Monday, May 28, 2007

ORFTORFU at Nahr al-Bared

Well, this will be quick. Spot the difference.

1.

A militant group hostile to Israel, armed to the teeth and not under the orders or control of the Lebanese Army (or apparently subject to Lebanese law), whose presence was not just informally tolerated but subject to explicit arrangements by the host government despite the destabilising nature of such a group, finally does enough to provoke an attack on it.

The army goes in heavily, rains down artillery bombardments, hermetically seals and enters densely-populated civilian areas in armoured vehicles and fires pretty indiscriminately, fails to achieve any of its objectives, and causes the deaths of over 100 people on all sides in the space of 2 weeks, in an area the size of a small town.


2.

A militant group hostile to Israel, armed to the teeth and not under the orders or control of the Lebanese Army (or apparently subject to Lebanese law), whose presence was not just informally tolerated but subject to explicit arrangements by the host government despite the destabilising nature of such a group, finally does enough to provoke an attack on it.

The army goes in heavily, makes targeted air and artillery bombardments, enters densely-populated civilian areas on foot and advances house-to-house, having pre-warned the locals to leave, still fails to achieve any of its objectives. The conflict causes the deaths of over 1000 people on all sides in the space of 6 weeks, in an area the size of a small country.


The difference is that in the first scenario, the cause was a bank robbery and a couple of other local acts of thuggery, but the operation was carried out by an Arab government, whilst in the second, the cause was a barrage of rockets aimed at civilians in a neighbouring country, the response from which the world condemned as disproportionate, criminal etc.

The most telling quote (I am looking for the source so I paraphrase for the moment) was a Palestinian man inside Nahr al-Bared, who said something like "This is a terrible crime, they are murdering us by firing indiscriminately at the whole camp. At least when the Israelis attack us, they actually target their enemies."

If he gets it, why don't the media, the bloody NGOs etc? I say the media should either report this in the same terms, or just stay the hell away from the area altogether.

ORFTORFU.

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