The recent deaths of four UN peacekeepers including one Canadian in southern Lebanon has elicited a myriad of responses from the chattering class. Predictably the majority opinion in the MSM has been decidedly anti-Israeli, with some going so far as to suggest that this was a deliberate attack on the UNFIL observers for some Machiavellian purposes.
Those who hold this position reek of stupidity rooted in a firm commitment to ignore the facts at all costs. The lefty spin and brainless attempts at revisionist reporting are beginning to wear thin.
Case in point. This assessment of the incident by CP reporter Sue Baily has the basic facts but ventures off on the usual tangent.
OTTAWA (CP) - Maj. Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, or "Maj. H.v.K." as he signed his e-mails, loved his work as a career soldier with a gusto that was his trademark.
Family, friends and former colleagues prayed for the best and braced for the worst as they waited for word on the UN observer's fate in one of the most precarious regions in the Middle East
Well you got that right Sue! The UNFIL observation post in question could be described as precarious. I laud your keen sense of the obvious. Tell me more Sue.
The incident is shaping up to be a major international embarrassment for Israeli leaders, who say the observer station was hit by accident.
But a preliminary UN report released to The Associated Press says the peacekeepers called the Israeli military 10 times in the hours leading up to the fatal strike, asking them to stop nearby bombings.
The debacle did not appear to soften Harper's support for Israel's powerful show of force.
Hmmmm....major embarrassment....unheeded pleas for mercy.......debacle.....and mean old Harper still supports the Israelis powerful show of force. Message received Sue. Not only do you have a keen sense of the obvious but your liberal use of hyperbole is supercalafragalisticexpealadocious. What else ya got Sue?
Hess-von Kruedener described in a July 18 e-mail to CTV the growing chaos surrounding his UN post in Khiam, a dusty village about 10 kilometres from where the Israeli, Lebanese and Syrian borders intersect.
"What I can tell you is this: we have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both artillery and aerial bombing," he wrote.
"The closest artillery has landed within two metres of our position and the closest 1,000-pound (450-kilogram) aerial bomb has landed 100 metres from our patrol base."
"This has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity."
Aha!!! Thank you so much for including some facts in your article Sue!!! I guess even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then. The really interesting thing about these facts is that they are the written words of the now dead CF officer. So how did Sue interpret this missive from Maj. HvK?? Well she didn't, rather she found someone with an opinion that supports her particular take on things.
Harry Bloom, eastern vice-president of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Association, spent a year in the early 1970s patrolling the exact terrain where Hess-von Kruedener served.
"It's rocky, it's hilly, it's dangerous," Bloom said. "The area has always been dangerous for travellers."
Bloom, now retired at 66, said he wasn't surprised by news that an Israeli bomb had hit the post - and he doesn't believe it was an accident.
"I agree with (UN Secretary General) Kofi Annan's comment that it seemed to be an intentional hit. It would have to be. The outposts are so well-identified with blue and white paint and flags. A pilot cannot mistake that outpost for anything else."
Bloom described repeated "altercations" with Israeli forces when he was stationed there.
"They would fire from behind us, knowing that returned fire would land in our outpost. So to me, it's not a surprise. Not at all."
He also explained why he thought Israel would attack unarmed UN observers.
"The UN is no great friend as far as the Israelis are concerned," Bloom said in an interview from his home in Orleans, Ont., east of Ottawa.
"When the Israelis do anything on that ceasefire line, the UN is there. The Israelis don't necessarily like someone watching them."
Well done Sue!!! You managed to find a military expert who was at this very post some thirty years ago. Furthermore, this expert can attest to the dirty Jeewws propensity for hiding behind UN forces and their desire to keep their manic murdering ways from prying eyes.
But apparently some of the MSM have a very different take on all this. The Ottawa Citizen seems to have done a little more leg work.
The words of a Canadian United Nations observer written just days before he was killed in an Israeli bombing of a UN post in Lebanon are evidence Hezbollah was using the post as a "shield" to fire rockets into Israel, says a former UN commander in Bosnia.
Those words, written in an e-mail dated just nine days ago, offer a possible explanation as to why the post -- which according to UN officials was clearly marked and known to Israeli forces -- was hit by Israel on Tuesday night, said retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie yesterday.
"What I can tell you is this," he wrote in an e-mail to CTV dated July 18. "We have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both (Israeli) artillery and aerial bombing.
"The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters (sic) of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters (sic) from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to tactical necessity."
The same quote from Maj. HvK as the CP piece but with a different analysis from a military expert, Maj.-Gen Lewis MacKenzie. So what do you think Lew??
Those words, particularly the last sentence, are not-so-veiled language indicating Israeli strikes were aimed at Hezbollah targets near the post, said Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie.
"What that means is, in plain English, 'We've got Hezbollah fighters running around in our positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defence Forces)," he said.
That would mean Hezbollah was purposely setting up near the UN post, he added. It's a tactic Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie, who was the first UN commander in Sarajevo during the Bosnia civil war, said he's seen in past international missions: Aside from UN posts, fighters would set up near hospitals, mosques and orphanages.
Aside from the discrepancies on the timeline. (Sue typifies the UNFIL pleas to the Israeli Defense Force as being "in the hours leading up to the fatal strike", whereas the e-mail from Maj. HvK was sent 9 days prior to his demise, suggesting Hezbollah had been hiding behind the UN position from the onset.) Regardless of the fact that your military expert is of questionable pedigree. I have one question.
Was that piece of journalistic tripe you wrote a rhetorical necessity?