'We Did The Same Thing': White House Spokesman Defends Israel Slaughtering Civilians in Rafah

Chris Menahan
May. 31, 2024

White House national security spokesman John Kirby defended Israel airstriking displaced Palestinians in a tent city in Rafah by throwing the US military under the bus and stating that "we" Americans "did the same thing."

From Common Dreams:
Asked by a reporter [on Tuesday] what the consequences would be "if there were an American strike on a legitimate terrorist target that ended resulting with 45 civilian deaths and some 200 others injured," Kirby replied, "I can't answer a hypothetical like that."

"But we have conducted airstrikes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, where tragically we caused civilian casualties," he continued. "We did the same thing. We owned up to it. We investigated it. And we tried to make changes... We tried to learn from it to make changes so that those set of mistakes wouldn't happen again."
We fought those wars for Israel.
Kirby referred to an August 2021 drone strike in Kabul that occurred during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan that killed an aid worker and nine members of his family including seven children outside their home. A New York Times investigation subsequently revealed that the U.S. military knew that the strike likely killed civilians but initially lied about it, claiming there was "no indication" that noncombatants were harmed in the attack.

"We atoned for it, we learned from it, and we put in place procedures to try and prevent that from happening again," Kirby said of the strike, "and that's what our expectations would be in this case."
Retired US General Mark Milley earlier this month offered up the same bizarre defense of Israel when he said at a public conference that "we" in America also "slaughtered people in massive numbers -- innocent people who had nothing to do with their government."

It's truly remarkable how they feel so comfortable trashing their own military in defense of a foreign nation's genocidal ethnic cleansing campaign.

Whereas America hypes our soldiers up for war with stories about "sheepdogs" protecting the innocent, the IDF hyped their soldiers up for war by telling them to go and kill Palestinian children -- whom they deemed "Amalek" -- and then in the first two and a half months of the war Israel killed children in Gaza at 100x the rate of Russia's war in Ukraine.

"According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, over 34,000 people have been killed and over 77,000 have been wounded, with another 11,000 trapped under the rubble of their homes and considered missing," the Israeli news site Haaretz reported on Tuesday. "We believe that the morbidity and fatality numbers in Gaza are actually higher."

The AP reported in January how Israel's military offensive in Gaza has been uniquely savage when compared to other recent conflicts.

From the AP:
In just over two months, researchers say the offensive has wreaked more destruction than the razing of Syria's Aleppo between 2012 and 2016, Ukraine's Mariupol or, proportionally, the Allied bombing of Germany in World War II. It has killed more civilians than the U.S.-led coalition did in its three-year campaign against the Islamic State group.

[...] By some measures, destruction in Gaza has outpaced Allied bombings of Germany during World War II.

Between 1942 and 1945, the allies attacked 51 major German cities and towns, destroying about 40-50% of their urban areas, said Robert Pape, a U.S. military historian. Pape said this amounted to 10% of buildings across Germany, compared to over 33% across Gaza, a densely populated territory of just 140 square miles (360 square kilometers). [Note: The latest data, highlighted below, indicates Israel has damaged or destroyed 55% of buildings across Gaza.]

"Gaza is one of the most intense civilian punishment campaigns in history," said Pape. "It now sits comfortably in the top quartile of the most devastating bombing campaigns ever."

The U.S.-led coalition's 2017 assault to expel the Islamic State group from the Iraqi city of Mosul was considered one of the most intense attacks on a city in generations. That nine-month battle killed around 10,000 civilians, a third of them from coalition bombardment, according an Associated Press investigation at the time.

During the 2014-2017 campaign to defeat IS in Iraq, the coalition carried out nearly 15,000 strikes across the country, according to Airwars, a London-based independent group that tracks recent conflicts. By comparison, the Israeli military said last week it has conducted 22,000 strikes in Gaza.
Scripps News reported last month that 55% of Gaza's buildings have been damaged or destroyed from Israel's bombing campaign.

"Strikes have hit every population center along the Strip, killing more than 33,000 people, and displacing about 85% of Gaza's population," Axios reported in April.

"A separate satellite analysis of agricultural damage by He Yin of Kent State University found Israeli operations destroyed roughly 50% of tree crops and 42% of greenhouses within Gaza," Axios added.

To compare America's actions to Israel's is downright slander. Nonetheless, the fact America supplied Israel with nearly all its bombs and has defended Israel to the hilt to ensure the slaughter continues makes us culpable for their war crimes.

Despite raining hell on Gaza's civilian population, Israel's has yet to achieve any of their strategic objectives.

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