Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 06, 2009

Tank Gunnery

During my time in the Bundeswehr I was tank-gunner, tank-commander and a tank-platoon leader. One does not shoot a tank gun at anything by accident. One can clearly identify targets through sophisticated, magnifying optics - day and night, in rain and through fog. Reliably identifying, shooting and hitting a target at 2000-3000 meters is easy to do and can be learned in a month or so.

A modern tank is quite a secure and comfortable place unless there are capable opposition tanks or sophisticated anti-tank rockets nearby. None of this is the case in Gaza. There is little stress for the guys inside.There is therefore absolutely no justification and excuse for this:

Israel Defense Forces tank fire killed up to 40 Palestinians at a United Nations school in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, medical sources at two hospitals said.
...
Two tank shells exploded outside the Gaza school, spraying shrapnel on people inside and outside the building, where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge from fighting between Israeli soldiers and Hamas militants. In addition to the dead, several dozen people were wounded, the officials said.
40 Palestinians killed in IDF strike on UN school


Those must have been HEAT rounds.

The M325 is a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) cartridge. This cartridge is a dual-purpose munition, which defeats medium-and light armored vehicles and Incapacitates infantry by blast and fragmentation.
Israel Military Industries - 120-MM HEAT-MP-T CARTRIDGE M325 (CL 3105)

This was obvious willful mass-killing of civilians, not infantry, with superior weapons.

The Israelis claim they hit civilian targets because Hamas fighters hide there. They have never provided proof for that while Israeli troops themselves take over apartment buildings with the civilians inside and use those as firebases. But active opposition to Israeli forces from the people at the UN school is very unlikely.

It is obvious now that the Israeli campaign has the sole purpose to destruct Gaza and Gazans people. This is not about Hamas or a few stovepipes and Chinese rockets that the Islamic Jihad (sponsored by whom?) is launching into Israel.

This is industrialized killing of civilians for the "fun of it".

Posted by b on January 6, 2009 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

Comments

You can watch Al Jazeerah in English, BBC and some other station on your PC vie Livestation.

Al Jazeerah seems to be the only one with Pictures from inside Gaza.

Posted by: b | Jan 6, 2009 12:35:21 PM | 1

Just curious (not an indictment of your post in any way): as a tank commander/operator, what is the chain of information / orders in regard to target selection and destruction?

Do you think the tanks are operating as free agents? Roaming and killing at the whimsy of the crews? Conversely, do you think they're following a long-planned series of steps and orders? D

o they have a list in their tanks already (hit points A, B, C)? Are they getting these targets in realtime from another level of command?

Could you give us some more insight into the logistics of targeting/firing/etc?

thx, b.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 6, 2009 12:42:13 PM | 2

no they basically do not know what they are doing.

they are fighting assymetric war. civilians might be fighters. fighters might be civilians.

they do not ask questions or doubt, they fire.

the strategy is to dismantle the organizational power of Hamas. any group of people looks organized.

Posted by: outsider | Jan 6, 2009 1:18:42 PM | 3

" This is industrialized killing of civilians for the "fun of it".

No, that's an anti-Semitic statement. And I think you know it. This is just war, waged the way wars have always been waged. It's unfortunate the Palestinians began this war, but you surely can't blame Israel for that. They've tried every possible peaceful method, and they simply haven't worked. So, now they have to respond in kind. It's sad, but it's the Palestinians' fault. If they surrendered and recognized Israel then the war will end. If they don't do that, then it will continue. For generations, if necessary. But it's up to them. Israel would be failing its duty to its citizens if it didn't act to protect them. Any other government would do the same, and you all know that.

Posted by: mikep | Jan 6, 2009 1:25:41 PM | 4

I think there is some noise in the channel, someone noticed?

Posted by: ThePaper | Jan 6, 2009 1:43:35 PM | 5

@Jeremiah

Just curious (not an indictment of your post in any way): as a tank commander/operator, what is the chain of information / orders in regard to target selection and destruction?

Depends on the army but can be virtually anything.

1. It may have been a tank crew doing this on its own. (They will get soft claps and a medal.)
2. It may have be given a general task-order ("Auftragstaktik") and is free on how to fulfill it.
3. It may have been a direct order via radio from any point up the chain.

I'd say its 2 or 3 here. As the current troops in Gaza are supposed to be elite, 1 would be astonishing undisciplined.

@mikep - No, that's an anti-Semitic statement.

Buhaaaaaaaaaaa.

Posted by: b | Jan 6, 2009 1:48:20 PM | 6

Go read Arthur Silber's latest post, where Uri Avnery debunks every little point you make.

And if you think that the Israelis don't think its fun, then read Chris Floyd's latest post when he gets back up from the latest hack. Murder has now become a spectator sport just like in Roman times, except instead of Jews we've got Palestinans. And now they get to sip pepsi while watching, after driving down from Tel Aviv to sit on a hillside above Gaza whole the Willy Pete rains down below them. I bet they listen to Wagner too.

And then go FUCK yourself, mikep, and get the fuck out of here.

You're a sadistic apologist for murder, so fuck yourself.

Its sad..., but its your fault for making moronic troll arguments over and over.

b, I hope that you ban this troll. He is not trying to learn, only annoy.

Or perhaps he amuses you.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 6, 2009 1:57:33 PM | 7

No, that's an anti-Semitic statement.

Actually, it is not, but, keep picking at bits of straw. It leads me to believe you are useful for something.

It is obvious to me that war crimes are being committed as we speak, with the aid of the US.

Question is, what are we going to do about it?

Posted by: IntelVet | Jan 6, 2009 2:13:39 PM | 8

Anti semitism.

Yawwwwwn.

Truth hurts the war crime enablers. After all, the "Israel" cult must be defended at all costs. The way of the fanatic, the psychotic fanatic at that.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jan 6, 2009 2:20:13 PM | 9

But this is what the "Israel" cult has come down to. Complaints about child murder in their concentration camp are deemed "anti semitism".

Nobody's buying your victim pimp bullshit any more.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jan 6, 2009 2:23:30 PM | 10

Those in the Israeli military come across as a gang of sociopathic serial killers. They round up unarmed Palestinians and hold them in a cage and then shoot at them with schadenfreude written all over their faces.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 6, 2009 2:29:37 PM | 11

Press TV has pictures from and reporters inside Gaza.

Posted by: ww | Jan 6, 2009 2:33:06 PM | 12

Why is the "Israel" cult so anxious? Here's why, via Greewald.

A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 18 countries finds that in 14 of them people mostly say their government should not take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just three countries favor taking the Palestinian side (Egypt, Iran, and Turkey) and one is divided (India). No country favors taking Israel's side, including the United States, where 71 percent favor taking neither side.

http://tinyurl.com/7eywyp

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jan 6, 2009 2:39:29 PM | 13

URGENT URGENT URGENT URGENT

Post this on every blog you can - email it to everyone - those with accounts on Daily Kos plaster it everywhere

Genocide in Progress

Amid the tidal wave of human misery swamping Gaza City’s central hospital a horrified Norwegian volunteer doctor found a minute to type a text message on his mobile phone to friends back home.

“We are wading in death, blood, and amputees. Many children. A pregnant woman. I have never experienced anything so terrible. Now we hear tanks. Pass it on, send it around, shout it out. Anything. DO SOMETHING! DO MORE! We are living in a history book now, all of us.” It was signed Mads Gilbert, one of two Norwegian doctors toiling relentlessly alongside exhausted Palestinian medics.

Get going! There is not a moment to waste! Whatever is in your power to do, do it NOW!

Posted by: bea | Jan 6, 2009 2:40:41 PM | 14

"Patriotism" used to be the last refuge of a scoundrel. It seems that hysteric screams and accusations of "Antisemitism" are the contemporary replacement.

Posted by: C.A. | Jan 6, 2009 2:47:56 PM | 15

i'd like to add that, besides the "fun" those sick bastards are having, this blast may be very well a message aimed at UN too..: the zionist entity don't give a fluck about the rest of humankind

Posted by: rudolf | Jan 6, 2009 2:49:56 PM | 16

Interesting that the degenerate Zionist cult has resorted to describing child murder and genocide as "anti semitism". Talk about destroyin a brand, eh? The Norwegian's report has been pulled from Times, by the way. The ziocult needs to do its murder in the dark, it seems, as they've cut off journalists from their killing ground.

Too late.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jan 6, 2009 3:17:43 PM | 17

It looks like The Messiah finally looked down to where the common mortal live and muttered that he is worried about the civilian casualties. Looking for the actual quote and a proper source.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jan 6, 2009 3:26:15 PM | 18

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/06/obama-white-house-israel-hamas>Here

US president-elect Barack Obama today broke his silence on the fighting in Gaza, saying he was "deeply concerned about the conflict" but postponing further comment on the Israeli invasion and Hamas attacks on Israel until after his inauguration.
"The loss of civilian life in Gaza and Israel is a source of deep concern to me," he said in a question and answer session at his transition office, "and after January 20 I'm going to have plenty to say about the issue."

Obama reiterated his belief that he should refrain from interjecting in foreign affairs before his election so the US government can present a single face to the world.

"Starting at the beginning of our administration, we are going to engage effectively and consistently in trying to resolve the conflicts that exist in the Middle East," he said. "On January 20, you will be hearing directly from me, and my opinions on the issue. Until then, my job is to monitor the situation" and to assemble a national security and foreign policy team.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jan 6, 2009 3:29:25 PM | 19

They had a clip on Danish TV with one of those Norwegian doctors bea mention in #14. They didn't have his most damning statements, but he did get to say that out of the many hundreds of wounded at his hospital, he seen no Hamas.

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Jan 6, 2009 4:04:03 PM | 20

the link in #14 has an errant forward slash at the end, so you either have to correct it in your browser or use this one
‘We’re wading in death, blood and amputees. Pass it on – shout it out’

Posted by: b real | Jan 6, 2009 4:08:19 PM | 21

It is stunning that we have to cite and compile pictures and videos of these atrocities day after day to try to beat it into the thick skull of the western world. Stunned by decades of state crimes by American, UK, Israeli, Russian and many other countries, where the fuck is the sheer outrage? I'm old enough to remember when the death of four students in Ohio...

Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Chechnya, Fallujah, Gaza becomes as natural a flow as blood pumping through a heart. All that's left is to monitor the rate. 500 becomes 5000. Just data points.

I just wish there were a zero-state solution.

Posted by: biklett | Jan 6, 2009 4:09:24 PM | 22

@ 22
Once abortion has been accepted as a manifestation of freedom everything else follows.

Posted by: jlcg | Jan 6, 2009 4:30:08 PM | 23

@23,

Yeah, I could never decide whether to get an abortion or a tattoo. WTF?

Posted by: biklett | Jan 6, 2009 4:45:14 PM | 24

Israel is Using DIME Weapons in Gaza - More from the Norwegian doctor.

Posted by: bea | Jan 6, 2009 5:17:03 PM | 25

Murder has now become a spectator sport just like in Roman times, except instead of Jews we've got Palestinans.

this was the dream i had last night. that the enclosed walls of gaza were the colosseum. outside the colosseum all these elaborate efforts were made to pretend to the people it wasn't a show going on inside, with the people arguing about it, but inside the colosseum were all the society enjoying the games.

all the important people were there, jockying for position to get a good view, but of course the press were banned so all the reports that came out were tailor made, and their were many professionals involved in the descriptions of the games. there was a hierarchy of these professionals. those that wrote the reports, and those that created narrative. they were in the upper tiers if the balcony sitting next to those who ran the games.

Posted by: annie | Jan 6, 2009 5:40:21 PM | 26

Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Getting nickeled and dimed to death."

Bet the Israeli tank-guys are playing heavy metal, too, like the USAns at the Fallujah massacre.

(Nickel is employed in alloy with DU, which by the way can be inside or outside of a munition. Used for hardening, penetrating ability, density, accuracy. Radiation is more of a threat than Wikipedia lets on. It is nigh on impossible to remove from the body. And breathed into the lungs after a pyrophoric reaction can be deadly within two years.)

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 6, 2009 5:51:12 PM | 27

annie-

Yes, I had that same dream. You'd better see a shrink. Despite what Fromm, Miller, et al say, you CAN be successfully normalized in a pathological society. It's just a matter of finding the right meds.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 6, 2009 5:54:21 PM | 28

Anti-Antisemitism?

Who? Aren't the Israelis and Palestinians both (largely) Semitic peoples?

Posted by: Obelix | Jan 6, 2009 6:29:57 PM | 29

so this is it

"Israel's leaders are for now rejecting a ceasefire. That is to be expected. Of course the Israeli leadership has to sound tough and uncompromising in their positions, that's part of the dynamic of who has a winning narrative and is of course part of the domestic politics (especially with elections coming up on February 10th). This should not be confused with a cold look at the respective interests at play – and for Israel getting bogged down in Gaza is a distinctly bad idea.

The way this is set up politically means that Israel has to have a ceasefire imposed on it – this seems to be what Defense minister Barak is looking for and he favored the French proposal for a truce last week even before the ground invasion began. The speculation among Israeli commentators is that an international demand for a ceasefire is pretty much the only exit strategy Israel has up its sleeve, even suggesting that Israel may intentionally exacerbate a humanitarian crisis in order to force the international community to act (that was the expert analysis on Israeli channel 10 TV last night). Things are made even more complicated by the fact two of the ministers leading the country are competing in the elections next month – MoD Barak and FM Livni. So it's not just Israel that needs a winning narrative – each minister needs his/her own particular winning narrative. So an outside push is a prerequisite for ending this. "

http://www.prospectsforpeace.com/

Posted by: outsider | Jan 6, 2009 6:36:00 PM | 30

"Industrialized killing of civilians for the fun of it"... apologists screaming "antisemitism"... expecting action from a body of "elected" representatives who have a history of inaction...

I don't see anything out of the ordinary here.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jan 6, 2009 6:36:53 PM | 31

biklett@22: It is stunning that we have to cite and compile pictures and videos of these atrocities day after day to try to beat it into the thick skull of the western world.

It's virtually impossible to get people in this country to acknowledge what is happening. People in the town I live are too busy complaining about snow removal. Seriously. They're hounding the mayor with complaints. In our local paper, an avid jogger lamented over his right to clear sidewalks.

I was made fun of at the local blog I antagonize because I tried to put the snow-bitching in perspective by mentioning the atrocities in Gaza.

I simply don't know what to say to people anymore. Until the war comes home, and we live the kind of terror our good friend Israel is mercilessly inflicting on Palestinians, don't expect an informed peep from the peeps in the states.

what most folks have had ingrained in their psyches is any criticism of Israel is anti-semitic, so when I say "FUCK ISRAEL" in mixed company I see wide-eyed disbelief that I would even voice, out loud, such a sentiment.

but for anyone paying attention, what else can you say? A nuanced, intellectual debate is sort of difficult right now, even though that is perhaps what is most needed. But that can only happen if the slaughter stops, and Israel shows no sign of wanting that to happen.

I guess I'll just walk around, trying to help those who need it most in my own community, muttering fuck Israel to myself as the people in my town complain about snow berms and icy sidewalks.

Posted by: Lizard | Jan 6, 2009 6:54:33 PM | 32

No Lizard, you have to say it loud and clear no matter what. Muttering is insufficient. If you were being massacred and someone said "geez no one will listen I'll just mutter under my breath then," how would that be?

You must insist that they hear you IT IS OUR DOLLARS, OUR POLICY, OUR WEAPONS, AND OUR ROLE MODELING IN IRAQ THAT HAVE MADE ALL OF THIS POSSIBLE!!!!! We are responsible!!!

Posted by: bea | Jan 6, 2009 7:06:29 PM | 33

excellent point monolycus

Posted by: annie | Jan 6, 2009 7:06:45 PM | 34

On the other hand, am I "anti-Zionist"? You betcha! Many of my Jewish friends share the same sentiment. I regard with disgust all theocratic governments.

Posted by: Obelix | Jan 6, 2009 8:45:16 PM | 36

It's time to add Beslan to the list of similes.

Posted by: biklett | Jan 6, 2009 9:05:31 PM | 37

It's almost as if the Zionist are checking off a list of recent horrors. Oh, we can do that? OK.

Posted by: biklett | Jan 6, 2009 9:08:04 PM | 38

The link to the Telegraph story from Utpal at #60 Israel strike kills up to 60 members of one family is the most horrifying tale in a plethora of horror stories. A bunch of IDF soldiers deliberately and premeditatedly murders and entire hapu or sub-tribe of 90 humans.

Read the story and you'll see that this was no accident, no caught in the crossfire mixup. Someone in a relatively senior position in the IDF has deliberately wiped out an entire branch of a Palestinian family.
Red Cross have announced their intention to investigate let's hope they do so properly and find out what the reason for this horror was.
There will be a block of land somewhere on the occupied West Bank or maybe within the apartheid ersatz state of Israel that this family are/were the traditional owners of. The only real question will be whether the IDF leader who ordered the massacre has a share in the development corporation or if he ordered this in a purely contract basis.

Remeber this isn't just about circuses, bread also plays as important a part in this war as it does in most.
There will be plenty of greedy zionists using their connections in the political and military infrastructure to advance their pursuit of shekels.
Of course we can't talk about that in polite circles lest it be deemed judeo-phobic (what the redneck jews over at Dkos call anti-semitic)

Even insinuating that some of the zionists may be war profiteers is enough to get the professional victims hysteric, never mind if you have made the same claims about other aggressors in other conflicts.

Who is the lowest scum the person who calls the motives of murderers into question even though a stupid or deliberately self-victimised attention seeker could choose to see the query as racist? Or is someone who deliberately uses the awful experiences of others from another time and place for profit and or undeserved sympathy a much lower order of scum?

It was this line of thinking that our resident troll decided to rant about after I queried why it is that many of the jewish bloggers at Daily Kos and some other 'leftish' blogs always wear the mantle of someone who is to be accorded deference for having more knowledge and insight into the invasion of Palestine, than any other outside observer.
I made the point that although this was bad enough in the case of the religious jews, at least they could burble on about their alleged historic rights contained in the ancient compendium of superstitions, but secular jews who don't go for the old wives tales have no claim at all on having any special insight into Jordan Valley politics.

This the equivalent of deferring to all amerikans with the surname of Jones on issues pertaining to the Rhondda Valley.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jan 6, 2009 10:36:10 PM | 39

..... and Barack Obama (aka the messiah) will have plenty to say after the 20th Jan.

wtf?

Posted by: sabine | Jan 6, 2009 11:44:57 PM | 40

It sure has been a depressing beginning to the new year. luckily, just in time (because for awhile i was really upset) Jon Stewart and Steven Corbert have returned with new shows to help me process the unfortunate slaughter in Gaza through their respective styles of hilarity. Their respective guests--David Gregory, the new Meet The Press host, and John King, the CNN guy hosting a new Sunday news program going up against Meet The press--also helped me put things in the right perspective. whew, what a relief.

I especially liked the sci-fi cartoon spoof on The Corbert Report, where the white protagonist "hero" tries to save a small, fat, doughy race of slaves from a "reptilian overlord", but is distracted by the slaves "zapped" corpses, which are described by the bumbling protagonist as flaky and delicious.

Posted by: Lizard | Jan 7, 2009 12:08:01 AM | 41

I read about the entire extended family being attacked with many killed on Left Eye on the News, and I could barely believe this was happening in the beginning of the 21st Century, perpetrated by people from an ostensibly modern nation. It seemed more in keeping with the horrors of ancient wars. Or the revenge killing of the villagers of Lidice by the Germans.

I am so angry and feel so completely impotent. And since I can't influence my own nation's government, what hope do I have of influencing Israel's?

What a terrible beginning to this new year.

Does wiping out such a large family group constitute a sub-set of genocide? Or is it just genocide?

Link: http://lefti.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html#7517100688363418567

Posted by: jawbone | Jan 7, 2009 12:43:58 AM | 42

Why is there so little amazement and outrage about Israel's military attacking UN positions? Here, schools. In Lebanon, what was it, observation posts?

It's almost as if some countries can get away with anything. As long as the US supports them....

Posted by: jawbone | Jan 7, 2009 12:46:25 AM | 43

jawbone, the new draftees in the idf need target training?

sick, just sick, but according to the powers that are no genocide, no massacres, and only 25% of the dead are civilians.
Civilians = women, children.
the men are all hamas.

And yes as long the the US supports a country, that country can do anything. it goes hand in hand with protecting US american interests everywhere.

Posted by: sabine | Jan 7, 2009 2:00:31 AM | 44

I earlier wrote:

The killing we witness has no purpose at all but to prop up a bunch of failed politicians:

The Israeli ambassador seems to confirm that:

Asked three times by audience members, Meridor simply could not offer any plausible explanation as to how its military campaign in Gaza would achieve its stated goals. Indeed, he at times seemed to offer this absence of strategy as a virtue, as evidence that the war had been forced upon Israel rather than chosen: "we have no grand political scheme... we were forced to defend ourselves to provide better security, period." With current estimates of 550 Palestinians dead and 2500 wounded, and the region in turmoil, the absence of strategy is not a virtue.

Posted by: b | Jan 7, 2009 2:19:00 AM | 45

Asked three times by audience members, Meridor simply could not offer any plausible explanation as to how its military campaign in Gaza would achieve its stated goals.

You are right to bring up this point, b. There's another article by van Creveld in the Guardian: So far, Israeli action is going to plan. He vaunts the success of Israeli operations, but completely avoids the point of where it's all going.

Doing a Falluja on Gaza is all very nice (though with the disadvantage for Israel of a lot more visible blood than was seen in F.), but not even Falluja itself achieved all that much for the US.

Posted by: Alex | Jan 7, 2009 4:31:27 AM | 46

b, #45

Of course they cannot explain how the campaign will achieve its stated goals, because the goals are replaced by the means. This is classic vicious circle type reasoning common in addictive behavior, where the action itself becomes the subject, not the results, which are most likely (and often knowingly) to be exacerbated. Destroy the village in order to save it, is an emotional
/hysterical tantrum like response to an uncooperative reality, and as Sartre would say, an attempt to change that reality through the magical transcendence of an emotional fit. What is so painful, and induces in myself a rage of its own, is the obvious fact that Israel has become morally destitute and is acting out the brutality of its own past traumas on the Palestine people with equivalent madness. The sad fact is that they will never achieve peace from their actions, any more than a child raped in his youth will find rectification in raping another in his adulthood. This invasion of Gaza is carnage for the sake of carnage, and nothing more.

Posted by: anna missed | Jan 7, 2009 4:41:35 AM | 47

What do you do if you see a killer rotweiler killing humans. Blame the dog or its controller?. Put down the dog? This dog perpetrating the Gaza Holocaust is controlled by the U.S.of Aipac. How does it feel to be an American when you see broken and burned children and women for whom you are individually and collectively totally responsible. John F Kennedy said that a citizens greatest right is his responsibilities. Where are the civilised worlds Powers necessary to stop the dog and its handler. The World would welcome Chinese, Russian, European Armies if they rescued the Gaza people from their holocaust. It has come to that. Why did you let it?.

Posted by: boindub | Jan 7, 2009 5:22:19 AM | 48

The World would welcome Chinese, Russian, European Armies if they rescued the Gaza people from their holocaust. It has come to that. Why did you let it?.

by all means. let the Chinese, Russian, European Armies step in and protect gaza. don't let a little superpower scare you. if the US wants to start a world war by defending israel, let them try. i know what side i'd be on.

This dog perpetrating the Gaza Holocaust is controlled by the U.S.of Aipac. How does it feel to be an American when you see broken and burned children and women for whom you are individually and collectively totally responsible.

it sucks. how does it feel to be chinese, russian, or european knowing your country is sitting around w/your thumb up your ass. get to work boindub. tell your leaders to instrust the US to go to hell. How does it feel to be a member of the global society when you see broken and burned children and women for whom you are individually and collectively totally responsible.

or don't you count. if you are waiting for the american people to stop this mess, it aint going to happen. where's the opposition? or do you also lay on your back and spread your legs for zion?

Posted by: annie | Jan 7, 2009 6:01:41 AM | 49

@ obelix, #39 "I regard with disgust all theocratic governments."

But Zionism, at least not as the modern political movement for which Theodor Herzl was such a prime mover, is not a theocratic movement. Herzl's thesis was that a Jewish state was the only means to gain respect for Jews and end the form of anti-semitism aimed at Jews. The other option was assimilation and conversion to whatever was the local religion -- but he did not believe that would end anti-semitism. He was half-right in the first part and on target with the second -- assimilation in no way protected the Jews of Europe, as it was seen as a racial, not religious question by the Nazis.

True, there are strong, tragically dominant theocratic elements in Zionism today, not least the execrable Christian Zionism.

The western governments, in particular the US, were at best, lukewarm to the idea of an Israeli state. It was later, they (again, particularly the US) saw its use as keystone in dominating the ME.

Right now, the offense in Gaza is "like shooting into a cage" as one of the Norwegian doctors bea referred to in #14 has also said to the media. He has also said, in reference to the DIME munitions which bea refers to in #25, "...you don't do this to human beings, no matter how much you disagree or think you need to fight them, you don't do this to human beings" (quote after memory)-- The implicit conclusion is that the Israeli gov't and the IDF does not consider the Palestinians to be human.

What can we do? Juan Cole posted about "Raed in the Middle" who was kicked off a plane in the US by TSA for wearing a t-shirt with Arabic letters on it, "lan nasmut" and its equivalent in English, "we will not be silent". It's Danish equivalent would be "vi vil ikke tie". It was the motto of the White Rose group in Germany.

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Jan 7, 2009 8:31:10 AM | 50

If there's any trace of justice still remaining here on Earth after most of it has died and gone to heaven, then let's use it to rescue these defenseless people before they are driven to extinction!

Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 7, 2009 8:48:49 AM | 51

It's not just fun for them.. it is orgasmic, and redeeming, they revel in it like a bully loves to step on the weaker types. It confirms his/her superiority over the lesser ones.

The soldiers and politicos can play GOD and snuff out lives.. and feel as if they did the human race a favor by crushing cockroaches.

The onlookers on the Israeli side can get their blood lust like the Romans did as the lions were chasing the christians.

and the best part is that the rest of the world just sits on the sidelines as the murderous butchers get away with it and the american giant gives the middle finger to anyone that tells the truth about it.

the leaders of the world will do nothing unless told how high to jump by the criminals running the USA and Israel. They have been bought and paid for.. so don't wait for them.

the only way to protest this is to stop paying your taxes. there is no other way

Posted by: Sam | Jan 7, 2009 9:23:20 AM | 52

I find it interesting how much Roman/Colosseum imagery everyone is projecting upon this disgusting spectator sport called modern warfare. It really does seem to fit the situation well.

Once the powers that be get done frolicking in the middle east sand box, they'll come looking for someone else to oppress.

I, myself, have invested in a cast-iron chastity belt that protects from rear-entry...

Dave

Posted by: David | Jan 7, 2009 10:06:48 AM | 53

Posted by: b real | Jan 7, 2009 11:17:46 AM | 54

Replying to b's comment #45:
I earlier wrote:

The killing we witness has no purpose at all but to prop up a bunch of failed politicians:

The Israeli ambassador seems to confirm that:

---
While there is, of course, more than a little bit of vicious truth to this perspective, I think there is an equal amount of alternate truth. This is not just the War of the Election, it is also the War of the Seige. Remember, Hamas was willing to renew the past truce, from the moment it ended, if Israel would only end the seige of Gaza. Israel, of course, refused. But even with the seige, Gazans were bringing in a survival level of goods through the tunnels, and Hamas was able to import enough weapondry to keep itself functional. Further, the coastal blockade was steadily eroding. Israel was still blocking large ships (like a Libyan freighter carrying 3,000 tons of aid), but was having trouble blocking small ships (or at least justifying such blocking). A small ship carrying a ton of aid was underway to Gaza when Israel attacked.

Israel's policy has been to starve Gaza into submission (or death, either being acceptible). In the past, countries would often try to relieve their cities under seige, and field battles would be fought in attempts to mantain those seiges. That is what we are seeing right now, the War of the Seige. Not how all Israeli discussions of any truce or end points are very careful to not limit their ability to starve Gaza at will.

Posted by: Bill | Jan 7, 2009 11:47:12 AM | 55

Thanks to b, and bea @25, I've come across a new (to me) explanation for the apparently "goal-less" Gaza war, and some good news!

The explanation being that the war may simply be a showcase for manufacturers of new weapons to attract new customers, e.g. Israel's HEAT, as well as intimidation/extermination.

fyi, DIME's manufacturer seems largely UK-based, and now being sued for war crimes, according to
http://pandalonghu.blog.163.com/blog/static/50351199200906104325390/

Barflies, keep open eyes and hearts - never despair for too long!

Posted by: lambent1 | Jan 7, 2009 12:26:14 PM | 56

#50, CC. Israel is a theocracy, no question about it.

As proof of this, I submit the process by which a Jew may exercise his "right of return". The rightest orthodox elements in Israel have this modified to "Well, yes, you can return and live here if you're a Jew, but don't expect to claim citizenship unless you've been vetted by our board of rabbis, who will make sure that you are the right type of Jew". If making citizenship contingent upon religious belief isn't theocracy, I don't know what is.

I'm sure that this isn't what Herzl envisioned, but like many other governmental forms, it's what it is now. Good intentions in the past don't mean beans.

Posted by: Obelix | Jan 7, 2009 12:41:57 PM | 57

Chuck Cliff,

It really don't matter whether the Zionist movement was originally formed to form a safe haven for Jews, basing it upon their particular faith or race. Either way, science has proven this sort of thinking exercised by Zionists is dead wrong.

Modern cosmology coupled with our knowledge of evolution has traced the Universe back to its beginning, proving that all religions are merely a human invention, none of them are a product of Nature. Therefore, no religion, including Judaism, is more right, is more superior, than any other religion in the Universe. All religions are equal in the eyes of Nature.

Likewise, modern genetics coupled with our knowledge of evolution has traced homo sapiens back to their beginnings, proving that humans as a species with separate and distinct races is nothing more than a human invention, having nothing to do with Nature. Genetic studies have shown without a shadow of a doubt that humans as a species can't be subdivided into races, which are separate and distinct from each other. Therefore, no group of humans, including Jews, is more right, is more superior, than any other group of humans on Earth. All groups of humans are equal in the eyes of Nature. So Israeli Jews don't have a single leg to stand on when it comes to thinking that they, as a group of people, are more right, are more superior, than any other group of people on Earth, non-Jewish Palestinians included.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 7, 2009 2:07:19 PM | 58

@Chuck Cliff

The implicit conclusion is that the Israeli gov't and the IDF does not consider the Palestinians to be human.

You are just now figuring this out?

Posted by: bea | Jan 7, 2009 6:55:34 PM | 59

Herr Oberst-Leutnant b,

I was a tank-commander and a tank-platoon leader, too. One sometimes does shoot tank guns at things they later wish they hadn't. One cannot always clearly identify targets through sophisticated, magnifying optics - day and night, in rain and through fog. If they could, there would never be friendly fire incidents involving tank guns. Israeli losses have also risen since the ground invasion began on Saturday. The military said that three of its soldiers were killed late Monday night when an Israeli tank shell was mistakenly fired at a building they occupied.

A fourth soldier was also killed Monday night, very possibly also by an Israeli tank shell, the military said.

Reliably identifying, shooting and hitting a target at 2000-3000 meters is not as easy to do as you make it sound. The gunner is usually the second most senior crewman on the tank.

A modern tank is not all that secure and comfortable a place at high speed off-road. The driver is fairly comfortable, the gunner less so, the TC and loader not so much. There is quite a bit of stress for the guys inside if there are dismounts with RPG's and big IED's about, but I guess a Bundeswehr panzer fuehrer would have to be over 80 years old to know about that.

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Jan 8, 2009 2:02:31 PM | 60

@Cannoneer

It is Oberleutnant, not Oberstleutnant.

The Israelis may claim losses from friendly fire because to announce losses from enemy fire would reduce the public support in Israel for the campaign. That is what I suspect at least.

As for the other claims I stand by my words. A tank is the safest place one can find in Gaza by now.


Posted by: b | Jan 8, 2009 2:09:53 PM | 61

So I promoted you.

Do you seriously believe that Israeli parents would rather be told that their sons were killed by Israeli tanks than by Hamas gunmen?

Do you really expect anybody else to buy that?

Press TV reported that the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades - the military wing of Hamas - said it had destroyed an Israeli tank after its ground forces crossed the border with the Gaza Strip late Saturday.

Press TV also says Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, said Wednesday that it had blown up the tank in recent fighting in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Zeitun.

So either Hamas is lying or tanks aren't as safe as you claim they are.

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Jan 8, 2009 2:34:51 PM | 62

Cannoneer will be proven correct, or else the massacre will continue until all traces of his "mis-speak" are removed.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 8, 2009 2:39:05 PM | 63

@62 - there have been 8 Israeli occupiers so far.

In 60 you want me to believe Israeli claims that 4 of those were killed by friendly fire which was never confirmed by the Palestinians. In 62 you want me to believe Izz ad-Din claims they blew up a tank which was never confirmed by the Israeli side.

I do not believe any of these claims unless I find some confirmation from both sides or a report from a neutral source.

Posted by: b | Jan 8, 2009 2:47:17 PM | 64

I only want you to believe that their are other tankers online who might run across your posts and embarrass you, Herr Oberleutnant. Whatever you learned cruising around the major training areas of Central Europe in a Leopard II does not really make you an expert on what Merkava crewmen in Gaza are doing now, does it?

What army relies on the enemy to verify its own friendly fire incidents?

Would Izz ad-Din lie?

What source is neutral?

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Jan 8, 2009 3:39:22 PM | 65

Cannoneer @65:

At first the Israelis claimed "Hamas" fighters were hiding inside and firing mortars from the school. The Israelis even claimed to have identified the bodies of two of them among the dead, and released their supposed names. After the UN emphatically denied the allegations and Israel could come up with no evidence -- because there was none -- Israel has now admitted there was no Palestinian fire from the school, but insists there was fire from outside the building.

So there are two possibilities:

(1) Assuming the Israelis are now telling the truth (ahem), the tank hit the school while trying to hit someone outside the building.

(2) Assuming the Israelis are still lying, the tank hit the school because the crew wanted to hit the school.

By all accounts, the school was clearly marked as a UN facility, and its location had been reported to the Israelis after previous strikes endangering UN facilities.

So either (1) the Israelis deliberately fired at the school, or (2) they fired at a target just outside the school with reckless disregard for the civilians inside a clearly marked UN structure, revealing their so-called "purity of arms" for the BS it actually is.

I'm inclined to believe the first alternative because the Israelis' shifting story is so lame.

"Yes, we admit we fired directly at the school. That's because there were Hamas guys in there firing mortars at us. In fact, we went in there afterwards and identified two of the dead as Hamas fighters. Here are their names. What's that you say? There's no evidence we're telling the truth? Hold on, give us a minute to come up with something. Hmmm. OK, you're right. That stuff we just told you, we made it up. Here's the real story. We were actually trying to, ah, hit someone just outside the building. Yeah, that's it, someone outside the building."

Posted by: Keine Ahnung | Jan 8, 2009 8:26:15 PM | 66

And in which army were you a tanker, No Idea?

This post is titled Tank Gunnery, apparently to blame the Israeli Armored Corps for firing upon the UN school.

Do any of you really know what ordnance the Israelis employed?

b asserts it was 120-MM HEAT-MP-T CARTRIDGE M325. Those are fired by tanks.

Most of the news media says Israeli mortar fire hit the school. 120mm mortar rounds cannot be fired from tank guns.

Mortar fire, tank gun fire, what's the difference?

Almost no one on this thread has any freaking clue, yet all feel qualified to pontificate upon weapons and tactics about which they are ignorant.

Posted by: Canoneer No. 4 | Jan 8, 2009 10:15:20 PM | 67

@67 - the Haaretz piece quoted in the piece above says "Two tank shells exploded outside the Gaza school ..."

While Israeli Merkava tanks also have an internal 60mmm mortar, the high number of dead and wounded point to a more "effective" weapon, i.e. 120 mm HEAT rounds.

On does not need, btw, to have been a tank-gunner to have an opinion on shooting up civilians.

Posted by: b | Jan 8, 2009 10:38:07 PM | 68

One does not need, btw, to have been a tank-gunner to have an opinion on shooting up civilians.

b, we appear to live in a world where that is not the case. But thank you nonetheless for making that simple point.

Posted by: Tantalus | Jan 8, 2009 10:48:59 PM | 69

@67, Almost no one on this thread has any freaking clue, yet all feel qualified to pontificate upon weapons and tactics about which they are ignorant.

Yes, I feel qualified to comment on the bodies of dead children and distraught parents, because I'm a human being. I feel qualified to suggest that weapons and tactics that kill civilians are contrary in every way to what SHOULD constitute basic human morality. You, apparently, feel able to suggest that your experience as a tank commander, and your knowledge of weapons systems, somehow entitles you to put the massacre of 700 people into some sort of safe context understandable only to the perpetrators and therefore beyond the ability of civilians to criticize.

But clearly an ability to empathize with war criminals is something you're proud of.

Posted by: Tantalus | Jan 8, 2009 11:02:04 PM | 70

Cannoneer @67: I never said I am or was a tanker or military personnel of any sort, although I do know the difference between tank mainguns and mortars. As for the assumption that the Israelis hit the school with a tank or tanks, as b @68 writes, that's what the Haaretz article says. Now, regardless of whether it was a tank or mortar fire by the Israelis, can you refute my analysis of the Israelis' falsehoods, or are you just going to shotgun your condescension around the place?

Posted by: Keine Ahnung | Jan 8, 2009 11:29:05 PM | 71

One can get lost in the minutia of how the killing was done, but it won't bring the dead to life.

I doubt it matters much to the dead if it was a magical spell, fancy tank rounds or plain ol' mortar rounds that killed them. Dead is dead, and these poor people are being executed on the world stage to show everyone who wears the pants. The Palestinians are in the wrong place at the wrong time in world history, and they are just another example of what lunacy states are capable of.

The violence against protesters at both of the united state's political parties conventions this past year was another example of the state's love of force against anyone who would speak against it. Anyone who dares stand-up to authority anywhere will be abused to the fullest extent of the law...

We are about to turn a corner and start back-down the alley way to the Dark Ages, where ignorance equals intelligence and keeping quiet is the only way to speak out.

Dave

Posted by: David | Jan 8, 2009 11:44:15 PM | 72

If the tank rounds exploded outside/i> the school, then they must have impacted outside the school, therefore the target was likely outside the school, meaning the school was not specifically targeted by the tank rounds and any collateral damage was just the unfortunate result of servicing targets near buildings. The warheads, assuming the rounds were the type you described, were detonated by a base-located M509A2 Point-Initiating Base-Detonating (PIBD) fuze connected to a sensor at the tip of the standoff spike assembly.

C'est le guerre, Herr Oberleutnant.

One should, btw, demonstrate a minimum level of technical expertise when representing oneself as an expert on Israeli armor.

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Jan 9, 2009 1:42:08 AM | 73

@73

Except that it isn't la guerre, not by any stretch of the imagination. You come in here with your jargon - dismounts, servicing targets, M509A2 PIBD, and expect it to trump the reality of entrails and squirming, legless people.

Posted by: Tantalus | Jan 9, 2009 8:27:51 AM | 74

Jargon can serve to sort out who is a real Bundeswehr panzer fuehrer and who is a poser.

Dismounts are personnel walking about on the ground.

Servicing targets is the acquisition, selection of appropriate weapon and type of ammunition, issuance of fire commands, engagement, and sensing of rounds fired.

M509A2 PIBD is not jargon. That's the official nomenclature of the fuze.

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Jan 9, 2009 9:33:37 AM | 75

Cannoneer#4@75X3-9=

Regarding posers-

I guide flyfishing trips for trout on a river in Colorado. I deal with all sorts of fisherfolk, some are humble and listen to my advice, others are arrogant, outfitted with custom equipment and the nomenclature of trained entomologist.

Given the choice, I'd rather guide the former, rather than the latter. The guys who can tell you exactly what stage of development a mayfly nymph is in are rarely people who can fish, but they're good at memorizing.

They know all sorts of silly little "facts" but nothing about how those really apply to a given situation.

One may know how to service a target, and even what the proper nomenclature of a fuze is, this only means that said human has become a machine, something less than a human.

Any machine can be programed to find targets, select the right round and fire–shouldn't the human part of this machine have the ability to reason that a tank round, even one designed to explode from a command, not impact, is a horrible choice of weapon to respond to a mortar position near a school, if indeed such a position existed in the first place?

Just a thought,

Dave


Posted by: David | Jan 9, 2009 10:15:48 AM | 76

Cannoneer @73:

You claim that if HEAT rounds exploded outside the school, then they must have hit something outside the school, not the school itself. But a HEAT round fired at and hitting a solid building would explode just outside the structure, wouldn't it? In fact, the penetration ability of a HEAT round is based on exterior detonation, right?

Also, you still haven't addressed why the first excuse the Israelis came up with was tailored to a situation where rounds were fired directly at the school. They claimed "Hamas" fighters were in the school, hiding among the civilians there and firing mortars.

Posted by: Keine Ahnung | Jan 9, 2009 1:21:14 PM | 77

IDF investigation shows errant mortar hit UN building in Gaza

Tank gunnery had nothing to do with it.

120-MM HEAT-MP-T CARTRIDGE M325 was not the ordnance involved.

Your credibility isn't any better than the IDF Spokespersons, Herr Oberleutnant.

You should pick what to pose as more carefully.

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Jan 11, 2009 9:11:37 PM | 78

@ Sam #52 - Pick another handle 2's a crowd.

@ Cannoneer #78 - The IDF has no more credibility constantly changing explanations than the Jessica Lynch Pentagon has. After all the earlier lies how do we know this isn't another lie and why do you accept it now without question? The first casualty of war is the truth. And this isn't even a war it is a slaughter.

Posted by: Sam | Jan 12, 2009 2:01:27 AM | 79

One of the touchstones of the war so far has been the fate of a group of Palestinian civilians fleeing the fighting who were lining up to enter a United Nations school. They were killed on Jan. 6 in an exchange of mortar fire between Hamas fighters and Israeli troops.

Witnesses, including Hanan Abu Khajib, 39, said that Hamas fired just outside the school compound, probably from the secluded courtyard of a house across the street, 25 yards from the school. Israeli return fire, some minutes later, also landed outside the school, along the southwest wall, killing two Hamas fighters. Nearly all the casualties were in the street outside the compound, with only three people wounded from shrapnel inside the walls. -- STEVEN ERLANGER, NYT

You people lend credence to Palestinian "witnesses," don't you?


Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Jan 17, 2009 3:39:36 PM | 80

Mr. Cannoneer No. 4,

are you of "Defend Israel on the Internets" 101Keyboardbrigade?

you are very boring

Posted by: sabine | Jan 17, 2009 4:14:10 PM | 81

Cannoneer No. 4:

You people lend credence to Palestinian "witnesses," don't you?

Since when did John Ging become Palestinian? Perhaps you could provide us with a link? And you linking to the Judy Miller WMD in Iraq Times is credence? Here's the best line in the article you linked to:

But after completing its initial inquiry, the army now has returned to its first version — that Hamas militants fired from inside the school compound.

Now what does that say about your post at #78, which you used to attack the credibility of others on this board? If it was just errant fire as stated in the link you provided @78 there would have been no need to tell so many lies in the first place. Now that the UN is talking war crimes investigations the story changes again from errant to justification. How predictable.

Posted by: Sam | Jan 17, 2009 4:31:47 PM | 82

sam & sabine

these creeps like the cannoneer whose proximity to arms is probably his insignificant phallus. whose only war is the one he watches secretly at night while family & children are in bed - testify to the saddest of pathologies -- that of the individual who wills himself into insignificance

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 17, 2009 4:57:17 PM | 83

Was it mortar fire or was it 120-MM HEAT-MP-T CARTRIDGE M325 tank fire?

If it wasn't tank fire, then the legitimacy of a thread entitled Tank Gunnery condemning Israeli tankers is shot, to any who retain the ability to think about it rather than emote all over the screen.

Comments by people who don't know their breech from their muzzle provide amusement, especially when they proudly proclaim virtue in their ignorance.

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Jan 17, 2009 5:21:48 PM | 84

Sorry kids, about inviting Johnny one note...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 17, 2009 5:36:56 PM | 85

Cannoneer no. 4,

Google Dr Abu al-Aish.

I proudly proclaim virtue in my ignorance as to why I should accept collateral damage as an excuse for mass-murder.

Posted by: Tantalus | Jan 17, 2009 5:40:55 PM | 86

An incendiary error

Now it appears the school wasn’t hit at all. Canada’s Globe and Mail reports that, according to local eye-witnesses, those who died were all outside the school in the street where all three Israeli shells landed

Mortar shells, by the way. Tank gunnery had absolutely nothing to do with it.

UNRWA Admits: IDF Didn't Hit School

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Jan 31, 2009 11:41:58 PM | 87

ahhh - primary sources - Globe and Mail:

News of the tragedy travelled fast, with aid workers and medical staff quoted as saying the incident happened at the school, the UNRWA facility where people had sought refuge.

Soon it was presented that people in the school compound had been killed. Before long, there was worldwide outrage.

Sensing a public-relations nightmare, Israeli spokespeople quickly asserted that their forces had only returned fire from gunmen inside the school. (They even named two militants.) It was a statement from which they would later retreat, saying there were gunmen in the vicinity of the school.

No witnesses said they saw any gunmen. (If people had seen anyone firing a mortar from the middle of the street outside the school, they likely would not have continued to mill around.)

John Ging, UNRWA's operations director in Gaza, acknowledged in an interview this week that all three Israeli mortar shells landed outside the school and that "no one was killed in the school."

"I told the Israelis that none of the shells landed in the school," he said.

Why would he do that?

"Because they had told everyone they had returned fire from gunmen in the school. That wasn't true."

Mr. Ging blames the Israelis for the confusion over where the victims were killed. "They even came out with a video that purported to show gunmen in the schoolyard. But we had seen it before," he said, "in 2007."

The Israelis are the ones, he said, who got everyone thinking the deaths occurred inside the school.

"Look at my statements," he said. "I never said anyone was killed in the school. Our officials never made any such allegation."

So the Israelis, from which I picked the story (Haaretz), gave the false information. ...

Posted by: b | Feb 1, 2009 12:44:52 AM | 88

'World duped by Hamas death count'

The international community had been given a vastly distorted impression of the death toll because of "false reporting" by Hamas, said Col. Moshe Levi, the head of the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), which compiled the IDF figures.

As an example of such distortion, he cited the incident near a UN school in Jabalya on January 6, in which initial Palestinian reports falsely claimed IDF shells had hit the school and killed 40 or more people, many of them civilians.

In fact, he said, 12 Palestinians were killed in the incident - nine Hamas operatives and three noncombatants. Furthermore, as had since been acknowledged by the UN, the IDF was returning fire after coming under attack, and its shells did not hit the school compound.

"From the beginning, Hamas claimed that 42 people were killed, but we could see from our surveillance that only a few stretchers were brought in to evacuate people," said Levi, adding that the CLA contacted the PA Health Ministry and asked for the names of the dead. "We were told that Hamas was hiding the number of dead."

Dupes.

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Feb 17, 2009 4:59:37 AM | 89

Nobody is duped by either you or the quote you dug out of the Jerusalem Post -- or, should I say, supplied by the IFF, the Israeli Fascist Force. Go troll somewhere else. The last guy Israel sent to this Blog left after only a few hours with his/her tail between his/her legs. Don't waste your time disseminating Israeli Fascist propaganda here, and warn your handlers that MoA is off-limits.

Try Yahoo blogs, you may get lucky.

Posted by: Parviz | Feb 17, 2009 6:28:11 AM | 90


Israeli Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group
Published 2009/01/19 PSYOP Auxiliaries

Israel recruits ‘army of bloggers’ to combat anti-Zionist Web sites

By Cnaan Liphshiz

The Immigrant Absorption Ministry announced on Sunday it was setting up an “army of bloggers,” to be made up of Israelis who speak a second language, to represent Israel in “anti-Zionist blogs” in English, French, Spanish and German.

The program’s first volunteer was Sandrine Pitousi, 31, from Kfar Maimon, situated five kilometers from Gaza. “I heard about the project over the radio and decided to join because I’m living in the middle of the conflict,” she said.

Before hanging up the phone prematurely following a Color Red rocket alert, Pitousi, who immigrated to Israel from France in 1993, said she had some experience with public relations from managing a production company.

“During the war, we looked for a way to contribute to the effort,” the ministry’s director general, Erez Halfon, told Haaretz. “We turned to this enormous reservoir of more than a million people with a second mother tongue.” Other languages in which bloggers are sought include Russian and Portuguese.

Halfon said volunteers who send the Absorption Ministry their contact details by e-mail, at media@moia.gov.il, will be registered according to language, and then passed on to the Foreign Ministry’s media department, whose personnel will direct the volunteers to Web sites deemed “problematic.”

Within 30 minutes of announcing the program, which was approved by the Foreign Ministry on Sunday, five volunteers were already in touch, Halfon said.

Sounds like New Media engagement by Civilian Irregular Public Diplomacy Auxiliaries. I’d love to see the Foreign Ministry’s list of ‘problematic’ English-language Web sites. The Bush Administration could have done something almost exactly like this, could have rounded up an Army of Counter Insurgent Supportive Bloggers to represent the pro-victory side on anti-war blogs, could have pushed back.

Hook this Army of Bloggers up to GIYUS and Megaphone and let the CYOP begin.

UPDATE 200901200010: Latest hasbara weapon: ‘Army of bloggers’

Posted by: Parviz | Feb 17, 2009 6:30:05 AM | 91

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