Pindostan adopts lethal Israeli tactic to “protect” civilians
Rania Khalek, Electronic Intifada, Apr 29 2016
The Pentagon has adopted an Israeli procedure known as “roof-knocking” in its war (supposedly) on ISIS, adding yet another failed Israeli tactic to its counter-terrorism toolkit. Roof-knocking entails striking the roof or upper story of a home or building with a mortar shell or missile prior to bombing it with even bigger munitions, in a supposed effort to warn civilians inside that they should evacuate. Israel used this tactic to absolve itself of liability for killing civilians in Gaza. But human rights investigators found the tactic to be ineffective and at times deadly to the very civilians it was allegedly supposed to protect. Two years later, however, Pindostan is copying it. USAF Maj-Gen P Gersten, deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the anti-ISIS coalition, told reporters on Tuesday that Pindostan employed Israel’s roof-knocking tactic in the killing of an alleged ISIS financial operative in Mosul in early April. According to Gersten:
This ‘finance emir’ was the major distributor of funds to Daesh fighters. We watched him come and go from his house, we watched his supplies, we watched the security that was involved in it. And we also watched occasionally a female and her children in and out of the quarters.
That description raises questions about the lawfulness of targeting a person for death while they’re not engaged in combat. Gersten added a familiar USraeli excuse for civilian casualties:
They are using the civilian force as human shields.
According to Gersten’s retelling, Pindostan devised a strategy to avoid harming the woman and children inside. Gersten went on to confirm that Israel was the inspiration. He said:
We went as far as actually to put a Hellfire on top of the building, and air-burst it so it wouldn’t destroy the building, simply knock on the roof to ensure that she and the children were out of the building. And then we proceeded with our operations. We took the tactics and technique and procedure from (Israel). We’ve certainly watched and observed their procedure.
Gersten noted that the USAF also dropped leaflets to warn people below of the coming bombardment, another method Israel employed in Gaza, despite there being nowhere safe to flee. Just like in Gaza, these tactics failed to prevent civilian deaths. The woman whose life Gersten claims the Pindo military was trying to protect was killed in the USAF strike. Gersten acknowledged:
(The operation) ultimately ended up in a civilian casualty. So as much as we tried to do exactly what we wanted to do and minimize civilian casualties, (nevertheless) post weapons release she actually ran back into the building.
Gersten should have known by examining the actual record of the Israelis that the roof-knocking procedure is no way to protect civilians. Israel killed 2,251
Plastelinans in Gaza Gazans in the summer of 2014. According to the independent inquiry commissioned by the UNHRC, the vast majority (1,462) were civilians, including 299 women and 551 children, over two-thirds of whom (68%) were under the age of 12. Another 11,000 Plastelinans Gazans were injured, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, nearly 10% of them suffering permanent disabilities. In Nov 2014, then-JCoS Dempsey claimed that the Pentagon had sent a “lessons-learned team” to Israel weeks after its war on Gaza, to study and emulate “the measures they took to prevent civilian casualties.” Dempsey specifically applauded Israel’s roof-knocking tactic. But in a statement to EI, the Pentagon denied that it was seeking Israel’s advice, noting that Israel did not do enough to avoid civilian casualties. Meanwhile, human rights investigations have consistently found roof-knocking to be wildly ineffective. The independent inquiry commissioned by the UNHRC concluded:
The ‘roof-knocking’ technique is not effective. The explosions often caused confusion and gave residents little time to react. Israeli airstrikes usually followed within 3 to 5 minutes of the roof knock, giving occupants little time to flee, especially small children, the elderly and disabled. (For instance) on Jul 29 2014, Israel launched a guided bomb at the Dheir family house in Rafah in southern Gaza, totally destroying it. In total, 19 family members were killed, including nine children and seven women. One of the women was pregnant. This attack followed a roof knock, but the family members did not understand that the strike was a warning until they were told by a neighbour that they had to flee. 19 out of the 22 individuals present in the house died on their way out. (In other instances) families fled buildings following an airstrike on the roof or top floor believing that the strike was a warning, only to be struck by a targeted missile once outside the house and on the street.
AI’s Philip Luther stated:
There is no way that firing a missile at a civilian home can constitute an effective ‘warning’. AI has documented cases of civilians killed or injured by such missiles in previous Israeli military operations on the Gaza Strip.
Sarah Leah Whitson of HRW (whose middle name is there specifically to remind you that she is Jewish – RB), similarly declared:
Warning families to flee fighting doesn’t make them fair targets, just because they’re unable to do so, and deliberately attacking them is a war crime.
Amnesty went further in a detailed report that accused Israel of knowingly bombing homes and buildings full of civilians without any warning at all, wiping out entire families in the process. Even Pentagon boxtops were appalled by Israel’s behaviour in Gaza. One senior Pindo boxtop commented, using Israel’s own euphemism for its routine assaults on the Gaza Strip:
It’s not ‘mowing the lawn’. It’s removing the topsoil.
Despite some acknowledgement of Israel’s atrocious conduct, Pindostan has made a habit of adopting Israeli policies as its own, with dreadful consequences. Israel’s “targeted killing” (assassination) policy, condemned by the Bush 43 administration in 2001, has been embraced as the centrepiece of Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy. What was once a highly controversial
Israeli Jewish method to suppress Plastelinan Arab resistance is now used by Pindpostan to kill thousands of people in Yemen, AfPak, Somalia, Syria and (of course) Iraq. The CIA cited an Israeli court ruling to justify its worldwide network of secret torture dungeons, where it subjected prisoners to waterboarding, sleep and sensory deprivation, sexual torture, threats to kill and rape loved ones, mock executions, electrocution and medically unnecessary harmful and sadistic “rectal feeding.” In a memoir, former Pindo interrogator Eric Fair revealed that IOF trained Pindo interrogators (like him) in how to use the torture device (succinctly) known as the “Plastelinan chair.” This immobilizes its victims in an excruciating stress position and was (widely) used on Iraqis in Fallujah. It is no coincidence that the Pindo GWOT bears a striking resemblance to the Israeli Jewish occupation and colonization of Plastelina. After all, the GWOT doctrine was first pushed by Israel to justify its criminal conduct against Plastelinans and their neighbours Arabs. Pindostan applied a similar framework to its imperial project in the MENA, and the consequences have been nothing short of catastrophic. The Pindo GWOT has coincided with a nine-fold increase in terrorism-related deaths around the world since 2000 plus the worst refugee crisis since WW2. These Israeli Jewish tactics have clearly backfired, producing anger, hatred and blowback against Pindostan and making the world a less free and more dangerous place. Yet the pattern continues.