Thursday, July 31, 2014

There's a Definite difference in Delsey

'There's a definite difference' or so the old advertisement for toilet-paper went. Something you could feel.  Here are two videos from the current 'reduction' of the Gaza ghetto and the 'rocket rain' on Israel.

The Gaza thing is what we have come to expect from a massive explosion, anywhere: the numbed shock amid the silence of dust obscuring the horrors, with the gradual realization, among the hurt, that they are, and the dead who are beyond pain and caring. Then the chaos descends, as those unhurt appear to help and realize that the task at hand is beyond them. In the case of the Gaza clip, the new casualties were showing-up (weapons-bearing ambulances?) to help those of an earlier strike. But how was a 'humane' rocketeer, or artilleryman, or drone jockey, to know they weren't helping terrorists, or weren't terrorists themselves? 'Fog of war' it's called. 'Collateral damage.'  "We don't target civilians."


 In Jerusalem the stage is set with sirens, multiple sirens rising and falling in warning of impending danger. A latter day 'Blitz' - with no Luftwaffe overhead. The Wailing Wall is deserted, but not by a rushing mob, chairs and lecterns are left,  waiting the return to prayer. Some adorers gather in an  alcove, hardly shelter from the shrapnel and flechettes (the two inch steel rockets) dispersed by the modern anti-personnel round. In Gazan rockets that might be ball bearings, buckshot or whatever scrap metal that can be found (but a rocket reaching Jerusalem from Gaza,  would have to be 'bare bones' to achieve such range).

To-day there is no shrapnel, or explosion either, for the crowd has run out to see 'Iron Shield' at work.  In the sky the videographer focuses on the single, gratifying, white 'puff' in the sky.  The 'bang of redemption',  another 'successful interception'. Or, perhaps, only the timed detonation of the Iron Shield missile, self-destructing at the end of a fruitless flight (wouldn't want them falling to earth and hurting someone jewish). As it is, the Wailing Wall remains scarred only by time, not the hot steel that works such 'magic' on the flesh, bone and pulverized stone of Gaza.


Videography is wonderful. On the one hand, it's the ''evidence" of such a 'successful defense' in a war made almost enjoyable for Israelis. They we're told, have time to 'feel' for those killed by the dumb threat of faceless terror. In Gaza, the videography is proof that horrors happen, lest the 'humane soldiers of Israel' say that, "They've done it to themselves" when the world is told, daily, that, "Hamas is doing it to them." It's too bad Hamas is so able to 'hide' among them, so well.

But could anybody 'hide' in Gaza? That's up to the fickle fate of artillery strike, or some bad optics in a drone image. Too bad for them.

Like the fabled quality of bum-wipe, there is a definite difference in Israel's "justified defense of its people and its land" ( the most modern of excuse - the same as in Ukraine.) The difference lies between the sophistry and the sound bite, in comparison to what is actually being done to 'defend' Israel, and how much such defense Israel needs.

From a passing comparison it seems obvious that Gaza is in far, far greater need of defense than Israel.  There are, according to  the Israelis, deeper nuances about which we may not know, unknown 'observations' that 'force them' to double and redouble the deaths and destruction. To-day another division was being called up to join in the assault. 18 000 reservists to 'see the elephant' (become combat veterans) in relative safety in Gaza.

God help Israel should the people of Gaza, or Palestine, or any enemy, ever acquire such a 'defense' as Israel deploys. I'm pretty sure, should things ever get that bad, the majority of Israelis would abandon their new  'homeland' in very short order. They certainly wouldn't live without light, water and food amid so much death and blood. That's where the definite difference lies.

The Palestinians have no choice.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Eventually the Truth Comes Out

For the past week the world has been treated to a quadruple serving of some of the greatest calumny ever devised. A Malayan airliner was felled by what is believed to have been an air-to-air missile over the war zone in the eastern part of Ukraine. While the wreckage was still smoking the Ukrainian government intelligence service in Kyiv was distributing transcripts, in a number of languages, of what it said were "intercepts" of phone communications between rebels and 'Russian' commanders discussing the downing of an aircraft and then, later, attempting to 'cover up' by removing the supposed guilty rocket unit involved,  "back to  Russia."

While the wreckage cooled, apparently that was done and a series of out-of-focus and unclear photographs, ascribed to Ukrainian "spies" and observers were given as proof of the flight of the evildoers. Added to feeble and ill-coordinated attempts to deal with an humanitarian disaster dropped from the sky into the backwaters of an active battle field, the Eastern Ukrainians and their 'Russian' commanders were pilloried in the world press. Charged with everything from preventing observers from viewing the wreckage, to pilfering belongings, to abusing the dead, the few rescue workers (Ukrainian Rescue Service) and armed rebels on the scene were clearly overwhelmed by a crash site that extended over an area of 15 kilometers.

Almost first on the scene, aside from the local villagers, were the Ukrainian Rescue Service and firemen. They set up operations at the site and started work. At the end of day one they were criticized for not moving the dead to shelter. On day two, with the help of volunteer miners, they extended the search for the dead and began transporting some to facilities in Donetsk (the off-site dead, picked up from main streets, fields, and back yards, a nursery playground, a garden, a green house, etc. some 90 bodies in all.) On day three a supply of body bags permitted the gathering of corpses for transportation and on day four they were moved to a train of refrigerated cars pending transport to a larger centre. The Kyiv government claimed that moving the bodies was "tampering with evidence". That moving them on a truck was an indignity. The people at the scene were accused of removing parts of the aircraft and the black boxes and  refusing to let the international experts, waiting in Kyiv, attend the scene (government artillery began shelling an area within sight and sound).

After the bodies were removed, the site was virtually open to anyone - reporters from a number of organizations attended, one - from British Sky News -was filmed opening and sorting through a piece of luggage before he realized how inappropriate that was and stopped. Sky News made a public apology. Before they left (an observation made by OSCE) the Ukrainian rescue people had brought equipment in to move the larger pieces of wreckage, probably in search of bodies. That prompted more complaints from Kyiv, echoed in western media. Whoever ordered them to leave is not clear. The Rescue Service had been unaffected by the 'armed guard' and had not been interfered with. They seemed to be in contact with Kyiv.

Delegations from Malaya showed up first, and from Holland later the same day. The rebels released the bodies and the black boxes. The bodies were taken to Kharkov for 'preparation' by Ukrainian authorities - who were told they wouldn't be doing the forensics. The bodies were to be returned to Holland for identification and repatriation. The black boxes went to England.

 The site is apparently "deserted",  aeronautical experts from Malaya have appeared, but the Australian PM is 'demanding' that the UN mount an 'international force' to secure the crash site and the investigation. There are artillery battles going on in the immediate area - two more Ukrainian warplanes were downed nearby to-day. The site may fall into the hands of Ukrainian forces before an international force can get there.

The world is now being treated to the standard 'honoring the dead' thing that grew to such proportions during the Afghan War. That will probably take all week, to be followed by a protracted period which could last until Christmas, before all the dead are identified. Human interest stories on the dead are rife.

Playing counterpoint to it all however - the evil that is Putin and the badness he has done.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Slava EUkriainia! Smert to Everybody!

Syria is a non-sequitur, Afghanistan is another Eden, Iraq's just not happening fast enough,  the early season hurricane's a bust, might as well drum-up some hot poop on Ukraine.

The latest?  Poroschenko signed up for a dossier full of 'protocols' Eukrainia will have to develop, in order to start making the noises required to make it really 'European'. In the interim, that tweaked Putin's schnozzola, or so the Kyiv frei press would have us believe, so that's why the Russians continue to 'allow' fighters to enter eastern Ukraine to shoot at the good guys, and make the unilateral 'ceasefire' really unilateral.

Well no self-respecting president of a republic would stand for that, so the unilateral ceasefire is cancelled and the armored and artillery units moved into place, during the ceasefire, have the green light to really 'give it to them'.

Putin, inscrutable as always, reports that gas flows to western Europe continue at normal rates. He also 'demands' that 'Poro' and the patriots stop killing civilians. Well "Nyaaah .. nyaahh!"  to him. The 'putler's ' days are numbered, don't we know.

To show that he is really and truly in Earnest, Poro dumped his Minister of Defense - mental problems caused by the stress of the war on terror - and a few of the high command - failure to supply the troops, etc. Poro's making a world class 'Eukrowehr' and the first thing it needs is a good 'deworming' - apparently the grafters and 'corruptors' that pollute the rest of EUkrainia, have the armed forces by the supply wagons - if they haven't sold them for kindling, or Romanian 'dancin' lay-deez'. Poroschenko won't have his men sleeping on sperm-filled mattresses and eating moldy bread in garbage-bag 'tents'.  No sirree  - so he's taking presidential command of the US-supplied MREs - they're only for the brave heroes of the 'Liquidation'.

The new guy at the Defense ministry , a former police colonel recently risen to high rank,  is promising a cakewalk, followed by a vic'try parade ... in Sebastopol.

That world-class military IS going to be needed - even if Putin IS a putz.