The truth about Qana is slowly unfolding, as are the repercussions.
Via Airborne Combat Engineer, EU Referendum has three posts that expose the cynicism and mendacity of Hezbollah's claims about the attack. Two -- here and here -- follow the exploits of a shadowy figure who seems to appear whenever photographers need a shot of a dead child staged. They also breakdown the photos coming out of Qana to show the elaborate lengths to which Hezbollah went to present the destruction to the media. All links are extremely graphic.
To me, all this points to one conclusion: Hezbollah hoped this would happen eventually. Once it occurred, they followed a plan. There is even a blog devoted to the attack. There was nothing spontaneous in the media coverage, which lends credence to the suggestions -- described at Confederate Yankee here and here -- that the IDF was responsible for the missile strike, but Hezbollah was responsible for the civilian deaths and the coverage they received (also via A-C-E). The allegations against only grow more ghastly:
A French language Lebanese publication, citing an unnamed source in Hezbollah, has claimed that the organization placed a rocket launcher on the roof of the notorious building in Qana to provoke an Israeli attack and brought invalid children inside to serve as victims and blacken Israel's name.
The diplomatic efforts towards a cease fire have broken down. The President of the EU has absorbed Hezbollah's propaganda. Efforts by the European Union to make a joint call for a cease fire failed, however.
The French and Iranian foreign ministers met in Beirut, a curious location given the widespread destruction we've seen on the news, unless of course the media has been exaggerating. French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said something that indicates including the French in any peacekeeping force would be a disaster for Israel: "In the region there is of course a country such as Iran - a great country, a great people and a great civilization which is respected and which plays a stabilizing role in the region." Apparently, in France, starting a war is stabilizing, defending yourself is de-stabilizing. The French should stick to cookery.
Meanwhile, an influential Iranian cleric is calling on the Muslim world to arm Hezbollah.
Israel is taking precisely the opposite tack as they did in 1996, when a similar event in Qana effectively ended Operation Grapes of Wrath. Rather than pull back, they have expanded operations. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert even believes that Israel is winning this war.
Lebanon.Profile has an extended essay about the complexity of Lebanese politics. The gist, and it deserves a full read, is that a Lebanese may simultaneously support Hezbollah and yet still want peace with Israel. See also Michael Totten.
Unfortunately, I've reached the point where I just don't care how complex Lebanon is, since that complexity harbors the Nazi-esque monstrosity that is Hezbollah. No doubt, many friendly, modern Germans were grateful to the Nazi party only because it revitalized the economy and brought the country out of the doldrums of the depression. No doubt, support for Hitler's party did not only take the form of blind goose-stepping fanaticism. No doubt, many Germans had complex reasons for supporting the National Socialists, reasons that had nothing to do with killing Jews. The Nazi party still had to go; its civilian support was not and should not have been treated as a shield. A cancer is a cancer, and it does not become more acceptable because it has successfully permeated political life. Hezbollah's success at buying off the population it controls is no reason to tolerate its continued existence.
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