The "international community" and the MSM and Muslim media is focusing obsessively on the question of civilian casualties [only Muslim casualties, you understand]. Here's a big reason for those casualties. These are Hiz'bullah "soldiers" ready for action, dressed in civvies, operating in the middle of a residential area, hoping to draw Israeli fire, and ready to blend into the local population at a moment's notice.
Chris Link, in the Australian Herald Sun, writes:
THIS is the picture that damns Hezbollah. It is one of several, smuggled from behind Lebanon's battle lines, showing that Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia.
The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.
Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.
The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were taken by a visiting journalist and smuggled out by a friend.
Read the whole thing here. [emphasis mine]
Note, these damning pictures of Islamic jihadis were taken in a Christian neighborhood and had to be "smuggled out" of Lebanon.
There are more pictures here.
Captain Ed writes:
When people complain about the civilian death toll in Lebanon, we need to remember why it has been as high as it has been. Lebanon and the UN allowed Hezbollah to use civilians as human shields for their rocket launchers and anti-aircraft batteries. The Israelis have little choice but to target Hezbollah's offensive assets, and that makes the collateral civilian damage the responsibility of the terrorists and their enablers.Jonah Goldberg writes:
It really just says what we all knew, and there are only three photos. But when you see Hezbollah "soldiers" dressed like mechanics and day laborers, you can see how attuned to the media Hezbollah really is and how messy this conflict is.Allahpundit writes:
no one doubts that Israel killed the civilians in Qana accidentally while targeting terrorists, whereas, on the other hand, Hezbollah has launched hundreds of rockets into Israel for the sole and express purpose of killing civilians. Yet where is the outrage against Hezbollah? Why is it that Kofi Annan swings into action only to denounce Israel and to promote the course that Hezbollah wants, namely a time-out so that it can rebuild its terrorist infrastructure?He also notes that several hours passed between the air strikes and the collapse of the building and wonders why.
Commentary on the news shows was unanimous. This is the turning point where Israel lost the public relations battle and therefore the war.
The question is, whether Israel's political class is as lily-livered as our own. I suspect not. And no matter how much the US tries to pressure Israel, it is not clear that we can force them to quit attacking. That won't stop the loons form blaming all of this on Bush.
Tacitus has an interesting, and sensible, commentary on the entire question of collateral damage:
The news this morning brings word of a massacre of children in Lebanon at the hands of the IAF. There is no other word for it: they were asleep, and now they are dead. It is a profound tragedy, an unspeakable horror, and a wrenching consequence of war. It is also, contrary to what you will hear in the coming days, utterly irrelevant to the justice of the Israeli cause, and meaningless to the need for a ceasefire.
The notion that civilians do not die in war is a new and absurd concept: it was not terribly long ago that they were not merely expected to, but meant to. The modern concept of civilian slaughter-as-tactic (or even strategy) was born in the minds of airpower visionaries like Giulio Douhet, and brought to fruition by the likes of "Bomber" Harris and Curtis Le May. (The premodern concept of the same was simply a feature of warfare from time immemorial.) The Second World War saw the maximum application of this concept: and if, postwar, men shrank from it, they did not therefore shrink from that cause, or their belief in the justice of the victors. Let us further note that those who did raise their voices against "area bombing" in the six decades since raised them against that per se -- the intentional slaughter of civilians as such. They did not and do not protest, for example, the appalling slaughter of French civilians from the air in the
campaign. Nor should they. There is a difference between murder and manslaughter; war is war; and the Allies were forced by military necessity in a fight against a barbarous foe. Most who think about this -- and they are admittedly few -- understand this. Normandy
What a pity that this measure of sanity is abandoned where
is concerned. Israel
David Bernstein, quoting the NYT in the Volokh Conspiracy, illustrates just how utterly despicable these "freedom fighters" are.
Read it here.
[F]or some of the Christians who had made it out in this convoy, it was not just privations they wanted to talk about, but their ordeal at the hands of Hezbollah — a contrast to the Shiites, who make up a vast majority of the population in southern Lebanon and broadly support the militia.
"Hezbollah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets," said Fayad Hanna Amar, a young Christian man, referring to his village. "They are shooting from between our houses." ... Mr. Amar said Hezbollah fighters in groups of two and three had come into Ain Ebel, less than a mile from Bint Jbail, where most of the fighting has occurred. They were using it as a base to shoot rockets, he said, and the Israelis fired back.
One woman, who would not give her name because she had a government job and feared retribution, said Hezbollah fighters had killed a man who was trying to leave Bint Jbail.
“This is what’s happening, but no one wants to say it” for fear of Hezbollah, she said.
Note, these Islamic jihadists are not defending their own territories. They move into Christian neighborhoods, set up their guns, hold the local population hostage, use them as human shields, and then try to attract Israeli fire.Some heroes....