Tragic

July 18, 2006 at 12:03 am | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tragic

I don’t know what to say, other than that the loss of life is always, unconditionally, a tragedy.

Also, this:

The fate of Haifa’s dogs also tells us something about their owners and the situation in which they have found themselves. As we were walking around our neighborhood, after a few hours of quiet, we noticed a number of ownerless dogs looking for their homes.”

And I just heard this on Pandora:

Go Down, Moses Pete Seeger
Voice From The Mountain Nick Drake

Read this: Why international law matters from Jonathan Edelstein (via Dove’s Eye View):

But there is an even more fundamental reason why international law matters. It is very rare for a military victory, no matter how decisive, to end the underlying conflict, and when the war is over, the issues will still have to be resolved and the conflicting parties rebuilt. Any measure that conserves human life and civilian infrastructure during the war will make those tasks that much easier, while scorched-earth warfare might win an immediate victory at the cost of making the underlying conflict more intractable. Israel, for instance, has won all its wars, some more decisively than others, but even its most spectacular military victories have failed to resolve the political conflicts that lie at their root. The ultimate solution has to be political, and in those cases where wars must be fought, it’s important to fight them in a way that doesn’t make reconstruction and mediation more difficult. That means doing everything possible to protect civilian life on the other side, and not damaging infrastructure in a way that might threaten the postwar stability of the opposing state.

Israel clearly has the right to defend itself against Hizbullah’s attacks, and it can be frustrating to follow the rules when the enemy doesn’t acknowledge them. It can be difficult to hold back and be discriminating in the choice of targets when the enemy claims the right to attack civilian targets or even denies that there is such a thing as an Israeli civilian. Nevertheless, even aside from the fact that conserving human life is a moral good, following international humanitarian law and limiting the scope of warfare is critical if there is to be a hope of multilateral resolution and a postwar political settlement. The law is not meaningless either to the short-term realities of war or the politics of the underlying conflict, and the long-term dividends of conserving civilian life are much greater than the immediate costs.

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