Comments: Good Things Happen When Politicians Quote Jeffrey Goldberg

Mr Goldberg certainly deserves "Congressional Gold Medal" for performing outstanding deeds and acts of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States.

Posted by Rupa Shah at January 9, 2009 03:52 PM

the word "human shield" is quickly becoming one of the most misused words in political and journalistic discourse today, on par with "terrorist."

what kind of a monster would put people in the way of the bombs we are dropping? and put their political/millitary institutions right in the middle of densely populated areas? unlike the white house and the pentagon, which are both in the middle of nowhere.

Posted by raincoat at January 9, 2009 05:14 PM

"Taking cover among civilians." This is a curious locution. When you launch missiles to kill the democratically elected officials of a government -- especially when you target their private homes -- where else do you expect to find them? Gaza is a giant, open-air prison which no one can leave and where, as the story notes, 1.4 million people live in densely-packed urban areas and refugee camps. Where else are the "Hamas militants" supposed to exist in this seething sardine tin except "among civilians"? Naturally, it would be far more convenient if every member of Hamas -- including, again, the democratically elected officials of the government -- painted themselves bright red and gathered in, say, a soccer stadium, where Israel could then drop bombs on them with no muss, no fuss. But we are dealing with the real world, where human beings of every description, profession, ideology and belief must of necessity live and work in close proximity to one another -- especially in the reconstruction of the Warsaw Ghetto that is Gaza today.

But of course, in order to smuggle the smallest nugget of truth about Gaza into the American media, it must first be larded with huge dollops of mitigating "context" to mask the horrific brutality and naked aggression of the Israeli campaign. And the "human shield" gambit is the probably the most frequently employed fig leaf by the apologists of oppression.

Curiously enough, I did see a shocking example of the use of human shields in Gaza just the other day, on BBC News. One of their reporters was "embedded" with a squadron of plucky Israeli soldiers as they made their way through a Gaza neighborhood. The report showed our heroes taking over the home of a Palestinian family, shunting the house's large number of refugees -- including several children and infants, crying from hunger -- to a cramped space on the bottom floor, while the Israeli soldiers took up residence on the top floor, where they could rain sniper fire on any nearby "militants" and help coordinate air strikes and missile fire on "militant" hotbeds like schools, ambulances, UN relief trucks -- and other houses packed with refugees who had been directed there by the Israelis themselves.

--Chris Floyd

Posted by Rob Payne at January 9, 2009 05:25 PM

Israeli bombs unblinkingly and ostentatiously blast through civilian human shields to strike at supposed Hamas terrorists. I haven't seen it up-close, but it is repulsive.

Posted by darrelplant at January 9, 2009 05:37 PM

Know what an Israeli optimist is? It's an IDF soldier who plows though a pile of dead Palestinians with his bulldozer, thinking, "Must be a terrorist in there somewhere!"

Posted by SteveB at January 9, 2009 06:09 PM

YEP, Druidism, lookin' better all the time.

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 10, 2009 02:24 PM

Its the bombs and laser guided missiles, if Israel, as one, raised up with machettes, and waded through Gaza like a sunny afternoon in Rwanda, then the world would look away and not say much other than a movie 20 years down the road.

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 10, 2009 02:31 PM