It is in the nature of resistance movements and insurgencies to insituate themselves among and, when considered necessary, use civilians as human shields in fighting their enemy.
Why do they do it? They do it because it f**king works. Just like it's always worked, from generation to generation. The only surprise in it is why we always show such surprise and indignation when it happens. It's not like we don't know they're going to do it and it's not like we don't know that we'll ignore all that and go after them with heavy firepower anyway.
It's what we do. They count it. It's how they goad us into doing their job for them. It's how they use us to extinguish the voice of any moderates within their own ranks.
Look at it this way. If you're living in an undefended village and the insurgents move in and the government side, finding them there, employs its heavy firepower to take them out and your kids wind up dead, do you embrace the Michael Ignatieff mentality and blame the insurgents or do you blame the side that sent those bombs that snuffed out your childrens' lives? I damn well know who I'd set out to kill, where I'd look to take my revenge. And so do you.
So, yes, they use human shields. We can't change that so all we can do is weigh our options on how we'll respond. We don't have to kill the hostages. Killing them only makes life worse for us. It only makes life better for our adversaries. They get a dividend every time we whack one of their innocent civilians and we arrogantly keep paying that dividend.
So - until we can change the dynamic where they can exploit civilians as human shields - maybe it would be an idea not to let them collect dividends from us for it.
Either commit enough resources so they can't exploit innocents as human shields or find other opportunities to attach them when those innocents aren't in play. C'mon, do the math. You don't get many propositions more obvious than that. It all begins with the idea that you don't waste your time, effort and resources on activities that are self-defeating. Believe it or not, there was a day when people didn't need that explained to them.
I'm coming to wonder whether there aren't a lot of nasties on both sides who've come to gain a vested interest in keeping the carnage mill turning.
My heart sank today when I read Michael Ignatieff's comments unequivocally supporting Israel's actions in Gaza and, worse, blaming the fallout entirely on Hamas. That's like blaming the neighbour's kid for your own child's truancy.
I had been willing to give Ignatieff the benefit of the doubt that his early support for the conquest of Iraq was a "mistake" from which he'd learned better. I don't believe that at all any more, not in the slightest. The business he so fiercely endorsed went into the crapper and he ran for cover. It's that same mentality that we're seeing today in his unquestioning, unequivocal support for Israeli actions in Gaza. Notice how Iggy is quick to blame, chooses to ignore the history behind this conflict, its roots, and adopts a pure black/white scenario. Thank God the Americans finally have someone better than that.
Cherniak might as well remove me from Liblogs. I'm just not that comfortable here any more. I wish I could switch my support left or right but that's not it. I belong where I am, I just don't belong in an Ignatieff Liberal Party of Canada.