When I first posted
on the Qana bombing, I said that there were 60 civilians killed. Obviously I was just repeating what was being reported at the time. We all know that I am not in Qana. But it has come to light
that only 25 were actually killed there. Or were they killed there?
Many on the right are entertaining conspiracy theories
that the children killed were actually killed in Tyre, and trucked in for the purpose of propoganda. They cite
inconsistencies in the time stamps. They also point out the discrepancy in the facts surrounding the time of the bombing and the actual collapse of the building.
The news agencies who covered the event have catagorically denied
the allegations of staging. Three different agencies covered this event: AP, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. It is one thing when a single reporter engages in doctoring as did a Lebanese free-lance reporter who was sacked.
In this case, Hajj had doctored photos for effect. Darker smoke was added to a photograph, and more bombs coming out of an Israeli jet had been added to another. Hajj was immediately fired and all of his photos removed from the wires.
In Qana, you would have to have three news agencies (two of the largest in the world included) conspire together. At least three independent reporters would have to actually take part in a fabricated event. All of these reporters would have to hold this secret for their entire lives. This is a jump that I just can not make. Sadly, all of this has distracted from more important issues.
Qana was, in fact, bombed. To date, Israel has provided no evidence of any Hezbollah activity in the area. Unless the conspiracy theorists believe that the conspirators killed those kids, those kids were killed by Israeli bombs, most likely in Qana. The last time I checked, the Lebanese civilian death toll was above 700. The Israeli civilian death toll was at about 70. That is at least 770 civilians too many.
What is really bugging me is that it takes a Qana incident to get people outraged enough to do something. Even if there had been 75 people in the building, why is it that they are more important than the other 770 people who have already been killed? Shouldn't the first 770 people killed elicit sufficient response from the world?
The same can be said for 9/11. As horible as it is for 3,000 people to die all at once in such horrid fashion, does that justify everything that has been done since then? I don't mean justify in the moral sense, but in the sense of resources spent countering the force that caused those deaths. For example, nearly 50,000 people die in the U.S. every year due to auto accidents. About the same number of high-school students die in alcohol related accidents each year as did in the 9/11 attack.
As human beings, it seems we are unable to grasp the significance of life and death unless it is personal (someone we know) or dramatic (plane crashes, Qana). This is a limit on our ability to sympathise with individuals with whom we are not aquainted.
For most, the 25 people killed in Qana are more important than the 700 Lebanese and the 70 Israelis, who have lost their lives since this war began about four weeks ago. They are infinately more important than the nearly 100 people killed in sectarian violence in Iraq on any given day and even more important than the 10 high school kids who die each day in automobiles due to alchohol.
But to me, they each count as one. And each one is one more too many.