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31 May 2010

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Jackie

I've read more than your reference to the attach on the USS Liberty and this latest Israeli provacation. No, it's murder.

I hope it didn't mar your birthday.

Dick Shave

One cannot think those on board had violence in mind, given the disparity of power. Unless, of course, you choose to use the metaphor of "suicide bomber" to encompass the entire fleet. A big stretch, I think. But what do I know? I wasn't there.

blowback

I get the feeling this was supposed to be another demonstration of Israel's military prowess to intimidate the "fuzzy-wuzzies" that went disastrously wrong. The elite Israeli forces were supposed to swoop out of the sky (why else use helicopters) and capture the ships in the flotilla on TV (why allow the cameras on the flotilla's ships to keep transmitting) and if a few civilians died, so what? It might discourage future attempts a breaking the blockade. Oh, and doing it far out in international waters indicates that Israel is above the law and the act embarrasses Obama so demonstrating that he, yet again, is Israel's poodle..

In a situation like this it was necessary to get a large number of people on board the target boat simultaneously and helicopters just can't do it. Hasn't anyone in the IOF been watching the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy for a few ideas on how to board a ship. Or perhaps the should have gone back and watched Exodus to see how us Brits did it with fewer casualties.

It's not as if this was a suddenly announced plan. There has been talk of it for months so the Israelis had plenty of time to either lift the blockade with as much advantage to them as possible or develop a workable plan for capturing the ships without any civilian casualties. But hubris got the better of them, and they believed the BS about IOF supermen. After all they defeated Hizbollah in 2006 so how much trouble can a few civilians be?

BTW, I suspect that many of the Israeli injuries may have been caused accidentily by soldiers losing their footing in the dark as they descended the ladders. Haven't they heard of rappelling?

Trent

Interested to see how the hasbara folks spin this. The USS Liberty comparison is accurate as they both took place in international waters. I've disagreed with commentators claiming Israel was self-destructing but now I'm not so sure.

Lysander

"So the "principle" involved in this attack on an unarmed ship was what? We're bad-asses and can stop you from supplying Gaza?"

Colonel, I'm afraid yes, that's pretty much the principle. This, combined with the Times of London story about nuclear armed Israeli subs heading to the Persian Gulf, is probably a psyops game intended to convince everyone Israelis are crazy enough to do anything.

The "image fallout" is something Israel has survived many a time. I'd love to believe this time is different, but... A compliant media, an American congress in thrall will protect them. The Israelis know that. That is why they do what they do.

On a side note, maybe we should have a pool betting on when Congress will issue a resolution supporting Israel's right to defend itself. I think by Friday at the latest.

BillWade

I read this morning that one of the USS Liberty's survivors was on-board the Free Gaza Flotilla, sure hope he's ok.

President Obama must condemn this attack, his credibility is already stretched thin with the oil spill fiasco which is seemingly never going to end and now this, I don't envy him.

The Moar You Know

What the hell was the IDF thinking? Turkey's a NATO member, and I don't think that the US has quite the same veto power in NATO that they do in the UN.

It doesn't matter if the Israelis were "met with violence" when boarding - they boarded a ship in international waters. The Turks have a legitimate issue here, and if we let this slide we might as well disband Congress and turn over the operation of the nation to Israel.

Expect a lot of shrieking about Muslims in the coming weeks.

Lysander

And a question, Col Lang,

There are reports and rumors that Turkey might organize another aid flotilla, this time under Turkish Naval escort. Do you have any experience with the Turks? What are your thoughts on this?

Thank You

John Kirkman

I look forward to your post after investigating the incident. Certainly the domestic press cannot be depended on to report the truth. Given the nature of Israeli military censorship, it may be some time before the truth can be ascertained.

Pangloss

I give up on Israel. I t keeps acting like an insane person. Now I did see passengers on board a ship - a clip on Aljazeera - wielding sticks but so what. The ship was in international waters & I'd think it has a right to defend itself. I expect nothing from the USA nor the EU nor from any of the gov't elites really - words words words words. I wonder why Turkey doesn't invoke article 5 of NATO treaty for attack on one of its ships. To think the insane Israelis have nuclear weapons.

Castellio

Craig Murray has an interesting comment on the legal situation:

"Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place
on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody's territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory.

There are therefore two clear legal possibilities.

Possibility one is that the Israeli commandos were acting on behalf of the government of Israel in killing the activists on the ships. In that case Israel is in a position of war with Turkey, and the act falls under international jurisdiction as a war crime.

Possibility two is that, if the killings were not authorised Israeli military action, they were acts of murder under Turkish jurisdiction. If Israel does not consider itself in a position of war with Turkey, then it must hand over the commandos involved for trial in Turkey under Turkish law.

In brief, if Israel and Turkey are not at war, then it is Turkish law which is applicable to what happened on the ship. It is for Turkey, not Israel, to carry out any inquiry or investigation into events and to initiate any prosecutions. Israel is obliged to hand over indicted personnel for prosecution.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Jane

1. Cement which can be used either for needed infrastructure such as repairing schools and clinics can also be used to reinforce tunnels. Unless here was some provision to ensure that the cement carried by the flotilla would in fact be used peacefully, it is difficult to classify this a purely a humanitarian relief effort.

2. One of the great moral virtues of non-violent resistance as practiced by Ghandi and in the United States, was the pure transparency of the harmlessness of the actions taken. When a movement, such as Hamas, has a history of smuggling weapons into its territory seeking to land un-examined cargo will not register as clearly peaceful. Certainly, the bulk of the activists are well-intentioned. How naive they may be and how trusting is another question.

3. Israel offered to transfer the portion of the cargo which contained items they allowed to go to Gaza. The flotilla refused this offer. Why? Israel should follow through with this offer as soon as is feasible.

4. Primitive efforts can kill. When you shoot someone swinging an iron bar at the head of a comrade -- say dangling from a rope -- it is not necessarily an over-reaction nor disproportional.

5. Training in non-violent methods involves inculcating the discipline not to respond to violence with violence. At a minimum this discipline broke down among the activists on this vessel. At a maximum, the resistance to the boarding was planned by a sub-set in the hopes of provoking and/or providing deaths which could be blamed on Israel. And provide the current government of Turkey the perfect excuse for reducing ties to Israel.

mo

Israeli attitudes to anyone trying to help the Palestinians or in fact the Palestinians themselves is akin to some nations attitude to seal pups.

They may be defenseless but you got to club a certain amount to keep the numbers down.

But since for the rest of the world innocent Arab deaths aren't enough to cause consternation and anger, maybe now that Israel has really shown that the nationality or passport of the innocent doesn't matter (although the friends and families of, amongst others, Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall already knew), things will change.

As Israel is so fond of claiming that they no longer occupy Gaza, then they, by default no longer have a right to rule Gaza's coast.

If the world is very serious, it needs to send military vessels to create a safe zone for ships to deliver the aid that the UN has made clear is desperately needed.

If the world is mildly serious it needs to impose sanctions on Israel for crimes against international law.

If the world is even a little bit serious, it would hold an independent inquiry into what happened.

Is the world serious?

There will a call to end the blockade (again) without threat. There will will be a call without threat for Israel to apologize. There will be a call for Israel to investigate itself.

Please surprise me with a belief that there will be anything greater than that as a consequence to Israel.

Next time someone suggests the Lebanese Resistance should give up its arms I will suggest handing them over only on condition that the requester place the barrel as far up as possinble a part of their anatomy of my choosing.


The Israelis don't want or deserve peace. They have set a dynamic in motion that will have far reaching consequences.

It will be a while before Arab "moderates" can open their mouths. And many that leaned to their side will have their eyes now opened to the realities of Israeli policy.

They have shown the world, again, their callous disregard for human life and international law while the Dubai Mossad operation and the attack on Gaza are still fresh in peoples minds.

There is only so many times you can play the victim before people wonder if they are doing you a disservice by helping you remain in abusive relationship.

Today, I think Israel lost Turkey. Tomorrow, we will see what the effect on public opinion on the European capitals is.

In the end, the ulitmate irony is that Zionism is using the coffins of others as the nails for its own.

Paul Escobar

Are you not watching TV sir?

This is the 21st century. Either everyone is guilty, or no one is guilty.

An independent investigation will surely confirm that.

Redhand

From a public perception standpoint I think this incident is actually worse than the attack on the USS Liberty. A cover-up there was possible (with LBJ's complicit in the disinformation campaign) because it occurred during hostilities.

This, on the other hand, is more like the Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior by the French Government: outright State murder of civilians at sea by a government opposed to their political agenda. It's even worse than North Korea's sinking of the South Korean warship because it didn't take place in disputed waters. There isn't a shred of justification for this action by Israel; there isn't even a fig leaf.

The Jewish State has gone mad. If the Turks start an armed conflict with them, why should we support Israel? I almost have the feeling that Israel needs a sound military defeat to curb their outrageous behavior. I see any support that we would offer them after this to be quite inimical to our own interests.

crf

What is Israel thinking? This isn't going to advance the interests of Israel in any way.

I wonder if the decision to kill was taken not by the Israeli government, but by a faction of the Israeli army?

It may an attempt to wrest control of policy in the occupied territories further away from the government and into the hands of the military and the occupiers/settlers.

I think Obama needs to realize that the US can no longer assume that the Israel military is following orders from the Israeli government.

FB Ali

The outrage expressed by many Americans (on this site and elsewhere) does them credit.

But there is another aspect that Americans need to consider. Throughout the Muslim world people believe that Israel could not dare commit these wanton acts of aggression and brutality without the protective umbrella provided by the US.

Israel is the best recruiting agent that al-Qaeda and other jihadis could ever have wished for.

Castellio

Dear Jane: the Israeli government uses live rounds against those who legally oppose Israeli international crimes, and imprisons and tortures those Palestinians who follow the path of Gandhi. Educate yourself.

J

In raw video, reporters claim Israelis fired on activists before boarding ship

and........

Turkey: Future Gaza Aid Ships Will Have Military Escorts
Massacre Further Harms Israel-Turkey Ties

In a future tussle between the Turk Military and the bully Israeli IDF, my money will be on the Turks.
I'm waiting for the day when the Arabs/Mideast States have collectively had enough of Israel's bull-pucky and band together to in unison whip the Israeli bully.

Lysander

"4. Primitive efforts can kill. When you shoot someone swinging an iron bar at the head of a comrade -- say dangling from a rope -- it is not necessarily an over-reaction nor disproportional."

I suppose then if I swing a hammer at a burglar in my own house, he would be acting in proportional self defense if he shot me. Makes perfect sense. Would you say the same if someone were shot by Somali pirates while resisting the takeover of his ship? In international waters?

R Whitman

Interesting the way Jane and the rest of the Israel apologists always have to blame the victims. Using that logic the blacks in the USA were responsible for slavery.

When you are wrong, admit it. Dont cop out.

The beaver

Lysander,

If I was Turkey or the organizer of this aid flotilla, that's what I would do. Keep sending a ship every week to see how far Israel will go .

BTW: Rahm Emanuel is in Israel for the Bar Mitzvah of his son . I am surprised that he hadn't plan to attend the Sulha that was scheduled (now cancelled) for tomorrow at the WH.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/05/bibi-come-back.html

Clifford Kiracofe

Well...should anyone be "surprised" given what has happened out there since 1948? Or how about in Gaza in the run up to Obama's admin?

I do recall the Jews doing this to each other in June 1948 when the Labor-Left shot up the Irgun-Right ship Altalena. So we were to suppose they wouldn't do it to "others"...really now. This is arguably normal behavior for them. Warming up for Iran?

For which see Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altalena_Affair

JohnH

Fate is not on the Zionist project's side. First they get chased out of Lebanon (2000). Then they "lose" to Hezbollah (2006). Then they conduct a pogrom in Gaza, to the dismay of the world, resulting in a severe setback in global public opinion. Now they attack an unarmed flotilla.

Makes you wonder if the Knesset and IDF aren't secretly anti-semitic!?!

If so, they're doing one hell of a job at defeating any remaining shred of legitimacy might have left.

Paul Escobar

I don't mean to be morbid, but I want to share something funny.

It's the official Israeli flotilla combat training video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RKTSwAVaoU

Clearly, those Israeli Navy Seals took the ending to heart.

(h/t to the IncaKolaNews financial blog)

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