Understanding urban warfare: The truth behind what is happening in Gaza – Chuck Stephens

In a world where truth is often overshadowed by personal bias, Chuck Stephens astutely outlines what he sees as the media’s skewed portrayal of the Hamas invasion of Israel. Leftist platforms, it seems, are not on a quest for truth, but validation of preconceived notions. Chuck Stephens recalls the forgotten atrocities of Hamas and highlights the media’s readiness to label Israel’s actions as war crimes, fitting their agenda. Amidst urban warfare and historic sieges, he underscores the importance of distinguishing between Hamas and ordinary Palestinians. The impending Israeli invasion of Gaza is anticipated to be a messy affair, targeting Hamas, not civilians, despite the unfortunate “collateral damage.”

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The Truth About Urban Warfare

By Chuck Stephens

I recently wrote a book about TRUTH. I concluded that freedom is predicated on truth, just as peace is predicated on justice. No justice, no peace… No truth, no freedom.

One of the things I learned about truth is that most people are not honestly looking for it. What they are really looking for is validation that what they already think is true. I have seen this time and again over the past week in media coverage of the Hamas invasion of Israel. Leftist media platforms are not looking for truth. They have an axe to grind, and it shows.

How quickly they forgot about the horrific massacres committed by Hamas. How eager they were to predict Israel’s coming response as war crimes and ethnic cleansing. That fit their left-leaning agenda much better.

They kept calling the siege of Gaza “unprecedented” as if Israel suddenly invented siege warfare. The history of warfare is replete with sieges and blockades. Their convenient memory loss was just a way of tarnishing Israel’s reputation. They should take a refresher course in Genghis Khan. Although I admit that Temujin never signed the Geneva Conventions.

Here in Africa where I was born and where I have lived most of my life, we are more familiar with guerilla warfare. It suits the size and space that we have, with plenty of foliage cover and rock outcroppings (koppies) to hide behind. Life in Africa is still quite rural, as it is in the Negev desert. So urban warfare is not our specialism.

However, we do have one memorable example that comes to mind – the Battle of Huambo in 1993. Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA army invaded Huambo which was held by the MPLA government forces. That battle lasted 55 days. The MPLA had absolute air superiority. In fact, UNITA had no air force. So the battle raged under continuous bombardment from above.

According to Wikipedia, the death toll was 12,000 soldiers and 5,000 civilians. Local estimates are much higher, as many as 50,000 people may have perished. You don’t conquer a city quickly. The battle does not just go one block at a time. It goes one high-rise building at a time. In fact, it goes one floor at a time, you could even say one apartment at a time.

It’s almost easier to knock a building down by bombing it from above than to overtake it from the ground up. Not to mention a tunnel network underground, which Huambo did not have, but Gaza does.

The battle of Huambo was a first in military history. It was the first time that a whole city was conquered by an invader, under absolute air superiority of the defender. UNITA won the battle, but went on to lose the war.

Let there be no doubt. Israel’s immanent invasion of Gaza will be messy. Big time.

However, we have to bear three things in mind. First, Israel is targeting Hamas, not Palestinian civilians. Yes there will be “collateral damage” but that is because Hamas is using Palestinians as human shields. Israel’s intent it to decapitate Hamas, not civilians, and that is a legitimate military response to the slaughter of Israeli civilians including women and children. Forty babies decapitated in the nursery of one kibbutz. These atrocities legitimized a military response.

Making the distinction between Hamas thugs and ordinary Palestinians is key to understanding the logic of urban warfare. Gaza is a high density area. So Israel warned civilians in advance to get out of harm’s way. Hamas didn’t warn Israeli civilians that it was coming for them. The truth is that Hamas targeted civilians, but Israel has not.

It is gaslighting for Hamas to cry now that Israel is inflicting “collective punishment”. Nonsense.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that Hamas grabbed some 130 hostages. Israel has every right to try to free them.

Israel has no responsibility to supply water, electricity or fuel to a foreign government whose explicit goal is to destroy Israel and kill Jews all over the world.

Blockages and sieges are not ruled out. Especially if Israel makes a decent effort to allow civilians to get out of harm’s way. Israel has showed restraint. Its military is ready to move, but the politicians waited for some diplomacy, some negotiation to stakeholders (Israel should never negotiate with terrorists), and time to remove Israeli citizens from some no-go areas.

Humanitarian aid is problematic because of the risk that Hamas will exploit it. Israel does want to starve Hamas, to pressure it to release the hostages. If humanitarian aid starts to flow in, it could feed the enemy. Palestinians are not the enemy, Hamas is the enemy. Israel has no obligation to feed Hamas.

Finally there is the issue of “proportionality”.  Some level of collateral damage is inevitable, but if that is disproportionate, it would look intentional. As in the battle of Huambo, civilians will die as well as combatants.  Did I mention that 200,000 people were displaced out of the city as the battle raged for 55 days? The fact that Israel has designated a relatively safe space to the south, where it is allowing some water provision and may open access to humanitarian spaces, shows that Israel is waging warfare. Israel is not a terrorist entity like Hamas.

But you rarely hear this on the mainline media. It echoes the woke-induced libel of the Left.

Why is Hamas trying to stop Palestinians from getting out of harm’s way? Because they still want them to remain as human shields.

Why are no Middle East countries opening their borders to Palestinian refugees. This is tacit admission that Israel has a responsibility inside its own borders to confront terrorism, and to protect its own citizens from anti-Semitism, racism, intolerance and genocide – all of which are the policy of Hamas.

The truth is not being told by the mainline media, which prefers propaganda to accuracy. You do not have to hate anyone, including Palestinians, to oppose terrorists and warmongers.

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