Dangerous omen: The UN's Goldstone Report is a Threat to the US
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a quick and thorough investigation by NATO into a German-ordered, US air strike in northern Afghanistan Friday. Local officials say civilians were among those killed.
Ms. Merkel met visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Sunday, and also voiced support for a U.N. conference on Afghanistan's future to be held before the end of the year....The Post says the German officer received video from an American fighter jet, showing people around two fuel trucks hijacked by the Taliban. An Afghan informant said everyone at the site was an insurgent, and the German officer ordered a satellite-guided bomb dropped on each truck.
According to the newspaper, a NATO fact-finding team estimates that some 125 people were killed in the strike, and that at least 24 of them were not insurgents" Source VOA
"435. From the facts available to it, the Mission finds that the deliberate killing of 99 members of the police at the police headquarters and three police stations during the first minutes of the military operations, while they were engaged in civilian tasks inside civilian police facilities, constitutes an attack which failed to strike an acceptable balance between the direct military advantage anticipated (i.e. the killing of those policemen who may have been members of Palestinian armed groups) and the loss of civilian life (i.e. the other policemen killed and members of the public who would inevitably have been present or in the vicinity). The attacks on the Arafat City police headquarters and the Abbas Street police station, al-Tuffah police station and the Deir al-Balah investigative police station constituted disproportionate attacks in violation of customary international humanitarian law.
436. From the facts available to it, the Mission further believes that there has been a violation of the inherent right to life of those members of the police killed in the attacks of 27 December 2007 who were not members of armed groups by depriving them arbitrarily of their life in violation of article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights....Well, guess what? The majority of the policemen they refer to were members of terror groups.
I'm not 100% sure where the number 99 came from, but according to PCHR there were 91 police killed at Arafat Police City and 9 killed at the al-Abbas police station on December 27th. Based on those 100 people, we have evidence that 65 of them were militants, or 65% - nearly two-thirds. Goldstone's flat-out statement that a majority were not members of armed groups is not true.
Beyond that, Goldstone implies that many non-police civilians would have been in the area at the times of attack and therefore Israel should have not attacked for fear of hitting them. It gives no numbers of civilian casualties in those police stations, however. At Arafat Police City, 90 out of the 91 killed were police, and one was a "driver" who was also a member of the al-Qasaam Brigades. So 100% of those killed at that police station were, according to Goldstone's criteria, legitimate targets, as well over half were members of armed groups.
At the al-Abbas police station, 7 of the 9 killed were policemen, and 7 of the 9 killed were members of terror groups. (One "jobless" civilian was a member, one policeman we found no evidence of being a member.) "
Last week in the Israeli paper H'aretz, writer Ari Shavit argued as much.
"Some two weeks ago American airplanes fired on two oil tankers in northern Afghanistan. It was a German officer who'd asked the U.S. air force to attack the tankers in the middle of the night, in a populated area. The attack was successful - the two tankers were hit, went up in flames and were destroyed. But the overwhelming American-German air attack killed some 70 people. Some of those brought to hospitals were severely injured - with mutilated faces, burned hands and charred bodies.
It is not clear to this day if most of those who burned to death were Taliban warriors, as NATO first claimed, or innocent civilians who wanted to bring home a bit of oil. One way or another, it's clear that the United States and Germany are responsible for an extremely brutal attack. Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway also bear responsibility for the massacre as NATO members.
If the international community is committed to international law and universal ethics - which do not discriminate between one sort of killing and another - then it should investigate this villainous assault. If the United States, Germany and NATO refuse to cooperate with investigators, the UN should consider transferring the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. It is possible that at the end of the process it would be necessary to put U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway on trial for their role in committing a severe war crime that did not distinguish between civilians and combatants.....Only in matters involving Israel, do international law and justice suddenly discover that they have teeth. Only when Israel is involved is the judgment administered out of context. Only Israel is required to uphold a moral standard no superpower or Middle Eastern state is required to uphold."