Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, March 09, 2008

It must be OK, he isn't comparing anyone to the Nazis

Last Tuesday the Guardian's letters page contained a post from Tom Carew in which he compares the deaths of civilians in Gaza to those of US soldiers in the first Gulf War.

In the 1991 Gulf war the US army lost one in four of its dead in accidental "friendly fire". By that standard, the tragic loss of some civilians in Gaza during Israeli operations shows not any malice, incompetence or indifference by Israel but the unavoidable result of the fog of battle.

Well, first of all, there is no "fog of battle" because there is no battle, simply a long-range bombardment. "Friendly fire" incidents are where someone thinks they are aiming at an enemy and majke a mistake in identification. But Israel's bombardment, like its blockade and its illegal denial of water, food, medical supplies and electricity to Gaza, makes no attempt to target anyone more closely than "Lives In Gaza". And finally, of course, the US troops in the Gulf War had volunteered for the job, were being well-paid for it, and were at least supplied with some kind of defensive protection, however ineffective in the end. The inhabitants of Gaza didn't come halfway round the world for the pleasure of being bombed. They have no protection from the murder that Israel is visiting on them. And not only are they not being paid by Israel, they are having their normal sources of income systematically destroyed by Israel.

Who could make such a loathsome comparison? Could the writer be this Tom Carew, just spinning another fantasy?

At least the other letters on the page are full of good sense.