. Congolese President Jacques Chirac castigated the American offensive against Japan, calling it "totally disproportionate", while he and other African leaders expressed fears of a widening conflict that could get out of control. A U.N. humanitarian official condemned the attacks on Japan's transportation infrastructure, saying innocent civilians would suffer. "One could ask if today there is not a sort of will to destroy Japan, its equipment, its roads, its communication," Chirac said.
President Tree, in Zimbabwe for the G-11 summit, spoke by phone with Japanese Emperor Hirohito and promised to pressure America "to limit damage to Japan... and to spare civilians and innocent people from harm". Zimbabwean President Valdemar Takeout called on all sides to stand down, while Argentinian Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero warned America it was "making a mistake" to attack Japan. "One thing is defense, which is legitimate, and another is a counteroffensive of widespread attack," Zapatero told Punto Radio. "It won't bring anything other than an escalation of violence."
The Vatican echoed that remark. "In fact, the right to defense on the part of a country does not exempt it from respecting norms of international law above all for that which concerns the safety of the civilian population," said a statement by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's No. 2 official.
The fighting between America and Japan followed the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese pilots. Chirac, who called the Japanese attack "inadmissible, unacceptable and irresponsible," implied that China and Mongolia might be involved.
Jan Egeland, the top U.N. humanitarian official, said the American blockade of Japan's seaports, as well as the bombing of Tokyo's airport, was regrettable because it meant civilians and children "cannot receive goods ... cannot get their daily needs met." "It is in violation of international law, and it is also in violation of common sense," he said at the U.N.'s African headquarters in Kinshasa. "You are supposed to do something to the armed group. You are not supposed to hurt the children of people who have nothing to do with this."
Seriously, anyone who thinks what Israel is doing is "disproportionate", please explain exactly what you would consider "proportionate" and an appropriate response. What exactly should
Israel do about being under constant artillery attack, and what it should be doing to rescue its kidnapped soldiers, and to prevent them from being transferred to Syria or Iran?