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White phosphorus used on Gaza civillians by Israel provided by US


bascule
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*facepalm*

 

Hey, if you think weapons that can burn human flesh are "relatively harmless things" that's your prerogative.

 

Yes, I most certainly do. Want to ban matches too? They can also burn human flesh, and start fires. Some of them even have phosphorous.

 

Absurd metaphors are great too... nuclear weapons just release a few relatively harmless free neutrons, what's the problem there?

 

Exactly. Thermonuclear explosives can be used as propulsion as well, a task at which they far surpass chemical propulsion. However, I think you'll find that when used for that purpose they have a slightly different design, which easily distinguishes them from those intended as weapons.

 

Clearly this conversation is no longer productive.

 

Well if you choose not to address any criticisms of what you say, that really should not be a surprise to anyone.

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Do you have any idea how much more damage that would do if the falling bits exploded on impact releasing sticky burning substances, rather than relatively harmless things that just bounce off of things then sit and smolder? It does not look like something designed to cause fire damage.

I thought one of the characteristics of white phosphorus was that it's very difficult to get off of skin.

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I thought one of the characteristics of white phosphorus was that it's very difficult to get off of skin.

 

Exactly. The giant lumps shown in bascule's picture are way too big if their purpose is to harm humans. It would royally suck to be hit by one of those directly, don't get me wrong, but it would just be too unlikely. If those things exploded on impact, there would be far more little pieces flying around, and it would be much likelier to hit more people (and hit each more often). That would also be likelier to start a fire, as to start a fire it is more important to hit something flammable than to have a big lump that burns.

 

Also, there would be no reason to have the WP soaked in felt so that it bounces of things.

 

Look at a real firebomb and you will see a large fireball followed by a large area of burning stuff. Not relatively few, relatively large, fragments that don't even stick.

 

Not that it can't also be used as a weapon. It's just that it does not appear to be designed to cause fire damage, hence calling it a firebomb is inaccurate.

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So I'm still confused. The UN ruled it's a war crime. Israel admitted the attack was a mistake and rebuked the commanders involved. What exactly am I saying that's so controversial and deserves claims that I'm an anti-semite?

 

I feel like the backlash I'm getting here is completely undeserved.

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So I'm still confused. The UN ruled it's a war crime. Israel admitted the attack was a mistake and rebuked the commanders involved. What exactly am I saying that's so controversial

 

"Firebomb"

 

and deserves claims that I'm an anti-semite?

 

I feel like the backlash I'm getting here is completely undeserved.

 

Zuh?


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
Mr, skeptic, are you trying to argue that because it is not the BEST incendiary that it is not an incendiary?

 

No.

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So I'm still confused. The UN ruled it's a war crime.
See JohnB's post, # 105 which explains far better than I can why I personally take the UN ruling with a grain of salt
Israel admitted the attack was a mistake and rebuked the commanders involved.
I once had a parking ticket. It was a mistake of me to not return to my car when I had planned. This is an official rebuke by the community I lived in...my point is that a mistake might not rise to the level of a crime. AFAIK, Israel isn't accusing the commanders of war crimes. An error in judgement or execution of the plan, but not war crimes.
What exactly am I saying that's so controversial and deserves claims that I'm an anti-semite?
because you fail to see and to take into consideration the entire context of this conflict.

 

In other words you ask if killing someone is wrong? Most people here would respond that yes, of course it is. But in my opinion, your statements are equivalent to failing to mention, or even acknowledge that the person was killed, not only in self defense, but to also protect the lives of children. Would most people say it is wrong to kill under that circumstance?

 

Because, after all, is it Hamas (and by extension the Palestinians as they elected Hamas), not the IDF which deliberately launches rockets at schools filled with children.

 

I feel like the backlash I'm getting here is completely undeserved.

 

Certainly, it has not been said enough that you are clearly, and rightly concerned about injury to innocent civilians. There is no arguement from me that in this conflict, the goal should always be to minimize this. We simply differ a bit on how best to accomplish this objective, and by extension, whether the IDF is minimizing civilian injuries. I hope you did not feel I attacked you but in case you did I do apologize if you felt backlash from me on that point. It was never my intent to attack anyone. It can be difficult to express differences without it becoming personal in an emotional topic such as this.

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So I'm still confused. The UN ruled it's a war crime. Israel admitted the attack was a mistake and rebuked the commanders involved. What exactly am I saying that's so controversial and deserves claims that I'm an anti-semite?

 

To clear up one point. Nobody has claimed you are an anti-semite. I asked the question whether you were, or just anti-Israel. Obviously you are simply anti-Israel, fair enough, now everyone knows where you stand. If you disagree with that conclusion would you care to find some posts where you thought the Israelis might have been in the right?

 

My comments about the "fact finding" mission were clear, do you dispute anything I said? And if you don't, then you have to agree that the mission was at least "wrong" under the UNs own rules and it's findings biased.

 

Have you even read the report? Or at least the conclusions? They read like fantasy.

1730. In addition to the above general findings, the Mission also considers that Israel has violated its specific obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, including to peace and security, free movement, livelihood and health.

 

This was a war zone ffs! Once the bullets start to fly, nobody is guaranteed peace, security, free movement or health. Combat is an inherently dirty business, the rules that apply in peacetime can't be applied. The continued attempts by the mission to do so can only be called "a silly fantasy" at best.

 

Concerning WP in particular;

1721. In relation to the weapons used by the Israeli armed forces during military operations the Mission accepts that white phosphorous, flechettes and heavy metal (such as tungsten) are not currently proscribed under international law. Their use is, however, restricted or even prohibited

in certain circumstances by virtue of the principles of proportionality and precautions necessary in the attack. Flechettes, as an area weapon are particularly unsuitable for use in urban settings while, in the Mission's view, the use of white phosphorous as an obscurant at least should be banned because of the number and variety of hazards that attach to the use of such a pyrophoric chemical.

 

IOW. They are not banned, even though the mission would like them to be and their use is a judgement call. The mission is second guessing the commanders decisions, something they said they would avoid.

 

I will also quote the mission again;

25. ....The Mission fully appreciates the importance of the presumption of innocence: the findings in the report do not subvert the operation of that principle. The findings do not attempt to identify the individuals responsible for the commission of offences nor do they pretend to reach the standard of proof applicable in criminal trials.

 

Because of this, the UN did mission did not "rule" any action to be a war crime. And any claims that Istaeli troops have been found in any way "guilty" of anything are false. Or doesn't the presumption of innocence apply to Israelis?

 

The mission also seems to be unable to be unable to understand who actually controls Gaza. Please compare these two sections;

28. The Mission holds the view that Israel continues to be duty-bound under the Fourth Geneva Convention and to the full extent of the means available to it to ensure the supply of foodstuff, medical and hospital items and others to meet the humanitarian needs of the population of the Gaza Strip without qualification.

 

and

 

34. To examine whether the attacks against the police were compatible with the principle of distinction between civilian and military objects and persons, the Mission analysed the institutional development of the Gaza police since Hamas took complete control of Gaza in July 2007 and merged the Gaza police with the “Executive Force” it had created after its election victory.

(Emphasis mine.)

 

So, just let me get this right. Hamas took "complete control" of Gaza in 2007 but in 2009 Israel is still responsible as the "Occupying Power" under the Geneva Conventions. The two positions are mutually exclusive.

 

I notice also that you avoided answering my question "What would you do?". Your troops are under fire, do you call the artillery and level the area, an airstrike maybe? Or do you call in smoke? Whether you (or I for that matter) like it or not, the WP shells were probably the least damaging option.

 

Having said all of the above, there are quite a number of things that the mission brings up that I sincerely hope the relevent Israeli authorities are investigating. There are a number of examples that if true, have a complete lack of military justification, and as such would constitute violations of International law.

 

The Israelis are investigating, even the mission notes that fact. Perhaps it would be prudent to let the Israeli Justice system run it's course?

 

PS. I add that the mission made no bones at all about referring to the actions of Hamas with respect to the continued missile and bomb attacks;

1747.........Where there is no intended military target and the rockets and mortars are launched into civilian areas, they constitute a deliberate attack against the civilian population. These actions would constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity.

(Emphasis mine.)

 

I find it amazing that anybody could blame Israel for using military force in the defence of it's citizens against "war crimes" or "crimes against humanity".

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