Saturday, 15 August 2009

War Crimes, Attrocities, Blame and the IDF-Gaza Issue

This morning I read a well put article by Petra Marquardt-Bigman called "Israel responds to war crimes allegations", on the Harry's Place blog site. It identifies and critiques the IDF report and response and perhaps that is correct, but I think there is a bigger picture and I expressed it as a comment. Here it is.....


The item by Petra Marquardt-Bigman is very well presented and correct in all its reporting and I commend it.
Having said that, it shows how as another mentioned, the international processes are not geared towards insurgency, revolution, terrorism and the like.
There is no doubt that civilians were targeted, illegal weapons were used, brutalities and murders had occurred by IDF forces and there is also no doubt that the Israeli people are subjected to bombings, rocket attacks, threats of violence by organized militant groups and more. All are not only without doubt, they are documented.
The problem is dealing with it, or not.
War is brutal, deadly - that is a reality. Since the onset of open media, journalism, the video camera and now the mobile phone and Internet reporting the realities that happen in war, we are now all aware of what is happening. This started during the Vietnam War and since then war has become unpopular and ugly and every act has been scrutinized, judged and condemned and every military and their government has been trying to suppress it. This has not been altered.
Again, the question is the problem of dealing with it or not.
The proof is that a military exercises has victims, the target may be a legitimate military but often enough it is civilian or civilian infrastructure. The targeting of the Taliban in Afghanistan and P

akistan by drones has been successful militarily but the civilian targets are politically a failure. The sending of thousands of troops into a zone to fight and occupy, particularly when the enemy are indistinguishable from the civilians, results in frustration and anger by the troops and indiscriminate killings will certainly follow and you see that everywhere.
So these are difficult realities but there are those that can be worked on, targeted as unacceptable and this should be perhaps the focus.
There are instigators and politicians that provoke the targeting of peoples and if combined with military force ensures the atrocities and there are military forces that are driven by ideologies, radicals and extremists that are capable of anything. Rawanda and Bosnia are perfect examples as is what is happening in Darfur. By making the politicians, ideologues and rogue generals responsible, the targeting of war criminals is easily achieved and will go a far way towards distinguishing between the ugly realities of war and the deliberate horrors of crime through the deliberate use of the ugliness of war.
Terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah have crossed the line a multitude of times and its leadership are responsible. The issue of the IDF force should not so much be about the individual actions on the battle-field but how much of that was simple military brutality but what was organized and provoked from within - how much of it was political and by whom?