Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Brief Synopsis

[NOTE: x-posted from kazzman - this won't happen often]

Which of the following is a valid military target?

  • A civilian airport
  • Lebanese highways (used for humanitarian relief and evacuation)
  • United Nations military post
  • Civilian power plant
  • Palestinian Foreign Ministry building
  • Palestinian Interior Ministry building
  • Palestinian Finance Ministry building
  • Lebanese military installations (not engaged in hostilities)
  • Apartment buildings containing civilians
  • Refugee Convy

    If you failed to select any (or even just not all) of the boxes, you have scored higher than the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). All of the aforementioned targets have been struck by Israeli Defense Forces in the past two weeks. Let's take the U.N. outpost as a starting point. As you know, the U.N. is certainly not engaged in hostilities against Israel. Indeed, this particular U.N. outpost was struck TWENTY ONE TIMES by artillery fire and precision guided missiles! This despite REPEATED MESSAGES over a four hour period from the United Nations to the IDF to avoid hitting the outpost. I think we can forgive Kofi Annan's initial statement that it appeared "deliberate" (a statement he has since retracted). That strike killed 4 U.N. peackeepers. This simply serves to underscore a greater message that while the IDF may not target civilians (as does Hezbollah) they absolutely do not do enough to avoid civilian deaths (400+ and counting).

    What is happening is postively abhorrent. What Hezbollah is doing, targeting civilian population centers, is beyond reprehensible. Certainly, Israel has a right to defend itself. But that right absolutely does NOT include the right to kill over 400 Lebanese civilians and 12 U.N. peacekeepers; nor does the right to defend itself justify the displacement of 750,000 civilians from their homes; and that right does not, include the right to target civilian infrastructure. Though Israel may protect the human rights of its citizens, it is showing an utterly appalling disregard for the human rights of civilians in Lebanon and Palestine.

    Am I angry? Damn right I'm angry and you should be too. None of this would be taking place without the explicit support, morally and militarily, of the United States. This simply cannot continue. Most nations around the world get it; many citizens of Israel get it; yet somehow, we here in the United States and those in the government of the U.S. and Israel do not.
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