Monday, July 31, 2006

War Crimes Send Birds Scattering

Didn't you know that? Well, now you do.

On the morning of the carnage^H^H^H^H^H^H^H sad and tragic collateral damage that slaughtered dozens of people among whom a majority of children, the world saw it happening. In a great harmony, the chirping birds just took off in a great and chaotic flutter of wings: dear Mrs Rice and her team made haste to announce they were returning to the US and also pushed to get the one thing they needed: an annoucement that could be seen as going in the direction of a cease-fire. Thus, while the Israeli military used the one worn out excuse that all war criminals have held out over the ages and claimed that the people who died had been warned and only needed to flee, Mrs Rice went into secluded meetings and spent all her energy and influence in reaching the one goal that matters to the Bush Administration: something to soften and help the catastrophic image it has all around the world.

So here came Mrs Rice, the triumphant victor in air-conditioned rooms where people are nice and polite and ask you if you'd like another soda or perhaps a sandwich--much different from the oven-like temperatures, lack of air and constant explosions that send your heart hammering in your chest when you sweat off your nights in a bomb shelter in Lebanon, but still very very hard I'm sure. And here she announced a pause in the air strikes that is scheduled to last some 48 hours. Of course, this concerns air strikes, not ground or naval strikes, and doesn't concern any ground operation currently underway. Of course, the fact that this could very well be just the expression of a tactical modification in Tsahal's plans and not something even remotely resembling a beginning of cease-fire is of no consequence. What matters is that Mrs Rice has her announcement for the world to hear. Something that says "hey, I'm really trying to make it stop, despite what you all think that I'm just biding time and dallying around, delaying the inetrnational community so that Israel can carry out its little war without interfence and do our job for us".

Perhaps she believes it will fool people, and change public opinions around the world as to what the US is really doing in this crisis. If I were her, I wouldn't count on that, though.

As to our nice war criminals and their ages-old excuse of "we warned them, they just needed to flee", I really wish that those people had guts, and just the tiniest bit of courage. I thought that killing off kids and innocent people was the hard part, but it would seem I was mistaken. Slaughtering the innocent is the easy part. Assuming the consequences of your action really seems beyond the strength and courage of Tsahal.

"They were warned," you tell us, Mr Army spokesman. Yes, of course they were. And what were they supposed to do about the warning? "They merely needed to go away," you answer us. Just how were they supposed to do that, Mr Army spokesman? With what means of transportations? On what roads? Over what bridges? Ah, those you all destroyed, thus making travel extremely hazardous and dangerous, if not outright impossible? And I suppose you wouldn't have bombed them on the way either, the way you didn't bomb ambulances and humanitarian or food convoys. Sure. Let's even admit all this, flee where? To what house? What job? What life?

Can you answer me that, Mr Army spokesman?

Ah, no, I see that you can't.

Israel and the US make a ratrher pathetic couple, right now. A pitiful, miserable pair, glued, stuck in a swamp of their own making. Condi must be really put out at Tsahal right now. With its action on Qana, the same Qana which Tsahal bombed back in 1996, slaughtering more than a hundred innocent civilians who had taken refuge in a UNO building (rings a bell?) during a campaign to destroy Hezbollah (rings another bell?). Yes, her feathers must be ruffled at this catastophe--oh, not the losses of innocent lives, no, but on the effect it has in the world, and the consequences for her and the US. It becomes really difficult to hold their "let Israel do what it has to do first" line, but they're doing it. While they go in long meetings to get an annoucement like a pause in air-strikes which is most likely nothing other than a tactical redeployment, our darling Condi is still not calling for an immediate cease-fire. But she does move around, a lot.

And so, as they did in 1996, war crimes send birds scattering in disarray. This time the birds are Condi and her team.

(Source: today's edition of the New York Times)

Oh, last minute news from The Guardian and Le Monde: despite announcing a cease-fire, Israeli jets are busy bombing South Lebanon. But then, what else can one expect from war criminals?

Please, everyone, take note: while the army announced a pause in air strikes to allow refugees to flee, thus implicitly acknowledging that it would have been impossible before and invalidating the ludicrous excuse they used to justify yesterday's carnage, they also announced that that would continue bombing any Hezbollah group detected in action. Black and white in the same sentence. But of course. I'm sure the refugees find this rhetoric very amusing, and appreciate it for what it is.

And while fools like Mr Mallaby vent their frustration by spitting on old Europe, History, as old Europe warned you, is busy repeating itself.

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