March 15, 2005

Suing Caterpillar

My deepest condolences go out to the parents of Rachel Corrie:

the 23-year-old American peace activist and student who was run over and killed by a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer on March 16, 2003.
I also wish them success in this suit:
The Corries also filed a tort claim today in Israel against the State of Israel, the Israeli Defense Ministry and the IDF for their role in the death of their daughter.
The perp driving the dozer should also be and object of the suit and serving time.

When I first heard it from one of the evening talking heads I had a much different initial reaction, to this suit:

...filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western Federal District of Washington, alleges that Caterpillar, Inc. violated international and state law by providing specially designed bulldozers to Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) that it knew would be used to demolish homes and endanger civilians.
I thought this was BS. Sure, go after the hands on perpetrators: the driver, his employer, relevant patrons, etc. But Caterpillar? Nope. There are tens of thousands of these big machines out around the world. Caterpillar should be no more culpable than a baseball bat manufacturer whose product is used in a beating.

On the other hand, if Caterpillar conspired with state actors to create a device specifically to be used to violate individual rights then both Caterpillar and the state actors should be held accountable.

Posted by Steve on March 15, 2005
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