What follows is a horror story, released on Friday, February 1st, by Stephen Harper’s government.
When the Israeli Armed Forces killed a Canadian U.N. soldier and three others, during Israel’s failed invasion of Lebanon, they explained that the killings were a mistake.
I don’t know why the Israelis killed the Canadian – Major Paeta Hess-Von Kruedener, a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and three of his colleagues in a clearly-marked United Nations Observation Post. But they did.
I don’t know for sure if the post was deliberately targeted – but I think it was.
The results of a Canadian Board Of Inquiry have finally come out. Today the Globe and Mail published a tiny story…not even 200 words long…explaining what we all knew a long time ago. That an unarmed Canadian Major was killed by an Israeli bomb.
The New York Times published a few words too (279). The Times explained that the U.N. wanted Israel to stop attacking its post.
So did the Winnipeg Free Press – also quite short.
This story…just like our reputation for peacekeeping…is off the government radar and hence, off the mainstream media radar as well.
In a rather bizarre addendum to a press release on this subject, the Canadian government said:
“Appropriate portions of the final report have been severed out (read censored), in accordance with Access to Information regulations to protect the operational security of the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) and the UN. (Read Cover their Asses). However the essence of the report remains and tells a little of the story of what happened that night”.
They begged, they pleaded and they yelled out.
A half hour before the fatal bomb was dropped, a United Nations Commander yelled over a radio hookup at an Israeli official: “You are killing my people”.
After that there was a brief period of silence and the Canadian soldier and his fellow soldiers thought it was all over. They thought, ah, Israel has heard us and listened.
They then prepared to evacuate the Observation Post – just in case.
But before they could pack their bags, that big Israeli bomb…a 1,100 pound GPS-guided bomb…went whistling down right on the spot.
I have no idea why the Canadian military report – issued on Friday – was so heavily censored…and furthermore, I don’t believe there was any legitimate reason to censor it. The report was about the killing of an unarmed Canadian 2 years ago. Doesn’t sound a lot like a national security matter. But we can take a guess.
Sounds like a cover-up.
Israel knew the exact location of every United Nations Observer Compound, including the one where the Canadian Major and his Austrian, Chinese and Finish colleagues were stationed.
Israeli bombardments of the UN compound that July day, came in three waves, beginning at around noon. The first one included both artillery shells and aerial bombs…landing close to the UN compound. The U.N. soldiers lodged a protest with Israeli Forces.
The second Israeli bombardment occurred shortly after 2pm and lasted until approximately 2:50 pm. Again, the U.N. soldiers protested to the Israeli forces that they were striking too close to their compound.
By 6:30 pm that day, the Israelis were getting more accurate. Starting at around 6:29 pm, twelve 155mm. artillery shells struck close to the U.N. base. Four rounds struck the compound itself, causing extensive damage to the structures and to the security bunker. At this point the soldiers contacted the Israeli Northern Command and advised that Israel’s actions were putting the lives of the defenceless international soldiers at grave risk. (This was only the latest of several appeals to the Israeli military). U.N. officers including the Canadian Major Paeta Hess-Von Kruedener decided at that point to organize an evacuation for 0700 hours the following morning.
There was immediate communication between the United Nations and Israeli authorities at the Deputy Secretary General level. Israel was asked in the strongest possible terms to stop firing at the U.N. Compound.
There was then a short period of quiet.
The U.N. soldiers mistakenly believed that the Israelis had stopped their attack. Then at approximately 7:15 pm., the bombardment began again. This time, it was deadly accurate. By 7:25, contact with the United Nations base was lost.
Then shortly after 8pm, a team of U.N. soldiers (India), arrived to assist in an emergency evacuation. Upon entering the compound the rescue team found that the main building in the compound had been destroyed. They found no sign of life.
The team searched the rubble and found three bodies, including that of the Canadian Major. The fourth body was not recovered until 04 of August 2006. Throughout the rescue effort, Israeli forces continued to shell the compound area.
As I mentioned earlier, the report of the Canadian military tribunal investigating this outrageous attack has been heavily censored.
We can only venture a guess as to why.
We can guess that the Israelis, (one of our “closest allies” according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper), knew exactly what they were doing. (Just Saying).
We do know this for sure though and it’s official: The Israelis did not co-operate with the inquiry.
We also know that Stephen Harper is Israel’s best friend and never once protested against the lack of Israeli cooperation with the Canadian Inquiry. The Report undoubtedly contains strong criticism of the Israeli authorities. That’s the only logical explanation for the “severing”/ censorship.
It stinks of cover up.
FACT: Israel provided no help to the Inquiry. Israel did however, offer to let the Canadian Board of Inquiry interview some people who had no connection with the incident in which the Canadian Major was killed. The Canadians felt this would be a waste of time and money.
The Canadians provided written questions to the Israeli authorities, but after almost two years, no answer has been received.
Makes you wonder.
As to the preventability of the incident, the Canadian Military Board of Inquiry found that it was preventable.
As to whether the Israeli attack was deliberate? That information was censored out of the report.
Makes you wonder.
Our condolences go out to the widow and the family of Major Paeta Hess-Von Kruedener, killed by an Israeli bomb, while defending Canada’s values, on behalf of the international community.
The Major was an unarmed observer at a clearly marked United Nations compound. The compound was destroyed by a direct hit by an 1100 pound GPS-guided Israeli bomb after multiple appeals by the UN asking Israel to stop.
Makes you wonder.
Our condolences go also to the families of the other soldiers who were killed in the attack: all unarmed and all inside a clearly marked United Nations patrol post. Neither the Globe, nor the New York Times bothered mentioning the names of the other soldiers…nor did the Canadian Board Of Inquiry. Their names are not on the United nations Website and an exhaustive internet search could not turn them up.
And so, they remain anonymous.
Update: In The Kingston Whig Standard, Christina Spencer wrote this column.
The three other soldiers were from
My poetic license
Sorry we killed your guy.
War you know.
Collateral damage and all that.
Maybe you’ll learn.
Don’t come back.
-the Israeli assistant to the assistant.