Monday, May 31, 2010

When non-lethal goes lethal ..

There is a downside to any operation. Even with all the planning you do; going in is often like stepping through an open door into a dark room.

Courageous Restraint? Well, that brings along with it a much higher level of Operational Risk. Case in point.

In the Long War, as I still call it, no one has been engaged with the enemy longer than Israel. If faced with their situation, Israel shows restraint few other nations would. They voluntarily gave up land - their strategic depth - in order to get peace; peace that they do not yet have.

They have to abide by rules that their enemy does not. Their enemy's INFO OPS and PSYOPS are very good and assisted by a willing international community and still broad anti-Jewish bias in Europe - especially in the media and academia.

The Israelis have to deal with a cultural difference as well. They, as we, wish to live and prosper. Their enemy has no problem with death and martyrdom.

I won't beat up too much on the Israeli tactical situation. They were given a tough set of ROE from the looks of it; stop the ship but don't hurt anyone. Impossible, but they tried. In hindsight - using toys, paintball guns (yes, they were using paintball guns) against weapons, iron clubs and slingshots - when outnumbered and on the offensive against an aware and awaiting enemy - is foolish .... but that is in hindsight.

As it went down,
Officials estimated that passengers will show slight resistance, and possibly minor violence; for that reason, the operation’s commander decided to bring the helicopter directly above the top deck. The first rope that soldiers used in order to descend down to the ship was wrested away by activists, most of them Turks, and tied to an antenna with the hopes of bringing the chopper down. However, Flotilla 13 fighters decided to carry on.
Read the whole thing for the details.

You have to give it to the Turks and their fellow Palestinian supports - they got exactly what they wanted; blood soaked shirts and video of Israelis attacking followers of the Religion of Peace.

There is a side issue here as well. Turkey used to be one Israel's best friends in the Muslim world. They used to do exercises together on a regular basis - Israel gave Turkey's F-4 fleet a new lease on life, etc.

Slowly but surely, as Turkey has slid toward the Islamists - that connection has faded. It will only get worse with time as the modern, urban, European minded Turks whose world view is largely Western and Secular as ours is, are being out-bred and out-voted by the retrograde, rural, and Islamist Ottomans.

You can sense a turn here, and not for the better. Watch close. More will come.
UPDATE: Via Allah - more video. The last one will give you the context.


ewok40k said...

Israelis have fallen to the Goliath-David effect, since  all their wars seemed curb-stomp battles and Palestinians dont have conventional military they are universally seen as the "bullies with big guns". As false as the notion is it is a basic tenet of COIN that such perceptions WILL appear.
As for the incident itself... Might turn ugly. What a mess...
Couid be avoided by simply allowing to re-package all aid in Israeli port and ship it with Israeli merchant marine - that would be what I would offer first if wanting really to get aid thru. Seemingly on "peace activists" side someone was bent on confrontation...

leesea said...

While not a Hamas supporter by any means, I am sorry that this happened.  This strikes me as another assault at sea ala the USS Liberty?  If a navy attempts a non-compliant ship boarding on the high seas, it should expect resisteane?   Why was an assault at sea necessary?  There were OTHER courses of action that Israel could have taken rather then shooting up some civilian ships.

Echo mentions transhipment, what about asking the Turks to conduct manifest check and cargo examination as is already allowed by international rules?

The Israelis and Palestinians will be fighting each other so long as there are sticks and stones on the ground to throw at each other - regardless as to who is "right".

cdrsalamander said...

You need to review the records of thousands of metric tons of weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza under the label of humanitarian aid.

Israel did the best it could.    Would our nation do any less?   Israel was right by any measure.  No nation has a duty to allow others to destroy it.  

Outlaw Mike said...

Turkey out of NATO, Israel in.

butch said...

Your moral equivalence is breath-taking.  Care to bet which party picks up a stick or rock first?

Hint: It's the one that has called for the elimination of the Zionist entity.

John said...

Israel was right.

Next time, a mysterious torpedo from unknown sources should be used to solve the problem.  Must be those darn NORKs got lost or something.

The world media and the Obama adminsitration will naturaly blame Israel, but they would do that regardless of the facts.

Oh, that we showed the resolve and determination, and the willingness to unapologetically use force to defend our national interests.

Good job Israel, just a little less restraint next time.

AW1 Tim said...


   You write as if sucj a thing as a "Palestinian" exists. Palestinians are a made-up people, created from whole cloth by the British and the various Arabs nations around Israel. They are the people who were squatting on Israeli land, and whom the arab nations saw as useful idiots to harrass and possibly destroy Israel.

   Those arabs living inIsrael in '48 were offered Israeli citizenship. Many thousands took up that offer, and live side by side with jews to this day. Many others, however, were egged on by the Muslim brotherhood, and their rabid hatred of Jews, a hatred stoked and perfected under the supervision of Hotler's Germany, in service of who tens of thousands of muslims served in SS divisions posted to eastern Europe, th Balkans and supporting the invasion of Russia.

  The Jews have an ancient right to Israel, a right supported by the United Nations itself. the Palestinians have NO rights to the land they accupy. It is Israel's incredible restraint that has kept the Palestinians from being ground into the very earth and wiped from the pages of history, a fate I personally support. Israel offers peace, and the palestinians murder Israeli children and civilians.

  I am persinally bone-tired of all of it. I would welcome a war that cripples and destroys Israel's enemies because I believe it to be the only way to end this sad chapter of history.

  Whatever fate befalls these arabs, it is a result they have earned in spades.

Outlaw Mike said...

CDR, if Courageous Restraint is the brainchild of McChrystal, then..., well, then Yon may be onto something after all.

OnceAMarine said...

Islam is like a rabid dog. Just cause you chained it up for a while doesn't mean it still doesn't want to rip out your throat.

Agreed, and a rabid dog must be destroyed. 

cdrsalamander said...

You make me sad.

This has about as much to do with Yon and McChrystal as the batch of sweet pickle chunks Mrs. Salamander just made from our last harvest of cucumbers.  

ewok40k said...

Well, short-term views aside this creates a batch of questions for navies worldwide:
-How to perform board operations in naval policing?
-What weapons and tactics use?
-It seems clearing the deck first is prerequisite before roping down from helos, how to do that?
-Are sonic weapons or other non-lethal gadgets able to help?
-One largely forgotten way of clearing the decks are firehoses and extenguisher canons - AFAIK USN used those to good effect in China's brown waters in 1930s
Last but not least:
IMHO better option was to mine approaches to Gaza and let fly a big sign "proceed at own risk".
If somebody feels suicidal, feel free to go...

Outlaw Mike said...

Okay, maybe the first three letters of my reply should have been "Btw".

ShawnP said...

This Turkish ship has Lusitania written all over it.

ex-Fleet LT said...

From a purely tactical perspective: either the OSC has terrible judgement or they did not have an accurate picture of situation on the ship when they reviewed their go/no-go criteria. IZ has good technology, imagery resources and connectivity, so I have a hard time believing there was not a live FLIR feed (at least Hawk-link quailty or better) that some O5 or O6 was looking at. Surely there must have been decision matrix:
GO: <10 hippies with banners
NO-GO: >30 angry jihadis with tire irons
They had the time/distance to escalate their demands for compliance and/or disable the ship (bad press, but probably nobody dead).

Matthew G. Saroff said...

Whoever planned this op, and whoever signed off on the op should be fired.

Casey Tompkins said...

Or maybe tear gas first, then go... ;)

Casey Tompkins said...

I guess I clicked "cancel" last time, not post.

I think ex-Fleet LT has it; either bad intel, poor execution, or both.

If you read the article you would know that they were expecting "activists." What they got were gangstas. If they had the slightest idea what they were really up against, they would have handled it better.

I'll tell you one thing; this trick will only work once...

Theodore said...

A made-up people? I see no difference with the Dutchies, or the so-called Americans in the US. The Belgians, Canadians? Don't let me laugh, they don't even agree what language they should be using to insult eachother, just a bunch of folks living in a country as a result of colonial politics and protest against that. Germans??? LOL! Palestinians have the fullest right to exist if they want to, they did already in 1492, you know. They never amounted to much, granted, and were just people living there without being really believing in the common chickenhawk on a stick or sharing the Palestinian tea cloth or something like that.

Look, Israel is between a rock and a hard place, and being shot from both sides, I sympathize fully with them, but you should not believe all Israeli propaganda.  This flotilla has been bait, and Israel really failed the test, it has shown itself in full colour as a cruel, murdering pirate, which is just an image and has hurt its own position. From a tactical and political-tactical point of view Israel has managed to shoot itself in its own foot again, one question though, what if one of the dead had been that (former) US Ambassador?  This action can too easily be constructed as an act of piracy against a ship sailing under the flag of a NATO member.

Curtis said...

Just one of our drone strikes in Afg goes awry and the internationals exort to extreme threats and demands for satisfaction.  Killed 23 in the last one I read of today.  The NATO commander and staff have issued letters of reprimand for the drone operators and several others.  Nothing at all like what we see here and nothing at all like what we see when an E5 reacts as trained with fire and maneuver when attacked and all must be taken to court martials again and again.

The double standards are striking.  The pusillanamous Army Generals and the pusillanamous International scene. 

We talked about it tonight at dinner, after the kids left the table and we decided that this was a killer op if the fools on the boats had nothing but wheel chairs and bandages and humanitarian aid but the Palestinians, being Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.


AW1 Tim said...

Speaking of fail, your moral equivelency BS is showing. You really need to put down the leftist propaganda leaflets and open your eyes.

  The Palestiniabns are, in actual fact, a "made-up" people. They were people who lived in Jordan or Eqypt or Lebanon, until those bastions of integrity and civilization (sarcasm, look it up if you need to) decided to deny them citizenship and cakk them "Palestinians" the better for to use them as a buffer against Israel.

   Israel acted absolutely within it's rights, and the pity, to my old tired eyes and mind, is that Israel didn't sink every damned vessel and let the bastards swim for it.

   You really and truly need to wake up to the real world, and not the socialist-propaganda crapweaselly creation you seem to have bought into.

Southern Sailor said...

Limpet mine.

Anonymous said...

Leesea-The whole purpose of this convoy was to open the SLOCs to Gaza.  Why does Hamas want the SLOCs open to Gaza when they can get supplies via both Israel and Egypt?  Becasue they can not ship weapons via Egypt and Israel.  And that is what they really want-to attack Israel, ergo, the need for the SLOCs to be open.   The HAMAS charter makes it abundently clear that the destruction of Israel is the entire rational for the existance of Hamas.  In other words, the convoy was simply a mechanism to better allow Hamas to wage war against Israel.  The attack on the boarding party was an act of war.  The Israelis responded appropriately (nto that that will get them any points in the international community.)

CV60 said...

Sorry-The Guest post above is from CV60.  I need more coffee before typing on the computer.....

LT B said...

Roger, then if it were an act of piracy the Israelis could come to NYC and get tried.  Maybe get some wonderful bagels and make a month of it.  Maybe they would get less condemnation than the Somalis.  Harumph!

Salty Gator said...

really?  Really?!  How do you propose to stop the ships then?  Limpet mines?  Mk48 torps?  ASCMs?  I know, let's ram it like whale wars.

These guys did the best they could.  Shitty circumstance.  Only thing they could have done better was to gas the hell out of everyone.

DG said...

The Liberty attack was bad juju, but it was also 43 years ago, well before we were allies. At the time, the US was quite neutral and France was Israel's best ally, before DeGaulle' nuts fell off and France went back to being France.

The best way of figuring out who are friends are is to ask who would help us if we were attacked? The Brits, Australians, Canadians, the Poles, Czechs, and the Israelis head the list. Do you see any Saudis or Jordanians standing up for us, ever? Sadly, no.

Byron said...

Should have gone with flash bangs, CS and lot's of shooters ready to dance if anyone got froggy. If you want a bad guy to re-consider his options, stick the barrel of a .45 up his nostril and tell him not to sneeze.

DG said...

Blocking their seawater cooling inlets with hefty bags?

Theodore said...

Tim, to call my worldview leftist you have to be a have to be unable to tell left from right or a full blown fascist. Sei geheilt.

First: "A land without people" alone was a lie of a magnitude to start a Tea Party.

Second: "Palestine" is as name for an area over 20 times as old as Jordan, yep Israel has older papers, but where did you think the crusaders went?

Third:    Would you claim that for instance the current POTUS has no right to live in Waskington DC, because his ancestors lived 2,000 years ago somewhere else?

Fourth:  Where do you getthe idea that Jews have an ancient and exclusive right to that place? Connection, love, tie, home, heart and soul and all that, sure, I have enough Jewish blood to KNOW that, but a right? Could you make a case for that in front of a tribunal consisting out of a Hindu, a Buddhist and an atheist? 

The problem is that the case can indeed be made that the Palestinians do not have a history as a people, but as people they do. 

Rather irrelevant, all this. Israel took the bait, stepped in the trap and has weakened its position AGAIN. Remember the EXODUS, breaking through the blockade was heroic when Jews were doing it, hey?  

Mike F. said...

And to get the most complete picture, you need to read it with a copy of the Hadith and the Sunnah.

OnceAMarine said...

Maybe the vast majority are not actively "blowing things up, burning them down, or cutting off heads", but I haven't seen any of these adherents to the self-described religion of peace protesting in the streets calling for reform - and major reform is the only thing that will avert the reckoning that must come.  As a matter of fact, I've not only witnessed the street demonstrations alluded to by Old NFO below, but also those right here in our own country - in Michigan, New Jersey, Minnesota, California, etc. etc.  No, maybe the vast majority are not actively engaged: but the money has to come from somewhere, the hateful mindset that decrees that all "Infidels" must be converted or die has to be propagated and taught to the next generation, the activists and organizers access willing fools to swell the ranks whenever they feel like trotting out their victim status to a lap-dog media and a sympathetic political left.  You don't have to look far to find the cancer within our own borders (even without the outward symptoms of bombings and beheadings): CAIR, Wahhabi Mosques in almost every state, US Arab Charities, Islamic saudi Academy, Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, US Office of International Islamic Relief - the list goes on and on.  And don't forget that 90% of muslim converts in the US come to us via prison conversions and Farrakhan's hate group. 

Islam as practiced and professed is fundamentally incompatible with the tenets of Western Civilization.  Try as you may you can not reconcile the two.

Anonymous said...


Israel already runs this country and its banks, they spread their influence around and brain wash the weak minded, “that if you don’t stand for Israel them you stand for the Arabs“. Is this why so many are ready to lick their boots? I say, screw them all.

ewok40k said...

Next time - use lerge ship to board in company sized formation in riot gear, with flash bangs, tear gas and water canons as preliminary barrage. Think clearing riot but on ship. Makes for a quite swashbuckler movie scenes, mind you...

Byron said...

Get buggered, you gutless Nazi.

Salty Gator said...

I would recommend that you revisit history.  At that time, we were the only thing that was keeping Israel from getting steam rolled.  We were resupplying Israel with aircraft, weapons, bombs, you name it.  Even tanks.  What, you think a 20 year old country could set up a tank manufacturing plant over night?  Come on.  France was only a friend because the UK was--and that was more about the canal and Egypt than anything else.
Actually, I do see the Jordanians ponying up to assist.  they are quality.  As for the Saudis, yes, I see the Royal Family lending a hand even if many neighborhoods want to see us burn.  I think Israel would help us as long as they thought we could keep paying their bills.  That's not antisemetic, that's realist.  We need them, they need us.  But if they find a better option (ala selling our shit to China like they always do), they'll take it.  Survival is primary.

Salty Gator said...

You know, when the fast rope was tied off to a pad eye that should have been the first indicator that this was no longer a level III boarding, but a level IV boarding.  I agree...shame on the OSC for not waving off.  But this is not a matter of bad planning, it is questionable execution.  BUT THEN AGAIN, I WASNT THERE.

Salty Gator said... have cucumbers already?  What kind of fertilizer do you use?!  I have vines but no cucumbers.

Mrs. Salty is getting jealous

MR T's Haircut said...


the Czechs and the Poles could say the same thing about us...  we have left them standing at the alter... oh we also did the same to the Kurds.... just sayin... dont blame the people because of the govt...

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