Thursday, August 03, 2006

Qana Confusion

Outside of the mainstream media and the Liberal/Left, questions are still being asked about what happened at Qana. The initial claim that sixty were killed has now been downgraded- the current death toll is twenty eight. Which seems odd considering all the press busy taking photographs of the casualties being removed. Perhaps they got confused in their count by the constant parading of the dead children?

There are also questions about the timing of the building collapse. While the IDF maintains that there was a gap of some seven hours between the attack and the collapse, there are different reports from the inhabitants of the village-

Residents' accounts say only 10 minutes went by between the strike and the collapse.

Is that so? Because according to another story, also from Haaretz-

The survivors spoke of two bombings; one at 1 A.M., and the second some 10 minutes later. However, what appeared to the survivors as a second bombing may have been the sound of the building coming down. None of the survivors said that the building only collapsed several hours later.

Notice, the very leading "may have been". Yeah, it may have been the building coming down, or it could have been another strike- or an explosion of Hezbollah munitions within the building. None of the people there may have said that the building came down several hours later- but did they say it didn't? Supposition is all well and good but right now there seems to be too much confusion to make any definite claims. What does bother me is this meme which seems to be spreading-

Ibrahim Shalhoub described how he and his cousin had left to find help following the strike on the building. "It was dark and there was lots of smoke," he said. "No one could do anything until morning. I could not stop crying; I couldn't help them."

The fact that the Red Cross in Tyre was informed of the incident only in the morning is another reason why assistance was late in arriving. The director of the Red Cross office in the city, Sami Yazbek, said that he received word of the incident only at 7 A.M.

The implication is that the building was brought down by the airstrike but nothing could be done unitl morning. Interesting that the Red Cross didn't hear anything until 7 a.m. Sunrise in Lebanon occurs at about 5:50 a.m. And if Lebanon is anything like the other parts of the world that I've been too it will begin getting brighter before that. Amazingly enough too, there are also things which can create light- torches, candles, laterns, matches even. Surely some of these devices would have enabled people to notice that a large building had fallen down during the night, allowing them to alert the Red Cross?

Or perhaps Hezbollah had to get there first to arrange the site?

Whatever the facts of the matter are it's important to remember that the IAF are investigating what happened. Because the Israeli forces don't deliberately target women and children in their attacks. Perhaps errors were made and there were no Katyusha rockets being launched from next to that building- but that's the point, isn't it? Errors. It might turn out to be a ghastly mistake but, unlike Hezbollah and their ilk, those civilians weren't the target that Israel was trying to hit. It seems like an obvious thing to say and yet I still see so-called peace protestors marching around with Hezbollah flagsa draped across their shoulders- when Israel kills civilians during war, it is a mistake- when Hezabollah do the same, it is deliberate.

And yet still the "peace" activists denounce Israel.

UPDATE- The IDF investigation into the attack seems to be concluded-

Two missiles, the only one of which exploded, hit the building on July 30. The army said that they had operated according to information that "the building was not inhabited by civilians and was being used as a hiding place for terrorists." Had they known that civilians were in the building, the attack would not have been carried out.

No word on when the building came down and I'm sure we'll never have an independent investigation into the remains of the building itself to see just what was inside.

There is also this to consider-

Paul Conneally, the Irish national who is deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Israel and the Palestinian Authority and is the person assigned to deal with Lebanese matters, said he could not say exactly how many bodies were taken out and how many died there. He had no information about whether anyone had autopsied the bodies to determine the causes of death.

So, the Israelis thought the building was empty and that's why it was targeted. Will we ever know any more about the timeline of events at the building? What was inside? What was the exact cause of death of the children paraded before the world's press? Where were the men of the village? Are they Hezbollah? Why was help not called for when it might have done some good? Were there rocket launchers near the building at the time of the attack?

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