolitions and master plans.

    “We are extremely concerned about the potential for further settlement expansion, especially around Jerusalem. We suggest the UK should in concert with other European countries stress to the Israeli authorities the unacceptability of the present situation. DFID should also support the World Bank programme for helping the Palestinian Authority with land registration.”

    From the report:
    31. Some of the structures subject to demolition are in fact donor-funded (though not funded through DFID’s bilateral programme). We were informed by Save the Children that during 2013, 122 donor-funded structures were demolished in Area C and East Jerusalem.35 These included water and sanitation facilities, and livestock support structures.36 The European Union, which receives funding from the UK taxpayer, was amongst the donors affected: it lodged a complaint with the Israeli authorities, but made no attempt to obtain compensation.37 The international Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), used to construct temporary shelters for those affected by demolitions, but in some cases these too have been demolished.

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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Couscous wrote: »
    http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/39332-140806-poll-israelis-stand-behind-their-prime-minister
    ...

    A new poll published Wednesday by Israeli daily Haaretz found that the majority of the Israeli public is very satisfied with the way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz handled Operation Protective Edge.

    83% approved of Gantz’s performance. Netanyahu and Ya’alon received 77% approval ratings.

    However, the Israeli public does not feel the war in Gaza was a victory.

    According to the poll, conducted for Haaretz by the public opinion firm Dialog on the first day of the Israel-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza, 51% said neither side had won, while 56% said the main targets set by the Israeli government – destroying Hamas’ tunnels and dealing Hamas a severe blow – were achieved only partially.

    In response to questions about whether Israel should renew negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and take steps to “bolster” him, the majority of those surveyed said yes.

    ...
    I honestly don't see how you square them only accomplishing their goals partly or neither side winning with approval of their performance other than lowered expectations.


    An overall public approval rating is only going to be partly affected by the current events occurring. Granted it's usually a pretty big swing but remember: barely any israeli's died.

    By all accounts it was a very successful massacre.

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    honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    31. Some of the structures subject to demolition are in fact donor-funded (though not funded through DFID’s bilateral programme). We were informed by Save the Children that during 2013, 122 donor-funded structures were demolished in Area C and East Jerusalem.35 These included water and sanitation facilities, and livestock support structures.36 The European Union, which receives funding from the UK taxpayer, was amongst the donors affected: it lodged a complaint with the Israeli authorities, but made no attempt to obtain compensation.37 The international Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), used to construct temporary shelters for those affected by demolitions, but in some cases these too have been demolished.

    Fuck this.

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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    Qingu wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_strikes_and_Palestinian_casualties_in_Operation_Protective_Edge

    Plus just reading articles. Most of the civilian killings mentioned are due to airstrikes, shelling, drone missile, etc.
    First of all, "shelling" is not airstrikes, it's ground or in some cases naval artillery strikes.

    And the Wikipedia article doesn't seem to support your point. In the early days of the war (when just the IAF was attacking) daily death tolls seem to average around 20. When the IDF launched a ground invasion the daily death tolls swelled to around 100 per day.

    And look at the targets. Drones and airstrikes almost always strike specific houses and buildings. Shelling victims appear to be more happenstance.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong here, it's a lot of data to parse.

    From your initial comments I got the idea that you think most of the civilian deaths were from individual soldiers shooting people - with guns. Airstrikes, shelling, mortars - this is killing at a distance. That is the only distinction I was making - I guess I used the wrong word, "airstrikes," to refer to it all.
    "Ground Invasion" doesn't mean they're going home to home indiscriminately shooting people. It's mostly because rocket/mortar fire is met with an airstrike or shelling at wherever the rocket or mortar came from.

    EDIT: Not to mention it would be pretty hard to get by with as few IDF casualties as they've had if they were exposing soldiers like that.
    You mean the IDF has few casualties because its soldiers indiscriminately fire and call in airstrikes on even the slightest threats? Possibly that's a factor. But then this just means a ground invasion leads to close air support "firing into civilians" for the same reason that soldiers on the ground fire at civilians—because they're scared, trying to protect their own, etc.

    I think there is a difference between "let's shoot some Palestinians" vs. "let's shoot airstrikes/artillery at where that rocket came from and who cares if anyone is in the way." The latter at least has the semblance of striking at military targets. Of course it's massively out of line with the damage they are suffering from those rockets.

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    SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    PLA wrote: »
    Organics, am I right, Geth?

    Well, we know how the Geth dealt with their sectarian, "Murder everyone who's not like us" faction of their society.

    They ignored them. ;)
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Mayabird wrote: »
    My impressions of the Kurds is that they're about the most progressive people in the region - I mean this isn't saying much but they are at least trying with their incredibly limited resources stretched thin by their war against ISIS or the Islamist State or whatever the hell they're calling themselves today. Iraqi Kurdistan banned female genital mutilation and honor killings (though it still happens - incredibly limited resources to prosecute) and women fight in the Peshmerga, and they're fine with having people of multiple cultures and religions all living together and side by side, which is why Christians and members of various small Muslim sects are fleeing to Kurdistan now. The reason why no nation will go out and help them directly is because of the political issues of all the surrounding countries that also have Kurdish populations, particularly Turkey. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

    This gets complicated, but IIRC most kurds belong to a fairly conservative school of Islam, by regional standards - not fundamentalist reactionaries that are outside conventional Islam like the Wahabis or Salafists but one of the more conservative traditional Sunni sects, but politically they are progressive, and this tends to be a big conflict in their society, but they've been busy fighting existential external conflicts so its been on the back burner.

    This almost makes me think that things would be worse off for women there if the Kurds weren't facing literal actual extinction from ISIS, meaning people have more important concerns than trying to repress women. Not that I think ISIS actually has the power to kill off all the men and sex-enslave all the women and burn all their mosques and Korans and wipe their culture from the face of the Earth, but if ISIS did have that power they definitely are inclined to do it; they do it now as much as they can.

    Really, the current circumstances have (rightly) shaped the international image of the Kurds--decades ago in Iraq, they were identified as an obstacle to Saddam Hussein's more "secular" policies (those inherited from the Ba'ath Party, anyway), which was one of the long list of excuses used for their marginalization and discrimination in Iraqi society (putting aside when the government tried to massacre them as in Al-Anfal). Conservative Iranians backed them during the Iran-Iraq War (not just for reasons of ideology, though). Less extreme, Syrian Kurds faced discrimination from another minority, the Alawites, as being backwards compared to more cosmopolitan populations (this wasn't just limited to the Kurds either).

    Their radical politics (which happen to be considered progressive presently) are a natural outcome of their bid for an independent homeland, and the informal treaties they've negotiated for them.

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    MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Thanks, @Synthesis

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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    The report does a decent job of describing how shit things are in Gaza.
    53. The travel restrictions on Gaza residents are extremely severe: Gazans are not generally
    allowed to leave the territory. During our visit we were told that residents of Gaza were
    allowed to leave to visit “first degree relatives” in special circumstances (e.g. illness or a
    wedding), but this did not extend to “second degree relatives” (e.g. grandparents). We were
    also told that whilst Gazans were allowed to travel to Israel for medical treatment, they had
    to be accompanied, and often had to transfer to an Israeli ambulance at the crossing.
    Palestinian ambulances require permits to cross the border.64

    54. Since 2010, we were told, a very small number of people have been allowed to leave
    Gaza for business- or training-related reasons. The only vehicles allowed across the border
    were UN and diplomatic vehicles: ordinary Gazans, if allowed to cross at all, had to do so
    on foot. Between January and June 2013, the average number of people allowed to leave
    Gaza was less than 200 per day; during the equivalent period in 2000, the average was
    26,000.65

    55. The trade restrictions are equally severe. Between January and June 2013, the average
    number of truckloads leaving Gaza was less than one per day; during the equivalent period
    in 2007, the average was 38.66 The impact on Gaza’s economy has been hugely damaging:
    almost 60% of Gaza’s businesses have closed down since the blockade began, whilst
    another 25% have reduced their staffing levels by 80%. Exports from Gaza have fallen by
    97%.67

    So they apparently had to have a scare meeting to make sure that the higher ranking ministers knew retaking Gaza wasn't going to happen.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.609152
    High-ranking ministers were recently exposed to the nightmare scenario that would result from an Israeli effort to recapture the Gaza Strip, as part of an attempt to get ministers to reject even considering such an objective, high-ranking ministers have said.

    "The demonstration was completely biased and aimed at causing us to think that we must not even think about such a move," said a minister who attended the four-hour "intimidation meeting," as some cabinet members referred to it.

    The ministers were told that nearly every home in Gaza's large cities would be booby-trapped and entire streets would be lined with explosive devices aimed at killing Israeli forces. Under this scenario, hundreds of Israeli troops would be killed during the months it would take to capture the Strip and the years it would take to clear out weapons and terrorists from Gaza, in an operation that would cost billions of shekels.

    Israel Defense Forces officers told the ministers such an operation would have massive civil and humanitarian ramifications and said Israel would ultimately have to take responsibility for caring for Gaza residents.

    The meeting came after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz made comments supporting a total military takeover of the Gaza Strip. Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan also repeatedly called for reoccupying Gaza.

    "At that meeting they described to us scenarios that seemed like they were taken from World War II," said a minister who was at the meeting. "It was clear that the meeting was intended to take the occupation of the Strip off the table."

    Reports about the ministers unanimously voting against occupying Gaza came out a few days later, the minister said, adding that he and his colleagues thought the Prime Minister's Office was behind the reports.

    Those reports appeared to be based on a question the minister said was posed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the end of the meeting, when the prime minister asked if there were any ministers who supported occupying Gaza and suggested a vote. The ministers did not hold a vote, but no one expressed support for it in response to Netanyahu's question, the participant said.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/06/world/meast/israel-teens-arrest/index.html?hpt=wo_c1
    (CNN) -- A man arrested in July and accused of having a role in the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli teenagers is "a senior member of Hamas," Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told CNN's Jake Tapper.

    Regev made the remarks Wednesday during a live interview on CNN's "New Day."

    "Apparently he was trying to illicitly cross the border into Jordan, but we got him in time," Regev said. "His arrest will lead, I hope, to further arrests."

    After the on-air interview, Regev was asked what proof Israel has that this man is a member of Hamas.

    He said he would get back with an answer. Regev did not elaborate on the exact role the man allegedly had in the kidnapping and killing of the teenagers.

    ...
    I'm wondering how they define "senior member."

    Couscous on
  • Options
    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    Fascinating examination of information bubbles on the Israel-Gaza conflict:
    https://medium.com/i-data/israel-gaza-war-data-a54969aeb23e

    steam_sig.png
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    NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    The report does a decent job of describing how shit things are in Gaza.
    53. The travel restrictions on Gaza residents are extremely severe: Gazans are not generally
    allowed to leave the territory. During our visit we were told that residents of Gaza were
    allowed to leave to visit “first degree relatives” in special circumstances (e.g. illness or a
    wedding), but this did not extend to “second degree relatives” (e.g. grandparents). We were
    also told that whilst Gazans were allowed to travel to Israel for medical treatment, they had
    to be accompanied, and often had to transfer to an Israeli ambulance at the crossing.
    Palestinian ambulances require permits to cross the border.64

    54. Since 2010, we were told, a very small number of people have been allowed to leave
    Gaza for business- or training-related reasons. The only vehicles allowed across the border
    were UN and diplomatic vehicles: ordinary Gazans, if allowed to cross at all, had to do so
    on foot. Between January and June 2013, the average number of people allowed to leave
    Gaza was less than 200 per day; during the equivalent period in 2000, the average was
    26,000.65

    55. The trade restrictions are equally severe. Between January and June 2013, the average
    number of truckloads leaving Gaza was less than one per day; during the equivalent period
    in 2007, the average was 38.66 The impact on Gaza’s economy has been hugely damaging:
    almost 60% of Gaza’s businesses have closed down since the blockade began, whilst
    another 25% have reduced their staffing levels by 80%. Exports from Gaza have fallen by
    97%.67

    So they apparently had to have a scare meeting to make sure that the higher ranking ministers knew retaking Gaza wasn't going to happen.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.609152
    High-ranking ministers were recently exposed to the nightmare scenario that would result from an Israeli effort to recapture the Gaza Strip, as part of an attempt to get ministers to reject even considering such an objective, high-ranking ministers have said.

    "The demonstration was completely biased and aimed at causing us to think that we must not even think about such a move," said a minister who attended the four-hour "intimidation meeting," as some cabinet members referred to it.

    The ministers were told that nearly every home in Gaza's large cities would be booby-trapped and entire streets would be lined with explosive devices aimed at killing Israeli forces. Under this scenario, hundreds of Israeli troops would be killed during the months it would take to capture the Strip and the years it would take to clear out weapons and terrorists from Gaza, in an operation that would cost billions of shekels.

    Israel Defense Forces officers told the ministers such an operation would have massive civil and humanitarian ramifications and said Israel would ultimately have to take responsibility for caring for Gaza residents.

    The meeting came after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz made comments supporting a total military takeover of the Gaza Strip. Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan also repeatedly called for reoccupying Gaza.

    "At that meeting they described to us scenarios that seemed like they were taken from World War II," said a minister who was at the meeting. "It was clear that the meeting was intended to take the occupation of the Strip off the table."

    Reports about the ministers unanimously voting against occupying Gaza came out a few days later, the minister said, adding that he and his colleagues thought the Prime Minister's Office was behind the reports.

    Those reports appeared to be based on a question the minister said was posed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the end of the meeting, when the prime minister asked if there were any ministers who supported occupying Gaza and suggested a vote. The ministers did not hold a vote, but no one expressed support for it in response to Netanyahu's question, the participant said.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/06/world/meast/israel-teens-arrest/index.html?hpt=wo_c1
    (CNN) -- A man arrested in July and accused of having a role in the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli teenagers is "a senior member of Hamas," Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told CNN's Jake Tapper.

    Regev made the remarks Wednesday during a live interview on CNN's "New Day."

    "Apparently he was trying to illicitly cross the border into Jordan, but we got him in time," Regev said. "His arrest will lead, I hope, to further arrests."

    After the on-air interview, Regev was asked what proof Israel has that this man is a member of Hamas.

    He said he would get back with an answer. Regev did not elaborate on the exact role the man allegedly had in the kidnapping and killing of the teenagers.

    ...
    I'm wondering how they define "senior member."

    over 18 years old?

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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Fascinating examination of information bubbles on the Israel-Gaza conflict:
    https://medium.com/i-data/israel-gaza-war-data-a54969aeb23e

    I personally like fuckisrael in the first infopic.
    This illustration originally created by Carlos Latuff, a cartoonist, artist and activist based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was heavily shared amongst Israeli users on Facebook over the past month.
    This is hilarious because Latuff freaking hates Israel.

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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    In news that is actually worse than the bloodshed in Gaza, tens of thousands of Yazidi (a religion descended from Zoroastrianism) are besieged by the Islamic State, who have started killing all the men and kidnapping the women as hostages/jihadi wives.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/iraqi-yazidis-if-move-they-will-kill-us-20148513656188206.html
    http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/friend-flees-horror-isis
    “I don’t see any attention from the rest of the world,” he (a Yazidi) said. “In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, ‘Save Gaza, save Gaza.’ "

    This is unambiguous genocide.

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    NumiNumi Registered User regular
    They needed to be told that re-occuping Gaza would be an absolute clusterfuck? They actually needed to be told this?!

    Now I get that there are people that get all kinds of hard by imagining their little revenge-fantasies coming to life but that right there is some industrial strength stupid. They have an enemy that is fairly well bottled up and with no meaningful way of going on offence, especially now that Israel no doubt is going into overdrive working on ways to counter a re-expansion of the Hamas tunnels into Israel. Hamas and other militants still have access to their rockets but that those aren't a threat to Israel, they are at best a national embarrassment though for politicians that might actually count as a threat. In all honesty hamas would inflict more pain and suffering on Israel by setting up a chain of falafel stands in Tel Aviv where the employees where really blasé about food safety.

    Instead they want to get into close quarters urban combat in unfamiliar terrain against a native enemy equipped for it and that cares about as much about the civilian population, the with good reason incredibly hostile civilian population with no place to go, as they do. Assuming that there is a civilian population left we end up with an occupation which is just going to year after year of mounting losses and the "telegenically dead" making Israel look bad. But screw that, lets crack on and be stupid as well as simply monstrous. Blood for the blood god, skulls for the skull throne!

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    shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Qingu wrote: »
    In news that is actually worse than the bloodshed in Gaza, tens of thousands of Yazidi (a religion descended from Zoroastrianism) are besieged by the Islamic State, who have started killing all the men and kidnapping the women as hostages/jihadi wives.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/iraqi-yazidis-if-move-they-will-kill-us-20148513656188206.html
    http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/friend-flees-horror-isis
    “I don’t see any attention from the rest of the world,” he (a Yazidi) said. “In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, ‘Save Gaza, save Gaza.’ "

    This is unambiguous genocide.

    I'll do you one worse:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/iraqi-yazidis-stranded-on-isolated-mountaintop-begin-to-die-of-thirst/2014/08/05/57cca985-3396-41bd-8163-7a52e5e72064_story.html?hpid=z1
    Stranded on a barren mountaintop, thousands of minority Iraqis are faced with a bleak choice: descend and risk slaughter at the hands of the encircled Sunni extremists or sit tight and risk dying of thirst.

    Humanitarian agencies said Tuesday that between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians remain trapped on Mount Sinjar since being driven out of surrounding villages and the town of Sinjar two days earlier. But the mountain that had looked like a refuge is becoming a graveyard for their children.

    Unable to dig deep into the rocky mountainside, displaced families said they have buried young and elderly victims of the harsh conditions in shallow graves, their bodies covered with stones. Iraqi government planes attempted to airdrop bottled water to the mountain on Monday night but reached few of those marooned.

    “There are children dying on the mountain, on the roads,” said Marzio Babille, the Iraq representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “There is no water, there is no vegetation, they are completely cut off and surrounded by Islamic State. It’s a disaster, a total disaster.”

    Most of those who fled Sinjar are from the minority Yazidi sect, which melds parts of ancient Zoroastrianism with Christianity and Islam. They are considered by the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State to be devil worshippers and apostates.

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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    That's actually to what I was referring.

    I'm not sure if it would be a wise course of action for the US to attack the IS in general, but I'm having trouble thinking of reasons not to send drones and possibly fighters to bomb IS positions around this mountain, provide close air support to the Kurds, and help evacuate these people.

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    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Qingu wrote: »
    In news that is actually worse than the bloodshed in Gaza, tens of thousands of Yazidi (a religion descended from Zoroastrianism) are besieged by the Islamic State, who have started killing all the men and kidnapping the women as hostages/jihadi wives.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/iraqi-yazidis-if-move-they-will-kill-us-20148513656188206.html
    http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/friend-flees-horror-isis
    “I don’t see any attention from the rest of the world,” he (a Yazidi) said. “In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, ‘Save Gaza, save Gaza.’ "

    This is unambiguous genocide.


    These people fled a few days ago. I thought someone (I have no idea who) was coming to help them but apparently not.
    BAGHDAD — Stranded on a barren mountaintop, thousands of minority Iraqis are faced with a bleak choice: descend and risk slaughter at the hands of the encircled Sunni extremists or sit tight and risk dying of thirst.

    Humanitarian agencies said Tuesday that between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians remain trapped on Mount Sinjar since being driven out of surrounding villages and the town of Sinjar two days earlier. But the mountain that had looked like a refuge is becoming a graveyard for their children.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/iraqi-yazidis-stranded-on-isolated-mountaintop-begin-to-die-of-thirst/2014/08/05/57cca985-3396-41bd-8163-7a52e5e72064_story.html?hpid=z1&amp;Post+generic=?tid=sm_twitter_washingtonpost

    [Tycho?] on
    mvaYcgc.jpg
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    Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    What the fuck.

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    AbsalonAbsalon Lands of Always WinterRegistered User regular
    Way to go, Bush voters.

  • Options
    SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Qingu wrote: »
    In news that is actually worse than the bloodshed in Gaza, tens of thousands of Yazidi (a religion descended from Zoroastrianism) are besieged by the Islamic State, who have started killing all the men and kidnapping the women as hostages/jihadi wives.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/iraqi-yazidis-if-move-they-will-kill-us-20148513656188206.html
    http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/friend-flees-horror-isis
    “I don’t see any attention from the rest of the world,” he (a Yazidi) said. “In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, ‘Save Gaza, save Gaza.’ "

    This is unambiguous genocide.

    Reading this, the first thing it reminded me of was when the IIB--Islamic International Brigade--invaded Dagestan from Chechnya. I don't know how many comparison you could draw between the IIB and ISIL, aside from their shared tendency to kill large numbers of their neighbors, but IIB definitely benefited from international disinterest back in 1999 as well. In Dagestan, they trapped people in mountain villages and came close to committing outright genocide again the small minority populations in the Caucuses. Had they had more time, they might have succeeded.

    Synthesis on
  • Options
    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Absalon wrote: »
    Way to go, Bush voters.
    This is not helpful. The Iraq War was pointless and criminally mismanaged, but the line from George W. Bush to the Islamic State is not direct. The Islamic State would not exist if there were not a grueling multiyear long war in Syria characterized by Shi'ite-led war crimes against Sunnis. The IS would not be nearly as popular if Mohammad Morsi, the only democratically elected Islamist in the region, was not deposed by a coup, thus proving to Islamic fundamentalists everywhere that Islamism and democracy are incompatible and violent jihad is the only way forward. Maliki's poor governance of Iraq is also certainly to blame. And violent Salafist ideology long predates Bush; IS is the latest incarnation of the barbarians that have been at the gates for decades, and will probably be for quite some time.

    Qingu on
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