Friday, August 11, 2006

US enabling Israeli weapons fix again.

The WaPo reports today that an agreement to vote on a Lebanon cease-fire resolution at the UN is very close. The French and the Americans have gone back to the drawing board and, among other things, the US has backed down on the idea of a "robust" force moving into southern Lebanon to violently disarm Hezbollah.

There a few other little things to be worked out; like what difference its all going to make if the Lebanese government doesn't go along with the resolution. Robin Wright reports that "China's deputy ambassador, Liu Zhenmin, said that 'the problem is that the Lebanese they do not accept any reference to Chapter 7.'" This is the part that authorized the possible use of force. That's a pretty big problem.

I still don't understand how the UN is going to go into southern Lebanon and root out Hezbollah if the Israelis haven't been able to do it in a month of fighting. And if Hezbollah isn't brough in on this -- and Syria and Iran aren't a part of it -- all a UN force is going to do is get caught in the cross fire between both sides. Hezbollah certainly doesn't having any problem firing on whoever is in their way and we know the Israelis have nothing but contempt for everything UN.

But not to worry, Condi is on the job and a senior US official says, "We're pushing for a vote. [Rice] doesn't care if they have to work through the night. . .If work needs to be done, she'll do that. If she needs to bring it to closure, she'll close. And if she only needs to vote, she'll vote." After all the good work she's done so far, don't you just get the idea this is all going to end well?

As Condi keeps insisting, the US is an "honest broker" who is working diligently for "an enduring peace" so those "birth pangs" the new Middle East can do their magic. So why is the US sending more weapons to Israel? The NYT reports that the US is set to ship "short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions, which it could use to strike Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon, two American officials said Thursday." We're working around the clock to get a fair deal for both sides and we're sending an emergency shipment of weapons so Israel can kill more civilians?

Don't worry, though, "if the shipment is approved, Israel may be told that it must be especially careful about firing the rockets into populated areas, the senior official said." See? You know how seriously they've taken the US call for "restraint" so far.

The weapons Israel want are particularly nasty. Many of the 19,000 or so Lebanese civilians Israel killed in the 1982 invation were killed by cluster munitions. The Israelis were so out of control with using them that even the Reagan administration banned them from using them (for a little while anyway).

David Siegel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, says: "As a rule, we obviously don’t fire into populated areas, with the exception of the use of precision-guided munitions against terrorist targets." Obviously!

So you can trust them to use these horific weapons only on Hezbollah fighters (If they can ever find one ) and not civilians, right? NO.

Human Rights Watch reported a few weeks back that:

"Israel has used artillery-fired cluster munitions in populated areas of Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said today. Researchers on the ground in Lebanon confirmed that a cluster munitions attack on the village of Blida on July 19 killed one and wounded at least 12 civilians, including seven children. Human Rights Watch researchers also photographed cluster munitions in the arsenal of Israeli artillery teams on the Israel-Lebanon border."

Dumb bomb:

The bomb in question is anything but smart: "The M26 Rocket is launched from one of the 12 tubes in the launch pod. The rocket is 13 feet in length, and has a range of 10-32 kilometers. The standard M 26 rocket is unguided. The rocket warhead contains 644 of the M77 submunitions. When all 12 rockets in a pod are fired, 7,728 submunitions are dispersed over the target area." [Mennonite Central Committee]

An article in the LA Times back in 2003 about the US using M-26' in Iraq says the bomb creates duds about 16% of the time leaving hundreds of bombs laying around and hanging from trees. This according to Mark Hiznay, senior researcher in the arms division of Human Rights Watch in Washington.

So, even if Israel dosen't use these bombs in civilian areas, the hundreds of duds will kill civilians later on, long after the war. Which should be in about 24 when Condi gets that big peace deal done, right?


Anonymous cancelhoo1 said...

Reading the article now, just wanted to let you know i found the site. ;)

12:29 AM  

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