web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Casualties Of War: The Untold Story


According to recent intelligence reports, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed 40 Hamas terrorists in Gaza last month without inflicting a single civilian casualty. In fact, over the past five years, collateral damage and civilian casualties caused by Israeli military actions have decreased dramatically. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to fire Kassam rockets indiscriminately at the working-class town of Sderot and into the suburban areas of the nearby seaside city of Ashkelon.

In the summer of 2006, while operating primarily in southern Lebanon, the Shiite terrorist group Hizbullah fired hundreds of Katyusha rockets indiscriminately into Israel – rockets loaded with ball bearings designed to kill as many people as possible. Unlike Hizbullah, the IDF employs precision strikes against terrorists, attacks designed to minimize collateral damage and civilian casualties. In 2003, for instance, the ratio of Palestinian or Shiite terrorists killed to civilian casualties was approximately 1-to-1. Last month it was 40-to-0. Over the last five years the trend has been in that direction.

In 2004, while visiting with the IDF, I was present in a control van where Israeli Air Force technicians guided a drone tracking a known Hamas terrorist. I looked on as the drone orbited near the terrorist’s Gaza house then watched as he emerged with his children and got into the family car. Meanwhile, an Israeli AH-64 attack helicopter armed with Hellfire missiles orbited off shore and out of sight. The Hellfire is an American-made, precision-guided anti-tank weapon that the Israelis modified by reducing the size of the warhead down to 20 pounds of projectiles and explosives, which, while still deadly, minimizes collateral damage.

The Israelis could have obliterated the car along with the terrorist and his children, but they didn’t. Instead they waited, hoping for a clean shot after he left off the children. Even after the terrorist dropped off the children, the Israelis held their fire. Knowing the Israelis have this capability, the Hamas terrorist purposefully drove in heavy traffic, using fellow Palestinians as a personal human shield.

Meanwhile, the drone tracked the terrorist back to his home. After a few minutes he emerged, hopped on a motorcycle and sped away, the drone shadowing his every move. When the terrorist turned onto a relatively deserted section of the coastal road, the AH-64 fired a Hellfire that killed the terrorist without causing collateral damage or civilian casualties.

Why do we never hear about Israeli efforts to minimize casualties? Even the anti-infiltration barrier, which has reduced Palestinian suicide bomber attacks to a mere handful per year, is derisively dubbed “the wall” by left-wing Christian organizations like the Palestinian Jerusalem-based Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center; its American cohort, Friends of Sabeel North America; and the Presbyterian Witherspoon Society.

Meanwhile, last month in Iraq U.S. forces suffered 107 total casualties, counting a small number of killed-in-action (KIA) and those wounded (WIA). That is down from 817 casualties suffered in December 2006. The “butcher’s bill” for 2007 was 6,801 Americans KIA and WIA, most of which were incurred after U.S. forces went on the offensive as part of the “surge strategy” instituted last spring.

By contrast, in 2006, before the surge when American forces fought on the tactical defensive, the United States suffered 7,221 casualties. Absent a desperate Tet-style terrorist offensive, casualty figures should decline significantly in 2008.

Superbly trained and led American forces keep the bloodshed low by employing tactics and weapons designed to accomplish their mission with the fewest possible U.S. military and Iraqi civilian casualties. With much of the media focused on mostly imagined atrocities in Iraq, the fact is that more than 90 percent of civilian casualties result from Islamist terrorists attacking their Muslim co-religionists.

Compared to all other major conflicts during the past century, U.S. forces have kept both military and civilian casualties down to historic lows. The Iraqi people, many of whom initially saw American efforts at minimizing casualties as signs of timidity or weakness, are beginning to understand this sensibility for the kind of humanity often lacking in Middle Eastern conflicts.

By way of historical perspective, U.S. forces conducting Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1991, while trouncing the Iraqi Army and liberating Kuwait, suffered 148 military personnel deaths, 92 of which resulted from one SCUD missile strike on a barracks in Riyadh. By comparison, on Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda inflicted approximately 20 times as many deaths on innocent civilians. It is worth noting that terrorists murdered approximately 400 more people on 9/11 than the Japanese killed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 – and almost all of those were American military personnel.

We Americans and our Israeli allies are the good guys. And if we have the will and stay the course, we can – as indeed we must – win this war.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Casualties Of War: The Untold Story”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas terrorists often misfire their rockets that explode in Gaza civilians areas.
‘Hamas Fired from UN School Area and Prevented Evacuation’ Says IDF
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

IDF soldier injured in Gaza is evacuated by helicopter to Soroka hospital.

The residents of Gaza were not occupied by the Hamas; they voted for the terror organization in democratic elections, by a huge majority, by virtue of its uncompromising struggle against Israel. For this reason, the separation between the armed Hamas terrorists and those ‘not involved’ or ‘innocents’ is false. The Gazans are now paying for […]

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

More Articles from Dr. Earl H. Tilford
Tilford-021712

Read the first five books of the Bible and the Book of Joshua. In them, God clearly specified what was expected of Israel: obedience, righteousness and faith being the gist of it. God blessed Israel when it obeyed, and when Israel faltered, God unleashed abundant wrath.

As Israel celebrated its 60th anniversary last month, there were the usual voices raised accusing Israel of victimizing the Palestinian Arabs and “running them out” of the Jewish state.

Most Christians, including many (if not a majority of) members of the mainline Protestant denominations, support Israel. Nevertheless, the Christian Left persists with its sometimes vehemently anti-Israeli and unabashedly pro-Palestinian sentiments. Why?

For a generation after World War II, particularly given revelations of the Holocaust, most American Protestant denominations embraced a more tolerant attitude toward Jews. Since the 1980’s, however, there has been a marked shift, evident in the anti-Israel positions adopted by more liberal denominations like the United Methodist Church (UMC); the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in America (ELCA); the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA); and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (PCUSA).

The American left clings to the myth that the antiwar movement ended the U.S. war in Vietnam. In fact, the antiwar movement failed to prompt any substantive changes in U.S. war policy.

According to recent intelligence reports, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed 40 Hamas terrorists in Gaza last month without inflicting a single civilian casualty. In fact, over the past five years, collateral damage and civilian casualties caused by Israeli military actions have decreased dramatically. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to fire Kassam rockets indiscriminately at the working-class town of Sderot and into the suburban areas of the nearby seaside city of Ashkelon.

Recently, after I’d given back examinations in one of my classes, one student who received a failing grade laughed, showed the exam to students on each side, and laughed again.

Former Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant said, “I hate to lose worse than anyone … but if you lose with humility you can come back” a winner.

Back in the early 1970’s I served as an Air Force intelligence officer at Udorn Air Base in Thailand, home of the 432nd Tactical Fighter Reconnaissance Wing. Most of the bombing in 1970 and 1971 focused on Laos, especially the Ho Chi Minh Trail logistical network down which Hanoi funneled troops and supplies onto South Vietnam’s battlefields. Occasionally, the 432nd’s F-4 Phantoms would “go North,” striking targets inside North Vietnam.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/casualties-of-war-the-untold-story/2008/01/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: