Thursday, July 27, 2006

Khaim attack, one of many and becoming a problem for US:

The story of the IDF's attack on the Unifil base at Khaim gets more interesting. The NYT reported today that Jane Holl Lute, the assistant secretary general for peace keeping mission at the UN, says that Unifil has reported "145 incidents of 'close firings' in recent days with several patrol bases taking direct hits and sutaining damage to buildings , equipment and vehicles."

But it's all a big mistake, right, the IDF has all those "precision weapons," how could they have accidently bombed UN bases over 145 times? Ian Williams at atimes online writes:

". . . To accept that it was yet another accident presupposes a level of incompetence or insubordination in the Israeli army that should see some serious courts-martial, but never does. So what could be the motive? It is clear that there are many in the IDF with a profound contempt for the UN and all it stands for, and who would not shed many tears at such an accident. It may also rankle that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has, in the dearth of Western reporters from much of south Lebanon, provided independent corroboration of many incidents of IDF attacks on civilians. One only has to think of the fate of the USS Liberty in 1967 for being in a position to observe what the IDF was up to. "

What was I just saying yesterday?

The Guardian reports that "Timur Goksel, a former Turkish military officer who spent more than 20 years working with the UN mission in southern Lebanon, said it was hard to explain how a mistake had been made. 'It is a perfectly marked, white building close to Khiyam prison. Israel knows quite well where it is. There is no excuse for it, nothing. The only thing I can think is lack of fire discipline, not giving a damn. That's sometimes the case.'"

China thinks it was a deliberate attack, too, and tried to get a resolution passed condemning Israel for it but John Bolton, the neocon defender of all things Israel, rushed right in to make sure that didn't happen. Bolton warned that some countries were trying to use this "accident" as a backdoor effort to get a resolution calling for a cease-fire and that would be bad. Because there's only about 600 (not the 400 the US media has been stuck on for the last two days) Lebanese civilans dead from Israel's attacks, what's the rush?

Our backin gof Israel no matter what is already having negative efects on our other foreign policy probelms, Reuters reports: "China on Thursday warned the United States that its opposition to a statement condemning a deadly attack on a U.N. post in Lebanon could jeopardize U.N. negotiations on Iran's nuclear ambitons. 'This is a serious matter,' China's U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya, told reporters after a private meeting with U.S. negotiators. 'It is an attack on the U.N. peacekeepers.' Definitely this frustration will have its negative impact,' Wang said. 'I believe it will affect it negatively."


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