Spotlight on Israel's War Crimes - Cluster Bombs
Last summer, Israel unleashed a massive assault aimed, supposedly, against Hizbollah fighters. It was Lebanon's innocent civilians who paid the price... and it was a huge one. More Lebanese children died in the offensive than adult fighters; it is a despicable reality that everyone should feel the shame of. It will take billions of dollars and years for Lebanon to repair the physical damage (with the emotional damage likely to fuel a new generation of animosity). In fact, Lebanon lost all the economic and social progress it so painstakingly forged over the past dozen years; an outcome perhaps not lost on the Israeli cabinet.
While the rest of the world seems to have moved on after a momentary whimper of indignation, the US government looked into some of the practices of the Israeli army. Specifically, the US probed into the use by Israel of cluster bombs against civilians, behavior which is illegal under international law. It is estimated that Israel dropped over 4 million cluster bombs on Lebanon. Israel itself admits to 1 million. It is difficult to see how this can be justified against a few hundred Hizbollah fighters. It is even more difficult to find credible the Israeli claim that they were justified in dropping them on civilian neighborhoods.
Well, the verdict has come in and it seems that Israel will be declared guilty; small vindication to the hundreds who died in a brutal way.
Yet, the horror is not over for the Lebanese. Tens of thousands of intact bomblets still litter neighborhoods, farms and groves. As though this were not bad enough, upon exiting last summer, Israel also laid landmines across south Lebanon, according to the United Nations.
Now that it has been determined that Israel used these weapons illegally, will the world demand that it provide the resources to have these bombs removed so that they do not explode killing and maiming hundreds more?
Update: It seems that being associated with Israeli war crimes is not enough to stop the US military-industrial complex grind. IHT reports that Israel signed a $100 million deal with Boeing in Chicago to buy more bombs to "replenish" its stock depleted by the Lebanon onslaught. Go figure....