Thursday, July 27, 2006

Israel, Hezbollah, and the UN

The outcry from the deaths of UN observers in Lebanon has been predictable. Kofi Annan all but accused the Israelis of targeting the UN, calling the incident, "apparently deliberate." The China Daily said, "Israel has gone too far." And the New York Times' Maureen Dowd claimed Karl Rove had personally executed the observers. Well, I'm just guessing about that last part because I'm not among the dozen folks that have subscribed to Times Deselect.

What you're not hearing from the mainstream press is that Hezbollah -- true to form -- used the UN observers as human shields. According to the UN's own report, Hezbollah was firing from the observers' positions:

...Another UN position of the Ghanaian battalion in the area of Marwahin in the western sector was also directly hit by one mortar round from the Hezbollah side last night. The round did not explode, and there were no casualties or material damage. Another 5 incidents of firing close to UN positions from the Israeli side were reported yesterday. It was also reported that Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of four UN positions at Alma ash Shab, Tibnin, Brashit, and At Tiri...

It could be just me, but if I'm a UN observer and I notice Hezbollah lobbing mortar shells from a position just yards away, my digital watch will display the time, "Get to steppin'."

A Canadian General interviewed on radio independently confirmed that the UN Observer Post was used by Hezbollah:

Retired Canadian Major General Lewis Mackenzie was interviewed on CBC radio, and had some very interesting news about the UN observer post hit by Israeli shells; the Canadian peacekeeper killed there had previously emailed Mackenzie telling him that Hizballah was using their post as cover...

The General put it bluntly: "They use the UN as shields."

And what of Kofi Annan? CNS is reporting that he could have ordered peacekeepers to leave at any time:

The four United Nations peacekeepers killed in an Israeli attack on their outpost were required to stay at that post "until they were ordered by the [U.N.] secretary general to withdraw," said a member of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization on Wednesday.

But the peacekeepers apparently never received such an order, despite the fierce cross-border fighting that erupted in southern Lebanon two weeks ago...

While you won't be reading any of this in the New York Times -- barring someone dumping 55-gallon drums of truth serum in the Manhattan water supply -- rest assured that DowdCo will find a way to blame it all on Chimpy McHalliburton. Heaven knows, there are a couple of years of useful life remaining on her teleprompter's endless tape reel.

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