Backpeddling And Denying
Question: I’m no lawyer, but I watch lawyers on TV, and I noticed that, before accusing anybody of apparently committing a crime, they always look for motivation, for motive, for committing the crime that they alleged those people made. Now, when Kofi Annan said yesterday that the Israeli attack was apparently deliberate, he didn’t site such motivation .... Could you explain to me what possible motivation Israel would have to attack a UN position?To get through all that and end with a definitive statement like "No, he did not," you have to follow this the formula: Backpeddle, backpeddle, backpeddle, deny. Brilliant!
Deputy Spokesman: First of all, I don’t think it’s the Secretary-General’s position to talk about Israel’s motivation. I would like to refer to Jane Holl Lute’s statement, which was made public, which factually states the sequence of events that occurred …
Question: [talkover] Can you explain to me… [talkover]?
Deputy Spokesman: I cannot speak on behalf of Israel’s motivation. The Secretary-General made that statement and, again, he was asked about it this morning, or this afternoon, in Rome, following the International Conference. And, I would like to draw your attention to it. And, we should have that transcript of his remarks shortly, but, in it, he does say that he had the chance to speak to the Prime Minister of Israel. He said that, let me just read: “He definitely believes it’s a mistake. He has undertaken to investigate, and I have suggested we do a joint investigation. And, he has expressed his deep sorrow at what happened, and we accept that.” [The Secretary-General] goes on to say that he awaits the investigation, the end of the investigation. He looks forward to the results of the investigation, and he is grateful to the Prime Minister for what he has said, and we accept his words. And, I will again refer you to the remarks that he has made.
Question: So, did he jump the gun yesterday?
Deputy Spokesman: No, he did not.
And when you know you're wrong, promise to get back to them later:
Question: Okay, so do you know how many of the total 21 strikes came from airplanes, because we were told yesterday about laser-guided missiles and things. There’s nothing about this, so was that correct information yesterday?It's shameful and ridiculous ... but not as ridiculous as Kofi's call today to avoid solutions, i.e., to have an immediate ceasefire. Waving the human suffering card is no good here; wiping out Hezbollah in Lebanon will bring about a greater reduction in human suffering sooner than the UN approach of ceasefire to ceasefire violation to war.
Deputy Spokesman: I don’t think the Secretary-General’s statement… it stands for what it is. I just will try to find out a little more detail on the specifics of the 21 strikes for you.
[A later information sheet said that at least 11 aerial bombs and 13 artillery shells had been fired n those strikes.]