“Armchair” Killing: A US-Israeli Trademark

Reports of prisoner abuse at the US prison at Bagram air force base in Afghanistan come as no surprise. They are just the latest example of the world’s biggest bully behaving badly as usual.

As if that weren’t enough, I’m reading how some 83 people, mostly civilians, were killed and over 50 injured in three drone attacks within 12 hours in Lataka, South Waziristan.

The first strike killed several suspected Taliban. Later, a second drone fired three missiles into a crowd of funeral mourners.

One of the wounded commented: “If the Taliban are bombing the mosques and America is bombing the funerals, what is the difference between them? We are stuck between Taliban and US attacks and when we are killed, not only no one cries for us, but also we are dubbed militants.”

Since August 2008, over 40 US drone strikes have killed at least 410 people. US troops in neighboring Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy unmanned drones in the region.

The use of armed drones is a particularly cowardly form of warfare. These lethal “assets” are computer-controlled from the comfort and safety of an armchair a hundred miles away and guided by dodgy “intelligence”. Or, if the truth be known, no intelligence at all. The Israelis use them extensively in Gaza to unleash death and destruction on civilian targets by remote control. Engines for Israeli drones are believed to be supplied by a British manufacturer, although the government here pretends not to know the truth of the matter.

This trend in ‘sofa slaughter’ has many variations. For example, during the 40-day siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002 the Israeli Occupation Force set up huge cranes on which were mounted robotic machine guns under video control. Eight defenders, including the bell-ringer, were murdered, some by the robotic guns and some by snipers.

The US and its allies are just as callous in their treatment of civilian prisoners. The British authorities deal with their casual killings by offering £4,500 in compensation, showing how cheaply we value the life of ‘Johnny Foreigner’. And when it comes to prisoner abuse the Israelis, whose every cruel excess the West defends, don’t even spare children, according to various reports.

Something very chilling can take hold of uniformed thugs — I won’t call them soldiers because what many of them do is not proper soldiering — in a war zone; and in the days before high-tech weaponry like drones and robotic machine guns they happily indulged their blood-lust by murdering civilians at close quarters. If you haven’t heard of the My Lai massacre, brace yourself.

In 1968, 150 men of Charlie Company, a US infantry unit, were sent on a ‘search and destroy’ mission into the South Vietnamese village of My Lai. Four hours later more than 500 civilians — unarmed women, children and old men — were dead. Charlie Company hadn’t encountered a single Viet Cong. Nevertheless the unit, led by Lt. William Calley, rounded up villagers and machine-gunned them until the dead lay five-deep.

When Calley spotted a baby crawling away, he grabbed her, threw her back into the ditch, and opened fire again.

Helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson, flying over the area, was so sickened by what he saw that he landed his machine to shield villagers from the troops and began rescuing survivors. He ordered his gunner to open up on any American soldiers who continued to shoot civilians.

Some of the dead were mutilated by having “C Company” carved into their chests; some were disemboweled.

Official reports said the My Lai operation was a stunning combat victory, and General Westmoreland congratulated the men on their bravery.

The American people didn’t learn the truth until 18 months later . . . and then only because a Vietnam veteran, after hearing about the incident from friends who had served in Charlie Company, wrote a letter to his congressman and other prominent officials, including President Nixon.

An army photographer produced pictures of the carnage. Then freelance reporter Seymour Hersh managed to interview Calley and splashed the story over the front pages of American newspapers.

26 members of C Company were charged with criminal behavior but not convicted. Calley himself was eventually court-martialed and sentenced to life imprisonment. After serving just three days he was moved to a comfortable apartment under house arrest, on Nixon’s orders. He was paroled three years later.

Hersh said that many in Charlie Company “had given in to an easy pattern of violence” and were totally blind to the humanity of the Vietnamese people. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

My Lai was one of many atrocities committed in Korea and Vietnam. Military training in those days set out to dehumanize not only the enemy but the local civilian population as well. Army culture encouraged its so-called soldiers to think they could treat them like garbage.

Has anything changed? The conduct of the Americans and their close buddies the Israelis is remarkably similar. They are the pacesetters (though not the only practitioners) in savagery and the casual art of killing Johnny Foreigner. It is now done at arm’s length — by remote video control or at the end of a sniper’s scope-sight or by DU tank shell, or from 35,000 feet. No need to personally check the situation on the ground, or look your unarmed victim in the eye, or get your hands dirty. No need to count the bodies afterwards or clear up the shredded and vaporized remains.

Apparently these high-tech killers, their commanders and their political masters have convinced themselves that everyone they don’t like is sub-human.

I’m reminded of a blistering attack by a church minister in Oklahoma after the shock-and-awe onslaught on Iraq, the point at which he discovered that his faith had been hijacked by fundamentalists who claimed to speak for Jesus but whose actions were anything but Christian.

“When you live in a country that has established international rules for waging a just war, build the United Nations on your own soil to enforce them, and then arrogantly break the very rules you set down for the rest of the world, you are doing something immoral,” he said.

”When you claim that Jesus is the Lord of your life, and yet fail to acknowledge that your policies ignore his essential teaching, or turn them on their head, you are doing something immoral.

”When you act as if the lives of Iraqi civilians are not as important as the lives of American soldiers, and refuse to even count them, you are doing something immoral.

”When you claim that our God is bigger than their God, and that our killing is righteous, while theirs is evil, we have begun to resemble the enemy we claim to be fighting, and that is immoral.

“We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.”

Stuart Littlewood’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper, can now be read on the internet by visiting radiofreepalestine.org.uk. Read other articles by Stuart.

32 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Danny Ray said on June 28th, 2009 at 5:25pm #

    (by remote video control or at the end of a sniper’s scope-sight or by DU tank shell, or from 35,000 feet.0

    Sorry you need to do just a little more research, depleted uranium is only used in an anti- armor role in tank rounds. Tank rounds are MPAT or HTP. mpat is beeing done away with due to its unrealiablity.

    The current Long rod penetrator is the M823 Depleted uranium round designated APFSDS-T However most commanders prefer the D63 Tungsten round also designated APFSDS-T due to its greater range.

    The round used to kill at long range is HE-TP or High Explosive -Tracer

  2. Mulga Mumblebrain said on June 28th, 2009 at 10:30pm #

    Danny Boy is beating off as we speak, over-excited by the ‘death porn’ he and his ilk so adore.

  3. Noisy Tappet said on June 28th, 2009 at 11:45pm #

    Norwegian doctors reported finding DU traces among Gazan wounded, presumably from tank rounds. Killers’ preferences very interesting though, Danny. Somebody should ask Mr Shalit what his favourite killer explosive is.

  4. Danny Ray said on June 29th, 2009 at 6:22am #

    No Mulga, I was thinking of you :-(

    No I just wish the author of these articals would do just a little research on the subject. There are some excellent articals on DU in Wiki. And on Google in general.

    As I said before DU is an anti- armor weapon. it is hidiously expensive and no one but a moron would use one for soft targets. And hate us as much as you do we in the military are not morons.
    DU is also produced for the rounds used in the GAU 35 Cannon on board the A10 which to the best of my knowledge the IDF does not have.

    I watched the pics. of the IDF in Gaza very closely and never saw many tank rounds being fired. and as I said High Explosive tracer, (HE-T )is used on soft targets. If you use a kinetic round on a block or stone building all you get is two small holes in and out. for a kinetic round to be at its maxium efectiveness it needs to go through at lest 1 inch of metal to allow it to produce what are called BURLIN SPRAWLS which do the real damage.

    As for preferences you use the right tool for the job, a hammer makes a damn poor screwdriver and vice versa. To service a hard target you use a long rod penetrator or HEAT-T to kill a soft target you use HE-T or Maybe HEAT-T If thats what you have up the tube. You just need to know that a Main gun is a piss poor way to engage anything but a hard target.

  5. Danny Ray said on June 29th, 2009 at 6:23am #

    By the way N.T, DU is not an explosive it is a metal.

  6. Noisy Tappet said on June 29th, 2009 at 9:51am #

    Considering the mentality of the Israeli military, whose greatest desire is to humiliate and exterminate the ‘untermenschen’, it wouldn’t surprise me if they used DU shells for their long-term anti-personnel effect and never mind that they might not be the “right tool” against soft targets. Hamas don’t have any armour to punch through so why have traces been found by the medics? Hideously expensive or not, the US seems to have produced plenty of DU ordnance. Isn’t there a surplus left over from the Iraq wars that’s approaching its ‘best before’ date?

  7. Danny Ray said on June 29th, 2009 at 10:33am #

    That’s just the point, A medic would have no way of knowing if something is radioactive or not. Sounds like people talking about something they know nothing about. you can’t pick up the trace on a standard radiac meter and I do not think they would have the special equipment to know if they saw it.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain said on June 29th, 2009 at 1:25pm #

    Aren’t we lucky to have Danny Boy’s expertise at our disposal as to the correct way to deal with ‘soft targets’. After all most of us non-military, non-psychopaths actually think of them as men, women and children, someone’s child, parent or friend. Whenever I have hopes that humanity might make it and might become less malignant, and therefore deserve to survive, along comes some Danny Boy to remind me of the sad truth.

  9. Noisy Tappet said on June 29th, 2009 at 2:09pm #

    I’m hoping we might get the low-down on Israel’s use of thermobaric weapons next…….. It’s a chance for Danny to wax truly lyrical.

  10. Melissa said on June 29th, 2009 at 2:49pm #

    Knowledge is knowledge.

    Danny Ray: I thought depleted uranium was a waste product and in abundant supply? – A round-about way to dispose of waste as well as ensure future destruction of surviving generations.

    Melissa

  11. Danny Ray said on June 29th, 2009 at 3:12pm #

    Melissa, Thank you for your kind thought, Knowledge is power.

    DP is a by product of fuel production, the expence comes from the actual manufacturing of the munition,

    http://cseserv.engr.scu.edu/StudentWebPages/IPesic/ResearchPaper.htm

    This is an excellent paper by a bio ethnicist (who is againced it) that will tell you more about it.

    Also the US army is switching to tungston rounds due to the hazards of DU ( plus the fact that they are better)

  12. Melissa said on June 29th, 2009 at 3:45pm #

    Much thanks, Danny Ray. I just finished reading the paper.

    Glad to hear that the military is voluntarily abandoning DU. I hope that they will begin to recognize the need to care for their own collateral damage (vets).

    from the ResearchPaper linked above:
    “There is simply too much money, power, and politics involved! It is up to the people to obligate themselves in becoming more aware of such actions by higher authorities. It is up to the people to exercise their democratic powers so as to keep their governments and their affiliated branches in check.”

    Thanks again for the information.

  13. Danny Ray said on June 29th, 2009 at 4:12pm #

    You are welcome. You now know about ten times more about DU than 95% of all other posters here. I don’t know much about organic gardening but I am somewhat of an expert on things that go BANG in the night

  14. Noisy Tappet said on June 29th, 2009 at 10:18pm #

    So what’s the latest on thermobarics – another matter of contention I hear?

  15. Mulga Mumblebrain said on June 29th, 2009 at 11:17pm #

    The bedrock of US and Israeli savagery is the same as that of Belgian savagery in the Congo, English savagery in Southern Africa and India, French savagery in Algiers, Italian savagery in Libya and Abyssinia, Spanish and Portuguese savagery in the New World and German savagery in South-West Africa. The forces of Western Civilization, primarily, I would contend, as a result of imbibing the Judaic creation myth of being ‘Chosen People’, or, as the Nazis said, Herrenvolk, fancy themselves a higher order of creation to the ‘savages’, ‘niggers’ and ‘two-legged animals’ who get in the way of the West’s ‘manifest destiny’ to rule the world.That, incidentally, is why China’s rise must lead to war. The rulers of the West simply will not allow the situation to arise where some ‘chink’ or ‘gook’ is giving them orders.
    Moreover another Judaic legacy, transmitted by ‘Christian’ adherence to Old Testament ‘values’, is genocide. I am not certain if the insistent incitements to genocide that litter the Old Testament are indeed the first such exhortations in recorded human history, but they seem to be so. It is irrefutable that Western colonists, in the North American colonies for example, used the Biblical injunctions to kill all the men, women and children, and destroy the crops, as justification for annihilatory tactics against the indigenous. Not forgetting those sacred Judaic remembrances, of Passover and Purim, both of which celebrate the mass murder of innocents.
    Undoubtedly Islam followed in the footsteps of the other Near Eastern monotheisms in massacres and savage doctrine and the Mongols were not backward in genocide when resisted. However, the current masters of mass murder are undoubtedly the forces of the West, led by the US. Not only do they kill millions, as in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, but they lie about it without conscience, and, as we can see, they get off on it for pathopsychological reasons. Moreover the economic policies they oversee and which inevitably cause terrific and unnecessary global inequality and suffering, cause millions of avoidable deaths, mostly amongst children and infants, every year. And to top it all, the intransigence of the Western Right, led by the US, has ensured an imminent global ecological collapse, justified by many as being nothing more than asserting our ‘God-given’ suzerainty over Nature. At that point the poisonous superstitions that have caused so much unnecessary suffering will die out with their host.

  16. mary said on June 30th, 2009 at 1:03am #

    Yet another report, this time from the International Red Cross, saying that 1.5 million people in Gaza are trapped in despair.

    http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/palestine-report-260609/$File/gaza-report-ICRC-eng.pdf

    In spite of this, the most cruel of occupiers have stopped a Free Gaza boat, in International Waters as before, and surrounded it jamming its communications. The boat is carrying Palestinians trying to return home, medical supplies, items like colouring books and crayons (banned by Israel) but not doctors who were on the earlier voyage on mv Dignity which the Israeli navy rammed.

    An earlier e-mail today read –
    At 1:40 am, the Israeli Navy surrounded the SPIRIT while it is on its way to the Gaza Strip. We got a call from the boat saying that they were being threatened, told to turn back or they would be fired on.

    Huwaida Arraf, one of the delegation leaders, was on the phone with the Israeli gunboats, and we could hear her saying, “You Cannot Open Fire on Unarmed Civilians” several times. At this writing, they are surrounded by several ships shining bright lights into the SPIRIT.

    An e-mail just in reads
    “ALL WE WANT IS TO REACH GAZA. WE DO NOT SEEK A CONFRONTATION.”
    Activists aboard Gaza justice boat demand they be allowed to visit their friends & family in besieged Gaza, and deliver their cargo of medical supplies, children’s toys, and reconstruction kits. They invite the world to join them.

    (At Sea, 60km off the coast of the Gaza Strip) – Human Rights activists aboard the Free Gaza ship, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, today demanded that the Israeli Navy immediately stop threatening them.

    “This aid is desperately needed by the people of Gaza,” said Mairead Maguire, winner of the Noble Peace Prize and Pacem in Terris Award for her work in Northern Ireland. “President Obama has called upon the Palestinians to abandon violence but Israel is denying them the right to non-violently resist the siege of Gaza.”

    The unarmed justice ship departed Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7:30am Monday with its crew of 21 human rights activists, humanitarian workers and journalists from 11 different countries, including Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The boat, a converted ferry, hopes to arrive in Gaza Tuesday afternoon, following a grueling 30 hour sea voyage.

    At 1:30am, Israeli warships surrounded the small civilian boat and threatened to open fire if they did not turn around. When the activists refused to be intimidated, Israeli Occupation Forces began jamming their instrumentation, blocking their GPS, radar, and navigation systems. This jamming was in direct violation of international maritime law, threatening the welfare and safety of the civilian ship.

    Responding to this intimidation, Congresswoman McKinney declared, “I am extremely angry. We demand that the Israeli government call off their attack dogs. We are unarmed civilians aboard an unarmed boat delivering medical and reconstruction aid to other human beings in Gaza. Why in God’s name would Israel want to attack us?”

    Huwaida Arraf, Chairperson of the Free Gaza movement and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage, said, “All we want is to reach Gaza. We want to visit our friends and deliver our cargo of medical supplies, children’s toys, and reconstruction materials. Our ship was searched and received security clearance from the Port Authorities in Cyprus before we departed.”

    Arraf continued, “We do not seek a confrontation. We have traveled from Cypriot waters to international waters and will enter Gazan waters. We’ve never gone anywhere near Israel. Israel’s closure of Gaza is an act of collective punishment and a blatant violation of international law. We call upon our governments to take action to uphold their obligations under the Fourth Geneva Conventions. If they won’t or until they do, we will act. We will come to Gaza again and again until this brutal siege is broken. We invite the good people of the world to join us.”

    Free Gaza boats are the first international ships in 41 years to sail to the Gaza Strip. Since August 2008, the Free Gaza Movement has organized 8 sea missions, successfully arriving to Gaza on 5 separate occasions. One two earlier occasions, Israeli Occupation Forces used violence to stop the ships, physically ramming and almost sinking the DIGNITY boat in December 2008, and threatening to fire on and kill unarmed passengers in January 2008. The fate of this, the eighth mission to Gaza, is still uncertain.
    ###

    For more information, please contact:
    Greta Berlin (English/French) or Caoimhe Butterly (English/Arabic/Spanish) at 00357 99 081 767 / gro.azageerfnull@sdneirf
    http://www.FreeGaza.org

    WHAT YOU CAN DO!

    CALL or FAX Major Liebovitz from the Israeli Navy at:
    Tel + 972 5 781 86248 or +972 3737 7777 or +972 3737 6242
    Fax +972 3737 6123 or +972 3737 7175

    CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister’s office at:
    Tel +972 2670 5354 or +972 5 0620 3264
    li.vog.omp.tinull@veger.kram

    CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
    Tel +972 3697 5339 or +972 50629 8148
    li.vog.domnull@rasaidem

  17. mary said on June 30th, 2009 at 1:10am #

    $2.775 billion of your US tax dollars are feeding this evil machine. When are the American people going to wake up?

    Grant F. Smith writes – June 29, 2009 “Online Journal” — President Barak Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget request for $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel is proceeding smoothly through the Congress.

    On June 17, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs held a “mark-up” session on the budget. The subcommittee came under pressure from an antiwar group that sought to suspend or condition foreign aid over Israel’s use of US weapons which left 3000 Palestinians dead during the Bush administration. The subcommittee held its session in a tiny Capitol room denying activists and members of the press access. The budget quickly passed and is now before the full House Appropriations Committee.

    Israel enjoys “unusually wide latitude in spending the [military assistance] funds,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

    continues/…
    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22938.htm

  18. bozh said on June 30th, 2009 at 7:46am #

    mulga, yes,
    churchill has often justified establishment of a ‘jewish’ state on, what he thought, judaic ‘values’
    he either did not read torah, or if he did, his hatred for arabs had been one of the causes for saying that. tnx

  19. mary said on June 30th, 2009 at 8:13am #

    No law is respected. No humanity is shown. Even US citizens are taken prisoner.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    30 June 2009

    ISRAEL ATTACKS JUSTICE BOAT; KIDNAPS HUMAN RIGHTS WORKERS; CONFISCATES MEDICINE, TOYS AND OLIVE TREES

    For more information contact:
    Greta Berlin (English)
    tel: +357 99 081 767 / gro.azageerfnull@sdneirf

    Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish):
    tel: +357 99 077 820 / ku.oc.liamtohnull@87arahas
    http://www.FreeGaza.org

    [23 miles off the coast of Gaza, 15:30pm] – Today Israeli Occupation Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (see below for a complete list of passengers). The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.

    “This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate. “President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”

    According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report released yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are “trapped in despair.” Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed earlier during Israel’s December/January massacre are still without shelter despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel’s disruption of medical supplies.

    “The aid we were carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of Gaza, hope that the sea route would open for them, and they would be able to transport their own materials to begin to reconstruct the schools, hospitals and thousands of homes destroyed during the onslaught of “Cast Lead”. Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza that we stand by them and that they are not alone” said fellow passenger Mairead Maguire, winner of a Noble Peace Prize for her work in Northern Ireland.

    Just before being kidnapped by Israel, Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza Movement chairperson and delegation co-coordinator on this voyage, stated that: “No one could possibly believe that our small boat constitutes any sort of threat to Israel. We carry medical and reconstruction supplies, and children’s toys. Our passengers include a Nobel peace prize laureate and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat was searched and received a security clearance by Cypriot Port Authorities before we departed, and at no time did we ever approach Israeli waters.”

    Arraf continued, “Israel’s deliberate and premeditated attack on our unarmed boat is a clear violation of international law and we demand our immediate and unconditional release.”
    ###

    WHAT YOU CAN DO!

    CONTACT the Israeli Ministry of Justice
    tel: +972 2646 6666 or +972 2646 6340
    fax: +972 2646 6357

    CONTACT the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    tel: +972 2530 3111
    fax: +972 2530 3367

    CONTACT Mark Regev in the Prime Minister’s office at:
    tel: +972 5 0620 3264 or +972 2670 5354
    li.vog.omp.tinull@veger.kram

    CONTACT the International Committee of the Red Cross to ask for their assistance in establishing the wellbeing of the kidnapped human rights workers and help in securing their immediate release!

    Red Cross Israel
    tel: +972 3524 5286
    fax: +972 3527 0370
    gro.crcinull@let.viva_let

    Red Cross Switzerland:
    tel: +41 22 730 3443
    fax: +41 22 734 8280

    Red Cross USA:
    tel: +1 212 599 6021
    fax: +1 212 599 6009
    ###

    Kidnapped Passengers from the Spirit of Humanity include:

    Khalad Abdelkader, Bahrain
    Khalad is an engineer representing the Islamic Charitable Association of Bahrain.

    Othman Abufalah, Jordan
    Othman is a world-renowned journalist with al-Jazeera TV.

    Khaled Al-Shenoo, Bahrain
    Khaled is a lecturer with the University of Bahrain.

    Mansour Al-Abi, Yemen
    Mansour is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera TV.

    Fatima Al-Attawi, Bahrain
    Fatima is a relief worker and community activist from Bahrain.

    Juhaina Alqaed, Bahrain
    Juhaina is a journalist & human rights activist.

    Huwaida Arraf, US
    Huwaida is the Chair of the Free Gaza Movement and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage.

    Ishmahil Blagrove, UK
    Ishmahil is a Jamaican-born journalist, documentary film maker and founder of the Rice & Peas film production company. His documentaries focus on international struggles for social justice.

    Kaltham Ghloom, Bahrain
    Kaltham is a community activist.

    Derek Graham, Ireland
    Derek Graham is an electrician, Free Gaza organizer, and first mate aboard the Spirit of Humanity.

    Alex Harrison, UK
    Alex is a solidarity worker from Britain. She is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

    Denis Healey, UK
    Denis is Captain of the Spirit of Humanity. This will be his fifth voyage to Gaza.

    Fathi Jaouadi, UK
    Fathi is a British journalist, Free Gaza organizer, and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage.

    Mairead Maguire, Ireland
    Mairead is a Nobel laureate and renowned peace activist.

    Lubna Masarwa, Palestine/Israel
    Lubna is a Palestinian human rights activist and Free Gaza organizer.

    Theresa McDermott, Scotland
    Theresa is a solidarity worker from Scotland. She is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

    Cynthia McKinney, US
    Cynthia McKinney is an outspoken advocate for human rights and social justice issues, as well as a former U.S. congressperson and presidential candidate.

    Adnan Mormesh, UK
    Adnan is a solidarity worker from Britain. He is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

    Adam Qvist, Denmark
    Adam is a solidarity worker from Denmark. He is traveling to Gaza to do human rights monitoring.

    Adam Shapiro, US
    Adam is an American documentary film maker and human rights activist.

    Kathy Sheetz, US
    Kathy is a nurse and film maker, traveling to Gaza to do human rights monitoring.
    ###

  20. Melissa said on June 30th, 2009 at 8:18am #

    Thank you, Mary!

  21. Melissa said on June 30th, 2009 at 8:35am #

    The telephone # for Red Cross USA listed above is actually an international delegation based in New York. At that # she was unable to confirm and said that a boat was being escorted out . . . though she stated that she couldn’t confirm it was The Spirit of Humanity. She gave me the # for the Red Cross in Washington. The woman took down the info I shared, my number and will have someone call back.

    Because they are a function of UN, they can only recieve info, not act, according to the New York woman . . .

    Calling my rep and senator as well. Papers too. Please call yours, too.

  22. Melissa said on June 30th, 2009 at 8:36am #

    Oh yeah, # for Washington based Red Cross is: 202.587.4600

  23. Noisy Tappet said on June 30th, 2009 at 8:42am #

    Don’t forget to write to the schoolboy twit in short trousers David Miliband, Britain’s so-called foreign secretary who (like Brown) is eager to send the Royal Navy to stop the perfectly legitimate supply of arms – they call it ‘smuggling’ – to the perfectly legitimate Hamas government.

  24. Noisy Tappet said on June 30th, 2009 at 8:47am #

    P.S. Miliband of course should be guaranteeing the freedom of the high seas and shooing away Israeli pirates.

  25. mary said on June 30th, 2009 at 10:07am #

    ‘Armchair Killing’ as Stuart Littlewood says. This is a BBC report on a HRW investigation.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8127144.stm

    Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 16:58 UK

    Gaza civilians ‘killed by drones’

    The Israeli military makes extensive use of drones in combat situations
    Israeli drones unlawfully killed at least 29 Palestinian civilians during the Gaza conflict six months ago, the rights group Human Rights Watch says.

    It cited six attacks in which operators of pilotless aircraft allegedly failed to verify if targets were combatants as required by the laws of war.

    In three of the alleged cases, the group said the unmanned aircraft had fired on children playing on rooftops.

    Israel said all its actions and arms conformed with international law.

    Israel has a fleet of US and domestically manufactured drones but will neither confirm nor deny that they carry weapons.

    Precise weapons

    The 39-page report focuses on six alleged strikes, based on interviews with victims and witnesses, investigations of the attack sites, Israeli military and media reports on the fighting.

    It says that other human rights groups have documented many more casualties from similar attacks.

    Drone-launched missiles are considered among the most precise weapons in the world, the report says.

    But they can only be as good at sparing civilians as the people operating them, it adds, and Israel’s targeting choices led to loss of civilian lives.

    “Drone operators can clearly see their targets on the ground and also divert their missiles after launch,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the report.

    “Given these capabilities, Israel needs to explain why these civilian deaths took place.”

    But the Israeli military says it only acted against military targets during the conflict and that HRW has been taken in by propaganda from the Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip.

    More than 1,000 Palestinians are known to have died in the December-January Israeli operation in Gaza.

    Thirteen Israelis also died in the conflict, including in so-called friendly fire and Palestinian rocket attacks.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    (There is a photo of an ‘Israeli made Heron drone’ on the link)

    I like the way ZBC (as we call them) have included this sentence – ‘Israel said all its actions and arms conformed with international law.’

  26. Max Shields said on June 30th, 2009 at 10:16am #

    mary, but of course, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree….

  27. Max Shields said on June 30th, 2009 at 10:39am #

    Melissa,

    You posted a quote form IF Stone. Where is it? I’d like to reference it.

    (I like it by the way).
    Thanks

  28. Melissa said on June 30th, 2009 at 12:26pm #

    Max,

    I dunno. I remember quoting Shakespeare in a comment below an article about sychophancy . . .

    “Life is a tale told by an idiot . . . full of sound and fury . . . signifying, nothing.”

    truncated, from, uh . . . gosh . . . I think MacBeth. Not that helpful, I know.

    If I quoted IF Stone I was inadvertently plagiarizing.

    Peace,
    Melissa

  29. mary said on July 1st, 2009 at 3:03am #

    The latest update on the Free Gaza boat, the piracy of the Israeli navy and the kidnapping of the crew and passengers. Our ghastly Foreign Office have not lifted a finger or turned a hair to intervene (there were British nationals on board apart from all the others) but are ‘clarifying the facts’ according to the BBC (ZBC). This is very similar to their lack of help for those on the rammed boat Dignity in January. Shame on all those Friends of Israel in the British parliament and that includes Brown the PM and Cameron the leader of the Opposition.

    Update on kidnapped passengers, impounded boat, and the right for EVERYONE to see an attorney

    Journalists’ House
    12 CyBC (RIK) Avenue
    Aglantzia, Nicosia 2120, Cyprus

    Greta Berlin (English)
    tel: +357 99 28 41 02/ gro.azageerfnull@sdneirf

    Ramzi Kysia (English)
    Tel: + 357 99 08 17 67 moc.oohaynull@aisykrr

    Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish):
    tel: +357 99 80 96 37 / ku.oc.liamtohnull@87arahas
    http://www.FreeGaza.org

    (Larnaca, 1 July 2009) Yesterday, the Israeli Navy boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, SPIRIT OF HUMANITY and kidnapped the 21 human rights activists, humanitarian workers and activists on their way to Gaza. As of today, none of them have had the right to see an attorney even though they came to the detention center to see them.

    The Free Gaza Movement is calling for their release and the release of our boat, seized in international waters off the coast of Gaza as our SPOT locator clearly shows.

    But more importantly, twenty-one internationals can get headlines. What about the 11,000 Palestinians who languish in jail, many of them tortured. We will update you on the status of our kidnapped passengers and our impounded boat, but who will do the same for the Palestinians and their boats?

    We will insist that Israel stop interfering with our voyages to Gaza, since they do not have the right; legal or moral, to enforce a siege that collectively punishes 1.5 million Palestinians.

    Our demand is that our passengers re-board the boat and continue on to the port in Gaza, so we can deliver the building supplies and the humanitarian supplies that we loaded and inspected by the Cypriot authorities.

    Kidnapped Passengers from the Spirit of Humanity include (list as before)

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 1st, 2009 at 3:08am #

    Mary, you must remember that for the type of religious extremists who now run the Israeli terror state, the Palestinians are Amalek, and that text-book of genocide, the Torah, and the current day interpretations of such, and the Talmud, by extremist Rabbis, demand their extermination. So any sadistic cruelty, even, if not particularly, directed against children, is seen by this type as sanctified behaviour.I believe that by observing the behaviour of the Judaic Taliban, the so-called ‘settlers’ and the increasingly fundamentalist dominated IDF, in Gaza, and by reading the ravings of extremist rabbis, one can understand why Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, called the situation in Gaza ‘pre-genocidal’. I remember being non-plussed some years ago when I read something by the estimable Edward Said (so insanely hated and reviled by the Zionasties)where he wondered if the Palestinians’ ultimate fate might be genocide. It did not take long, from investigating the nether regions of Zionist and Judeofascist hatemongering to discover that this ultimate crime was freely advocated by the worst Israelis and other Jews. While never forgeting that many Israelis and diaspora Jews are the polar opposite of such maniacs, we must be aware that the worst of the Jews, due no doubt both to the insane supremacism over all humanity intrinsic to their religion, the innate extreme racism of all European settler societies towards the unwanted indigenous and the somewhat more understandable, if still deadly dangerous, fear and loathing of the goyim that flows from the Judeocide, are very nearly the most dangerous people on earth today.

  31. bozh said on July 1st, 2009 at 7:03am #

    mulga, yes,
    it does seem that some rabbis, ‘jews’, and ‘zionists’ do not differ from one another an iota on the levels of wishfulness and past/present reality.
    i say this having in mind that there are likely three main wishful thinkings on eventual size of a state for ‘jews’ only: israel pre ’67 with probably some border changes.
    this wish may be supported by no more than, methinks, 10 of the christo-judaic people.
    the second wish is to have all of palestine +golan-sheba; supported by about 98% of ‘jews’.
    the third wish is to establish even larger state. This state may expand beyond what it possesses now as a de facto or even de jure 51st US state
    or as dependency of the christo-judaic cult. tnx bozhidar balkas vancouver

  32. mary said on July 3rd, 2009 at 3:39am #

    Cynthia McKinney speaking from an Israeli prison cell block. What a brave and resolute woman she is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zVJXnTJxuA&feature=player_embedded

    This is is the latest e-mail from Free Gaza (notice the drilling for gas off the Gaza shore)
    Press Update From The Free Gaza Movement
    We Will Head Toward Gaza Again

    Greta Berlin (English)
    tel: +357 99 28 41 02/ gro.azageerfnull@sdneirf
    Ramzi Kysia (English)
    Tel: + 357 99 08 17 67 moc.oohaynull@aisykrr
    Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish):
    tel: +357 99 80 96 37 / ku.oc.liamtohnull@87arahas

    http://www.FreeGaza.org
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/

    Larnaca, Cypus, July 3, 2009: This morning, the five kidnapped passengers from Bahrain left Israel via a private jet sent by their king. They will hold a press conference in Bahrain tonight at 7 pm Bahrain time. The two Al Jazeera journalists will be freed sometime today, their equipment given back to them but not the footage of the Israeli terrorist frogmen boarding the boat and roughing up some of the passengers.

    All passengers are fine, but they are still imprisoned by a country that illegally boarded their small boat, towed it, and confiscated the supplies that had already been inspected in Cyprus.

    The following message has come from Captain Denis inside the prison cell in Israel where he is being held, along with 11 more of our passengers, including former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire.

    “At least four of us went to a hearing yesterday, and we were told we were going to be deported. However, they did not tell us where we were going or when. The boat has been impounded and all of the charts stolen by the Israeli navy. The people at the prison told us we would get all of our stuff back today, but, so far, that has not been true.

    It appears as though the Israeli government is drilling for natural gas in the buffer zone. That gas belongs to the people of Gaza. It seems to be one of their reasons for stopping us, perhaps they’re worried that we may go back and tell the world what we have seen.”

    When asked if he thought the Free Gaza Movement would go again, his response was, “Of course. We’re going to get another boat, or more than one boat and we will head toward Gaza again.”