We’re now learning that “senior U.S. military officers” were “stunned” at the scale of the Israeli army’s “indiscriminate” shelling that demolished the Shujaiya neighborhood in Gaza on July 21st. A Pentagon report found “11 Israeli artillery battalions — a minimum of 258 artillery pieces …pumped at least 7,000 high explosive shells into the Gaza neighborhood… during a seven-hour period at the height of the operation.“
“Holy bejeezus,” exclaimed retired Lt. Gen. Robert Gard when told the numbers of artillery pieces and rounds fired during the July 21 action. “That rate of fire over that period of time is astonishing. If the figures are even half right, Israel’s response was absolutely disproportionate.”
Another Pentagon senior officer said: “Eleven battalions of IDF artillery is equivalent to the artillery we deploy to support two divisions of U.S. infantry…That’s a massive amount of firepower, and it’s absolutely deadly.” And a retired American artillery commander, who thought the Pentagon’s report “might well have underestimated the firepower the IDF brought to bear on Shujaiya,” said: “This is the equivalent of the artillery we deploy to support a full corps...It’s just a huge number of weapons.”
A third senior U.S. officer made the point: “The only possible reason for doing that is to kill a lot of people in as short a period of time as possible.”
It’s nice that “senior Pentagon officers” make these professional military judgements known to the American people anonymously, through al-Jazeera correspondent Mark Perry. (Has this been reported anywhere in the American media?) It would be nicer, and make more of a difference, if one of those brave soldiers would go on the record publicly. Perhaps they don’t because senior American military and intelligence officers met “twice daily” with the IDF during all these operations, and the U.S. supplied “a considerable portion” of the weaponry used.
It would be even nicer if senior American political officials would speak publicly about this indiscriminate carnage whose only possible purpose is to kill a lot of people as quickly as possible. (John Kerry’s open-mic “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation” remark was apparently spurred by this report.) But, again, they are too busy supplying the weaponry, and the political support, necessary for Israel to devastate whole neighborhoods with impunity.
The Israeli assault on Gaza, of which this deliberate destruction of the entire neighborhood of Shujaiya was one part, was nothing less than an attempt to slaughter the Palestinians into submission, one more attack in a 65-year ongoing series of savageries that has not yet achieved the level of subjugation required by Israel’s strict standards. It—the whole thing—is a crime against humanity, and those senior American officers and politicians, acting in the name of all of us, are fully complicit in it.
Here’s an astounding time-lapse video (just over a minute) of what happened in one hour of that “seven-hour period at the height of the operation.” Watch what we did this summer:
I dare you to be OK with that.
And here’s a video of one little thing that happened in the aftermath, among those death-crazed Muslims. Watch the truly terrible beauty, that we made, being born: