Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bombing the U.N.

A most disturbing story today
about an Israeli bomb or bombs that struck a long-established U.N. facility in southern Lebanon killing four unarmed U.N. peacekeepers.
The Israeli’s are saying it was an accident, and perhaps it way, but My Gosh! that was some accident. If initial news reports are correct, the U.N. observers called an Israeli military liaison about 10 times in the six hours before they died to warn that the aerial attacks were getting close to their position. Despite this, they were killed when an Israeli bomb made a direct hit on their bunker.
And then there is this bit of news:

Lebanese security sources told CNN Wednesday at least three precision-guided bombs were dropped by Israeli aircraft on the U.N. observers' bunker.
A Western diplomat familiar with preliminary U.N. assessments of the scene also said that it appeared the munition that hit the bunker was precision-guided.

A direct hit by three precision guided missiles???!!! And this after they had made nearly a dozen desperate calls to their official Israeli contact saying ‘please don’t shoot us.’??!!?? The U.N. facility was clearly marked as such and well know for some time.
So somehow I find it hard to believe that this was just a case of “oopsie!” by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). So when U.N. Secretary-general Kofi Annan calls it an "apparently deliberate" Israeli airstrike, it seems like he may have some justification.

And recall that this is not the first time the Israeli’s have claimed to have accidently attacked a friendly target in the midst of a battle.

War supporters are taking the position that Israel can do no wrong and are dismissing any suggestion that the attack was anything other than a mistake. However, if it was truly a mistake, what does this say about Israeli claims that they are trying to limit civilian casualties with surgical strikes against Hezbollah military installations? It would seem instead that they are just shooting the hell out of anything and everything over there.

It is high time for this military escalation to be wound back down. Unfortunately, the first stab at a peace deal has ended in failure, which is really no surprise considering this administration’s pathetic track record with diplomacy.