Blast kills bomb disposal expert
October 12, 2007 9:50 AM   Subscribe

A British mine disposal expert has been killed in Lebanon while clearing cluster bombs dropped by Israeli forces during last year's war with Hezbollah. True to form, Israel has refused to provide the UN with accurate maps showing where cluster bombs were targeted during the war, making this deadly task even more dangerous and further endangering civilian populations.
posted by james_cpi (51 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: please keep editorializing out of FPPs, particularly newsfilterish FPPs. -- jessamyn



 
Wait, there's a disregard for life in the Middle East?
posted by dead_ at 9:56 AM on October 12, 2007


Oh, this is going to go swimmingly.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:57 AM on October 12, 2007


Thanks America!
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on October 12, 2007


U.S. made and supplied cluster bombs one might add.
posted by srboisvert at 10:01 AM on October 12, 2007


james_cpi: "True to form.."

Thank you for setting the tone on this thread.
posted by Plutor at 10:04 AM on October 12, 2007


Yeah, the editorializing in the post is going to really hurt the discourse on this subject.

Also, cluster bombs suck. They are right up there with landmines in terms of "Shit that I wish we hadn't thought of"
posted by quin at 10:05 AM on October 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thank you for setting the tone on this thread.

I know. Totally editorial terrorism. This will completely discourage the pro-cluster-bombing-of-civilian-areas-in-the late-stages-of-a-winding-down-conflict crowd. Without them this thread might be dangerously unbalanced in its perspective.
posted by srboisvert at 10:11 AM on October 12, 2007 [11 favorites]


remind me: what exactly was Hezbollah doing in the south of Lebanon that so annoyed the Israelis? Oh, right. Lobbing rockets into nearby Israeli villages and kidnapping Israeli soldiers. "true to form."
posted by Postroad at 10:12 AM on October 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


I see no editorializing or 'tone' here. If the Israeli government aren't generally in the habit of providing this info to the UN, then 'true to form' is simply an accurate statement about their historical behaviour. If they *are* in the habit of providing this information, then it's an inaccurate statement that's easily challenged.

UN's take on this issue.

Yup. True to form looks pretty damn accurate to me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:14 AM on October 12, 2007


I don't think Israel is going to be able to supply the information about which civilian areas they dropped cluster bombs in...because doing so would be proof that THEY DROPPED CLUSTER BOMBS ON CIVILIANS.

srboisvert writes "U.S. made and supplied cluster bombs one might add."

Exactly. I believe the US has been supplying Israel with these weapons with the agreement that the cluster bombs won't be used to, you know, murder the innocent. Whoopsie.
posted by mullingitover at 10:16 AM on October 12, 2007


Yep, rocket fire completely justifies seeding a huge civilian area with portable landmines when you know the conflict is about to end.
posted by Malor at 10:17 AM on October 12, 2007


I had a joke along the links of Abbott and Costello ("Joo know where the mines are?" "Yes." etc.) but this is too depressing.

And "true to form" is historically correct, in the sense that Israel has long ignored the UN, from UNSC 242 on.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:17 AM on October 12, 2007


Yep, rocket fire completely justifies seeding a huge civilian area with portable landmines when you know the conflict is about to end.

Yeah, why don't those pesky Israelis just flip over and fucking die already! Whenever the seething here gets louder, I know Israel must be doing *something* right.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:22 AM on October 12, 2007


I wonder what Stacy Hedger makes of all of this.
posted by phaedon at 10:23 AM on October 12, 2007


When i see a beehive, i don't throw rocks.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 10:26 AM on October 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Somehow, Krrrlson, if the Lebanese had seeded Israel with cluster bombs, I don't think you'd be reacting the same way.

If the various factions started eating babies on television, that would get us seething too, so obviously something must be right about that.
posted by Malor at 10:26 AM on October 12, 2007


Yeah, why don't those pesky Israelis just flip over and fucking die already!

Or why don't they just, you know, help the UN remove cluster bombs that serve no tactical purpose but to terrorize non-combatant citizens.

But of course, any criticism of Israeli policy along those lines simply demands frothing, rabid hyperbole like "flip over and fucking die already".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:27 AM on October 12, 2007


If the various factions started eating babies on television,

What about the dropping of a noxious gas which caused babies to eat themselves on television? Now that would be fucked up.
posted by phaedon at 10:28 AM on October 12, 2007


s/citizens/civilians
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:30 AM on October 12, 2007


Wait, there's a disregard for life in the Middle East?

How is the United States of Blackwater any better?
posted by Mikey-San at 10:31 AM on October 12, 2007


Also, cluster bombs suck. They are right up there with landmines in terms of "Shit that I wish we hadn't thought of"

You don't like cluster bombs? Well, how about the weapons of the future?

/ derail, but it's not as though anything of substance will get worked out in this thread
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:38 AM on October 12, 2007


Exactly. I believe the US has been supplying Israel with these weapons with the agreement that the cluster bombs won't be used to, you know, murder the innocent. Whoopsie.

No whoopsie at all. Arms were shipped after the conflict was underway. This war had the full explicit permission of the United States.

Yeah, why don't those pesky Israelis just flip over and fucking die already!


That does appear to be their foreign policy these days. Nothing like picking a fight with insurgents using the same weapons that are failing in Iraq. Who could have guessed it wouldn't turn out well? I guess that is what happens when you team up with American rapture nuts. I'd much rather they started negotiating a settlement in good faith so the ordinary people could get on with living. But I'm quirky that way.
posted by srboisvert at 10:41 AM on October 12, 2007


weren't the cluster bombs dropped on "innocent" "civilians" that were allowing hidden bunkers to be constructed in their neighborhoods and who had just recently elected a terrorist organization to be part of their government?

Why haven't those "innocents" been reporting to their Lebanese police and military that hezbollah is trying to get them all killed and start a war by launching rockets from the courtyard of Ackmeds house?

Do you honestly think that if people in Windsor Canada started shelling Detroit that the correct response it nothing?
posted by Megafly at 10:45 AM on October 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually I'm much more ok with some of these future weapons than I am with clusterbombs or landmines. Mainly because the level of complexity in something like a robotic dragonfly killing machine ensures that it won't last for years in muddy field, only to spring up and kill someone a decade after the conflict in which it was deployed has ended.

In fact, one thing that pleases me is that a lot of these new weapon technologies seem to be attempting to incorporate shut off switches, where if they haven't been set off or activated since they were deployed, after a certain amount of time, they go inert.
posted by quin at 10:45 AM on October 12, 2007


Every Israel/Palestine thread here makes me think of this old joke, which I've updated to reflect current events:

Osama Bin Laden visits God and asks him: "God when shall I see the defeat of the United States?"

God replies: "Son, you will not see it in your lifetime."

Hearing this, Bin Laden starts crying and leaves.

Gen Parvez Musharaff visits God and asks him: "God when shall I see the capture of Kashmir by Pakistan?" God replies: "Son, you will not see it in your lifetime."

Hearing this, Gen Parvez Musharaff starts crying and goes away.

Yitzhak Rabin, who is already in Heaven, visits God and asks him: "God, when shall I see the Middle East become a prosperous and happy area?"

And God starts crying.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:49 AM on October 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Yeah, why don't those pesky Israelis just flip over and fucking die already!

Yeah, the bombing worked so well. I'm so glad that slaughtering roughly a thousand Lebanese civilians and booby trapping the entire country has made Israel safe at last.

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Seems this guy was just doing his job but what a job. Terrible shame to kick it right after your birthday.
posted by nixerman at 10:51 AM on October 12, 2007


Yeah Windsor Bring It On! We will so kick your ass. Our dollar is stronger than your..oh, never mind.

Ps. The original intent of cluster bombs were to neutralize dispersed hard targets (like airfields), so obviously the Israelis never read the manual, except that the several rocket launching sites in Achmed's house could be considered a hard and dispersed target!
posted by Gungho at 10:53 AM on October 12, 2007


But of course, any criticism of Israeli policy along those lines simply demands frothing, rabid hyperbole like "flip over and fucking die already".

When you do nothing but excrete frothing, rabid hyperbole in the direction of Israel, that pretty much sums up your views, yeah.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:54 AM on October 12, 2007


Megafly writes "Why haven't those 'innocents' been reporting to their Lebanese police and military that hezbollah is trying to get them all killed and start a war by launching rockets from the courtyard of Ackmeds house?"

You're right, those kids that get blown up by cluster bombs totally had it coming. What was I thinking?
posted by mullingitover at 10:55 AM on October 12, 2007


APATHY vs. IGNORANCE, who will win? Find out TONIGHT on FOX!!!!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:59 AM on October 12, 2007


Well, speaking as a Jew, I'm at least glad that Israel is winning the hearts and minds of their neighbors, although I am somewhat saddened that they are doing it by causing said hearts and minds to fly across the border in an avalanche of gore.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:59 AM on October 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Krrrlson: how was my post frothing, rabid hyperbole?
posted by james_cpi at 11:00 AM on October 12, 2007


"weren't the cluster bombs dropped on "innocent" "civilians" that were allowing hidden bunkers to be constructed in their neighborhoods and who had just recently elected a terrorist organization to be part of their government?"

Congratulatons! You have just justified 9/11, Dresden and Hiroshima! Here's your award. Thanks for playing!
posted by Avenger at 11:01 AM on October 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


It's a good thing religion doesn't poision everything, because, boy, if it did...just imagine how messed up the Middle East would be!
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:01 AM on October 12, 2007


One can't really blame Israel for not trusting the UN. I sure as hell don't.

Besides, there are plenty of other things to blame Israel for right in front of us here.
posted by koeselitz at 11:06 AM on October 12, 2007


Turn for a moment away from the Israelis and what was done and focus now for a moment upon Lebanon> How many anti-Syrian political figures have thus far been killed that were part of the Lebanese govt? What has takenplace within the refugee camps when miltants--terrorist, crazies--attacked Lebanese police? What has Hezbollah been doing since a cease fire with Israel, despite the presence of the UN that was to prevent a build up of arms, bunkers etc?

Thus, no matter what you may think or say about the Israelis in this instance, Lebanon is now and will continue to be a messed up hot spot, soon to be in the middle of total chaos. And to think, this country was once the pearl of the Middle East.
posted by Postroad at 11:09 AM on October 12, 2007


When you do nothing but excrete frothing, rabid hyperbole in the direction of Israel, that pretty much sums up your views, yeah.

You're certifiably insane.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:17 AM on October 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Middle East: Taking conkers to a whole new level.
posted by phaedon at 11:20 AM on October 12, 2007


Let me pour some gas on the fire: if Iran had had the Bomb last year, the bombing of Lebanon might not have happened in the first place.
posted by zorro astor at 11:20 AM on October 12, 2007


Eponysterical: When i see a beehive, i don't throw rocks.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:27 AM on October 12, 2007


Krrrlson: how was my post frothing, rabid hyperbole?

What you don't know is that Krrrlson reads all criticism of Israel aloud in the voice of Al Pacino in Scarface.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:30 AM on October 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yup. True to form looks pretty damn accurate to me.

I agree.

Will somebody answer WHY the IDF won't supply UN ground teams with land mine and Cluster bombing information? Seriously. Why? Seems pretty damn indefensible to me.
posted by tkchrist at 11:31 AM on October 12, 2007


Nothing like excreting frothing, rabid hyperbole. Well, except for rabidly hyperbolizing frothing excretions.

Wait. On second thought, forget that. Which way to the bonfire? I hear that Iran teh nukes.
posted by dead_ at 11:31 AM on October 12, 2007


Will somebody answer WHY the IDF won't supply UN ground teams with land mine and Cluster bombing information?
I believe someone said above that Israel officially denies it used cluster bombs.
posted by zorro astor at 11:35 AM on October 12, 2007


Guys, guys, guys! Let's stop the bickering and get to the marrow of this story already: bomb kills bomb disposal expert! That's hilarious! It's like when the postman tosses a neighbor's mail in your mailbox! I mean, god, what are they paying him for?!
posted by trueluk at 11:42 AM on October 12, 2007


Well, in theory, he did dispose of the bomb . . .
posted by Mikey-San at 12:05 PM on October 12, 2007


Thus, no matter what you may think or say about the Israelis in this instance, Lebanon is now and will continue to be a messed up hot spot, soon to be in the middle of total chaos. And to think, this country was once the pearl of the Middle East.

The moderates in Lebanon had been steadily gaining power, but that whole thing was blown to hell last summer.

Israel's attack showed the people that any alliance with the West couldn't be trusted. It also showed them that the Muslim crazies could at least fight Israel to a standstill, which is pretty amazing when you consider the arms disparity.

So when you have a belligerent neighbor and a section of your government that has proven it can at least somewhat protect you from them, why exactly wouldn't you vote for them? You might not like the Sharia law bit, but the secular government turned out to be pretty much ineffective when push came to shove. Sharia is tomorrow's problem; an aggressive Israel that will invade and wreck an entire country over four kidnapped guys -- that's today's.
posted by Malor at 12:11 PM on October 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Will somebody answer WHY the IDF won't supply UN ground teams with land mine and Cluster bombing information? Seriously. Why? Seems pretty damn indefensible to me.

Because it's serving them as an "area denial" weapon, and it prevents them from having to gas up those bulldozers.
posted by zap rowsdower at 12:16 PM on October 12, 2007


This is interesting in context with the recent "10 Years After Princess Di's Death" event and coverage swarm.

I think most folks know she was a passionate and dedicated campaigner for mine and bomb removal (more mines than bombs, officially, but she covered both in her efforts) and would often visit places where innocents or neutral professionals were being maimed/killed by these deadly leftovers to call attention to the barbarism of the tactic.

A decade later and we still haven't decided as an overall civilisation that it's not okay to drop and abandon live ordnance in areas where people are expected to live.

Sucks to see so much humanity and knowledge wasted because some people want a bigger yard than they already have or can't otherwise figure out how to settle their differences.

It's crazy that we accept these things in our global, inter-dependent, connected society. These things were easier to overlook when we weren't as in touch with how everyone else in the world was doing on a daily basis, but I'm really beginning to feel it's inexcusable that these things continue even as we shape our lips in support of being global citizens.

Shameful.
posted by batmonkey at 12:16 PM on October 12, 2007


Somehow, Krrrlson, if the Lebanese had seeded Israel with cluster bombs, I don't think you'd be reacting the same way.

Actually, they did, though it wasn't much publicized.

I'll invoke the principle of two wrongs not making a right to say that this in no way excuses Israel's use of these munitions, but they were in fact used by both sides.
posted by SBMike at 12:31 PM on October 12, 2007


Dear matt, jessamyn, and cortex:

I've made a breakthrough in the development of my software application that can accurately identify any MeFi thread related to Israel and its sovereignty in the Middle East. It should be trivial to hook up an algorithm that replaces all of the comment data in that thread with the phrase:

Insert rash of false dichotomies, ad hominem attacks, and other logical fallacies too numerous to detail.

The you can close the thread, saving significant data storage space, and the net effect will be exactly the same.

When can we hook it up?
posted by Brak at 12:32 PM on October 12, 2007


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