Monday, July 31, 2006

As soon as possible

I’m not sure I understand the sudden concern at the Qana massacre of 60+ Lebanese, including 37 children. Is there some minimum number that have to be killed all at the same time before it sinks in that murdering civilians, like the other 500 or so killed by Israeli bombs over the last couple of weeks, is a bad thing?

Condi Rice was furious. Look how furious she was, as she met Sunday with Prime Minister Olmert,

Condi in Israel, 7.30.06    1

Foreign Minister Livni,

Condi in Israel, 7.30.06    2

and Defense Minister Peretz.

Condi in Israel, 7.30.06    3

Condi in Israel, 7.30.06    4

She issued this edict: “We want a ceasefire as soon as possible.” Yes, just as soon as possible. You know how you implement a ceasefire? You cease firing. There’s no “as soon as possible” involved. You... just... cease... firing.

Well in fact the Israelis, after claiming the attack on a large residential building was justified by rockets they claim had been launched from it, suggesting that the house was actually blown up by Hezbollah munitions stored in it, blaming the residents for not having left their homes when Israel ordered them to, and suggesting that they were being used by Hezbollah “as shields or being used cynically to further Hizbullah’s propaganda purposes,” did declare a temporary cease-fire, which it said the Lebanese should use to leave their homes in southern Lebanon before Israel resumes bombing them. This is also a tacit acknowledgment that one reason Lebanese have ignored earlier orders to flee was that Israeli planes tended to drop bombs on them when they did; presumably the cease-fire is a promise not to do that this time. Also, Olmert reserves the right to end the cease-fire if Hezbollah does anything in response to the Qana massacre.

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