October 12, 2006

The Reality of War

In war innocent people die.

Hezbollah targets civilians and must be, and always has been, condemned.

In the Qana attack/tragedy, innocent people died. Was it intentional on the government of Israel to kill civilians? That is for a court to decide.

If the Israeli army did not know civilians were in that position, it is not a war crime.

If they did not care because it was a Hezbollah position anyway, I would say it is a war crime.

I would suggest there is NO evidence to show Israeli forces knowingly knew civilians were in the area.

Did the Allies commit a War Crime when they firebombed Dresden or when the Americans nuked Hiroshima? The good guys sometimes play dirty too. War makes people do very bad things sometimes. Sometimes war must be fought with war. Our goal as humanitarians is to try and preserve the rights of all people. We try not to break the rules ourselves in doing so. Humanity is not perfect. We should keep that in mind at the start.

Here is Ignatieff’s response to the hoo-ha that has ensued after Sunday’s assertion.

I am using his words as they describe what he feels much better that I can say it myself.

For Lebanese and Jewish Canadians, the recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was traumatic, as we watched innocent civilians on all sides being killed in Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

I have lived in Israel, taught in Israel, and have been a lifelong friend of Israel. If my friendship on occasion involves criticism, it is because this is the truest form of friendship.

Israelis live under the constant threat posed by Hezbollah, and its backers Iran and Syria, who continue to wrongly deny Israel’s right to exist. The denial of Israel’s right to exist is unconscionable and must stop. This summer, Hezbollah tried to lure Israel into a regional conflict to cause Israel to lose its remaining international support. It did not succeed.

As I’ve previously stated, I strongly supported Israel’s right to respond to Hezbollah’s provocation and to send the terrorist militia a very clear message that kidnapping soldiers and firing rockets on Israel will never be tolerated. Canada cannot be equivocal on this issue. In a conflict between a terrorist militia and a democratic state, Canada must always side with the democratic state. Israel has an unequivocal right to defend itself against unprovoked attacks and the international community must support that right.

There are injustices in every war where civilians are brought into the centre of the conflict, and the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was no different. I believe that Qana was a terrible human tragedy where innocent civilians died in a conflict that saw unjustified tragedies on all sides. For this reason, I have always been a vocal supporter for a peaceful solution to tensions in the Middle East. There are no further military solutions in this region.

The only long term solution is a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, with an independent Lebanon, in which Israel can live peacefully without threat of attack from its neighbours, who must recognize Israel’s right to exist.

I deeply regret the decision that Susan Kadis has made today, and I continue to consider her a close friend and respected colleague.

8 Commentaires:

Blogger Double Infidel a dit...

It's easier to like Ig when he sticks to his guns. How about 'yes it was a war crime, like I said, and here is why'...

Perhaps we'll get used to this style of 'leadership' in time, i.e. telling the pure laine whatever they want to hear about Israel or the Constitution in french, then doing the damage control routine in english. Works for me.

10/12/2006 3:07 a.m.  
Blogger PhillyC a dit...

just admit he gaffed and it cost him

10/12/2006 3:25 a.m.  
Blogger fragmunt a dit...

Isn't it tiring, watching everyone fall over themselves to fling political correctness with the lead, "Israel has the right.....".
Iggy was right and it's long past the time for truth in the middle east so throw those shoulders back and carry on. There will be no public backlash on this one ...... except perhaps from Jason Kenny who will likely be little more than flabbergasted again.

10/12/2006 7:42 a.m.  
Blogger grit heart a dit...

Self-inflicted wound.

Needs better advice.

10/12/2006 11:04 a.m.  
Blogger Gavin Neil a dit...

No indication that they knowingly knew? Do you think you have to prove that a pilot saw people waving white flags from the windows before you can determine intent?

Try this, when you target a civilian apartment building in a pupulated village well inside the borders of a foreign state, ytou can pretty much assume that there are civilians there. If they can prove that the diligently researched and determined that there were likley to be no civilians there, then they can negative the intent. Otherwise it's a war crime.

Incidentally, while I agree, I think Iggy was an idiot to say so and i can't believe he's leading this race.

10/12/2006 1:46 p.m.  
Blogger Gavin Neil a dit...

PS, if there were no civilians there, it's because IDF action had already driven them out. So relying on that excuse puts you from the war crime pot into the genocide fire, and I don't hink anyone wants to go there.

10/12/2006 1:48 p.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

What a change in tone!
After Ignatieff supporters went on and on about how great his appearance on Tout le monde en parle was, someone in the English media checked the translation and did a double take - Did he really say that about Israel?
Face it, this guy is loose cannon!
I'm tired of the continual damage control.
This is beginning to hurt not just Ignatieff but the Liberal Party as a whole.

10/12/2006 6:01 p.m.  
Blogger Manitoba Liberal a dit...

Once again Ignatieff shows that he is the Stockwell Day of the Liberal Party, just because he's an intellectual does not mean he is not fucking stupid.

As Orwell said, somethings are so dumb that only an intelectual could belive them.

10/12/2006 11:22 p.m.  

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