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Israeli pilots 'deliberately miss' targets
At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities.
Voices expressing concern over the armed forces' failures are getting louder. One Israeli cabinet minister said last week: 'We gave the army so much money. Why are we getting these results?' Last week saw Hizbollah's guerrilla force, dismissed by senior Israeli military officials as 'ragtag', inflict further casualties on one of the world's most powerful armies in southern Lebanon. At least 12 elite troops, the equivalent of Britain's SAS, have already been killed, and by yesterday afternoon Israel's military death toll had climbed to 45.
KURTZ: Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of it's fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?
RICKS: Yes, that's what military analysts have told me.
KURTZ: That's an extraordinary testament to the notion that having people on your own side killed actually works to your benefit in that nobody wants to see your own citizens killed but it works to your benefit in terms of the battle of perceptions here.
RICKS: Exactly. It helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well.
Originally posted by junglejake
What I find disturbing in this is that it may even be an official policy. Mirthful Me pointed this out in another thread, but Tom Ricks is claiming that Israel is not taking out all the military targets it could so as to allow more Israeli civilian casualties to help them maintain the moral high ground.
I'm not saying it's true, but if it is, this is a pretty disturbing development in my mind.
"If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel." David Ben-Gurion (Quoted on pp 855-56 in Shabtai Teveth's Ben-Gurion in a slightly different translation).
Originally posted by stumason
Good to see. This is what RAF and to some extent USAF pilots have been known to do. In fact, the RAF will support it's pilots decisions to abort based on their own observations. Alot of RAF missions do get aborted over civilian death fears.
As for the comment in the article about the troops being equivalent to the SAS. I doubt it.....
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Out of general principle I cannot condone their actions, I can understand why these pilots may have disobeyed these orders but I think they should still be disciplined.