Tuesday, August 01, 2006

How Many Deaths Will it Take...

Linda Gradstein reports this morning from Israel, especially noting widespread Israeli support for the war in Lebanon. She notes that in support does not to seem to be waning, "although some on the left say that if there is a large civilian death toll, or even a large death toll among soldiers, that opinion could shift...."

Ok, at this point in the interview I expected that she or Renee Montagne would express some kind of reaction such as "Do you mean to say that 57 sheltering civilians in one strike doesn't count?" Or "Are you saying the over 500 killed civilians in three weeks isn't a large death toll?" But instead there is no reaction at all and the statement is just left there as if it were a normal, understandable figure.

I'll comment on this; let's do a little sad math. Lebanon has about 4 million citizens and the US has about 300 million. That means that the US population is about 75 times greater than Lebanon's. So we'll count consider the single Israeli air strike on the building in Qana. It killed 57 people; if a similar massacre by proportion took place in the United States that would entail the murder of 4275 innocents (that number is not far off the Sept. 11, 2001 figures). As for death toll of at least 600 civilians in Lebanon, that would translate to 45,000 dead. (Oh, and the 800,000 displaced would be the equivalent of 60,000,000.)

I guess the pro-war Israelis (and pro-war US House, Senate, and Executive ) will only take notice when the death toll is closer to the 1982 figure of about 18,000 civilians slaughtered (see the Library of Congress country study site on Lebanon for this number).

I won't apologize for being partisan on this one. This also in no way excuses the Hezbollah war crime of targeting Israeli cities. But NPR has no excuse for being so crass and dispassionate about the killing of so many innocent civilians by a state armed, funded, and encouraged by the our government. To do so is to support the US /Israel war of aggression against Lebanon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.