Saturday, October 28, 2006

Let's Split the Difference

Michael Ignatieff has caught hell from some Jewish Liberals and the larger Jewish-Canadian community for branding the Israeli bombardment of the village of Qana a war crime. They contend that Israel was only defending itself from a terrorist assault and they absolutely love Little Stevie who panders to them shamelessly.

Was Qana a war crime? Well, a lot of civilians were killed and it seems that Israel really wasn't too fussy about who or where it struck.

It strikes me as odd that a nation that supposedly held the absolute moral high ground in this war would be so dishonest about the way it waged that battle. Israel was alleged to have used cluster bombs. At first they denied it, then they admitted it. Israel was alleged to have used white phospherous shells. At first they denied it, then they admitted it. Now Israel is said to have used radioactive weapons in Lebanon. This time they're simply saying "no comment."

Were these war crimes? You would need to know a lot more about the circumstances in which these weapons were used to come to any conclusion. I just don't know. Here's something I do know; no matter that Hezbollah sparked this conflict and no matter that Hezbollah indiscriminately rocketed Israel throughout, what Hezbollah did in no way exempts Israel from blame and outrage at what they also did.

Maybe these weren't war crimes. Why don't we split the difference and call them something that unquestionably fits. Let's call them atrocities. That's what they were. There, doesn't that make the whole thing so much better?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Look, I'm lebanese and Ignatieff offends me. A leader should unite, not divide. The man lacks a moral compass, and will say whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear. I watched him do this during the pre-race cocktail party circuit and I went from smitten to horrified.

I'm tired of Ignatieff supporters trying to convince me that Israel did commit war crimes, or trying to convince me that Quebec is a nation. They can't seem to understand that that is not the point. A true leader can express unpopular positions because he or she believes that the truth must be told. This is different than popularity-mogering, deliberately divisive, language and strategy.

Those of us who dislike Ignatieff believe that he is too enamoured with being clever to be the solid, uniting, statesmanlike leader that our country needs.

This is not a person who would make an intelligent decision about leading Canada to war.