Friday, August 25, 2006


The United Nations is investigating whether Israel violated an international trade agreement by using U.S.-made cluster bombs in their recent vendetta against Lebanon.

There's no question that these bombs were used; they were. The question is, were they used under the proper circumstances? Did they kill the right people? According to the vague, shadowy terms of the Israeli-American trade agreement, these bombs could only be used on clearly defined military targets.

The Bush administration is so far silent about this investigation, and speculation among Washington types is that the Bushinistas may ultimately go along with some mild form of sanction against Israel, apparently as some sort of pathetic way to gain street cred in the Muslim world, by saying, "Hey, we think bombing Arab civilians is wrong."

How nice. Of course, while the bombs were falling, the administration's official opinion, when it could find the cajones to have one, was that Israel had the right to defend itself.

But wait! If Israel was merely "defending itself", there was no violation of the trade agreement. Bush should be outraged that the U.N. is investigating our poor, beleagured ally. A cynic might argue that this is yet another example of the administration's moral bankruptcy, willing to say or do anything to make itself look good at the moment.

In this case, by offering an (implied) mild criticism of Israel, Bush hopes to make it look as though he actually cares about dead Lebanese. This inevitably raises the question, Why didn't he stop the killing instead of mourning it after the fact?

For the record, the number of people killed in Lebanon stands at 1183. Most of those were civilians. And in Lebanon, and throughout all Arab states, they damn well know who made those bombs.