Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Amnesty International Slams Israel for "War Crimes"

From Voice of America:
The international human rights group Amnesty International has sharply criticized Israel for what it says were deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in Lebanon. Israel denied the charge.

In a lengthy report released Wednesday, Amnesty International accuses Israeli forces of deliberately striking striking civilian targets in Lebanon.

Donatella Rovra, who headed the group's mission to Lebanon, told VOA that Israel zeroed in on Lebanon's infrastructure, knowing full well that the attacks would harm civilians.

"When Israeli forces decide to bomb and destroy power plants, electricity, water networks, roads, bridges, when they decide to bombard and reduce to rubble entire neighborhoods, then obviously those decisions are made to go ahead with those attacks with the full knowledge of what the consequences will be for the civilian population," she said.
So, attacking your enemy's infrastructure is now a "war crime" according to Amnesty International. Under this standard, you can't bomb your enemy's bridges, seaports or airports, because civilians might need to use them. You can't bomb your enemy's power plants, because civilians might need electricity. You can't bomb your emeny's fuel depots, because civilians might need fuel.

If this is the standard for "war crimes," can anyone name any war in which the commission of "war crimes" was not authorized at the highest levels on both sides?

Setting aside the underlying morality for a bit, is there any value in inventing new "war crimes" which are invariably committed by both sides in every conflict?