Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Last Week In Lebanon?

The Washington Post's World Opinion Roundup has a petulant post which deliberately mischaracterizes the motive behind those who have raised questions about Qana:

The Qana conspiracy theory not only underscores how the Internet can misinform (an old story), it also reveals a popular demand for online content that attempts to explain away news reports that Israel (and by proxy, its closest ally and arms supplier, the United States) was responsible for the deaths of dozens of women and children in a Hezbollah stronghold.

Yes, of course. That's why the questions. We're trying to "explain away" the deaths.

Sorry, Jefferson, but that's BS, at least for my part. I'm not trying to explain away anything. I know what country's missile hit that building. I know what country did the bombing. I also know that the true responsibility for the deaths in Qana falls squarely on Hezbollah, which fires rockets that deliberately try to kill civilians, which fires them from civilian areas, and which traps women and children in war zones. Israel at least has the decency to attempt to avoid civilian casualties, and to recognize that an error that causes such casualties is a wrong. Hezbollah has no such capacity.

We have nearly a century's worth of experience with totalitarian propaganda operations. We have specific experience with Hezbollah's propaganda machine. We have dubious photos and a dubious timeline. Those aren't made up. Applying the lessons learned from those experiences to the "news" from Qana is not some desperate attempt to exonerate Israel, it's applying the wisdom of experience. It's not like the Muslims who are making war against Israel haven't lied before. Morely ends his post with this:
[EU Referendum's Richard] North says he is just trying to "raise questions," which is certainly a legitimate goal. My question is: What is it about the photos from Qana that made Israel's supporters prefer fantasy to fact?

What is it about our friend Jefferson that he prefers the first headlines from reporters censored and controlled by Hezbollah to the analysis from uncensored outsiders that follows? It's a fantasy to think that the strike was not a jackpot in the mind of Hezbollah, and that at the very least they ruthlessly exploited the deaths they did so much to bring about.

The comments provide all the insight into the value of Morely's critique that one would need. The first reads: "No surprises here....the Israeli/Zionist propaganda machine takes very little time to get its wheels turning..." Most of the comments are similarly paranoid.

Meanwhile, back in the world of fact, history, and logic, Israel is pressing several battles in south Lebanon. They are trying to create a buffer similar to the one they had up until 2000 (via Israellycool). The direction of the latest diplomacy is that Israel has about another week to finish its operations in Lebanon before a cease fire is imposed, though that could change in the next few days.

And in Israel, there is great pride in the strike against Baalbek, though it appears the strike is not a precursor to larger plans for the Bekaa Valley.

UPDATE 10:08 am CDT: Hezbollah launched a massive rocket atack against Israel. 100 rockets landed in Israel in a matter of minutes, killing 6, including two people in Acre and three in Maalot.

UPDATE 10:57 am CDT: Haaretz reports that 7 people were killed by Hezbollah rockets, 4 in Acre and 3 in Maalot, and that of 150 rockets fired at northern Israel on Thursday, 120 landed between 4 pm and 5 pm.

UPDATE 12:08 pm CDT: Ehud Olmert wants 15,000 international troops for south Lebanon. For the benefit of the international community, he has defined "robust":
"It has to be made up of armies, not of retirees, of real soldiers, not of pensioners who have come to spend leisurely months in south Lebanon, but, rather, an army with combat units that is prepared to implement the UN resolution. I think it has to have about 15,000 soldiers. I think that's more or less what the international community understands," Olmert told the Times and the Telegraph.

Some Islamic countries wish to join the force. Whether they would accede to Olmert's definition of robust is debatable, especially the part about implementing the resolutions against Hezbollah.

Haaretz describes Hezbollah's "news" services. For those unclear on the matter, Hezbollah has what is truly a "well-oiled propaganda machine." Please use their example for future reference.


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Gavriel said...

Fantastic post. I was going to write on the "qana questioners are moonbat conspiracy nuts" and "propagandists" angle too. I may still give it a shot, but you've covered the subject really well.

McKreck said...