Monday, July 31, 2006

Accident Prone

Israel's repeated claims that civilian deaths are accidental needs to be called into question. The list of "accidents" is unreasonably long, including last week's targeting of a United Nations outpost (4 dead), this weekend's targeting of a building full of women and children in Qana (57 dead, including 37 children--in some revised reports only 28 dead,19 children), Monday's targeting of Lebanese noncombatant soldiers (number of dead unknown), as well as the largely forgotten targeting of another United Nations refuge encampment in Qana 10 years ago (106 dead). Either Israel is lying about its intentions in targeting, or its targeting is so error prone as to be reliably incompetent. Would we let a driver who repeatedly ran over innocent people at the side of the road keep their license? I would hope not and we shouldn't let a nation who can't seem to reliably (or honestly) use its weapons of defense continue to receive our support.

Or, maybe we would...

An 85-year-old man in el Monte, California last week ran over a sidewalk of patrons at a Starbucks cafe. Ten were injured, but fortunately no one was killed -- this time. It will be interesting to see if the man, who reportedly got confused about which pedal was the brake, will be allowed to keep his license. Early reports indicated he wouldn't be charged, presumably meaning he will be allowed to keep driving. One has to wonder why he was allowed behind the wheel in the first place. Probably because American legislators have shown an alarming unwillingness to place driving restrictions on their aging well-heeled, constituency.

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