Dead in the ruins of Gaza is the Israeli collective conscience—together with thousands-upon-thousands of Gaza’s civilians; dead or displaced for decades to come ~ilana
To refuse to bear witness to the prosecution of Total Warfare against Gazans—also the defining event of 2023 and the decade, twinned with COVID—is to be inhuman, insane, incoherent. To the Greek philosophers, to be mired in contradiction was to be less than human, less than coherent, less than sane ~ilana
In their recent military campaigns, America and Israel have waged what to the inexpert, keen observer is largely old-fashioned, Third-Generation Warfare—a blitzkrieg, by any other name, against civilian populations.
The ostensible use of “tanks, mechanized infantry, and close air support” to “collapse an enemy’s defenses” are really unthinking, disproportionate shows of brute military force, reliant on massive amounts of materiel.
Yet when military mavens predicted and depicted the next form of warfare; it was the contours Fourth-Generation Warfare that they were tracing. Fourth-Generation Warfare was to be the distinguishing characteristic of the modern military. Boosted by technology, “advanced” armies would be relying on “small, highly mobile elements, composed of very intelligent soldiers, armed with high technology weapons.” These precision units and attendant weapons were expected “to range over wide areas seeking critical targets.”
In addition to technology; predicted and depicted was a military whose central impetus was augmented by ideas. In America, the controversial changing of hearts and minds, historically, has included fomenting coups around the world with the connivance afforded by psychological operations.
Near as I can tell, Fourth-Generation war was meant to be smart; to see Mind dominate and direct materiel.
What is underway in Gaza, at 2023’s end, however, is the very opposite. I see madness for what it is. Dead in the ruins of Gaza is the Israeli collective conscience—together with thousands-upon-thousands of Gaza’s civilians; dead or displaced for decades to come. The razing and ethnic cleansing of Gaza by Benjmain Netanyahu, abetted by Joe Biden, his Uniparty accomplices and a complicit West: This appears to capture the kind of Third-Gen “capability” delivered by the modern, standing, Woke military.
By an odd reversal, the Gaza offensive will do nothing to eradicate Hamas, for Hamas is not ISIS (Islamic State). ISIS is an international terrorist organization. Hamas is not. Dimly, Israeli propagandists like Dan Gillerman—former ambassador to the UN—have implied that Hamas was the same as ISIS. This particular agitator bamboozled an American news anchor, on November 30, by rasping at him that, “We are fighting for you as well as for us.” Contra Gillerman, however, Hamas had no global aspirations. While ISIS is an international terrorist organization, like it or not,
Hamas is indigenous—it is of the Palestinian People, by the Palestinian People, and for The Palestinian People, at least as these people perceive it
Israel’s blithe butchering of Gazans may change that. “Operation Swords of Iron” in the Gaza Strip not only guarantees Hamas recruits in Gaza and the West Bank for posterity; but may just see Hamas go global, given the Western world’s refusal to stop 58 days and counting of depravity.
Most Republicans and Democrats, Israel Firsters all, deploy a squalid little phrase—our “democratic values”—to allay the American taxpayer’s misgivings over the fact that we’re funding the destruction of the lives of millions of defenseless people.
The Israel Defense Forces is a deserving military partner, they intone at us, because Israel shares America’s “democratic values” (as a former fierce defender of Israel; my tongue here, now, is firmly in my cheek). Into this category falls a pillar of American virtue known as Woke. The Israeli military is Woke alright. To wit, right after October 7, the Knesset quickly minted new legal rights for gay partners, who will forthwith enjoy the financial windfall that comes with being widowed. Omer Ohana can now claim a widow’s benefits from the Israeli military following the tragic October-7 death of his betrothed partner, Sagi Golan.
Indubitably, Israel would never deprive any Palestinian man of marrying another. So far, however, the due-process rights of Palestinian detainees are spectral. In the wind, perhaps?
Most of the Palestinian prisoners released, reports the intrepid Nima Elbagir, “were held under a murky military justice system that theoretically allows Israel to hold people for indefinite periods without trial or a charge. Israel has been operating two distinct justice systems in the West Bank since it captured the area in 1967. Palestinians living there fall under the jurisdiction of Israel’s military court system, where judges and prosecutors are uniformed Israeli soldiers. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers there are subject to civilian courts.”
Have I come among lunatics? For how does indefinite “Administrative Detention,” absent due process of law, comport with the values instantiated by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
Force-fed the fiction of the IDF as the most ethical fighting force in the universe; I set about to conduct a proportional, if limited, comparison. I compare like with like, albeit in limited but significant theatres of war: Israel’s offensive in Gaza against “Hamas,” in late 2023, to America’s onslaught in Fallujah against the Iraqi resistance, in 2004.
The battle in Fallujah is considered “the deadliest battle involving U.S. Marines since Vietnam.” “Eighty-two U.S. servicemembers died during the street-by-street, house-by-house effort to clear Al Qaeda from the city.” Officially, it is described as a “battle to retake the key city of Fallujah from a violent insurgency that was taking root across Iraq after the U.S. ousted Saddam Hussein.”
Before the American invasion of Iraq, Fallujah was a compact city of about 400,000 people. “Around 700 Iraqi civilians were killed over the course of the 2004 fight for Fallujah.”
Gaza’s population is about 2.4 million strong. The administrative chaos in war-time Gaza would hamper accurate records-keeping. That considered—and not counting individuals buried beneath the rubble—approximately 15,000 Gazans have been killed by Israel. (Haaretz, Israel News, Friday, December 2, 2023)
Were Fallujah as populated as Gaza (2.4 million), the United States Marines would have killed approximately 4,200 Iraqi souls. This is a far cry from the Israel Defense Forces’ butcher’s bill of 15,000 civilians dead in Gaza—and climbing.
Were Gaza as small as Fallujah (400,000); the Israelis, befitting their butcher’s bill so far, would still have killed at least 2,500 souls to our Marines’ 700. Ceteris paribus, naturally.
Let that sink in.
On the numbers, I have been exceedingly charitable to the Israelis, given that their victims, buried beneath the rubble, are still mostly unaccounted for, and considering that the IDF resumed hostilities against civilians on December 1.
Both the Israeli and the U.S. militaries come in here for rough treatment. The fulminations of the Israel Firsters stateside aside, however, some American patriotism is owed amid the sorrow over Israel’s barbaric blitzkrieg.
Damning with faint praise though this may be, Americans, in the persons of our U.S. Marines in Fallujah—in the dubious theater of another unjust war—were righteous, compared to the monstrous Israel Defense Forces in Gaza.
*Editor Ryan McMaken, with updated numbers, highlights wryly this next ratio, which speaks to the proportionality imperative of Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Just War Theory, obliterated by Israel: “The casualties ratio in this war is now more than 12 to 1. About 17.7K murdered Palestinians to 1.3K murdered Israelis. I wonder at what ratio the Gazans will have been ‘deterred’? 50 to 1? How about 100,000 dead in Gaza versus 1300 dead in Israel? That’ll teach ’em!”
†Please consider that my last four tracts on Gaza, and that scroll of a blog, “Constantly UPDATED (12/8): ‘Total Warfare’ On GAZA: War Against Civilians Is War On Civilization“—all anatomizing the war on Gazans: These are tremendously painful to write, as a Jew and a former fierce defender of Israel. But to refuse to bear witness to the prosecution of Total Warfare against Gazans—also the defining event of 2023 and the decade, twinned with COVID—is to be inhuman, insane, incoherent. To the Greek philosophers, to be mired in such contradiction was to be less than human, less than coherent, less than sane.
* Screen pic courtesy the Telegraph.