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Lebanon: Cold Calculus

August 10, 2006

Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon, responds to charges that Israel is targeting civilians in Lebanon:

I think reality on the ground speaks for itself. And the reality on the ground is that they target civilians and we target Hezbollah. The fact that Hezbollah is embedded among Lebanese civilians is a problem. [Emphasis added.] [Democracy Now!: Israeli Ambassador Grilled on Targeting of Civilians, Use of Cluster Bombs and Other War Crimes in Lebanon]

The numbers:

(In Lebanon) At least 689 have been killed — including 605 civilians confirmed dead by the Health Ministry, 29 Lebanese soldiers and at least 55 Hezbollah guerrillas. [Associated Press: Casualties in Lebanon-Israel fighting]

And:

(In Israel) Authorities said 101 have been killed, including 65 soldiers and 36 civilians. [Ibid.]

Is there a moral equivalence between a group that targets another group but kills hundreds of civilians; and a group that deliberately targets civilians but is really bad at it?

And how ironic is it that a group that deliberately targets civilians kills soldiers at almost a 2 to 1 rate?

Maybe it’s all a bragging rights thing… If our side targets guerrillas and kills 55; and the other side is targeting civilians and kills 36 — our side wins! If the other side is targeting civilians and kills 36; well fuck, our side’ll show you how the fuck it’s done! BLADOW! 605, motherfucker!

Look, the only way our side comes up on the short end of the stick when you stack all this shit up, is if the other side deliberately targets soldiers and kills 65; while our side targets guerrillas and kills 55.

ERROR: DOES NOT COMPUTE

Nah, that doesn’t make any sense at all!

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