If the BBC is to be believed, IDF soldiers are deliberately shooting women and children in Gaza.  Their TV reporting from the scene today interviewed doctors in hospitals who asked the obvious rhetorical question as to why they have children patients with multiple small arms wounds.  One child had two bullets in the head.  In the head, not fragments from large caliber weapons.  These were small arms bullets. 

Israeli government spokesmen and demonstraters in New York are still "going on" about the peculiarly humane Israeli way of making war.  The protestations are wearing thin.  B'tselim, the Israeli human rights conscience is seeking to know whether or not these accusations of inhumanity are correct.  I, for one, will accept their judgment.

I have been in savage combats, and have had a hand in many more, but the deliberate killing of children and women is something I have rarely seen. 

I have seen the VC kill Montagnard women and kids.  That was the product of racial hatred on the part of the Vietnamese for these "Moi."  That was a personal exception for me. 

Generally, fighters will walk away from the dead bodies of male adult enemies and leave the women and children to grieve and starve.

If this is different, the Israeli people need to know and to put a stop to it.  pl

NOTE FROM LARRY JOHNSON: The mounting number of children killed in the Israeli attack on Gaza is inexcusable. It is one thing for a child to be hit by a stray bullet. But the wounds that are being reported by reliable journalists are not the result of stray rounds. The wounds are the consequence of poorly trained and poorly led soldiers who, for the most part, appear to be callously indifferent to killing and wounding civilians. Today’s attacks on a UN aid center and a media center further underscore the yawning gap between the claim of Israeli spokespersons that care is being taken to avoid civilian casualties and the reality on the ground.

  • Pingback: Who writes the rules of reality? « Therearenosunglasses’s Weblog()

    • RN

      Eh, where’s the example?……Still looking for one?

  • Davie Jay

    Larry should carry out some basic research before he makes inane comments. The BBC report he is talking about was compiled by 3 Arabs and a female journalist called Heather Sharp who obviously favours Hamas.(she is a BBC left winger)So much for impartial reporting. Have a look at the following site:
    http://www.justjournalism.com/media-analysis/p1999_articleid/163 – “Just journalism” is an unbiased organisation that analyses what is being reported in the media. Here is what they said about a report of hers relating to Gaza for the BBC on August 11 2008: SHORTCOMINGS: LACK OF CONTEXT BY EXCLUSION OF RELEVANT INFORMATION AND FACTS – I think that says it all about Ms Sharp. Larry old chap, take note and do try and do your homework before posting anything

    • jiminycricket

      Lest we forget the little “habit” the Palestinians have of inflating the numbers of the afflicted and death tolls in previous conflicts or the use of their own people as targets to garner world sympathy for their misbegotten cause. They are supremely talented at diverting funds, aid, food, medicine, and services to their own ends and have tortured, maimed and killed their own people, even as they sit in jail awaiting sentencing in other countries.

      The outcry from across the arab world may be great, however, the support from their countries for their fellow arabs is sorely lacking. Egypt has closed their border which only heightens the need.

      And, Yes, David Jay is quite correct to point out the prism by which this crisis is viewed, especially when you have so many arab supporters and sympathizers distorting the facts to their own advantage….as we have come to expect.

      Lastly, the fact that manty countries have burgeoning arab immigrant populations must never be underestimated. Many of those governments have chosen to side with them, more out of fear than by principle.

  • Lisa Hinman

    LDW, I agree with your comments totally. It is extremely bothersome to me that the Israelis are being portrayed by some on the blog as cold and caulis murderers. The Israelis have a lot of compassion for others because they have been persecuted for years themselves. So, why would they deliberately kill women and children? Hamas does not think twice about killing their own women and children. Did it ever occur to any of you, that maybe, Hamas was shooting their own children to make it look like it is the Israelis. Hamas has been very good in swaying public opinion in their favor by putting their children in arms way… I have friends that live in Israel and that is what they tell me.

    Larry, I get the feeling that you do not like Israelis.

    • medicis

      Israel has committed ethnic cleansing and massacres since 1948. All you have to do is read Israeli historians like Ilan Pappe. Israel … home of those abused and murdered by the Nazi regime has now grown up to be the abuser.

      Your comment that Hamas is shooting their own children is absurd but fully consistent with the way most Israelis rationalize and have rationalized their nation’s atrocities for 60 years.

      Even now we have the many Israel megaphone workers mobilized all across the net to push Israel’s justifications for murder, or to deny the acts altogether. Unfortunately for Israel’s apologists, the UN and International Red Cross have provided proof to the contrary (particularly so since their organizations’ members have been targeted themselves.) Israel’s credibility is about zero right now.

  • Patrick Henry

    Colonial Lang makes his point here quite Clear and Honestly..as an Experience combat veteran and Commander…and with very High level Intelligence background..Knowledge ..and a Understand hats going on in the REAL WORLD…

    The One You never hear about because Youdon’t have a need to Know…or because The government forbits Active duty Military and Civil Employees from Commenting Informing the public..

    Thus..we have alot of Paronoia, suspicion ,distrust and fear of Aliens at Area 51..and belief in cover~ups..

    fact is..we only get 99 % of our information from a Biased and controlled american news media…becuase most americans won’t do tjier home Work, Try to verify anything, explore the BBC or ANY OTHER MEDIA source for Information…and believe mostly what they are motivataed to believe …Or BUY..

    Its always the BIG SALE in America..

    The Fact is…I believe that the IDF and Israel Government determined to launch an All Out Attack on Gaza..(The State of Palenstine as destoryed) with a “GO” from the bush administartion (BUSCOS) before Obama gets elected..

    Why…Let obama deal with it…This way the IDF knew that would have no USA Interference..They are determined to inflct MAXIMUM Damage on HAMAS..without regards for Collateral damage..Why..They know they would be fighting world opinion and want to eleminate hamas as Soon as Possible..

    result…lots ofWmen and Kids getting killed…

    Attitude..destroy Hamas..Kill em all..Bomb everything..and Let God sort em Out…Collateral damaged be damned..

    The IDF saw allot of that mind set in Iraq..Bush set the Example for this level of Warfare..

    Remembr “The Axis of evil..??”
    Justifys killing..and new Levels of collateral Damage..

    Who is Supporting this behind the scenes..?

    Colonial Jang is Right..

    How many of you have been in Combat or Picked up the pieces..?

    When you have Walked the Walk then you can talk to talk..if you still disagree with Col. Lang..

    When we descend to the levels of the Enemy we ight..then we are no Better than Our enemys..

    Tortre and Murdering civilians Included…


  • Robert

    I remember an quote from Menachem Begin, when he was PM of Israel: “I would rather hear live Jews vilified, than dead Jews eulogized.”

    Many on the organized Left have never, and will never, forgive the Israelis for surviving the various attempts at the eradication of their nation, and will continue to cheerlead those who would resume those attempts until they either succeed or stop trying.

  • Annie

    What a beginning to 2009.

    What will be the end? I shudder to think.

    • Gary McGowan

      Beginning to next U.S. administration.

  • Mary Kay

    And please do not forget, HAMAS has a HISTORY of putting their own people in harm’s way as propoganda tools. They have no qualms about strapping a bomb onto a woman or a child. They put entire households on the roofs of their houses during air raids, in the hopes that the bombs will kill them so they can create these types of photo opportunities.

    Nobody likes war, but as I said on another web site, it takes two to make love and it takes two to make war. While the Israeli government may have indeed been aggressive in their air strikes, and I have the deepest sympathy for both Jewish and Muslim people living in Gaza, I have no sympathy for the HAMAS leaders who would rather see Jews and Christians dead. These are not people who want to negotiate. The PEOPLE who live in the region deserve peace. They deserve governments that are willing to peacefully co-exist, but HAMAS leaders are terrorists.

  • There is no justification for the murder of children — head shots to children — BABIES is murder. On either side — children are innocent victims.

    The statistics tell a story — the number of children killed and HOW they are killed.

    It would seem that Israel is losing one of its precious resources — the young men and women who are fighting this ancient war. These young people are being trained to hate the “other” and to consider ALL members of that “other” group to be the enemy. The soldiers will go back to their civilian occupations after this war — but their soul has been killed. To kill deliberately children and innocents is unforgivable.

    More than likely the Israelis are paying bloggers to defend their actions — we’ve seen this in other wars.

    Israel is harming herself in this war — ultimately she will be the victim. Jews around the world are being targeted — THEY will be the victims of this war.

    US as the supplier of bombs etc. — will be another victim.

    The only Israeli goal that seems evident with this extreme violence is the removal of Palestinians from land that the conservative, militant Jews consider to be God given. It would seem that using bunker busters in this context is for psychological reasons — to force out ALL Palestinians to leave Gaza.

    I am sad because innocents on both sides will suffer from this war of old men.

    The Israeli army is very stupid to think that they can hide the fact that their young soldiers are killing children. No amount of redirection can take away the fact that innocent children are being murdered. A head shot is a difficult shot — not a mistake — it is a willful murder.

    SAD — Israel is doing long term damage to herself. Quotes below from the Haaretz link(Israeli Newspaper) in above comment.

    But the horrifying proportion of this war, a third of the dead being children, has not been seen in recent memory.

    . . .

    The public’s shocking indifference to these figures is incomprehensible. A thousand propagandists and apologists cannot excuse this criminal killing. One can blame Hamas for the death of children, but no reasonable person in the world will buy these ludicrous, flawed propagandistic goods in light of the pictures and statistics coming from Gaza.

    Real soldiers do not target children.

    • Steve1

      Northwest… I agree, what about those suicide bombers ? They walk among us, they set those bombs off, kill and mine? What about those Palestiaian sucide bombers? Who pry on innocent civilians? Women, children?

      • Steve1


      • The public’s shocking indifference to these figures is incomprehensible. A thousand propagandists and apologists cannot excuse this criminal killing. One can blame Hamas for the death of children, but no reasonable person in the world will buy these ludicrous, flawed propagandistic goods in light of the pictures and statistics coming from Gaza.

        • Steve1

          Yes, poor innocent Hamas. They are starved,blockaded, searching for survival, yet, they get their hands on those weapons, which cost, so much! Wonder where they are coming from? Any ideas? If they are straving-where are they getting the funds for such weapons??

          • Gary McGowan

            From Anglo-Saudi? Laundered drug profits and long-standing Anglo-Saudi (BAE) arrangements provide billions.

  • Steve1

    I’m sorry, war is shit! I hope that did not happen? But, don’t look at situation like Palestiaians are the “most innocent” shit they want to kill Israelis and probaby Americans, too. Israel has every right to defend itself. I’m sick and tired of people who criticize, are the bombs falling in our backyards? Yes, let us help settle situation. But, it takes two to tango! Both sides need to settle. Give and take! Hopefully SOS , Clinton will bring peace to this situation. Fair and balanced, if she is not backstabbed by the effete, Barry Soetoro and his evil minions?

  • Kanga Jin

    The wounds are the consequence of poorly trained and poorly led soldiers who, for the most part, appear to be callously indifferent to killing and wounding civilians

    Just playing devil’s advocate, here, but I sure hope it wasn’t a deliberate order, you know, “no mercy to women and children,” lest anyone think the neocons, Israeli and American, aren’t darned serious about this terrorism issue!

  • Kanga Jin

    I have been in savage combats, and have had a hand in many more, but the deliberate killing of children and women is something I have rarely seen.

    It is almost genocidal in intent, isn’t it?

    The Palestinians crated, are shot at with little or no ability to defend, men, women and children.

    How the hell can any thinking human support genocide as an acceptable, much less WORKABLE solution, to terrorism, such as it is?

    And if this is in fact true, do people understand the blowback against Israel?

    (And Israel shouldn’t think it can control the frame, here, even within the US).

    WTH are the moderate, thinking Israelis, and Jews?

  • J


    The IDF hooligan’s War Crimes against unarmed women and children in Gaza only underscores the need for their criminal prosecution for their War Crimes and the ending of ALL U.S military and economic aid to Israel.

    Time to ‘cut bait’ as far as Israel is concerned, we the U.S. don’t need them. Let Israel go and hang themselves.

    • Kanga Jin

      Let Israel go and hang themselves.

      I think they already have.

      Boy, this is sad.

  • Kanga Jin

    The plan is to cut his motors,-motor reflexes are near the medulla. A good, clean shot cuts the motors and the hostage is free! In this case the hostage is Gaza and the hostage holder is THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP of Iran! Iran and their current leaders are the puppet-masters who Play ordinary Gazans as sacrificial pawns in their sick chess game with the west

    Unless, of course, the idea is to game Israel into self destruction.


    Which is why yuor scenario doesn’t work, it can be gamed, and rather easily.

    • Kanga Jin

      your strategy (sic)


  • blogforce one

    Everyone here wants the war to be over right? The solution is simple, When police hostage rescue teams set up shop the first thing they do is try to get a bead on the hostage holders cranium with a high powered rifle. The plan is to cut his motors,-motor reflexes are near the medulla. A good, clean shot cuts the motors and the hostage is free! In this case the hostage is Gaza and the hostage holder is THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP of Iran! Iran and their current leaders are the puppet-masters who Play ordinary Gazans as sacrificial pawns in their sick chess game with the west. If we attack the head of the monster and the cut his “motors”the war is over and peace will be at hand. Israel is doing some bad things but with out Iran in the mix there would be Palestinian unity and with unity there are negotiations and a peace deal that will hold. The attacks on Irani leadership should be by the press and in the blogosphere,for starters .Place the real blame where it belongs with Iran president “ahm a doin a jihad!” and his cohorts who are up to there eyes in blood!

  • Gary McGowan

    The Israeli government has made a strategic blunder.

    The prospect for a Syria-Lebanon-Israel peace agreement has been poisoned.

    The fragile situation between India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan has been inflamed.

    The entire dynamic of the global situation has been altered dramatically.

    Coming to a boil is an excuse for a genocidal religious war of religious and quasi-religious conflict throughout Southwest Asia and beyond.

    The January 10-16, 2009 edition of the City of London’s flagship Economist magazine features a New Hundred Years War on the cover of its last issue prior to the Obama inauguration.

    Its unsigned, undated lead editorial promises that the flames have been lit for another century of perpetual conflict in the region.

    Divide-and-conquer — keep the region in flames.

    Meanwhile, Dick Cheney is publicly vowing to stay on the job until Jan. 20.

    • HARP

      Khaled Mashaal in Damascus has a different set of priorities. He has to worry about Iranian threats to cut off funding if Hamas quits fighting Israel in Gaza. Tehran wants Israel pinned down so that they will not follow through on their threats to target Iranian nuclear installations, for which they have apparent support from the outgoing Bush administration in the US. If Hamas can’t do that, then they’re worthless to Iran.

      Hamas in Gaza has more pressing concerns — like breathing. The IDF has succeeded in dismantling their power structure in Gaza, and now they are pressing into the heart of Gaza City to eliminate them altogether. They need relief from the attack that they themselves provoked, and the Gaza leadership wants Egypt to provide them a face-saving (and life-saving) exit from the war.

      Israel has to maintain the pressure on Hamas at this point. A cease-fire will only allow them to regroup with their Syrian leadership and Iranian proxies. They’ve already caused a great deal of destruction in Gaza, which they will eventually have to do again if Hamas isn’t stopped now. They seem to be winning this conflict, and Hamas in Gaza knows it.

      • Kanga Jin

        Tehran wants Israel pinned down so that they will not follow through on their threats to target Iranian nuclear installations, for which they have apparent support from the outgoing Bush administration in the US. If Hamas can’t do that, then they’re worthless to Iran.

        Does Israel want to take on Russia, too?

        • Kanga Jin

          In addition, with it’s gas reserves, Russia can, and will, cut heating and fuel to Europe.

          And could possibly do so in retaliation for unwise Israeli action —

          Isolating Israel even more than it is now, from everyone but the fading American neocons, it would appear.

    • Gary McGowan

      Israel “pinned down” or “cornered rat”?

      Not all agree that Hamas provoked the attack.

      Egypt was on verge of getting key players, including Syria, to sit for direct negotiations immediately before air attack began. Attack poisoned that.

      “[Hamas ‘s] Syrian leadership and Iranian proxies.” (?!)

      Too bad nobody’s mentioning Anglo-Saudi feeding of the chaos. … or George Soros’s involvement in cutting oil/gas to Europe.

      No time, gotta run to work. 7:00 AM here.

  • HARP

    An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

    Winston Churchill

    • ces

      Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

      W. Churchill

    • rw

      the difference in the treatment of a defeated Germany after WWI and WWII has the answer…

      As for Churchill being so wise: “Harold Nicolson, a British delegate at Versailles, declared the treaties ‘neither just nor wise’, and called the delegates ‘very stupid men’. But Winston Churchill believed that the treaty was the best that could be achieved, and that ‘the wishes of the various populations prevailed’.”

  • Andy

    Oh please….This post is absurd.

    • Andy

      clarification: not the tragedy of the children’s death. Nothing could be more painful or be more agonizing, NO ONE can take that ” callously ” please. But to even suggest – as the BBC – or the post opening this is being done “deliverately” ???

  • Patrick Henry

    Thanks againfor your perspective and input here Col.lang..

    I for one Hold you in High regard…and thank you for our service in the United state Army as a green beret..and for all your Non Combat Service in other Areas…as a Teacher..Intellctual..and your many leadership Roles…

    Nothing I have ever read about you…or in your Writings indicate anything but Patriotism and Intellectual Honesty..

    certainly there are not the slightest indications of “Deranged thinking”…as LDW says above..

    I am glad there is another Very good point being made about WOUNDED KNEE and other Atrocitys here that are the exaples of Terrible military leadership and political ambition and Greed..

    Innocets and on Combantants are not Fair targets in WAR or EVER..

    There is NO Bull Shit that can ever Justify that..Especially Not if you Claim to be “Civilized”..and have been Victims of such Atrocitys yourself as a People..

    Again..thank you Sir.. I appreciate Your Comments as Always..

  • Califlefty

    Black Hawk Down!!!!!! Roughly one thousand Somalis were killed by American forces over the twenty hours or so of the First Battle of Mogadishu (eighteen American soldiers, of course, were also killed). 80 percent of the Somali deaths — roughly eight hundred people — were civilians! As Jews, Israelis, Zionists (screw the labels) We demand equality. We demand the right to have our own villains, just like other people have them. By the way – Over the years, 65,000 people have been killed in the war with the Tamils in Sri Lanka, almost all of them civilians. Where the f**** where the recriminations and outrage Larry??

    • Please show me the post where anyone on this blog argued that the U.S. conduct in Somalia was correct or proper. We should not have been in there in the first place and too many people on both sides died for a bullshit mission that amounted to nothing. So what’s your point? Israel is justified to act like a bunch of thugs because the U.S. did so 16 years ago?

      • Califlefty

        Oh get real – the point of my comment had nothing to do with whether Somalia was “low hanging fruit” or not, but rather the implication that Israel is held at a higher standard – even when justified as currently in Gaza,. My point is that as a soldier sometimes you are faced with the horrible dilemma but you shoot. Not only because it may be your life, but because if you don’t you’re saying that the mission isn’t important and the lives of your fellow soldiers aren’t important. That is why there were so many civilian casualties in Mogadishu, and in Gaza.

    • rw

      But the US pulled out and never returned (if we do not count the recent Bush air mission). Israel on the other hand, retreats, regroups until the next time.

  • Sassy

    The expression ” a picture is worth a thousand words” resonates with me.
    Photos from WW11, the civil rights marches, the Vietnam war, and the Iraq war, changed me as a person.
    Hopefully for the better.
    This is issue is so explosive, even here, that it is like try to negotiate a mine field.
    Armed combatants, on both sides, is tragic, but civilians should be protected from these outrages!

    • C.S.

      Yes, they should. But the answer from the United States officials back in 2003 when photos of dead children in Iraq began to surface was that “collateral damage” was inevitable. Who spoke up then? If we expect the world to forgive us for our sins – you, too, Europe – then we had better be ready to extend it.

      Hamas seems to be about as well equipped as Israel in the weapons department so this war of attrition among the men seems to be the problem. Religious wars for god superiority always brings out the worst of countries and in people.

      Hamas has a reputation of terrorism and interactions with terrorists and we know from experience in Lockerby, in Bali, in England, in Mumbai and in New York and Washington, D. C. terrorists aren’t thinking about saving children’s lives when they plant bombs to blow up buildings. Thirteen year old Naomi Scherr, on an adventure in India with her father, didn’t know that terrorists had delebertely selected her to die. Nor did Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg and their unborn child, or Leibish Teitelbaum.

      Who were these terrorists? The same kind of terrorist of different nationalities who joined together to kill 3,000 of our citizens or those who cheered from the sidelines? And the one question I have never seen a clear answer to is why was Hamas sending missiles into Israel to maim and kill civilians without expecting a response? Believe me, when an unknown enemy stakes you out as a target, your first wish is to defend yourself. Every country does it; especially this one we live in. Like Israel, we gave warnings which were ignored and killed children in two large cities in Japan.
      “Judge not least ye be judged.”

      • rw

        Justify the present by quoting the past. Justify your actions by quoting those of others. I don’t think the US nor Europe are asking for forgiveness, seems more they are on a forward moving attempt to not repeat the past, each in there own area. Israel on the other hand, seems to want to repeat it’s own history and cite the mantra “we are only defending ourselves”. When bombs rain on Israel, on target, with mass casualties then citing the mantra has legitimacy.

        With 80% turned against Bush and his administration, it seems the US populace is angry, disgusted, for being lied to, for being deceived. By being blinded by the act of 9/11, Americans were easy prey to politicians who had other agenda than just searching for the culprits. How many people think the war in Iraq had legitimacy?

  • jeremy

    i think its very admirable of you people to believe terrorist. are u aware they cut the legs of of 80 members of fatah so they wouldnt help israle. so maybe there shooting there own kids. you guys amaze me! death to hamas! go israel!!!!!!!!!!

    • Karma

      Did you miss the parts where it said the reports were from reliable journalists and the claims are being checked out by Israelis?

      Speaking of journalists….where is the story about Hamas cutting off legs of Fatah members?

      Most probably haven’t read about it.

    • Jeremy,
      Your grammatical mistakes are indicative of your limited intelligence. I wish I could encourage you to do some reading and additional research but that would be akin to asking a pig to fly by flapping its legs.

      • Mr. X


        The US has consistently objected to any peace agreement with the Palestinians. At the very least, they’ve abstained from any agreement. Am I wrong on this? Do you think anything will change until the US decide to promote a peace agreement? Or do you think the current situation of the last 60 years benefits the US?

        You have any idea how Obama will react? I know Clinton’s administration was the friendliest to Israel. With so many of the same people being in Obama’s circles, it looks like Obama will support Israel and the carnage will continue, no?

      • ER

        Do you really think your comment demonstrates intelligence? Your use of insults shows a lack of clear thinking. You seem to be blinded by hate.

      • LAUREN

        Hee-hee! I was going to write something similar, but you beat me to it. Israel is looking pretty shoddy to the rest of the world. This is going to come back and bite them in the but and the rest of the world is going to sit back and watch.

  • betty

    The wounds are the consequence of poorly trained and poorly led soldiers who, for the most part, appear to be callously indifferent to killing and wounding civilians

    Just how do you know that? And why would you state it as a fact if if is only your assumption? And why would you assume it is we (figuratively):

    the dirty rabble, the squalid foot soldier to dumb to be anything but a grunt, the cannon fodder of centuries –

    who are the moving force behind the slaughter of women and children?

    Are you any better then Bush blaming the torture at Abu Greb on foot soldiers?

    Don’t you dare give the Israeli government cover by blaming we who must obey orders and keep our mouths shut.

  • mountainaires

    The IDF has no mercy for the children in Gaza nursery schools

    By Gideon Levy, Haaretz Correspondent


  • portia9

    How is it that Hamas has managed to limit civilian casualities to 3 during this conflict, while Israel with its well funded and trained military forces has killed several hundred civilians, including many children and some aid workers. The Israeli forces seem to be either woefully incompetent or wilfully cruel.

  • StayAlive


    What’s a “child”?

    We had VC who willingly surrendered to us under the “chieu hoi” program who had been fighting since they were ten. At the time they came in from the bombing, wanting food, etc., they were 15 and twenty, well seasoned veterans.

    If in fact the Israeli military it intentionally targeting children, i.e., under ten years of age, I would be surprised and disappointed. It seems to me a critical issue is “intention”. If I set up my mortars/rockets/snipers in schools, hospitals, mosques, etc., and then receive return fire, am I not setting up my own innocent civilians to be killed as “collateral damage”?

    It seems to me we in the West are no longer willing to win wars “by any means necessary” to quote Malcom X and Sartre. There were more civilians killed in WW II than military by a ratio of 2:1. Consequently there were no guerillas/insurgents to deal with in Germany, Japan, or Italy after the war ended in 1945. In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers are finally being eliminated after a twenty year war, not by continuing unfruitful ceasefires and bombing pauses.

    As Sherman, et al, stated 145 years ago, “War is hell”. It’s no video game to walk safely away from with news and tape at 11. The answer, IMO, avoid war at all costs; however, when one goes to war, do so with speed, ruthlessness and overwhelming force and be prepared for all the costs especially to your military, visible and invisible, that continue many decades after the fighting ends. Had we not used the atom bomb on Japan, millions of Japanese, civilian and military alike, would have been killed along with tens of thousands of Americans.

    BTW I never aimed at a child; however, any unexpected movement, by any thing, was targeted.

    As the presiding judge at most of the My Lai Trials stated, “We know there are atrocities in war; however, we aspire to higher standards of conduct by our military.”

    There are no easy, clean, “politically correct” answers. Never have been, never will be.

    • Stay Alive,
      I seriously doubt your claim to be a “combat veteran.” Besides Colonel Lang, another important mentor in my life, Col. D.R. Gannon (USMC, retired) did two combat tours in Vietnam. He was on the front lines. What they tell me does not track with your attempt to justify criminal behavior.

      • ER


  • NoTrollZone

    Thanks for the post Patrick. Even though it is news I do not ever want to hear. It needs to be heard through-out the world. The Israeli people need to stand against this atrocity. They need to tell their government that this is inexcusable, and it will not be done “in their name.”
    The international community needs to take their responsibility seriously and bring this calamity to an end.
    Israel is showing no intelligence or decency in its acts in Gaza.

    • NoBamaNoWay

      sure; let me know when palestinians and the whole muslim world stand against terrorism against israel and efforts to wipe it off the planet.

  • LDW

    The Israeli government has no policy or intent to harm civilians, and especially not children. To suggest otherwise is insane, and the product of deranged thinking. Every nation who has ever engaged in combat has had soldiers who harmed civilians inadvertantly, and has also had soldiers who acted criminally. Every nation. Without exception. Are there widespread human rights violations going on in Gaza and the West Bank? Yes, by the Palestinian secret police and armed militants. From the PLO to Hamas and every Palestinian official in between, the Palestinian leadership has been robbing its people blind, and maintaining power by violence and subjugation.

    The average Palestinian has much more to fear from the criminal gangs (otherwise known as the PLO etc) than they do from Israeli bombs and bullets.

    The Palestinian leadership, for over 50 years, has done nothing to build a strong social network that functions in the best interests of its citizens, and instead indoctrinates its children with hatred, bullies and kills its rivals, and the Palestinian elite lives like princes on money embezzled from the people.

    • mountainaires

      LDW: Israel knew the location of the school and of the UN Aid Center, which it bombed in the last 12 hours. There were more than 700 civilians taking shelter there.

      Israel has killed more than 1,000 people so far, and 673 of those are innocent civilians, 235 of them are CHILDREN. Israel has bombed hospitals, ambulances and medics. They’re not only starving Gazans, but they are preventing them from getting medical care, and from even burying their dead. It’s outrageous; no moral human being could condone it.

      ‘God help us, where can we flee?’


      Israeli snipers have a long record of shooting Palestinian children in their own yards, on their own roofs, in their own doorways. Not throwing rocks, not doing anything. The statistics about these murders of children are documented at B’tselem.

      The myth of IDF “purity of arms” is just that: A myth. And, myths are exploding all around the Israeli government these days. Like the myth of “no partner for peace.”

      [F]ormer top officials of MI say the whole story, painting Arafat as a terrorist out to destroy Israel, was an intentional fiction. That’s the most explosive finding in an investigative report just published in Israel’s top newspaper, Ha’aretz, by one of its finest journalists, Akiva Eldar.



      • LDW

        The residents of Gaza are not starving – the Israeli government has consistently allowed food aid. Has the food been getting to the people? That’s another story, because Hamas or whatever Palestinian leadership has been on the ground cuts off food, water and electricity to their own people and blames it on the Israelis, and then distributes it through black market networks and favouritism.

        Israel consistently warned civilians well in advance of any bombing near them. They did this by dropping leaflets and making phone calls. If a bomb went off course and accidently struck civilians, then that is tragic, but is not the same as directly targeting civilians.

        Did Hamas round up ‘human shields’ and keep them prisoner in buildings they knew were about to be bombed because Israel had publicized the fact? I would say that’s a much more likely explanation as to why so many civilians were still in the buildings well after they’d been warned to evacuate.

        Your statement that Israel snipers have a long record of shooting children in their own yards etc. is an absolute disgusting lie, a product of the most vile Islamist propoganda. But the Islamists target children from birth, indoctrinating them with lies and hatred, and poisoning their souls. Isalmists teach children that all the problems in the world are the fault of Jews and the West, and that any atrocity or martyrdom can be justified if it hurts Jews or the West.

        When asked about specific incidents of civilians being killed or injured, the Israeli government has either apologized or denied the incident with justification. The Palestinian propoganda videos that have been aired in recent years have mostly (I’d say all) been shown to be hoaxes.

        As to the ‘God help us, where can we flee?’ CRAP, if Hamas stopped shelling Irael, then Israel would stop shelling Hamas. In the meanwhile, Palestinians should damn well flee their positions over arms depots, and maybe find the gumption to bloody well shoot the bastards who are lugging rocket launchers up onto the roofs of schools and apartment buildings. Oh yeah…there’s the small detail that if Palestinians try to flee and avoid being ‘human sheilds’ they’ll just become dead ‘human sheilds’, killed by Palestinian militia, and left in the targeted building(s) to be vidoetaped in the rubble for the media.

        • Mr. X

          Most of what you’ve said is complete garbage. Israel does not feed Gaza. Gaza is under quarantine and food and medical supplies have to be smuggled in. You speak of warning the Palestinians of attacks, yet don’t mention where they are to go.

          Hamas was funded by Israel as an alternative to the PLO. Now that they’ve broken rank, Israel is crying foul. Hamas is a product of Israel.

          Trying to blame this on Hamas just shows your naiveté.

          • LDW

            I never said Israel fed Gaza. I said Israel allowed food aid to cross into Gaza. And, except for a few shut-downs, hundreds of trucks have been crossing into Gaza daily.

    • Wisewoman

      LDW. What a pathetic statement “Israelis do not “intend to harm women and children”. That is not the issue the issue is THEY ARE DOING IT!. No amount of spin will take away that fact. As an AA and Hillary Clinton supporter (I detest Obama), I respect and care deeply for the Jewish people. They were there for Blacks during the civi rights struggles (some died), especially in a legal capacity and with money and effort. For a person who marched with Dr. King, I will be eternally grateful. However, as anyone knows friends have more influence on friends than enemies have. Since Yazth Rabin’s assassination, the Israeli people have chosen bad leadership like people did in this country when they chose Bush. The majority of the people in this country have seen their error (I did not vote for Bush). It is time for the people in Israel to install better leadership. This gang in power now and those aspiring to power only believe that each dead Palestinian = ?? votes for them. As a person who lived under really bad times of denial of movement, jobs, where one could live, etc. I have a duty to speak out against the atrocities occurring in Gaza. In my opinion so do each and every human being on the face of this earth.

      • LDW


        Bernard-Henri Levy: “1. No government in the world, no country other than the vilified Israel–dragged through the mud, demonized–would tolerate having thousands of shells falling on its cities year after year. The most remarkable thing in the affair, the true surprise, is not Israel’s “brutality”; it is, to the letter, its restraint.

        2. The fact that Hamas’ Qassam and, now, its Grad missiles have caused so few deaths does not prove that they are artisanal, inoffensive, etc., but that the Israelis protect themselves, that they live burrowed in the caves of their buildings, under shelter: a nightmarish existence, suspended, with the sound of sirens and explosions. I have been to Sderot: I know.

        3. The fact that, inversely, the Israeli shells create so many victims does not mean, as protesters have angrily proclaimed, that Israel is engaging in a deliberate “massacre,” but that the leaders of Gaza have chosen the opposite attitude and are exposing their populations, relying on the old tactic of the “human shield.” Which means that Hamas, like Hezbollah two years ago, is installing its command centers, its arms stockpiles, its bunkers, in the basements of buildings, of hospitals, of schools, of mosques. Efficient but repugnant.

        4. There is a capital difference between the combatants that those who want to have a “correct” idea of the tragedy, and of the means to put an end to it, must acknowledge: The Palestinians open fire on cities, or in other words, on civilians (which is called, in international criminal law, a “war crime”); the Israelis target military objectives and cause, without aiming to, horrible civilian casualties (which is called, in the language of war, “collateral damage”–which, even though it is hideous, points to a real strategic and moral dissymmetry).”

        Oh while ‘Real Soldiers do Not Target Children’ is true, but ‘Real Terrorists Target Children, Women and Men Indiscriminately’ IS ALSO TRUE.

        • Mr. X

          1. Hamas was funded by Israel.
          2. Shelter. Must be nice. Palestinians call this a luxury.
          3. The Palestinians are not free. As such, they cannot choose anything. Any actions taken up by the Palestinians are the responsabilities of their occupiers, aka Israel.
          4. Laughable (or sad that you believe this).

          • LDW

            No, Hamas was not funded by Israel.

            What Israel did, or rather didn’t do, was that they didn’t prevent money from Saudi Arabia and the United Emirates from being sent to Hamas in the late 1980s.

            Israel did not take the threat of Hamas as seriously as, in retrospect, they might have.

            • LDW

              “The Gaza Bombshell
              After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, the author reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.
              by David Rose April 2008”


              or listen to the podcast on CBC radio”
              “Twenty-five years ago, Hamas — which is an acronym in Arabic for the Islamic Resistance Movement — was a loosely knit group of social organizers and religious charities working on the margins of Palestinian society. At the time — in the early 1980s — its so-called military wing and the name Hamas didn’t even exist. And outside the Gaza strip, even most Palestinians didn’t pay it much attention.

              Today, Hamas is the dominant military and political force in Gaza … a popular vehicle for Palestinian rage and resistance … a fierce combatant in the ugly war with Israel that rages now. The rise of Hamas is a story cloaked in many layers of intrigue and controversy and one that Yossi Melman has been covering for years. He’s the Intelligence and Military Affairs Correspondent for the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. And he was in Tel Aviv.

              Hamas Intrigue

              Hamas solidified its control over Gaza two years ago … when its gunmen fought a bitter battle with Fatah — the main Palestinian organization linked to the PLO — and won. But according to David Rose, the story behind that battle is one shrouded in secrecy and formed in conspiracy. David Rose is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair magazine. Last year, he wrote an investigative article called The Gaza Bombshell and he was in Oxford, England.


              • Peggy Sue

                I found these links informative and interesting, LDW.

                Thanks for that!

              • Mr. X

                Actually, Hamas was indeed funded by Israel. Nothing of what you quoted says otherwise. In fact, how do you think they rose to power? Why do you think the US felt it necessary to fund Fatah? Because their plan with Hamas failed. They thought a civil war would leave both Hamas and the PLO in shambles.

        • Karma

          To the third point.

          How exactly can Gaza build to protect the citizens while dealing with a blockade?

          Doesn’t that blockade limit the amount of trucks stocked with building supplies down to just delivering food and medicine now?

          And isn’t the issue that all the resources go to Hamas and not the citizens?

          So if those supply trucks are filled with building supplies. Wouldn’t that make it harder for Israel to launch an offensive that would effectively kill Gaza’s leaders?

          They would be providing the resources to protect their enemy. Which doesn’t make tactical sense.

          No matter how indignant people want to be able it. It does make tactical sense to hide behind the citizens of Gaza.

          Anyway, despite hearing this claim over and over again that Gaza doesn’t protect her citizens. I just question how many building supplies are really making it into Gaza that could be capable of protecting 1.5 million people.

          Israel should protect her citizens, even with war, if neccessary. It is her duty to do so. But at least her citizens have the means and the choice to move should they decide the shelling and bunkers are too much.

          Do the residents of Gaza have that freedom?

          • xax


            I keep hearing that but for some reason it doesn’t stick. Did Israel and Egypt shut down their borders? Yes. Why? Becuase Hamas just keeps shooting and trying to blow stuff up.

            This “blockade” that people keep referring to was not intentional. It’s the consequence of Hamas’ stupid decision to put their ideology above the welfare of their people. If you want the “blockade” to end, then stop shooting rockets- and actually do it this time.

            Also, how do you explain the fact the Israel has let trucks and aid through depsite them being in a war zone. They opened up their borders even though it put their own country at risk. And how do square the story of Hamas stealing those supplies and selling them at high prices?

            No matter how indignant people want to be able it. It does make tactical sense to hide behind the citizens of Gaza.

            That’s a remark of cowardice. If Hamas had any character they would done a uniform and meet Israel out in the open on the battlefield. Instead they hide in buildings and dress up as civilians.

      • Zut alors

        Confusing or conflating Jews and/with Israelis is a significant part of the problem.