Kofi Annan has come out strongly in favor of having an investigation on the bombing of a U.N. bunker in Southern Lebanon. The UN says that they repeatedly asked Israel to stop the bombing and Israel refused. A key quote in the article is that Hezbullah didn’t fire on the bunker. Of course, the UN representative who said this meant it to cast blame on Israel, but it does the opposite. The UN bunker was right in the middle of the terrorists. Suppose Israel does nothing within a radius of 300-500 meters of the bunker (a reasonable error for an airstrike or artillery bombing). How are they supposed to clear the terrorists out of Lebanon if they don’t bomb an area of 300,000-800,000 sq. meters around each UN bunker. Maybe the Israelis could let the UN deal with these terrorists? I mean if you can’t trust the UN who can you trust? In fact the possibility that this is a mistake is much greater than any other possibility. The other three possibilities are:
- A single pilot acting on his own bombed the bunker out of his contempt for the UN. This is technically possible, but it is unlikely that any pilot would take the high chance of life in prison just to satisfy a personal vendetta. Also Annan doesn’t want this because it allows Israel to punish the pilot and suffer no loss of reputation.
- Israel authorized the bombing of the bunker and the near misses were put there to fool the world into thinking it was an accident. This is implausible because there is no motive for Israel to bomb a random UN bunker. It is possibly the one action Israel can take which would turn the US against them.
- Israel bombed the UN bunker because the UN was sheltering Hamas. Given the UN reputation it isn’t implausible, but even so Israel probably wouldn’t bomb the bunker directly.
The UN bunker was unfortunately destroyed, but if you’re going to send UN observers into the middle of the enemy army you shouldn’t be shocked if you get accidentally hit.