Wednesday, July 26, 2006

UN Harbors Terrorists

From Canoe, an article on the bombing of a UN outpost by Israeli forces.

UN observers in Lebanon telephoned the Israeli military 10 times in six hours to
ask it to stop shelling near their position before an Israeli attack destroyed their border outpost, killing four observers and sparking widespread international anger with Israel.
"Sparking widespread international anger..."

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that stories of terrorists blowing up civilians, terrorists testing Israel's resolve by demanding the exchange of hundreds of prisoners for two kidnapped soldiers, nations knowingly harboring terrorists and countries providing terrorists with weaponry (the list goes on and on) speaking of "sparking widespread international anger" are stories in short supply.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed "deep regret" for the deaths and
dismay over UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's accusation that Tuesday's attack
on the observation post in Khiam, near the eastern end of the border with Israel, was "apparently deliberate."


Annan's a real diplomat here. With a reputation of being anti-Israel to begin with, he certainly helps the situation by jumping to the conclusion that the attack was deliberate. Way to throw a little fuel on the fire there, Kofi. Considering the wuss-like approach the UN takes to almost every other conflict there is, Annan seems to be throwing out fighting words.

He [Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper] also wants to know why the post was still manned by UN observers even though it was in the middle of a war zone.

"We want to find out why this United Nations post was attacked and also why it remained manned during what is now, more or less, a war during obvious danger to these individuals."


So, there's a chance the place wasn't supposed to be manned in the first place? Is there any real reason the UN should remain directly in the path of battle as observers? They aren't refs. Nobody's checking for up-close fouls. Observing can be done from a distance. They have something called binoculars now.

Of course, there's always a chance that the Israelis simply chose to drop bombs in an area only because the UN was there. But wait!

"We did repeatedly in recent days say (to Israel) that this was an exposed
position, that Hezbollah militants were 500 metres away shielding themselves
near UN workers and civilians," UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said. "That's
why it is so inexplicable that what happened happened."

The UN knows Hezbollah is using the supposed safety of a UN-marked building? They don't do anything about it? They knowingly shield terrorists?

Finally...

Officials in the outpost called the Israeli army 10 times during those six
hours, and each time an army official promised to have the bombing stopped,
according to a preliminary UN report on the incident, which was shown to an
Associated Press reporter.

Once it became clear those pleas were being ignored, the force's commander sought the involvement of top officials in New York, a senior UN official in New York said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation of the incident was not yet complete.


Bureaucracy at its finest. You're being shot at in Lebanon and you call New York for direction?
I think someone needs to re-think the process. I also think that an organization which hasn't put enough planning into how to get its people out of a warzone may not be in the best position to determine world policy.

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