Monday, July 24, 2006

And when the children grow up?

A few hours ago I posted about Israel's apparent policy of bombing refugees attempting to flee their attacks. Now the New York Times has published a horrific article of another such incident. The Shaito family were holed up in their village of Tireh trying to escape the air assaults. They wanted to flee but were terrified to do so. Finally they were so terrified that they decided to follow the orders from Israel and leave the area.

The family and an employee got into their minivan and headed for Beirut where they hoped they would be safe. They flew a white flag from the vehicle to signal they were non-combatants. But apparently Israel, like Bush, has reserved the right to call anyone a combatant as they see fit. It appears that an Israeli helicopter fired a rocket into the vehicle and into the family. Three members of the family were murdered immediately: an uncle, the grandmother, and the employee. Israel is safer today. It killed another grandmother.

Another uncle, Musbah Shaito, said: "They said leave, and that's what we did. This is what we got for listening to them." The "them" is Israel.

The paper reported that ambulance drivers for the Red Cross "complained about narrowly avoiding Israeli fire themselves..."

In nearby Mansoureh two families, named Suroor and Zabad, attempted to flee to Tyre. The Zabads saw a wonded man on the road and stopped to pick him up. Later they came across two other men who had been attacked riding motorcycles and picked them up. Israel sent a missle into the family's sedan. Father Mohammed was killed as ws another relative. Eight-year-old Mahmoud was severely burned and his two brothers and sister were wounded.

The Zabads drove past the Suroors and headed for a hospital hoping for safety. Israel attacked these refugees as well. A missile narrowly missed their car but set it on fire. If you look at this photo from the New York Times you will see the faces of two of the children from the Shaito family. The attack on them is another blow for the war on terror. That is until these children grow up, remember what Israel did to them, and join Hezbollah.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the number of civilian casualties is so high that mass graves are being dug to handle the bodies. In Tyre: " The government hospital had run out of room for human remains by Friday. More than 100 bomb-wrecked bodies were already crammed into poorly refrigerated container trucks, and more corpses were pouring in daily." It tells of another convoy of refugees callously attacked by Israel. "Soubiha Abdullah... had come to indentify and bury 24 members of her family, including her sister and her sister's nine childre. They died trying to escape village: Israeli planes had attacked the road as they drove."

Qasim Chaalan of the Red Cross says that the number of deaths are far higher than reported as many victims are still buried beneath bombed out buildings. Firemen have the rescue equipment but won't go in the area for fear of Israeli attacks. Chaalan says one of their ambulances was targeted by an Israeli missle as well.

As one trench filled with the dead is filled with earth an old man looks at the coffins and yells: "This is what Bush wants! This is what this dog wants. It's full of children."

An Israeli official at their embassy in Washington said "We have been using precision-guided munitions in order to neutralize the military capabilities of Hezbollah and to minimize harm to civilians." This explains a series of attacks on refugee convoys. If, as this official claims, they are using "precision-guided" weapons the attacks could only be intentional. Meanwhile the Lebanese media is reporting that the US has taken the unusual step of rushing more bombs to Israel when Israel requested them.

It isn't enough that America is supplying the bombs. It isn't enough that America hands Israel billions every year to wage these attacks. Now the drones in the US Congress get involved and pass a resolution supporting the attacks. A resolution supporting Israel's attacks was supported by a vote of 410 to eight. Congressman Ron Paul, one of the few to oppose the resolution said: "The policy of interventionism, which I object to, really doesn't work. It is well intended, and we have these grandiose plans and schemes to solve the problems of the world, but if you are really honest with yourself and you look at the success and failure, it doesn't have a good record."

In a speech before the House Paul quoted from Ronald Reagan's autobiography. Reagan had sent troops to Lebanon and a suicide bomber destroyed the barracks of the Marines killing 241 Americans. The attack caused Reagan to reconsider his policy. He wrote: "In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believe the last thing that we should do was turn tail and leave. Yet the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking of policy before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that policy had changed towards more of a neutral position and neutrality, those 241 marines would be alive today."

Congressman Paul said: "
There is nothing wrong with considering the fact that we don't have to be involved in every single fight. That was the conclusion that Ronald Reagan came to, and he was not an enemy of Israel. He was a friend of Israel. But he concluded that that is a mess over there. Let me just repeat those words that he used. He said, he came to the conclusion, 'The irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there.' I believe these words are probably more valid now even than when they were written."