Monday, July 31, 2006

Human Shields

update: it's looking more and more like perhaps this was a staged event -- staged by Hezbollah or Hezbollah supporters. At any rate, Israel did strike the area. Israel has footage of rockets being launched from that area and says that 150 of the 2,500-ish rockets that have been fired on Israel were fired from there.

Milking it - and don't forget to check out the update link to further investigation into Mr. Green helmet and his link to the similar ... event... in 1996 -- still don't think this was largely staged?

And don't forget the video of rockets being fired from this area and launcher/munitions vehichles hiding in civilian buildings.

Listening to NPR again this morning. Why do I do that? Well -- most of the music on the radio these days sucks. Even when it doesn't, I can't stand the blather of morning hosts and DJ's. So when I'm not listening to my MP3 player or a CD in the car -- classical music is my best choice. So it stays on NPR. So if I don't plug anything in on my 6 minute ride to work in the morning -- I get NPR news.

Or silence. Which I have opted for before.

In fairness, NPR isn't quite as bad as some other news outlets -- which is like saying a garbage heap isn't quite as stinky as raw sewage ... but still -- relatively speaking, NPR does at least seem to make feeble attempts at balance from time to time. They have more conservative customers than most oultets -- conservative fogies like me like jazz and classical and NPR is about the only outlet for it in many markets.

But enough apologizing about WHY I was listening to NPR. That's not the point of this post.

I tuned in just in time to hear a story of blathering about a place called Qana being hit by Israeli ordinance this morning. Go listen for yourself if you like. The story was full of personal tragedy and gave plenty of Muslims soap boxes from which to spout their world views. The news story dutifly went with that angle. The story did mention that Israel said it targeted the location because rockets were being launched from that area -- but it was mentioned as an aside, something to be doubted as the story went on to focus on quotes from people talking about the women and children, denying the presence of Hezbollah fighters over and over.

The story had all the balance of a boulder on a see-saw at a pre-school recess.

Then I took a gander at this story, with video, and discussion of the 4th Geneva Convention, article 28.

The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.

The NPR story also repeatedly drummed the fact that "hours" after Israel announced it was temporarily suspending some operations, this attack took place. They interviewed a UN worker:

"Were these fighters, or were they ordinary people?"

"They are children. We saw children. We saw grown-ups. If there were fighters there, I cannot tell".

Mmm-hmmm -- I'll place bets it was planned that way. Hezbollah does not wear uniforms. They intentionally blend with civilians. They intentionally violate 4th Geneva Convention article 28. This is P.R. Jihad. Suicide "bombers" (without their own bombs) that intentionally draw Israeli bombs precisely to produce civilian carnage to be used to argue for a cease-fire... so Hezbolla can catch a breath, re-group, dig in -- whatever they need to do.

Let me quote Bill Whittle from his essay, Sanctuary (Part 1)

And why do soldiers wear uniforms?

It certainly is not to protect the soldier. As a matter of fact, a soldier’s uniform is actually a big flashing neon arrow pointing to some kid that says to the enemy, SHOOT ME!

And that’s exactly what a uniform is for. It makes the soldier into a target to be killed.

Now if that’s all there was to it, you might say that the whole uniform thing is not such a groovy idea. BUT! What a uniform also does -- the corollary to the whole idea of a uniformed person – is to say that if the individual wearing a uniform is a legitimate target, then the person standing next to him in civilian clothes is not.

By wearing uniforms, soldiers differentiate themselves to the enemy. They assume additional risk in order to protect the civilian population. In other words, by identifying themselves as targets with their uniforms, the fighters provide a Sanctuary to the unarmed civilian population.

And this Sanctuary is as old as human history. The first civilized people on Earth, these very same Iraqis, who had cities and agriculture and arts and letters when my ancestors were living in caves, wore uniforms as soldiers of Babylon. This is an ancient covenant, and willfully breaking it is unspeakably dishonorable.
That is all I have to say on that for now. But I have another idea forming that is related to this which I will address in the next post.

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