07 August 2006

Combatants Fighting Non-combatants

Moshe Yaalon:

It is clear to any objective observer that Hezbollah is using Lebanese civilians as human shields. It builds its headquarters in densely populated areas, embeds its fighters in towns and villages, and deliberately places missiles in private homes, even constructing additions to existing structures specifically to house missile launchers. The reason terrorist groups such as Hezbollah use human shields is elementary. They try to exploit the respect for innocent human life that is the hallmark of any civilized society to place that society in a no-win situation. If it fails to respond to terror attacks, it endangers its own citizens. If it responds, it runs the risk of killing innocents, earning world opprobrium and inviting diplomatic pressure to stand down.

Terrorists are fanatics, but they are not idiots. If the terrorist tactic of using human shields helps them achieve their goals, they will utilize it. If it undermines their goals, they will abandon it. If we want to live in a world where civilians are never used as human shields, then we must create a world in which employing such measures results in the unequivocal condemnation of terrorists and in forceful action against them by the civilized world.

If the world were now blaming Hezbollah, Syria and Iran for the innocent Lebanese killed, hurt or displaced in this conflict, then it would be sending a powerful message to every terrorist group on the planet: We will not tolerate the use of human shields. Period.

Instead, those who condemn Israel have sent precisely the opposite message. They have told every terrorist group around the world the use of human shields will pay huge dividends, thereby providing them with a powerful weapon that endangers innocents everywhere.


flamer said...

"If the world were now blaming Hezbollah, Syria and Iran for the innocent Lebanese killed, hurt or displaced in this conflict, then it would be sending a powerful message to every terrorist group on the planet: We will not tolerate the use of human shields. Period."

But Hezbollah DIDN'T kill those innocent Lebanese. Israel did.
And where are you getting your imformation that Hezbollah is using human shields?
They abhor civilians. It works against them to have civi's killed because of them. The last thing Hezbollah would do is use them as a shield. Besides, you can't even launch their kind of rockets from inside buildings. It would destroy the building and most likely the rocket as well.
And why is it ok for Israel to shrug and say "war is hell" and continue to kill innocents? It's not.
Israel has some of the best equipment and training in the world. Their targeting systems are triggered and triangulated by incoming fire, their munitions are laser guided and they have info coming directly from US satellite surveillance.
Yet they shelled the UN outpost for 2 hours before completely destroying it with a precision bomb (guided in by a laser manually "painted" on the target... a large bulding with giant letters on top spelling out "U" and "N")
They continue to destroy hospitals and ambulances, power stations, roads, airports, milk processing plants, and even an entire apartment building full of people. In each case Israel regrets the "mistake" in their targeting.
Ok, so either they're complete morons and their army totally SUCKS at their job, or they are targeting these places on purpose.

flamer said...

Thought you might like to see some more from the other side of this argument.
This is from http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14349.htm

Freedland makes a similar point. Echoing comments by the UN’s Jan Egeland, he says Hizbullah fighters are “cowardly blending” with Lebanon’s civilian population. It is difficult to know what to make of this observation. If Freedland means that Hizbullah fighters come from Lebanese towns and villages and have families living there whom they visit and live among, he is right. But exactly the same can be said of Israel and its soldiers, who return from the battlefront (in this case inside Lebanon, as they are now an invading army) to live with parents or spouses in Israeli communities. Armed and uniformed soldiers can be seen all over Israel, sitting in trains, queuing in banks, waiting with civilians at bus stops. Does that mean they are “cowardly blending’ with Israel’s civilian population?

Egeland and Freedland’s criticism seems to amount to little more than blaming Hizbullah fighters for not standing in open fields waiting to be picked off by Israeli tanks and war planes. That, presumably, would be brave. But in reality no army fights in this way, and Hizbullah can hardly be criticised for using the only strategic defences it has: its underground bunkers and the crumbling fortifications of Lebanese villages ruined by Israeli pounding. An army defending itself from invasion has to make the most of whatever protection it can find -- as long as it does not intentionally put civilians at risk. But HRW’s research shows convincingly that Hizbullah is not doing this.