In another demonstration of iron restraint that BBC online reader Steve Gross (see below) would have to be proud of, Israeli armed forces have killed four UN personnel.
The attack was apparently deliberate and began with slow shelling of their postion and ended with a bomb or missile delivreed by a warplane. The UN monitors reportedly called their Israeli contacts a number of times pointing out they were not Hizbullah, but were eventually killed anyway.
UN rescuers were then attacked.
The Isreali government said that the killing was a mistake. Well, oops. The deadly munition was apparently a laser guided precision weapon not a dumb iron bomb. Sounds pretty deliberate to most people.
Ehud Olmert has said that he is prepared to accept a UN peacekeeping force in south Lebanon, but on the condition it is “robust”.
It now seems that “robust” means strong enough to defend itself from Israeli attacks.
Back in 1994, genocidal thugs in Rwanda decided that killing a number of UN peacekeepers would spark a general UN withdrawal, allowing them to get on with their ethnic killing spree undisturbed. Nine Belgian soldiers were butchered and the thugs were proved right.
Was the same thing going through Olmert’s head? Since the current UN summit in Italy does not include Israel, Syria or Iran — the main protagonists — it would seem that the scope for pretending to want a foreign buffer force is limitless.
Meanwhile, in marginally more peaceful Britain, Trades Unions and Labout MPs and all sorts of people have been protesting that Tory Blair has not condemned the Israeli offensive. Blair in his usual compassionately conservative way does not seem to give a toss.
Blair is turning the same deaf ear to the sixty-three percent of Britons who think he is far too cozy with George “the Butcher of Baghdad” Bush.