Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Israel... going the extra mile

To those who have attacked Israel's methods of late... Israel goes out of it's way to avoid civilian casualties. (from the National Post)

9 Comments:

  • At Tue Aug 08, 02:46:00 PM EDT, Blogger shlemazl said…

    So refreshing to see a bit of moral clarity... Thanks

     
  • At Tue Aug 08, 03:04:00 PM EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    So refreshing to see a bit of positive feed back... thanks back. ;-)

     
  • At Tue Aug 08, 04:37:00 PM EDT, Anonymous billg said…

    What??? They smashed a perfectly good door??? The NDP will have none of that...." a perfectly good door ruined, and all the "freedom fighters" were trying to do was to protect Lebanese children"....its a shame that story's like this have to be told so some dim-wit can try to understand the difference between Hezbollah and Israel.

     
  • At Tue Aug 08, 10:21:00 PM EDT, Blogger Paul MacPhail said…

    I tried to send Jonathan Key an e-mail to thank him for this story but couldn't get the e-mail link. Quite amazing to see the difference in tactics.

     
  • At Wed Aug 09, 12:46:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    Part of me doesn't want to say what's on my mind here because I'll get slammed as an anti-semite, a moron, or whatever. And the other part of me is fed up with the bs, and won out.

    The point of Kay's article, and this post is to present the IDF's sensitive side, in light of the negative media coverage on the 900-1000 Lebanese civilian deaths, contrasted with the approx 100 Israeli deaths, the bulk of which were not civilian. I have no doubt that the account in the Kay's piece is true, that this particular group of soldiers took care in making a surgical attack on a Hezbollah position in a residential area. I also have no doubt that this isn't an isolated incident, and that many more attacks are conducted in this fashion. Kay points to this tactic, and says Israel is showing restraint. He goes on to talk about the truly barbaric practices of Hezbollah's terrorist actions and how all those people remaining in areas under Israeli attack are Hezbollah sympathizers. Altogether, this is a not-so-subtle suggestion that if, say, an Israeli air strike on a suspected Hezbollah position killed 40-50 people, including women and children, it would be justifiable. I find that kind of suggestion disgusting.

    I'm glad to hear that some of the IDF's actions are taken with an aim of minimizing civilian casualties. But why on earth is this a cause for celebration? Israel is a democratic country -- not a terrorist organization or a banana republic. Shouldn't it go without saying that a civilized country like Israel has a military that tries to avoid civilian casualties? I don't see newspaper articles celebrating the great lengths the Canadian army is taking to avoid civilian casualties in Afghanistan, even though our soldiers are facing an equally barbaric enemy.

    That's what I find so incredibly repulsive about the article, and also the title of cc's post: "Israel... going the extra mile". As if moral conduct constitutes an "extra mile". With this logic, you might as well say, "Israel would be entirely justified in indiscriminately blowing up any building it thought housed Hezbollah terrorists. But hey, they've got morals, so they're being careful to minimize civilian casualties."

     
  • At Wed Aug 09, 12:51:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    "Quite amazing to see the difference in tactics."

    As I mentioned above, this should not be amazing, since Israel is a civil, democratic country. However, Kay is presenting an incomplete picture of IDF tactics. Where were the moral tactics when the UN base was bombed to bits, even though the IDF knew their position and were asked repeatedly to stop firing on the UN position? Where were the moral tactics for the bombings of civilian buildings containing women and children?

     
  • At Wed Aug 09, 10:23:00 AM EDT, Anonymous ryan said…

    Dirk:

    The First Protocol to the Geneva Conventions reads in part: “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.... The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.”

    http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-proto.htm

    If you attempt to use civilians as human shields, you are yourself guilty of war crimes. What is more, the responsibility for any civilian deaths that occur as a result falls on you, not the attacking party.

    Civilian deaths are horrible, and I pray for the families on both sides of this conflict. But the tragic deaths of Lebonese civilians in this conflict is clearly the fault of Hezbollah.

     
  • At Wed Aug 09, 02:14:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    Ryan:

    I agree with the fact that Hezbollah should be held accountable for using civilians as human shields. Nobody disputes that. But that does not give the Israeli Defense Forces carte blanche to slaughter as many "human shields" as they please.

    I don't dispute that Israel has been, by and large, the more moral involver in this fight. But that doesn't mean they get a pass if they bomb UN stations or civilian areas.

     
  • At Wed Aug 09, 11:57:00 PM EDT, Anonymous ryan said…

    "But that doesn't mean they get a pass if they bomb UN stations or civilian areas"

    What pass? Israel has been heavily criticized for its actions, and are receiving tremendous pressure from various foreign gov'ts, the UN, and the Western media. I still truly believe that the UN outpost attack was an accident that was the result of Hezbollah purposefully positioning their bases in close proximity to UN outposts.

    "But that does not give the Israeli Defense Forces carte blanche to slaughter as many "human shields" as they please"

    I agree, but the way I see it, Israel is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Furthermore, Israel is in this "hard place" by design. Hezbollah has forced Israel's hand militarily, they really had no diplomatic routes to pursue with them. The gov't of Lebanon refused to deal with the Hezbollah issue, allowing them to stock pile weapons, and essentially take over large areas of the south. Hezbollah chooses to conduct opperations within the civilian population.

    The main issue that people have with the way Israel has responded is way they have bombed and shelled civilian areas. The question is "how would you have them respond?" The only other way to further limit civilian deaths in this situation would be to conduct an all out invasion of southern Lebanon with a great deal of door-to-door urban combat. There are many problems with this senario.

    1. It would take longer, meaning more Israeli civilians would continue to come under fire from Hezbollah rockets (2,800 and counting) Because you know Hezbollah wouldn't alter their tactics.

    2. Lebonese cities would become battle grounds, and many more civilians would probably be killed in the crossfire.

    3. When I say it would take longer, I mean it could a year or two; further terrorizing civilians on both sides of the conflict, and resulting in massive casualties for Israeli soldiers.

    4. A full on invasion of southern Lebanon could very easily escalate into a legitimate war between the 2 countries, Lebanon being the weaker party could seek help from other Arab league countries causing the whole region to become embroiled.

    Of course all this aside, I truly wonder how all these people would respond if we weren't all living thousands of miles away from the conflict, playing armchair generals and humanitarians. If we were living in northern Israel I think things would be much clearer.

     

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