This is how the world sees the Israeli Defense Force's killing of 55 civilians including 27 children in a shelter.
We Americans have to understand how the world sees us. Such imagery is generally suppressed in our own media.
Israel has paused decided to pause its air strikes for 48 hours so it can investigate what happened. Very possibly they'll come back to the world saying they gave 72 hours warning before bombing the area, dropped leaflets, and Hezbollah had their rockets positioned nearby, "hiding" it among civilians.
I don't think it would even matter were that all true. Billmon has a compelling strategic analysis of the situation:
Consider: The Israelis say they reserve the right to break the deal if they "learn that attacks are being prepared against them." But as long as Hizbullah keeps launching rockets, the IDF will have plenty of leeway to go on doing what it's been doing -- trying to plink rocket sites. And if a few truck convoys or newly discovered Hizbullah bunkers are also taken out? Well, they, too, were "preparing attacks." So nothing really changes.
On the other hand, if Hizbullah stops its rocket attacks, then the Israelis won't have an excuse. They really will have to observe an aerial cease fire, allowing Hizbullah to get on with its resupply. And a resupplied Hizbullah would be an even more formidable Hizbullah.
Common sense and a surfeit of liberal humanism would dictate that the Bush/Cheney Administration would be seeking some sort of peaceful resolution to the crisis, even if they're as tardy off the blocks as they were with Hurricane Katrina. Josh Marshall, however, persuades otherwise:
Israel is trying to assure Damascus that they don't plan or want to expand the war to include Syria. Syria is clearly worried that they will and has their troops on full alert. Israel is also warning in no uncertain terms that Syria getting involved will spark massive retaliation.
But there are persistent signs that the US is egging Israel on to bring the war to Damascus.
Here's a clip from the end of an article today in the Jerusalem Post ...
[Israeli]Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the United States that the US would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria.
Josh is hooked into D.C. and explains:
But there do appear to be forces in Washington -- seemingly the stronger ones, with Rice just a facade -- who see this whole thing as an opportunity for a grand call of double or nothing to get out of the disaster they've created in the region. Go into Syria, maybe Iran. Try to roll the table once and for all. No failed war that a new war can't solve. Condi's mindless 'birth pangs' remark wasn't just a gaffe -- or perhaps it was a gaffe in the Kinsleyan sense of inopportunely saying what you really think. That seems to be the thinking -- transformation through destabilization.
At the end of the article he links to a prescient piece he wrote way back in April 2003, when the war was young, and then "Undersecretary of State John Bolton told Israeli officials that after defeating Iraq, the United States would 'deal with' Iran, Syria, and North Korea."
Is our civilian military leadership literally in a parallel universe and slightly deranged? Are the neocon ideologists bloodthirsty and insane? Have they just "always been wrong about everything?"
With even Chris Matthews having come around on how disastrous Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all the neocon plans have gone, maybe Diebold and the GOP will finally be defeated in three months. It's why no matter the distraction, including W. and crew igniting WWIII, it is so crucial that there be an electoral turnover of the House and Senate on November 7th.
Two weeks from now, on Tuesday the 8th, CT will have a chance to deny nomination to one of Bush's most unrepentant enablers in the Senate.
Here's today's dab of hope.
Get sane, America.