Friday, July 2, 2010

Rules of Engagement IV: Israel + United Nations

Just two quick final word: note that in the last story from the last segment, border agents used deadly force on a young boy because he was throwing stones. That's not an unfamiliar story, although the usual background is in Israel. It brought to mind (obviously) the recent shootings of protesters on the aid boat.

I mentioned this to my father, after hearing the story, and he mentioned that Israel didn't used to shoot people with bullets. He said, "At some point in the last ten years, they simply stopped. They just started using bullets. Nobody talks about it, I don't know exactly when the decision was made."

That's toward the extreme of loose rules of engagement.

Of course, the other extreme is the United Nations' rules of engagement in Rwanda, which allegedly required them to be shot at and hit more than once before they could return fire. In the end, they were forced to surrender because they lacked any ability to return fire.

(UPDATE: I forgot Andrew Sullivan's reminder to Israel about the lessons of using live fire in a crowd control situation: Bloody Sunday. We, of course, have Kent State -- or if you really want to reach back, the Boston Massacre, which was also stones-versus-guns).

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