July 27, 2006

When States Make War, Everyone Is Finally Presumed Guilty

I will have a lot more to say about these issues in the next several days; the terrible heatwave here in Southern California has put me almost entirely out of commission, particularly given my already existing health problems. But in an upcoming essay, I will analyze Alan Dershowitz's recent, extraordinarily dangerous article, as well as several other related pieces.

For the moment, let us note the inevitable consequences of views like Dershowitz's -- which are, in fact, the necessary endpoint of the views of much of our foreign policy and military establishments, as well as those of Israel. From the BBC:
Foreign ministers from key countries - including the US, Britain and regional powers - attended emergency talks on the crisis in Rome on Wednesday.

They did not call for an immediate ceasefire, vowing instead to work with the "utmost urgency" for a sustainable truce.

"We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world... to continue the operation," Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said.

Mr Ramon - a close confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - said "everyone understands that a victory for Hezbollah is a victory for world terror".

He said that in order to prevent casualties among Israeli soldiers battling Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon, villages should be flattened by the Israeli air force before ground troops moved in.

He added that Israel had given the civilians of southern Lebanon ample time to quit the area and therefore anyone still remaining there could be considered a Hezbollah supporter.

"All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah," Mr Ramon said.
I came upon this story via Jim Bovard, who adds:
Ramon made these comments on Israeli Army radio. He was apparently not asked about the IDF's practice of blowing up the cars full of civilians fleeing south Lebanon.

Ramon has made stark the standards that the Israelis are using, and there is no excuse for any American politician or citizen to continue denying that the Israelis are intentionally targeting civilians en masse.

Bush again embraced Israel's effort in Lebanon today - even after the Justice Minister's comments.
By the way, if you haven't yet read Bovard's two books on the numerous crimes of the Bush administration, you ought to:

The Bush Betrayal

Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil

I just remembered I don't have his latest book myself:

Attention Deficit Democracy

So I added it to my Wishlist.

P.S. I should note that our own history is replete with examples of this kind of inhumanity -- perhaps most unforgivably in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

P.P.S. Read Billmon. Now, please.