Issue of Civilian Deaths in Israel Strategic Bombing of Gaza

I had mentioned that about 60 civilians had been killed in the strategic bombing of Gaza by the Israeli Defence Forces. Most of Hamas, as the Vietcong, do not wear regular military-issue clothing but are a lightly armed insurgent force recruited from the civilian population as citizen-soldiers. They both resisted occupation/siege/blockade from a superior armed military force. I received an e-mail suggesting I underestimated the total  non-combatant deaths in the Eastern Mediterranean enclave.

Not too long ago I debated a professor, Edwin Moïse, at Clemson on the categorisation of deaths in the Iraq War. He was irritated that I overstated combat deaths as opposed to all deaths in theatre. I admit to some reluctance to categorise deaths in war since the evil of war has become routinised with statistics and disinformation campaigns. Nevertheless, I do post relevant and thoughtful comments to the blog that I receive as e-mail.:

From:   Hal [hl1313@XXXXX] Sent:  Wed 12/31/2008 4:48 PM
To:   Kirstein, Peter N.
Subject:   non-combatants

Prof Kirstein:


In a story on you blog yesterday you stated that about 60+ non-combatants were killed in Gaza.


Lenin’s Tomb (blog) checked the UN report on deaths and found that the 60+ figure you used were women only, like all men killed were combatnats.


Also a large number of men killed were policemen.  I know that today most policemen act and look like military but they are not military and should not be considered combatants.


I find your blog excellent but with limited time you might have missed the BS that the UN is trying to sell.


Thank you and happy new year.


hal lewis

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