Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Trouble on the waters: Flotilla edition

Troubling business on the3 way to Gaza. A series of ships were heading to Gaza with the stated claim of giving relief support to an embargoed people. Israel responded poorly to this, and sent forces to stop them. Dropping troops on a ship fighting broke out leave around 19 of those on the ship dead.

Some coverage:
There is a move to portrait Israeli forces as victims, attacked as they boarded the ship. But the trouble is that the boarded a private ship, in international waters, in violation of no laws. And they boarded armed intent on taking over the ship. They started in the wrong, and proceeded to escalate. 

Video has been released to show how those aboard acted. And they were definitely violent in reaction to the Israelis. But the Israelis were highly trained, highly disciplined, highly armed, and highly resourced opponents. They had all the advantages. They could sink the ships, knock out there propulsion, tow them off, give political pressure, etc. But they flew out, threatened and dropped down into a throng of angry and resentful folks. They sought a fight, or to scare.

The trouble is that Israel wanted to show its strength and resolve. And they have. But it has been in a way that has created disgust and anger in many places around the world. Turkey has now turned upset, as the originator of the ship, and some of its nationals injured. And there is news Americans were aboard and at least one was injured. And the UN will be meeting on this.

It will be curious to see how Israel changes its reaction and stance, and how its allies and enemies as well.

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