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August 8, 2006
More Double Standards At The UN

Kofi Annan continues the Turtle Bay tradition of double standards when it comes to fighting terrorists. Annan, responding to Arab League complaints, said that the bombing in Qana could show a pattern of war crimes by Israelis against civilians -- without mentioning the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians by Hezbollah rocket launchers:

Israel's air raid on in the Lebanese town of Qana, which killed 28 people, may be part of a larger pattern of violations of international law in the war between Israel and Hezbollah, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report Monday.

In that light, Annan said that the July 30 attack was sufficiently serious to merit a more comprehensive investigation.

The attack should be seen "in the broader context of what could be, based on preliminary information available to the United Nations ... a pattern of violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed during the course of the current hostilities," Annan wrote. ...

Annan's report said the U.N. peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, known by its acronym UNIFIL, could not confirm or deny Israel's contention that Hezbollah was launching attacks from Qana before the July 30 attack.

In a letter to Annan accompanying the report, Israel claimed Qana was Hezbollah's regional headquarters, contained weapons stockpiles, and was the site of 150 missile launches. The letter said Israel had repeatedly warned civilians in the town to clear out before it was bombed.

"Since the start of hostilities, Israelis in 150 population centers have faced unprecedented danger from a barrage of missiles and attacks emanating from areas such as Qana," said the letter, which was unsigned. "Like other operations, the goal of the Qana raid was to defend Israeli citizens."

In other words, the fact that Israel has provided videotape showing rocket launches in the vicinity of the strike and its attempt to minimize civilian casualties despite Hezbollah's exploitation of civilian populations as shields, Annan felt that he could not determine whether Israel should be accused of war crimes. Bear in mind that his report offers no evidence at all to support such a charge; he admits that the UN forces supposedly acting as observers and peacekeepers had no input on the charges by Hezbollah and Lebanon. In the absence of evidence, Annan feels it necessary to issue smears nonetheless.

And please remember that Israel actually comports to the rules of war. They wear uniforms to distinguish themselves and attach their insignia to equipment and outposts to mark the IDF as combatants. They do not launch their attacks from within civilian populations, nor do they hide their command and control in such areas. They have not carpet-bombed Lebanon but attempted to destroy selected targets based on intelligence, which has not proven faultless but at least shows some restraint.

Hezbollah, on the other hand, hides its forces in civilian clothing, They place rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns next to apartment buildings and houses to shield them from Israeli attack. Instead of targeting Israeli military assets with their rocket barrages, the Hezbollah terrorists have aimed them indiscriminately at civilian population centers. Only because their missiles lack both large-scale explosive power and sophisticated targeting have they proven inefficient at their purpose -- to kill Israeli civilians and terrorize Israel into defeat.

Does Annan castigate Hezbollah or the Lebanese government that allowed them to operate freely in southern Lebanon? No. He instead pillories the one side of the conflict that has attempted to fight within the rules of war. Annan has given such leeway to the terrorists that he even failed to object when they attacked a UNIFIL position and wounded several Chinese peacekeepers, in contrast to his hysterical reaction when Israel hit a UNTSO position after taking fire from an adjacent Hezbollah launching position.

The UN should not even bother investigating Lebanese and Hezbollah complaints until they make an effort to fight within the rules of war. If one wants to end terrorism, then the global community must insist on reciprocity by both sides before taking up the question of violations. Holding Israel to an impossible standard against an enemy determined to use civilians as shields while never noting the grotesque strategy of the terrorists only encourages more terrorism. Annan seems determined to make asymmetrical warfare pay off.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 8, 2006 5:00 AM

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» What Kofi Omits on Qana from It Shines For All
"A report published last night by Secretary-General Annan regarding a July 30 attack by Israel on the Lebanese village of Qana omits the fact that initial Lebanese accounts of the incident, which were repeated by Mr. Annan at the Security... [Read More]

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» Fanning the flames of hatred from Strategic Outlook Institute - Weblog
Kofi Annan, head hate monger, despite his Nobel Peace Prize, is doing his best to lead the world in unison against Israel. Kofi Annan has figured out a way to bring people together - unite against a common enemy. He has chosen Israel and the U.S. as... [Read More]

Tracked on August 9, 2006 3:50 AM


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