War crimes: Who's side am i on anyway?


I find it interesting that "Israeli officials face war crimes risk" is the top story Monday morning at Algazeera but no such story could be found on CNN.

Here is a google search for news on Isralie war crimes.

Here is a detailed report on the indiscriminant bombing: Fatal Strikes Israels Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon ... and a critique of their findings here ...
source: Human Rights Watch vs. Human Rights
There was of course no dependable method by which Human Rights Watch could assess the veracity of what it was told by the "witnesses." Indeed, there was no means by which it could be sure that they were not Hezbollah cadres, since members of the group do not ordinarily wear uniforms or display identity badges. As for the absence of physical signs of Hezbollah's presence at bomb sites, the report seemed to assume that the group would have left in place damaged weapons and fallen and injured comrades during the hours, or more likely days, that passed before HRW's investigators arrived at each site. For the especially grave accusation that civilian deaths were inflicted "deliberately," no evidence was offered. Civilians were hit, of course, and individuals claiming to be witnesses denied Hezbollah had been in the area.
... where many of Mark's arguments have already come to light. 

Here is my script.  If both sides in the conflict know that the world is watching and that there is a credible chance that leaders might be prosecuted for war crimes, then it stands to reason that they will temper their tactics accordingly.  More important i think is the effect on Hezbollah which is moving to become an accepted force in legitimate Lebanease politics.  Will they be able to do that and continue to perputate war crimes?   Well, me thinks, there is a conflict of motivation there.   If the world is to see Hezbollah as strong and legitimate, then they must also be accountable.  I think that would be a good thing because then they will be forced to police their own militants and perhaps when it is to their advantage, curb their activities.   But that is a double edged sword ... you cannot hold Hezbollah responsible and at the same time accept whatever from Israel.    Note that this script is not predictive, it is more wishful thinking than anything else.   It is, however, still consistent with facts on the ground and does explain how constituting an Internationl Tribunal to try Israel and Hezbollah for war crimes might actually contribute to the cause of peace in the middle east.

Note that this is a "serious" node, requiring  level headed moral thinking.   It is not a node on which to joke around. I might even say it is a node where the golden rule will be strickly enforced.

Tags

  1. war crimes
  2. israel
  3. thinking out loud

Comments


Seth says
M 2006-09-04 07:00:49 4325
It's not much of a surprise for Aljazeera!  It's been in the rest of the news a couple of weeks ago. Aljazeera naturally supports the propaganda war against Israel.
I don't believe that the particular internal Isralie memo that broke in the story has been reported untill now.  So far i have found Aljazeera's reporting fairly even handed, so any allagations to the contrary need to be supported.  For me, a more pertinant question is why CNN is not covering this particular story.  Is it a story, or is it propoganda? 

Seth says
M 2006-09-05 08:14:00 4325
THis obviously shows which side you are on!
Well i believe: (1) that the cluster bombing was unnecessary for military purposes, (2) it showed flagrant disregard for innocent life, (3) the person who chose to deploy them should be tried for war crimes. The same tribunal that tries that crime could also be charged for trying Hezbollah.  I don't see how that puts me on one side or the other.  The only side i am on is the side which is against those atrocities.  Having this trial would not only provide much needed dialogue within the circles of International Law, but it would also put military and civilian leaders of war machines on notice that society is changing against these atrocities.  They are no longer to be tolerated.  Watever the side. 

Seth says
- 2006-09-05 08:46:03 4325
Well obviously you do not know what the military uses of cluster bombs is nor are you in a position to pass judgement on it. 
Knowing what these are is not a problem, google cluster bombs or go right to ...
source: Wikipedia
The use of cluster bombs is hotly opposed by many individuals and groups, such as the Red Cross, the Cluster Munition Coalition and the United Nations, because of the high proportion of civilians that have fallen victim to the weapon.
... and it would not be me passing judgement, it would be a duly constituted Internation Tribunal.  I guess i missed your point.

Seth says
M 2006-09-04 07:25:53 4325
Or maybe look at their Let's Talk (editorial page articles ?) uri http://www.aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/news_service/c14.asp - think it's balanced?
Your pointing at editorials, I'm talking about reporting of facts when i say i have found their reporting fair and balanced.   I still think it is a anomoly to be noted that CNN did not carry the story.  Does it mean that it is a non story, a piece of distorted fiction ? I really do not know.  It was reported in a lot of other places ... just not CNN.  Nor did it make the national news, that i noticed.  Now it does not come as a shock to us that a news agency has a point of view ... nor can we have it any other way.  So i guess that I found it anomolous that Aljazeera chose the story but CNN did not tells you as much about me as it does about Aljazeera or CNN.

And, btw, this node is not about editorial points of view of various news outlets.  Sorry i had mentioned that only in passing. Perhaps we can open another node to compare points of view of various news media outlets.  This node is my "thinking out loud" node about Isralie war crimes. It is not about Hezbollah war crimes except as those crimes may or may not mitigate the Isralie crimes. 

Seth says
M 2006-09-05 09:45:48 4325
Your Wikipedia points to the fact that they are legal. The purpose of war is to KILL people & BREAK things. The purpose of the cluster bombs is to kill people.  The Israelis used them where there were a bunch of people near where a rocket was launched. Unless there is some way to outlaw war, I say they did a good thing. War is HELL! for everyone including adults, combatants, children & plants. The Hezbos launched rockets on purpose to kill anyone in the landing zone. At least the Israelis warned first & did their best to aim at areas where the rockets were coming from. 
You state as fact things that are very much in doubt: (1) Wikipedia points to the fact that they are legal - under what circumstances, in what venue ? ... (2) The Israelis used them where there were a bunch of people near where a rocket was launched - most of the cluster bombs were dropped all over Lebenon in the last flurry of the war.  There is a map of where they fell, perhaps we should read it into the record.  The immediacy of rockets being launched from those sites and the timing point to a different targeting strategy. 

TVO says
The problem is that nobody verifies if the media is telling the truth, yet still everybody believes every single word. If you watch American news it's funny how much it is different from european news.

I would also like to add that I think it's a good way to sort out things if we let Hezbolla be legal. Because they are bad but if we can make them depend on international support, the world can demand things.

Seth says
TVO 2006-11-05 12:03:07 4325
I would also like to add that I think it's a good way to sort out things if we let Hezbolla be legal. Because they are bad but if we can make them depend on international support, the world can demand things.
Thanks for noticing.  I think the same applies to Hammas.  Setting up legalistic requirements that stand in the way of legitimizing a functional government in the PA is, me thinks, contra productive.  Israel and the West's refusal to accept Hammas prior to their recognizing Israel's right to exist, just perpetuates the struggle and prevents the Palestineans from extracting themselves from a degrading position and establishing a functional government.  They have already acknowledged that they will accept a truce.  That should be enough.  Then the process of bringing a control by the reward/puninshment of the rest of the civilized world could start.  But keeping them as outlawas just because they won't say those precious little words is mistaking words for deeds.

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