War is no longer played out in the mud, with feet rotting inside damp boots and trenches collapsing. It’s no longer hit or miss, a deadly sort of chaos. It’s surgically precise, now. Bombs dispatched by computer. Targets ‘pinpointed’ by hovering drones. It’s clean.
That’s what Israel’s army would have you believe, anyway.
War has changed, is changing, quickly. Technology is shifting how the game is played – and making it more like a game at the same time. It’s about hardware, not the softness of fallible humans.
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More than 80 Palestinians have been killed by laser guided “precision” Israeli missiles launched from F-16 jets while the unguided Chinese made “dumb” rockets flung into Israel by Hamas have claimed three lives since renewed hostilities broke out last week.
About 700 others, mainly Palestinian civilians, have been injured.
As politicians around the world, including US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard, urged restraint as they defended Israel’s right to respond to unrelenting Hamas rocket attacks, Israeli ground troops and heavy armour were formed up along the border with Gaza. Air strikes and rocket attacks (and an 80 to 3 fatality rate) are one thing, but a ground invasion by a vastly superior force backed by tanks and artillery, would be much, much worse and far more risky for Israel.
It’s even less useful than #protestbyhashtag. Last night the Max Brenner outlet in Parramatta, Sydney, was again the target of a small but loud anti-Israeli protest.
As Tel Aviv went into emergency mode due to missile attack from Gaza, people holding Boycott Israel signs marched on the spot people generally go to for hot chocolate 14,000 kilometres away.
They managed to pull off the double whammy - by being both pointless and offensive. There’s an interesting piece on The Conversation about the anti-Semitism of these ongoing Max Brenner protests.
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Any relief we may have had when Libya was finally suspended from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March has certainly been short-lived. It appears Syria, another terror state, is set to take its place.
Syria is one of four candidates vying for four seats on the 47-member body that will go to Asian nations when the General Assembly votes on new members on 20 May.
Unless another Asian country nominates, which seems unlikely at this stage, Syria will win a three-year term on the UN body charged with strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.
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