The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


As the drumbeat castigating the Israelis for civilian deaths continues to a crescendo, it is reasonable to ask why the simple facts that follow are only alluded to obliquely in the MSM. The Belmont Club reports on Hezballah’s use of Lebanon and it’s people:

And if Nasrallah [the head of Hezballah] valued Lebanon for anything, it was as cover for his agenda; for its ample supply of civilians to serve as human sandbags with which to fortify Hezbollah's positions; to act as a matrix in which to embed his fortifications. Jan Egeland, pathetically waving a UN report on the Lebanon crisis said:

Consistently, from the Hezbollah heartland, my message was that Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending ... among women and children. ... I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men

Why is it that CNN or ABC or NBC did not run this quote or a story about it yesterday, but earlier in the war showed Egeland castigating Israel for civilian deaths, before he knew the facts? Now that the facts are in, it looks like the true fault lies with Hezballah. What a surprise! Echos of Jenen?

The Belmont Club continues:

Ralph Kinney Bennett at Tech Central Station described how these human-shield tactics have been refined to an art.

"Civilians" are a weapon to them -- as much a part of the fight as the AK-47 or RPG they carry. Those who have visited any Hezbollah installation in Lebanon over the years always remark on the fact that there are families, women and children, in and around the place. "Secret" bases are usually hidden in plain site. Houses or apartment buildings become weapons storage or even operations centers. An innocent shed or garage may contain a Toyota or a missile launcher.

Seldom, if ever, has a guerrilla movement been able to so openly and exquisitely weave itself into the fabric of a society as Hezbollah has done in Lebanon. If the civilians in and around what are in effect operational bases happen to be of Hezbollah's own brand of Islam they automatically become a part of the "sacrificial," suicidal equation. Often without choice or foreknowledge, they die an "honorable" death in the battle against infidels or apostates.

Israel's response to these tactics has been to declare that certain areas should be evacuated, often listing out the villages against which it will operate and warning that no one's safety in these areas will be guaranteed. It is an extremely harsh method, one guaranteed to displace hundreds of thousands; destroy their pitiful homes and scatter families to the four winds. The only thing that can be said in its favor is that it gives these unfortunates a chance to escape with their lives. But even if Nasrallah doesn't care, most of us nevertheless do. And the moral dilemma is whether to stop the fighting now, knowing it will be worse later. Or continue the fighting now, knowing it will be bad even in the best of circumstances.

Israel has stopped the fighting unilaterally many times in the past 30 years, allowing the Islamofascists of the PLO, Fatah, Hamas, and Hezballah time to resupply, dig in, and ultimately re-attack with greater deadliness. The result, as I’ve noted many times in this blog, is the “cycle of violence” that is decried by those who pontificate from a self-defined moral high ground.

Here’s the dilemma. Assume that a village in Mexico was taken over by Hezballah (not as far-fetched as it might seem). Katusha Rockets were placed in the village square, in the courtyards of houses, and hidden in bedroom closets. The inhabitants of the houses were forced to stay put as shields. The rockets were launched at your town (you live on the Texas border), and your family and friends begin to die as they land? Should the US not attack the village and allow the rocket strikes to continue even as they escalate? If we attack, civilians used as shields will die. But if we don't, innocents on our side of the border will die! Should the US enter into lengthy “negotiations” as the rockets fall, allowing still more US civilians to be killed? Should it rely on the UN to intercede and stop the madness? You make the call, but remember, inncoent family and friends are dying as you think about it.

The deaths of Lebanese (and Palestinian, and Iraqi) civilians who are cynically and barbarically used as shields are not the fault of any army who is trying to defeat barbarians who use these civilians as shields. Rather it is the fault of the barbarians themselves.

In this case, the deaths are on Hezballah. The problem, of course, is that Hezballah doesn't care.