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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 01, 2003

Checkpoint Hypocrisy

From WSJ's Best of the Web

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U.S. soldiers shot and killed at least seven Iraqi women and children yesterday after the van in which they were traveling failed to stop at an Army checkpoint near Najaf, CNN reports. Coalition troops have been increasingly vigilant in light of the Iraqi regime's use of terror-style tactics, especially a car bombing that killed four Americans.

"In light of recent terrorist attacks by the Iraqi regime, the soldiers exercised considerable restraint to avoid the unnecessary loss of life," says a statement from the coalition's Central Command. The soldiers fired into the van only as a "last resort."

Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, say the soldiers "did the right thing." He's probably right, notwithstanding the tragic result. But this incident does open the U.S. government to charges of hypocrisy. Yesterday the State Department released its annual Human Rights Report. The section on Israel accuses Jerusalem of, among other things, using "excessive force while manning checkpoints." Of course, Israel maintains its checkpoints for the same reason the coalition does in Iraq. The only difference is that Palestinian terrorists actually pose a direct and immediate danger to Israeli civilians in their own country.

Agence France-Presse reports that "three US troops were wounded, one seriously, after Iraqi soldiers used a Red Crescent ambulance to stage an attack in southern Iraq." This is another case of Saddam Hussein's terrorists aping the Palestinian Arabs; an article in The Lancet (link in PDF format) describes how Palestinian terrorists use Red Crescent ambulances to smuggle weapons. And of course the State Department faults Israel because it has "obstructed the movement of and occasionally fired upon medical personal [sic] and ambulances." MORE
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