normblog: The rights and wrongs of Israel's military action

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
normblog: The rights and wrongs of Israel's military action: "Here's something else we should be clear about, however. While some of the condemnation voiced by critics of the Israeli campaign is in good faith, much of it is not. How can you tell? This is how.

(1) Do the critics of Israel condemn Hizbollah for themselves putting civilians at risk in the areas in which they operate, attempting 'to shield military objectives from attacks' by the way they locate these military objectives?

(2) Do these critics allow that some of the civilian casualties caused by Israel in Lebanon are inevitable, and fall within the laws of war, precisely because of this policy of Hizbollah, which bears responsibility for them? Do they charge Hizbollah with war crimes?

(3) Do these critics allow that some of the damage to infrastructure is permissible within the laws of war, where the piece of infrastructure in question is a legitimate military target?

(4) Do these critics condemn Hizbollah for targeting Israeli civilians?

(5) Are they anguished by the deaths of Israelis, as they are by the deaths of Lebanese?

If the answer to these questions is no, their criticism is not in good faith. It betokens a hostility to Israel and its people, a hostility preceding rather than following from Israel's actions. There's a lot of that about."

I don't agree with everything in this posting. Norm has a link to justify his assertion that Israel has committed war crimes, but the argument seems to me to be that Hiz'b allah is committing war crimes, and I don't buy that Dresden and Hiroshima were war crimes, although I think it is at least arguable. (And I may have a bias, as Hiroshima may well have saved my father's life before I was born.)

But these points are good, and should be on anyone's mind when they listen to Kofi Annan or Human Rights Watch.


terrye said...

My Dad was set to go to Japan if the surrender had not come. He had been at Okinawa and after the bomb fell at nagasaki he was there in a few days. So he would have been in the first wave if Japan had been invaded. That whole war was a crime. If our fathers had died all those years ago along with God knows how many other people, would that have been war crime?

Some say not, because they were soldiers. But a lot of Japanese were going to die in any event.

It seems to me that a lot of the media are covering this war the same way they covered Katrina, hysterically.

I just heard some guy on Fox say that only about 30 of the Lebanese killed had been Hezbellah, the rest had been civilians and I thought, How can you know that? The IDF wears uniforms, the Hizbellah looks like everyone else. The kids are human shields and we know they are civlians, but the adults, men and women...I don't know how anyone can know.

Seneca the Younger said...

And how many of the "civilians" were knowingly in Hezbullah installations?

And how many were being held against their wills?

chuck said...

I do get tired of all this war crimes talk. I mean, who besides the anglosphere and Israel even tries? France? Algeria and the Ivory Coast come to mind. Germany hasn't been tested lately and didn't do so well last time. Seems to me that the only folks that try are the only folks who ever end up accused: the anglosphere and Israel. This completely imbalance in application has driven me to the point of saying screw it, and screw the ICC too. I don't think Norm has reached that point, he still believes in international organizations because Norm is a socialist and is deeply invested in all these corrupt institutions. Someday he may come around but it won't be easy for him to transfer his nationalism from the international order to the anglosphere, and that is basically what has to happen.

Peter UK said...

What is the point of holding a postmortem before the war is over,get it done with first.
It took decades for the events of WWII to emerge,even so there are still details which are contested or unknown.