The shootout really was the only option, wasn't it? Israel certainly couldn't have asked the flotilla to have the cargo inspected by a respected NGO in a third party harbour. Sabotaging the engine/propeller of the ship was totally out of the question. Oh and don't even think about suggesting that Israel shouldn't have been blockading all kinds of goods from reaching Gaza in the first place, you'd just be acting silly. After all Israel had an elaborate plan that would keep the Gazans above the limit for starvation. When you think about it sending a dozen or two of twenty-something kids to control a crowd of 300 people who think the kids represent the opression of millions of their relatives or countrymen makes perfect sense. What's even more reasonable is to equip them with paintballguns (which is known to be the best non-lethal weapon in the world, forget about pepperspray and stunguns and other toys). And if things turn bad they've always got their handguns! The fact that the brave lads had the option of shooting either paintballs or 9mms at the angry crowd, which was about 20 times as big as their force, meant that all bases were covered. Whoever led the raiding party also deserves some recognition. Some weak-willed people might have aborted the operation when it was apparent that the crowd did not want to sing kumbaya around a little campfire with the Israeli soldiers. But our brave commander did not only rescue all of the Israeli soldiers (which was to be expected) but also proceeded to take control of the whole ship and killed 9 terrorist, stellar work! Some terrorist supporters could claim that it might not have been completely necessary to kill and wound all those people, but we know that is false. In fact we're so sure that we don't need to release the videos of the shooting or allow people who investigate it to talk to the soldiers. All in all a job well done (and if anyone says something differently he's an anti-Semite).
15 police officers killed in Colombia helicopter crash (Reuters)