Thursday, July 27, 2006
It remains to discovered what exactly happened in the killing by Israel of the four UN workers in Lebanon. Of course, Kofi Annan was quick to suggest that Israel did it intentionally. At least he is consistent. But it now appears that the action was the moral responsibility of Hezbollah, which used the UN workers as human shields.
UN officials said Hezbollah guerillas had been operating in the area of the post near the eastern end of the border with Israel, a routine tactic to prevent Israel from attacking them.
"We did repeatedly in recent days say (to Israel) that this was an exposed position, that Hezbollah militants were 500 meters (yards) away shielding themselves near UN workers and civilians," UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said. "That's why it is so inexplicable that what happened happened."
Of course, the UN says nothing about this in its public statements and does not hold Hezbollah responsible. This is, sadly, par for the course throughout the world. There are civilian casualties in Lebanon caused by Hezbollah's use of human shields, but much of the world ignores this and simply counts up the Lebanese casualties, placing the blame on Israel.
The world has gotten a bit tied of the "cycle of violence" meme. But its replacement -- the civilian casualties / proportionality meme -- is going strong.