For the record … if your thoughts on Middle East policy don’t go farther than “Israel is good,” then please stop reading this post, now.
I’m going to open with an 18-year-old story. In January of 1991, while the opening attacks from Operation: Desert Storm were being shown, there was talk about anti-aircraft fire coming from the rooftops of many buildings in Baghdad, including hospitals. I turned to my father to ask him a question. His credentials, by the way, are pretty solid to answer my question. He was about to retire from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel. He had flown B-52’s over Vietnam, and later the FB-111’s. He had worked at the Intelligence desk for the Strategic Air Command’s 45th Air Division. Yes, I was raised by someone genuinely qualified as an expert in military ethics.
I asked him, “If Hussein is putting AA guns on top of a hospital, does that make it into a legitimate target?”
I still remember the look on Dad’s face as he began to answer. At that time, I was a pretty faithful right-winger, and had the world very much divided into “us” and “them.” I think he knew that I was just about ready to blame Saddam Hussein if a hospital was bombed. However, he answered very levelly, “No. It is a war crime to use a hospital as a gun site, but it doesn’t justify bombing a hospital. It’s a hospital.”
For years, rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, that means about 8,000 rockets have been fired, for a death toll of about 22 Israelis.
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