25 March 2009

Danger Room Buys Israeli Critics With Minimal Scrutiny

Israel Used Phosphorus to Flame Hamas Hideouts: Human Rights Watch | Danger Room from Wired.com

During its war with Hamas, Israeli troops deliberately blasted crowded buildings -- including a school and a hospital -- with incendiary white phosphorus rounds. It was part of a concerted strategy to scorch terror hideouts in and around Gaza City, Human Rights Watch senior military analyst Marc Garlasco tells Danger Room.
(read the rest of the article)
(last paragraph of article starts here)
What makes it all the more troubling to Garlasco, a former U.S. Air Force officer, is that he couldn't find a clear reason why the Israeli military was using WP in this way.
The buildings hit with WP were big -- too big to 'send in a shell, to take out booby traps,' Garlasco says. 'It still boggles my mind, what the military utility was.'

I'm still waiting for someone to tell us the military utility of shooting unaimed rockets in the direction of civilian neighborhoods is.

If the military utility of WP is to force *everyone* to evacuate a facility, then you get the combatants out of the building, along with the civilians. Sounds like a military use to me - deny the use of cover to an enemy combatant. Gee, a military use, and that leap of logic wasn't exactly mind-bending.

And USAF guys aren't exactly the experts on WP use. Calling Garlasco "a former U.S. Air Force officer" attempts to convey credibility where there may in fact be none. Was he a weatherman? Was he a personnel officer? Or was he a close air support/ ground attack pilot flying A-10s over Iraqi formation in Gulf 1? Simply putting on a uniform doesn't make you an expert in the military utility of WP.
If you want the experts on US military use of WP, go talk to the artillerymen, since they're the guys that actually stock the ammo and plan for its use. If you were quoting a former artillery officer, criticisms of WP use would pass with little question from your military readers. But for all we know, Garlasco was a chaplain, or transportation planner, and has heard of WP but has no idea what doctrinal uses are currently trained and accepted.

No comments: