The U.S. and Britain are alone in their opposition to a an immediate cease fire in the current Israel-Lebanon conflict. With each day that passes it seems that opposition to Israel’s war against Lebanon is growing. This is not going to get better unless they back off. If they continue their brutalization we can expect an incredible escalation of violence in the Middle East. I cannot imagine that this will remain confined to Israel and Lebanon.

At least 384 people have been killed in Lebanon, including 20 soldiers and 11 Hizbullah fighters and between 600,000 and 700,000 others have fled their homes.

Israel’s death toll stands at 36, with 17 people killed by Hizbullah rockets and 19 soldiers killed in the fighting.

War Crimes

According to Lebanese president Emile Lahoud Israel is using White Phosphorus as a weapon. Democracy Now! has an interview with independent journalist Dahr Jamail regarding Israel’s use of White Phosphorus. It’s also being reported that Israel is using cluster bombs in Lebanese residential neighborhoods.

Israeli children writing messages on the missiles to be fired into Lebanon. What?? Is this for real? If so I can only say that disgust is a word that just begins to scratch the surface.

The results of the delivery of those missiles. U.S. tax dollars paid for these deaths.

Juan Cole has been keeping up with the situation very well, discussing Condolezza Rice’s visit, cluster bombs, and more. He also discusses various instances of strikes against civilians and specific war crimes that may have been committed.

Cole discusses Alan Dershowitz and Grades of Human Beings:

Israeli officials have already showed us how Arabs can be reclassified away from a full “human” category that they clearly, in the view of the Kadima government, do not deserve.

For instance, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman angrily denounced Kofi Annan for neglecting this key fact. The Guardian reports, ' Mr Gillerman said “something very important was missing” from Mr Annan’s speech: any mention of terrorism. Hizbullah were “ruthless indiscriminate animals”, he told reporters. ‘

So you see, one reason that you can just bomb the hell out of the Lebanese in general is that they aren’t human beings at all. They are “animals.” You might quibble that Gillerman is only referring to members of the Hizbullah party as animals, not all Lebanese. But most Shiite Lebanese, some 45 percent of the population, support Hizbullah. And the Lebanese government, made up of Christians, Sunnis and Druze, let Hizbullah into the Lebanese government and gave it cabinet posts. So probably those who tolerate Hizbullah are at most half-human. This has yet to be worked out. It might be possible to declare them .66 animal. Or maybe they are just all animals. They speak Arabic, after all, right Mr. Gillerman?

There is a problem with stopping here, however. It is not enough to reclassify some human beings as animals. After all, you have to treat animals humanely. You can even be fined for mistreating an animal, though probably you would not go to jail.

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