Prague Twin

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Qana Bombed, Rice Cancels Trip to Lebabnon

Early this morning, the Southern Lebanese town of Qana was bombed and at least 60 civilians have been killed as a four story apartment building was hit.

Secretary of State Rice has immediatley changed her tune, now saying it is "time to reach a ceasefire." There has been no report that the U.S. intends to slow the flow of arms to Israel that have recently been expiditied.

Prime Mininster Fuad Siniora is calling the bombing a war crime. Considering that the missle used to destroy the building was likely supplied by the U.S. (maybe even one from the rush shipment), it seems clear that the Lebanese government views the U.S. as at least an accessory to the crime, and is no longer interested in hosting Ms. Rice.

This incident has sparked a near riot in Beirut where Hezbollah supporters stormed the U.N. building there.

Here is the question that I need answered. Is it possible to launch a rocket from a four story apartment building? Israel defends the attack as a defensive one in that hundreds of rockets have been launched from the area. The question remains, was this building used to launch rockets? With the surveillance technology now available, wouldn't it be fairly easy to determine if this building had or had not been used as a rocket launching pad?

In this day and age of precision guided munitions and space age surviellance, it seems to me that with U.S. help, Israel could prove the defensive nature of this attack. That is assuming, of course, that this was in fact defensive.


  • PT,

    Here's my question? Why did Hezbollah supporters storm the UN buiding in Beirut? Also, wouldn't you consider the storming of a building to be an act of riot as opposed to near riot?

    As to the question regarding the ability to shoot rockets from a four story building, I suspect the answer is yes but we wil have to wait for Roger or one of his weapons gurus to advise.

    It is hot here on the shores of the Great Plains and I need to accomplish my chores early. Also, Abby Wombach, Aly Wagner, and the rest of the US ladies play the Charmaine Hooper, Christine Sinclair and the rest of ther motherless Canadians @ 11:00. Enjoy your evening.


    By Anonymous Tony Sokolow, at 4:05 PM  

  • I heard on CNN last week from John Roberts I think that the U.S. was actually helping the Israelis out with satellite surveillance, helping the Israelis pinpoint where missles were coming from within Lebanon. If this is the case, and the Israelis are also using U.S. made weapons to hit Lebanon and getting encouragement from the administration to "stay the course" with their air strikes, I can see how this whole bloody episode is going to come back and bite us for years to come. Between the iraq war and now this conflict, the administration has shown itself to be tin eared on policy and completely unable to win the "hearts and minds" of the Arab world in the WOT.

    Sorry for the ramble. I'm still bleary-eyed from sleep.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 6:00 PM  

  • This has fascinating ramifications for insight into Hezbollah tactics.
    The PR was is very sophisticated, not to say brutal.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 6:23 PM  

  • You could almost certainly launch from the roof of the building; the back pressure from a small rocket like a Katyusha shouldn't induce too much point loading. Launching from the street right next to the building would also be quite possible.

    Launching from within an apartment might be possible, but I wouldn't want to be in the building when you did it, much less in the apartment. The confined backblast would be, umm, unpleasant.

    FWIW, I suspect it's more likely that Israeli intelligence believed the building was being used for munitions storage and that this was then misreported. But that might just be excessive cynicism about the competence of reporters.

    By Blogger Doug Sundseth, at 11:26 PM  

  • I'm with Sundseth. Fox News had a starlight scope film of rockets being launched right next to a building, or so it looks. I'd give you a link but I can't find it. Expose the Left (Ian Swartz's new name for his old Political Teen site). Go to Hugh Hewitt's and then go down the Milbloggers list (the last one is defunct) One of those guys might have something. Yoni Tidi at Townhall is former IDF and says there is difinitive proof the building hit was at least storing rockets. He might be referring to he first film clip mentioned here. Good questions.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 11:46 PM  

  • I've read that Hezbollah fighters aren't mingling with civilians, who could rattle them out at any second.

    By Anonymous romunov, at 1:37 AM  

  • Thanks for the comments everyone.


    Why did Hezbollah supporters storm the UN buiding in Beirut?

    No freakin' idea. There was no U.S. or Israeli embassy to strorm? I think this underlines how irrational this powderkeg really is.

    I suppose it was in fact a riot.

    BTW, I watched the men's final live and I have some questions about the game itself that I will email you.


    I actually did see some satellite images on television after I posted and from what I saw it looks like it would be quite easy to prove that the building was or was not used to fire rockets.

    I think one of the main problems with the battle for hearts and minds is the obfuscation of the goals and tactics. Despite the fact that Hezbollah uses terrorist tactics, lumping this military action into the WOT blurrs the goals and tactics and is a mistake. Saying that Hezbollah and al-Qaida are essentially the same is all out folly.


    Why do I feel like I'm getting played on this one?

    Doug and Roger,

    Thank you especially for the expertice. Now the question remains: why not reveal satellite images that prove one of the two scenarios that you suggest? It would be imposible to do this for every airstrike, obviously, but considering the public outcry over this single event, wouldn't it be a good idea to show the world exactly why THIS building was hit?

    The argument that Qana was being used as a rocket launching center and so they blew up an apartment building in reaction is a poor one unless they can show that this building was indeed a military target.

    Time is a wastin'!


    Can you send me a link? I'd be interested.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:57 AM  

  • tragic stuff. I have seen right wing website already start talking about how Hezbollah blew up the building and planted the bodies.

    By Blogger GraemeAnfinson, at 10:11 AM  

  • That is ridiculous Graeme.

    I don't think Israel is even denying they blew up the building. Their argument is just that it was a justified strike.

    My challenge for them to prove it remains on the table.

    Check out XDA for an intelligent right-wing perspective. Roger, who runs the blog is fair and genuinly a good guy.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:21 PM  

  • Hey Mike, thanks for giving me an explanation of the debt here and how it works. I removed my "debt clocks" because I hate bullshit and propaganda no matter which side puts it out.

    By Blogger dusty, at 7:14 PM  

  • Dusty,

    No problem. You are a rock star. If only everyone was so open minded.

    I'm thinking about publishing a monthly tally and a report on how much it went up (or down) and to the greatest extent possible I would try to explain why.

    Waddaya think?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:51 PM  

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