Battlepanda: No more Air Conditioning for you, naughty Lebanese!


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

No more Air Conditioning for you, naughty Lebanese!

According to retired Israeli army Col. Gal Luft, the goal of the campaign is to "create a rift between the Lebanese population and Hezbollah supporters." The message to Lebanon's elite, he said, is this: "If you want your air conditioning to work and if you want to be able to fly to Paris for shopping, you must pull your head out of the sand and take action toward shutting down Hezbollah-land."

Yes, I know that it's a retired Colonel speaking, but it does that Israel is letting the fig-leaf of hitting strategic Hezbollah targets which just so happened to contain civilians slip. If you substitute "normal life to continue" for "air conditioning to work" and "live without fear of being incinerated by an Israeli missile" for "fly to Paris for shopping", you've probably got a pretty clean, bald statement of the Israeli mission. We have a not-nice word for people who inflict death and misery on random civilians to accomplish their goals.

The Israelis have always claimed that something fundamental separated them from their enemies -- that there is something especially loathsome about the suicide bomber because his actions were focused on killing and spreading fear among civilians. I now no longer see this bright, clean line. Sure, the Israelis will drop some leaflets telling civilians not to be in the area before bombing them, even as they attempt to flee their homes. They're careful to raise the theoretical possibility that every single target they hit could have contained a Hezbollah hiding among complicit civilians. But if it is their stated goal to hurt the Lebanese until they cry uncle, those theoretical possibilities are just elaborate exercises in hypocritical Cover-Your-Ass. As for cloaking the destruction of a country in euphemisms like "fly to Paris for shopping", that is nothing short of obscene.