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Children of War: Pain and Remembrance

Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:02 pm

Before I begin, I feel the need to say that I love strategy games, including historical wargames.

http://www.pockettactics.com/news/children-of-war/

GiHub
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:13 pm

Tof, the part where you compare Israel to Hamas is revolting and offensive to any person who sees beyond the propaganda. You write "consisting largely of Hamas launching rockets out of Gaza and Israel sending missiles in from planes and drones" as if it's tit for tat.

I asked a friend once "what's a terrorist? How do you define one?" and he answered by saying that "it's subjective, for one he is a terrorist, for another a freedom fighter." Well - "wrong" I told him. "It's not subjective at all, and it's actually quite simple: If you target civilians you're a terrorist. If you target soldiers, you're not." Simple.

Well Hamas targets almost always civilians making them terrorists while Israel never ever aimed for civilians, and actually takes more care than the US, UK, France, etc do in Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria to minimize civilians casualties. The proof - that Hamas uses human shields as it knows it deters Israel from taking action. But since Hamas is fighting and shooting rockets from inside cities, ensures that civilians will get hurt. By the way, international law dictates that he who uses human shields is the one responsible for their fate, not the attacker. And rightly so.

I don't want to even remind you that Hamas was shelling Israeli towns for 3 days prior, while Israel was trying to get the UN to intervene and stop it, and regrettably had to go into the Gaza strip after all mediators failed.

I wonder what your country would do if a terrorist organization, that holds public executions not very different than ISIS, would fire rockets at your towns. How would you expect your country to react. And the fact the Israel even warned the Palestinians that they mean to enter certain streets beforehand, blowing any chance of a surprise attack and putting its own soldiers at risk, goes unmentioned. So yes, your tit for tat is what helps fuel Hamas as it is seen as similar to Israel, and therefore legit.

The bottom line is, Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel. If they change it, and with the PA agree that Israel has a right to exist, they would have a country in a day and there would be no more blood shed.

Finally, even if you disagree completely to what I wrote, for some reason everyone knows the following to be true: If Israel dismantled its army, it would be destroyed the next day by its Arab neighbors. If the Arab nations around it would dismantle their armies, we would have peace in the middle east.

GiHub
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:15 pm

A small footnote I forgot: Lilya uses exaggerated numbers of casualties that even Hamas doesn't quote. Do a tiny bit of research and you'd find it. Now why does Lilya do this?

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Bernardo Soares
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:49 pm

@Gihub:
I don't see any comparison of Israel to Hamas? One could criticise the phrase "tragically indirect" which seems to allude to Israel targeting civilians.

Also, I agree with you that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, but that's because it is antisemitic and has as a declared goal not the liberation of Palestinians, but the destruction of Israel and Jews in general. Distinguishing terrorists from freedom fighters is much more complicated than you allege. The ANC, for example, is today uncontroversially regarded as an organisation of freedom fighters fighting a legitimate struggle. But they did target civilians (mostly "traitors"), especially when violence erupted in the townships from 1990 to 1994. All this was publicly admitted during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Many other nationalist movements in Africa and Latin America did the same.

@Tof
Thanks for this wonderful reflection, I feel much the same when playing wargames, especially when I play Wehrmacht and think about what happened in the East, what an advance that I'm happy to manage in the game meant for civilians and enemy soldiers alike. Or what Soviet military tactics meant for their own soldiers.

Ironically, This War of Mine's version of the siege of Sarajevo is grounded in dubious sources and omits a lot about social and cultural life during the siege (and paints a more morally gritty picture of how survivors dealt with each other). I'm interested to hear that play is an important part with the kids, but adults tried to uphold their spirits much in the same way.

By the way, Colonization's omission of slavery was discussed when the second iteration came out, and there are two mods that tried to implement the triangular trade and slavery in a respectful way (The Authentic Colonization and Religion&Revolution).

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rinelk
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Re:

Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:38 pm

Tof, the part where you compare Israel to Hamas is revolting and offensive to any person who sees beyond the propaganda. You write "consisting largely of Hamas launching rockets out of Gaza and Israel sending missiles in from planes and drones" as if it's tit for tat.

I asked a friend once "what's a terrorist? How do you define one?" and he answered by saying that "it's subjective, for one he is a terrorist, for another a freedom fighter." Well - "wrong" I told him. "It's not subjective at all, and it's actually quite simple: If you target civilians you're a terrorist. If you target soldiers, you're not." Simple.

Well Hamas targets almost always civilians making them terrorists while Israel never ever aimed for civilians, and actually takes more care than the US, UK, France, etc do in Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria to minimize civilians casualties. The proof - that Hamas uses human shields as it knows it deters Israel from taking action. But since Hamas is fighting and shooting rockets from inside cities, ensures that civilians will get hurt. By the way, international law dictates that he who uses human shields is the one responsible for their fate, not the attacker. And rightly so.
I understand why you see the grammatical parallelism as offensive, but I don't take Tof to have intended that to suggest moral parallelism. Indeed, the phrase "tragically indirect" communicates what I take to have been the intended parallel: that, on this occasion, the conflict involved an escalation from the house-by-house operations undertaken by Israel in the past in an admirable attempt to limit civilian casualties among the Palestinians, despite the additional danger this posed to Israeli soldiers. I take necessitating that, and the use of human shields, to be on the heads of Hamas. If we cannot acknowledge the human costs of the Israeli response, it seems to me that we ignore suffering for which Hamas is culpable.

But I've no idea whether Tof agrees with me on that. The piece doesn't take a position on it. Does that seem reasonable to you?

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tofeklund
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Re: Children of War: Pain and Remembrance

Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:18 pm

Hello, GiHub. I know and love so many people with strong, polarized opinions about Israel and Palestine. I have family connections to both nations by family. That does not make me the perfect impartial or bipartisan commentator, but it does mean that I have no time for people who insist that I pick a side, who insist that it's all Israel or Palestine's fault, that everything would be well if only Hamas disarmed or the the settlers all left the West Bank.

By the way, I'm not equating the two. They're not symmetric, but they're both symptoms of complex problems that demand complex solutions.

I'll tell you what my opinion is: the whole situation is a bloody mess and it has been from the beginning because of colonial attitudes, antisemitism and Islamophobia in the US, UK and other western powers in the post-WWII period. We took real, pre-existing tensions and turned them into a pressure cooker, setting Jewish and Palestinian national ambitions in direct conflict and, in so doing, setting Israelis and Palestinians at each others' throats.

If anyone wants to argue with that, I'll hear your case and give you my best response, but don't tell me that Palestinians who voted for Hamas, or that Israelis who voted for [pick a political party in Netanyahu's Likud-led coalition] are all bad.

GiHub
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:03 pm

Hey Tof, concerning your last paragraph, are you saying that Netanyahu and his Likud party are generally similar to Hamas? I don't recall the Likud party holding public executions or ever saying Palestinians civilians should be killed for being Palestinians. Quite the contrary, Netanyahu has already agreed to a 2-state solution many times.

The situation might be complex but the solution is simple, Hamas has to agree to Israel's right to exist and Israel to land concessions in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. Olmert (the previous Israeli PM) already agreed to every land claims the Palestinians had, including Jerusalem, the same as Barak before him (the PM before Olmert). In both cases the Palestinian Authority rejected the offer, Abu Abbas in Olmert's case and Arafat in Barak's time. Netanyahu although appearing more right-winged, will go down the same path as his predecessors if the PA/Hamas will do their bit. Everyone knows what the solution is, and like I said, it's quite simple as all know what the concessions that need to be made by both sides. So far Israel was and is willing to do so, the Palestinians, not.

Cgareth
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:13 pm

This is why I love Pocket Tactics when it works - not for the occasional soapbox-jumping, high-horse riding, finger-wagging, "I-know-better-than-thou" polemic in the comment section, but a contributor's articulate, lucid, emotional response to a game, which makes for a far more engaging and rewarding read than a mere 'review'.

This one, and the recent Twilight Struggle entries, have been great writing. At its best, there is *nowhere* else like this place on the internet. Thank you!

Buttsauce
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Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:30 am

Great article. I think the October War can be played on War and Battles, too, which is an ios game.

Wulf_der_Sturm
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Re: Children of War: Pain and Remembrance

Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:29 am

Good article and thanks for the mention of the Vietnam War. As far as civil wars go, it was an extremely brutal conflict both on the conventional level (NVA) and the terrorism level (VietCong). I live in an area with a significant number of refugees from that region and the concept of a computer game about that war would be almost unfathomable to them.

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