The Israeli armed forces have announced plans to double their existing force of robot bulldozers, after unmanned "Black Thunder" droid diggers apparently covered themselves with glory during the recent Gaza incursion. The IDF armoured version of the Caterpillar D9 bulldozer An IDF killdozer in a quiet moment. According to the …
@ cassidy macfarlane
re: Matt Bryant and "I could break down your arguments"...It is blatantly obvious that you couldn't, can't, won't and never will. Emotional rants supporting fashionable fads substituting for having a clue are like vampires - don't do too well in sunshine.
Roswell - 'cause a similar logic stream is involved.
I've never seen such a hilarious display!
Quite simply, Matt is coherently forming an argument which appears to contain facts. I wouldn't ever ask him to reference these facts because it's a damn comments thread.
Everyone else that disagrees with Matt appear to be completely incapable of forming anything but what I'm now quite convinced is a misguided opinion.
As for my opinion? Good for you guys, Israel. It's quite a technological achievement and I hope it saves many of your soldiers' (and ultimately civilians') lives. Shame on any clownshoes that opts to get in the way of your noble pursuits of happiness.
Calm down Matt..
..It's an observation, not a diagnosis. You've had more space than anyone else on this forum so you need to take some responsibility for how you have chosen to depict yourself.
Anon coward 1 - thanks for proving my point. If you have read the Balen report I'd love to see the link. My understanding is that no one outside the BBC has seen it yet.
Anon coward 2- I assume this is a spoof?
...the balance of blame for the Israel-Palestinian conflict is about 75% Palestinian to 25% Israeli. Can we all get over it now?
RE: Calm down Matt
Another presumption - you immediatley assumed I had to be in some frothing rage, when the reality is you and your buddies are, at most, mild annoyances providing a bit of humour on a slow day. Is it easier for you to assume anyone that posts counter to your own thoughts is ranting? Have you actually ever debated anything? I'm coming to my own presumption that you have led a very sheltered life.
"....You've had more space than anyone else on this forum so you need to take some responsibility for how you have chosen to depict yourself....." Actually you can have as much space as you like. Well, up to the point where Ms Bee starts only letting you post about ice-cream. There is nothing stopping you posting as much material, conjecture or presumptions as you like. Don't blame me if you can't string a coherent argument together after you waded in on your moral hobbyhorse.
Take a lesson from Rosa Parks
Violent uprising might be fine if you live in somewhere where there aren't elected leaders or a free society.
Israel already gets so much flack for what it does. Imagine how much flack it'd get if no one was launching rockets into their civilian population? You know, so much that it might actually stop. I suppose that'd be less romantic, and you know, actually stop the problem.
And yeah, go on and tell me about all the human rights abuses Israel has commited, or how more Palastinians have died than Israelis, and how the Israeli settlers shouldn't be there. I'll probably even agree with you. Israel gets away with it because they're constantly under attack. If they weren't, they would have NO support. It's so easy to paint one side as being evil, though, isn't it?
balance of blame
Actually, I think the balance of blame is in the 60%-40% region. With it being 60% for the Palestinians and 40% for the Israeli's circa 1990. Now it has shifted to 60% for the Israeli's and 40% for the Palestinians.
And as for the Palestinians not fighting? If they weren't fighting they would lose. It would be 2nd class citizenship for Palestinians, think Alabama in the 30's.
Of course, the Israeli's can't stop fighting either, not with settlers getting hit with rockets.
Both sides have a lot of blame to bear, and any solution will require action on both sides.
@Matt & co.
Ever heard of proportionality? While I do not wish in any sense of the word to condone the actions of Islamic hotheads, there is a grim statistic which is borne out by recent conflicts.
1:100 - The ratio of Israeli deaths to Palestinian deaths.
For every civilian killed by Palestinian rockets, one hundred Palestinians will be killed via Israeli attacks. The ratio of civilian to militant Palestinians is probably impossible to even estimate - the whole point of guerilla warfare is that the militants blend into the community, so until they actually wield their weapon, it is impossible to distinguish militant from civilian. As for why people are tempted into militancy, perhaps the 80+% unemployment rate in Gaza plays a factor. After all, if young local men were gainfully employed in full time jobs, would they be able to spend as much time building rockets and firing them North or East?
It's also worth remembering that Israel has had numerous UN resolutions proposed against it since 1948, pretty much all of which have been blocked by Israel's most powerfully ally - the US.
However, despite all the gestures to the media, neither side appears interested in peaceful co-existence. Each side has distrusted the other since 1948 (and I suppose for the past few thousand years, as evidenced by a cursory glance at the Judeo-Christian religious texts) - and documentaries have shown that schoolchildren on both sides are taught that the opposition is evil / subhuman / no right to live on the land etc.
Israel has consistently refused to legally define its borders, and many politicians have gone on record as desiring a larger area than that defined by the UN 'Green Line' - from the relatively conservative line being marked out by the "Security Fence" to politicians wanting the Gaza Strip and West Bank to be part of a unified Jewish state, to those (mainly from previous decades) wanting the whole of Transjordan as well.
Similarly, many Palestinian politicans have gone on record (and received more media attention) for wishing the exact opposite - a (conservative) Islamic state.
Fatah have adopted a more moderate line recently, but many Palestinians associate them with being corrupt and inefficient . Besides which, when they had democratic elections a few years back (which IIRC were certified as free and fair), Hamas won.
It has to be remembered that Hamas isn't just a bunch of military hotheads - one of the main reasons they have such high levels of support amongst the population is their extensive social welfare network. Which has caused problems for several charities working in Gaza and the West Bank - Israel and the international have often shut them down even though they are not associated in any way with Hamas, on the merest (unsubstantiated) suspicion that funds may find their way into the wrong hands.
Due in part to their history, many Israelis are paranoid about their state - as they have been engaged in numerous conflicts with their neighbours over the past few thousand years they regard any attack on their territory as a direct threat to the very existence of their state. Their ideal scenario for surrounding states is for them to be either demilitarised or run by puppet governments who will always back Israel's stance on any issue. Check out their vision for the Palestinian half of the "two state solution" - completely demilitarised, with Israel retaining some settlements and "strategic corridors", some internal checkpoints remaining, and definitely checkpoints at all points of entry into Israel.
The other fallacy of a two state solution is Gaza - how could the Palestinian administration in the West Bank effectively administer a satellite territory to which they wouldn't be able to access?
Well, congrats to you guys for turning a forum on a mech article on a tech site into another home-from-home for your fashionable political outrage. You obviously didn't understand the bit where I politley asked you to go have sexual intercourse somewhere else.
"Actually, I think the balance of blame is in the 60%-40% region. With it being 60% for the Palestinians and 40% for the Israeli's circa 1990. Now it has shifted to 60% for the Israeli's and 40% for the Palestinians...." And with no reasoned argument to back up your "thinking". What exactly do you perceive as an being the reason for blame shifting more to Israel than the Palestinians?
"....And as for the Palestinians not fighting? If they weren't fighting they would lose. It would be 2nd class citizenship for Palestinians, think Alabama in the 30's...." Actually, the "Palestinians" that didn't leave Israel in 1948 are full Israeli citizens. As such they have access to far better healthcare, education and employment prospects than any "Palestinian" in either the West Bank, Gaza, or neighbouring Arab countries, with Israeli Arabs as members of the Knesset.
"....Of course, the Israeli's can't stop fighting either, not with settlers getting hit with rockets....." The rockets are being fired by HAMAS and co out of the Gaza Strip into the internationally recognised country of Israel. The rockets are not being fired at the settlers, they are being deliberately trageted at civillians in Israeli towns. Places like Ashkelon and Sderot are not settlements in any way, the settlers were all pulled out of the Strip in 2005. Your poor grasp of geography is not doing much to convince me of your "60-40" blame statement.
"....Both sides have a lot of blame to bear, and any solution will require action on both sides." A rather unconvincing close, still with no justification for blaming Israel more than the Palestinians. I suggest you try a LOT more historical reading before you try debating that one again.
"Ever heard of proportionality? While I do not wish in any sense of the word to condone the actions of Islamic hotheads, there is a grim statistic which is borne out by recent conflicts.
1:100 - The ratio of Israeli deaths to Palestinian death..."
So exactly how many Israelis need to die compared to Palestinians for you to be happy? Surely the best result would be none dying and all pursuing peaceful lives? Kind of hard when one party keeps firing rockets at your cities. Let's put it another way - when the UN-backed troops fought Saddam in 1991, did you think there needed to be an acceptable ratio of UN troops killed for each Iraqi? Why do you think the US-led UN op managed what was effectively as high as a 1000:1 death ratio? Because the US-led troops had better equipment, tactics and were better led. So why should the Israelis surrender their superior equipment, intelligence and training just because HAMAS can't match it? Israel went into the Strip determined to avoid losses of their own troops and hoping to avoid civillian casualties. HAMAS operates on the principle of killing as many Israelis as possible, be they civillians or military, and doesn't seem to care about the cost to their own people. Any Palestinian that is killed by Israel is simply recreated as a "martyr" for the international propaganda theatre. Given the demographics of the area, accepting a 1:1 death ratio would be suicidal to Israel, as it has been in every conflict they have been involved in since 1948.
"For every civilian killed by Palestinian rockets, one hundred Palestinians will be killed via Israeli attacks...." Ignoring the fact that Israeli strikes target known "millitants" whereas HAMAS and co don't care who they kill, let's not forget the numbers killed in inter-factional and inter-clan fighting. Indeed, up until Op Cast Lead, the largest killer of Gazans since the 2005 withdrawl has been other Palestinians, with HAMAS being the worst culprit. Even the UN admits to at least 256 Palestinians killed by other Palestinians so far in 2009 alone! At that rate, the Palestinians will have surpassed Op Cast Lead by the end of the year, without the Israelis lifting a finger.
"....The ratio of civilian to militant Palestinians is probably impossible to even estimate - the whole point of guerilla warfare is that the militants blend into the community, so until they actually wield their weapon, it is impossible to distinguish militant from civilian...." So if HAMAS cared so deeply about their people, surely they wouldn't hide in civillian areas, use civillians as human shields, or base their headquarters in hospitals. Face facts - if Israel really didn't care they could have surrounded Gaza City, flattened it with artillery fire and bombing, and slaughtered any Palestinian attempt at a breakout in the open ground. The fact that even the average Gazans on the street didn't expect that to happen speaks volumes about how much they realise the Israelis are not out to kill them all. In fact, even during the fighting, Israeli hospitals were treating the sick from Gaza as well as the injured from both sides!
"....As for why people are tempted into militancy, perhaps the 80+% unemployment rate in Gaza plays a factor....." In fact, the UN's economic statistics say that the average Palestinian - West Bank included - was better off before the first Intifada. The rise in suicide bombings and consequent Israeli security measures not only damaged the local economies of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, it stopped those same young Palestinians gaining employment in Israel which has a more developed economy than any Arab nation. In short, HAMAS and the PA have both managed to create their massive unemployment problem, in HAMAS's case probably deliberately as young, bored and demotivated people both make easier converts to suicide bombings and become completely dependent on you for their livelyhood. But before we get too weepy over all those "poor Palestinians", please don't forget to mention that the Palestinains are the most subsidised people in the World. Per capita they get more aid from the US, EU, UN and sundry other NGOs and charities than any other population on the planet. And still they won't focus on building a viable country, they'd rather kill Jews or each other. Strange when you condsider the UN reckons up to 50% of Gazans are dependent on UN food hand-outs.
"....It's also worth remembering that Israel has had numerous UN resolutions proposed against it since 1948, pretty much all of which have been blocked by Israel's most powerfully ally - the US...." <Yawn> Any member in the UN can propose a resolution. Most don't even reach the Security Council as none of the Council members will back them. Are you seriously trying to tell me you're surprised the Islamic countries have failed to get resolutions against Israel passed because you think every one was justified? I'll tell you what - you go away, check all the resolutions, then write out why you think they should have been accepted and enacted. Don't cheat and just copy others, research the background, content and proposer of each resoluton and produce some original argument. That should at least give the rest of us a few years peace and quiet.
"...However, despite all the gestures to the media, neither side appears interested in peaceful co-existence....." Israel accpeted the UN-mandated and much smaller than promised State of Israel, based on land already owned by Jews occupied and owned by Jews in Palestine, in 1948. The Palestinians and Arabs wouldn't accept any State of Israel at all. Until the Egyptians made peace in 1978, trying to broker peace with Israel was a swift way of getting killed by other Arabs (just ask the Jordanians).
"....Each side has distrusted the other since 1948 (and I suppose for the past few thousand years, as evidenced by a cursory glance at the Judeo-Christian religious texts) - and documentaries have shown that schoolchildren on both sides are taught that the opposition is evil / subhuman / no right to live on the land etc...." One; I'm not religeous, so you're barking up the wrong tree. Two; I'm guessing your "cursory glance" was as fleeting as dave's reading of modern history.
The rest of your post can be summarised as "HAMAS are just a cuddly-fluffy-bunny charity, Fatah are thieves, and Israelis are just land-grabbing paranoids, if only they could all get along everything would be so gosh-darn wonderful!"
HAMAS gets the majority of their funds and weapons from Iran, which established HAMAS in 1987 in an attempt to copy their success with Hizbullah in Lebanon. Sheikh Yassin never made any secret that he received his backing from Iran, or that he had no intention of any peaceful settlement with Israel. Sheikh Yassin, formerly a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, formed HAMAS because he was unhappy at the PLO's negotiating with Israel. The "charitable" work done by HAMAS was a copy of the tactics used by Hizbullah, to enforce support amongst the population whilst they attacked opponents (including charities that already supplied many services HAMAS wanted to run) - the old carrot and the stick approach, only you also drive out anyone else likely to have a carrot. Fatah and HAMAS support is mainly clan-based, and in Gaza HAMAS managed to boost support amongst the larger clans not alligned to Fatah to the point where they could take control. In the West Bank, Fatah still has enough support amongst their clans to suppress HAMAS. Both use nepotism and favour to maintain that support. Fatah has been doing it for more than thirty years, hence the wide reporting of their corruption, but HAMAS have proven just as bad. Both use their "police" to intimidate, imprison and murder their political opponents. Not much of a choice for Palestinian voters, and given boths murdering of political opponents, it is unlikley any time soon that a "third way" party will be starting up in Gaza.
But to get back to the article - you only need tools like robotic D9s when you mean to send troops into civillian areas to ensure you are targetting the right people, their smuggling tunnels, arm caches and IEDs. If the Israelis just wanted to destroy buildings in Gaza and kill indescriminantly without risking their troops, they'd do it from over the border with a laser-guided 155mm shell or a Predator-launched missile.
Yes, Matt, do let's get back to the article
Yes, Matt, do let's get back to the article
I do not condone the actions of the Palestinian behind the original attack, but the IDF pulling down his house about a year later as (in their own words) a 'deterrent' surely gives the lie to the notion that the IDF only ever bulldoze (Sorry, 'rock gently') arms caches, tunnels etc. Or are you calling the IDF liars? Shame on you for even thinking such a thing!
RE: Yes, Matt, do let's get back to the article
Well, Brian, actually you went off to a completely new article. You also failed to show in any way that a robot or armoured D9 was used for destroying Hussan Dwayat's home. It could have been an ordinary D9, D7 or even a bog-standard front-loader of the type Dwayat used on his rampage (the latter is the most likely). You also failed to point out the Israeli Border Police (note, not the IDF) that completed the demolition carefully ensured the family were not in the part of the building they demolished, the part Dwayat used as his home, and that they left his family home undamaged. Due to the legal process, the family even had time to remove all the belongings from inside long before the demolition date, which they were informed of in advance.
But here's something that will really surprise you, especially given all your preconceptions - I actually don't agree with the policy of demolishing terrorists' homes after they have been captured or killed. I don't think it really does provide any deterrant value as groups like Fatah and HAMAS both use them as opportunities for negative propaganda against Israel, and positive propagande for themselves when they reward the families of the terrorists. It also stirs up the local hotheads, as proven by the idiot that got shot when he tried to run over the accompanying policemen, and the subsequent rioting.
So I'm not calling the IDF liars, I'm just calling you an incompetent for not being able to read and comprehend the very article you tried to use. Shame on you for not being able to mount an intelligent defense of what is obviously a topic of great emotion to you. You may now froth and rant about me being heartless, sociopathic, etc, etc, etc.
"Look at the broader picture. In 1948, it was all desert and they moved in a bunch of displaced Jews. "
No historian believes this myth.
If the Israeli state chose to build on the land to which they are legally entitled, they wouldn't require fortified bulldozers. Perhaps a better use for them is to help clear 500,000 cluster munitions from Southern Lebanon?
"....If the Israeli state chose to build on the land to which they are legally entitled, they wouldn't require fortified bulldozers....." There are no settlers in the Gaza Strip, Israel pulled them all out. One of the reasons they need the D9s is because people like HAMAS don't think Israel has a legal right to exist at all. To make it perfectly clear, even to someone with as obvious and blind a bias as you have displayed, HAMAS states they would not stop attacking Israel with rockets and suicide bombers even if Israel pulled back completely to the 1969 borders and left the Palestinians to their own devices.
".....Perhaps a better use for them is to help clear 500,000 cluster munitions from Southern Lebanon?" Which ones? Do you mean the ones fired by the Lebanese at each other during the Civil War? Or maybe the one Hizbullah artillery fired at Israel in 2006? Oh, don't tell me, you never knew Hizbullah used cluster munitions too. Excuse me whilst I feign surprise. Both in '82 and '06, Israel's attacks into Lebanon were as a direct response to multitudes of attacks on their civillians by groups like the PLO and Hizbullah from Lebanese territory. You may want to check the history of Lebanon with those historians you mentioned, you obviously didn't do so before your post.
In fact, one of the armoured D9s Israel lost was as a result of an unprovoked Hizbullah attack in 2004. The D9 was clearing mines laid by Hizbullah two weeks earlier, when Hizbullah fired an anti-tank missile at it, killing the driver. Hizbullah claimed the D9 had crossed into Lebanon, even though Israeli pictures show it burning with the border fence in the background. So, do you think it is likely that Israel will send any of their people or equipment into Lebanon to help Hizbullah clear areas? Ah, I see the problem - you don't really do much of that thinking stuff, do you. I suggest you join dave and mittfh down the library in a little historic research.
"HAMAS gets the majority of their funds and weapons from Iran, which established HAMAS in 1987".
Shia Iran had nothing to do with the formation of Sunni Hamas.
Hamas was formed out of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas is largely funder by Saudi Arabia (also Sunni). Iran supports Hamas out of animosity towards Israel.
Just needs a white phosphorus grenade launcher to be complete.
"....Shia Iran had nothing to do with the formation of Sunni Hamas....." Sorry, you're completely wrong. Sheikh Yassin himself is on record admitting the prime power behind their break away from the Muslim Brotherhood (which backs Fatah) was backing from Iran. Iran seized the opportunity as it allows them to attack Israel via two proxy parties from both the North and the South, with very little Israel can do to directly retaliate. I'm assuming you failed to notice that every time the UN or US gets too interested in the Iranian nuke project we see HAMAS rocket attacks increase.
"....Hamas was formed out of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood....." Correct, some members including Sheikh Yassin were members, but the Brotherhood backs Fatah. Originally, HAMAS was to be the Palestinian Mulsim Brotherhood, but Yassin and co left when the Brotherhood endorsed the idea of the PLO negotiating wiht Israel. Co-founder al-Rantissi is known to have had links with Iran revolutionaries during both his time in Egypt and later directly with the new Islamic government of Iran. Whilst many in the Bortherhood saw negotiations as a way to push Israel into a corner where a final push could overwhelm her, Yassinand al-Rantissi - having seen Egypt accept a peace deal - feared any negotiated peace could crumble further support from other Arab states for completely destroying Israel.
"....Hamas is largely funder by Saudi Arabia (also Sunni). Iran supports Hamas out of animosity towards Israel." Yes, they are a Sunni group, but that is simply demographics - the area is predominantly Sunni with very few Shia, and the major clans are all Sunni. The Sauds are Sunni, but HAMAS has often denounced the Saud family as despots and tyrants. The Saudis government prefer and fund Fatah, having always been a source of funding for the PLO in general, but do not fund HAMAS as they see them as both an enemy to their friends in Fatah and becasue they view the link to Iran as a threat. Some HAMAS funding from "charities" has come from Saudi sources, but the official Saudi line is that Abu Abbas (and therefore Fatah) is the one with the right to talk as representative of the Palestinian people. The Sauds want a negotiated peace ASAP as they now see a nucleur Iran as a greater threat than Israel.
If Hamas stopped firing rockets out of said schools, hospitals, and refugee camps, things might be a little clearer. As it is, you're most likely getting your information (probably second hand via BBC news or some equally credulous organization) from Hamas themselves. Remember, Hamas? The guys who send women and teenagers into cafes to blow themselves to bits along with everyone else around?
Oh, sorry, those are just -freedom fighters-. Goodness knows they wouldn't purposely distort casualty figures in order to gain sympathy! That would be immoral!
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