Flying (Paper) Tigers — with apologies to George Plimpton


The Israeli Air Force has it’s own Flying Tiger Squadron, and it’s taking part in the current operation to suppress Gazan rocket fire.

Unlike the famous American unit of that name, these Flying Tigers are the youngest and least experienced of fliers.  Of course their instructors may be old hands.  You may wonder what their role could be, flying in their little pilot training planes.

They acted as leaflet bombers, releasing their payload of warnings, telling the populace to get in the bomb shelters, and away from the launchers.   They took their somewhat dated A-4 Skyhawks low and slow over the “enemy,” and the bits of Arabic printed paper fluttered down.

This is a new air power strategy.  Miniature paper bombers bravely flying in the face of tiny flak from the occassional small arm.  All to save the neighbors from casualties.  There were no such niceties at Nagasaki.

If other nations had similar policies we’d see swords beaten into plowshares with rapidity.  What better lesson for youthful fliers, ability, bravery, and humanity.  The larger operation does see a few experienced fighters targeting specific terrorist operational commanders.  But primarily it is a war against hardware.

In addition to the Flying Tiger Skyhawks, the IDF are warning residents near rocket facilities by telephone and text messaging.

  1. #1 by Jewish Jihad on November 18, 2012 - 4:24 pm

    We see a series of tiny, expensive missiles, similar to that we saw used for taking out the terrorist’s car without injuring the people on the sidewalk, nor even damaging the roadway, let alone the adjacent buildings. They are taking out specific rooftop towers and electronics.

    We Americans might drop a Raytheon JDAM, if we have any left, at $20,000 each; a cheap hybrid that will put the bomb, hopefully, on the rooftop.

    These little Israeli missiles, by contrast, put the measured charge exactly where needed, minimizing damage not only to people, with almost no damage to the building getting hit, but also very little damage to adjacent civilian rooftop devices. They can take out a rooftop tower and barely interrupt cable television to the building below.

    The IAF technology seems much advanced from the last skirmish. As a result there are many more hits per hour but far fewer human casualties, or even damage to adjacent infrastructure.

    I was amazed to see that road look much smoother than my local Massachusetts pothole heaven, even after the little car blew up in the middle of it.

  2. #2 by Intemperate Correspondant on November 18, 2012 - 4:31 pm

    This morning an American journalist telephoned; and I heard them play the phone call on the radio, that Hamas men came just last night, and set up portable rocket launching equipment smack up tight against the wall of the building housing all the foreign journalists.

    They started shooting rockets with it, and the newspeople got the hell out. They weren’t forced to stay in the building at least. When Israel hit the media building it was in direct response to the Hamas set-up. A sort of dare you to hit the media building…

    So I was wondering if they would run out of targets in what had been, in military parlance, a target-rich environment, before the Gazans ran out of hidden rockets.

    But this supposed expansion of target classes, as far as now including Gaza journalists or “media”, is a fabrication based on IAF hitting the newly set-up launcher.

    They may have expanded to hit some ‘government’ buildings, but media facility hits were contrived by Hamas.

  3. #3 by Jewish Jihad on November 18, 2012 - 6:14 pm

    Here’s the video that prompted the first reply (“We see a series of tiny…”):

    • #4 by Intemperate Correspondant on November 20, 2012 - 3:36 pm

      Just in the past hour a writer at The Guardian, the British paper — and the Brits are not generally too pro-Israel, though they keep Hamas on the terrorist list — reported that 10% of Hamas-fired rockets are falling within Gaza!

      That was just posted in the last hour, and there was a ten hour lull in attacks against Israeli towns and cities last night.

      They could be getting down to their home-made junk, so now more are dropping back down on them or exploding before launch. Although that one below was from Friday, and now found to be from a Hamas rocket.

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