Monday, January 10

'The Israeli Way of War' via Michael Totten

Michael Totten is such an impressive reporter and writer, and he gets to lots of places in the Middle East and writes so well and convincingly about events in the region without rhetoric or (any obvious) political slant.

Personally, I envy his talent, gumption, and, well geez', how the hell does he write so fast, and get all the quotes bang on, anyway?

In this post, he writes about the possible buildup towards a coming Israeli clash with Hizbullah in Lebanon, and about what the Israeli Defense Forces is doing to prepare:
"I’ve never been to a Hezbollah training camp, although I did ask Hezbollah officials if I could see one before they blacklisted me for “writing against the party.” They refused. Still, I’m certain they don’t have dummies representing civilians who aren’t to be touched.

"The Israelis do, though. They place mannequins on the grounds dressed in the clothes of civilians and peacekeepers as well as enemy soldiers and terrorists.

“'The other side includes both hostiles and civilians,' Lapson said, 'and the hostiles will often embed themselves among the civilians. We go over a large number of what-if scenarios. We imbue an ethical and moral backbone in all our soldiers from the very beginning, and we have humanitarian officers with our infantry troops. We take extra precautions, even when it puts our own troops in danger.'

You could argue, I suppose, that the Israelis pulled a con job on me, that they planted these civilian-clothed mannequins as part of some Soviet-style propaganda campaign, but there’s no evidence that’s what happened. Totalitarian regimes sometimes use Potemkin stage pieces and actors to fool foreign journalists. Anthony Daniels (aka Theodore Dalrymple) had just such an experience when he visited North Korea. Israel, though, is the sort of place that only behaves this way in the feverish minds of conspiracy theorists."

Read the rest, and do tip his jar so he can keep up the most excellent work, in a very tough, and sometimes terrifying region:

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is the Theodore Dalrymple/North Korea story. Pretty amazing.


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