Thursday, July 20, 2006

Is It Really That Skewed?

News agencies have started to play Hezbollah as the victim of the Lebanon/Israeli War, since the civilian deaths are 148 to 12. However, key information is being omitted by the news, while other bits are emphasized.

Everyone knows that Israel has been bombing Lebanon and Hezbollah from the air with guided bombs, which unfortunately kill many civilians at the same time. And everyone knows that Hezbollah is firing rockets at Israel, but doesn't kill very many people.

But that's where the information stops. Let's dig a bit deeper, shall we. First, let's look at why Israel has not suffered much in the way of casualties, or collateral damage for that matter. Why?

Hezbollah is firing Soviet, WW2 era, unguided rockets, at their maximum range. These rockets are intended to be fired a couple miles for an area damage affect. Shooting those rockets into Israel is about like trying to hit a 1 inch target with a .22 from a mile away with no scope. You're lucky to get remotely close.
Hezbollah isn't "avoiding civilians," they're just not hitting anything because they really don't know what they're shooting at! And do you really think that if given the opportunity, that they wouldn't try to kill as many Jewish civilians as possible?

So now the next question, "Why is Israel killing so many civilians?" There are 2 answers to the question. The first thing they are doing is destroying the transport infrastructure of Lower Lebanon. This means bombing major intersections, bridges, and other things. Some of those are in civilian areas. Collateral damage can't be avoided, they can only minimize it. The other answer to the question is the fact that like many Arab guerrillas, the fighters hide in densely populated civilian areas. For example, 5 high profile leaders may be hiding out in an apartment complex that has 150 civilians. When those high profile members are killed by, say a 500 lb bomb, the Arab community cries foul for the deaths of the civilians.
A similar story is how Iraqi guerrillas would fire out the windows of mosques in Baghdad. Then when the Marines would return fire (only AFTER being fired upon) the Arab media would cry that Marines were desecrating a holy site.