We typically design physical operations first, then craft supporting information operations to explain our actions. This is the reverse of al-Qaida’s approach. For all our professionalism, compared to the enemy’s, our public information is an afterthought. In military terms, for al-Qaida the ‘main effort’ is information; for us, information is a ‘supporting effort.

David Kilcullen, Countering the Terrorist Mentality, New Paradigms for 21st Century Conflict

In the late 1990s with the advent of massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGS), one of the early challenges that game developers and game masters faced was to generate expected behavior patterns from the mass of players that were flocking to these early games at the time. Large communities playing in these graphics based environments was a new phenomenon that many programmers did not have experience in dealing with, and it was initially difficult for the programmers to associate the impact their content would have on the larger gaming community. Sometime in 1999-2000 time frame, the process of programmers developing content to create expected behavior patterns by players within these massive online gaming communities was affectionately termed “Herding Cats.”

Manipulation of mass media for political influence is both art and science, and represents a psychological warfare capability that non-state actors and political non-government organizations continue to demonstrate remarkable skill and mastery. On May 28th, before the intercept of the Gaza flotilla by Israeli Defense Forces, the Christian Science Monitor ran a story with the headline Why Israel expects to lose the PR war. In the article, expectations of defeat are expressed before the intercept of the flotilla even began.

“We know one thing for sure, in the media we are going to lose the war anyhow,” says Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for Israel’s Defense Ministry. “It doesn’t matter what we do, if we let them into Gaza, they will speak against Israel. If we stop them it will also be a bad picture.”

What I find remarkable is the fatality of the operation expressed in the article. The expectation established in the information space was one of defeat – before the operation even began. If you read the article in full, you will note how the NGO narrative had already been established before the incident, indeed the conclusion in the article is how “The protesters could keep the story prominent in the international media if they fight deportation.” Noteworthy, the protesters are doing exactly that today by withholding their identities.

Whether one believes Israel has a chance to win the information war or not is almost irrelevant, the question I have is why Israel didn’t even try to compete in the information war? The videos that show the actions by the Gaza Flotilla are certainly powerful, but those videos arrived after the NGO had already established the narrative, and the release of the videos was hardly part of a coordinated effort. Indeed, understanding that the battlefield is the information space should give Israel the advantage in developing their operation – but there is little evidence that supports this is evident?

Consider for a moment – the operation that was executed involved fast roping Israels premier anti-terrorism commando unit, armed with paint guns, directly into an angry mob at night that had repeatedly expressed their intention to either run the blockade or generate a confrontation for information purposes – and the intelligence assessment used to develop this operation expected little resistance? There was failure in the tactics for boarding, failure in choosing the equipment used by the boarding party, and a massive failure in intelligence. It is hard to expect anything but failure in the information war as well – and sure enough…fail.

If you believe the Gaza Flotilla is an information operation intended to herd the cats of mass media into a narrative – which is what I believe is the ultimate intention of the NGO effort here – then we can presume to already know the narrative of the second flotilla. The NGO desires a clash on June 8th. Why? Because by creating a clash on June 8th the mass media can be expected to include a reminder of the anniversary of the USS Liberty incident 43 years ago as part of the narrative. We can expect the NGO to fortify the ship in ways that prevent the use of cameras from other ships or aircraft. Why? Because cameras from helicopters and Israeli ships represent a greater threat than the actual IDF commandos do – if you believe the battlefield is the information space. The ship will be more fortified internally? Why? Because the open space of the open deck favors the Israelis, but the small compartments of the ship favor the defenders in creating opportunities to control camera angles and perception of events to onlookers thousands of miles away.

The battlefield off the coast of Israel is in the information space, not the Mediterranean Sea. The weapons that matter most to the Free Gaza Movement are cameras, not firearms or paint guns. Political protests at sea can be defined in their basic form as a political strategy for maritime information war operations – thus to quote Sun Tzu, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy. Instead, Israel blundered with every step right into the enemy’s strategy.




Posted by galrahn in Uncategorized


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • Marcase

    Whenever there is talk about Psyops/media strategy, there is always the argument that we, in the West, have freedom of speech and a free press. Those pillars of democracy are always towering over any psyops plan, even considering that we have the most professional media industry in the world.

    Bottom line, we are “too honest” to have an effective media/psyops campaign. We prefer embeds and ‘see all, tell all’ access for journalists who then provide an impartial – but hopefully favorable – report.

  • Fnord

    Good article. I think one of the main problems with the current Israeli administration is that it seems locked up in a bubble, a bubble it has been in ever since Cast Lead (arguably since 2006). Its the attitude that the rest of the world is already anti-semitic, and so nothing Israel does can ever affect the world opinion so it doesnt bother even trying. Their only card seems to be the victim card, and they seem quite content on relying on US sympathisers to protect them from the consequences of their own actions.

    ANother issue is to what extent the Israeli military understands modern freedom of press. In a country that practices military censorship even on the net, I do believe a certain insensitivity to the rest of the world may develop.

  • Warrant Diver

    Fnord you are partially correct, Israel does believe that the rest of the word is already anti-semetic. That is because the UN and world press have through their actions and words proven that they are anti-semetic.
    Israels largest fault is they are stuck in believing that the UN and world press will support the law and search for truth. In reality both groups support lawlessnes and favor left wing spin over truth. The age of reason appears to be past and Israel has yet to recognize that. It pains me to say it but they need to start using the same types of misinformation and media manipulation that the terrorists us.

    Marcase-spot on.

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com/ Fred Fry

    I wonder. Israel sent a message of their own by killing the nine ‘peace’ protesters who thought it was a good idea to attack armed commandos. Yes, they are getting whacked in the press in the short term but surely this will have a long term benefit, if for no other reason that to confirm that this is not a game. And if those on the next vessel decide to start swinging pipe (or whatever) then the Israelis should make him the next example.

    One area where Israel should be working harder is dealing with Turkey who helped bring about this mess. Maybe Israel should take the seized Turkish ship, load it up with humanitarian aid and head off on an aid mission to help the Kurds in Turkey… I am sure that the Turkish Government will welcome the gesture with open arms…

  • Warrant Diver

    Fred

    I think a culture and religion that is able to convince people to blow themselves up will have no problem convincing people to attack soldiers with sticks and knives, especially if they believe that world opionion has rendered those soldiers unable/unwilling to use deadly force.

    This event is a turning point in the MidEast…things will go rapidly downhill from here.

  • Mike M.

    I can understand the Israeli position. From their perspective, the propaganda war is unwinnable.

    However, conceding the propaganda battlefield gives a flexibility that the Israelis have not exploited. There is a good argument that the correct response was not to try to fast-rope a boarding party, but to put two torpedoes into the ship and sink it. A demonstration that the blockade is deadly serious…and that trying to break it has fatal consequences.

    As the Romans said, “Let them hate us. So long as they fear us.”

  • Warrant Diver

    Mike M.

    in my gut, I’m with you. In my heart I agree…someone running a legal blockade deserves a torpedo in their port quarter. But this is different, even if it shouldn’t be and even if we don’t want it to be. This is more of a public relations battle than anything else, and Israel needs to start fighting that battle. To paraphrase Rummy, you fight the war you’re in, not the war you wish you were in.
    In Roman times, the Parthians, Gauls, Dacians, and Vandals couldn’t band together in a building in New York and outmaneuver the Romans in the court of world opinion…the “Palestinians” have done it time and again.
    You must fight the war you are in.

  • Sacto43

    “That is because the UN and world press have through their actions and words proven that they are anti-semetic.”

    “they need to start using the same types of misinformation and media manipulation that the terrorists us.”

    “but to put two torpedoes into the ship and sink it.”

    “someone running a legal blockade deserves a torpedo in their port quarter”

    The flotilla worked because its premise was to prove that the IDF acts with disproportionate force in regards to civilians. All they had to do was to load up ships and try to relieve a beleaguered population. The IDF took the bait from there and ran. If the same sentiments as those displayed above and by the IDF are influencing our own war policy then I can take a guess as to why the Afghans and the Iraqis stopped greeting us with rose pedals along time ago.

  • Warrant Diver

    Sacto did you read the remainder of my post? I don’t think we disagree with each other, but it is difficult to tell exactly what you mean.

  • Byron

    IDF blew it. Simple as it gets. Go armed, go ready to lay waste. But also start out with proven non-lethal force. They could have started with stun grenades and CS gas. They could have used bean bag guns. Bring lot’s of zip ties, keep immobilizing as you search the ship. If the ship is carry weapons, then seize the weapons, seize the ship (and quite visibly sink it), imprison the people on board, including the Turkish crew.

    It could have been handled differently. It wasn’t.

  • Sacto43

    “It could have been handled differently. It wasn’t.”

    And why wasn’t it? Was this simply a tactical error or an indication that larger moral errors are guiding the strategic policy (and thus the tactical policy as well). If the strategy is “go ready to lay waste” first then one cannot complain if civilian and world opinion start to turn against your cause. If our Turkish allies believe that the Gaza blockade is inhumane than maybe, just maybe, it is all not simply a anti-Semitic plot. Instead, we keep relying in on our continued “BAD INTELLEGENCE” and the mem that to oppose the IDF is to be in league with Al Queda or Hamas. For the FreeGaza movement one of its chief talking points to make on this trip was that the IDF uses disproportionate force on civilians. So then gather a international crew (including jews, Americans, among others), load up a fleet of ships with humanitarian aid and set sail. The IDF wrote the rest of the script. What the FreeGaza movement did in science terms is called confirming the hypothesis. I think because many here equate the FeeGaza movement (or any help to the Gazians) as supporting terror that this is point is lost. However, to the rest of the world the experiment’s result was crystal clear.

    I would also like to add to the original post that the IDF is engaged very well in the new media war game. But again it shoots itself in the foot. First off, the IDF has confiscated all cell phones and cameras from the vessels passengers. It even jammed the ability to send out tweets and the like during the raid. Only the Turkish TV reporter’s satellite transmission was able to get out. So the IDF won this battle, but will lose the war. Those people will go home, tell their local media outlets their story plus that the IDF took their phones and cameras. In this day and age trying to block media access is a loosing game. How did Pakistan turn out after it banned facebook? Or Iran during the elections? Confiscating cameras now it tantamount to being guilty of covering up a crime scene. Second, the Turkish TV reports that did get out are damning. They show a scared and panicked passenger set being insulted by troops and helicopters. Juxtaposed with the IDF media and it looks like civilians fighting for their lives against masked gunmen. To the people that we are currently spending billions of dollars to bring ‘democracy’ to these images are crystal.

  • Big D

    Galrahn: Actually, the meme dates to *at least* as early as December 1997. I can vouch for this. I suspect that it didn’t really go mainstream, though, until the infamous EDS commercial in 2000(?).

    Byron: That’s essentially what they did, only they left out the area effect or offboard support non-lethals like sound or CS. Primary armament was paintball guns, backed up most likely by holstered pistols. I would assume that they did carry zip-ties. On every other ship, this worked just fine. But, this one ship was rigged as an ambush all along. Once the trap was sprung, and troops were down on the deck and being beaten, there was no alternative but to throw the rest of them onto the deck and let them fight their way out of it or to abandon the first couple as hostages (an unacceptable solution). Even then, there was no lethal action (other than the soldiers being Rodney King-ed to death) until somebody apparently got one of the soldiers’ pistols and shot up a couple of them, at which point (speculating here) the soldiers pulled their own pistols and “went lethal”.

    Sacto: You haven’t seen the IDF thermal imaging videos from above and beside the ship, have you? Those pretty much put the lie to some of your claims of “civilians fighting for their lives against masked gunmen”. Or, how about the videos taken onboard earlier where said “civilians” were chanting for blood?

    I don’t think Israel has any good options here. Their fatalism regarding info-ops appears largely justified. That said, they can still use the occasion to send messages beyond the public to the folks with the power to order attacks against them… by, perhaps, issuing a formal warning that blockade runners that enter Gaza territorial waters will be sunk, and following through on that.

  • Sacto43

    “You haven’t seen the IDF thermal imaging videos from above and beside the ship, have you? Those pretty much put the lie to some of your claims of “civilians fighting for their lives against masked gunmen”. Or, how about the videos taken onboard earlier where said “civilians” were chanting for blood?”

    Are you kidding me? Its the only thing playing on the US networks! And mind you they are taking on armed gunmen with deck chairs and sticks. Your further avocation of sinking so-called blockade runners again highlights your lack of morals. That is why the flotilla is so effective, it shows clearly the lack of morality of the IDF and its supporters. You don’t shoot unarmed civilians! And as a further point you do not engage in collective punishment of civilian populations! When we engaged in this Charles Bronsen based war policy in Iraq and Afghanistan we almost lost our asses. We see now that we need to not believe that every tribe is an offshoot of Al Queda, that every civilian is not a bomber, that in order to combat any militants we need the blessings of the civilian population who we are ‘protecting’. We can learn this but the IDF cant? Or is there a greater moral problem here that is affecting the IDF strategic and tactical decisions?

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    The Israeli attack on the flotilla epitomizes Likud Israel’s FY attitude toward the world, including us. Those ships&boats were too far out in international waters at the time the Israelis attacked them.

    Israel has now equated itself with the Somali pirates and North Korea, and we would be well-advised to reconsider our relations with it and not let our country be dragged down to our own self-destruction too.

    As to Turkey, it is already lost as an ally – and it was our best Muslim ally in the Mideast, before our wrongful/illegal invasion of Iraq (and our Israel lobby was one of the principal supporters of that) and subsequent atrocities so horrified, enraged, and radicalized the Turkish people. (See the Turkish film The Valley of the Wolves.) The German use of “shock and awe” in both world wars elicited the same kind of reaction, but who are we to learn from history and others’ stupidity?

    And the Turks are one of the last peoples on this planet anyone would want to start a war with. Their reputation in Korea is the stuff of legends.

    The machinegunning of the USS Liberty’s liferafts and the fact that the Israelis only stopped their 1967 attack on it after the crew was finally able to get a radio working to get out the message that it was being attacked by *Israelis* clearly indicates that their intent was a false flag massacre to draw us directly into the Mideast wars, like 9/11 did … and the allegations of Israeli operatives’ involvement in 9/11 are well known.

    Since the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel has been run by fanatic, mafiya-allied extremists, and Israelis’ only hope to survive now is to get moderates back in power who will bring these criminals to justice and salvage Israel’s right to exist.

  • http://americanmohist.blogspot.com Jimmy

    Galrahn,

    Unlike MMORPGs and PsyOps, Israel actually can “herd cats” in enforcing this maritime blockade. Only it chose not to. I still do not understand why Israel had to board the ships in the first place. Its tugs could have pushed the flotilla away, physically, kind of like herding.

  • SwitchBlade

    Lou Coatney finally got the question right – why were the blockade runners attacked in international waters? However, once they were within territorial waters different tactics should have been used.

    Since they were announced as blockade runners, I doubt a tug would have been the proper tactic, but certainly putting something bigger in front of the one(s) that refused to stop to force them to maneuver or ram may have been a better option. In addition, the US standby of shooting across the bow, and THEN into the engine room to stop the ship would have been better than boarding.

    I just don’t get the commando drop onto a hostile crowd at all. That was a looser from the beginning. The goal should have been to stop the ships first – as in any other interdiction mission. I’ve been on ships that have done it south of the US and in the Adriatic, and would have never conceived of doing it the way Israel decided to do it!

  • RickWilmes

    “Israel has now equated itself with the Somali pirates and North Korea, and we would be well-advised to reconsider our relations with it and not let our country be dragged down to our own self-destruction too.”

    Drop in context. Somali pirates and North Korea do not respect individual rights. Israel does, to some degree, and therefore has a right to protect their rights in a manner that they see fit.

    Was this the proper action concerning the flotilla? At this point, I don’t have an answer.

    I do know that Western Civilization is fighting an ideological war that we continue to evade. The Islamic Totalitarians recognize this fact and exploit it every time. If Western Civilization is going to win this war than it us time to recognize that this is Either-Or time. Either we support and defend countries that respect and defend individual rights or we do not. Israel is a country that should be supported and defended not equated with thugs like Somali pirates and North Korean dictators.

  • Ivan Chernyakhovsky

    “Israel has now equated itself with the Somali pirates and North Korea”(Lou Coatney)

    It, in itself, says about the integrity,the intention and may be the intelligence.

  • Byron

    Simply put, Israel needs to get off it’s high horse and ask the expert at boarding and searching: The United States Coast Guard and US Navy. They should also talk to police depts. on how to handle the media/political aspects of dealing with an angry, hostile and unarmed crowd looking for headlines.

  • A Rickover

    I wonder why the manager of this web site doesn’t block the corrupt practice and the foul language that the blogger Lou Coatney uses.

  • LL

    “If our Turkish allies believe that the Gaza blockade is inhumane than maybe, just maybe, it is all not simply a anti-Semitic plot.”

    Turkish are anti semitic, you just have to go to Istambul or see Turkish TV stations, or just listen to their opinions of Arabs.

    What if now in every military operation that USA is “civilian” ships start to go breaching it?

    “why were the blockade runners attacked in international waters?2

    Maybe because that is what happens everywhere?

    All of you don’t understand what is going on. And it is simply denying advantage of technology and bring the advantage of numbers.

    The first country that will perceive the danger besides Israel is Russia.

    “highlights your lack of morals”

    No highlight yours, if a mob is free to do everything and violate the rule of war, you just get a civil war sooner or later and that is what we are heading for.

    Bringing the Liberty is the usual anti semitic tripe, only posible by people that never read about War, haven’t been in War. Go read how many times USAAF bombed American troops in WW2 and repeatedly day after day.
    Just one example: Battle of Bulge in 23Dec US bombers attacked Malmedy, at that time US Army was already in city. Dozens of deaths. USAAF was informed right away, but next 24 Dec Christmas Eve 18 US bombers unloaded their bombs again in Malmedy.Worse in 25 December the bombers returned and obliterated the center of village. In all more than 300 Americans and Belgian civilians perished. Now imagine your conspiracy theory if the US bombers were Israeli…

  • LL

    “Simply put, Israel needs to get off it’s high horse and ask the expert at boarding and searching: The United States Coast Guard and US Navy. ”

    I doubt any is prepared, but probably would still not make the drop zone mistake. I am sure this operation will go right away for the books and every forces are actively thinking how to deal with those situations. How to stop 50 fanatics in a close quarters.
    If you want a historical picture is how to stop a banzai charge without killing. Also every leftist/rightwing mob is actively taking their lessons too.

    The problem starts with an erosion of Rules of War which is the leftist objective, also the internal destrution of nation states. We now see non uniformed combatants having more rights(civilian justice etc) than those respectful of war rules. The inexorable tendency will be for Civil War everywhere.

    —————
    This is what a Turkish lawyer said in a Turkish newspaper:
    “Countries could stop vessels at a reasonable distance in international waters if they believe that they could pose a security threat,” Hakan Hanlý, a senior attorney-at-law and an expert on international law, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Tuesday.

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com/ Fred Fry

    sure, Israel could have tried to stop the vessel within it’s territorial waters and tried to stop it with a tug, but lets look at the additional problems that would have created.

    – First, the closer the ferry got to shore, the more likely that Gaza radicals would have joined into the fight using small boats (and even possible small arms).

    – Second, waiting would have turned a nighttime assault into a daytime raid.

    – Third, the tugs would have also needed protection both from people descending from the ship as well as Hamas boarding teams. Also, tugs are not exactly armored to protect from items being thrown from above.

    – Fourth, tugs are not exactly useful when the ship does not want to be assisted by one, and especially one moving at speed. It is very dangerous for the tug crew. A quick search of YouTube will provide a couple examples of tug accidents.

    – Fifth, attempting to take over the vessel farther at sea gave them more time to try ‘plan B’ had plan A failed, which it almost did.

    Note that they only boarded the one ship. The others they stopped with other means because they were small enough to stop without boarding.

    As for boarding the ship in International Waters, Israel had the right to do that given the clear declaration that the ship intended to break the blockade. This seems to be the consensus of Maritime lawyers from what I am reading. Really, if a person declares that he is going to murder someone, do you wait for them to actually do it?

  • Byron

    And if my memory serves, JFK had Soviet merchant ships stopped far out at sea. Nations will always act in their self-interest as they should.

    A Rickover: while I don’t agree with Lou, I’ll defend his right to say it. Goes with being American and that whole First Ammendment thing.

  • Sacto43

    “And if my memory serves, JFK had Soviet merchant ships stopped far out at sea. Nations will always act in their self-interest as they should.”

    We had a quarantine at sea. Vessels were searched and let through. We were not enforcing and all out blockade of the entire island. Our blockade did not turn away humanitarian aid or cause people to starve. There is a big difference between the two.

  • Warrant Diver

    Sacto43 you are wrong when you imply that the Israeli blockade turns away humanitarian aid. They in fact ensure that humanitarian aid gets through to the Gaza Strip, and for you to say that they “cause people to starve” shows your disregard for facts. The purpose of the blockade is to stop arms and material support (concrete to build tunnels and bunkers, repair parts for military equipment, etc) from getting to Hamas, and if anyone in Gaza is starving it is because Hamas is not distributing the thousands of tons of food which flows into the area.
    You misrepresent the purpose, the practice, and the result of the blockade.
    What do you think Israel should do stop Hamas from attacking Israel?

  • Byron

    Sacto, in case you weren’t alive back then and didn’t go through the “duck and cover” era, they were turning back ships with a deckload of IRBMs that were capable of lofting nuclear weapons over much of the United States. I further ask you to read this and then come back to me and tell me this is all about “humanitarian aid”

    http://www.neptunuslex.com/2010/06/03/strange-charity/#comments

    All is not as it appears.

  • Sacto43

    If the working knowledge here is that Gazian or gazian ativist equals Al Queda then there is no point to debate. However, most of the world, including many jews, have come to believe that the people of gaza need humanitarian relief. All the major humanitarian groups have decried the blockade. From Amnesty to the Red Cross. From former presidents to the pope.

    “An occupying power is obliged to follow the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which seeks to protect the civilian population.[20] The Security Council held in 1979 that the Fourth Convention applies in the territories captured by Israel in 1967, including Gaza.” wiki.

    “The 1977 amendment to the Geneva Conventions protocols prohibits the use of collective measures that do not distinguish between civilians and military. The amendment protects civilian populations in time of conflicts that fall short of war.” wiki

    These two protocols alone may make the blockade illegal. There is certainly enough ambiguity that warranted greater handling of this supply flotilla. The fact that Turkish nationals, under a Turkish flag, were murdered in international waters is a crime and its perpetrators must be brought to justice. The same way that ANY player who kills unarmed civilians should be. This ship was not Hamas. It was not intended to strengthen Hamas (The Irish authorities backed this up). It was to provide humanitarian relief and to prove the IDF’s heavy-handed tactics that many are already aware of.

    Former Ambassador EDWARD L. PECK and USS Liberty survivor Joe Meadors were also part of the flotilla. The next ship headed to Gaza is named after an American. The arab moderates are desperately tying to send us a message. We need to act even handedly with ALL parties for the sake of all parties involved.

    To the poster who wrote “Bringing the Liberty is the usual anti semitic tripe” I can only say this.

    Me bringing up the Liberty makes me anti-semetic? I guess me remembering the lives lost on Dec 7th makes me anti Japanese as well. I will never feel sorry for bringing up the lives lost on USN ships.

  • Sacto43

    WarrentDiver: There is not one, repeat, not one major aid organization that says the Israel is letting enough aid get through. I leave it to you to find one that says otherwise.

    Bryon: Your link talks about the IHH. The group who sent this flotilla is the FREEGAZA movement. Not Hamas, not Al-queda, not SPECTOR. Of course, not a single firearm or military supply was found on any of these vessels. A fact that seems to fall on many deaf ears around here.

  • RickWilmes

    Has FREEGAZA publicly renounced HAMAS and HEZBOLLA?

    Is there a link that shows this public renouncement?

  • RickWilmes

    @Sacto43

    Why won’t FREEGAZA go through the proper procedures to provide aide?

    “The “Free Gaza” movement claims its concern is humanitarian suffering in Gaza, but in fact the boats are a media stunt to get international attention and support for Hamas in Gaza, according to StandWithUs. “If the activists were really interested in delivering their donated goods, they could easily do it through legal channels. The Israeli government offered to deliver them through approved crossings and procedures, but the activists’ purpose is to smear Israel and support Hanyieh’s Hamas regime, not help Gazans,” explains Baron.”

     http://miami.indymedia.org/news/2010/05/15349.php

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com/ Fred Fry

    “There is not one, repeat, not one major aid organization that says the Israel is letting enough aid get through.” By all means, send more. This stuff does not appear out of thin air. Don’t kid yourself that the aid arriving by this ship was any meaningful quantity. It was a small share of what goes to Gaza every day. As it is, Hamas has rejected the Aid. Also remember that Hamas refuses to recognize Israel. There are two parties playing this game and Hamas is just as responsible for this blockade as Israel is.

  • Warrant Diver

    Sacto

    “If the working knowledge here is that Gazian or gazian ativist equals Al Queda then there is no point to debate”. I haven’t seen anyone say that or imply that, so once again you have proposed a statement based on a false assumption. Try again.

    My working knowledge is that if you support Hamas, you are a terrorist supporter. Many that support Gazans are being manipulated by Hamas; i.e. they are useful idiots who under the misguided mantra of humanitarianism seek to undermine Israel either not understanding, or not caring that Israel is the cork in the bottle that holds back Hamas, Hezbollah and name your other islamic terrorist group from Europe and the rest of the west.

    “These two protocols alone may make the blockade illegal.” Uh, no they don’t. Blockade is legal under maritime law and recognized as so by the UN.

    If you think your “facts” fall on deaf ears “around here”, it’s probably because you don’t use facts…you use propaganda from Hamas and its useful idiots.

  • Sacto43

    “There are two parties playing this game and Hamas is just as responsible for this blockade as Israel is.”

    Agreed.

    Now lets move on to figure out ways of ending the collective punishment on civilians so that the extremes on both sides loose power.

    Without getting too far into the politics lets get back to tactics.

    Its been said that to be effective in conflict one must apply your strengths to an opponents weakness and to protect your weakness from your opponents strength. If one agrees that the extremes in this conflict are responsible for the continuation of hostilities how does this maxim apply? The extremes have the monopoly violence. Thus to confront with military strength on either party does little to end the conflict. The middle ground (on both sides) is discovering that to apply non-violent direct action robs the ability for the opposition to respond with force without looking like thugs. Many Israelis and Palestinians have formed groups to work toward peace. They are all condemned by the extremist. Many are working for economic boycotts against settler goods. One guy even painted himself blue, a la Avitar, and went unarmed to a checkpoint. The images of him being tear-gassed went around the world. This is the New War. The moderates are applying soft power against hard power in direct relation to the maxim above. I think this strategy is troubling to some because we cant shoot a missile at it. A fully loaded $1 billion Burke could not stop this flotilla. The proper response would have been a creative, non-violent response. In fact many ideas were given to Mr. Netenyahoo in the press conference a week before. Including one were the cargo would have been un-loaded by victims of Hamas bombings. He dismissed them all and chose the hardline response. It was not a lack of technology, intelligence, or ideas that lead to this. It was him ignoring the above maxim.

  • Sacto43

    “not caring that Israel is the cork in the bottle that holds back Hamas, Hezbollah and name your other islamic terrorist group from Europe and the rest of the west.”

    You know very little. More “Bad Intelligence” I assume.

  • Sacto43

    And for the record there is no international law that authorizes the killing of unarmed nationals, sailing under their own flag, in international waters.

  • Warrant Diver

    And there was no killing of unarmed nationals, sailing under their own flag, in international waters.
    There was killing of armed nationals, who were attempting to run a legal blockade, which is a violation of international maritime law.
    I would tell you to get your facts straight but with each post you expose that you don’t care about facts. At least this time you didn’t use wikipedia as a source.

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com/ Fred Fry

    “Now lets move on to figure out ways of ending the collective punishment on civilians so that the extremes on both sides loose power.”
    Perhaps the local population should stop supporting Hamas. The population is punished partly as a result of their poor choices. It is not Israel’s job to kick out Hamas. It is the Palestinian’s job.

    “And for the record there is no international law that authorizes the killing of unarmed nationals, sailing under their own flag, in international waters.”
    They were not unarmed. The ship itself was the weapon.

    At the very least every single person on that vessel was a human shield. They were armed, just not with firearms. On top of that, they threw the first punches. there are no rules against neutralizing human shields. It is only doing so that makes for bad press, which is why bad actors like to use them.

  • Sacto43

    “killing of armed nationals”
    armed with what?

    Warrant, you clearly have in inability to distinguish between armed and unarmed. If you ever handle a firearm you are a danger to yourself and to those around you. Get some glasses.

    Now come back with some type of fact to disprove anything I said. They were not Turkish nationals with a Turkish flag? They were not in international waters? I will even concede that they were blockade running. It does not warrant killing! Post anything to prove your point. Any precedent.

    Fred, your post isn’t much better. Both of you are using metaphors to justify the killings. If deadly force is to be used there had better be more than f-ing metaphors involved.

    Was the Lusitania justified for being sunk? Your points argue yes. I argue no.

  • Lee Wetherhorn

    One point not yet mentioned is that the NGO came prepared for the media war.
    Their broadcasts and pictures were the first ones out there. The cooperation of Turkish TV guaranteed that they would be able to make the first releases and cast the IDF in a bad light regardless of the facts.
    The use of weapons to provoke a fight with casualties is also a common tactic of Islamist groups. One of the people on the Mavi Marmari even expressed regret that he had not become a Shahid (Martyr). Add to that the misguided do-gooders that really feel they are trying to help, keep them away from the actual combat, but let them see the bloody and injured, and you have stories the international media will jump on with both feet.
    Playing on mis-information, like claiming the ship was outside the 12 mile limit and therefore the IDF were involved in piracy is another PR ploy that was used. Organizing supporters to repeat these canards over and over in the media helped make this a lose-lose scenario for the Israeli side in the short run.
    The Israeli response has not been that bad. They provided sufficient real time footage to the media, with explanations, proving that the blockade is legal, the ships were breaching the blockade, and people on board the one ship of the 6 where violence occurred were the instigators and the IDF personnel behaved with admirable restraint. Despite all that, the first images make the strongest impressions, so it’s an uphill fight to get the truth recognized.

  • http://don'thaveone cdr phil prawl, usn (ret)

    Fry got it partly right.
    What is hamas aim? Win by terror.
    Tools? Humans.
    Propaganda-most liberals, Arabic speaking people, & uneducated persons.
    counter tools: Education on the truth, counterterror (by any means)

  • Lee Wetherhorn

    Some of us may benefit from the following legal background that was submitted on another site:

    A Blockade is a legal concept in which the delivery of certain materials (contraband) is prevented from reaching elements hostile to the blockading power. The contraband in this case is materials that are, or can be used to manufacture, weapons or fortifications.
    The existence of a blockade must be announced publicly. Ignorance of the existence of a blockade is not an excuse for attempting to break it, and, in this case, is not an issue. The individual ships were contacted by radio and reminded that they were violating a blockade.
    In order for a blockade to remain legal it must be effective. That means that any vessel that declares intent to travel to a port or shore being blockaded, and does so successfully without being halted by the blockading power, has essentially put an end to the blockade.
    The claim that the cargo is humanitarian aid is immaterial. The blockading power may examine the cargo, and, if it is not contraband, allow its entry. This offer was made to the flotilla and was refused.
    a vessel attempting to breach a blockade is liable to capture from the moment a voyage with such intent begins. The concept of territorial waters or 12 mile limits has no bearing whatsoever on this matter. A vessel trying to breach a blockade could be captured and taken to a friendly port where the cargo could be examined. A warship enforcing the blockade has the right to request that any vessel identify herself and indicate where she is bound. The warship may stop a neutral merchant vessel bound for a blockaded port in order to board her and check for contraband. Such a visit and search is normally handled by bringing the vessel into port so the cargo can be thoroughly examined. If no contraband is found, the vessel would normally be released with no penalty being assessed against either the vessel or the warship that detained her. Forcible resistance, or flight by an outwardly neutral merchant ship may be treated by a blockading warship as a suspicious circumstance which justifies the capture and detention of the offending vessel, by force, if necessary. In the case of forcible resistance, and liability attached to the consequences would belong to the resisting party.
    The above paragraphs are a brief summary of international law governing maritime warfare that have been in effect for more than a century, beginning with the Hague conventions of 1906-7.
    It should be noted that allegations of “Humanitarian” issues are completely absent from the legal framework regarding maritime blockade. The only question regarding the cargo is whether it can be classified as contraband. Contraband, by the way, has been interpreted since the two World Wars as all goods destined for an enemy which may be susceptible to use in war. Weapons are absolute contraband, while construction materials are conditional contraband because they might also be used for peaceful purposes.
    It would appear, therefore, that the so-called “Aid Flotilla” was intent upon breaching the blockade. The cargo on board was irrelevant to this aim.
    It also appears that Israeli forces acted entirely correctly under the law.

  • Charlie

    It’s not a question of adapting the tactics your commandos will use to enforce the blockade today….

    It’s recognizing before announcing it that a blockade will NOT drive a wedge between apolitical Gazans and Hamas; rather, the blockade provided Hamas with a ‘common enemy’… “We hate Israel, and when you have no fuel to heat your home, no medicine for your sick child, and no cement to repair the holes Israeli bullets made in your home, you should join us in hating Israel.”

    Having blown THAT call, Israeli government and military planners are left to choose between more incidents like the recent killings, or somehow mitigating the blockade (for example… by allowing more supplies through and some third-party enforcement) and thereby allowing Hamas a P.R. victory over the “Zionist oppressors” (as well as, undoubtedly, additional material to be militarized for use against Israel).

    Israel is losing this battle in the P.R. war because of a mistaken assumption they made long ago, combined with Hamas’ skill at manipulating that mistake to their advantage. They may still win the war.

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    LL: “Bringing [up, presumably] the Liberty is the usual anti semitic tripe, ….”

    So (Americans’ demand for) truth and justice (in the case of the attack on the USS Liberty) is “anti-semitic.” This old smear job doesn’t work anymore, LL. And you should remember that those who are always falsely/wrongfully yelling “Wolf!,” eventually do attract them to their door.

    A Rickover: “I wonder why the manager of this web site doesn’t block the corrupt practice and the foul language that the blogger Lou Coatney uses.”

    Because Lou Coatney obviously hasn’t used them, unless you too consider facts and truth to be corrupt and foul. Now take your attempts at censorship back to whatever country you’re from.

    Someone claimed Israel is a democratic state with humanitarian values. Among other things, Israel has been cited as one of the worst human trafficking countries in the world.

    VP Joe Biden has now stated that an investigation of this by Israel would be sufficient. So presumably Joe thinks a North Korean investigation of the sinking of the South Korean ship would be sufficient too. What university was that that graduated Joe?

    The intent of the flotilla was ultimately humanitarian (as well as provocation), and Israel has little moral ground to stand on, defending its botched boarding, especially that far out to sea. I have read that Turkish warships will be escorting the next flotilla, and it is a sure bet they will be ready to fire. Is Israel really so suicidal that it is ready to start a regional war over this? All indications are yes, and we should carefully consider the danger of supporting Israel: another superpower – less cautious than Russia – may now be set to match our Asian escalation.

  • RickWilmes

    “Someone claimed Israel is a democratic state with humanitarian values. Among other things, Israel has been cited as one of the worst human trafficking countries in the world.”

    At the risk of running off topic, this is what I said,

    “Drop in context. Somali pirates and North Korea do not respect individual rights. Israel does, to some degree, and therefore has a right to protect their rights in a manner that they see fit.”

    In a fully free country, prostitution would be legal.  This would not make the practice moral but if two consenting adults wanted to pay for sex than they would be free to do so.  

    Having said that I find it ludicrous to compare Israel’s human trafficking record to that of Hamas or any other Islamic totalitarian regime.  Subjugation of women is part of their ideology and practiced consistently.  Examples include no make up and the wearing of veils.

    Turkey ranks up there also when it comes to human traffiking.  See below. Once again a drop in context.

    “According to Attorney Naomi Levenkron, head of the trafficking department at Moked (a hotline for migrant workers), the Israeli authorities have made great efforts in recent years to decrease trafficking of women into Israel, cracking down heavily on brothels, strip clubs, escort services and the like, and offering protection to trafficked women willing to testify against the traffickers. 

    A 2009 UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report entitled Global Report on Trafficking in Persons said Israel, Turkey and Thailand are “ranked very high in the citation index as destination countries in the global comparison”; it also provides details of people trafficking in Israel with statistics and analysis based on the 2003-2007 period.”

     http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=83436

  • RickWilmes

    Burma Shave

    @Lou

    You may also want to look into how many Muslim countries actually have human trafficking laws that are enforced.

  • Byron

    Mr. Coatney, would you care to supply evidence that Israel is, “one of the worst human trafficking countries in the world”. Think I’m going to toss the BS flag on this one.

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com/ Fred Fry

    “Fred, your post isn’t much better. Both of you are using metaphors to justify the killings. If deadly force is to be used there had better be more than f-ing metaphors involved.”

    OK, non-metaphor comment. Deadly force in return should be expected when you strike an armed soldier with a steel pipe.

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    This 2006 UN document describes Israel to be a Very High destination country for human trafficking, Byron:

    http://www.unodc.org/pdf/traffickinginpersons_report_2006ver2.pdf

    There are lots of articles and reports on human trafficking around the world, if you want to do further research.

  • Byron

    You just tripped the irrelavancy alarms. /ignore Lou.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Just curious, is that the same UN that put Iran on the Womens’ Rights Commission?

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    You ask for evidence, I provide it, and now you declare the topic irrelevant, Bryon? I shall be happy to ignore your future requests for evidence.

    Feel free to research the other sources, URR, if the UN isn’t good enough for you.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    The UN hasn’t been good enough for anyone except the Third World anti-Western, anti-US troublemakers who want to cloak their hatred and brutality in a convenient veil of legitimacy. But I digress.

  • SwitchBlade

    I stand corrected on the stopping the ship(s) in International Waters. In a declared blockade, as this is, it is permissible to question, and conduct a board and search in International waters. WRT Turkish escorts of more ships – it would be Turkey initiation hostilities by running a declared blockade.

    WRT humanitarian aid, starving residents on the Gaza Strip etc., I throw the BS flag. The residents aren’t starving. The access points from Israel and Egypt are both use for legitimate transfer of goods into Gaza. The tunnels (of which little has been written here) are mostly used for transfer of luxury goods as well as illegal weapons. That would be those rockets that are shot from the Gaza strip into Israel.

    Hamas is the duly elected government of Gaza. By being duly elected, the people of Gaza have elected a government that is a terrorist organization, has avowed the destruction of Israel and refuses to even recognize Israel. Therefore, Israel is in a perpetual state of hostilities with the government of Gaza and has the right to “acts of war” such as the blockade.

    Talk of negotiations is always through a third party and this simply facilitates the terrorist. The world should take a different tack in dealing with the Palestinians and, frankly, I think the Obama Administration’s positions, more aligned with Europe, is a step backwards. Things will get worse before they get better.

    Sacto43 – you haven’t made a case.

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    Another falsehood which should be replied to:

    “I do know that Western Civilization is fighting an ideological war that we continue to evade. The Islamic Totalitarians recognize this fact and exploit it every time. If Western Civilization is going to win this war than it us time to recognize that this is Either-Or time.”

    Oh, you mean ISLAMOFASCISM?

    It is a figment of neocon propaganda. Granted, Islam is anti-democratic and totalitarian, but the Muslims are more dangerous to each other than to the rest of us, if left to themselves – although non-Muslims in their countries are certainly at risk.

    (And it should be noted that in Saddam Hussein’s secular, Baathist regime, there was more religious freedom than there is now. Virtually all Christians have had to flee, since our “liberation” of Iraq.)

    The West has done 2 very stupid things:

    1. It has allowed large numbers of Muslims to immigrate into it, causing major and smoldering social and political problems. I am told that in Scandinavian countries, many schoolgirls in areas of immigrant population now have to dye their hair black, to avoid intense sexual harassment or worse. 1/7th of Sweden’s population is now immigrant, most Muslim. Jews (for example) have had to flee Malmo, because Muslims there are so numerous and hostile. Violent sex crime had become virtually nonexistent in Sweden, until immigrants from cultures which hold Scandinavians’ liberal lifestyle in contempt resumed attacks far worse than before.

    Most of the immigrants only want a better life for themselves and their families, but extremist, criminal elements (quite like those now controlling Israel) among them are undeterred by Scandinavia’s diffident judicial system. (About 5 years ago, 4 or 5 Kosovo Albanians abducted, beat, and gang-raped a pretty young Norwegian girl for days and got only 2 years in prison, which they laughed off. Since Clinton & Blair’s war crime Kosovo war, the Albanian mafiya has spread out all over Europe, and there are 2 of their gangs running drugs and prostitution just in little Trondheim, Norway. And, unwilling to classify them as terrorists as they should be, impotent Norwegian authorities can’t control them.)

    Readers note that by contrast when I lay out facts like this about Israel’s extremist, criminal elements, I get smeared “anti-Semitic.”

    2. The West – Cheney&Bush and Blair and their neocon/Israeli pals – have managed to stir the Muslims up and unite them like we haven’t seen for centuries. Anti-Communist Islamic states like Iran are allying even with still-Maoist China which is edging toward a major confrontation with us, as it is.

    We had Turkey liberalizing and democratizing (slowly), until we let the neocons drag us directly into the Mideast wars – Asian land wars our strategists have long warned us to AVOID – and Turkey is now radicalized in reaction.

    We should instead be de-escalating in the Mideast, and if Likud Israel tries to sabotage that, we should cut it loose.

    By the way, I strongly support there being a Jewish Home Land – unless it becomes such a threat to us – as well as a straightening out of Israel’s borders. For example, I think Gaza should be evacuated and Gazans should be relocated … maybe in the Sinai in a generously compensated Egypt? … etc. But Israel’s attack on those ships and boats in international waters was intolerable, and it should be punished.

    If Johnson had gotten truth and justice in the case of the USS Liberty – instead of pandering to the Israel lobby – Israel might have been burned badly enough that it wouldn’t have dared to try such crimes again. If you read Ennes’s book, the crew was quarantined after the attack, and 2 crewmen who objected to the coverup were nearly mentally exterminated with electroshock, until the base commander stopped that, presumably at the cost of his career.

    And there were Israeli commandos in helicopters about to board the Liberty too … to do what, do you suppose? … until its message got out that it was being attacked by *Israelis*.

  • Lee Wetherhorn

    Lou
    you’ve raised a couple of points about the Liberty that should have been put to rest years ago.
    The attack was just blue on blue, and the most important “commando” on that helicopter was CDR Ernie Castle, the US Naval Attache in Tel Aviv whom the Israelis took out to the ship at their initiative.
    You should also know that I spent some time at sea with both CDR Moshe Oren and then LT Ehud (Udie) Erel. The former was the CO of the torpedo boats and Udie Erel was one of his junior officers.
    Continuing the Liberty story as a vendetta, in my opinion, does little to honor the victims, who lost their lives in the service of our country. It is also, as has been pointed out, irrelevant to the incident under discussion.
    In my earlier post I examined the legal case for the Israelis. My examination shows that the IDF seems to have rather meticulously observed all the requirements, including admirable restraint, while enforcing a legal blockade against a declared provocation that included attacks upon them with lethal weapons.
    First impressions came from the Pro-Palestinian groups via Turkish TV. For many, those impressions have prevented a more objective assessment as further evidence has been displayed. I hope you are not one of them.

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    It’s not a vendetta, Lee, and according to Ennes and other Liberty crew – who were closer to the case than you – it wasn’t just blue on blue. If the truth doesn’t come out, the Israelis are going to continue to do things like this, and suspicions about possible Israeli involvement in 9/11 underscore that.

    Your friends Oren and Edel were just following orders. It was the people who were the source of the orders who should have been punished and who still should be exposed and censured. (Dyan’s later tour of Viet Nam was a farce.)

    We’ll see what others have to say about the legalities, too, but the political and human context is no less important, and the Israelis charged right into an explosive situation “regardless” – quite like we equally disastrously jumped into Iraq – and fully deserve all the condemnation they’re getting.

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    And here we go again: “New aid ship heads to Gaza, Israel vows to stop it.”

    Nothing about an escorting Turkish warship, something about a 20 mile exclusion zone … which seems reasonable … and we’ll see if Israeli sea confrontation&boarding techniques have improved.

    But the Israeli officials who authorized the previous foulup – attack – should be held accountable, especially if it was Netanyahu who ordered it.

  • Rick Wilmes

    “It is a figment of neocon propaganda. Granted, Islam is anti-democratic and totalitarian, but the Muslims are more dangerous to each other than to the rest of us, if left to themselves – although non-Muslims in their countries are certainly at risk.”

    This is what I mean by Islamic totalitarianism, and it is not a myth.

    “We demand an Islamic state, and not some form of Islamisation of society. We want the state to be Islamic, with Islamic leaders who have the courage and will to implement the Islamic law in total. . . .
    We want an Islamic state where Islamic law is not just in the books but enforced, and enforced with determination. There is no space and no room for democratic consultation. The Islamic law is set and fixed, so why discuss it? Just implement it!
    Right now we are drafting our own constitutional amendments for Indonesia, the framework for an Indonesian Islamic state where Islamic laws are enforced. Indonesians must understand that there is no Islamic state without the enforcement of Islamic laws.8

    This is Islamic Totalitarianism—State Islam—rule by Islamic Law—and it is on the rise. While this cleric plots an Islamic State, people from countries where children are taught that Jews are born of pigs and monkeys, and that Israel is “occupied territory” and fair game for attack, rail against so-called anti-Muslim “prejudice.” Inside America, leaders of hostile countries give speeches to build “bridges of understanding” while building nuclear bombs overseas.9 Adherents of Islam claim to be victims of persecution, assertions they make on national television, from pulpits, and in tenured university positions.”

    http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2006-winter/no-substitute-for-victory.asp

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    This is informative:

    “Former Mossad agent ridicules Gaza ship raid”

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/06/former_mossad_agent_ridicules.html

    ***

    Who would have thought Turks would fight. :eyeroll:

    And one of them was American-born.

  • Warrant Diver

    Sacto

    “armed with what?” knives, steel bars, chairs, chains…and they took Israeli pistols and used them. Is that not armed enough for you? Who do you think wins in a battle between a paint ball gun and fifteen steel bars?

    You claim to want facts and ignore every fact presented as you spew forth your terrorist supporting nonsense. Tell me that throwing a fully battle kitted commando overboard isn’t an attempt to kill him.

    “It does not warrant killing! Post anything to prove your point. Any precedent.”
    Are you serious? You really are blind to the facts. They weren’t killed for blockade running, they were killed for attacking the Israelis! The video is clear that the Israelis boarding the Maramara were attacked BEFORE THEY SET FOOT ON THE DECK!!

    Now as to your personal attacks on me: I don’t need glasses and I’m pretty proficient with weapons handling, so no one around me is in danger. If you can’t control yourself, don’t post. I will allow myself one response to your personal insults, and that is that I consider you one of Hamas’ useful idiots. You carry their flag very well.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Islamofascism is a figment of Neo-Con propaganda?

    I suppose Hitler’s National Socialism was something Churchill made up.

    More religious freedom under Saddam? If you consider everyone being brutally oppressed, imprisoned, and executed equally to be “religious freedom”.

    Cheney, Bush, and Blair are to blame for Islamic Jihadist terrorism? Wow. Here I was thinking that the Islamic hostility to the west goes back many centuries, and that Munich, Achille Lauro, the Berlin Disco, first WTC bombing (and the declarations of the Islamofascists) all preceded those men by a number of years.

    So Lou, why don’t you fly to Turkey, book passage on one of the blockade runners, and swing a lead pipe at the first Israeli soldier you see? That way, when he puts two in your hat, just before you die, you can blame Bush and Chaney and the “Zionists” for it.

  • Sacto43

    SwitchBlade,

    The case you make is valid for nation states. The Gaza strip is not a nation. If the Israels want to enforce a blockade then they have to provide the civilian populations humanitarian needs under the Forth Geneva Convention and direction of the Security Council. Israel is not doing this. Therefore, the right for Israel to enforce a humanitarian blockade is dubious at best. Efforts by world leaders, including many jews and israelis, have tried to call attention to the counter-productive blockade in all legal forums. Therefore, reasonable people can be expected to want to help end what they perceive to be an injustice. It can then be assumed (and probably easily confirmed via Mossad) that this flotilla-media stunt-cargo ship is not a Hamas death squad.

    When an operation this inept begins then the starting party here deserves at the very least a negligence charge. Your arguments, which I do consider good and valid, argue for the sinking of the Lusintania. I no not think it moral to kill non-hostile civilians. If the turkish ship had been safely boarded from the rear in Israeli waters they incident would not have played out like it did. Instead they tried a terrifying helo assault in international waters. That was their fail.

    All other arguments here depend on the assumption that this ship was hostile. Therefore, deadly force was authorized from the beginning. The easiest of research shows that this ship was Turkish and in international waters. You may disagree about the politics of opinion of those crewing the ships but it is clear it was not a hostile vessel acting with bad intent against the safety of Israeli civilians.

    URR,
    If there was no UN there would be no state of Israel. Or does your history book only start in 1949? You are nothing but an ad hominem generator.

    Warent,
    “Tell me that throwing a fully battle kitted commando overboard isn’t an attempt to kill him.”
    By people who had a reasonable suspicion that they were going to attacked first by armed soldiers. Look bud, its not my fault that the IDF use questionable tactics. They need to be held accountable.

    “you spew forth your terrorist supporting nonsense”
    “I consider you one of Hamas’ useful idiots. You carry their flag very well.”

    You calling me a Hamas supporter shows your weakness. You cannot find anything else to use except “You luv teh teerrorist”. The fact that (again) you cannot tell a Hamas supporter from everyone else makes me hope that you keep you pistol holstered.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Sacto,

    What really is the case is that if there were no US there would be no UN, and therefor Israel.

    Other history books here seem to start on Jan 20th, 2001.

    You also might do well to review your Latin before using it incorrectly.

  • Sacto43

    That history book you are reading is only a chapter.

    Chapter 43 titled “Bad Intelligence”.

    The era of preemptive strikes against actors who pose no harm to our citizens. Thanks for making my point for me.

    United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181

    From here on out if I call you ignorant its not an ad hominem, its an adjective.

  • Rick Wilmes

    It looks like at least 50 people on the ship may have jihad connections, were not carrying passports but $1000 in cash.

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177169

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “From here on out if I call you ignorant its not an ad hominem, its an adjective.”

    From here on out if you call me ignorant, it simply means that you think “ad hominem” means someone disagrees with you.

    Nobody can make your point for you. It seems least of all, you.

  • Warrant Diver

    Sucto43

    are you a Hamas supporter? I didn’t call you one, I said you were a useful idiot for Hamas. If you are guilty about supporting Hamas that is your own conscience talking, not me.

    And I’ve used plenty other than “you love the terrorist”…it just appears that is the phrase that fits you the most, and the one you work so hard to disprove. Until you open your mouth and prove it all over again.

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    “The Flotilla Raid Was Not “Bungled.” The IDF Detailed Its Violent Strategy In Advance,” by Max Blumenthal.

    http://maxblumenthal.com/2010/06/the-flotilla-raid-was-not-bungled-the-idf-detailed-its-violent-strategy-in-advance/

    So the deadly force insanity was intentional and from the highest level of the current Israeli government.

    We do not need Israel, under its current leadership it is a dangerous liability, and it is no “ally.” We should cut it loose.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “We should cut it loose.”

    And see it destroyed by its Arab neighbors with massive loss of life and wiping out of a culture?

    You must be in the running for the Louis Farrakhan award at the annual Mosley Society banquet. The other finalist might be Sacto.

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    The Blumenthal article is damning, URR, destroying any last vestige of defensibility for the Israeli attack.

    Like the Taliban destroying the Great Buddhas, the neocons certainly have destroyed culture (in Iraq) themselves:

    “Cultural Cleansing in Iraq: Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered, 1 April 2010 – Battle to destroy hearts and minds – The dismantling of Iraqi intellectual life may have been a deliberate strategy, Roger Matthews learns”

    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=411036&c=2

    Albanians’ destruction of centuries-old Orthodox churches and other sites in Kosovo is another example of this, and it meets the cultural definition of genocide.

    Likud Israel is going insane and is SELF-destructing … not unlike “Rev.” Jim Jones’ People’s Temple in Guyana … and if we don’t cut it loose, it will drag us down to OUR destruction too.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    One might suggest being a bit more selective in filtering propaganda, Lou. You might want to talk with some folks who were there regarding Iraq, and the effort that went into saving their cultural heritage. Start with my friend Col Matt Bogdanos. He was there, it was his mission, he wrote a book on it. Might be somewhat more informed and less slanted than the London Times.

    US forces risked life and limb, and some paid with those items, to protect Iraqi civilians and their culture. So you can probably save the “America’s fault” crap for someone who doesn’t know better.

    You also might have a very different view if you had to pick your mail up at a Tel Aviv post office, and your kids dodged rockets on their way to school.

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    Describing The Times as “slanted” instead only defines (and discredits) yourself to be that, URR – QED.

  • Rick Wilmes

    @URR

    it looks like you have become a target of the BlackArrows anti-neocon rant.

    See the comments in this link.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/christopherhowse/3645601/fears_of_antisemitic_backlash/

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Right. Hope you find room on your shelf for that Farrakhan award.

  • Rick Wilmes

    I wonder how the world would have reacted if the fifty “activists” without passports had tried to board airplanes while refusing to identify themselves?

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    Lee Wetherhorn, there seems to be a discrepancy in helicopter flights. In his co-authored summary of the attack on the USS Liberty, Ernie Castle says he was helicoptered out to the Liberty by the Israelis “a few hours” after the attack.

    http://www.thelibertyincident.com/docs/liberty-intelligence.pdf

    But in their timeline, the Liberty crew describes Israeli attack helicopters (plural) loaded with heavily armed troops arriving just as they got out word that they were being attacked by Israelis and the torpedoboats broke off their attack.

    http://www.gtr5.com/summary_of_events.htm

    So it appears Ernie’s flight was separate and much later, and your description for us was (by omission) misleading.

    It is incredible that the torpedoboats fired FIVE torpedoes at such a large, slow noncombat ship like Liberty and only one hit. McGonagle must have been one … heck … of a captain.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    @Rick,

    It appears I am, yes. Though I am not a neo-anything.

  • Sacto43

    Furkan Dogan

    Five gunshot wounds: nose, back, back of head, left leg, left ankle

    American citizen shot in the back of the head. Go ahead defend this. Maybe there should be as much concern for American lives from those sworn to protect them than those of Israeli commandos.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/04/gaza-flotilla-attack-autopsy-results

    More evidence is coming in that the first causality hit the deck before the chopper even landed.

    I made it a point in my very first post that this botched raid was more indicative to the lack ethics of the IDF. This New War is defined by projecting the higher moral ground in the eyes of the new media. The reason why this failed on a tactical level because the strategic objective of collective punishment is indefensible. The world now see this clearly. The fact that Israel still will not release the video from the reporters own cameras is indicative of a cover-up. There is no legal reason to take this evidence away from civilian reporters in international waters. Can anyone prove this wrong? Can any of you prove anything I have said wrong? Or will it be more of the usual “terrorist supporter” comebacks?

    If any American, military or civilian, assisted in this, or future, raids of this type or aids in its cover up I will help to pull your butts in court here or the Hague myself. This action is not representative of American values or law. And if one does decide to aid the IDF in its collective punishment of civilians at least do me the favor of pulling your flag patch of your shoulder. Do not stain my flag or my country with your illegality.

    URR:

    You are special. You prove that you are above the ad hominem charge by spewing out more.

    “You must be in the running for the Louis Farrakhan award at the annual Mosley Society banquet. The other finalist might be Sacto.”

    “Right. Hope you find room on your shelf for that Farrakhan award.”

  • UltimaRatioReg

    I believe “ad hominem” is defined as using an irrelevant or unrelated personal characteristic as a means to attack the legitimacy of an opinion or viewpoint.

    I don’t believe it covers disagreeing with an espoused philosophy or point of view, nor highlighting that disagreement in discussion on the same or related topics.

    But that’s just me. Mister Vegas.

  • SwitchBlade

    “Sacto43 Says:
    SwitchBlade,
    The case you make is valid for nation states. The Gaza strip is not a nation.”

    There is a dictionary definition of a Nation. Gaza mostly fits it. The legal definitions differ – but Gaza fits most. You’re trying to make a distinction without a difference.

    “If the Israels want to enforce a blockade then they have to provide the civilian populations humanitarian needs under the Forth Geneva Convention and direction of the Security Council. Israel is not doing this. Therefore, the right for Israel to enforce a humanitarian blockade is dubious at best.”

    Israel has several boarder crossing points into and out of Gaza, through which the majority (if not all – I don’t believe anything except people were allowed through Egypt’s crossing points until this week) of LEGAL goods passed. As I stated previously, there are no starving children or anyone else in Gaza. And since there aren’t and Israel and Egypt have the only crossing points, your statements that humanitarian aid isn’t getting through are obviously false. Israel requires goods going into Gaza be inspected for contriband – you know; arms, ammo, rockets that can be fired into Israel, etc.

    “It can then be assumed (and probably easily confirmed via Mossad) that this flotilla-media stunt-cargo ship is not a Hamas death squad.”

    The after the incident evidence doesn’t seem to support this statement. Maybe they weren’t a “Hamas death squad” (I’m not sure what your point is) but if these ship’s real and only mission was to get the cargo to Gaza, they would have taken up Israel’s offer to go through Israel’s port, get inspected and transported into Gaza. The obvious mission was to cause a confrontation and break the blockade.

    “All other arguments here depend on the assumption that this ship was hostile.”

    The stated goal of the ship was to run a blockade. By definition, that makes the ship hostile.

    You’ll get no arguments from me that Israeli tactics were poorly thought out and reasonable people would conclude the mission would end badly. But, you won’t get an agreement that Israel doesn’t have the right to inspect all cargo going into an avowed enemy of Israel, territory that not long ago was policed (occupied) by Israel, and upon Israel leaving, immediately and almost continuously attacked Israel by firing un-aimed rockets into civilian populated areas of Israel. The population of Gaza then elected a terrorist organization as the government – an organization that has as a main tenant to destroy Israel, doesn’t recognize Israel and considers Israel a Palestinian homeland, even though most Palestinians were born elsewhere, both before and after Israel became a state. And this, even though Israel didn’t evict the Palestinians that resided there when it became a state, but the ones that left, left voluntarily.

  • UltimaRatioReg
  • Rick Wilmes

    Hamas and it’s supporters, we mock you.

  • Lee Wetherhorn

    Lou
    To the best of my knowledge the only helo sent to the liberty was the Super Frelon with the US Naval Attache. The Israelis were in the middle of a hot war and hardly had time and resources to waste on the Liberty. The air attacks were made by an air defense CAP and a ground attack duo, both diverted to the Liberty when she was still thought to be hostile.
    The very idea that a helicopter would approach a burning ship with masts booms and antennas sticking out all over where you can’t see them and might accidentally touch one with your rotor is hard for me to accept. I always thought it was scary enough to be transferred by helo to a non-aviation ship in good, clear weather.
    The torpedo boat attack was not an operation planned at the top level. It was an interception of an unidentified, and assumed, hostile, ship. The torpedo boats tried challenging by flashing light (“AA” – “what ship”). The only response they think they saw was “AA” in return. That was the same exchange they had in 1956 with the Ibrahim Al-Awal off Haifa, a fact not lost on the Israeli officers on the scene.
    The torpedo boats only opened fire and launched torpedoes AFTER some idiot on the Liberty shot at them with an 0.50 MG. This is in the record of the USN Court of inquiry, only one of 5 bodies that have filed reports on what happened. The decision to launch torpedoes was made by the on scene commander after requesting, and receiving permission. Gunfire, as I recall, was returned immediately.
    You may not have a vendetta against them, but a lot of other people who still ask for yet another inquiry certainly seem to have one. Just check the tone and content of some of the material on the sites you mentioned (not to mention the misleading translations of the Hebrew language radio transmissions from the pilots.)
    The torpedoes used by the Israelis were WWII former German 17.7″ relics. Apparently no one was sure they would even function correctly. Even so, they only made one hit.
    I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment regarding Captain McGonagle. The crew of the Liberty, like that of the Cole, did a terrific job of handling damage to their ship.

    Regarding the Gaza Aid Flotilla, I’ve heard some more this weekend about what happened. Rumors about results from interrogation of people on board by the Israelis before deporting them included the following items:
    1) The Mavi Marmari had 3 types of people on board. Crew, real humanitarian aid supporters, and combatant ‘hit squads’.
    2) the real aid supporters were all ordered below decks when the Israelis approached.
    3) The ‘Hit Squads” then took out previously prepared weapons, mostly iron bars, chains, and knives. They were also equipped with stun grenades, gas masks, and small radios for inter-squad communications. There were 3 squads of 10 or more men, each assigned to a different section of the upper deck.
    4) None of the ‘hit squad’ members carried identification. Some are reported to have large sums of cash, up to $10000 US each.
    5) At least one of them is reported to have expressed regret that he was not killed. It would have qualified him for Shahid (Martyr) status. He said he had already failed once before and hoped to succeed the next time.
    6) An officer from the Turkish Crew is reported to have said he saw ‘hit squad’ members throwing hand guns over the side after the Israelis started shooting back.
    7) Israeli examination of the bodies that were returned before they were transferred does not match reports of autopsies broadcast from other sources indicating victims were shot from behind.
    I cannot vouch for the complete accuracy of all these, but from past experience I rate both the source, and content, as highly believable.

  • Andre From Sacto

    Lee, all the evidence you produced is from the IDF. Where is the video evidence from the ship’s passengers? It is being held by the IDF to perpetuate in the cover-up. IF there were ‘bad actors’ among the ship’s crew then undoubtedly this video would show it. This is how you lose an information war. The IDF has done a fantastic job of pushing its version of the story out with its well-played video release. But the rest of the world knows there is other video out there and that it is being suppressed. There is NO legal precedence for confiscating video media in international waters. This is how the IDF will win this information battle but lose the information war. A lesson that we here in the US should not ignore.

  • Rick Wilmes

    Why is the pro-Hamas crowd and the media making such a fuss about the raid taking place in international waters?

  • http://www.coatneyhistory.com Lou Coatney

    Lee,

    A few responses:

    Even if the Israeli claim that there was miscommunication and “some idiot” fired on the torpedoboats first … which may or may not be the truth … Liberty had been under concerted air attack by Israeli aircraft, and any other Israeli combatants could be assumed to be attacking.

    You still can’t explain the close quarters machinegunning of the liferafts after Liberty had become defenseless, and the only explanation is that a sinking with no survivors was intended. Indeed, being so close that automatic weapons could be used makes mistaken identity a transparently false excuse.

    “To the best of my knowledge the only helo sent to the liberty was the Super Frelon with the US Naval Attache. The Israelis were in the middle of a hot war and hardly had time and resources to waste on the Liberty.”

    A special/black op which could bring us directly into the Mideast wars would be well worth any assets diverted from other combat, and Liberty was an easy target requiring very few assets. You might talk to Jim Ennes, to broaden your knowledge of what happened that day, if the GTR5 webpage still doesn’t convince you.

    http://www.gtr5.com/summary_of_events.htm

    Again, if the Israelis had been properly exposed and punished for what appears to have been an attempted false flag massacre, any similar (and infinitely worse) scheme – by the Israelis and/or whomever – most probably would have been deterred, and we would not be in the strategic MESS we are now.

  • Lee Wetherhorn

    Lou

    I’m not interested in turning this into a “Liberty” discussion. As you might have surmised, I think that Mr Ennes and most of the GTR5 site are interested in a vendetta. I also think that approach, with it’s attendant distortions, does little to credit the victims, Those men deserve our admiration and honor.
    I said distortions in the previous paragraph because your comment on the Liberty opening fire first was that it may or may not be true. The testimony at the Navy Court of Inquiry saying it was true came from Captain Mcgonagle, who had to make the man stop shooting.
    The media wars on the aid flotilla are still going on. The latest I’ve seen is some highly questionable interview in the Turkish press of a former US Marine named O’keefe. I’ve been told he also holds a Palestinian Passport, issued by Hamas, and he was on board in order to get to Gaza where he intended to use his military experience train Hamas troops. My own knowledge of the law regarding contraband doesn’t cover cases of transporting self-styled freedom fighters, but it does make me think that statements that nothing was being carried that constituted military aid might be questionable.

  • Mustafa Akin

    When the Vatican opposed the Communist Regimes in 1940s, Stalin asked this question ‘how many guns does the Vatican hold?’. Stalin undermined the difference between soft power and hard power. Israel also forgot the soft power (media, humanitarian action, NGO) as Lou noted. However, the communism was not destroyed by the gun machine but by the constant propoganda regarding the life standard discrepancy between east and west.

2014 Information Domination Essay Contest
7ads6x98y