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Thursday, July 13, 2006


Acts of war, or war crimes?

Israel says the seizing of two Israeli soldiers by Hizballah is an "act of war" (on the part of the Lebanese government). I wonder what they consider this to be, then?
Police said 52 Lebanese civilians, including 15 children, were killed in attacks on Hezbollah targets in Beirut's southern suburbs and across southern Lebanon.

Security sources said the air strikes in south Lebanon also wounded 100 people. Ten members of a family were killed in Dweir village and seven family members died in Baflay.
Note that Israel has not declared war. Therefore these acts can be nothing other than war crimes. Not that most of the Israeli attacks wouldn't qualify as war crimes even if they had declared war.

Update: Note how this story is being headlined and reported, e.g., in this AP story:

Note that the murder of 50 civilians takes a distinct second place to bombing an airport runway, and note also the language: "More than 50 people have died in violence." Not "been killed by Israeli bombs or missiles." They just died in some sort of unspecified violence. Sure they did.

Second update: Kyra Phillips on CNN just now did a summary of what's going on. I'll paraphrase: "Israel has bombed Beirut airport. Hizballah is firing rockets at Israel, including at Haifa. Israeli ships are blockading Lebanese ports." Not one word about the death of 52 (probably more by now) Lebanese civilians. Not a word. Then, just a couple minutes later, she was grilling the Syrian ambassador, asking him about civilian deaths. Israeli deaths, of course. How could she ask about the death of Lebanese civilians when she doesn't even acknowledge that they occur?

Third update: Every reporter on CNN is describing the reported (not completely confirmed; actually denied by Hizballah) landing of two Hizballah-fired rockets in Haifa as a "dangerous escalation." Can anyone explain how that could possibly be an "escalation" after Israel has bombed Lebanese bridges, Beirut airport runways and Beirut airport fuel storage tanks, is blockading ports, and has killed 52 civilians with missile attacks? None of those things has been described by CNN as a "dangerous escalation," yet when (if) Hizballah fires two rockets at Haifa, that's a "dangerous escalation."

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