Monday, May 31, 2010

Shouted Warning: Unwitting Ambiguous Death Sentence?


The warnings quoted below appear to emanate (about 8 minutes in third embedded video) from the Captain of the Turkish ferry ship - not from Israeli forces - and was apparently made after at least two passengers had been killed by Israeli bullets, many more injured, and apparently after Al Jazeera had reported several times that white flags had been raised.

UPDATE 14:34: Longer Russia Today item, in English:

Original Post:

Some Russia Today VT here. Not sure if this has the shouted warning that has gone out on heavy rotation on BBC News 24 coverage. You'll have heard it. Imagine it has for now. If it's not there. Gorillaz Plastic Beach - with its somethingly appropriate sleeve art - and such on stereo. Dare not make a squeak to check. Will find it.

Meanwhile the warning in question went something like this. All from the same voice:

"Stop the resistance"
"They are firing live ammunition"
"We cannot defend ourselves"

Clear? No, it's not at all. We know from other statements from IDF apologists and official spokespeople that they claim the official boarding party on this vessel comprised both "police" type military, perhaps even "customs", as well as "IDF commando" types.

Let's suppose the voice shouting this warning, in English to Turkish, Spanish, Greek and other international activists but let's leave that for now, was from the "police/customs" end of the military spectrum.

Let's suppose further that the "they" being referred to here is the "IDF commandos"? And further that the "we" being referred to is the "police/customs" cadre? And finally let's suppose that the listeners include those "IDF commandos" and that they don't know who "they" means?

All set for a massacre? I'd say so. IDF commandos are famously hot-headed (documentaries passim) and wound up fit to explode by rabbis and others (docuementaries passim) and they hear that "they" are firing live ammunition and that their compatriots ("we") cannot defend themseves?

The commandos don't know that it's defend themslves from improvised weapons - like broom handles, pen knives, crow bars, and marlin spikes, perhaps a signal pistol - they are programmed to shoot first ask questions later. They do. 19 dead. All possibly over a "let him have it" type ambiguity.

That Al Jazeera English are reporting that the activists were not resisting and were in fact waving white flags at the time IDF commandos started shooting them up tends to suggest a horrendous misunderstanding.

In international waters. Ninety miles or so away from Gaza. Let's say 5-10 hours from port. Plenty of time. Could wait until dawn. But in pitch black. Commando squads boarding merchant vessels.

Merchant vessels which had been very thoroughly policed and searched at embarkation for weapons. The whole premise of these boardings must be questioned.

Israeli spokespeople have now got even sensible international media speaking of preventing cement and bricks landing as being a justified mission which needs to be prevented with lethal force.

FOOTNOTE: Gorillaz Home Page, a very welcome substitute for U2 at Glasto I'd have thought?

UPDATE Mon 14:15: Below, some BBC World material on Turkish connection. 400/600 of those involved Turkish citizens. Some tacit support from Govt suspected. Flagship which was raided and where deaths occurred is Turkish.

UPDATE 14:24: Chaotic Al Jazeera (possibly originally live broadcast) footage. Much in arabic with interspersed reports in English. Lots of reports of white flags being raised. And in last minute or so it is revealed that warning quoted above was in fact from Ship's Captain and NOT from Israeli forces. BBC 24 reports on this did not attribute the warning to anyone. Hence above speculation.

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