I do not relate these experiences to argue for an Israeli moral perfection that does not exist, or to suggest that the IDF should be immune from criticism even if it commits genuine abuses. The tragic reality is that no matter how much the IDF tries to avoid collateral damage, its operations will kill some number of civilians. That won't be close to the carnage of noncombatants in the Syrian civil war, but it won't matter. As one Israeli commander told me, "The world judges Israel differently," regardless of its efforts to minimize civilian casualties. I suspect that he may be right. If so, it is essential for the IDF to be as vigilant in shaping the information environment as it is in intercepting rockets from Gaza.
Gen. Conway, who retired in 2010, was the 34th commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.