Guernica had no strategic significance. Hitler's bombed it for target practice. It was dress rehearsal for WW II. Wehrmacht generals flexed their muscles. They signaled what lay ahead.
On the attack's 70th anniversary, Der Spiegel called Guernica's destruction "practicing blitzkrieg in Basque country." For Hitler's Condor Legion, "it was little more than a training run."
Commander Wolfram von Richthofen said Guernica was "literally razed to the ground. Bomb craters (were) seen in the streets. Simply wonderful." He ignored how many people were slaughtered.
Pablo Picasso's famous painting portrayed what happened. In stark black, white and gray, he depicted terror-bombing civilian men, women and children.
Twisted, writhing forms showed images of a screaming mother holding a dead child, a corpse with wide-open eyes, and a gored horse. Art historian Herbert Read called the work "a cry of outrage and horror amplified by a great genius."
Guernica signaled what lay ahead. Both sides used terror bombing in WW II. It's been used ever since. Intensity, kill count, and destructiveness increased.
The London blitz, fire-bombing Dresden and Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and numerous other examples show its savagery. Palestinians know its ferocity.
Cast Lead inflicted 23 days of slaughter and mass destruction. Terror weapons were used. Illegal ones. Gaza was blanketed with cluster bombs. They're illegal. On impact, submunition bomblets are released over a wide area. They kill, maim, destroy or disable targeted sites.
Flechette metal darts penetrate human bones. They cause horrific injuries. Artillery shells contain thousands of them. Explosions release them at high speed over a range of about 300 meters.
Depleted uranium munitions spread toxic radiation. Chemical and biological agents were used. White phosphorous bombs and shells burned flesh to the bone. Water can't extinguish it. Victim muscles and cells were completely destroyed.
Thermobaric bomb blasts sucked oxygen from spaces and human lungs. Norwegian Dr. Mads Gilbert traveled to Gaza in January 2009. He performed humanitarian surgeries.
His book "Eyes in Gaza" explained the horror. He treated children with legs blown off, abdomens sliced open, and various injuries never seen before. Terror weapons caused them.
Gaza during Cast Lead was the "most horrific experience" of his life. He spent two weeks at Al Shifa Hospital. He said Gaza today remains in ruins. Siege causes disease, deaths and human misery.
Israeli attacks terrify people. Gaza's tunnel economy provides minimal help. Israel and Egypt target it for destruction. People struggle on best they can.
Operation Pillar of Cloud picked up where Cast Lead left off. Conflict rages. Agreed truce so far is a mirage. Israel has unfinished business. On day 8, slaughter and destruction continue.
On November 20 and 21, the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War ( KLFCW ) held hearings on Israeli crimes of war and against humanity.