Saturday, August 26, 2006

Israel under investigation for cluster bomb use:

The NYT reported this week that, "the State Department is investigating whether Israel's use of US-made cluster bombs in southern Lebanon during the recent fighting violated accords with the United States that restrict when Israel can employ such weapons, two officials said. The inquiry by the department's Office of Defense Trade Controls began this week, after reports that three types of U.S.- made cluster munitions -- anti-personnel weapons that spray bombs over a wide area -- have been found in areas of southern Lebanon and were responsible for civilian deaths."

I'm sure that inquiry will go far. The WaPo reports today that:

"In 1978, 1979 and 1981, the State Department notified Congress that Israel 'may have violated' U.S-Israeli agreements by using U.S. weapons for purposes other than defense, according to the Congressional Research Service. But the probes did not result in any penalties against Israel."

See, what's the point? Someone ought to let Condi know we're fighting a war here. We've got no time for quaint pre-9/11 niceties about turning entire towns into mine fields. Israel dropped leaflets what else do you want them to do?

Since these so-called accords we have with Israel over how they can use our weapons are secret we'll probably never know if they actually violated them. I'm sure the next time Israel feels the need to shower half of Lebanon with thousands of little bomblets they'll know we're really serious about them showing "restraint." If hasn't worked so well since 1982 but I'm sure they'll understand this time around.

NPR steps lightly around Israel's cluster bomb problem:

Another related issue to the cluster bomb story is the lack of a story the media thinks it is. I found it interesting that a report on NPR's Morning Edition by Jamie Tarabay on the 24th did report on the cluster bombs but failed to mention who was responsible for them being there. If you hadn't been much paying attention to the cluster bomb issue you might have assumed form the report that both sides were responsible for the dangerous conditions the people of southern Lebanon are now living under due to the threat of stepping on one of these things are having one fall out of a tree right next to them.

Maybe I missed it, but I really don't remember the word "Israel" ever passing through Tarabay's lips during the piece. I don't have the ability to re-listen to it on-line so if anyone care to listen to it and let me know for sure, that would be great.


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