Left I on the News
A leftwing view of the day's news and the way it's presented in the media
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The "most moral" military
So they tell us, repeatedly, channeling Joseph "Big Lie" Goebbels:
"I can say that the IDF (the Israeli military) is the most moral army in the world," Israeli military Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi was quoted by Ha'aretz as saying on Monday.Do tell:
A group of UN human rights experts said on Monday that Israeli forces had used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield and to protect themselves from being shot by fighters in the Gazan neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa.Nor was it just children used as human shields, it was even Red Crescent ambulances:
Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary-general's envoy for protecting children in armed conflict, said Israeli soldiers ordered the boy to walk in front of them and enter buildings to assure the safety of the troops.
Medics have also said their ambulances were used as human shields by the Israeli army. Ambulance driver Hassan Kalhout described one such ordeal: "They were firing mortars and phosphorus bombs at the houses. They placed our vehicles in front of them while they continued to fire. They made us stay in the ambulances and used us as cover as they fired on civilians."Obviously the use of human shields is only one of hundreds of acts whose relation to "morality" is strictly orthogonal:
Coomaraswamy explained that the Israeli army shot Palestinian children, bulldozed a home with a woman and child still inside and shelled a building they had ordered civilians into a day earlier.As noted two days ago, 16 Palestinian medical personnel in total were killed by Israeli fire; another 25 were wounded, not to mention the wounded who died because they didn't receive medical care thanks to those attacks on medical personnel.
"Violations were reported on a daily basis, too numerous to list," Coomaraswamy asserted.
And how "moral" is it to kill people (whether paramedics and the wounded, as in this case, or otherwise) with weapons which would be fit to appear in any horror movie?
Paramedics Khaled Abu Saada and Arafa Abdel Daym [were] hit by an Israeli tank shell packed with 8,000 flechettes ‑ dart-like nails ‑ as they moved one of three wounded civilians into their ambulance.Only a military which knows no morality, regardless of legality, would even consider using such weapons, not to mention the equally evil use of white phosphorous and "DIME" shells, two more weapons straight out of the bowels of hell.
The patient died instantly; the paramedic died on the way to hospital.
Saada was thrown to the ground with three flechettes in the back of his head. "I picked myself up and found Arafa kneeling down with his hands up in the air and praying to God, his body was riddled with darts," he said. "The patient was in pieces, his head was missing. I was hysterical."
Oh, but there's good news too. Remember three weeks ago when the Israelis refused entry of 90 tons of pasta into Gaza and the U.S. State Department spokesperson wouldn't even go on record as denying it might be a "dual-use" item? Well, not to worry, because now that the Gazans have had a little more chance to starve, Israel has "bowed to U.S. pressure" (so we're told) and agreed that it will (future tense) lift restrictions on pasta, cheese, hummus (!), and other food items entering Gaza. This hasn't actually happened, mind you, and is subject to reversal the moment Netanyahu takes office, and of course the alleged possible future lifting of restrictions doesn't include anything that might be necessary to rebuild Gaza, like cement and steel, but such promises of slightly less immoral behavior in the future are what passes for "good news" on the "Israel is the most moral" front.
Three billion dollars a year of U.S. money goes to support this immorality, not to mention Security Council vetoes and other political support. It's time to put an end to that, now.