Friday, April 20, 2018

From Roger Cohen in the New York Times, referring to the weekly Gaza riots:
You know pornography when you see it. You know a disproportionate military response when you see it. It’s stomach turning.

Would Roger Cohen consider the killing of 16 civilians in order to silence an enemy TV station for a short time period to be "disproportionate?"

Because NATO doesn't.

In the  Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the case is reviewed. In short:

On 23 April 1999, at 0220, NATO intentionally bombed the central studio of the RTS (state-owned) broadcasting corporation at 1 Aberdareva Street in the centre of Belgrade. The missiles hit the entrance area, which caved in at the place where the Aberdareva Street building was connected to the Takovska Street building. While there is some doubt over exact casualty figures, between 10 and 17 people are estimated to have been killed.

 NATO intentionally bombed the Radio and TV station and the persons killed or injured were civilians. The questions are: was the station a legitimate military objective and; if it was, were the civilian casualties disproportionate to the military advantage gained by the attack? .... Insofar as the attack actually was aimed at disrupting the communications network, it was legally acceptable.

Assuming the station was a legitimate objective, the civilian casualties were unfortunately high but do not appear to be clearly disproportionate....

Assuming the RTS building to be a legitimate military target, it appeared that NATO realised that attacking the RTS building would only interrupt broadcasting for a brief period....

 On the basis of the above analysis and on the information currently available to it, the committee recommends that the OTP not commence an investigation related to the bombing of the Serbian TV and Radio Station.
The prosecutor said that there was no reason to prosecute this as a war crime, as the attack on a broadcasting station that killed 16 (according to later reports) was not disproportionate

So, Roger, do you really know a disproportionate military response when you see it? Or only when Israel somehow manages to kill people, a vast majority who are linked to terror groups hiding among tens of thousands of civlians - is that the case that you consider disproportionate?

I can't comment on how well Cohen knows pornography, but his knowledge of international law is sorely lacking.

Actually, there is a phrase to describe what it feels like to read an NYT column that assumes that Cohen's gut instincts against Israel are more accurate than international law. 

The phrase is "stomach-turning."





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