War etc

The Qana tragedy

Some not-very-original observations about the tragedy in Qana.

–The town has been a has been used by Hezbollah to launch hundreds of deadly rockets at northern Israeli towns. By any rules of engagement other than hide-and-pray (and Jews in Israel don’t play that game anymore), the Israelis had a right to respond militarily to those attacks. Hezbollah had no qualms at all about placing rocket launchers in areas heavily populated by civilians.

–Israel urged civilians to evacuate the area. Again, Hezbollah had no qualms about allowing them (or perhaps forcing them) to say.

–If anyone has evidence that Israeli pilots cold-bloodedly and knowingly dropped bombs on civilians in Qana, please present it. Even if you believe that Israel doesn’t care about the deaths of Lebanese civilians, surely you could see how Israel would want to avoid the international opprobium that follows events like these.

–Israel has expressed deep regret for the civilian deaths. Cyncially, you may say; but I can’t imagine any more than a disgusting fringe of the Israeli population feeling other than sad at those deaths. When has Hezbollah ever expressed regret for the Israeli civilian deaths it has caused (except, cycnically, for two Israeli Arab children killed in Nazereth)? And does anyone think Nasrallah or other Hezbollah leaders genuinely ache over the deaths of Lebanese children any more than they do over the deaths of Israeli children? Their only concern for any deaths is the propaganda value they can squeeze out of them.

–Just a hint of some of the disgusting hypocrisy unleashed by the Qana attack: President Bashar Assad— who has been notably silent about the tens of thousands of Syrians slaughtered on the instructions of his late father in Hama in 1982– has called it “state terrorism.” Expect similar rhetoric from Vladimir “Chechnya” Putin. Almost as disgusting are those who leap gleefully on this– and every other Israeli mistake or failure– as evidence of the country’s inherent and unique wickedness.

–Israel, like any other country, is subject to mistakes and failures in the heat and confusion of war. But if there was any way Israel could have achieved its objective in Qana without taking such a terrible toll, then people need to be held accountable.

–To paraphrase Stephen Spender: unless people care about the deaths of innocent children everywhere, they don’t care about the deaths of innocent children anywhere.

Update: The IDF has video of Hezbollah firing missiles from behind a residential building and from Qana— which Hezbollah denies doing.