The best footage I’ve seen so far…

HT/RC

Of course the real question here is, “how could the IDF be so unprepared for what hit them.” Paint guns and side arms which, even as they were beaten, they didn’t want to use?

Debacle on every level. What can be salvaged from this wreckage?

27 Responses to The best footage I’ve seen so far…

  1. incognito says:

    RL,

    Remember one of the major conclusions of the 2nd Lebanon war along the lines that high ranking command failed their troups and were delinquent in their duties?

    Well, here you have a repetition. It is the kind of failure that you can expect from Barak — an utterly corrupt failure as a politician which seems to also have affected his quality as a sender of troups to fight.

    The reality is that the Israeli elite is useless and has been dragging Israel down the drain for the last 15-20 years.

    What you are watching is the destruction of Israel by the world with the help of the corrupted and incompetent Israeli elite.

  2. Gaza flotilla fiends attacked soldiers…

    When I first heard about the racist chants the flotilla members trying to sail to Gaza were blaring out (and there may be more about this over here), it was bad enough. Now, we discover that they even tried to attack the boarding soldiers with weapons …

  3. E.G. says:

    I beg to differ.

    The footage (and Ben-Yishai’s report) clearly show that the soldiers were acting on the hypothesis that the Flotilla was composed of loony “peace activists”, like those who gather weekly at Biliin. The latter are also aggressive from time to time — though not that violent. And they’re dealt with police means to deal with civilian rallies.
    Yet what’s been exposed is that on the Mavi Marmara (contrary to most other ships), there were some Jihadis ready for lynching and Shahid. And they were denied this opportunity.
    IDF soldiers had to pay — thank God not with their lives — the price of this exposure. That’s within the risks undertaken and understood when volunteering to serve in this kind of unit.

  4. obsy says:

    I would not have thought, that the media would have acted this biased against Israel, even after the videos were available to the public on youtube.

    This is a new low-point in media-coverage.

  5. Ray in Seattle says:

    I may be missing some essential information but from the videos and comments I have seen so far – it seems to me that slowly rappeling one’s soldiers armed with paint guns, one at a time down a rope onto a hostile deck at night where 30 Turkish militants were waiting for them, hoping to create a PR incident, was a very foolish mistake. No military commander should have exposed his troops to such danger.

    IMO when the decision was made to use the military to enforce the blockade – a legal decision by all standards – then the military should have engaged with all necessary force to do the job fully expecting lethal armed resistance.

    Israel is fortunate. If the Turks had been better prepared they could have shot the commandos on the ropes before they ever hit the deck and killed several. With one well-placed rpg shot they could have taken out the helicopter. Doesn’t anyone remember Mogadishu?

    Then IDF should have commanded the Turks to shut down the engines and taken the ship under tow. If they refused then the IDF should have taken out the bridge with light artillery. There was no need to board until the ship was submissive and cooperative or if necessary, disabled – and then with extreme caution by heavily armed soldiers.

  6. E.G. says:

    RL and incognito:

    What arms did the IDF have in 1948?

  7. incognito says:

    The footage (and Ben-Yishai’s report) clearly show that the soldiers were acting on the hypothesis that the Flotilla was composed of loony “peace activists”, like those who gather weekly at Biliin.

    The soldiers were expecting what they were told to expect. And what they were told to expect was based on (a) failed intelligence (b) the usual sending soldiers to fight without the necessary tools and willingness to win.
    Barak in particular is an expert on that and Bibi is not much better. Olmert, Livni, all these I would not let them clean the toilets of Ben-Gurion, Golda et. al.

    Yet what’s been exposed is that on the Mavi Marmara (contrary to most other ships), there were some Jihadis ready for lynching and Shahid. And they were denied this opportunity.

    Exposed, my foot. Won’t make one bit of a difference. Nobody’s interested in anything that is not Israel’s fault. And watch Obama exploiting Israel’s predicament to shove crap down its throat.

  8. incognito says:

    I would not have thought, that the media would have acted this biased against Israel, even after the videos were available to the public on youtube.

    Only naivity and/or refusal to discern the direction in which everything has been going for the last 10-15 years could have led to a lack of such expectation.

  9. incognito says:

    No military commander should have exposed his troops to such danger.

    Today israel does not have the commanders it used to have and has politicians, no longer statesmen.

  10. incognito says:

    What arms did the IDF have in 1948?

    Don’t understand why this question but if I had to answer I would say that it was not the arms by themselves but the quality and motivation of the leadership and the military that saved the day.

    Today Israel has most sophisticated arms but (a) it is unwilling to use them (b) they don’t help much against the world (c) they have a corrupt and incompetent leadership.

  11. E.G. says:

    incognito,

    Yes they have been exposed.
    That nobody cares about the evidence showing Israel is definitively within her rights is a different problem.

    Would any other action regarding this Flotsilla have had a chance to end-up with better results?

  12. Ray in Seattle says:

    Today israel does not have the commanders it used to have and has politicians, no longer statesmen.

    It seems that you are correct. But how can this be? Don’t Israelis realize that they now need the most competent and expert military in the world if they hope to survive the next few years?

    I also suspect the political system in Israel is partially to blame. I used to talk with an ex IDF recon officer at another site who was working with a group to change the electoral system. But he finally gave up the effort as hopeless.

  13. E.G. says:

    incognito #9

    It’s hard for me to tell the difference between the fighter/politician “quality” then and now. I wasn’t there then, and now I don’t have enough (or the same) distance to judge. Nor do you, I’m afraid.

    One thing I am sure of is the IDF combatant quality: at least the same today as in 1967.
    And they’re better equipped too.

  14. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Now, I believe that it is not lack of intelligence in the sense of information, insiders and so on. I believe that it is the lack of intelligence, as brains.

    If someone, living four months in Turkey and educated enough to be an administrator in wikipedia and writing lots of articles there – this does not mean high diplomas, but the desire to learn and lots of dedication – knows that Turkish islamists can be tough guys with military training and fascist leanings, I am pretty sure that this information, which is basically public, was available to competent services in Israel. They also had footage of Khaybar, etc… sung on the ship, and broadcast on Israeli TV. And I am sure that they had tons more.

    So they knew. But they did not add two and two. Should they have performed this feat of arithmetic, they would have found four, and come up with interesting conclusions. As of now, I have no idea of who is “they”. Probably some officers of high rank. If there is some justice left in Israel, the men responsible for this failure would come out and say “OK, I have no excuses, I messed up, and I am prepared to stand before justice”.

    I’m afraid that I could probably wait a veeeery long time before this happens.

    This situation reminds me of the bridge over Yarkon river collapsing during the 1997 Maccabiah. If I remember correctly, the engineer in charge of the bridge was a Technion professor, who acted in total contradiction to all the rules in structural engineering.

    My memory of the fact is that all questions must have been buried into a general “הכול יהיה בסדר” everything will be alright.

    It is useless to have intelligence, as information, if you don’t have intelligence as brains to use it. You can have the best operational procedures in the world, if you do not follow them, they will not protect you from disaster.

  15. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Why do you consider this is a failure?

  16. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., I consider that this is a failure, because I was used to the IDF organizing smart operations, with little bloodshed. Remember Entebbe, for instance.

    I have been almost out of my mind today, since I understood that some of the “passengers” succeeded to snatch a weapon from one of the commandos. The video showing the soldier being thrown overboard hurts. Seeing the sommandos descend along the rope, and being met by that kind of committee is also disheartening. OK, the first did not know what he was gliding into. But the third, and the fourth, and the fifth? And the commander, in his helicopter, who saw what was going on? Don’t tell me he did not have IR goggles for night vision.

    War is not supposed to be pretty, but it should not be about letting Israel’s soldiers glide one after the other into a nest of snakes, without proper protection and proper weapons.

    I can’t take out of my mind the very personal fact that three of my descendants out of four live in Israel, and if this is the way they are protected, they are in much more danger than I ever thought.

    The nine dead are bad, bad for Israel PR, bad because they will encourage other foolish fanatics to launch more “humanitarian” “pacifist” flotillas. I am sorry for their families, but I am not sorry for them.

    I cannot understand either how the commandos managed to kill nine and to wound something like 36, only with hand weapons. Did the fanatic fools try to get wounded or killed. Did they take enormous risks, gaining themselves the 72 virgins? From the videos, they do not look suicidal. Was it Cicero who wrote: “one who does not fear for his own life holds thine in his hands”. In any case, well thought out.

    How long did the battle last? How many men were involved on the israeli side?

    I am no military expert, so that I do not know if they could have done better. But I would sleep better if it were a failure, i.e. if it were not the best they could do. Because if they cannot do better, danger is very, very high, and I have some assets over there.

  17. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Didn’t you see this MEMRI/PMW video ?
    http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2489.htm

    There were some people on the Mavi Marmara seeking Shahid. The IDF was not going to let them have it their way. We don’t know (yet) who killed the 9 dead and who wounded all the others, and in what circumstances.
    We do know that the Mavri Marmara flew a white flag. And that the significance of such a symbol is, apparently, not the same for the IDF and for the Flotilla Fanatics.

    Soldiers, combat ones in particular, fully know they’re exposed to danger. They’re supposed to be best covered by their fellows and commanders but still, they’re at risk. Yoni Netanyahu knew it too.
    And in Entebbe there were quite a few left dead: but the world didn’t mourn them at all. At the time, they were considered the bad guys who deserved their fate.

  18. incognito says:

    Soldiers, combat ones in particular, fully know they’re exposed to danger. They’re supposed to be best covered by their fellows and commanders but still, they’re at risk. Yoni Netanyahu knew it too.
    And in Entebbe there were quite a few left dead: but the world didn’t mourn them at all. At the time, they were considered the bad guys who deserved their fate.

    Aw c’mon, are you comparing?

    I agree that soldiers take risk and that the population in Israel is no longer willing to accept such risk. That’s the reason why Israel keeps losing: it takes dumb risks and for results that don’t justify it.

  19. [...] on that Turkish ship clearly got what they deserved, i.e. gunfire, as shown in this video from Jerusalem blogger Richard Landes. But Roger L. Simon also has a point in his PJTV interview [...]

  20. nelson says:

    I’m with Incognito, Ray and Michelle.

    Israel showed how brilliant it could be in 1967 and 1976 (Entebbe). Then it showed how stupid it could be in 1973.

    Since the early 90s, Israel has been making one mistake after the other: Oslo, disorderly retreat from south Lebanon, intelligence failure on the eve of the second Intifadah, retreat from Gaza, the trap of the non-murdered Palestinian boy (which was proved to be fake by independent outsiders, not by anyone in the official Israeli world, in its diplomatic corps, judiciary or army), the bad results of the war against Hezbollah, the recent spy-girl scandal and so on.

    Individual soldiers, sailors and airmen may be excellent, but those higher up and the governing elites are below mediocre. And the way things were done today was simply stupid. I’m not saying Israel didn’t have the right to do what it did, but that’s no way to win a war where propaganda and the media are central. For God’s sake, isn’t there such a thing as sabotage? Couldn’t frogmen have destroyed the ship’s propeller or something like that? There were people aboard those ships from some 40 or 50 countries: couldn’t some of those groups or movements have been infiltrated? Wasn’t there a single Israeli agent aboard any of those vessels? I bet the whole amateurish Israeli action was done in the most bureaucratic fashion. Can we trust the guys who f..cked up such a simple operation to do it right when it comes to dealing with Iran?

    Michelle is 100% right in saying there was an absolute lack of intelligence here. It looks like the Israelis in general and their army commanders and ruling elites in particular simply ignore that much of the world is hostile to them, and that the only chance they have of surviving is outsmarting their enemies. For 20 years, however, who can deny that the Palestinians and their allies have been outsmarting Israel time and again? Is there any simple and obvious trap Israel won’t gladly walk in?

    It seems that, until the end of the Holocaust or the end of the 1948 war, Jews in general were under huge Darwinian pressures. Thus, any Jew who was able to survive had to have lots of luck and of brain. Since 1948, Israeli Jews were obviously under pressure, but it wasn’t a tougher pressure than that to which many small countries live, and surely it wasn’t comparable to the pressures under which Jews had to survive in wartime Europe or even in the Yishuv. In Israel itself, for 3 generations now, those pressures have been lessening, and any kid growing up in Rio de Janeiro’s slums needs to be smarter to survive than any young Israeli. And much of the rest of the Jews have been living under no pressure at all in the US. Even worse, neither Israeli nor American Jews have been for a long time under real pressure to choose the best leadership — or perish. Thanks to this, both the Israeli and the American Jewish leaderships have been recruited among mediocre opportunists. These guys won’t have great ideas in a time of crisis like this one. Curiously, even regular Americans, who are under no existential threat, are angrier at their government than most Jews at their own leadership. There was a time when anyone in the world could name a dozen first rate Israelis, from Ben Gurion and Golda Meir to Moshe Dayan and so on. Where are the first rate Jews and, even more, the first rate Israelis we can talk about today?
    Remember: the Arabs and Muslims can afford making many mistakes, the Jews and Israelis cannot. It’s time for the Jews to get the best possible leadership and begin to think outside the box.

  21. JD says:

    “Debacle on every level. What can be salvaged from this wreckage?”

    That video, for starters. It’s great. And on Youtube, it will last forever.

  22. Eliyahu says:

    As to 1948, many mistakes were made in that war too [read Uri Milstein]. But the international political situation was more favorable in some ways then. The Commies supported Israel which helped neutralize the Judeophobia and anti-Zionism of the domestic Commies in Israel. France too was very supportive, including Le Monde.

  23. incognito says:

    As usual nelson has excellent perspective.

    Other examples: Anat Kam and the guy in Ashkenazy’s gym. Would any of this happen in the 60′s or 70′s?

    Then you’ve got the retarded lefty israelis and the distancing diaspora jews who make me vomit.

    But the international political situation was more favorable in some ways then.

    All the more reason that less mistakes are affordable now. Besides, the successes overrode the failures then, today it’s the other way around.

  24. incognito says:

    It’s hard for me to tell the difference between the fighter/politician “quality” then and now.

    Too bad, because it’s rather obvious.

    One thing I am sure of is the IDF combatant quality: at least the same today as in 1967.
    And they’re better equipped too.

    Nelson replied to that one: it’s not the combatants that fuck up. And perhaps their reliance on all that technology does not do much good when you have a fucked up military and political command who won’t let you use it.

  25. E.G. says:

    incognito,

    You weren’t there in 1948. So Please!

  26. Cynic says:

    Right or wrong?
    Here’s Leslie H. Gelb
    The Daily Beast’s Leslie H. Gelb says Israeli commandos mishandled the situation, but Israel was right to storm a ship bound for Gaza.

    The Flotilla — Why Presume There Was Another Way?

    The problem is that this suggests that Israel had a multiplicity of options and chose the wrong one. But what if the option it chose was really the best of a whole bunch of frankly unattractive options? Had it failed to halt the flotilla, the Gaza blockade would have been publicly breached. Hamas would not only have won a propaganda victory against Israel but would have effectively put an end to the “good” Palestinian rule by Fatah on the West Bank — for Hamas would have demonstrated it could best Israel in a way that Fatah has proved singularly unable to.

    Israel Can’t Afford Unforced Errors

    Shmuel Rosner at the Jerusalem Post aptly identifies two things on which the “vast majority of Israelis” would probably agree: first, “letting the flotilla into Gaza was not an option,” because ending the naval blockade would allow Hamas to import huge quantities of arms that, as recent history proves, would be used against Israeli civilians. And second, “letting peace activists stab Israeli soldiers with knives and hammer them and axe them was also not an option”: in a life-threatening situation, soldiers are supposed to defend themselves, not let themselves be killed.

  27. sshender says:

    Ray, it’s amazing how your words echo mine. I left a similar message on the EoZ blog yesterday, but deleted the RPG fired at the chopper part at the last moment to not seem too dramatic.

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