Monday, August 07, 2006

One More Letter on the Israel-Hezbollah War

My follow up letter to a reader's rebuttal of my previous letter (is that the best way to say that?) was printed on Altercation on Friday. Check it out.

And, the most telling news story lede:

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Lebanon's prime minister said Monday that one person had been killed in an Israeli air raid on the southern village of Houla, lowering the death toll from 40.
From 40 deaths to one? Wow. Somebody must have miscounted... or.. er.. perhaps.. just maybe.. i'm not accusing anybody... but.. well.. maybe someone just invented the higher death toll to swing more people against Israel. But no... no.... nobody would ever do that. Must have been an honest mistake. This is like a one time thing, right?

Oh. Nevermind. Well, I'm sure there must be some explanation for these huge death tolls turning out to be... well... inaccurate.

And somebody please tell the Democratic Party that donating $20 to them and giving them my address doesn't mean I want to receive junk-mail crap from Human Rights Watch... which blatantly seized upon these inaccurate death tolls to launch a sharp PR attack on Israel, and has not yet apologized.

Which is not to say civilian deaths aren't tragic. Or that innocent people aren't dying in this conflict. But to base your decision of right and wrong solely on which side has more casualties is a stupid way to make your decision. Especially when one side has a penchant for inflating those casualty figures.

Israel is not infallable. But they are not "terrorists." And they have not committed "war crimes." To say that they are and did is to undermine the meanings of both terms. Until Israelis march into discoteques with bombs strapped to their chests, they aren't terrorists. And until they deliberately target civilians, they haven't committed war crimes. Whether or not you believe their response is "disproportionate," lets at least call things by their right names.

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