How many times does Israel have to apologize for massacring civilians in the same town before the apology rings hollow? For the second time in ten years, the Israeli military has carried out a horrific massacre in the southern Lebanon town of Qana. The second mass killing was no more of accident than the first. Both, like the 1982 massacres in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps of West Beirut, were conducted with cool deliberation. All had clear and decipherable tactical objectives.
The 2006 Qana massacre was intended to force an exodus of the remaining population from southern Lebanon in order to clear the way for an offensive by 10,000 Israeli troops, tanks and Caterpillar armored bulldozers, backed by aerial and artillery bombardment.
The toll of death and destruction and the looming danger of a wider war underline the critical importance of the Aug. 12 mass demonstrations in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities.