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What Should Have Been The World’s Response…….

While the tragedy in Beit Hanun was indeed horrific, the brunt of the blame falls squarely upon the Palestinian leadership. When they continually play with fire, they cannot expect not to get burnt. The 19 deaths that ensued where the result of a malfunction, which is something that the Arabs know fully well can happen. That they continue to pursue the policy of launching rockets towards Israeli civilian population centers, with the full knowledge that Israel will try and destroy these Qassem rocket launchers, cannot be ignored. They are solely to blame. KGS

David Hornik get’s it right:

“Since Israel left Gaza and totally removed the “occupation” that supposedly was the cause of the terrorism, the terror organizations have reacted by shelling Israel from Gaza nonstop with the express aim of killing, injuring, and terrorizing as many men, women, and children as possible simply for being Israeli Jews. In response Israel has shown remarkable restraint, waiting over half a year even to allow any of its forces to return to Gaza. Since then Israel has conducted painstaking operations in places like the Gaza-Sinai border and Beit Hanun aimed at terrorists, weapons smuggling, and weapons supplies while seeking to minimize harm to civilians as much as possible, thereby increasing the risk to its own soldiers.

Israel has shown this restraint even against terrorist enemies who do not shrink from recruiting hordes of women and children to surround them and give them protection. Israel has, of course, more than enough firepower to give the Kosovo treatment to the Philadelphi Route or Beit Hanun, but instead has consistently upheld the highest moral standards possible in warfare. We cannot, however, expect Israel to adhere to such standards forever, especially when they are asked of no other country and start to verge on the suicidal. The purpose of war is not, after all, to protect the enemy’s population, but to protect one’s own population and enable them to live normal lives.

Although the incident of the misfired artillery shells in Beit Hanun took a tragic toll and is regrettable, we do not expect Israel to show either perfect, angelic restraint or perfect operational precision, especially when, as in this case, it was reacting to the imminent danger of another rocket attack on one of its cities. The Palestinians should know that we do not have infinite patience for their aggression and will not expect Israel to tolerate it indefinitely instead of finally putting its own interests, wellbeing, and survival first and doing whatever is necessary to stop it.”

11 Responses

  1. Can you explain why, if we use your logic that excuses Israel, the US isn’t responsible for 600 000 dead in Iraq? Of course the death squads are doing the killing, but if Israel has no moral responsibility for 19 dead civilians killed by Israeli fire, surely the Iraqi death squads can say really its not their fault, but rather the US’s – because US policy allowed these things to happen?

  2. Toby,
    You of all people should know that the Lancet “projected figures of 600 000 are bogus, suspect and way off the mark.

    Even Iraq Body Count do not put the figure at that level, it’s around 55 000.

    That said, the whole issue of intended casualties vs. casualties that result from conducting a war where innocents are hurt or killed is “handled, spelled out” under the Geneva conventions.

    You are sounding like a committed pacifist that moralizes all deaths being one and the same. If that’s the case, the Allied assault against the Axis Powers during WWII should never have been waged, due to the amount of civilians that would be hurt or killed.

    The death squads on either side of the conflict in Iraq are INTENDING TO MURDER PEOPLE, perhaps that fact is irrelevent to you?

  3. Can you show me one credible statistician who actually quibbles over the Lancet study? I’ve looked really hard and can’t find one. If you are personally a statistics expert and can explain why the methodology is flawed, I would gladly ask my mate who has just got his PhD in econometrics (for what I understand is pretty groundbreaking work) to check your proofs.

    You miss my other point – its not the intention of perpetrator that is in question here, you are putting the moral responsibility on the actor who allowed the acts to take place. By your logic, the Palestinian terrorists are responsible for the children killed by the IDF, Hitler was responsible for the Germans bombed by the RAF and USAF, and therefore the US and UK bear some responsibility for the excess deaths be that 55,000, 150 000 as the Iraqi minister said today, or 600 000 according to the statisticians. You can’t have it both ways.

  4. Flawed reasoning through and through.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq
    The Lancet estimate is significantly higher than estimates from other organizations. In 2004, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) used 2,200 cluster points of 10 interviews each for a total sample of 21,688, to arrive at their estimate of between 18,000 and 29,000 civilian deaths from the war. The Lancet survey used 47 cluster points, and a total of 1,849 interviews, to arrive at their estimate of 655,000 civilian deaths. Iraq Body Count [6], as of October 19 2006, reports a range of between 43,937 and 48,783 deaths as a result of the U.S. invasion. Iraq Body Count relies solely upon passive surveillance of officially reported deaths in generating this number.

    Contrarily, in an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal on October 18, 2006, Steven E. Moore, of Gorton Moore International, wrote “What happens when you don’t use enough cluster points in a survey? You get crazy results when compared to a known quantity, or a survey with more cluster points. There was a perfect example of this two years ago. The UNDP’s survey, in April and May 2004, estimated between 18,000 and 29,000 Iraqi civilian deaths due to the war. This survey was conducted four months prior to another, earlier study by the Johns Hopkins team, which used 33 cluster points and estimated between 69,000 and 155,000 civilian deaths–four to five times as high as the UNDP survey, which used 66 times the cluster points.” [14]

    No point missed.
    My reasoning rests on the fact that: ‘intent dictates the degree of guilt’ of the party involved in the bloodletting. Look up the Geneva Conventions concerning protected persons.

    Saddam and his regime is responsible for the ensuing Iraqi deaths by flaunting UNSCR 1441, a chapter SEVEN resolution that promised “serious consequences”. You are guilty of equating the immoral activities of Hitler and Saddam with legal and moral ones by the US and British led Coalition. Shame.

    Extreme pacifism is legless.

  5. Moore’s comments (and lets note, on a well-known conservative opinion page, not in a peer reviewed scientific journal like the Lancet) were one of the few serious attempts at questioning the methodology by some one who has experience in the field (quoting other studies’ results as you have done isn’t questioning the methodology – incidently the same methodology taught by the US govt. to researchers to use in other conflict situations). But most professional statisticians think he is either wrong, or at best has some minor points on the methodology that wouldn’t greatly change the outcome: http://www.stats.org/stories/did_wsj_flaw_iraq_oct18_06.htm I hope Mr. Moore comes back and answers the criticisms of his criticism as that is how science works and hopefully we will all end the wiser for it, but currently he doesn’t seem to be convincing the experts. More interesting is the “main-street” bias posited by some British mathmeticians looking at the study, but even there the Lancet authors seem as far as I can understand to have mounted a credible defence.

    I also find the figure very hard to believe (personally I don’t see how the political situation could be as it is with that level of mortality), but as I desperately cling to Popperian ideas of progress in sicence via falsification, I won’t dismiss it out of hand just because it challenges my politics. We all await with interest for an alternative study to be done by the critics, using what they think is a better methodology, and see what their results say.

    Your understanding of moral philosophy and international law seem rather black and white. Even if Saddam was in contravention of UNSC resolutions, something that the most senior law officer in the UK govt. took some convincing of, that does not mean that the coalition forces were magically removed of all moral responsibiltity for their actions that followed. You don’t set fire to a house to stop a burglary. Stoping the buglary may be moral, but doing it with a match and a can of petrol is not. Besides you are mixing two seperate issues of international law and moral philosophy, the former being ONE sedimented interpretation of the other.

    This has got nothing to do with pacificism. The question is not whether to act or not, but rather how to act in a way that has the best moral consequences.

  6. These blog admins do not even have courage to use their own names!

    How could *anyone* care what these nameless cowards think about the indiscriminate massacre of the palestinian civilians by the israeli military?

    Devils logic, nameless cowards – whats this, the zionist teen propaganda corner?

    Well you wont fool me…

  7. Oh, here is an appropriate link for you guys.

    I the light of this video, this bombing of civilians no longer seems like such an innocent accident.

    This is a link to a video about the October’s massacre. http://globalresearch.ca/audiovideo/Gaza_women_shot.WMV

    Women are being shot by israeli snipers in this video. Do those women and children look like “militants” to you?

    Video is on your favourite sociologist’s site BTW. Whole article:

    “Israeli Forces shoot indiscriminately at Palestinian Women and Children.”
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20061110&articleId=3798

    Is this what you guys are trying to justify in your blog? A pack of lies and slow genocide?

    Oh yes, I already said two ‘bad’ words: “zionist” and “genocide”. I guess google will index these words so your blog and the causes it stand for can be found with appropriate keywords – like “zionist genocide against palestinians”?

    I wonder when will these war criminals be tried.

    There are intelligent people in the world, though:
    http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=-6519655078961670837

  8. Toby,
    I include the observations of a emeritus professor of political science over the first Lancet report here:

    http://freedomspeace.blogspot.com/2005/02/iraqi-civilians-killedrevisited.html

    Also worth noting, the Lancet/Hopkins report adds a caveat by stating that most deaths go unnoticed, How so? With a media closely watching/reporting every atrocity happening inside the Anbar provence, its highly unlikely that the deaths of an extra 550 000 people would go unnoticed.

    Perhaps morgues are not routinely notified, but the graveyards should be very noticable by the incredible expansion created by these extra bodies. Seeing that the human rights groups claimed 100 000 children dying per year due to UN sanctions, have these bodies been factored into the Lancet report as well?

    As for morality, the war on Saddam and his regime is judged against the enormous loss of life of millions, as well as the cruelty of his regime. I doubt that there is one andti-Saddam Kurd or Shiia wanting a return of that regime, anymore than the those who suffered under Hitler. How many anti-Hitler civilians perished during WWII as a result of the Allied invasion?

  9. Also, from IBC :

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/press/pr14/1.php

    If we consider the Lancet’s June 2005 – June 2006 period, whose violent toll it estimates at 330,000, then daily estimates become lower but would still require 768 unrecorded violent deaths for every 67 that are recorded. The IBC database shows that the average number of people killed in any one violent attack is five. Therefore it would require about 150 unreported, average-size, violent assaults per day to account for 768 deaths.

    It is unlikely that incidents of this scale would be so consistently missed by the various media in Iraq. Although IBC technically requires only two sources for every corroborated death in its database, we actually collect, archive and analyse every unique report we can find about each incident before it is added to our database. For larger incidents the number of reports can run into the dozens, including news published in English in the original and others, mostly the Iraqi press, published in translation. In IBC’s news archive for August 2006 the average-size attack leaving 5 civilians killed has a median number of 6 reports on it.

    If, as our data suggest, smaller incidents are the ones that are most likely to be under-reported, then the number of “hidden” assaults implied by this study could be far greater. For instance, if the average number of people killed in each such assault were two, then the number of unreported deadly assaults would have to rise to 380 per day.

    One possible way of explaining such a very large number of small-scale unreported assaults is to suppose that many of these are the result of “secret” killings which have resulted from abduction, execution by gunfire, or beheading. But 42% of the 330,000 Lancet-estimated violent deaths in this final 13-month period are ascribed to “explosives/ordnance”, car bombs, or air strikes, all of which carry a fairly heavy and hardly ‘secret’ toll (and will generally create at least 3 times as many wounded).

  10. USA has killed more civilians during the last 50 years than any other nation, even with any Iraqis included.

    Again and again USA has shown to be the most merciless and greedy of all of the international players.

    Trying to argue about Iraq body count after the whole nation has been totally destroyed is simply put living in denial.

    And that means you KGS.

    And your reasoning is rather thin. You are, for instance, arguing that the Iraqi media would notice all the casualties on a warzone? Thats a laugh. With all the kidnapping etc?

    Yeah right – like they had accurate data about the kidnappings that did make it into media. On monday I was reading the paper and the journalists couldnt really tell who had been kidnapped, how many, or by whom.

    And you are arguing here that “It is unlikely that incidents of this scale would be so consistently missed by the various media in Iraq” – HELLOO its a WARZONE!

    I bet you have never even been anywhere near a warzone. I doubt you are qualified to make any guesses about the situation in Iraq.

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