Justice, Politics

Israeli pilots 'deliberately miss' targets

RefuseThe UK Guardian reports:

At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities.
[…]As international outrage over civilian deaths grows, the spotlight is increasingly turning on Israeli air operations. The Observer has learnt that one senior commander who has been involved in the air attacks in Lebanon has already raised concerns that some of the air force’s actions might be considered ‘war crimes’.
Yonatan Shapiro, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot dismissed from reserve duty after signing a ‘refusenik’ letter in 2004, said he had spoken with Israeli F-16 pilots in recent days and learnt that some had aborted missions because of concerns about the reliability of intelligence information. According to Shapiro, some pilots justified aborting missions out of ‘common sense’ and in the context of the Israeli Defence Force’s moral code of conduct, which says every effort should be made to avoiding harming civilians.
Shapiro said: ‘Some pilots told me they have shot at the side of targets because they’re afraid people will be there, and they don’t trust any more those who give them the coordinates and targets.’
He added: ‘One pilot told me he was asked to hit a house on a hill, which was supposed to be a place from where Hizbollah was launching Katyusha missiles. But he was afraid civilians were in the house, so he shot next to the house …
‘Pilots are always being told they will be judged on results, but if the results are hundreds of dead civilians while Hizbollah is still able to fire all these rockets, then something is very wrong.’
So far none of the pilots has publicly refused to fly missions but some are wobbling, according to Shapiro. He said: ‘Their target could be a house firing a cannon at Israel and it could be a house full of children, so it’s a real dilemma; it’s not black and white. But … I’m calling on them to refuse, in order save our country from self-destruction.’

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10 thoughts on “Israeli pilots 'deliberately miss' targets

  1. They should refuse…if only because their leaders look weak and unwilling. Israel should’ve turned South Lebanon into a parking lot, and then mobalized their ground forces en masse and pushed North. The world hates ya anyway, stop pandering to the John Brown’s of the world. Yeesh.
    Latuff Brown? The guys an anti-semite.

  2. shtreimel, to whom are you speaking? How many more do you wish to see in Israel’s military cemeteries? Is the sky the limit? Since when is acknowledging reality considered ‘pandering?’

  3. Miriam:
    The reality is that making peace without first subduing our enemies didn’t work.
    So now we’re subduing our enemies.
    I admire your concern for our overcrowded cemetaries – could you please tell – now that the left’s approach has been shredded by actual events, and with the prospect of ever more deadly missile-based attacks looming on the horizon – please tell me your suggestions for avoiding an even larger bloodbath, of Israeli civilians?
    To put it all in some perspective – our losses so far, military and civilian, add up to less than 1 or 2 bus bombings. It’s a cold calculation – but there are valid reasons to go to war.
    In this case – the valid reason is the total failure of the peacenik’s approach, and the realization that it has not just not brought peace, but invited attack on our very doorsteps.
    So – what do the brilliant one-worlders who got us into this mess suggest now – to avoid overcrowding in our cemetaries?

  4. John Brown,
    Don’t you get it?
    This way Israel and anyone who criticizes the left in this debate can have all kinds of fun subduing new enemies in ten years!
    And we can do all of this over again.

  5. Balaam,
    Your optimism is moving, but what woiuld possibly lead you to believe ten years might pass before Israel would be engaged in this level of warfare once again? I suppose it might be as long as a couple of years if Israel waits for an unprovoked atack, as with the current hostilities started by Hexbollah. On the other hand, it will surely be much sooner if it is up to those on the Right, who can barely contain their unrestrained glee at the current conflict. Oh, yes, they invariably utter ritualistic statements condemning war and dead civilians, but that hardly compares to the passion with which they declaim how beneficial war has been for Israel’s sense of unity and national purpose. After all, while Israel remains at war, no one in Israel raises the possibility of dispossessing the far Right of their grubby imperialistic empire in the West Bank.

  6. Ben David: Immediate cease-fire. Marshall Plan for reconstruction (see Tikkun ad). Back to 67 borders, with exchanges, per Geneva Accord.
    You are correct that the ‘one-worlders’ got us into this mess. They include, but are not limited to, Bush I, his idiot-boy son, Halluburton Dick, the Rummy, former Sec. of State, George Schultz, current Sec. of State, birth fangs, and an assorted gaggle of neo-cons, with or without Jewish surnames.
    Personally, I prefer sovereign nation-states engaged to a harmony of interests, among them, to a fascist, international oligarchy which destroys them through perpetual war scenarios (Afghanistan, Iraq, and now, Lebanon. Who knows? Maybe we’ll throw in an invasion of Mexico, to stop the mass strike ferment, there).

  7. Yep, the response to violence is concessions. Maybe then they’ll stop.
    Or maybe they’ll see that violence is rewarded and try to kill more Israelis?
    Israel got out of Lebanon and Gaza which was supposed to spread goodwill and make Palestinians/Arabs not kill Israelis anymore… It didn’t work. Your solution? Give them the entire west bank as well?

  8. Yup; exactly.
    And no one with a brain ever thought the purpose of getting out of Lebanon and Gaza had a goddamn thing to do with spreading goodwill or making Arabs stop killing Israelis. What it has to do with is preserving the democratic character of Israel (an objective, itself, to which the far Right is fanatically opposed, of course), and eliminating the ability of Arab despots to radicalize the entire Muslim world with every single Israeli/Arab conflict. Ending the Occupation isn’t some reward for good behavior by the Palestinians, but the single means at Israel’s disposal for imposing a state of peace in the Middle East.
    For a period of time, that may do nothing to diminish terrorist attacks by Palestinian extremists. It will, on the other hand, allow Israel both to more effectively protect itself from such attacks, and to neutralize the Palestinians’ ability of to exploit worldwide sympathy on behalf of such conduct. THAT, in turn, will indeed lead to peace, whether or not the Palestinians develop any greater affection for Jews than they have now.

  9. You’re all missing the point. leaving Lebanon unilaterally set up the conditions for this to happen. a comprehensive deal with lebanon and syria, including the golan heights, would have been the best way of avoiding it. not a guarantee, but better than unilateral withdrawal, which is a sure-fire way to tell extremists that force works.

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