Little Green Footballs

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Gazan Guernica

Richard Silverstein at Tikun Olam documents a horrifying new weapon being used on Palestinians.

Forget about Israel being a "light unto the nations" as the seminal early Zionist thinker Ahad HaAm used to say. Think more like Nazi Germany and the Spanish Civil War. Besides an ideological affinity between Franco's fascists and Hitler, the Fuhrer found that conflict a perfect testing ground for Germany's new weapons technology. During the Civil War, the Luftwaffe first previewed the new technique of aerial bombardment to devastating effect in places like Guernica. Hitler and Goering got to test all of their new playtoys like the Messerschmitts, Junkers, and anti-tank cannons.

It seems that Israel has been using Gazans in precisely the same way since its invasion following the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.
What makes him describe the Israeli government and IDF in such a strong way? This weapon...

According to the official website of a U.S. air force laboratory, it is a "focused lethality" weapon, which aims to accurately destroy the target while causing minimum damage to the surrounding.

According to the site, the projectile comprises a carbon-fiber casing filled with tungsten powder and explosives. In the explosion, tungsten particles - a metal capable of conducting very high temperatures - spread over a radius of four meters [12 feet] and cause death.

According to the U.S.-based website Defense-Tech, "the result is an incredibly destructive blast in a small area" and "the destructive power of the mixture causes far more damage than pure explosive." It adds that "the impact of the micro-shrapnel seems to cause a similar but more powerful effect than a shockwave."
Richard finishes by asking the following questions.

If you're trying to kill a bad guy in an urban setting, does the IDF not realize that innocent bystanders will be highly likely within the 12-25 kill zone? And if the weapon provides for increased lethality within that zone might it not be possible that you would kill more, rather than less innocents by using it in the most densely packed urban environment on earth, Gaza?
We all know the answers Richard. I doubt very much you'll get them from the Israeli government or the IDF though.

UPDATE: Gavin M. at Sadly, No! takes Chuckles task over his absurd claim that a journalist writing about this in the Guardian was an anti-Semite spreading blood libel. Despite of course the story being reported in Haaretz and the existence of the weapon under discussion in various trustworthy sources. Nobody cheapens the accusation of anti-Semitism like Charles F. Johnson.

4 comments:

thabet said...

Free speech threatened by Fundies.

A.Q. said...

Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth.

Jakester said...

You claim to be against LGF right wing thinking then you compare Israel to Nationalist Spain and the US to Nazi Germany? If you do a little readiing on the Spanish Civil War, the (Red) Republicans murdered those they labeled Fascists just as readily as the reverse!

MJ said...

You claim to be against LGF right wing thinking then you compare Israel to Nationalist Spain and the US to Nazi Germany?

No we didn't. Richard Silverstein did. He was making a broad statement that the experimentation with new weapons and tactics was similar. Which it is.

If you do a little readiing

I can assure you 'we' have, and anyone who uses that to argue a point is usually the one who needs to go away and do some reading.

the (Red) Republicans murdered those they labeled Fascists just as readily as the reverse!

Thank you for that awe inspiring insight into a complex and important moment in history. You must be top of your class. And exactly what has that to do with this horrifying new weapon and its deployment in the Gaza Strip?