Urban warfare is terrible and indiscriminate. 1,400 civilians have died so far in Gaza. 800 civilians were killed by Americans in Fallujah in 2004. 27,000 civilians were killed by the Russians in Grozny in 1994. 38,000 civilians died in the siege of Budapest in 1944. What is different about Gaza is the immediacy of social media.
Television bought home the reality of the Vietnam War to Americans and made it morally unacceptable to support the conflict. But television was still filtered by news organizations. Now even the filter of mass media is gone. The world is seeing what urban conflict really means as it happens and is appalled. I believe Israel is truly trying to limit casualties but seems ignorant of the new transparency technology brings to war.
(A Russian soldier lights a cigarette in the Chechen capital of Grozny, by Shakh Aivazov, 1995)