The Israeli bombing this weekend in the Arab town of Qana was the subject of widespread condemnation. It even prompted the Israeli Prime Minister to announce a suspension of air attacks for 48 hours. It is important to recognize that Hezbollah deliberately establishes rockets and launchers, and stations its headquarters and fighters, in the heart of civilian populations. That is how Arafat did it. That is how Hamas and the PLO and all the others in Fatah and Islamic Jihad and Force 17 and Tanzim and Al Aqsa Brigades do it. They pack ambulances with explosives. They set up bases in hospitals, schools, even mosques and churches. Just consider how often Sunnis blow up enemy Shiite mosques to stop their attackers, and vice-versa. As Israel learned when she went into Jenin to eradicate aspects of Arafat’s terror apparatus, they deliberately cover themselves with women and children. If Israel goes out of its way to strike at Hezbollah in a dainty fashion that guarantees that no Arab human shield is hurt, Israel dramatically endangers the life of its own soldiers in the process. The Government of Israel does not have the right to endanger the lives of her citizens and soldiers in an effort to make Kofi Annan like them. And he won’t like them anyway.
I would not want to be the Israeli official assigned to ring a family’s door bell to tell them that their son died because, instead of bombing Hezbollah rocket-launching emplacements aerially, he was sent to ring the door bell of a terror condominium to make sure that all women and children were escorted out of the building housing rocket launchers in the war zone. Qana is and has been a location that Hezbollah has used repeatedly in the past for staging strikes against Israel. Unlike Hezbollah – which aims exclusively at civilian targets as their primary deliberate target – Israel avoids hurting civilians as much as is practicable. We all know that. We know our culture. We know what makes us tick – and we know why they tick. Because they use people as time bombs, even kids – although never the children of their leaders.
It is illegal under international law to station an army and weapons in the heart of a civilian population. Moreover, the Qana civilian population includes the families of Hezbollah fighters, and many civilians deliberately allow themselves to be the shields, as their effort for the Hezbollah cause to eradicate Israel. We all have seen CNN, ABC, and other interviews of locals who tell the reporters that they support Hezbollah and want to see Israel die. Hezbollah garnered one-third of the vote in the last Lebanese election, which is why Hezbollah holds Government Ministries. Their best voter turn-outs were in Southern Lebanon, in precincts like those in Qana, and in other Hezbollah strongholds in the Bekaa Valley, Southern Beirut, and the like. People who vote for terrorists cannot be heard later to complain when the centers of terror are bombed. Even today, 180 rockets were launched against Israel from Hezbollah launchers. Jews and Arabs are living underground in several Israeli population centers – civilians, even leftists and peaceniks. Indeed, the Defense Minister of Israel, who has defended these raids, is a union head from the Labor Party, the Party that always was first to object to excessive force during the Likud years. But this is a war for survival, and Israelis are standing united this time.
During WWII, America not only nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but beforehand strafed civilian populations like Dresden with conventional bombs. Russia in Afghanistan and Chechniya. China even against their own in Tiannamen Square. The French in Algiers, as their last piece of empire slipped away. Likewise, America shocked and awed Iraq twice with conventional air bombs that also killed civilian populations. Same in Afghanistan. There is no other way to fight terrorists, who stage photo opportunities for Western journalists to view their injured women and children, even as down-the-block they launch 180 rockets a day at Jewish women and children in Israel.
Finally, it is reported that Israel hit the civilian building in Qana at 1:00 a.m., while the building collapsed at approximately 8:00 a.m. – seven hours later. Theories abound as to why the building collapsed seven hours after it was bombed. Perhaps, its infrastructure was damaged and slowly gave way during a seven-hour period. Perhaps there were so many armaments in the building that the Israeli bombing set off a series of secondary explosions. Perhaps Hezbollah cleared out the building, then blew it up, then brought into it the deceased from prior days. The blogs are rampant with theories. Nor is it clear why so many people in a building that was bombed at 1:00 a.m. were still in the building seven hours later. Hezbollah says that many of the victims slept through the bombing. And it was only a decade ago that Saddam Hussein told the world that America had bombed and destroyed a baby milk factory. The bloggers don’t trust them.