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26 July 2014


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She cannot answer you. She is long dead. she fought her cancer as long as she could and we mourned for her. pl

David Habakkuk


She was a sweetheart, whose contributions were always helpful. Some of the 'old lags' here miss her.


Genocide is the only road to the Jewish State. For Zionists to accept the humanity of Palestinians is an impossible task because this would negate the whole ethnocentric project.
The most disgusting thing is, of course, the state-sanctioned brainwashing of young Israelis into thinking about non-Jewish people as subhumans.
The level of hatred towards the occupied is obscene.


Here's a NYT reader' timeless comment from 2009, by one JDS from North Carolina - quite worth to be quoted in full:

"I recently retired from the US Marine Corps, but I saw service in Iraq. I do know something of military matters that are relevant to the situation now in Gaza.

I am dismayed by the rhetoric from US politicians and pundits to the effect that "if the US were under rocket attack from Mexico or Canada, we would respond like the Israelis". This a gross insult to US servicemen; I can assure you that we would NOT respond like the Israelis. In fact, US armed forces and adjunct civilians are under attack constantly in Iraq and Afghanistan by people who are much better armed, much better trained and far deadlier than Hamas (I'll ignore for now that the politicians seem to be oblivious to this fact). Israel has indeed taken a small number of casualties from Hamas rocket fire (about 20 killed since 2001), but we have taken thousands of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, including many civilian personnel. Hundreds of American casualties have occurred due to indirect fire, often from mortars. This is particularly true in or near the Green Zone in Baghdad. This fire often originates from densely populated urban areas.

Americans do not, I repeat DO NOT, respond to that fire indiscriminately. When I say "indiscriminately", I mean that even if we can precisely identify the source of the fire (which can be very difficult), we do not respond if we know we will cause civilian casualties. We always evaluate the threat to civilians before responding, and in an urban area the threat to civilians is extremely high. If US servicemen violate those rules of engagement and harm civilians, I assure you we do our best to investigate -- and mete out punishment if warranted. There are differing opinions on the conflict in Iraq, but I am proud of the conduct of our servicemen there.

With that in mind, I find the conduct of the Israeli army in Gaza to be brutal and dishonorable, and it is insulting that they and others claim that the US military would behave in the same way. I know the Israelis are operating under difficult circumstances, but their claim that they follow similar rules of engagement rings hollow; I see little evidence for this claim given the huge number of civilian casualties they have caused from indirect fire.

In particular, I am stunned at the Israeli explanation for the 30+ civilians killed at the UN school. The Israelis say they were responding to mortar fire from the school. Mortars are insidious because their high trajectory and lack of primary flash make it very difficult to trace the source of the fire; you have to have a spotter locate the crew. The Israelis claim that they traced the source of the fire precisely to the school; if so, they must have directly spotted the crew. Thus it is inconceivable that the Israelis did not know that the target was a crowded UN school, yet they chose to fire on the school anyhow. I say without hesitation that this is a criminal act. If the Israelis had said, “sorry, it was an accident”, that could indicate a targeting problem, confusion, or inferior training. But to openly admit that they responded reflexively to the Hamas fire without consideration for the inevitable civilian casualties is beyond the pale. The Israelis blame Hamas for firing from the school (although UN personnel on the ground dispute this), but choosing to fire directly at civilians is far worse; it is tantamount to murder. US servicemen do not behave that way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we face much deadlier adversaries (Hamas mortar crews are apparently not very effective: I believe that all but one of the total Israeli combat fatalities have been from friendly fire). In the rare and unfortunate cases where US personnel have willingly targeted civilians, they have been court-martialed and punished.

The Israeli approach in Gaza strikes me as uncontrolled and vengeful ..."


It has a name, Dahiya doctrine. It's described by an Israeli General, Gadi Eisenkot, commander of Israeli forces in the north as follows:

"We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases... This isn't a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorized."


different clue

Colonel Lang,

Are the Bedouins the only cultural community in Israel which has aquired and maintained the knowledge of tracking? If the Bedouin decide to stop tracking for Israel and don't teach anyone else there how to track, who will do tracking if the Bedouin stop? How far enough can the Israelis push their resettlement-concentration plans on the Negev Bedouin before those Bedouin stop tracking for Israel? Are rates of Bedouin volunteering into the tracker units falling off yet? Or not yet?


"Colonel Lang, Are the Bedouins the only cultural community in Israel which has acquired and maintained the knowledge of tracking?" Quite possibly. pl

alba etie

Lelia Abu Saba
Just noted this is from 2009 . Are you still reading & commenting here at SST ?


She has been dead for years. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I certainly do.



IMO neither the Waffen SS nor the Algemeine SS really had non commissioned officers nor commissioned officers in the sense that the Heer had such structure. The Waffen SS was an armed force built on the mutual esteem of Imperial German Army enlisted men from WW1. This mutual esteem and an absence of appreciation for traditional military structure among such veterans was expressed in the manner of function of the various Freikorps "armies" in the 20s. The spirit of such formations transmitted itself into both the SA and later the nascent SS. The SS did not address senior leaders as "sir," did not salute and generally were more of a an armed gang than they were an army in the sense that the Heer was an army. It is true that some of the low numbered Waffen SS divisions were quite effective. Typically these units were headed by leaders who had extensive military experience as officers in the Heer. An exception would be Sepp Dietrich who had been an NCO in WW1. IMO much of the disregard of the law and custom of war demonstrated by the Waffen SS was a product of the lack of real, structured leadership among them pl


The natural question this excellent thread raises is:

What, if anything, do we actually know about the force structure and personnel policy of the other side?

Does Hamas have officers as such? They clearly have a cadre system, but how formal is it? Is this a party or a tribe or an army?

What part of the 1.8 million Gazans can it feasibly put under arms? Does it have the arms? (Has anyone seen that missing Libyan stockpile?)

On an organizational level, is Hamas an Islamist form of the revolutionary cadre organization we know so well from the twentieth century?

Is it something else? What else?

What is the organizational theory of a modern Islamist guerrilla?

The kind of tunnel systems we are seeing uncovered in Gaza demonstrate a mature movement that has taken the lessons of guerrilla warfare seriously. The kind of large scale labor mobilization, engineering and planning required for such a tunnel system suggest a large and well disciplined organization that has sunk deep roots into the people of Gaza. This isn't the old PLO era crowd. Those guys were lazy and mostly gangsters. This looks more like the NVA.

The terror rocket campaign also displays a disturbing level of political sophistication. Hamas understands that the rocket only needs to set off the sirens and the iron dome system. Instead of wasting resources on deadlier rockets (as fanatics would do) they appear to have invested mainly in the cheapest possible rocket that could panic an Israeli or shut down an airport. In essence, they have taken the rock of the street Intifada to a strategic level. Cheap, simple, portable, and perfectly effective at provoking the desired reaction. With no shortage of racist warmongering demagogues on the Israeli side, the effect is guaranteed.

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