Archive for July 15th, 2006
Juan Cole names his blog Informed Comment, and he delivers big time. Go there if you want to understand events in the Middle East generally and the current crisis in particular.
Also recommended: Whiskey Bar for insightful analysis about this month’s insanity (and whatever comes down the pike, regularly).
This current Israel/Hezbollah/Hamas menage a trois reminds me that in modern warfafe, soldiers are relatively safe, while the largest number of casualties is invariably civilian. Children, of course, are eligible for inclusion among the dead and injured. The United States has suffered whatever number approaching 3000 of military casualties since it invaded Iraq for no good reason, but that number is dwarfed by the number of Iraqi civilian casualties since March, 2003. Now, of course, sectarian violence is adding to the number of Iraqi civilian dead under the American occupation.
Going back to the Spanish Civil War, civilians have generally fared poorly during modern, well orgainized wars.
Within a few years of Guernica, the world witnessed the Rape of Nanking, the Holocaust, Dresden and Hiroshimsa. Yes, many soldiers died during World War II, but so did milions of civilians from all sides.
The wars in Vietnam and Iraq have a number of things in common, but the most salient may be that civilians have been caught between the two sets of warriors and suffered greatly as a consequence.
And now, today, Hezbollah and the Israeli Defence Force take turns spilling innocent blood. Business as usual.