Saturday, June 22

A free rein to broadcast falsehood

A few weeks ago, a swivel-eyed Chloe Swarbrick appeared on the AM show in a regular segment that pits her against ACT leader David Seymour.

This appearance was filmed after her performance at the Auckland Domain, in which she led a chant for the genocide, or at the very least, the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Levant. Post the Oct 7th pogrom, Chloe, and the NZ Green co-leader Marama Davidson, have both sought to create theatre out of not wanting to label the architects of the massacre terrorists.

When it walks like a duck, as they say…

But on this appearance, Swarbrick tried out some new material, accusing Israel of carpet-bombing Gaza.

Carpet bombing is a military strategy in which a large area is systematically and extensively bombarded with explosive weapons, typically from aircraft. The term “carpet” refers to the idea of covering or saturating a broad target area with bombs, much like laying a carpet on the ground.

Carpet bombing is characterised by the indiscriminate nature of the attack, as it does not specifically target military installations or specific military objectives. Instead, it aims to destroy or disrupt a wide range of targets within the designated area, including infrastructure, residential areas, and military and civilian assets.

This strategy was notably employed during World War II, particularly by Allied forces against Axis cities and industrial centres. Dresden, Hamburg, and Tokyo were all infamous examples of cities that suffered from carpet bombing during the later phases of the war. The intent behind carpet bombing is often to weaken an enemy’s morale, disrupt their industrial capacity, and undermine their ability to wage war effectively. With a genocide accusation to peddle, it is no surprise Swarbrick would reach for the term, despite her probably being well aware it was false in the current context.

The sheer magnitude of devastation during the dark final days of World War II serves as an ominous backdrop against which we can assess her claim against Israel.

In February 1945, the Allies unleashed an astonishing 4,000 tons of explosives upon Dresden, resulting in the tragic loss of 25,000 German lives in a mere two days. Come March 1945, Tokyo faced the wrath of 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs, leading to the heartbreaking demise of 130,000 Japanese souls. Operation Gomorrah, a brutal two-week campaign in July 1943, subjected Hamburg to over 2,000 tons of explosives, causing the deaths of around 40,000 civilians.

Today, Israel stands accused of deploying ten times the explosive tonnage dropped on Dresden, twenty times what was used in Tokyo and Hamburg, and even surpassing the destructive power of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. All this firepower is ostensibly directed at an area densely populated, with anywhere from 6,000 to 30,000 people per square kilometer (15,000 to 77,000 per square mile).

A question looms: If the intentions of Israel are indeed genocidal, as Swarbrick would fervently assert, why have the casualty numbers not reached the cataclysmic levels witnessed in those historical bombings?

Shouldn’t a basic understanding of statistics compel us to anticipate death tolls far exceeding what we’ve observed thus far?

The gaping chasm between the allegations and the actual figures is both astounding and deeply unsettling. If the intent were truly genocidal, if Israel were truly engaged in indiscriminate carpet bombing, then the inescapable logic dictates that the death toll would be nothing short of apocalyptic. Yet, the stark reality contradicts such claims.

This is not an attempt to downplay the anguish and suffering experienced by civilians caught in the crossfire of conflict.

Rather, it is an urgent call for intellectual rigor.

Such calls are likely to fall on deaf ears in the case of Swarbrick and her colleagues; the NZ Greens now being a reactionary party, lying about Jews is par for the course.

The question is, how long will our media, an industry that exists solely to verify claims and narratives, tolerate their game?