Thursday, January 08, 2009

A scenario

A bank robber just gunned down a bank teller and grabbed some money that he stuffed in a satchel that he slung over his shoulder. Then he grabbed one of the customers of the bank and is now standing outside the bank with his gun held to the head of the customer.

You are a police officer. You have a 9mm handgun in your hand. Unfortunately, this customer, an innocent bystander, is being held hostage between you and a vicious criminal. What do you do?

  1. Take cover, and call for a hostage negotiation team and SWAT team. While waiting for the hostage negotiation team, attempt to negotiate with the criminal for his peaceful surrender, but don't unduly endanger yourself or the hostage while doing so. Rely on the hostage negotiation team and/or the SWAT sniper to take out the criminal without unduly endangering the hostage's life.
  2. Stand where you are and point your gun at the tiny piece of the criminal's head showing from behind the hostage in case he decides to point his gun towards you rather than towards the hostage. If he does so, attempt to shoot him with your 9mm handgun, despite the fact that, as a typical police officer, you can barely hit the side of a barn with your service weapon from 100 yards. If your first shot gets the hostage rather than the bad guy, oh well, that's the breaks. At least your second shot got the bad guy, which is all that counts, right?
  3. Shoot the hostage, then when the hostage falls, shoot the vicious criminal bank robber. When charged with murder for shooting the hostage, shrug and say "I'm not the one responsible for killing the hostage, the vicious criminal bank robber is."
Civilized nations, civilized police officers, adopt #1. If #2 happens, the police officer's career is over because he violated policy, which is to a) protect the hostage, b) protect himself, and c) wait for backup and more pin-point weapons to arrive in order to negotiate the surrender of or take out the bad guy.

#3 doesn't happen in civilized nations. But that's the excuse that Israel is giving for civilian casualties in Gaza, that and both Israel and Hamas using an over-broad definition of "combatant" that makes every Israeli over the age of 18 a combatant (since every Israeli must serve in the military or associated organizations) despite the fact that traffic cops, teachers, social workers, nurses, and university professors don't fit any civilized person's definition of "combatants". But nevermind that, let's talk about the bloodied children whose photos are all over the civilized world (except here in the United States). "The bad guys are hiding amongst civilians and using civilians as hostages!" the Israel apologists exclaim. Uhm, okay. But we have procedures for that which don't require shooting the hostages or endangering the hostages in order to get the bad guy. It's called police work. Which is utterly the opposite of "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius." It may seem surprising to some people that Israel is channeling the words of a Catholic magistrate, given the complicity of the Catholic Church when it came to the genocide of the Holocaust. But apparently Israel as a nation has decided that the best way to avoid being a victim again is to become the people who they hate. Hmm....

So anyhow: What is happening in Gaza right now is the militarization of what is, essentially, a police problem. There are probably less than 500 Hamas fighters and top Hamas leaders involved in the war crime of shooting rockets at Israel. Israel has now already killed more then 500 Palestinians who were *not* Hamas fighters and leaders. This is as if the cops surrounded a bank robbery in progress and, rather than handle the hostage situation, decided to just open fire on the whole bank with automatic weapons and let God sort it out. Yeah, you might have killed the three bank robbers, but killing the thirty customers who were standing in line at the time of the bank robbery would kinda be frowned upon here in civilization...

-- Badtux the Police Penguin


  1. What do the Israelis think the endgame of this is going to be? They go in and kill enough people, blow enough shit up, and the Gazans are going to settle down? That hasn't worked too well in the past. The troubles keep returning.

    There are 1.4 million people in Gaza. After their water, sewage and electrical systems have been blown all to hell, are a million people going to survive by shitting in plastic bags and drinking ditch water in the dark? It was a crap place to begin with, and is turning it into crap squared going to bring peace?

    Or will it bring epidemics of cholera or malnutrition or just people dying of any little ailment, as the Israelis dick around with relief supplies of medicine? Do they think the Palestinians will walk across the Egyptian border en masse and ask for sanctuary? Yeah, that's what they need, a NEW refugee camp!

    How many deaths will it take before the world -- especially the U.S. news media -- starts calling the Israelis "genociders"? I estimate at least a million. And I fear it will come to that. With an already squalid ghetto-by-the-Med now being reduced to more squalor, and a maniacal Hamas intent on getting martyrdom status for its people, there's going to be a lot of dead bodies on the pile before this is over.

    It cannot help but end badly -- like everything in the Bush Universe.

  2. shoot the hostage...

    ( but Bukko makes a good point- it is about Bush...or in any way connected to will have a bad ending...period..)

  3. You totally miss the fact these are not bank robbers. Israel is not the police. Bank robbers with AK47s Rockets to hit targets 25+ miles RPGs to blow up tanks. Are you kidding. This is real. Not some punk around the block with a hand gun. It time these 1.4 million residents stand up and fight. Not against Israel but Hamas. Hamas has brought this on them. If there were really only 500. Which is not true. 400 are confirmed dead now. You would want Hamas launching rockets at your family. When the UN did nothing to stop them. You would cross the border too. Until Gaza and Hamas are willing to act civilized. This will continue. Will you continue to throw more Arab propaganda? Where were the Arab States to help Gaza before all this? Since Gaza population is so peace loving. Why did they sponsor and purchase rockets. Instead on food for the people? How many people could be fed by one rockets value? How many rockets were fired?

  4. The analogy is inexact since the hostage often supports the kidnapper in this scenrio. But, yes. It's becoming ugly and, according to military spokesmen, is about to become much worse. They're speaking about "free fire zones" now. Jesus Christ.


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