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Former Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress for almost 20 years on Gaza, fleeing Hitler and the '48 war.
Looks like it should be interesting.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
I don't think the CNN reporter who called it "complicated" has been posting in here, have they?
Anyway, placing weapons in schools may be illegal, immoral, etc., etc., etc., but I still don't see it as using "human shields" under any legal definition that has thus far been presented. Which is what I was talking about in the post quoted.
I don't know where you're from Citizen Slaunyeh--I've always had the sense that you were European of some sort but maybe that's because you used to have the same avatar as someone else--but the propaganda machine of the United States is so one-sided, so selective of what they report, so misleading on many things, that people can come into a thread about the horrors of what is going on in Ukraine and declare that one side is completely evil because they, according to the American press, bragged about shooting down a civilian airliner and looted it while laughing.
Not only that, but they went from being evil rebels to American media boogieman phrase of choice "terrorists" in the space of about three posts.
I know the Russian media is just as bad. I know the Russian government is just as bad. I know the pro-Russian separatist leadership in Luhansk and Donetsk are just as bad as the, yes, fascist-infested Ukrainian army and government.
Shooting down a civilian airliner while under the false understanding that it is a military plane is a tragic, but, alas, not terribly unique phenomenon. The differing ways the stories are reported depending on who did it is a source of endless fascination for me and, I hope, a relevant topic.
But, as an American, although not a proud one, I cringe when I read posts like that and worry about what non-Americans think about us.
However, I apologize for being mean and snarky to you, Citizen Aranna. I don't know you, unlike the rest of the imperialist running-dog stooges in here, and it was rude and unhelpful.
Really, that's the best you've got?
Have fun discussing the differing alignments of Putin, Kerry, the right-wing pro-Russian separatists and the right-wing Ukrainian government.
Thank you, Citizen Spawn, I never would have known that AJ was a biased purveyor of Qatari (Qatarish?) propaganda if you hadn't told me.
I found a, hopefully, non-Islamist nor non-Qatari propaganda source that covers the same ground for those who would like to investigate further. I'm not quite sure what city this Telegraph from, so I'm guessing London.
Anyway, it'll be interesting to make a first point in 2017, one hundred year after the revolution to see how Russia advanced over that time.
Yes, it will be interesting to note how far the living standards of the ex-Soviet working class has fallen since the counterrevolution of '91, how far they have regressed in issues of women's rights and all the other indexes (indices?) of social progress.
I mean, sure, they aren't ruled by a bunch of authoritarian, tyrannical bureaucrats anymore, but...
Good guys? Obviously not. Assuming what you say is true the US was tactless and arrogant in the extreme. But unless they went in laughing and looted the valuables from the wreckage of the downed Iranian airliner I would not say evil.
Ah, so what tips them from CN to CE is the laughing and looting. Got it.
It's kind of amazing how many non-Hamas people are cited as examples of Hamas using human shields in that article.
No expert, as I've said, but I follow the link on Popular Resistance Committees, and I find that they are a separate faction, third in size after Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The PFLP (GC), of course, are also not Hamas.
The Human Rights Watch press release about their previous press release about the PRC is worth linking, I think:
Pro-Russian separatists brag about shooting down a Ukrainian military plane, discover it is a civilian airliner, cover their asses: evil incarnate.
The United States shoots down an Iranian airliner, refuses to apologize and awards the commander of the Vincennes the Legion of Merit: good guys?
Btw, I read in an unrelated article by some lifelong leftie muckraker that al-Jazeera broadcast a documentary earlier this year "proving" (in the muckraker's words) that the Pan Am 103 bombing was carried out not by Libya, but by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (General Command) at the beshest of the Islamic Republic of Iran in revenge for the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655.
Well, I'm almost there, but not quite.
Red Cross cites "Third Geneva Convention (with respect to prisoners of war), the Fourth Geneva Convention (with respect to protected civilians) and Additional Protocol I (with respect to civilians in general)" as the source of the legal definition of "human shields."
They also summarize the following:
Definition of human shields
The prohibition of using human shields in the Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocol I and the Statute of the International Criminal Court are couched in terms of using the presence (or movements) of civilians or other protected persons to render certain points or areas (or military forces) immune from military operations. Most examples given in military manuals, or which have been the object of condemnations, have been cases where persons were actually taken to military objectives in order to shield those objectives from attacks. The military manuals of New Zealand and the United Kingdom give as examples the placing of persons in or next to ammunition trains. There were many condemnations of the threat by Iraq to round up and place prisoners of war and civilians in strategic sites and around military defence points. Other condemnations on the basis of this prohibition related to rounding up civilians and putting them in front of military units in the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Liberia.
In the Review of the Indictments in the Karadžić and Mladić case, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia qualified physically securing or otherwise holding peacekeeping forces against their will at potential NATO air targets, including ammunition bunkers, a radar site and a communications centre, as using “human shields”.
It can be concluded that the use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives.
I'm getting tired, so I may be getting sloppy, but I don't see how hiding rockets in a vacant school is "using the presence (or movements) of civilians or other protected persons to render certain points or areas (or military forces) immune from military operations." I mean, how are you rendering a point immune from military operations if you're hiding rockets there?
I don't know. Maybe I'm descending into sophistry, but I have a cynical suspicion that international law is all about sophistry.
"In Germany, the law does not permit the issue of shares for less than one thousand marks denomination, and the magnates of German finance look with an envious eye at England, where the issue of one-pound shares ( = 20 marks, about 10 rubles) is permitted."
--V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism: A Popular Outline
Citizen Fischer wrote:
Hmmm. I can work with that. Let's break it down.
Type 1: Placement of non-combatants around combat targets to deter enemy from attacking those targets.
Comrade Anklebiter writes:
Actually, whether or not that is Hamas's modus operandi is pretty much what is under contention.
For example, here is the first article that gets spit out of my search engine when I look for "Hamas" and "human shields":
As I've said before, no expert here, just a dude who loads trucks who happens to be a lifelong communist with a passing interest in world affairs and a search engine, but, if the case was as clear as many seem to think, then I have a hard time understanding why CNN reports that it is "complicated" or that they've got someone from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (which sounds like a plutocrat thing to me, but I could be wrong) saying "It would be impossible at this point to say how much truth there is to the human shield argument." I'm sure there's a CAMERA article or Breitbart report that claims otherwise, but I find it hard to believe either of them are purveyors of Islamist propaganda.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
I noticed that one of the dudes cited in the Islamist propaganda piece above made a distinction between careless endangering of civilians and "human shields."
I go looking for the UN definition of "human shields," but got bored and settled for wikipedia.
"Human shield is a military and political term describing the deliberate placement of non-combatants in or around combat targets to deter the enemy from attacking these targets. It may also refer to the use of persons to literally shield combatants during attacks, by forcing them to march in front of the soldiers. A third meaning is when a combatant holds another person in front of them to shield them from projectiles (usually bullets), often by holding then in a headlock or nelson hold."
Anyone else got anything?
Lord Snow wrote:
I've been chatting with my friend,
Lord Snow wrote:
I am sorry that you think I am cheating.
You ask me what I would do if I was a kid in a uniform. When I was 18 I was the (not very good) organizer for the Boston Spartacus Youth Club.
If you were to ask me what I would do if I was someone other than myself, then I'd say I'd probably behave like any other scared kid given a weapon and told to go kill other people with weapons who are trying to kill me. Which, if anything I've ever read in the last twenty years is any indication, is often not very well.
And then I would refer you to Comrade Jeff's reply, particularly the second part.
Kingpinmaker, Game N
The party spent the next couple of days aboard The Whale sailing back to Blackcove. We looked up all of the rules for using ballistas and cannons, and the players had fun assigning NPCs to each of the weapons, counting their money, and identifying their magic goodies.
Somewhere in there, Giles O. Beck and Esmerelda Bandawax, out of the kindness of their good, good hearts, offered a home to Toby and Jillian Poodlecock as cook and groundskeeper at the Foxglove Manor, helping keep up the illusion [stifles giggle] that the house is haunted. What else? More role-playing with, for example, Barbie Ragnarock spying on Symoreel Singha having a lesbian encounter with Princess Mwangli and getting secret instruction about retrieving "The Heart of the Jungle" from The Mack Daddy's guildhall, the consolation of Urzzak's young apprentice who was moved to throw his mask into the waves and be adopted into the Jambala Jaeg, Buck Rogers telling Genny that if she wanted to make contact with the Bellflower Network she'd have to find a contact in Pezzack named "Doodlebug," etc., etc.
After the appropriate amount of time, boom! the player up in the crow's nest (I forget who) sees a great fin break the water. Boo-yah! A megaladon! Genny's player shot me a dirty look, because he had been talking about megaladons before the game began, but I swear, I already had it planned before he brought it up.
Anyway, it was a pretty fun fight and the reason it was so fun was it so fast! Megaladon attacks, Captain takes evasive manuevers, Megaladon eats poor Umja, the players unload their sparkling new toys into Megaladon, repeat once, Megaladon is blown to shreds and slinks back into the deep waters with single digit hit points. Huzzah!
Couple of days later, they arrive in the waters off of Blackcove assuming the worst. They pass by the Magical Island of Nas-Kashel and see rowboats beached by the Wedding Rock. "Oh no, how did the zombies use rowboats?!?" The party gets in their dinghy and heads out to investigate. Genny sees a woman's face, transclucent and shimmery, peek out of the waves. Players freak out. Two nixies rise up out of the water, set to charm. Esmerelda gets to go first, though, and cheats with her Bardic Knowledge ability again. "They're nixies" I say, "And you remember that Lira Sauvuren, the Blackcove town druid, was friends with nixies and all kinds of ocean creatures." The party starts parleying, drops Lira's name, the nixies relax, "What are you doing in The Whale?" they ask. "Oh you know The Whale?" "Of course we know The Whale, big old galley with a penisbone masthead, owned by The Mack Daddy, everyone under the seas knows The Whale." Anyway, they're lucky they have Esmerelda around, because I had augmented the nixies with an oceanid, and I bet I could have drowned at least one of them.
Anyway, they return to Blackcove, find out that it was not turned into a plague zombie infestation town--it turns out Gerlach the Fishman Sorcerer has learned to control the undead, hmmm--break the bad news about the death of "Lord Urzzak", get a tour of all the new construction that has gone on since they were gone, particularly the new temple of Rovagug (!!!), Barbie Ragnarock is reunited with poor Sven who is a mess of scars and blind in one eye (he quickly forgave her and the two retired to get better reacquainted) and are told there will be a feast tonight in the memory of Urzzak and Barnacle Bettye. Bunch of other unsettling stuff, night falls, feast starts, party, party, party, Gerlach stands up, clears his fishy throat, makes a moving speech about the recent history of the town and the heroism of Lord Urzzak, and, to finish, yells out "Bring in the sacrifice!"
"What?!?" says the party in unison, as the villagers break out an In Darkest Africa-style drum circle and Lira Sauvuren leads in a manacled Chelish tax collector! "Death to Cheliax! Long live Rovagug!" the villagers chant. The party freaks out, much roleplaying and Diplomacy ("But Lord Urzzak said live like a Chelish pig, die like Chelish pig..." "I don't care what he said, you can't sacrifice tax collectors to Rovagug! Don't you think somebody will notice when the tax collector goes missing?!?"), etc. Everyone decides that maybe Blackcove isn't a good place for the ex-slaves to stay, grab the poor tax collector, and head back to The Whale.
After that, they headed back to Pezzack and got attacked by another bunch of strix. These strix, though, had four seventh-level characters among them, but, the party kicked their butts pretty soundly. It was a pretty cool fight, with cannons and flying combatants, but I am afraid I don't recall most of the cool details. Suffice to say, after years of playing together, I think the party is finally starting to cohere into a lean, mean, semi-tactical D&D playing machine. Huzzah!
Game ends with The Whale a day's sail away from Pezzack.
Giles! What are you doing here?!? Um [looks around to make sure the house is in order], wow, you were here on Thursday?
That only reinforces how negligent I have been in posting. :(
You're right about the manacled pirate, of course. I had remembered that over the weekend but forget to come and correct my post.
Genny can't come to this weekend's game, alas, and I'm not sure about Symoreel quite yet. I'll send you an invisible messenger soon.
Anyway, here's that list I was talking about:
Starting with the Princess, we're talking about Mwangi humans, somewhere around Mobutoo or Umja we grade down to Mwangi halfling, and by the time we get to Gillis and Barley, we're talking Chelish halflings, the last two an elderly married couple.
Because Hamas has absolutely no reason to lie about committing war crimes, amIright?
"Look, I am not a fan of Hamas. You can look through my post record in this thread and the one Lord Snow started last time.It wouldn't surprise me if they did use human shields; at the same time, I'm not just going to accept the word of you, Lord Snow or, particularly, Doug's Workshop."
Hmm, I wonder what that might mean.
How about defining the word "close to" as relates to both Israel and to Hamas?
I checked out the Amnesty International report linked in the article, and, upon cursory examination, I don't see those words anywhere on the page. I google the quote, find it cited by other sources, including Agent France Presse and wikipedia, but still can't find the report that actually says those words. I leave it other googlers to find it because I have to go to work soon.
Regardless, you acknowledge that Israel has designated military targets and non-military targets, where as Hamas does not.
I don't recall acknowledging any such thing. If you are referring to something in the piece that you quoted, I would point out that Hessam Akhlaghpour wrote it, not I.
Fathi Hammad: [The enemies of Allah] do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: "We desire death like you desire life."
Assuming the translation is accurate, your youtube video is hardly the smoking gun you seem to think it is. "They" have formed human shields, not "we use them as human shields."
Look, I am not a fan of Hamas. You can look through my post record in this thread and the one Lord Snow started last time. It wouldn't surprise me if they did use human shields; at the same time, I'm not just going to accept the word of you, Lord Snow or, particularly, Doug's Workshop.
As for abolishing religion, no, I'm pretty sure my comrades in the region don't have a plan for that. It would be rather anti-Marxist.
Lord Snow, it is difficult to format a response to your post without coming across all wall-of-texty with every other sentence in a quotes tag, so I'm just going to free form it:
Re: Frank Luntz's report: I am not implying anything. I am posting an article by one of my favorite Middle East reporters with the word "Cock" in his surname. If readers are able to detect echoes of Luntz's work in their preferred news outlet of choice, or in this thread, then I find it well worth posting. If there is a handbook for Hamas, I'd be happy to look at articles about it.
Re: The 5 Misconceptions Piece: Well, it's not like I prefaced the post with a disclaimer about Islamist propaganda or anything. That being said, I find your specific criticisms to be based on misreadings of the text. Perhaps, Islamist propaganda disclaimer, the text is purposefully misleading, but still:
Spoilered to prevent wall of text:
1) I'm not sure how "accepted" the argument is that they have no choice but to mix with civilians. One of the links that you can click leads to one Frank Roth saying that it is still illegal. The point, however, is that it doesn't qualify as using "human shields," which, of course, is the point of the section of the article.
2) I don't see any non-acceptance of the idea that it would be difficult to avoid civilian casualties by lobbing missiles into a concentration camp. What I do see is a rejection of the idea that Israel never targets civilians. To substantiate this, reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are cited.
3) The article points out that an Amnesty International points out that "The report also points out that Israel behaves similarly by placing military bases and headquarters in or around residential areas of Israeli cities and conducting military activities 'close to civilian areas in the south of Israel.'"
3) The article does not absurdly accept Hamas's twitter account claims.
"Anyone who paid attention to the twitter account of Hamas' military wing (recently suspended) would have noticed that whenever they announced they were launching rockets at Israeli cities, they would claim they were targeting military bases. It would be absurd to blame potential Israeli civilian casualties on the Israeli Defense Force for placing military bases close to residential areas. But blaming Palestinian civilian casualties on Hamas is quite normal."
As to your hypothetical question, I have no answer, because as a lifelong opponent of imperialist militarism, I would never voluntarily serve in an occupation army. If drafted, I'd either follow the precedent of the refuseniks and refuse to serve, or the Bolsheviks and organize for international proletarian socialist revolution within the army.
The part about "voluntarily serving as a human shield" is in reference to hospitals and homes, not Hamas operatives. Unfortunately, the youtube video that the article links to demonstrate its point has already been taken down.
Alright, Mizrahim are another name for Sephardim, Druze are those dudes who trace themselves from Moses's uncle or something, who the hell are the Hardeim?!?
In my defense, it's a very dense thread.
And before anyone can go for the obvious snark, [Smacks Dicey]
There has been another Update to the "It Turns Out..." piece:
Rosenfeld, the Israeli spokesperson, is seeking to clarify that while the lone cell did not receive direct orders from Hamas, it was still affiliated. “The kidnapping and murder of the teens was carried out by Hamas terrorists from the Hebron area,” he claimed in comments to The Daily Beast (//www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/27/israeli-official-at-heart-of-t wit-fit-still-blames-hamas-for-june-kidnappings.html) . “The security organizations are continuing to search for the murderers.”
But Donnison, the BBC journalist, is not backtracking from his earlier reporting:
For those asking, I stick by 100% tweets regarding comments made to me by Israeli police spokes Mickey Rosenfeld. He said it. Period. 1/2
I am also reminded that I haven't checked in on Libya in quite a while, and while it is a bit old, it is by a Cockburn:
Those who have been around may remember me yelling at a bunch of the participants in this thread and calling them "stooges of imperialism." I am not in the least bit sorry.
Dead civilians will eventually take their toll in the Egyptian news cycle if the military is seen as supporting Israel though.
Maybe, maybe not. I don't know. But Uri, otoh:
"Take Egypt, ruled by a bloodstained military dictator. He is a full-time collaborator with Israel, as was Hosny Mubarak before him, only more efficient. Since Israel controls all the other land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian border is Gaza’s only outlet to the world.
"But Egypt, the former leader of the Arab world, is now a subcontractor of Israel, more determined than Israel itself to starve the Gaza Strip and kill Hamas. Egyptian TV is full of 'journalists' who curse the Palestinians in the most vulgar terms and grovel before their new Pharaoh. But Egypt now insists on being the sole broker of the cease-fire."
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I am bumping because a) I forgot to mention that Uri is an ex-Irgun member, oddly enough; and, b) there was an interesting quote about Egypt in here. Lemme dig it out...
Hmm, well, I'm nowhere near looking through all of the links yet, so it is quite possible that I am falling victim to Islamist propaganda, but I'll link them anyway:
In particular, I was interested in the assertions in Point 4:
Misconception 4. Hamas uses human shields.
Israel tries to explain the high civilian tolls by blaming Hamas for using human shields. The claim is that Hamas stores weapons and launches rockets near residential areas, leaving Israel with no choice but to bomb those locations.
That Hamas launches and stores rockets near densely populated residential areas must inevitably be true, since Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth and if Hamas had designated an area for military operations, it would be instantly pulverized by Israeli forces. But, this does not necessarily qualify as using "human shields," defined as "intentionally using civilians to shield a military objective." So, for example, the weapons that were discovered in one UNRWA school last week (an incident described as "the first of its kind), does not confirm the "human shield" allegations, because the school was vacant at the time.
Amnesty International investigated Israel's previous claims in 2009 and found "no evidence Palestinian fighters directed civilians to shield military objectives from attacks, forced them to stay in buildings used by militants or prevented them from leaving commandeered building." The same report found that on several occasions the Israeli forces, however, "had forced Palestinians to serve as human shields," as also confirmed by Human Rights Watch and the UN.
Amnesty's report acknowledges that Palestinian armed groups were endangering civilians by "firing rockets from residential areas and storing weapons, explosives and ammunition in them," but also acknowledged that mixing with the civilian population "would be difficult to avoid in the small and overcrowded Gaza Strip, and there is no evidence that they did so with the intent of shielding themselves." The report also points out that Israel behaves similarly by placing military bases and headquarters in or around residential areas of Israeli cities and conducting military activities "close to civilian areas in the south of Israel."
Anyone who paid attention to the twitter account of Hamas' military wing (recently suspended) would have noticed that whenever they announced they were launching rockets at Israeli cities, they would claim they were targeting military bases. It would be absurd to blame potential Israeli civilian casualties on the Israeli Defense Force for placing military bases close to residential areas. But blaming Palestinian civilian casualties on Hamas is quite normal.
Furthermore, forcing civilians to act as human shields for military objectives should not be confused with activists voluntarily acting as human shields to protect hospitals and homes. The former is a war crime and should be condemned, but the latter is a courageous form of nonviolent resistance and should be praised.
Also, I saw an article about it earlier on Mondoweiss, but I have a preference for writers with the last name "Cockburn."
Arturius Fischer wrote:
For the record, I am the biggest hater of on-topic threads in the OTD. This is illustrated by my linking of articles about the Western Sahara and Armenian gangbangers in Syria in this very thread.
My only point above was that this thread exists and focuses on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict because an Israeli Paizonian, the much beloved Lord Snow, started it.
Freehold DM wrote:
I imagine that Citizen Workshop is encouraging the US to arm the Kurds in northern Iraq, Comrade Freehold.
Doug's Workshop wrote:
Um, I don't know if you know this or not, but the OP is Israeli. Anyone wants to start a thread about Syria or Iraq or Libya, I'd be happy to participate.
Hmm. Well, a quick skim doesn't indicate any distancing between Egypt and Israel. Perhaps I'm missing something?