Friday, July 28, 2006

Destruction of the UN outpost

Why did Israel continue to attack the area around the UN outpost in South Lebanon? Apparently the UN warned the IDF on 10 occasions that they were getting very close to destroying it. Eventually four UN Observers were killed. Kofi Annan was furious. The Israeli PM apologized. But this outpost was well sign posted. It was prominent. It had been there for about 30 years. Israel has very sophisticated weapons. Sorry, I just don't buy it as a mistake.

Reframe the question: why would the IDF want to destroy the UN outpost?

Possibility #1. Hezbollah were using the outpost as a shield. This would fit with what we are told about their tactics. It is said that they fire their rockets from civilian areas; that they store them in the basement car parks of apartment blocks; that they use schools, hospitals and mosques to hide behind. Why not a UN outpost?

Possibility #2. The UN was complicit in the Hezbollah attacks. One of the UN soldiers was from China. The rockets are purportedly made in Iran from a Chinese design.

Possibility #3. The IDF are not as good as their reputation suggests. Like the US army they have become too reliant on technology. If NASA can make an error in putting a satellite on one of Saturn's moons, surely laser guided bombs can hit the wrong target. After all did not the US 'mistakenly' take out the Chinese embassy in Belgrade?

I take no sides over this. On the whole 'cock-up' is to be preferred to 'conspiracy'. But perhaps conspirators take advantage of that.

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