Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Who's responsible for Qana?

Via the Volokh Conspiracy, the EU Referendum blog seems to have determined that widely disseminated photos of the aftermath of the Qana bombing were staged and raises questions as to the identity of a Lebanese "rescue worker" who seems to have a Gumpian capacity to be where the action is.

This isn't to suggest that the incident did not occur or even that it was not the result of an Israeli attack (as opposed to a Hezbollah "false flag" operation - where's Kevin Barrett on this one?), but it does underscore what's going on in Lebanon.

Qana is exactly what Hezbollah wanted. When you fire rockets at the enemy and then turn and run like cowards, diving under the skirts of innocent women and children, this is exactly what you get. It is tragic, but it is a completely predictable and desired part of Hezbollah's campaign.

Here's a little law, cribbed from my old Professor Alan Dershowitz. Let's say you rob a bank and grab a teller to use as a human shield as you escape. If the police, in an effort to stop you, accidentally kill her, you are looking at felony murder. It's on you.


Anonymous said...

1. Why are the cops shooting at a fleeing bank robber when they might kill hostages or innocent bystanders? Surely in this case the police would be morally culpable (and possibly financially responsible) for overreacting. No doubt the law will (and should) punish the robber, but the cops in the case you describe are not off the moral hook. Neither is Israel.

2. The analogy misdescribes the relationship between Hezbollah and the Shiite areas in which it operates. Hezbollah is deeply embedded in these communities. You seem to imagine that it is like the Symbionese Liberation Army or some fringe cult. But Hezbollah is the militia that protects these communities. There is no Lebanese Army or other force that will do that job. Certainly Israel won't.

3. You seem to assume that the stronger side is always a force for good. Apparently the weaker side is supposed to fight on the terms of the strong and be slaughtered. The rules you would impose on the conflict have been written by Israel. Hezbollah hits and runs and lays traps for Israel. That is how insurgents fight.

4. Israel has adopted the mistaken strategy of "bombing to win." That strategy rarely succeeds, and it always inadvertantly kills lots of civilians. Israel needs some new generals.

Other Side said...

Gumpian? I like that ... I wish I had thought of it.

BoBoBloggerBoy said...

Yes, "Staged."

And you guys think Kevin Barret is the only looneytoon around here?

Rick Esenberg said...

Jihadi's first point effectively cedes the world to the vicious. There are pacifists who believe in that (although my guess is that a guy who choose a tag like "jihadi" isn't one of those)but it is does not accurately reflect either criminal law or the law of war. While there is a requirement of proportionality, Hezbollah aims for the destruction of Israel, so it would seem that taking steps to remove Hezbollah's ability to attack Israel are warranted.

As to the second point, that may be true. But then it bears on whether civilians are truly "innocent."

As for the third point, insurgents may hit and run, but they do not have to launch missiles from residential neighborhoods, prevent the civilians from leaving and then cry crocodile tears over the inevitable deaths. You may think that's justified because they are "weak." I don't.

Your last point may be correct, so I suppose that you support a ground campaign to create a buffer zone, followed by the introduction of an international force to aggressively disarm Hezbollah. Of course, you don't.

As for "staging", my understanding is that the argument is that the phots were staged, not the attack - as I made clear.

Anonymous said...

Professor Alan Dershowitz is terrific.
Gumpian. I love them kind of words but could not find it my Funk’n Wagnall


Isn’t there a significant difference between the crime of a bank robber and the crimes of the Hezbollah “protectors”? Lord save us from the protectors.

Half measures do not win wars.
“Bombing to win” worked in WWII (Japan and Germany).

I hope the resolution of this conflict gives rise to a Lebanese Army capable of protecting all the Lebanese people and brings peace to the neighborhood.