Monday, July 24, 2006

Israel pushes US for more bombs.

The BBC has published reports on the tactics being used by the Israeli government which ought to disgust anyone committed to western liberal values. The Israeli forces are attacking convoys of refugees attempting to flee the attacks.

One such convoy left the village of Aitaroun heading for refuge in Tyre. It was three cars containing children and old people. The first car was first destroyed by Israeli air strikes. The other two cars tried to escape but the second was destroyed by an Israeli missile. Remember that Israel has the ability to pick specific cars and destroy them. These are not accidents. These are intentional attacks. Israel has no reason to assume the cars contain anyone who has attacked Israel.

The family in the third car fled on foot only to be pursued by Israeli planes that dropped bombs on them. The grandmother from the family was killed and. A young girl, her mother and her grandfather were injured. Strike a blow for the war on terror.

A doctor told the BBC that Israel is bombing any vehicle that moves closing the road to ambulances which can't help the civilians wounded by these attacks. It was reported the Rmeich, a Christian village was also bombed. Yet Israel claims the attacks are against Hezbollah, a Muslim group unlikely to be in a Christian village. The city of Sidon has never before been attacked by Israel so it acted like a magnet attracting refugess seeking safety. This time Israel attacked this city after 42,000 refugees sought safety there.

Jan Egeland, the UN chief for emergency relief says he was shocked by the extent of civilian damage inflicted by Israeli attacks. He says that "block after block" of civilians housing was destroyed in the attacks and that the attacks are a "disproportionate response" and in "violation of international humanitarian law." He says that they need safe access to help refugees but that Israel is refusing to provide it. UK Foreign Minister Kim Howells said that Israel is targeting "the entire Lebanese nation."

Israel has warned people to leave villages but destroyed surrounding roads making it difficult for the refugees to get out before further attacks. Meanwhile Israel is pressuring the Bush regime to speed up the delivery of more bombs, bombs they "purchase" with several billion dollars in internationl welfare from the US government which they receive every year! Total US aid to Israel over the years is hard to calculate as much of it is hidden in various programs but it is safe to say that it now totals over $100 billion. This is a primary reason that when Israel attacks refugee convoys that anger gets directed at America. About half the funds taken from US taxpyers is used directly to finance weapons, including weapons of mass destruction. Israeli groups spend over $15 million per year to lobby the US Congress to press for more hand outs.

Economist Alvin Rabushka, of the Hoover Institution, has pointed out that this aid also pushes Israel down a socialist path, something that is directly harming Israelis. He notes that the massive welfare payment "has supplied between 10 and 15 percent of Israel’s gross domestic product and has amounted to the equivalent of some 20 percent of government spending. This sum is sufficient to bail out or prop up every money-losing socialist institution in the country, provide hefty pay raises for government employees, and even leave some money left over for investment." He believes that aid has lowered Israeli economic growth and made everyone poorer. It certainly has made Americans poorer.

Hezbollah will no doubt be hurt by these attacks militarily in the short run while only increasing public support for them. But any harm to the group will be temporary as Israeli attacks on civilians will replenish the ranks of Hezbollah with new recruits. The attacks will weaken the Lebanese government, one of the few in the area that is sympathetic to the US. And America will face increased hatred from the Arab population of the world for funding this assault. Like the pathetically planned and incompetently carried out invasion of Iraq what Israel is doing now will only make the situation worse.