The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Laying Down A Marker

I don’t believe the 1,400 number for casualties from the Hamas attack. I suspect less civilians were killed than Israel claims and that many who were killed were killed by Israeli fire (there were plenty of reports of Israeli military not exercising fire control when civilians were around.) I also don’t believe accusations of widespread rape by Hamas. Certainly 40 babies weren’t beheaded.

Israel has lied a ton, while Gaza casualty numbers are generally taken as understatement. Indeed, Israel has stated 20K civilians casualties at least once, twice what Gaza is claiming, which makes sense, since so many people are buried and counting is hard in the middle of a massacre.

This stuff will eventually be worked out, long after it matters, but I’m going to lay down this marker. This doesn’t mean I believe Hamas killed no civilians or children, or that there were zero rapes. I just don’t believe the Israeli numbers.

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  1. Soredemos

    Israel has completely lost its mind. I’ve never seen anything like it. They might as well go all in and seize everything they’ve long wanted now, because they’re going to come out of this a complete international pariah anyway. Even if they stopped all bombing right now the reputational damage will have been irreparable.

  2. Daniel Lynch

    Has there ever been a war where there were no rapes, or no civilians killed? I say that not to defend such acts, but to point out that it is not a gamechanger in any way. It is however, useful propaganda to convince a population to hate the other side.

    In every conflict, people dehumanize their opponents, and once the dehumanization has taken place, then it is no longer a crime, in their mind, to hate, beat, starve, rape, or kill the non-humans. Moreso if the people believe that an invisible deity in the sky wants them to hate, beat, starve, rape, and kill the non-humans.

    A few weeks ago Sy Hersh reported that the Oct 7 raids consisted not only of Hamas, but other groups, and perhaps unorganized vigilantes who took matters into their own hands once the wall was breached. That Hamas was assigned to assault a military base and take prisoners, while the vigilantes may have been responsible for the other deeds. Yet in the Western media, everything is automatically blamed on Hamas.

    Regardless, violence will not bring peace and security for Israel. Violence may not bring peace and security for Palestinians, either, but one has to admit that they don’t have a lot of good options, and nothing to lose. People who have nothing to lose are dangerous.

  3. GrimJim

    This is a perfect example of why Osama bin Laden will go down in history as one of the “Greats.” He truly showed the way for the modern Davids to take down the Goliaths.

    The Davids just need to push the Goliaths into over-reactions so overwhelmingly expensive, in money, materiel, and reputation, that it harms them far more that it ever does the Davids.

    The USA and the West were winding down, to be sure, but the War on Terror took at least 50 years off the life of Western dominance.

    The Hamas attack? Might as well have tricked Israel into swallowing poison. Even if it survives, it will be only a sad, shattered remnant of itself before it finally dies. Sure, it will cause a lot of harm before then, but over a much truncated period, merely a few more years rather than decades.

    We’re about due for someone to bait the US into another pyrrhic event… Syria, maybe, as proxy for Russia and China, I expect. Iran will wait in the wings, if Israel and the the US lets them…

  4. Feral Finster

    Lord Posonby’s Ten Commandments of Wartime Propaganda
    1. We don’t want war, we are only defending ourselves!
    2. Our adversary is solely responsible for this war!
    3. Our adversary’s leader is inherently evil and resembles the devil
    4. We are defending a noble cause, not our particular interests!
    5. The enemy is purposefully committing atrocities; if we are making mistakes this happens without intention
    6. The enemy makes use of illegal weapons
    7. We suffer few losses, the enemy’s losses are considerable
    8. Recognized intellectuals and artists support our cause
    9. Our cause is sacred
    10. Whoever casts doubt on our propaganda helps the enemy and is a traitor

  5. Purple Library Guy

    There is an extra reason beyond the usual for exaggerating the civilian deaths and other horrible things. It doesn’t just give an excuse for Israeli atrocities, it also deflects attention from the MILITARY success of the Hamas attack, which is to say the military FAILURE of the IDF. The fact is that Hamas took down several military bases, killed most of the soldiers in them, and destroyed a whole lot of equipment that was in those bases, including quite a few tanks and other armoured vehicles.

    I saw video of this at the time, it clearly happened, but the general narrative since has been to give the impression that Hamas heard about a big party, snuck out and massacred it and did nothing else. It makes the IDF defeat look far less serious than it actually was.

  6. Willy

    Bin laden lived to old age, by hiding with his favorite wives. Putin lives in luxury. None of the many Israelis who want Bibi gone can get to him. Obama lives in his resort compound by the rising seas. And Trump continues to lie, cheat, and con his devoted losers.

    You’ll know things are changing when all these random mass shooters start going after entitled elites, instead of helpless innocents.

  7. Soredemos

    @Daniel Lynch

    Most wars don’t feature this level of blatant targeting of both civilians and international aid organizations. Just today Israel finally succeeded in getting a children’s hospital to shutdown by bombing it again, and forced the Gazan blood bank to close. And they keep shooting g up ambulances. They’ve also called for the assassination of journalists who filmed the October 7th attacks.

    I’ll say again that I’ve never seen anything like this before. Maybe it’s less that it’s abnormal and more that we now have ubiquitous real-time coverage, but no, actually I think the degree and pace of it is still entirely abnormal. This is all literally unprecedented.

    Forget Iran or North Korea. Israel is the actually unhinged nuclear armed rogue state.

  8. StewartM

    Noam Chomsky on “mowing the lawn”:

    This is, however, just the most recent of a series of ceasefire agreements reached after each of Israel’s periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza. Throughout this period, the terms of these agreements remain essentially the same. The regular pattern is for Israel, then, to disregard whatever agreement is in place, while Hamas observes it — as Israel has officially recognized — until a sharp increase in Israeli violence elicits a Hamas response, followed by even fiercer brutality. These escalations, which amount to shooting fish in a pond, are called “mowing the lawn” in Israeli parlance. The most recent was more accurately described as “removing the topsoil” by a senior US military officer, appalled by the practices of the self-described “most moral army in the world.”

  9. Mark Level

    Just as in the “Project Ukraine,” the West (with the US & Israel being the most steroidal bullies thereof) believes that things can be dictated to the gullible public via a Narrative creates a new “reality”– this is full-on solipsism. Anyone wishing to see Karl Rove spell this out in detail, here’s the quote– “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    In contrast to this, we have Twain’s (I believe originally) warning that “A lie travels half way around the world before the truth gets in boots on.” Which is what the liars are counting on . . . the problem with living according to a web of lies is that sooner (more often than later) it collapses & everyone (except the most crazy of fabricators) realizes it.

    At this point, I have no confidence whatsoever that the propaganda doped American (& Western subordinate puppets generally) will come out of their Narrative hypnosis. I mean the WMD lies were over 20 years ago now & the same playbook is openly being used!

    However, the Rest of the World has woken up. And as we already said in prior threads, all the Arab world needs to do (even if the Israelis slaughter all 2.4 million Gazans) to crush the western-allied world is to turn off the spigot of oil immediately & for a decade or so.

    It’s not Gaza that Delenda Est. In the long term it will be Israel Delenda Est, because even with all the nuclear bombs & WMDs that the endlessly aggressive settler-colonialsts possess, you can’t exterminate half of humanity without taking out yourself in doing so.

  10. Poul

    If Erdogan was to choose to send aid the problem could be that it would be US fighters shooting down the transport planes. What then? War on USA. Not likely.

    Israel can go as far as the US allows.

  11. Carborundum

    That’s a safe bet. Ha’aretz reporting in the immediate aftermath had something on the order of a couple hundred military personnel, by name and rank, in their list of the dead.

    I’m sure you’ll be able to find instances of blue on blue and blue force collateral (the footage of Shaytet retaking the Gaza base was fascinating for its lack of flow – goes to show how they’re behind the current state of practice) but it will be long way from the majority of the killed.

  12. Jorge

    Settlers have a license from their government to commit violence and steal goods from an enemy of the state.

    Settlers are not civilians, they are privateers.

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