Listened to an interesting audio blog post from Stuart Hughes, a journalist for the Beeb who is in Beirut now, covering the war. He woke up to find a larger-than-normal SUV in his hotel parking lot:My question is, why a hotel full of journalists don't feel this is newsworthy and only one of them mentions it in passing on his personal blog?
A new arrival in the parking lot next, to my hotel, in the form of a Lebanese Army rocket launcher, I came out to work this morning to find a camouflaged rocket launcher sitting in the car park, pointing at the sky, and I thought “Well, that wasn’t there yesterday”. I think that tells you everything you need to know about the situation here.
Whether or not the launcher is Lebanese army or Hezbollah (no pictures to tell the difference, and it might be a loaner to Hezbollah or perhaps simply stolen) — the fact that it’s parked next to a hotel housing journalists speaks volumes about the kinds of tactics used to ensure civilian casualties.
What, precisely, is Israel supposed to do? Sit back and let the rockets be launched? Attack the missile battery, and risk hitting a hotel full of journalists? I’m sure this launcher is positioned next to journalists for all of the cynical reasons I can imagine.
Also consider: unless Israel uses a large enough explosive charge to ignite the warhead in place and destroy the missiles without igniting their propulsion element, the damage will be even greater as the missile fuel ignites and the rockets launch. Short of sending somebody down there to manually disarm the missiles, it’s actually worse to underuse munitions in destroying these missiles.