Monday, July 31, 2006

Former peacekeeper Lewis McKenzie on the Israeli/Lebanese crisis (CBC)

Retired Canadian Major General Lewis McKenzie, a veteran of peacekeeping operations in the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia, interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about the current Israeli/Lebanese crisis. MacKenzie has a lot of intelligent and sensible things to say on matters ranging from the military and political aspects of the conflict and the propaganda war surrounding it to the possibilities for an effective multi-national peacekeeping force (which he regards, probably correctly, as extremely unlikely). As one might expect, the interviewer is interested in issues concerning Lebanese civilian casualties and Israel's accidental attack on a UN observer post, in which a Canadian peacekeeping soldier was killed. MacKenzie, who said that he wanted to help dispel some pervasive "myths" about the conflict, made an important point that I think deserves to be emphasized, because it should be obvious but seems to be widely overlooked.
Now, please don't think I'm being cavalier about life here. I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination. But with the amount of firepower that's gone into Lebanon over the last couple of weeks, the death toll is unbelievably low, in accordance with the delivery of that firepower, which means that targets are being selected pretty darn closely. Beirut is not being "flattened." [....]
This interview came before the disastrous accidental bombing of civilians in Qana on July 30, but the point remains valid. Listen to the recording HERE.

--Jeff Weintraub
Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA)
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Canadian killed from UN force complained his position shielding Hizbullah

"...the tragic loss of a soldier yesterday who I happen to know and I think probably is from my Regiment. We've received e-mails from him a few days ago and he described the fact that he was taking within - in one case - three meters of his position "for tactical necessity - not being targeted". Now that's veiled speech in the military and what he was telling us was Hizbullah fighters were all over his position and the IDF were (sic) targeting them and that's a favorite trick by people who don't have representation in the UN. They use the UN as shields knowing that they can't be punished for it."

Retired Canadian Major General Lewis MacKenzie interviewed on CBC Toronto radio 26 July 2006
For recording:

[JW: Incidentally, UNIFIL itself has repeatedly confirmed Hezbollah's use of this tactic.]

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730