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August 15, 2006

Qana Was Not Staged

Timothyfadek793169791A

(click to expand)

With the firestorm coming from the Rathergate crowd, and doubts now spreading from the left wing about images from Lebanon, it can start to feel like all reason is being subsumed by political hysteria.  At the same time, war photojournalism seems at risk of being tarred with one brush.

I spent about a half-hour on the phone this evening with photojournalist and contributer Tim Fadek, who has been in Lebanon for about three weeks covering the war.

Having been present following the Qana air strike, Tim emphasized that there was no parading or manipulation of bodies, and that the scene was not staged in any way.  That said, Tim took pains to explain how this kind of situation carries with it certain cultural practices and emotional responses that don’t transfer well to the West.  This seems especially true right now, in the super-heated and intensely polarized political environment in the U.S.

"When there is senseless death in this part of the world," Tim explains, "it is completely normal to display the bodies.  Whether in plastic or on blankets, it’s done whether there are photographers there or not.  The idea is to ready the public for what has happened, and also say, look what our enemies have done to us."

Regarding the images cited as evidence of manipulation, Fadek said: "a finer distinction is being lost in the West.  In Qana, rescue workers did not hold up a baby to set up a shot.  They were not displaying them to the media, per se.  Yes, it was not lost on these men that the cameras presented a window to the world.  But these people were doing wrenching rescue work and they are human beings.  These instances [of holding up babies] were mostly spontaneous and momentary expressions of anger."

Tim also explained the circumstances surrounding his own images.  Although he felt the photo above was more powerful shown this way, he explained that a rescue worker did set down the body, briefly uncovering it for photographers to document.

For those inclined to consider the depictions as manipulated, Fadek also offers the following image, along with the circumstances involved.

Timothyfadek793169788A

(click for full size)

Once removed from the collapsed building, these bodies were set on the ground to be taken down a hill.   From this spot to the waiting ambulances was at least a four minute walk.  In this case, the two children were placed on this blanket where photographers had 1 1/2 to to 2 seconds to document them.  Given the distance and the available manpower, the two bodies were placed on the same blanket to save effort.

In each case, Tim’s understanding was that the rescuers were acting in a manner reflecting a normal attitude toward the dead.  "It’s not a manipulation, it’s a cultural distinction," said Fadek.  "It’s the same as at a martyrs funeral, where faces are exposed, and the bodies marched through the streets.  It’s been done for years, media or otherwise."

—————–

Update from Tim Fadek (7:35 am PST):

"I need to explain the two or three seconds where the rescue worker uncovered the face of the dead man with his rigormortised hand in the air.  The rescue worker pulled back the blanket and screamed in English: "Look at this!  Israel, America!!"  Then he re-covered the face.  Given Middle Eastern norms and his clear anger, I could not  consider this display disrespectful.

Also, in no way do I consider his actions "directing" the press, or altering the setting.  It was he who pulled the body from the rubble and placed the blanket on the victim in the first place.  He was simply expressing his feelings about the senselessness.  Of course, I photographed the situation with and without the blanket covering the corpse.  I just preferred the covered version and that is what I sent to my agency and posted on my website."

—————–

Update 2 (9:23 am PST):



You can view one more image Tim took from Qana, as well as a thoughtful, explanatory statement about "photo direction" by photographer Thorne Anderson, at this companion piece I just posted at Huffington.

(image: Tim Fadek/Polaris.  July 30, 2006.  Qana, Lebanon.  Used by permission.  Please seek permission before republication.)

  • ligia

    well,well…finally are you opening your mind!congratulations! i think is usefull for you to read this:
    America’s one-eyed view of war: Stars, stripes,and the Star of David
    There are two sides to every conflict – unless you rely on the US media for information about the battle in Lebanon. Viewers have been fed a diet of partisan coverage which treats Israel as the good guys and their Hizbollah enemy as the incarnation of evil.
    Andrew Gumbel reports from Los Angeles
    Published: 15 August 2006 http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article1219241.ece
    It´s always good to see the world with more than one vision. You look like you read only the american press…

  • Mad_nVT

    Dead civilians. Dead children. Terrible. What if these were your kids?
    War crimes. War criminals caused this. Bring them to trial. Both sides.

  • Kerstin

    “Not only is there next to no debate, but debate itself is considered unnecessary and suspect.”
    Thank you for providing a space for debate here, Bag. Some of your commenters need to be reminded from time to time of the service you provide here and should redirect their fire to more appropriate targets.
    “Rabbi Lerner has tried to argue for years that it is in Israel’s best interests to reach a peaceful settlement, and that demonising Arabs as terrorists is counter-productive and against Judaism.”
    Why has this voice of reason gone unheard in this country?
    Rabbi Lerner elaborates: “The organised Jewish community has transformed the image of Judaism into a cheering squad for the Israeli government, whatever its policies are. That is just idolatry, and goes against all the warnings in the Bible about giving too much power to the king or the state.”
    Our rabbi traveled to Israel last month. When the first rockets started firing, his emails were along the lines of “we’ll fight as necessary, never again.” I was unnerved by his pro-war stance since I’ve observed him to be a gentle, kind, intelligent, wise, and compassionate man. As the war intensified, his emails became more subdued. Nothing more has been heard from him until this morning when he wrote to say he was back in the U.S. It will be interesting to hear his views after he’s had a chance to reflect on his experience.
    Thank you, too, for an insightful post and clarification by Tim. If only our major newspapers were half as diligent in their reporting.

  • http://www.searchformajorplagge.com MichaelDG

    The truth is often painful to see. Kudos to the bag for showing what “collateral damage” really looks like. I think the important goal is to figure out how partisans of each side of a conflict can be made to view images from the opposing side’s point of view. It is easy to brush aside casualty figures until one is confronted with images such as these.
    Regarding the biases of the western media, I am led to wonder if any images of Israeli suffering have been seen anywhere in the Arab media? Is either side showing any empathy or images of the suffering of the “other”?

  • http://profile.typekey.com/aog/ Annoying Old Guy

    Why has this voice of reason gone unheard in this country?

    Because images of dead Lebanese cause Israelis to be sorry, while images of dead Israelis cause Palestinians and Hizb’allah to dance in the streets.

  • Bill

    Thanks for noting the cultural differences re. photography and the dead, and the “proper” way a society shows respect to their deceased. It’s not so much a difference with the West as with the modern West. Look at American photographs (daguerreotypes) dating back to the invention of photography (the 1850’s) and it’s quite interesting to note just how many featured the dead as subjects. Contrast that with the looks you’d get if you brought a camera today into a funeral parlor during a viewing. “We” really aren’t that different from “them”, just out of phase in time.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/bgrothus/ bg

    Asymmetrical.
    Israel has the firepower to inflict tremendous damage, and collateral, as the case may be, in Lebanon. The kill ratio is asymmetrical.
    On the other side, if there is celebration, is it because they are happy to kill Israelis, or is there the satisfaction, in some asymmetrical manner, of being underdogs and yet keeping an asymmetrical power at bay?
    Just asking.

  • ummabdulla

    Annoying Old Guy, this was one of your more ridiculous comments.
    Anyway, thanks, BAG, and Tim Fadek, for this. It’s pretty ridiculous that there is even a question about all this, and I assume it’s only in the U.S. I watched live coverage of Qana the morning after the bombing, as they were digging bodies out, and it’s hard for me to believe that people are actually questioning whether the photos were real.
    MichaelDG, I think that the Arabic channels show what’s going on in Israel; they’re not the raving lunatics that people think. Al-Jazeera, for example, interviews Israelis pretty often. (You can see their English website here.) International news channels like BBC World and CNN International certainly show the Israeli side – way too much, if you ask me.
    I see photographs daily on the front page of my newspaper (an English-language, pro-Western, anti-Islamist newspaper in one of the Arab countries friendliest to the U.S.) of dead and wounded Lebanese (and Palestinian – let’s not forget them) children. Often, I can’t even find them at Yahoo News photos, even though they’re from the Associated Press, for example.
    Yesterday there was one where you could see a mother’s hand holding her child’s hand – both dead, in the rubble… but that wouldn’t be shown in the U.S., and I can’t find it online now.

  • sophie brown

    Thanks for this. We all need to strive for balance here. I am unhappy about the distortion of images, and the distortion of images is a story, but it is not THE STORY about this conflict. THE STORY is that civilians were killed, on both sides, but disprortionately on the Lebanese side. I’m not talking provocation, or justification, or good and evil. I am just saying this is no way to conduct warfare.
    I overheard a big beefy guy at the gym talking about the manufactured images. He went on and on then said “it just makes me sick to my stomach.”
    It’s not the distortion of images that should make one sick to their stomach.

  • http://www.dock.net/fuming_mucker/ Darryl Pearce

    …most people living in the United States get “unbalanced” by seeing images of, or really seeing, dead bodies (witness our collective, national reaction to the Sept 11, 2001 hijack-attacks).
    All of the survivors are shocked, but none of them are awed. …simply angry.
    They are us. We are them.

  • Shaun

    The anti-Israel media used Qana for all it was worth, whether they propped up the babies or not. Who cares if Arab norms say “it is completely normal to display the bodies…The idea is to ready the public for what has happened — and also say, look what our enemies have done to us.” That sounds like a euphemistic way of saying they always treat the dead opportunisticaly so don’t take it personally…Is it really “completely normal” to waive dead bodies around? Not its not, its obscene and disgusting. BTW, where are the pictures of dead Israeli children? Ummabdulla, I challenge you to find me some pictures of dead Israeli civilians on Al-Jazeera…
    None of this makes any difference anyway, annoyingoldguy is right, Israelis don’t like killing kids, but Hezbollah (with the support of the Lebanese who proved in what high-esteem they hold life during their own civil war) intentionally target civilians and apologize only when Israeli-Arabs are killed. And they do celebrate when Israelis die. But apparently its okay to celebrate killing Israli civilians because: “if there is celebration, is it because they are happy to kill Israelis, or is there the satisfaction, in some asymmetrical manner, of being underdogs and yet keeping an asymmetrical power at bay?” Thanks for the lesson in subjectivized horseshit, bg. (BTW, you can just as easily say Israel is using asymmetric technological prowess to defend itself from the hordes of enemies on all sides that would rape and murder them if they could…)
    By subscribing to racist, anti-semitic double-standards in the name of human rights you people make a mockery of the very concept.

  • http://areyoudressed.blogspot.com momly

    par·ti·san1 (pär’tĭ-zən)
    n.
    A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.
    A member of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially within occupied territory; a guerrilla.
    adj.
    Of, relating to, or characteristic of a partisan or partisans.
    Devoted to or biased in support of a party, group, or cause: partisan politics.
    [French, from Old French, from Old Italian dialectal partisano, variant of Old Italian partigiano, from parte, part, from Latin pars, part-. See part.]

    or in other words, Shaun.
    How can you really expect someone to take you seriously when what comes out of your soul is so scorching? Hold your opinions, by all means, but give a thought as to how to express them.

  • http://www.wreckingboy.com/madworld Nezua-Limón Xoloquinta-Jonez

    Death Art….almost like Found Art. But found in tragedy. Beautiful.
    ………i’m glad some people care to speak up for those killed at Qana, or anywhere.
    aside, throughout, and after all this, i feel that if one has the opportunity to hurt someone, and they take it, they are wrong. bombing is wrong. choosing to hurt when you can NOT hurt someone is wrong. my beliefs remain, and will, after all of this PSYOPS storm we politely label a collaboration of killers and liars….

  • chimproller

    “anti-semitic” Shaun? Why throw around such charged accusations without proof? Name-calling is intellectually dishonest – Lets stick to the topic please.
    And, I guess “asymmetric technological prowess” is another way of saying killing civilians with bombs from F-16s is OK, but not with suicide bombs. Justifying the killing of innocents is disgusting, no matter who is doing it.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/richsodergren/ rchsod

    without photos there will be faint memory of what took place. there will be no evidence of the crime against humanity. are we so afraid to be shown what we have done to the innocents? are we so ashamed that we backed this war that we can not look at our work?
    the death of children should be shown so maybe we can understand just how small we really are

  • http://www.wreckingboy.com/madworld Nezua-Limón Xoloquinta-Jonez

    Death Art….almost like Found Art. But found in tragedy. Beautiful.
    ………i’m glad some people care to speak up for those killed at Qana, or anywhere.
    aside, throughout, and after all this, i feel that if one has the opportunity to hurt someone, and they take it, they are wrong. bombing is wrong. choosing to hurt when you can NOT hurt someone is wrong. my beliefs remain, and will, after all of this PSYOPS storm we politely label a collaboration of killers and liars….

  • The BAG

    No thanks needed. As always, my attempt is to stand up for the visuals, wherever that may lead. Beyond that, I am just trying my best to navigate through the heavy barrage of partisan feelings, political biases and propaganda on every side of this conflict. If I am making everybody mad, or disappointed, as I move from one post to the next, I consider I must be on the right track. All I ask of you is that you continue to keep the particular images (including thier acquisition and use) in mind as the focus for discussion and reasoned debate.
    I should also add that this post was featured at the EUreferendum blog which started the conspiracy theory surrounding the Qana images. As such, I would expect that this discussion might become even more of a rollercoaster than usual. Again, I welcome the debate, as long as it sticks to images and (alleged) facts. And yes, I’d expect that might lead to some discussion of “Mr. Green Helmet.” By the way, here’s the original EURef post for reference. I don’t have time, right now, to add more, but Tim Fadek did address the role of “Green Helmet” in our converstion last night. I’m not sure Tim will be participating in the thread (which is his business, given his comfort level — and travel schedule. I believe he is en route back to the States today or tomorrow.) If it becomes relevant though, I will try to include those comments, as well.

  • LongWinded

    I appreciate your call for reason and restraint. There have been suggestions on various blogs and message boards that additional corpses were brought to Qana to inflate the casualty count; that Hezbollah stuffed civilians (or more grotesquely, handicapped children) into a building and then deliberately goaded the Israelis into striking it; or that the entire incident was staged by Hezbollah. As you correctly note, this sort of conspiratorial thinking is deeply twisted, denies the fundamental tragedy of Qana, and ought to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
    On the other hand, there are some elements of this sad saga on which all parties seem to agree that raise some troubling questions.
    1) The first of these is the body count. Human Rights Watch has verified that 28 bodies were recovered from the rubble. Over the course of July 30 and 31, Salam Daher (“Green Helmet”) gave successive tallies to AFP and other news agencies that put the toll far higher. Crucially, these were not estimates. He said that rescue workers had actually recovered 32 bodies, then 51 bodies, and finally 54 bodies. The number of children recovered from the rubble (16, according to HRW) rose incrementally from 14 to 37. Simply put, Daher lied. There is no other way to interpret direct quotes claiming the physical recovery of almost twice as many corpses as there were victims – particularly when the toll gave a specific breakdown of adults and children, and was revised and repeated over more than 24 hours. That, I think, justifies some degree of skepticism of Daher’s role in the tragic affair. At the very least, he displayed a willingness to inflate, exaggerate, or embroider the truth in the interest of drawing the world’s attention to an undeniable tragedy. If he was willing to do so with the count of recovered bodies, there is no reason to believe he would have been reluctant to manipulate images.
    2) The second point is that bodies were repeatedly repositioned and displayed for the benefit of the assembled press. The photographic record is fairly unequivocal. I think that Fadek is being slightly disingenuous on this point. Heartfelt expressions of grief and the deliberate manipulation of bodies to maximize international outrage are not mutually exclusive; in fact, in this case, they seem to have been mutually reinforcing. The people working in the rubble at Qana were outraged about what had happened, and seem to have felt entirely justified in bringing it to the attention of the world. When the rescue worker pulled back the sheet in front of Fadek and exclaimed in English, “Look at this! Israel, America!” he could not possibly have been doing so for the benefit of his fellow Lebanese. He certainly intended that the photographers take a picture: he spoke in the language of the international media, and expected his remarks to reach Israelis and Americans. I am not so ready as Fadek to explain away such conduct by means of cultural relativism, but I’m willing to run with the idea. Let’s grant that what seems disrespectful to corpses to westerners may have been intended by the Lebanese rescuers as a means of ensuring that the deaths were not in vain, and thus a gesture of respect for their ‘martyrdom.’ That brings us to the third point of relative consensus…
    3) A large number of members of the western media, and perhaps even more local stringers, were present in Qana. They, too, were outraged and appalled by what they found, and determined to share the horror of the scene with the world at large. None of the photographers or journalists at Qana, to the best of my knowledge, has publicly expressed the view that it was anything other than a horrifying tragedy.
    I think one of the reasons that Qana has so resonated among observers of the media is that it is a particularly intense instance of a journalistic gray-area. In times of war, journalists frequently find themselves confronting scenes of almost unimaginable horror. Nothing that they can write, no picture that they can take, can possibly capture the full measure of what they confront. No photograph can take a complacent reader perusing the newspaper over breakfast, and make him understand what it is to watch the corpse of an innocent child being excavated from the rubble. But it’s the job of journalists to try. Those present at Qana were eager for the quote, the image, that would help the world relate to what they saw.
    Here’s where I verge into speculation. I think that reporters suspended their usual skepticism, and accepted casualty figures that ought to have seemed suspicious – particularly as the number of children kept on rising even as the total number of victims remained nearly constant. Quibbling over the number of dead seemed unimportant that day in Qana. I think that photographers, including Fadek, watched as the rescue workers passed around the corpses of the victims, and repeatedly snapped photos in the service of a larger truth. If a rescue worker feels outraged, grief-stricken, horrified, as he works all day in the rubble, but only allows those emotions to the surface as he rounds a corner and confronts a media swarm, is that so wrong? By crying out, isn’t he making the image more truthful than it would have been if he had the same deadened expression his face had worn for the past few hours? If the Red Cross volunteers helped the photographers get a better angle for their shots, or straightened their helmets before being recorded for posterity, did that change the fact that the little girl they carried on their stretcher was dead? If a head had to be repositioned, an excavation reenacted, a body removed from an ambulance and then laid to rest on a stretcher a second time, all in the service of recording the horror of Qana, all with the larger truth in mind, was there anything wrong with that?
    The answer, I hope you’ll agree, is yes. At some point that day in Qana, the assembled media crossed an invisible line. The images that it beamed to the outside world became a simulacrum of the tragedy they purportedly recorded. If a rescue worker was displaying the body of a little girl for the media, photographers should have said so in their captions. But they didn’t. I suspect they thought the world wouldn’t understand – they know full well that images that are labeled as posed are instantly rendered suspect, that they lose much of their power. If the person in the photo was the head of civil defense for the region, the caption should have said that, too. But that would have robbed the pictures of their symbolic value, of the archetypal tragedy of a rescue worker and a victim, both anonymous. If the rescue workers were cooperating with the television cameras, selecting photogenic victims (an admittedly ghastly term) and parading them past the press, correspondents should have noted what was going on. But they didn’t. And so on with the myriad of minor sins recorded by the army of bloggers. No one reporting from Qana wanted to obscure the underlying tragedy.
    Of course, that’s exactly what they did. By acquiescing in the posing, staging, and manipulation of scenes, they clouded what ought to have been a relatively clear-cut issue. They were wrong. They should simply acknowledge their entirely human failing. The world will understand. And the AP, and Reuters, and AFP, and all the other media organizations involved should review their policies and take steps to ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. The events of Qana, and the scrutiny that they provoked, exposed a very real problem. Journalists whose job it was to record crossed a line, and instead helped compose. The photos that they took were misleading, their captions erroneous or incomplete, and the casualty counts they reported simply, indisputably wrong. It’s not enough to claim that these errors are insignificant in the face of the larger truth – they shouldn’t have happened, and steps should be taken to prevent a recurrence.
    A final thought. None of this alters the underlying tragedy – 28 innocent people died in that basement, and even if some photos were posed, the people they recorded remain just as dead. They will never return to their families. So while I applaud the bloggers and posters who have highlighted the shortcomings of those who reported from Qana, I would encourage them to remember the human dimension of this tragedy, as well.

  • Cactus

    Tell me how these two scenarios are different.
    [1] Fadek’s explanation of why the Lebanese rescue workers display the bodies of dead to show what the enemy has done.
    [2] TV news pictures in this country of a mother screaming at the camera about the shooting death of her child by a gang.
    In the first, the body is there for all to see so no words are needed (although sometimes expressed). In the second, the coroner has spirited the body away to preserve evidence, but the ’show,’ if you will, is no less anguished. My point is that the human emotion is the same. The mother wants all the bystanders to know what her enemies have done.
    By governmental decree, there are no photos of our dead returning from the wars. They have been ‘prettied up’ with caskets covered in the flag, but no photos. They are returned to this country in the dark because they shame cowards at the Capitol. There is no governmental recognition of their sacrifice. Gdub has not attended one funeral. The question is, are not those rescue workers honoring their dead more than we honor ours by ignoring them?

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    There is a double standard when it comes to U.S. coverage, which is as follows:
    If its a foreigner, like a Bosnian Muslim, a Iraqi or some other, it ok to show their mutilated bodies and blood all over the streets, but when it comes to Westerners and especially U.S. servicemen, its a big no no. As someone who has grown up in a culture where death is all to apparent and pictures like this (from car accidents, drug ‘incidents’and domestic violence) I’m not shocked by these images (saddened and disgusted yes, but sadly, not shocked) and wonder why Americans have such an aversion to seen the truth.
    I have seen the dead, as these people have, but many Americans have not and therefore shy away from it. For Shaun and AOG, Hezbollah has not played this conflict in the usual “terrorist” manner, they engaged military targets with sound military doctrine (in your in a city, your not going to strut down the street while the enemy bombs you, ask anyone who fought in Hue, Saigon, Bastogne, Berlin or Seoul). In this case Hezbollah lured the IDF into a war by capturing a handful of soldiers and the Olmert goverment overeacted, thus shooting itself on both feet.
    If this war was launched because Hezbollah had IDF prisoners, then why wage a war on an entire country when the IDF vaunted special forces are experts at retriving hostages from enemy hands?
    This is the 21st Century with a new generation of warfare, where the guy who fights smarter, no harder, will always win.

  • PTate in MN

    Cactus: ” The question is, are not those rescue workers honoring their dead more than we honor ours by ignoring them?”
    What an interesting hubbub! So people are concerned that the photographs of the dead have been staged. If true, this might mean that we can’t “see” the “reality” of what is happening. As if our eyes were reliable witnesses!
    A second anxiety is the face-to-face confrontation with death. When did Americans decide to hide death away? Action films with terrifying special effects and triple digit body counts are considered entertainments. But the real carnage caused by war, bombs, etc.–that’s taboo. People argue that it is “disrespectful” to show the dead not because the dead care, but because it is uncomfortable for us.
    A number of threads back we were discussing “iconic” images–images that transform us as we view them. These images have that potential, regardless of what we believe about terrorism, Israel, etc, seeing these dead children horrifies. One of the reasons Bushco has done its best to hide the carnage in Iraq is because the lesson they drew from Vietnam is that people will turn from the cause if they witness the carnage. Likewise, for Bushco, the problem at Abu Ghraib was that soldiers took photographs of the tortured, not that torture was occurring.
    I have to attribute some of concern over whether these were staged to displaced discomfort with viewing death. Pictures force us to view things emotionally and shred our reason. At the same time, humans are very susceptible to the single vivid instance. Show people photos of dead Lebanese children and they will turn against Israel. Show people photos of dead Israeli children, and they will turn against Muslim extremists. Reason has nothing to do with it. It is a fast, automatic, unconscious response.
    I value the analysis that occurs at BagnewsNotes because we try to slow down and allow reason to inform what we see.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    “How was it,” an interviewer for the BBC asked the famous Georgy Zhukov, “that the Rusiians were able to defeat the great soldiers of the German Army?”
    Great soldiers ?” the General repeated, “Nyet !
    Great executioners… da.
    _

  • Timothy Fadek

    Longwinded says: “The second point is that bodies were repeatedly repositioned and displayed for the benefit of the assembled press. The photographic record is fairly unequivocal.”
    I’d like to make a comparison which I find interesting: In the days following the attack of the World Trade Center five years ago, many families and loved ones had a hard time believing that their beloved were indeed gone. They clung to the hope that they were simply missing, unconscious, lying in a hospital, alive but unidentified. The familes arrived at the armory on Lexington Avenue and 26th Street (a central command center), bringing strands of hair or items of clothing in the hopes of a DNA match. But my point is this. They also brought photographs of the missing (dead) and held them aloft to the cameras. Before the press, they grieved, cried, described how their loved ones looked like, where they worked, what floor, and so on. This display of victims’ photographs to photographers is similar in sentiment and emotion to what went on, not only in Qana, not only in Lebanon, but in every disaster and conflict in the modern age. Curious why no one back then criticized this behavior of Americans as “posing, repositioning, display.” Wonder why no criticism exists, such as “the media crossed an invisible line,” as it pertained to that tragic event? I probably won’t need to answer what seems to be rhetorical question. I think everyone knows the answer.
    Longwinded says: “I think that Fadek is being slightly disingenuous on this point.”
    The bodies recovered from the apartment building in Qana were placed on the ground, just outside and down the hill from building. In the first 2 hours of the recovery efforts, I counted 21 bodies recovered, although more were found later after I left the area, bringing the total dead to 28. There is a measure of display for the public and the press, as I already stated. It is a form of honor to display the dead to the living. However, there was no repositioning of bodies for the press that I could see.
    However, the real reason for placing the bodies temporarily on the ground is rescue and recovery logistics. Although I’m not a rescue and recovery expert, I’ve seen this scene played out countless times – in places like Kosovo, Palestinian Territories, Iraq, Haiti, and in New York on 9/11. With limited resources and time not being on their side, rescuers want to find the living as quickly as possible. Even if all that is being turned up are the dead, there is always the hope of finding a person still alive, somehow trapped in a pocket in the rubble. To save time, rescuers at Qana brought out the dead, placed them on the ground, then rushed back into the basement to search some more. As the morning wore on, the mood changed because it seemed unlikely that anyone was alive under all that rubble. Rescuers were no longer rushing back into the building. They would find a dead child, carry it personally to a waiting ambulance at the bottom of the hill. Again as I already stated, several held up a dead children, in anger, to the cameras, which is normal behavior in this part of the world.

  • margaret

    What is so sad about contemporary culture is that lies abound. Lies and more lies to cover up the truth with high emotion: to create doubt in the public as to what they can see with their own eyes.
    Dead children. Posed, photographed. It doesn’t matter: they are dead, when they had nothing to do with the violence. It is wrong, wrong, wrong, and lies about how we get to see the pictures is just fuel for those who want to pursue their agenda with the credo, “the ends justify the means.” It is a sorry commentary on the political state of the entire world that respect for human life has become so cheapened.
    Hezbollah exploits the innocent, and Israel kills the innocent. In that one thing they are not asymetrical.

  • readytoblowagasket

    LongWinded: Most of what you’ve said is speculation, drawing biased conclusions using a single fact, and the facts themselves are doubtful as such.
    Perhaps you’ve forgotten that the 9/11 body count from the World Trade Towers was reported wrong by THOUSANDS (6,700 vs. less than 3,000). Remember? Yes, even Americans can get facts wrong. (Americans can also report that the wrong man was elected as their president.)
    I don’t understand why the body count at Qana is even a controversy. The initial estimate was NOT based on a deliberate *lie,* it was based on a register of the names of people who were listed as taking shelter in the building. Once the dust settled and everyone was accounted for, the number of actual dead was adjusted. I remember very clearly how crazy things were after 9/11. I can imagine how crazy things were at Qana. But I guess a “register” and “confusion at the scene” aren’t as sexy as Hezbollah to the right-wing bloggers.
    I also don’t understand why photographing dead civilians is controversial. As a legal matter, if Israel were to be tried for war crimes (not that it will be), then someone would need to provide evidence.
    But dead is dead, whether it’s 28 or 63. Why is *that* point ignored?

  • LongWinded

    Timothy-
    Thank you for your considered response. It helps to hear directly from someone who was on the ground.
    I agree that at the scenes of tragedies, it is not uncommon for grieving relatives to share their anguish with the press. I also grant your point that mourning takes culturally specific forms, as does regard for the dead.
    My unease about the images of Qana stems from my impression that many of those images seemed to portray one thing and in fact showed something else. When relatives displayed pictures of their loved ones after 9/11, as when Palestinians escort the funeral cortege of a victim of violence, the images are straightforward. They show mourners, sharing their grief with the world. At Qana, many photos appeared to show workers in action, an appearance supported by their captions, but actually portrayed a “measure of display for the public and the press.”
    Perhaps a specific example would help. One image, taken by AFP’s Nicolas Asroufi, became iconic in the days after the attack. The caption read: “A man screams for help as he carries the body of a dead girl after Israeli air strikes on the southern Lebanese village of Qana. At least 51 people were killed, many of them children, when Israeli war planes blitzed a village in south Lebanon, the deadliest single strike since the Jewish state unleashed its war on Hezbollah 19 days ago (AFP/Nicolas Asfouri).” In fact, very little of that is accurate. The man is shouting, but not for help – as you note, the shot was taken late in the afternoon, and there was no urgency. Other photos in the sequence show him walking calmly just moments before. The confirmed death toll was not at least 51 – responsible journalists who took the time to count, as you did yourself, would have seen no more than 28 bodies.
    But these are, perhaps, secondary concerns. The caption may have been written by an editor, and not the photographer – the second sentence, at least, reads that way to me. I am more concerned with the pose. The man is caught in mid-stride, almost running, clearly hurried. But as you note, this was in the afternoon. The mood had changed. No one was rushing anymore. This photo appears to be a candid shot of a rescuer in action, lowering his guard, expressing his grief. It was, instead, a deliberate display of emotion aimed at the cameras, albeit a display that must certainly have reflected real anguish. Deepening my concern are two other photographs of the same victim. Each shows a different man cradling the child in his arms in front of the ambulance, in precisely the same pose. Again, they appear to capture rescuers in action, but in fact show a measure of display. (This, by the way, is what I meant by repositioning of bodies.)
    All of these were worthwhile images, provided that they were properly labeled. You write eloquently of cultural context. My concern for Qana is that the images were stripped of the cultural context in which they were formed. Their captions might have informed the viewer that the rescuers were displaying the bodies, to share their grief with the world. It might have said that they showed the victims, a common practice in Lebanese culture. The simple words that you use in this forum to explain the photos might have worked best of all: “A Lebanese rescue worker holds up a dead child, in anger, to the camera.” But all of this was lost in translation – and photographs that captured rescue workers displaying corpses to the press ran throughout the western world above captions that appeared to indicate that they were candid shots of rescuers conducting their work. That, put as simply as I know how, is my objection to the images of Qana. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this – and I mean that sincerely.

  • wire
  • ummabdulla

    Good point about the WTC body count, RTBAG.
    Longwinded: “The second point is that bodies were repeatedly repositioned and displayed for the benefit of the assembled press.”
    And SO WHAT? When I saw the photo of the guy holding up that baby with the pacifier still hanging from his clothes, it was obvious that he was holding it up in front of photographers. I often see rescuers or relatives uncovering bodies to show photographers, too. And although I wasn’t there, I could guess what he might have been saying – because this has happened so often in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq… innocent children get killed and they’re held up in front of cameras because the people want to get a message out – particularly to Americans, because they’re well aware of the one-sided view that the average American has. So they’re holding up the child and saying something like, “Look! Look at this! Is this a terrorist? Is this Hezbollah? Is this your freedom and democracy?, etc.”
    I don’t know that displaying bodies is some cultural custom in Islamic or Arab societies generally. In Islam, the way you show respect for the dead is by getting them washed and then buried quickly (although those con sidered martyrs aren’t washed; they’re buried the way they are). They don’t have viewings, open caskets, or anything like that; they bury the body and friends and relatives come to the cemetery and afterwards to the family to pay condolences.
    I think this dispalying of bodies is cultural only in the sense that these people are victims of bombings and they want the world to see and acknowledge what’s happening.
    Shaun, if pictures of dead Israeli civilians were available, they probably would have been shown on Al-Jazeera. But as the Israelis proudly explain, they don’t show dead bodies out of respect. They have no qualms about killing children, but they don’t show the bodies; that’s their way of respecting them. Jst like people can get hysterical because someone moved a body for a photo, but they don’t seem to care that the body is a dead child in the first place.
    Like I said before, I find it hard to believe that there’s a controversy about this. Right after it happened, Israel claimed that Hezbollah had been launching rockets from that location, but they even had to back down and say that there had been no rockets launched near there for several days, at least.
    Timothy, I’m curious about how you and the other journalists feel and react to a scene like that. I was watching the rescuers on CNN International, which was broadcasting live video from Al-Arabiya, I think, and I found it very distressing. I can see where people would feel furious and want to do something about it. What do the journalists say among themselves about it?

  • LongWinded

    Gasket:
    I think I was fairly clear on the point that the loss of any innocent civilians in war is an unspeakable tragedy, irrespective of how many may have died. 63 deaths, 28 deaths, a single death – all are tragic.
    I’m forced to disagree with the notion, however, that the count itself is immaterial. It is the job of reporters to get facts right.
    The tally after 9/11 was an estimate of casualties – and, as you note, was wildly incorrect. It was not, however, a body count. Let me quote from an AFP story that ran at 9:42 AM that morning: “At least 32 people, including 14 children, were killed in Israeli raids on the village of Qana in southern Lebanon, the civil defense chief in the region told AFP. Fourteen children, nine women and nine men were retrieved from under the rubble of dozens of buildings which collapsed after the bombardment, Salam Daher said.”
    That is highly specific claim, and it’s wrong. Later in the day, Daher would tell AFP that “the bodies of 25 children were among those recovered from under the rubble,” and the next day, that the bodies of 54 people including “37 children were among those recovered from under the rubble.”
    It’s tough to understand these quotes, in light of the actual number of victims, but I’ll try. It’s possible that the two AFP reporters misunderstood him on four occasions over the course of two days. That seems unlikely. It’s possible that Daher got carried away, and included the missing in the count of the dead. But that’s a heck of a mistake, and Daher was an experienced professional. Nor does it explain how the number of children on the list rose from 22 to 25 to 30 to 37. If you have a better explanation, I’m eager to hear it.
    I apologize for making this digression in the midst of a fascinating discussion of the boundaries of professional ethics among photographers in war zones – I certainly hope it won’t derail that. I just wanted to make the point that the man in charge of the scene at Qana on July 30 repeatedly claimed to have recovered many more victims than was in fact the case, claims that helped propel the tragedy into the view of the world. In the absence of a compelling explanation for those highly specific claims, I’m forced to conclude that Daher was at the least deliberately exaggerating – and that, for me, calls into question the rest of his actions that day.
    And since I apparently was not sufficiently clear on this point the first time around, let me reiterate that even if Daher deliberately lied and even if photos were posed, none of that would alter the terrible fact that twenty-eight people are dead. It bears only on his credibility, not on the tragedy that occurred.

  • http://www.rightwinged.com RightWinged

    For everyone complimenting the author of this post for revealing some truth or providing the debate.. smarten up, this was a whitewash and revealed the author’s agenda.
    Even Fox has finally picked up the video us on the Right side of the blogosphere have been watching for days… Green Helmet plays director
    http://hotair.com/archives/2006/08/15/video-fox-airs-german-clip-of-green-helmet-staging-the-scene-at-qana/
    It’s pretty sad that all you liberals buy the propaganda put out by Pallywood and Hezballywood. Do a few searches on those phrases in YouTube, etc. and open your eyes!!!
    Be sure to watch the Al Durah video here
    http://www.msunderestimated.com/2006/07/30/the-dissection-of-terrorist-propaganda-made-for-tv-videos/
    If you libs need the links… we’ve got ‘em, I just don’t want a spam filter to eat this comment.
    From repeatedly shooting buildings on different dates as if they’ve just been bombed to using humans as bodies and survivors (not just the NY Times incident you’re thinking of), to photoshopping, to the NY Times STILL NOT COMING CLEAN on photoshopping a black man’s face on to an Arab headscarved woman’s body, etc. etc. etc.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/rightwinged/ Randy

    crap, links don’t automatically convert here…
    Here’s the first link from my last comment, here’s the second link.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Sadly, non can refute that Qana did happen and it happened because the IDF decided to use bombs to punish a country instead of using its soldiers to ferret out their captured soldiers. Again, the big winner here is Hezbollah because Israel played right into their hands, just as the big winner in Iraq is Iran (not al-Qaeda, they too screwed the pooch by going after civilian targets, but then their aim is to create failed states, not conquering them) by way of a erroneous American invasion.
    And propaganda is the way of war, it is disgusting to be sure, but it is part of war. How many times have we seen those airliners crash into the Twin Towers? Too many by far, but just because it has been used and abused by the American propagandist doesn\t mean that a) it didn’t happen and b) that Osama(Usama) Bin Laden and his organization was behind it.
    As for the links, the second one has something about evacuating a wounded person under fire. Is so B.S., its amazing. Has anyone here tried to drag a full grown man when the bullets are flying? Are EMS workers, who don\t have guns and are in unarmored vehicles, supposed to rush headlong into enemy fire? The pictures you see are certainly taken from a distinctive point of view. It is up to the viewer to ‘read between the lines’ and see those pcitures as part of a larger story.

  • jt from BC

    # 1 Hand photograpy (complete !)
    http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/rodn/hob_12.12.18,.17.htm
    # 2 Baby photograph (without parents !)
    …”Baby’s world changed
    Baby feels pain
    Baby really wants to stay
    But baby’s past life
    Baby’s parents
    Are left with pain and without a say ”
    –Adriana Cruz
    # 3 photograph (we !)
    Don?t really know who sent me
    To raise my voice and say:
    May the lights in The Land of Plenty
    Shine on the truth some day.
    I don?t know why I come here,
    Knowing as I do,
    What you really think of me,
    What I really think of you.
    For the millions in a prison,
    That wealth has set apart ?
    For the Christ who has not risen,
    From the caverns of the heart ?
    For the innermost decision,
    That we cannot but obey -
    For what?s left of our religion,
    I lift my voice and pray:
    May the lights in The Land of Plenty
    Shine on the truth some day.
    I know I said I?d meet you,
    I?d meet you at the store,
    But I can?t buy it, baby.
    I can?t buy it anymore.
    And I don?t really know who sent me,
    To raise my voice and say:
    May the lights in The Land of Plenty
    Shine on the truth some day.
    I don?t know why I come here,
    knowing as I do,
    what you really think of me,
    what I really think of you.
    For the innermost decision
    That we cannot but obey
    For what?s left of our religion
    I lift my voice and pray:
    May the lights in The Land of Plenty
    Shine on the truth some day.
    THE LAND OF PLENTY — Leonard Cohen

  • readytoblowagasket

    LongWinded: Yes, you were quite clear about your sympathy for the victims, and you are clear now. Others in this thread have not been sypathetic at all, however (Shaun, for example).
    I agree that reporters should check their facts. No reporter should use unconfirmed numbers, or if such numbers must be used to break a story, they should be clearly QUALIFIED as estimates in the published piece. In this case, the fault rests with the *writer/news agency* for stating an unsubstantiated fact as a fact. Daher can say whatever the hell he wants. This lesson is learned in Journalism 101. That’s why it’s an important point to discuss here. It’s the writer’s job to be accurate; Daher’s job is different and should not be confused with the writer’s job.
    However, even though Daher quoted the Qana body count number as higher than it actually was, it doesn’t prove “Simply put, Daher lied,” as you say earlier. Maybe the guy is nuts! (He certainly looks it.) Seriously, think about the situation at the scene: the Red Cross is shorthanded, everyone is stressed, dead babies are extremely upsetting. My point is there could be something wrong with him emotionally. He appears quite disturbed in all the pix I’ve seen.
    Regardless, officials at the hospital in Tyre quoted higher numbers initially too, which were based on the register of names and the number of people who were missing. The hospital’s numbers were used by Human Rights Watch (whom you quoted earlier as being accurate), and HRW had to publish a correction later. (For the Qana conspiracy theorists, HWR is in cahoots with Hezbollah.) Errors in reporting are made and corrected (or not) every day. A misquoted number doesn’t *prove* that someone deliberately lied.
    I’m not up for arguing a casualties vs. body count word choice after 9/11. I lived in New York at the time and vividly remember watching the ground zero scenes live on the local TV news every day for months. Numbers, like sports scores, were part of the TV screen graphics, along with the station logo. The number of actual “bodies” that were pulled from the WTC rubble was significantly lower (in the low hundreds) compared to the number of people who were missing. But the number of people missing really *meant* the number of people (bodies) killed. Sometimes you don’t have a body to physically count.

  • MD in Philly

    Thank you Mr. Fadek for your work and contributing to this discussion.
    As previously discussed, there is the discrepancy over the number of casualties. For those who think this is not an issue, is it also not an issue when on a subsequent day an initial claim by a Lebanese official of 60 dead turned into 1 dead?
    Questions about the photos of Qana were raised prior to the discovery of “doctored” photos by the same photographer. Perhaps it was even because of questions raised by the photos at Qana that someone started looking at other pictures with more scrutiny leading to the discovery.
    Mr. Fadek, you state that you left before all bodies were recovered. Is it possible the video and photos that are “suggestive” of body repositioning, etc., were made after you left?
    What is the point of all of this? Well, if one thinks the Israelis are criminals and Hezbollah are the good guys I guess it doesn’t matter. If one thinks the Israelis can do no wrong it doesn’t matter. If one thinks it is a terrible situation and all loss of innocent life is a tragedy, we either want things documented accurately or there is little reason to pay attention at all.
    One doesn’t have to be a “conspiracy theorist” to ask for clarification. Who would have thought that someone would hijack planes and fly them into buildings prior to 9/11? Not me. Anyone allied with suicide bombers are suspect for other behaviors not usually seen among “civilized” people.
    In spite of advanced weaponry from Syria, Iran, and Russia, the only way Hezbollah holds off the IDF is if Israel doesn’t have the will to pursue the conflict. Whether that is because of world opinion or their own unwillingness to cause more civilian casualties, or both, I do not know. If Israel truly did not care about civilian casualties what kept them from reducing the entire southern half of Lebanon to rubble, not enough bombs?

  • http://www.snappedshot.com/ Brian C. Ledbetter

    Tracking your article here

  • jt from BC

    MD in Philly > “If Israel truly did not care about civilian casualties”
    A quick update on that other war zone:
    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    Below are charts of nine little-known statistics. http://www.ifamericansknew.org/index.html

  • readytoblowagasket

    MD in Philly said: “Anyone allied with suicide bombers are suspect for other behaviors not usually seen among ‘civilized’ people.”
    Let me see if I understand you: Are “civilized” people the ones who kill unarmed women and children by bombing the buildings they are sheltering in? And are children who are “allied with” suicide bombers suspect and deserving of death by having a building crush them?
    Also, as a medical professional, do you know what’s in the little boy’s mouth? Maybe Timothy Fadek knows if you don’t. Timothy, do you know? It really bothers me.

  • Cactus

    Timothy Fadek said that when he left the scene at Qana, they were still pulling bodies out of the building. I think perhaps that is the clue to the controversy of ‘posing’ and ‘rephotographing’ the dead. Perhaps there were other photographers/reporters in other areas who got to the scene late, indeed, at all different times. Is it so unreasonable to assume that the workers, now realizing that no more living were to be found, would stop and show the new photographers the same bodies. I find that plausible and not at all outrageous. And I’m so glad that Mr. Fadek took the time to lay out what he saw.
    Another reason for the confusion could be all the photographers are from different countries and agencies so each may think this is the only photo of this and such. Then, eventually they all wind up on the internet where little blogger pajama pundits (thanks, Andrew Ford Lyons/Counterpunch) without a life in the real world are putting them all together for their “AHA!” Isn’t all this just so much white noise to detract from the fact that 28 civilians died? Besides, my bet is that the only one here who has actually been in a war zone taking photos is Timothy Fadek. No one else can know the chaos, horror and terror extant in that situation. I honor what they do.
    As for this country, time was when the family was expected to wash the body of their dead and prepare it for burying. When did we decide to hire someone else to do that for us? Was it those pesky Victorians, again? Now, at most, some families have the custom of viewing, but not until the mortician restores the body to life-like semblance. Are we now so delicate that we cannot be faced with death, even in representative images? And I like N-LX-Jonez’ term of death art. It recalls the art of Hieronymus Bosch. If I still ran a photo gallery I would have an exhibit of Death Art.
    Finally, we in this country are a bunch of baby puppies. We over-react to the slightest threat and 911 had us up in arms about how dare “they” attack US. Well, my dears, you had better do some research into where your tax dollars have been going for the last fifty years. It’s time we all grew up. I was in London at the height of the IRA terror and LIFE WENT ON. The subway cars had notices to report to conductor any ‘left’ package. But they didn’t terrorize all riders with detectors. Londoners knew what real war looked like. Yeah, they grew up in a hurry and carried on. It’s time we did the same. The last war on our territory was the Civil War and we still haven’t gotten over that! We are so spoiled that one attack by a terrorist has is in a tither of panic.
    Thanks to jtfromBC for the Leonard Cohen song. And the one that haunts me, from my favorite Buddhist/poet/singer/songwriter:
    “…There were three of us this morning
    I’m the only one this evening…”

  • dna

    Hey, since it’s so common to use the dead as props in the arab world, can you point to some pictures from Iraq?
    There have been plenty of “war crimes” over there (Shia on Sunni on Shia), so someone must’ve displayed their dead, right?

  • The BAG

    Sorry, but I have to throw two more cents in here.  I was in the middle of doing tomorrow’s post when I saw something I had to mention.  Little Green Footballs has a post up today linking to a YahooNews story in which they claim that Salam Daher (of Green Helmet fame) “admits pimping dead bodies for staged photos.”  (That’s a direct quote from LGF.)



    If you go to the YahooNews post, however, you find nothing of the kind.  Curiously enough, Daher’s comments mirror, almost exactly, Tim Fadek’s description and explanation of the Qana events.  It’s this kind of imprecision, presumption and appetite for widespread conspiracy that makes blogs such as LGF susceptible to the exact charges (propaganda, fabrication, doctoring) they, themselves, are leveling.

  • jt from BC

    dna, If you want some graphics from the good guys (us) check this video out, from Nam to Fallujah. Then get back to me.
    The Hidden Massacre of Fallujah
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10907.htm

  • MD in Philly

    Hard to reason with folk who take your arguments, go on a tangent, and think they accomplished something.
    If you look at the post on LGF you find: “I did hold the baby up, but I was saying ‘look at who the Israelis are killing. They are children,’” Daher said. “These are not fighters. They have no guns. They are children, civilians they are killing.’ ”
    So, Daher gives a reason (legitimate in the immediate context) for putting the child on display.
    If you watch the video on the LGF post you see another perspective, however, where it seems clear that a body is taken out of the ambulance simply to be photographed again, complete with tilting the head to give a good view.
    “Civilized” societies do things like attempt to protect their citizens from rocket attacks as well as they can.

  • Stacia

    This is a very informative post and I’m glad you put it out there, BAG. It’s important regardless of what people’s politics are.
    Two comments to Longwinded: Simply put, Daher lied. There is no other way to interpret direct quotes claiming the physical recovery of almost twice as many corpses as there were victims
    Not necessarily. Corpse recovery can be confusing and disorganized. Remember on 9/11, how at first Fox reported over 6,000 casualties, and as the days progressed, it dropped almost in half? I’m aware of the differences in recovery from WTC/Pentagon and Qana, but it still illustrates nicely how confision can legitimately occur.
    When the rescue worker pulled back the sheet in front of Fadek and exclaimed in English, “Look at this! Israel, America!” he could not possibly have been doing so for the benefit of his fellow Lebanese.
    It’s possible. My first impression when reading Fadek’s comments was that the worker was blaming the death on Israel AND America. Now that I see your post I realize it could come across as saying, “America, look what Israel did”. Honestly, I don’t know which way to interpret it, but I don’t think it’s cut and dried.

  • ummabdulla

    “When the rescue worker pulled back the sheet in front of Fadek and exclaimed in English, ‘Look at this! Israel, America!’ he could not possibly have been doing so for the benefit of his fellow Lebanese.”
    He didn’t have to tell his fellow Lebanese, because they already know it!
    The weapons are American-made and dropped by Israeli pilots, and the whole operation is supported by the U.S. Everyone (except some Americans, apparently) knows what’s going on; the U.S. didn’t even pretend to be an “honest broker” this time. From what I’ve seen, the Lebanese people are equating Israel with the U.S. As just one example, yesterday I saw a photo of young guys in the southern suburbs of Beirut, holding up a banner in front of the destruction that said “Made in USA”.
    Not that long ago, people around the world looked up to the U.S. Now, most people in most countries – and not just Arab and/or Muslim countries – hate the U.S.
    Americans living overseas find themselves trying to excuse the policies and actions of the U.S. administration by explaining that the American public is ignorant. It’s pretty sad that the best they can come up with in describing the citizens of that great deomcracy and superpower is, “Don’t blame them. They’re stupid.” (Of course, many of these expatriates don’t have to explain because they pass themselves off as Canadians. Unfortunately, that won’t work much longer, since Canada has elected another Bush supporter.)
    The assumption is that Americans just don’t know, and that if they knew how many innocent civilians were being killed in Lebanon and Palestine (not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan), at their hands, they would object. I used to accept that, but actually I don’t think that’s the case. I think that a lot of Americans don’t see Arab civilians as human beings equal to them.
    In any case, this so-called controversy will just help to boost the image of America as a laughingstock.
    (Obviously, I’m not talking about all Americans, and I do understand that honest people can disagree. But I’m sorry… this whole thing makes me angry.)

  • MD in Philly

    “I think that a lot of Americans don’t see Arab civilians as human beings equal to them.”
    I see Arab civilians and Israeli civilians like American civilians as myself. (That is, unless the civilians are willing participants in the events of warfare-I don’t think most of them are in Lebanon). Parents cry over their dead children. If they don’t, it’s not because of race or nationality.
    That being said, Hezbollah wants Israel destroyed. I have never heard from Israelis that they want Moslem Arabs killed “just because”. I think a Moslem Arab in Israel has more freedom than he/she would in Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon. This whole thing started when Hezbollah attacked a small IDF force in Israel, concurrent with the starting of a rocket bombardment. If one thinks Israel has no right to exist and deserves to be attacked as often and as forcefully as possible, then there is no common ground to have further discussion.
    War is a terrible thing. Great military leaders of history such as Eisenhower and Patton knew that. Life under a tyrant is probably a worse thing. (Many more civilians died under Hitler than were caused by Allied attacks, in spite of terrors like Dresden. Many more civilians died under communist rule in SE Asia after the US pulled out than died in the midst of the war.) Does that mean civilian casualties are “no big deal”? Of course not. It seems peculiar, though, that in recent conflicts as weapons have become more precise in the attempt to be both more effective as well as limit “collateral damage”, there is a rise of opinion that says “War is bad, so never fight” as if that action would lead to universal happiness. I would have hoped that such a belief disappeared when Chamberlain left office.
    The United States is far from perfect, I would not claim it is without faults. But without US power it is likely all of Europe would be speaking German, and the typical German would be miserable also under the Nazis. Then to the east everyone else would be speaking Russian (still) and under the USSR empire. Without US power being limited by our own disdain for imperialism, we could have ruled Europe by force and defeated the Soviets as well immediately after WWII (we wouldn’t have been able to maintain it very long though, I’m sure). But this is getting off the main point, which is accuracy of news reporting.

  • jt from BC

    ummabdulla > “I think that a lot of Americans don’t see Arab civilians as human beings equal to them.”
    I think your right, as I watch the daily funerals of Canadian soldiers from Afghanistan (10 in less than 2 weeks out of 2,000 deployed) with extensive pomp and ceremony on TV, the junior bush clone Stephen Harper lends soleminty to these events, the surprise and shock is producing a noticeable backlash. Harper devious like Bush, extended the two year mission for an additional two years while parliament was not sitting. Its wakeup time for 75/85 % of my fellow citizens as this conflict has really just begun. The recently arrived commanding British General has expressed similar views heard in Iraq, in this case more about “tipping points” than civil war. Previously the US bought off many of the war lords now a few are being challenged, tribal fighting, drug eradication efforts are all labelled as fighting the Taliban. Oppressive as they were they certainly eradicated the poppy crops prior to 2001. (The CIA states that production levels are now setting new world records, surprise, surprise)

  • dna

    Calling yourself the “good guys”, eh? Don’t you think that’s a little bit conceited?
    Anyway, I asked to see pix of the daily secterian violence in Iraq, not a one-time napalm use in Falluja (I assume that’s what it was). The majority of civilian deaths in Iraq are due to secterian violence, and not due to US activity.
    I want to see equivalent coverage of what’s happening in Iraq, just like Lebanon was covered, with all of its fictional casualties.
    Just point me to Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, AP, Reuters, or wherever you find them.

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna, this blog isn’t a research service. Do your own damn research and report back to us, eh?

  • jt from BC

    dna, > “Calling yourself the “good guys”, eh? Don’t you think that’s a little bit conceited ?”
    No I was referring to the good guys as the US, UK and the remnants of the collation of the willing. In particular I am accepting responsibility for Canada who in devious ways support and supply significant ordinance to further this illegal and immoral invasion.
    If you want coverage, convince the journalists and photographers to leave the green zone, when you do your research count the record number of deaths delivered by the US and the insurgents and you will understand assuming that’s your goal.
    Lebanon and Iraq are very different conflicts, why did the IDF not allow journalist or photographers along for their recent victory romp ?

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    MD in Philly:
    You know, the idea that more people died by somebody elses hand does not excuse anybodys action. Who started the whole mess? Yes, Israel has the right to defend itself, but it does not have the right to do whatever it feels like it and call it self-defense. IF someone attacks me, I have a right to defend myself, I don’t have the right to go into his home, shoot his spouse, and bulldoze his house. As for the use of American power during the 1940s, that all well and good, but how is that power been use today? That is the question and I’m afraid I don’t like the answer.

  • dna

    readytoblowagasket, I know this is not a search service, but I’m not the one claiming that it is a “cultural thing” which is “lost” from east to west.
    And for your information I did do a bit of research – I’ve glanced through 200+ photos available on Yahoo news; a couple of weeks ago, when a bomb killed around 12 people in a football field in Baghdad, I checked Al-Jazeera and there was no picture, nor did they even mention that the many victims were children, like the BBC did.
    So please, let’s dispense with the hypocrisy, since we already saw doctored photos, and “mis-labeled” photos coming from Lebanon, and let’s not forget Green Helmet’s acting in front of the camera’s.
    Now the new argument to justify all this is that we don’t understand them?

  • dna

    Rafael,
    Your analogy is as bogous as it can get.
    Over the past years, since Israel completely got out of Lebanon, Hezbollah has been assaulting border posts, and sporadically shooting rockets at towns.
    Israel responded in against an enemy which hides, and uses the population for cover. They stash their weapons in homes, and their Katyusha trucks in garages.
    Do you really want to argue that these homes are of “innocent” family members?

  • MD in Philly

    Rafael,
    Thank you for a civil discussion. I agree that individuals and groups need to be responsible for their own actions, and “retribution” is a poor argument.
    To be specific about analogies, if someone attacks you by firing RPG’s at your house, and you cannot evacuate, then your options are limited. You can let your family and self be killed or counter-attack the house, even if his wife and child are still inside.
    I do not know the exact quote but Golda Meir said that when they love their own children more than they love killing Jews then there will be peace. I have also heard at times an Israeli saying, “I can forgive them for killing my children, but I cannot forgive them for making me kill their children”. Obviously, that is not the sentiment of every Israeli, just as destroying Israel is not the desire of every Arab Muslim.
    Had the US encouraged France and England to attack Germany in 1939 after Hitler’s first land grab many would have said the US was being a war-monger, but it may have saved millions of lives. But we didn’t, and they weren’t. When we led the coalition to drive Saddam out of Kuwait in Gulf war I, most agreed with it. Had we continued and removed Saddam then perhaps many 100,000’s of civilians would have been saved, both from Saddam from 1993 to 2003 as well as from the current conflict. But many would have thought that was “going to far”, so we didn’t. We had positive world opinion at the time (as positive as it gets, anyway), but it may have been an error that cost many, many lives.

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna, I’m sure looking through 200+ images seems like a lot to you, but it isn’t. It’s the tip of the iceberg. Welcome to the world of fact-checking:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact_checker
    All news organizations have legal policies about fact-checking and corrections, which you can easily find out. If you want to see *TONS* of errors in the media, go to Regret The Error, which reports on mistakes every day, including the Reuters photo doctoring:
    http://www.regrettheerror.com/
    Mistakes, plagiarism, and fraud are a fact of life in the media. Errors in reporting are not unique to Middle East coverage, and it’s frankly boderline *racist* to harp on the idea that some of these relatively minor mistakes (which got corrected immediately) are Arab power grabs. Again, take a look at the site above if you want to see some far bigger mistakes and some extremely belated corrections.
    The Reuters photo doctoring doesn’t prove Hezbollah’s influence over Western media. And YouTube isn’t a valid “source,” at least not to prove a conspiracy.
    dna, stop hanging out at LGF. They aren’t smart enough to be worth your time.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    dna
    Its obvious you have never lived in an area where bad guys hijack homes at will and terrorize the locals (not that I am accusing Hezbollah of doing that, i have no knowledge of that what so ever). In Puerto Rico, local drug gangs have been know to stash their guns, drugs and other types of evidence in the homes of perfectly innocent people. Should that give the police the right to arrest everybody or shoot anyone on site?
    Of course Hezbollah is going to stash their munitions in homes and other areas, its called the “foward” supply system. What where they supposed to do, build big concrete warehouses and paint the roofs with bright orange letters saying “Weapons Warehouse Here”. If you want to get at those weapons, you have to go inside those homes and search them. That is dangerous, but necesary. Bombing from the air does not guarantee any success, as the fact that rocketing increased over the course of the war proved.
    Again, I am not questioning Israels right to defend itself, but I do question their incompetence and overeaction to Hezbollahs provocations. By bombing bridges, airports and the commercial infracture of Lebanon, Israel has strenghtend, not weaken Hezbollah.
    MD I agree with you that if there was a time to strike at Saddam, it was in 1991, although going to Baghdad may not have been a good idea, supporting the Shiia in the South and the Kurds in the north would have been the best option. Washington would have been in a position to change the situation without worriying about Iran (who was in no shape to do anything about it). Alas, that didn’t happen.
    Back to dna’s point.
    The problem with many in the Right, is they believe that sheer force will solve all problems. Many a dictator has retaliated en masse against civilian populations that “housed” insurgents, who “hid behind the skirts of women” instead of fighting the enemy “face to face” (and if they where that stupid, they would get slaughtered in the process). Invariably, the opposition “overreaction” to their enemies provocation resulted in the population switching over their support (however minor it may have been before) to the insurgents. Conventional military forces loses popular support, insurgents win.
    Fight smarter, not harder….
    You are not the good guys because of who you are, but of what you do….

  • ummabdulla

    MD in Philly, you seem to be a big fan of Golda Meir, but just for the record, “they” do love their children.
    I think she’s also the one who said, “I can forgive them for killing my children, but I cannot forgive them for making me kill their children”.
    Do you have children? If someone murdered them, would you accept that statement from them? Who in their right mind would ever accept such a ridiculous statement???
    Here are some more quotes for those of you who have never heard the Israelis say that they wanted to get rid of the Arabs on what they considered Jewish land.
    “Had we continued and removed Saddam then perhaps many 100,000’s of civilians would have been saved, both from Saddam from 1993 to 2003 as well as from the current conflict.”
    Strange argument… let me try to understand… so if we had gone in then, we would have saved the hundreds of thousands that we decided to kill later with our sanctions, and the tens of thousands (at least) that we killed “liberating them”? How about if we just left them alone and didn’t kill them, in 1991 or from 2003 to the present?

  • ummabdulla

    Speaking of errors in reporting, I was watching CNN International today with their breaking news coverage of the United Airlines flight that was diverted to Boston on a flight from London to Dulles.
    They stayed with this story for at least an hour, so people all over the world were watching as the plane sat on a runway and they put every piece of luggage on the ground and checked them with dogs.
    They “confirmed” that a woman on board the plane had Vaseline, a screwdriver, and two letters having to do with Al-Qaeda – one in Arabic and one in English. In one of the interviews with yet another terrorism/security “expert”, the guy said that the woman also had matches and water. The CNN anchor, rigorous journalist that she was (just joking), interrupted him and said that CNN hadn’t confirmed the matches and the water, but he said that he had that from sources on the ground in Boston, so she took that as new information.
    Within an hour, they were describing it as an incident that had nothing to do with terrorism, an incident that involved a 60-year old woman who had some kind of a panic attack or was claustrophobic or something. No mention of the screwdriver or Al-Qaeda letters… and after a while, they said that they had never existed.

  • ummabdulla

    dna: “Over the past years, since Israel completely got out of Lebanon, Hezbollah has been assaulting border posts, and sporadically shooting rockets at towns.”
    Do you have statistics about the violations recorded by UNIFIL? My understanding is that there were many more violations coming from Israel than from Lebanon. And there was almost daily penetration of Lebanese airspace by Israeli warplanes, typically multiple violations per day and going deep into Lebanon.
    “Do you really want to argue that these homes are of ‘innocent’ family members?”
    Do you have any idea of the scale of destruction we’re talking about? In south Lebanon, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, and in various other places? About a third of the civilians killed (that’s several hundred) were children. Do you want to argue that those babies and children weren’t innocent?
    Or do you follow this ruling that “according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as ‘innocents’ of the enemy”?

  • dna

    Rafael,
    Comparing the drug gangs with Hezbollah doesn’t work. In Lebanon, the people are much more complicit with Hezbollah, and are in fact part of Hezbollah.
    Other than that, you keep criticizing Israel of how they reacted, so how about instead of saying what Israel shouldn’t have done, why don’t you tell us they should have?
    You say that it is an overreaction, but what about those 4,000 rockets that they launched across the border? All those rockets came from an arsenal of over 13,000 that was accumulated over time. Now what do you think they were storing that for?

  • dna

    ummabdulla:

    Do you have statistics about the violations recorded by UNIFIL?

    Do you mean that same useless organization under whose “watchful eye” Hezbollah accumulated a vast number of rockets, and other weapons?
    That observer force is useless, and didn’t do anything; even one of the soldiers that died in a hit by the IAF wrote a letter to his superior stating that Hezbollah has been firing from within the UNIFIL base area. Those guys aren’t getting payed enough to risk their lives in order to cross Hezbollah, and I can’t blame them, but other than that, they are useless.
    As far as aerial incursions, well, if the Lebanese government had control of its country, then you wouldn’t have maniacs running around trucks full of rockets — unless you consider it ok if your neighbor has a Katyusha launcher in his back yard. If that were he case, then Israel wouldn’t have to keep track of where they are stashing weapons.

    Do you have any idea of the scale of destruction we’re talking about? In south Lebanon, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, and in various other places? About a third of the civilians killed (that’s several hundred) were children. Do you want to argue that those babies and children weren’t innocent?

    Hey, you sleep with a Katyusha rocket next room, and you might wake up missing a room, if you wake up at all.
    Funny how people like yourself never like answering the obvious question — why was Hezbollah firing from cities and towns, right next to civilians. All what you do is akin to what Hezbollah did — hold up that baby real high, as high as you can, so that all the photographers get a shot of it.

    Or do you follow this ruling that “according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as ‘innocents’ of the enemy”?

    Don’t point me to any religious mambo-jumbo; both the bible and the quran (and related religious writings) are thick books filled with gazillion stories, and anybody can find something in there to justify their point of view.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Wow that is a sweping generalization with no no facts to back it up. So its ok to blast them to kingdom come? Many Israelis serve in the IDF, in fact they are the IDF, but I can not, nor will I ever condone suicide bombings of buses or cafes, it is a cowardly act that serves no military purpose (that is, its stupid and counterproductive because it feeds on you enemies perception of you, that was Arafat’s big mistake). American military families live INSIDE military bases, yet any attack against the spouses and children of soldiers, who clearly support them, would be equally cowardly and senseless. I guess that means that any town around a military base is fair game, since they support the military and are clearly part of them, if I follow your logic correctly.
    And if they where so supportive, why did they abandon their homes? I mean if they where Hezbollah, why not stick around and fight it out as well?
    As for what the IDF should have done, well if this was about the captured soldiers, they should have mounted a rescue operation, not blasted the country. Find the soldiers and snatch them from their captors. But the pattern of the attacks showed that the capturing of the IDF soldiers (who, BTW, are still in Hezbollahs hands) had nothing to do with them and everything to do with punishing the Lebanese people, Muslims and Christians alike for Hezbollahs actions.
    Even 13,000 katushas could not have done much damage, 4,000 did not. The katusha is a area weapon designed to be used in frontline battlefields to suppress frontline defenses, useless as an area bombardment tool the way Hezbollah used them. In many ways the IAF bombing gave convinient cover for the rocketing, since it was not a measured response, but a form of collective punsishment which “invited” retaliation, which in turn let to a conventional assault by the IDF on the ground, a ground of Hezbollahs own choosing, etc, etc, etc….
    Simply put, the vaunted IDF thought that they where going to face off against another group of rag tag Arabs and found themselves with a well organized light infantry force. The Omert and the IDF played into Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah hands.

  • dna

    readytoblowagasket:

    The Reuters photo doctoring doesn’t prove Hezbollah’s influence over Western media. And YouTube isn’t a valid “source,” at least not to prove a conspiracy.

    So said that bloke that didn’t even looked at the YouTube video, which clearly shows staging and propaganda. You must find it acceptable that they took out the body from the ambulance, only to put it on show for the cameras.
    As far as Hezbollah’s control over the media, well read this, and this.
    There’s been plenty of other stuff out there, but if you have an ideological reason for blocking out information, then nothing can be helped.
    And by the way, these aren’t conspiracy theories, just like these videos have shown; it seems to be the modus operandi in the region.
    I’m willing to listen to any argument, as long as it doesn’t start with the “look at the dead children” bullcrap.

  • NY Expat

    Rafael,
    Do you honestly believe that the stockpiling of rockets by Hezbollah was for defense only? Israel had already pulled out of Lebanon 6 years prior because Hezbollah had established that they could prevent Israel from occupying Lebanon. What use could the rockets be for other than being launched into Israel? And, given that Hezbollah’s stated intent is to destroy Israel, shouldn’t Israel be concerned about this weapons buildup?

  • dna

    I guess that means that any town around a military base is fair game, since they support the military and are clearly part of them, if I follow your logic correctly.

    Any town that is known to shelter militants, along with their rockets launchers, after they received a 5 day warning; e.g. Qana.

    And if they where so supportive, why did they abandon their homes? I mean if they where Hezbollah, why not stick around and fight it out as well?

    Don’t be obtuse; some of those people do take the smart course of action, and have their relative move north. A similar thing happened in Israel: many left south, while others remained in the bomb shelters.

    As for what the IDF should have done, well if this was about the captured soldiers, they should have mounted a rescue operation, not blasted the country. Find the soldiers and snatch them from their captors.

    Do you even realize how ridicilous that sounds? The whole south is Hezbollah, so it’s not like they would have reliable intelligence, nor would they have an easy time extracting them, alive for that matter.
    You are suggesting that Israel — in response to an unprovoked attack — should risk the lives of further soldiers just to make sure they don’t accidentally hurt someone over there.

    But the pattern of the attacks showed that the capturing of the IDF soldiers had nothing to do with them and everything to do with punishing the Lebanese people, Muslims and Christians alike for Hezbollahs actions.

    Some pepole would consider 6 years full of “incidents” to be enough, and then try to take care of the problem.
    Here’s something for you to think about — a Demilitarized Zone (An area from which military forces, operations, and installations are prohibited) is formed after a war in order to avoid any accidents that would spark full blown warfare again. In this particular case, the villages, towns, and cities are the bases for Hezbollah, providing for storage and logistical support.
    What are the options?
    (1) Ask the people to make sure nobody initiates hostilities from their area
    (2) Demilitarize the south of the country by making it unlivable.
    Oh, and since you mentioned the Christians, then perhaps you should take a look at Brigitte Gabriel’s interview.

    Even 13,000 katushas could not have done much damage, 4,000 did not. The katusha is a area weapon designed … In many ways the IAF bombing gave convinient cover for the rocketing, since it was not a measured response, but a form of collective punsishment

    That really makes sense — comparing precision strikes against houses in which Katyusha trucks are hidden, to unguided rocket attacks with the sole aim of killing civillians.

    Simply put, the vaunted IDF thought that they where going to face off against another group of rag tag Arabs and found themselves with a well organized light infantry force. The Omert and the IDF played into Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah hands.

    First thing we agree on. They should’ve went all-out soon after the begining. They should’ve spared the roads and gas stations, and then given a week for people to evacuate. Then they should’ve leveled places like Qana; whoever stayed behind, would have stayed at their own risk.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    dna
    I guess you missed my point completly. There is no “peace through superior firepower”. Thats WW2 thinking which does not apply to the 21st century. As for precision strikes, yeah you hit your target precisly, but what happens when you hit the wrong target? I guess because many Americans do not understand the kind of firepower they so callously wave around they are more than happy to see it used. No matter how precise a 500lb will anhilate a house made out of concrete and damage nearby homes. A Katusha rocket, if it hits anything will barely blow up a car parked on the street. If anything, claims about weapon accuracy boomerang back to those that make them, why, because it simply tells the target, I am bombing you! Even as the target (in many cases women and children) are asking, why me?
    As for the town, this is what they would say: When Hezbollah was here, nothing happened, when the IDF was here, I lost everything, I think I will side with Hezbollah.
    As for the video, it shows that the IAF reaction times suck big time. I mean if they had them live, when the rocket launcher was out on the open. If the IAF had limited themselves only to bombing targets in the south (as they have done in the past 6 years), Qana, as regretable as it was, would have not hurt their effort so much. But as part of a bombing campaign that hit ambulances (see theBag past post), and major cities, destroying entire neighborhoods, airports and the commercial infractructure of Lebanon, it backfired, big time.
    As for intelligence, they felt they had reliable intelligence (as seen by your links) to fire on mobile rocket launchers, why not focus your efforts (introducing special forces on the ground or better yet, spliting Hezbollah from the rest of the Lebanese goverment and have the Maronites and Christians help you out). In the end for all their vaunted military power, Hezbollah didn’t loose which was a win for them, and the IDF didn’t win, which is a loss for them.
    In the end, bigger is not better….

  • dna

    Rafael,
    You still don’t get my point, nor do you offer any solutions for the situation. You keep dwelling on the minor details while avoiding the essential facts, such as Hezbollah had no reason to attack. In fact, Hezbollah has no reason to exist, as per resoultion 1559.
    To reiterate my point regarding the demiliterized zone, I’ll quote someone else who put it more eloquently (source here):

    His first point is pretty silly – it’s Israel invading Lebanon, not Lebanon invading Israel? What is his alternative action when the UN peacekeeping force whose specific goal is to prevent this has consistently failed for 6 years, the UN motion to disarm Hezbollah specifically in 2004 has gone unnoticed and rockets are shot over into Israel daily from Lebanon? Any military textbook in the world will tell you the answer is to carve out a buffer zone to prevent that from further occuring.

    There is a demiliterized zone between Israel and Syria (UNDOF); it is 80km long. This way both countries can be sure that no one will start an agression without the other knowing in advance.
    The problem with Hezbollah — if we ignore the fact that it should’ve been disbanded — that it is embedded in the south; in order to create the buffer zone, all the southern towns need to be removed. (you make me repeat myself too many times)

    As for the video, it shows that the IAF reaction times suck big time. I mean if they had them live, when the rocket launcher was out on the open.

    Emmm…. they have unarmed UAVs patrolling. You can’t expect them to have an F-16 ready to strike within seconds.

    But as part of a bombing campaign that hit ambulances

    Sigh…. that’s the worst staging ever.
    Some people and I analyzed the ambulance issue more than it was worth; the general conclusion was that the only weapon that might have caused so little damage is the Apache’s gun — and even then it would have to be a single round exploding right above the roof. However, that shot was unlikely to have caused that big hole you are probably thinking of — that’s the whole where the air circulation system is mounted.
    Why don’t you check the following messages/threads at EUReferendum: 1, 2. These are roughly the starting messages in each thread, with the second one having plenty of discussion. Here’s a direct link to a msg in the second thread for the air circulation system.
    You’ll see what it means to really try and analyze something, instead of embracing Hezbollah propaganda so willingly. (dead children and “damaged” ambulances always have the making of sensational news)

    In the end, bigger is not better….

    Sigh, you seem to have a knack for the abstract.
    Anyway, until you deal with concrete issue such as the reason for Hezbollah’s existance, and why they were amassing so much firepower, I have no desire to make a comparison between a katyusha and a laser guided bomb.
    Labanon as a whole is responsible for what originates from within in its territory. Period.

  • MD in Philly

    To ummabdulla:
    A. I do not know if you are playing with me, are willfully ignorant, or poorly informed. The 100,000’s that would not have died were those who were fed to meat grinders and put in mass graves all over Iraq. As far as those who “died because of our sanctions”, if children died it was because income that was supposed to go to benefit the people of Iraq in the “food for oil” program instead was used by Saddam for whatever he wanted, including developing missile systems and other things that were violations of the terms of the cease fire after Gulf War I. Such was the corruption of the UN and various companies and governments that were supposedly working according to the UN sanctions to keep Saddam under containment. If you are using the article in the “Lancet” some time ago estimating the number of civilian deaths in Iraq after the invasion, you should know that article was more “hand-waving” than science and it was criticized in many places for many reasons. I will point out just one: by their figures it is claimed that the infant mortality rate in Iraq under Saddam in the pre-war years was far superior to that in the US. I do not think it likely to have children dieing from starvation and excellent infant survival statistics at the same time.
    B. If someone murdered my children it would make no sense for them to say they couldn’t forgive me for making them do it. If I sent my child to play with their kids wearing a suicide bomb and he shot my child in defense of his children, fatally wounding him, he could rightly get in my face and curse me for using my child in such a manner.
    C. It is widely reported that a couple arrested in pakistan as part of the recent airplane bombing plot was going to take their baby with them and hide explosive in the baby’s bottle, hence the policy that the mother has to drink a sample of the formula to prove it is what it is. That is not what loving your child looks like…at least to many of us.
    To Rafael- a couple of things
    1. By and large the IDF was very unhappy with how Olmert prosecuted the conflict and wanted a large ground force deployed to handle Hezbollah directly and thoroughly.
    2. I hope you understand that when Israel targeted roads and such it was not without military purpose. They wanted to cut off escape routes as well as minimize opportunities for resupply from Iran and Syria. One can judge if the alientation of the Lebanese was worth it, but their were legitimate military reasons for doing it, once the war was underway.
    3. Indeed, Hezbollah was much more an extension of the Iranian and Syrian Armies than anything “rag-tag”. In fact they had hardened bunkers built over the last 6 years as well as advanced weaponry, such as laser guided anti-tank rockets built in Russia (that the US had protested the selling to Syria and Iran and was “promised” by Putin that they would not fall into the hands of Hezbollah or other terrorists.
    4. Yes, the average Lebanese coexisted with Hezbollah and had their houses intact, and when hezbollah fought the Israelis their houses were blown up. Choose if the problem is Israel or keeping the peace with Hezbollah when they were violating an International agreement. Many Germans and Japanese had homes under Hitler and Hirohito as well until destroyed by allied bombing. I am sure many did not agree with their governments but were insufficient in number and power to affect anything.
    5. Concerning “The problem with many in the Right, is they believe that sheer force will solve all problems.” No, most on the right do not believe that, but they do believe that all talk and treaties without power to enforce are worthless. Many speak of how President Bush “rushed to war”- that is a matter of perspective. “The Right” would say that the US and member nations of the UN had waited over 10 years and watched numerous resolutions violated. There were no inspectors from 1998 until they were allowed in after President Bush put the heat on, and even then Saddam continued to play with them. The main thing that happened during the period of “waiting” while France, Germany, and Russia refused to enforce the resolutions was to give Saddam time to ship stuff into Syria, etc. We needed to either enforce the resolutions or give up on them and recognize UN resolutions for the joke that they are.
    We agree that Hezbollah and others are celebrating because Israel did not come in with overwhelming force and obliterate southern Lebanon and prove (once again) that the IDF is not to be taken lightly. Superior firepower is better.
    Maybe some people take lightly the impact of “smart weapons” on the surrounding area. Maybe also the most powerful of US weaponry is not available (generally) to Israel. A 500 lb bomb is pretty puny compared to what is available. Fighter-bombers carry limited ordinance compared to B-52’s and B-2’s. Is this supposed to make people “happy”? No, but it is perspective.
    As far as bombing ambulances goes, the pictures I have seen look like a big rock went through the roof, or a hand grenade or RPG hit it, not a bomb from the IAF. There would be much less ambulance left, unless the bomb did not detonate.
    It appears that either:
    a. The Jews get wiped out, then there will be no more conflict in the Middle East (just in Europe, the Western Hemisphere, Indonesia, and Australia).
    b. Significant numbers of Arab Moslems decide that they want to make peace and change their governments to reflect that.
    c. Things will keep going as they always have.
    d. Terrorism against Israel and other nations grows to the point that “all out war” is called for by the majority in the US and other nations. If tactical victories do not bring piece, then large scale pummeling as seen in WWII will need to happen to break the will of the majority of the terrorist states. The Japanese were “fanatical” in their fighting, but even they were humbled by superior firepower. Was it a good thing that cities were destroyed by nuclear blasts? No, but it is a good thing that more lives were not lost in a bitter “fight to the last person standing” if invading the Japanese mainland was to be done.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    dna
    Thus Lebanon as a whole must be punsihed. Why does Hezbollah have those weapons, because the arose from the last Israeli occupation and part of their mystique is that are the “resistance” against continued Zionist agression (real or imagined, I’m mocking their phraseology< ?>). Hezbollah wanted, nay, needed a war to justify their continued existance and stockpiling weapons that the Syrians and Iranians where more than happy to provide. The attacks over the last 6 years, including the kidnapping of the IDF soldiers (who are still in the hands of Hezbollah, I pray that they are safe, but who really knows) where done with one goal and one goal only, to lure the IDF into a trap, one that the IDF fell hook, line and sinker.
    As for the size of the whole in the ambulance, a Hellfire might have done that, remember its a shape charge warhead impacting a soft skin vehicle, if it was a 30mm shell, it even worse, I have played around with the actual IHADS system, and while the images are in black, white and different shades of grey, at close range you should be able to tell an ambulance from a regular van or pickup truck.
    Hezbollah exists because like any political organization it seeks to perpetuate itself. The IDf just gave them a great boost. As for carving a buffer zone, and have the UN patrol it well that downright dumb. Everybody and their mother in the MidEast (and that goes for EVERYBODY) uses the UN as a punching bag. And you forget that the Israelis occupied the same ground for nearly 12 years, and got nothing for it but grief. Homes or no homes, I doubt that as far as Hezbollah is concerned, a DMZ would not work.
    Lets put it in another context, when Catholics in Northen Ireland took to the streets in the late 1960’s to demand improved civil rights, the pro-british goverment overacted and killed a few of them on a rainy Sunday afternoon, this act gave cover to the IRA to start a bloody campaign of terror across Northen Ireland. It more than two decades for the English to smarten up (and for the IRA to change tactics) thus reversing public and world attitudes. The English did not flatten the Irish, instead through local policing, and a carrot and stick approach separated the radicals from the rest of the population and won the war.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    MD in Philly:
    I understand the military import of targetting an enemy infractruture, if we are talking about a conventional enemy with large tank formations, a credible air force and Navy, but against a light infantry force with a foward supply philosophy, it doesn’t really work.
    Also there an inherent misconception in your argument about A) how air power works and B) the nature of the current enemy.
    Air power is at best a blunt instrument, regardless of the promises made since the days of LeMay and the Norton bombsight. The reason why entire cities where leveled in Western Europe is that even daylight bombing was highly inacurate, and even when they hit their assigned targets, the impact was minimal, it wasn’t until the Allies concetrated on the rail and road networks plus German fuel supplies that the German forces depended on. The war in the Pacific was loaded with racial tones that I will not discuss here.
    As for the nature of the enemy, the West (in general and the U.S. in particular) is facing transnational movements, such as al-Qaeda, rather than “terrorist states”. Bombing nations to the stoneage would only generate more reasons fo them to fight. As Sun-Tzu said, if you want your forces to fight, put their backs to the river.
    There a fixation with World War Two that ignores the last 61 years of warfare. It is a fixation that I find bafling to say the least.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Oh and I forgot another more relevant example, Afghanistan, not the Afghanistan of today, where the U.S. and its allies have not done such a bad job, but Afghanistan during the 80’s. If there was one thing the Russians always belived was in bigger was better. They turned entire villages to dust, buried their enemies with tons of shells and bombs and in the end, they left after with over 10,000 dead and a crumbling Empire in their wake. The IDF was not that obtuse, but came close.

  • dna

    Rafael:

    As for the size of the whole in the ambulance, a Hellfire might have done that, remember its a shape charge warhead impacting a soft skin vehicle

    How about you take a look at this movie (since you obviously didn’t check the threads I provided), and then tell me what sort of shape should a Hellfire have in order to only scratch the roof of the ambulance, ok?
    Don’t try to tell me that a ~$150g missile can’t even take out a puny ambulance.

    The attacks over the last 6 years … where done with one goal and one goal only, to lure the IDF into a trap …

    If you acknowledge what’s going on, why do you complain about IDF’s response? Surely the people living there knew what was going to happen, and on top of that, they received a fair warning from IDF to evacuate.

    As for carving a buffer zone, and have the UN patrol it well that downright dumb.

    I never suggested that the UN should be doing anything. I said that all the infrastracture that supports Hezbollah should be removed, i.e. villages/towns/cities. Either that, or, alternatively, they can stop their attacks, dismantle the militia, and focus on developing the country instead of blowing lots of money on weapons.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    dna:
    You seem to forget that Hezbollah did more than create a military force, it was and still is a political party and created hospitals and other social services for the Shiia in the south. They won the hearts and minds of the people, in the absence of a Lebanese goverment who would not provide the same services.
    As for the Hellfire (AGM-114A or AGM-114D, one is laser guided the second has a radar seeker) its a 99lb (latter versions are up to 110lb) missile that travels up to 1.3 Mach and has a range of 5 miles witha 18lb-20lb shape charge warhead. Its design to destroy a target by combination of kinetic energy (speed of the missile upon impact) and shape charge warhead (HEAT, High Explosive Anti-Tank). If you see video of expectacular explosions such as a T-72 blowing its top, that internal ammunition and fuel cooking off, rather than the missile explosion itself. In the case of the video, its a missile hitting open ground, the force of the explosions is channeled outward and by the explosive shock radiating away from the soft earth. At least one guy, standing no more than 10ft away, appears to walk (stumble?) away.
    Besides the only thing I can tell by the video link is that it was a laser guided weapon, it may well have been a Hellfire, a laser guided Maverick (the Marines use them, it has a 300lb warhead) or a 250lb laser guided bomb (the USAF is using them more frequently in Iraq these days).
    And, BTW, I don’t get off on War Porn….

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    dna
    Oh and as for complaining about the IDF response, I do because it was completly inapropriate for the stated (originally) goal of freeing the IDF prisoners and it also failed to destroy Hezbollah rocket capability or will to fight, in fact it had the completly opposite effect. Just stating a simple fact.
    Hezbollah 2
    IDF 0

  • ummabdulla

    Rafael, just accept it. Israel is sacred; their government, army, citizens can’t be criticized. It’s David and Goliath, and they’re David. No matter that they’ve got fighter jets, tanks, helicopters, nuclear weapons, bomb shelters, rush shipments of missiles from the U.S. if their supply is low… how could you expect them to put up with thousands of Katyusha rockets on the other side of that border?
    By the way, they don’t have to acknowledge their nuclear weapons or sign any treaties. On the other hand, Iran has signed the treaties and adheres to them, but they should be attecked for that.
    Thousands of Arab prisoners in Israel mean absolutely nothing, but when one Israeli soldier is captured, the word comes to a standstill.
    Israel’s military bases are located near civilians (often Arabs – but they probably like that because maybe their children, whom they hate so much, will get killed). In Kiryat Shemona, there happened to be soldiers and missiles for the girls to write on. Just outside of Kfar Giladi, reservists were congregating, with their equipment and ammunition, when they were hit by a rocket. And as Israeli reservists are proud to explain, there are no civilians in Israel because every Israeli Jew (with the exception of the very religious, I think) serves in the military. But get this through your head: Hezbollah hides among civilians!
    None of the international law applies to Israel. You have to keep a straight face when they demand implementation of a UN resolution that they like, while ignoring so many that they don’t. In fact, the UN Security Council can’t pass a resolution that they don’t like anymore, because the US will veto it.
    If Israel wants a “security zone”, they don’t have to make it on their own land (well, the land they took over from Arabs, but that’s another story). They can just take over a wide piece from Lebanon. Because they feel like it.
    If they just warn that they’re going to attack, then that gives them a right to destroy a country – roads, bridges, factories, hospitals, houses, apartment buildings, lighthouses, whatever. That doesn’t work the other way around, though. Israeli civilians were warned and saw rockets coming across the border, but if they stayed and got hurt, no one said that it was their own fault.
    And when Israel warns people to leave, they can bomb them as they’re folowing directions and trying to leave. They can also refuse permission for humanitarian convoys, while spokesmen claim that the humanitarian corridors are open.
    Pockmarks on a building in northern Israel from shrapnel are more newsworthy than dozens of Lebanese killed and buildings destroyed. Even a rocket which lands without doing damage is more newsworthy.
    When an Israeli pilot flying an American warplane goes on bombing missions, any damage done is the fault of Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran – if not the victims themselves.
    I think I’ve got it now. Did I miss anything?

  • ummabdulla

    Nasrallah didn’t mean to
    by Amira Hass
    Amira Hass is an Israeli who lives and works in the occupied territories.

  • Mad_nVT

    Ummabdulla- well, that might be a bit over-the-top, but yep, you got it. And now the US is easily seen by the world to be very, very closely tied to Israel. Who leads in the US/Israeli relationship? Who benefits?

  • Papa Ray

    I recently read your comments about cultural differences where you stated that in the ME (I think you singled out the PA) that displaying the dead is common and done frequently or some such.
    First, displaying the dead (not in caskets or covered) is prohibited by the Qur’an and by by all Muslim law. The Muslim dead are to be treated with respect and buried as soon as possible.
    Your mention of the PA shows that you don’t understand the PA at all. They display their dead only for the propaganda purpose it serves. But in many instances, the dead are staged, the PR is staged propaganda which has been admitted and proven in many instances to be totally faked and produced much like a movie production. A fictional movie production.
    Do some researh, you don’t have to believe me. But it matters not what you or I believe, the propaganda is not only aimed at us but mainly at the Arab street where they will believe anything that is negative to the west, America, and Israel to be more specific.
    Also, why is it that you and others have not been seeing or printing or publishing the pictures of dead Israeli children?
    Is it because the Israelis don’t let anyone take pictures of them. Why not, why not show the world dead Israeli children and old men and women? Is there a law or custom that forbids it? Where is the outrage of the media that Israel won’t share the gory pictures of their dead?
    Let me repeat. Islam and Muslim custom and law prohibits displaying or treating the dead in any disrespecful manner.
    The PR machine of the Hez, thinks that most westerners don’t know that. In your case they were right.
    Thanks [not] for being a part of their PR Machine.
    Papa Ray

  • dna

    Rafael:

    You seem to forget that Hezbollah did more than create a military force …

    I know that, but now they brought death and destruction to the area, so what’s your point? Are they untouchable because they provide some social services?
    Also, stating that they provide services that the Lebanese gov. doesn’t is a little bit misleading, for the simple fact that Hezbollah keeps the goverment out; only now has the Hezbollah allowed the Lebanese army to enter the souther region, and that tells you a lot about the balance of power.

    As for the Hellfire (AGM-114A or AGM-114D, one is laser guided …

    Just because you googled “Hellfire”, and now you’re copy & pasting model numbers and specs, does not lend any validity to your argument. Furthermore you completely ignored the links I provided, particularly the one with the picture showing that the hole-in-question is where the ventilation system was mounted.
    So, if it was a Hellfire that was fired at the ambulance, then it must have missed it by 100 meters, since there isn’t a mark on the sides of that ambulance, not from an explosion, nor from any physical impact.

    And, BTW, I don’t get off on War Porn….

    Neither do I; your point is?

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna, I assumed you had the capacity for independent thought. My mistake. I see now you’ve come to this site to promote your *own* self-serving speculation from EU Referendum. Please GOUGE MY EYES OUT rather than make me read another EUR post, let alone comment thread! If all you can come up with are videos on YouTube, Wikipedia articles, circular references to the right-wing alternate universe, and YOURSELF and benighted EUR threadheads as experts, you’re WASTING OUR TIME. (I’m saying this after reading your links and watching your videos, btw.) If you can’t prove your arguments with a single source that attempts to be unbiased, you don’t *have* an argument! Period. I know you don’t get this.
    That’s because your tendency to misread basic English and misunderstand complex concepts is profound (“control over the media,” PR, errors in reporting, censorship, bias are all lost on you).
    But what freaks me out most are *your* own contradictions. Somehow Hezbollah is a “slick,” “sophisticated” PR machine yet uses the same “actor” for a full decade and produces low-budget, ham-handed dreck to “seduce” the West? Are you joking? (Just because a reporter does a piece on Hezbollah doesn’t mean he’s duped by Hezbollah. Your definition of “control over the media” and mine are quite different.) Similarly, you don’t notice how denigrating the U.N. then citing the authority of resolution 1559 is contradictory! I’d rather carry on an argument with Homer Simpson. Or Shaun. Sigh.
    Please go back to your safe little EUR/LGF cave now.

  • dna

    ummabdulla:

    On the other hand, Iran has signed the treaties and adheres to them, but they should be attecked for that.

    The verd adhere must have a different meaning in your dictionary.

    None of the international law applies to Israel. You have to keep a straight face when they demand implementation of a UN resolution that they like, while ignoring so many that they don’t.

    There wouldn’t be a problem if the neighboring states didn’t butt in, and let the partition plan stand. However, they attacked, and lost, and ended up with less ground that they would’ve had under the plan. Now they are whining about UN resolutions that are not repsected, just because it is convenient.

    If Israel wants a “security zone”, they don’t have to make it on their own land (well, the land they took over from Arabs, but that’s another story). They can just take over a wide piece from Lebanon. Because they feel like it.

    Quit repeating the same old sad story of stolen land. Prior to World War 1, the land was under Ottoman rule, and I don’t recall reading anything about a “Palestinian” political movement to free the land, and create a state. After WW1, it became British property, and was divided according to the plan mentioned above.
    The Palestinians had full access to Gaza and the West Bank up to 1967, yet nothing happened, since those areas were occupied by Egypt and Jordan. How do you explain that?
    And stop making it seem like the whole area was owned the Arabs (and others) that lived there: you had some villages and towns here and there, but for the most part it was uninhabited.
    Even after the PLO got what they ostensibly desired — authority (and later ownership) of Gaza and the West Bank, they still didn’t do squat because the PLO was utterly corrupt.
    I’d say it’s high time you stopped bitching about Israel, and pointed that critial eye of yours at the people that pretened to have the Palestinians best interest in mind.

    I think I’ve got it now. Did I miss anything?

    You missed being played like a fiddle by religious fanatics, and leaders who live comfortably, while encouraging their underlings to go and blow-up themselves.

  • ummabdulla

    Yeah, Papa Ray, the Palestinians have to fake the dead bodies, because the Israelis aren’t really killing any of them… rolling my eyes…
    And yeah, dna, Palestine was pretty much empty until the Zionists came and “made the desert bloom”… rolling my eyes again…

  • dna

    readytoblowagasket,
    I see that you already blew a gasket, and while at it, you managed to mangle everything that I said. Let’s see if you can follow this time around:
    (1) I said that the UNIFIL was useless; UNIFIL is not the UN, in case you forgot. An observation force has no power, and I’m sure its personnel aren’t going to risk themselves for the sake of others — they’ll just turn a blind eye to what’s going on (as they did).
    (2) I point out resolution 1559 in response to all those who misconstrue other UN resolutions in order to bash Israel. Furthermore, 1559 clearly stated that the Hezbollah militia should be dismantled, which is particularly desireable since there are no more territories they can claim are occupied.
    (3) I pointed you to a forum where people analyzed the photos, and where people managed to acquire quality pictures showing that the alleged hit at the center of the cross was no more than the hole where the ventilation system was installed (congrants on completely sidestepping that issue). I see that you completely missed the point of the exercise — using you brain; Hezbollah could’ve said UFOs attacked the ambulance, and you still would’ve believed it.
    (4) Slick PR machine? Hah! They don’t even need to be sophisticated in a world where sensationalism rules the meadia: a cat stuck on a tree is top evening news, and a fireman rescuing someone from an elevator automatically becomes a hero. All they have to do is play on your emotions (remember Al-Durah?) and common sense and reasoning go poof. Furthermore they are aided by all those media types who have an issue with Israel; this kind of bias can be clearly seen in this ITV video.
    (5) When I said Hezbolla’s control of the media, you must not have read those two articles at newsbusters. At least one of those CNN guys had the guts to report that Hezbollah put on a show with the ambulances, while the other just did his sensational reporting.
    (6) As far as circular references and unbiased sources — you don’t seem to have such a problem with pictures and stories coming from people who area clearly sympathetic to Hezbollah, and have no problem with “polishing” photos. If you have a problem with the sources I gave you, how about being more specific? Wikipedia is now at the very least a good place to start, and the videos speak for themselves. I find it difficult to understand what’s so biased about the specs of a Hellfire missile on wikipedia, a video of a Hellfire exploding, and a photo of the ambulances ventialiation system. My only conclusion is that you find it more convenient to belive that the hole in the roof was caused by an attack.
    If the preceding paragraph aren’t logical or reasonalbe enough for you, then I have only one thing left say:
    Doh…

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna said: “UNIFIL is not the UN”
    UNIFIL is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. Created in 1978 by the U.N. under U.N. Security Council resolutions 425 and 426 at the behest of the govt of Lebanon, not Israel. It’s purpose is *not* to protect Israel! What UNIFIL failed at was keeping Israel in line. Please study the information at this link and then get back to me for a reading comprehension quiz.
    http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/background.html

  • ummabdulla

    Typepad’s acting up. I posted my comment right about the time you posted yours, and it should have been after dna’s 9:02 one, because I saw that before mine was posted. But it put mine before it, and put a time of 8:35, while yours were 9:34 and 9:39.
    Anyway, some good articles at counterpunch.org:
    Real Photo Fakers
    Real War Crimes
    By JONATHAN COOK
    “…The far worse photography scandal, which is not talked about, is that the images of the war we saw over the past month in our Western media were constantly doctored, day in, day out. Not by ordinary photographers who risk their lives, and hope to make their fortunes, conveying the reality of war, but by the senior executives of newspapers and TV stations who ensure we are never presented with that reality. Pictures were binned or cropped if they hinted at what suffering and death truly looked like. Western audiences were not shown the row of charred corpses lying in the street, or the agony of a son pressing a scrap of cloth to the severed arm of his mother as she bled to death, or the crushed baby pulled from the rubble…”
    And “Look What You’ve Done!”
    AIPAC Congratulates Itself on the Slaughter in Lebanon
    By JOHN WALSH
    And Digitally Erasing a Massacre
    Why Hezbollywood Was Born
    By ANDREW FORD LYONS

  • ummabdulla

    Oops – This is the link for that second article:
    AIPAC Congratulates Itself on the Slaughter in Lebanon

  • jt from BC

    ummabdulla > when you get tired of trying to deal with the double helix of dna, I have your references and many more on file but I doubt additional information will help, Robert Fisk’s count is now over 1,300 as rubble clearing has begun, among the cluster bombs which must add to one hell of a nightmare, dare I say photo Op. Who knows maybe some identities may have to be confirmed by DNA testing, another potential conspiracy theory may be in the offing from small minded persons kicking little green footballs around.

  • NY Expat

    Ah, more overheated rhetoric from umabdulla and ‘gasket. Lovely.
    I know you both think it’s, like, totally unfair for people like dna and Rafael to have a debate in your personal playpen, but some of us prefer dialog to “you just think Israel can do no wrong!” (I’ve yet to hear “you just think Hezbollah can do no wrong!”, even from dna, though it might be above, buried in the wasted electrons).
    Rafael, I think you’re right about Hezbollah’s strategy over the last six years. Really, though, with respect to the rockets it’s a win-win for them; either Israel responds, or they get to keep building up an arsenal that they can threaten Israel with. My thinking is that if Israel hadn’t responded, eventually Nasrallah would have crowed about it, both to goad Israel and to increase his standing amongst anti-Israel Arabs (who, I would estimate is about 50% of the population on a good day, and 90% on a bad day).
    It would have required the patience of a saint for Israel to ignore the buildup of rockets at their border, and Israelis gave up on divine intervention after the middle of the last century. Look at it this way: If Zapatistas in Mexico had missiles that could reach St. Louis, and Mexico City couldn’t to anything to stop them, do you think the US would sit by and let Mexico City get their act together? In the case of Israel and Lebanon, it appears that the correct course was to let Beirut get their act together, but to expect that course to be chosen was unrealistic, not because of any moral failing on Israel’s part, but because any country would have done the same.
    To the original point of BAG’s post: Wouldn’t the simple explanation be that Hezbollah leverages civilian casualties to the international press? They don’t have to fake anything: An event like Qana was only a matter of time, given Hezbollah’s tactics and Israel’s original unwillingness to use ground forces (btw, I wasn’t aware that Israel or the US places weapons in apartment complexes. Who knew?). Civilian casualties to Hezbollah are, as Jonathan Alter described terrorist plots vis a vis the Bush Administration, the “Hamburger Helper” that acts as a launching point for the group to affect public opinion.
    Then there’s the political aspect of Hezbollah. It’s like watching Mayor Daley’s machine writ large, which is kind of ironic since Chicago in the ’80s was called “Beirut by the Lake”. :-)

  • dna

    readytoblowagasket:

    UNIFIL is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon

    Try to make the distinction between UN as a decision makeing body, and UNIFIL as a sort of a force that is composed of different troops. Would you also claim that the French troops (however few) that are to be deployed soon under UNIFIL as also being part of the UN, or being the UN itself?
    You seem to have missed this very interesting part:

    On several occasions, Hizbollah personnel restricted the freedom of movement of UNIFIL and interfered with its redeployment.

    Now, you don’t think they have something to hide, do you?
    Also, here’s another interesting piece of information:

    The Secretary-General said that the rocket-firing incidents perpetrated by individuals allegedly affiliated with Palestinian militant factions demonstrated the volatility of the sector.

    Kofi Annan must be a total cretin to think that anybody would believe that.
    If somebody was shooting rockets from across the fence, you’d be damned sure Israel would make air sorties to gather information.

  • readytoblowagasket

    From an interview with Seymour Hersh:
    “You know when you take a bite of the Israelis, you know you’re going to get a lot of heat.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1714570.htm
    For anyone interested in Hersh’s New Yorker article about Israel, Hezbollah, the United States, Iran, and the *staging* of the Lebanon war:
    http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060821fa_fact

  • dna

    For anyone interested in Hersh’s New Yorker article about Israel, Hezbollah, the United States, Iran, and the *staging* of the Lebanon war

    This is old news: an article tat prints out to 8 pages, full of “he told me this”, “she told me that”, which ends up confusing the reader. Furthermore, it has such a moronic ending, since Israel did exactly what the “expert” he was quoting said — deployed ground troops, since the job cannot be completed via air superiority. Go figure.
    As far as staging goes, keep in mind that Israel doesn’t have the Luxuary that the US has to embroil itself in pointless conflicts, in the same that the US did in Iraq. Israel is in a very bad neighborhood, and every engagement has to do with its very existance.
    Although this past engagement could’ve been carried out more effectively, even considering that Israel might’ve went in because of a grand plan with the US is more ludicrous that saying that 9/11 was an inside job.
    Other than that, I’m sure that US army and intelligence kept their eyes open, and learned what was learned to be done from the engagements with Hezbollah, just as any competent person would — learn from the mistakes of others.

  • jt from BC

    dna > from Saigon to Baghdad if you can’t learn from your own mistakes how does it help to look at those of others.?

  • dna

    I was merely stating that I am not discounting their “participation” as observers.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    dna
    I guess that a close up of the roof would not show the latteral damage done by the expanding explosive force of the warhead, and as I argued before, if it was a 30mm shell, it makes matters worse since that would mean that the Apache crew could clearly see the ambulance. But I could try to argue the point to absurdity.
    I will merely agree with NY Expat, the war created the scenes, each side merely exploited them to their best advantage.

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna, regarding “You seem to have missed this very interesting part” and “here’s another interesting piece of information”: Don’t worry about me, I didn’t misspeak, misread, or misidentify anything. I never was trying to defend Hezbollah — that’s your own incorrect assumption. But since I find it tedious to base debates on a stack of faulty premises, I am trying to establish a different baseline for the discussion.
    Regarding “considering that Israel might’ve went in because of a grand plan with the US is more ludicrous that saying that 9/11 was an inside job”: The U.S. and Israel are intimate allies, as you know, and not just in a military capacity. As I write, Shimon Peres is in Atlanta on his 6-city American fundraising tour:
    “Peres was selected to be the head speaker in the UJC’s emergency campaign. The campaign was launched last Monday by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The official goal of the campaign is to raise $300 million, but the assessment is that due to an enormous outpouring of support in the US, the campaign could end up raising about a billion dollars, an all time record. Aid to Israel has already been given during the war and will be allotted for reconstruction efforts after the war.
    Peres will make a coast-to-coast trip in four days and will participate in regional meetings of the big donors in New York, New Jersey, and Cleveland on the east coast, Chicago in the Midwest, and Atlanta in the south.”
    http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=9056
    I’m not sure why you think a grand plan with the U.S. is ludicrous. The U.S. is extremely supportive of Israel.

  • jt from BC

    Regarding Simon Peres ‘300 million dollar mission’ in reality that’s chicken feed. Here is a fascinating audit for those who believe in *following the money*, its ten minutes well spent if your a US taxpayer.
    The Cost of Israel to US Taxpayers By Richard H. Curtiss
    Former U.S. Foreign Service Office — an extract
    “Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that “Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid.” That’s true. But it’s still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000″-after which it gets more interesting.
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stats/cost_of_israel.html

  • dna

    I never was trying to defend Hezbollah

    Really? You could’ve fooled me.

    I’m not sure why you think a grand plan with the U.S. is ludicrous. The U.S. is extremely supportive of Israel.

    That’s like arguing that every person that donated money to the GOP in 2000 election was in on the 9/11 plot.
    Don’t worry, Hezbollah is collecting its money as well, so don’t try to portray donations that people make to Israel as suspect. Nice conspiracy theory, though.

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna, yes, really.
    And I’m not portraying anyone’s donations to Israel as suspect or arguing any conspiracy theories, for crap’s sake! I am however providing backup for my statement that the U.S. and Israel have close ties other than military ones.
    Can you ever take anything at approximate face value? Or are you compelled to read active hostility toward Israel into everything? You’re exhausting.
    Don’t misread me as trying to be coy; I am *definitely* critical of Israel. I’m critical of all abusers of power and all violent solutions to problems.

  • Peanut

    Don’t eat the yellow snow.

  • Lightkeeper

    RTBAG, as much as I love reading your posts (and ummabdulla’s), perhaps its time to drop it. Evidently nothing is getting through…
    dna’s demagogical abilities have been aptly demonstrated through his constant manipulation, redirection and reappropriation of nearly everything you have said.

  • dna

    Don’t eat the yellow snow.

    Don’t eat snow. Period.

  • readytoblowagasket

    Lightkeeper, yes, you’re right; thanks and apologies. It’s actually less a crusade to convert than an exploration, as normally I would have dropped it by now for the reasons you suggest. But something relevant emerged from this exchange, at least for me.
    Initially I couldn’t *fathom* that people could get swept into EUR’s or LGF’s self-referential and feeble analyses. Their assumptions and fallacies pile to the ceiling in a tower of precarious illogic. Their fans, however, completely buy it. The BAG nailed this when he said upthread, “It’s this kind of imprecision, presumption and appetite for widespread conspiracy that makes blogs such as LGF susceptible to the exact charges (propaganda, fabrication, doctoring) they, themselves, are leveling.”
    What I realized in this thread is that people don’t seem to know the difference between propaganda itself and *being influenced by* propaganda. So if the BBC interviews Hezbollah and Hezbollah won’t reveal where (or if) it stores missles with civilians, the LGF/EUR crowd charges that the BBC has been “manipulated” by Hezbollah to further its indoctrination campaign against Israel. This conclusion is sheer lunacy to me. Same is true to a less dramatic extent upthread: when people *divine* (since there is no proof, only conviction) that the inaccurate body count from Qana is Hezbollah “propaganda.”
    What happens after a series of logical somersaults, however, is censorship, pure and simple, and only positive discussion of Israel is allowed. So when I criticize Israel, dna (and anyone who doesn’t know me) thinks I am supporting Hezbollah. This assumption is rather scary to me. Even more temperate newcomers upthread seem to buy into the “everything =s propaganda against Israel” equation when it comes to discussing the Middle East.
    What’s ultimately scariest is that it’s the same “false dilemma” the Bush administration WANTS us to believe about the GWOT: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” So as The BAG suggests, EUR and LGF become propagandists themselves. They just don’t know it.
    false dilemma:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You‘re_either_with_us,_or_against_us
    Bush speaks to Joint Session of Congress, September 2001:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html
    Bush with Chirac, November 2001:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/11/20011106-4.html
    Sorry for the additional wordiness. : )

  • dna

    Initially I couldn’t *fathom* that people could get swept into EUR’s or LGF’s self-referential and feeble analyses.

    Hillarious. It seems to me that you are the one who wants to hear an echo of his own voice.
    I reviewed your comments and noticed the clear signs of a Hezbollah appologist, as well as an emotionalist; it is all too aparent when you make excuses for them even when their casualty estimate is 40-fold of the actual count.
    Some people prefer to think, and analyze information, rather than swallowing it as is; some people aren’t rendered mentally disabled when they see staged photos of a supposed rescue operation.
    I’d rather be relegated to a group that makes feeble analyses, than to one which is plain feeble.

  • Lightkeeper

    dna,
    WTF man???
    >> “I reviewed your comments and noticed the clear signs of a Hezbollah appologist.”
    By demanding such oppositional binaries you are conforming to and thus validating Bush’s ‘False dilemma.’ No, just because A (criticism of Israel) exists, does not automatically qualify that B necessarily means support for Hezbollah. There is a middle way, as the Buddhists have so unrelentingly pointed us towards. It is, in fact, the only way to live rightfully (and might I add, peacefully).
    Unfortunately, you, along with many others, continue to demand that all of us only choose between two extremes – a demand which, if accepted, is far more dangerous than anything Hezbollah can muster up. There is no such thing as good guys and bad guys anymore: that all ended a long time ago, except (astonishingly) in the “greatest democracy” in the world. There are only causes and effects: there is only power and those who want it (or more of it). To demand we choose between either the most hypocritically and unapologetically terrorist state in the world, or those who are foolishly using violence because they think that it is the only way they will be heard (and the only way they will find some semblance of justice), is absurd and takes us back (intellectually) to the middle ages. (Oops, I may already have become an ‘apologist’ – if not an outright terrorist myself by wondering if perhaps there is more to blowing one’s self up than simply a hatred for “our freedoms and our values”).
    >> “as well as an emotionalist; it is all too aparent when you make excuses for them even when their casualty estimate is 40-fold of the actual count.”
    Did you stop – did anyone stop – being an “emotionalist” when, during and after 9/11, you learnt that instead of 6,000 + beings only around 3,000 had been slaughtered? Did you exclaim “PROPAGANDA” when for nearly two months the entire world was forced to watch America’s suffering en masse and en loop?
    Of course not. So, let me get this right: to let emotion enter into intellectual debate is a sin when the emotion being displayed is for the humans suffering on the “other side.” Obviously the body count is irrelevant here – as proven by above – and is only being used to redirect our eyes elsewhere. That is the only conclusion one can reach upon reviewing your comments. Or did you in fact criticize the arguments (coming right after Sept. 11 and continuing on to today) which manipulated and maliciously paraded people’s grief and their suffering to beat the drums of war even louder? I suspect the answer here is a loud and resounding NO.
    So. Lesson #1: it’s okay – no, it is demanded – that we show emotion when those suffering are like “us.” But you will be considered intellectually insufficient, or even worse, an “apologist” for those pesky terrorists if you dare display emotion when it comes to the suffering of those that are not like us (the “others”).
    >> “some people aren’t rendered mentally disabled when they see staged photos of a supposed rescue operation.”
    Yeah? And some people aren’t distracted from unnecessary suffering and pain when a whiff of suspicion – presented as absolute fact – is unleashed by those who have larger things in mind.
    I know I just asked RTBAG to stop responding to dna’s blazing heap of ignorance, but I just couldn’t stop myself.

  • Lightkeeper

    And one more thing.
    Do you think that “those people” living “over there” do not see the hypocrisy on display in nearly every media outlet controlled by the West? Do you think they are so ‘backward’ as to not recognize whose death matters and whose does not?
    Every single newspaper today is carrying Jonbenet’s killer on its front page. Gee, I wonder why.
    I know that sounds awful but I’m only pointing towards the hypocrisy of the media. If only we were all so unrelenting when ANY child is killed – not just a beautiful, white female one.

  • dna

    Heh, calling what I say a “blazing heap of ignorance” while at the same time echoing what RTBAG was saying.
    In case you have forgotten, after 9/11, while the situation was still being sorted out, the number 6,000 was said to be of potential casualties, or unaccounted/missing persons. In Lebanon, the news that came out were always like “60 DEAD IN QANA”, or “40 DEAD AFTER AIR STRIKE”; ony later we find out that there were only ~30 in Qana, and only a single person in the other event. Nobody ever said there were people unaccounted for, they plainly asserted that Israel “murdered” so many civilians.
    You can wallow in your emotions as much as you want, but don’t claim you are open minded when you totally ignore evidence of Hezbollah intentionally trying to cause civillian casualties. And that “whiff of suspicion” you mention is a lot more than that; as I’ve said already, once you see all the photos togather, you have to wonder about the scenes depicted by the “award-winning” pictures from Reuters or the AP.
    You should take a look at the EUReferendum pages; they arranged all the Qana related info in an easy to view manner, with lots and lots of pictures.
    Finally, I’m not quite sure what hypocrisy you’re talking about, but why don’t you watch a little bit of what’s going on in the media over there.
    You seem a tad ignorant of what’s really going on in the media over there. Watch the videos, and maybe later we can re-examine the “us vs them” theory, right along with finding that middle ground to satisfy them.

  • ummabdulla

    MEMRI’s selections from Arab media are hardly representative. They have an agenda, and their choice of parts of articles and videos supports that agenda; anyone who uses them as a source should know that. One could do the same with Israeli media or American media – e.g., only select the most obnoxious comments from Pat Robertson or Ann Coulter and tell Arabs that this is the American media.

  • dna

    Nice, you say that anyone could do the same thing with Israeli media, and then you segue to examples about the US media.
    How about you find some videos of Israeli TV shows — where you have a religious figure telling children under ten stories about Jihad and poisoning, and that Arabas are trecherous, or perhaps some cartoons where the arabs are depicted as vile and odious — then we’ll talk about representative or not.
    Additionaly, it seems Al-Nas is a state channel in Egypt.

  • ummabdulla

    Al-Nas is a private channel.
    And when I was young, our history books were mostly about wars and war heroes. I remember reading books about underage boys – and girls – who were so devoted to the cause that they lied about their age to fight in the Civil War, etc. For Muslim children, they’re going to learn about their own history. Why is that any different?

  • Cactus

    For rtbag, ummabdulla, Lightkeeper, Rafael, and the rest trying to cope with our own double helix, perhaps this will help:
    From John Dean’s interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now 15 August 2006 [http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/15/1327200]
    “. . . [N]ow we have 40 years of this material, and it has been replicated time and time again, and we know an awful lot about this type of personality. There are people who submit very easily to an authority figure. They do it because they’re frightened. 9/11 drove an awful lot of people into submitting to authoritarianism, and they’re very aggressive once they submit. This explains a lot of the incivility, the nastiness, the mean-spiritedness. They’re not self-critical, and they become true advocates . . . of whatever position they’re advocating and pushing.”

  • readytoblowagasket

    “How about you find some videos of Israeli TV shows — where you have a religious figure telling children under ten stories about Jihad and poisoning, and that Arabas are trecherous, or perhaps some cartoons where the arabs are depicted as vile and odious — then we’ll talk about representative or not.”
    Well, this may be a little indirect for you, dna, but I bet having the shit bombed out of them will make more of an impression on Arab children than any propagandistic TV show could. Also, reading the threatening little leaflets the Israelis dropped before bombing should give them an idea how Israelis feel about them too. I’m POSITIVE Arab children don’t feel loved by Israelis. Sometimes actions speak louder than TV shows. (Especially when you can’t get any reception!)
    You’re out of your league here, dna. Give it up.

  • dna

    You’re out of your league here, dna. Give it up.

    I doubt you’re even in a league, since you didn’t even watch the videos. If you had, then you would have known better than to talk about children being bombed, since Israel hasn’t bombed any target in Egypt for more than 30 years. As for Iranian cartoons, there is no question that Israel had nothing to do with them.
    Furthremore, don’t confuse advance warnings with threats; the Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists give no warnining before shooting their rockets onto civilian towns, or blow themselves in a bus.
    Lastly, don’t make grand staments about how Arab children feel. Kids in Syria, Egypt, Iran, and many other countires have nothing to do with Israel, but the fact that such misinformation and hate-messages are forced upon them says quite a bit.
    Check your facts before you prematurely blow your gasket.

  • dna

    Mr. Cactus,
    You cannot be any further off-target with your assumption that I have been “scarred” by 9/11, and have become part of the “machine”.
    I actually find it amusing being considered a right-wing wacko, or neocon, or what not. I suppose it was to be expected for voicing contraditory opinions on a left-ish blog, and I would imagine you’d be labeled as a PC freak, and a flower-power advocate on right-ish forum.
    Oh, well, label me any way you want; whatever works for you to carry on living in denial, and to justify those videos instilling hate into children’s hearts.

  • jt from BC

    dna, perhaps its time you took a holiday, visited some folks abroad, in Canada and Mexico by and large we like Americans but “your cowboys” or “good old boys” messing in other countries is getting you a bad rap and your past history supports this.
    Many wonder how long you can keep borrowing foreign money to blow up other foreigners. When it comes to the UN, International Courts and *certain democratic elected governments, your foreign policy and leaders don’t walk the talk, its not your freedom many foreigners hate its your blatant hypocrisy which more accurate informs their opinion. [however you can take comfort that past great powers have done your trip, only they didn’t have at their disposal such an Impressive Industrial Killing Machine which strangely doesn’t seem all that impressive recently, so in addition to hyped fear and programmed paranoia, looking for other lesser belligerent ways may extend your empires life expectancy and with respect it will have to start with folks like you.
    “For many Americans, the critical question in this election season is, “How can we make America safer in the world?”
    Call me a girly man, but I think — given the fact that Americans are outnumbered 20 to 1 on this planet — we’d be safer by better understanding our world. A great first step is to travel — thoughtfully.
    “Increasingly, our government finds itself at odds with the rest of the globe. Our standing in world opinion is at an all-time low. Even our closest allies — 30 of 35 nations according to a University of Maryland poll last month — oppose U.S. policies.
    The United States is routinely outvoted at the United Nations 140-5. On issues that relate to Cuba, Israel and Palestine, land mines, environmental initiatives and nuclear regulation, our only allies are Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Palau and Israel.
    Though many Americans aren’t particularly concerned about America’s unpopularity, it is dangerous and expensive. If the world is a mean neighborhood, more friends are better than more enemies. Huge military costs abroad, skyrocketing security costs at home and the loss of trade as American goods become shunned overseas are an economic drain, the brunt of which we’ll all bear.
    If Americans traveled more, we’d better understand our place on this complex planet and fit in more comfortably. And eventually, perhaps, we wouldn’t need to spend as much as the rest of the world combined on our military to feel safe.”

  • ummabdulla

    dna: “Lastly, don’t make grand staments about how Arab children feel. Kids in Syria, Egypt, Iran, and many other countires have nothing to do with Israel, but the fact that such misinformation and hate-messages are forced upon them says quite a bit.”
    First of all, Iranians aren’t Arabs. But anyway, what do you mean they have nothing to do with Israel? Syria, for example, still has their Golan Heights illegally occupied by Israel, still has Palestinian refugee camps and took in hundreds of thousands of Lebanese civilians in the past month because of Israel bombardment, which came right to the Syrian border and killed Syrians, in some cases (like the farm workers who were loading fruits and vegetables into a refrigerated truck). There are constant threats to put sanctions on them, if not to outright attack them. Do you think their children don’t know any of this? Do you think they don’t learn history or follow current events?
    In any case, a national border – usually drawn by some colonial power – doesn’t mean that people don’t identify with each other. They’re Arabs (with the exception of Iran) and they’re mostly Muslims, and they have all kinds of ties. If China invaded and occupied Nebraska, would the people in Iowa ignore it and not care, because it’s across the state line?

  • auntsnow

    Regarding the comparison between the cultural methods of displaying or not displaying the dead as a means of respect and mourning….As has been said before, the American victims of the war are hidden away, they are not shown, neither the corpses of troops nor those of the victims of 9/11 are displayed – in fact, even the coffins of troops are hidden from view by our government.
    If it is commonplace to display, for mourning or the expression of anger, the corpses of those who died violently, it is interesting how the US let itself be goaded into attacking Fallujah by the display of the corpses of the ambushed contractors, or into leaving Somalia by the display of the corpses of our soldiers killed there.
    But it’s interesting how American outrage and moral superiority that our approach toward the viewing of our dead is more respectful and less callous than that of other cultures sort of stops dead at what happened during Hurrican Katrina.
    The fact that corpses lay floating in the streets of a major US city, for days on end, passed hundreds of times by police, guardsmen, media, and survivors may say much about us. What was different about these corpses that didn’t raise a hue and cry? Yes, at first you could say that it was more important to rescue the living who were in peril than to cover the dead, but as the days and weeks went on, I find it very odd. There was an article and photo in the NYTimes – I think BAG did something on this? – about the corpse of one man on the street very near the police command post, that officials and police and media simply walked around for days.
    Why? Because these were black people? Because somehow those who stayed behind “deserved” it?
    There will always be those who try to minimize the impact of death when it serves their own cause or agenda.
    I found it appalling then, and I find the current sanctimony about Lebanese corpses shows how short our own memories are. And how we value the lives of people differently, depending on who they are.

  • dna

    jt from BC, Israel could probably manage without money from the US, but I doubt Hezbollah can manage without Iranian money, even if it is fake money. As for blowing foreigners, you seem to be forgetting several planes crashing into building, blown-up trains, and blown-up subways and a bus.
    You say supporting Israel is expensive for the US? Well, consider how expensive were two financial towers coming down, and a week of no-flying, followed by the drop in air travel. Throwing a bit of money in Israel’s direction is nothing compared to what a terrorism scare can accomplish.
    Thanks for showing you bias.

  • dna

    Syria, for example, still has their Golan Heights illegally occupied by Israel

    Well, then, perhaps they should not have started the cycle of violence by “illegally” attacking Israel in 1948.

    …still has Palestinian refugee camps

    I’m sorry, but how are the refugee camps Israel’s fault? It was Arab leaders, and the Arab League that told them to flee their country back in 1948. And for that matter, what sort of people – or leaders – force “refugees” to live in camps for the past 60 years? King Hussein was correct when he observed that the Palestinian cause is criminally abused by Arab leaders.

    Do you think they don’t learn history or follow current events?

    There is a slight difference between reading the news, and having a religious fool tell children flat out that “Jews are people of treachery”. Besides, children don’t understand much at such a young age, so if their parents in Syria intentionally expose them, then they are not much different than that cleric.

    doesn’t mean that people don’t identify with each other

    Like I stated above, if they identify with them so much, how come they did not integrate them into their society? It’s been already 60 years; how much longer do they need to wait?

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna said (of course): “I doubt you’re even in a league, since you didn’t even watch the videos. If you had, then you would have known better than to talk about children being bombed, since Israel hasn’t bombed any target in Egypt for more than 30 years. As for Iranian cartoons, there is no question that Israel had nothing to do with them.”
    dna, please limit your tangents. I didn’t watch the videos because this thread isn’t about cartoons that brainwash children. Can you stick to the topic or are you clinically diagnosed ADD?
    As I expected, my point (like everyone’s) was LOST on you. I maintain that when you drop bombs on children (see above images of dead children for a reminder of what we’re talking about), it doesn’t matter what they watch on TV. You know the game Rock, Paper, Scissors? Well, think of TV cartoon propaganda as Scissors, and bombs as Rock. Bombs win.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock,_Paper,_Scissors
    FYI, The BAG has discussed Iranian children’s television propaganda in a previous post/thread, and he surely will again, so save your videos for another day. To further your education about war propaganda in the meantime, here’s an interesting article about U.S. propaganda during the lead-up to and first 10 days of the Iraq War. Curiously, many of the exact same propaganda points used by the U.S. were used by Israel to attack Lebanon(’s civilians).
    On a personal note, my favorite line in the piece describes American lead-up-to-war propaganda thus:
    “It is like smelling manure, and then claiming you have found a horse.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/rooij04012003.html
    Enjoy.

  • Lightkeeper

    >> ‘http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock,_Paper,_Scissors’
    That made me laugh out loud. Surely dna knows what rock, paper, scissors is, no?

  • jt from BC

    rtbag, I always thought Chess and Go were advanced games, besides breaking up with laughter like Lightkeeper, I’m practising for my grandchildren’s next visit, see if I can confuse them, first by suggesting we play by International rules.

  • dna

    Sensationalism, pure and simple. That’s all you can do — point to obviously proped and staged pictures of dead children.
    I don’t know to which clown university you went to, but mentioning ADD just ain’t funny. I also realize that it is very conveniet for you only to address matters that happened after Hezbollah’s incursion, killing & kidnapping of soldiers, because it works perfectly with your agenda — blame Israel for everything. As far as you are concerned, nothing relevant took place prior to Israel dropping the first bomb.
    Go ahead, make your jokes, continue living in your simplistic world, where photographers get spectacular pictures of dead children, without any propping or staging (maybe just a little, as he said).
    P.S. Which abridged history book are you using as reference?

  • jt from BC

    dna, I play chess on line with my seven year old grandson, if I can locate a rock paper scissors game site, are you up for accepting his challenge ? yea, their are lots of sites http://www.playrps.com/

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna, okay, ADD was a cheap shot, but I would be less inclined to give you a hard time if A) you did me the courtesy of reading my article links and B) if I didn’t suspect you were using this blog in some self-serving way to promote EU Referendum, where, I notice, Richard North links to this very post in which you have a starring role in the comment thread. So don’t lecture me about what is or isn’t “convenient.” If you want to be taken seriously, then pony up and play honestly. We’re not here for your cheap entertainment and EU Referendum’s disdain. It works both ways.

  • Randolph

    dna: “I don’t know to which clown university you went to, but mentioning ADD just ain’t funny.” Looks like rtbag hit a sore spot, hmmmm?
    dna: “As far as you are concerned, nothing relevant took place prior to Israel dropping the first bomb.” How about Israel planning the entire “incursion” well in advance (a year?) and briefing all the western governments AND THE PRESS? Is that relevant enough for you?
    Guys, let’s give up on this lemming. He is wasting our energy that should be put to better use. Their points do not enlighten but only obfuscate. These people spend all their time arguing in circles because they don’t have a life.

  • dna

    I am not promoting EUReferendum, but I did get here through a link from there.
    I don’t see why I should read a huge article regarding the lead up to the war in Iraq, since it is not relevant to this case. Iraq is whole different matter.
    And no Mr. Randolph, he didn’t hit any sore spot, it was just a lame joke (hence the clown university reference).
    As for having a plan to go into Lebanon, well, that’s just due diligence, just like the US army has many plans, regarding many potential conflicts. In this case it was building up since the withdrawl in 2000, with plenty attacks by Hezbollah on border posts, as well as rocketing of towns. The presence of a plan proves nothing.
    I may be a lemming, but I do not take the word of a corrupt photojurnalist which admits to staging — hell, you can just see it from his pictures — as if it word the word straight from Allah.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.
    - Sun Tzu

  • dna

    Yep, I’m sure that’s exactly what Sun Tzu had in mind as well — the display of children’s bodies.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Once again you miss the point entirely.
    The misfortune is the bombing at Qana, the taking advantage off is the advertising of it and the discomfort people in the West, especially Americans feel when confronted with such evidence.

  • dna

    No Rafael, I didn’t miss your point — that’s exactly what I assumed to be your implied meaning, that they turned the misfortune into gain.
    However, I doubt Sun Tzu would have looked upon such an act is tactical brilliance.
    It’s a good thing you have the time to quote Sun Tzu, instead of looking at this event of “misfortune” with a critical eye, as it is quite suspicious.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Qana happend, we can debate how it was used, manipulated or exploited, but it happend, unless your saying these guys went hunting for bodies in Tyre’s morque or something to that effect.
    As for Sun Tzu, yeah, here was a guy that according to legend behaded a warlords concubine so as to teach the others how to behave. But then, who am I kidding, you think it was bunk, we know it was not…end of story. There are five other post ahead of this one, I’ll go check them out.

  • dna

    That’s the difference between us — you accept Qana as presented, while I am willing to ask “how it happened?”.
    As for the concubine, since you were unwilling to finish the story, and I was unable to quickly google it, then you hardly proved anything about Sun Tzu and “killing your own”.

  • http://warmongersanonymous.blogspot.com/ Warmongers Anonymous

    Thank you! Now tell that to all those theorists!
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285572,00.html

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Sun-Tzu
    The Art of War
    Traslation by Ralph D. Sawyer
    Barnes & Nobles 1994 ISBN 1-56619-297-9
    Pages 80-82
    Not everything needs to come through Google and there more to the story that the IDF telling of it.
    As how it happend, civilians where inside a building, the IDF bombed it, whether by mistake or not. 20+ civilians died.
    Oh and the beheaded concubines where two, not one. My mistake.

  • dna

    Rafael, you and the other poster still won’t address the fundamental issue of Hezbollah firing from that village, nor do you seem willing to place any blame on them; it must be as a poster said many messages ago that you think “Hezbollah can do no wrong”.
    As for IDF – it had dropped leaflets, and made radio announcements urging the people to leave, while Hezbollah made no attempt to avoid civilian casualties. I’m far more inclined to believe that Hezbollah knew there were people there, and that they parked one of their toy-trucks close enough for the building to be damaged. Here’s a quote that further corroborates my suspcion:

    Residents of Ain Ebel say Hezbollah has been drawing fire toward the Christian village by launching Katyusha rockets from the nearby tobacco fields, just a few hundred metres from Ms. Asrouni’s home. The militants leave when Israel returns fire, witnesses said.

    The source is here, and we’ve seen plenty of other evidence of Hezbollah activity close to civilians.
    Anyway, if you still wish to argue that Qana was genius tactical maneuver a la Sun Tzu, then I’m going to have to ask you to step off your pedestal of moral high-ground, and stop accusing of IDF of massacaring civilians.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    It was not genius to use the deaths to their propaganda advantage. But there little proof, other than the accusations made by the Israelis that Hezbollah used civilians as humans shields. You forget that the IDF bombed many of the roads leading north and had a habit of targetting civilian vehicles. Under those circumtances, evacuation for all (especially the old, the infirm and children) would have been hard, very hard. The people in Qana died due to an Israeli bomb. A bomb dropped because the IDF and the Olmert goverment screwed up their offensive from Day 1. Those are the facts.

  • dna

    Heh, now I know you’re totally fixated about the ghoulish aspect of that whole event. I’ll further guess that you accuess the United States since they manufactured the “bomb”, and perhaps also the United Kingdom, since they provide fuel for the plane that carried the “bomb”.
    The residents could have left Qana, and they should’ve been able to make it to Tyre by foot (it’s not that far), making stops in other villages on the way.
    As for the effectiveness of this operation, we’ll have to see. Hezbollah infrastructure has been hit hard, and the number of dead fighters is in the high hundereds. Myabe they were weakend enough for the Lebanese government to finally take over control in the south. Needless to say, you haven’t provided any reason as to why the pocliy was screwed up from day one, and I doubt you’re a military specialist, hence your assessment equals ass.
    Finally, there’s plenty of evidence that Hezbollah is using civilians as shields: pictures, videos, and written testimoney, as the one I provided above. If you’re that obtuse, then you’re wasting my time.

  • ummabdulla

    Even in Israel, they know they didn’t win anything, and now they’re fighting over who should be blamed and who’s going to have lose their jobs. They put out the talking points, and are happy to have people like dna support them to the hilt, but the Israelis themselves are more realistic.

  • jt from BC

    ummabdulla > if you’ve unaware you may enjoy this:
    Anthony Cordesman;
    Center for Strategic and International Studies.
    In Israel during the war with access to every one of importance his study is interesting but extremely long, however this gem has taken talking heads on both the Left and Right by surprise.
    He walks the tight rope of being critical and supportive of Israel, truly a high wire act, for one of the more long serving and prestigious think tank “experts”.
    His most notable finding of all is this one, buried at the bottom of p.15 of the report:
    “One key point that should be mentioned more in passing than as a lesson, although it may be a warning about *conspiracy theories* is that no serving Israeli official, intelligence officer, or other military officer felt that the Hezbollah acted under the direction of Iran or Syria.”
    http://justworldnews.org/archives/002068.html
    I recall durning the Regan era that pictures were often drawn for the Gipper, its must be comforting for those close to GWB that hes not a reader. I wonder how he is with pictures ?
    “Win one for the Gipper”
    Reagan was given the nickname Gipper, which lasted throughout his life. Reagan later used the quotation when seeking election as US president http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/win-one-for-the-gipper.html

  • dna

    I am aware of all the blaming going on in Israel, but you can hardly say it was a loss, or that Hezbollah “won”. As it stands right now, only time will tell.
    Then again, you probably consider it a victory by Isreal only if it nuked sutheren Lebanon, but then you’d have other “complaints”

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna, for some reason I continue to be amazed that you don’t notice how you completely parrot *propaganda* lines yourself. Recent unthinking examples include:
    1) Hezbollah infrastructure has been hit hard, and the number of dead fighters is in the high hundreds.
    2) Maybe they were weakened enough for the Lebanese government to finally take over control in the south.
    3) Finally, there’s plenty of evidence that Hezbollah is using civilians as shields.
    4) You can hardly say it was a loss, or that Hezbollah “won”.
    Did you lift these lines directly from Ehud Olmert’s most recent press release? I guess you don’t examine at all who’s feeding it to you and why. For your own sake, even beyond the sake of this FUTILE discussion, you should always question the sound bites coming from the government, any government, even one you support (unless you happen to work in government). Governments (which are composed of plenty of Nasrallah types and worse) have their own power foremost in mind, not your puny personal interests.

  • jt from BC

    dna > I’m not into the blame game its far more serious than that.
    When the historical record of the IDF’s terror rampage is tallied, from the kill numbers and of prisoners, demolitions of homes and infrastructures, bombings, incursions, overflights, kidnappings, assinations, to shortlist the obvious, it merits the name IDF, Israel Demolitation Force, IAF, Israel Attack Force, or ITF, Israeli Terror Front.
    Terror is definitely a two way adventure in that neighborhood but hands down Israel wins in every department even when the actions and destruction of its real or imagined adversaries are combined.
    What we have here is either a case of arrogrance, political delusion, religious fanaticism, wishful thinking and military ineptitude. Whatever the diagnosis, denying reality with such stubborn and belligerent intransigence, with atomic weapons in the hands of the Israeli State and its present leaders it has become its citizens greatest threat.
    And by the way I don’t differentiate between a suicide bomber or a State sponsored suicide mission, one dead Jew, one dead Arab, one dead Persian, or one bulldozed dead American, Rachel Corrie, is too many deaths to comprehend.
    My long standing Jewish friends are now making or more frequently stating this observation, naturally they are placed in a special category of Jewishness and as such dismissed from rational discourse which questions some aspects of a Zionist mythology.
    A tactic as you well know which is shared by all ethnicity’s and individuals and one in which you personally don’t have a monopoly, however much you carry on looking for the donkey on which to pin your tail (tale)
    This game is a stepping stone to Rock, Paper Scissors as you may remember from your childhood. Get with the big picture.

  • dna

    Do me a favor, don’t get all abstract with, talking about politics and power. I do not “get my lines” from soundbites.
    On the other hand you seem to be quite persistent in denying any Hezbollah wrongdoing, just by the fact that you still raise doubts over whether they did use civilian areas for cover, or attempted to draw fire in that direction (to benefits from the propaganda aspect of it).
    I don’t know you can in good faith raise doubts about their tactics after have seen written, photographic, and filmed evidence. What more do you want? A plane ticket to Lebanon and a time machine?

  • dna

    And JT, for all your long post I have only this to say: a few dead people aren’t the end of the world; what is of more dire consequences is if the people in power are willing to expend those people for the sake of maintaining, or increasing their power.
    Also, you’ve clearly demonstrated your bias by assigning new meanings to the acronyms in a childish fashion.

  • dna

    By the way, since some of you guys used the ambulance story to support your opinion of “Israeli Brutality”, I suggest you check the following debuking of the whole story.
    There’s also been a debunking of the chemical weapons accusation, but I doubt you would have found out about if you only hang out in blogs on the left side of the aisle. (It’s through LGF… *shudder*)

  • readytoblowagasket

    dna, THANKS for finally saying “a few dead people aren’t the end of the world.” THAT’S where I don’t accept your premise, *because* if it were a few dead Israelis, you wouldn’t have said that.
    In other words, a few dead people in the name of your race-based cause aren’t any big deal. That premise has nothing to do with Hezbollah; that premise has to do with you.

  • jt from BC

    dna, I wish a long and healthy life for you, your family and friends. As for your present adversaries, real or imagined I wish for them the same. Adios

  • dna

    RTBAG, excellent spin!
    It was a comparison, but I see that you are unable to comprehend that. You can go on and continue supporting a terrorist organization that cowardly blends into the population.
    By the way, I haven’t heard you lament casualties on the Israeli side, as much as you did for casualties on the Lebanese side, but that’s to be expected from a Hezbollah appologist.

  • Lightkeeper

    dna: “RTBAG, excellent spin!
    It was a comparison, but I see that you are unable to comprehend that. You can go on and continue supporting a terrorist organization that cowardly blends into the population.
    By the way, I haven’t heard you lament casualties on the Israeli side, as much as you did for casualties on the Lebanese side, but that’s to be expected from a Hezbollah appologist.”
    As well as using illogical routes to arrive at surprisingly far fetched conclusions, the entire post has nothing to do with what RTBAG was REALLY saying.

  • dna

    Look over his comments and you’ll see I’m right.

  • readytoblowagasket

    (Evil laughter erupts from rtbag.)

  • AO

    Israel is in a war for her survival. Arabs and appeasers are not as shocked at the sight of Israeli children blown to bits. No they dance in the streets. So…
    WHATEVER!

  • What!

    BTW the first pic of that hand out of the rug is a pic of Israel’s and America’s enemy.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve had my TED talk on empathy and you can make your mind race as you take each step in somebody else’ shoes. I believe there are things important to acknowledge that go unheard all too often in western media.

  • Mlevacov

    Yea!… Right. How can you explain, for instance, the SAME TEDDY BEAR APPEARS IN SEVERAL PHOTOS in DIFFERENT places and towns. No manipulation? No staged “ambiance”. Try another one. Are you naive or malicious? 

  • Photo_FRAUDs_uncovered

    HERE ARE SEVERAL EXAMPLES  of malicious PHOTO MANIPULATION done at that event and others by arab or western simpatizers (or paid) photographers. Do you wabt the TRUTH? Just watch the video in the link. SHAME ON YOU, misinforming the people.

    http://www.aish.com/v/is/91361839.html

  • jack

    Hi guys,And JT, for all your long post I have only this to say: a few dead people aren’t the end of the world; what is of more dire consequences is if the people in power are willing to expend those people for the sake of maintaining, or increasing their power.

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