July 21, 2006

Quick Hits

By Callimachus:

A few bytes from around the Web today:

Emergency relief aid should start reaching Lebanon soon.
France mobilized Friday to send urgent aid to Lebanon, the Red Cross managed to get relief supplies to the south — and Israel agreed to allow a safe corridor crucial to ensuring that food and medicine reaches those in need.
We can only hope. But if you're tired of feeling helpless on the sidelines, Beirut Spring has got a donations board up, listing places you can give to help.

Abu Aardvark has a telling piece on the images that the Arab world is seeing in its media. If you want to understand popular reactions, this always is a good place to start.

There's no such thing as a clean war. A nasty oil slick is fouling Beirut's beaches. Doha has a picture.

Posted by Callimachus at July 21, 2006 03:06 PM

Re images,

Yeah, and I remember the same sort of stuff posted on the walls by both sides during the Iran-Iraq war. Propaganda is insidious but also omnipresent, it is one of the reasons the Middle East is such a snakepit. What is shameful is that many western organizations -- France2, CNN, and the BBC come to mind -- also play the game. I suppose if you were to ask them about the reported German atrocities in Belgium during WWI, which were of much the same character, these progressive organizations would be the first to say they have risen above inciting people to war and serving as propaganda outlets, yet they easily fall into the same trap when faced with temptation and seem to have little recognition of the fact. The long term consequences will be dire for everyone.

Posted by: chuck at July 21, 2006 03:29 PM

What is shameful is that many western organizations -- France2, CNN, and the BBC come to mind -- also play the game.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, plays the game. If Israeli papers showed pictures of hospitalized Israeli children injured by Hezbollah rockets, would that be denounced as propaganda?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at July 21, 2006 04:43 PM

Chuck, part of the reason this is so pervasive is that the media has an out in each direction: If you print the nasty images, you're fulfilling your duty of speaking the truth, giving the people what they need to know, not sugarcoating realities. But if you don't you also are taking the high road of responsible exercise of free speech and avoiding shoving your readers' faces in the obscenity of violence.

Which means you can slip your bias between the rails of these principles: If you want to inflame your readers in one direction, wave the bloody shirt. If you don't want your readers to think too hard about the consequences of something, hide the pictures of it.

Either way you can say you're doing your job.

Posted by: Callimachus at July 21, 2006 04:50 PM

If Israeli papers showed pictures of hospitalized Israeli children injured by Hezbollah rockets, would that be denounced as propaganda?

Yeah, by you.

Posted by: Carlos at July 21, 2006 07:02 PM

So those dreadful Allies claimed that the Germans committed massacres, did they?

John Keegan says in The First World War that they did indeed commit gruesome massacres in Belgium. They had a plan for winning the war quick and the Belgians didn't cooperate; they resisted. Families had their throats cut, libraries were burned, all sorts of nice things.

Whatever it takes...

BTW, the Israelis seem to be catching on to the fact that their air war isn't doing a lick of good from any perspective. They realized that telling people to flee their homes and then bombing whatever moves might cause too many embarrassing civilian casualties. So, now they are broadcasting in Arabic and telling people to leave their homes, but not to go in cars and trucks because cars and trucks will be bombed!

But hey, somebody might have a couple of bullets or a penknife in the glove compartment. This is war, after all...

Posted by: Jeff at July 21, 2006 08:14 PM

If Israeli papers showed pictures of hospitalized Israeli children injured by Hezbollah rockets, would that be denounced as propaganda?

Much would depend on presentation. If such pictures were all you saw, if no pictures of adult bodies were shown, and if all the pictures were of dead and mangled children scattered among rubble rather than recovering in a hospital, then yes, you could be pretty sure that they were propaganda and someone was trying to manipulate you. No doubt there is propaganda of that sort passed around in some circles. I haven't seen any but it is the sort of thing to be expected.

As an aside, I distrust photos as they are easily manipulated for propaganda purposes. Lighting, angle, coloration, focus, f-stop, cropping, posing, selection... all work in evil synergy to make photography the preferred medium for propaganda and lies. Professional photographers and photo editors should probably be considered phychopaths, liars, and con artists unless they come with three references from people you trust ;)

Posted by: chuck at July 21, 2006 08:22 PM

Showing the victims of violence without their consent is just plain wrong. Always wrong, no matter the intended message. Suffering and death is personal and universal. That's what makes it powerful, and why we must resist the urge to exploit it.

However you feel about the war or the participants, no one wants to see their own lifeless child or mother as a photo in some photographer's portfolio, or on some news snippet as a bit piece.

the images are real and the story needs to be told. I just think it needs to be balanced with a sense of human dignity and compassion for the loved ones of the lost.

Posted by: hmmm at July 21, 2006 08:52 PM

Carlos: Yeah, by you.

Ah, the old nasty ad hominem strawman-bashing Carlos is back. And the discussions around here were actually starting to get interesting with you reining in the nasty for a while.

Well, back to the feces throwing. No, Carlos, I would not denounce pictures of Israeli children injured in rocket attacks as propaganda.

Any other mind-reading errors you would like me to clear up? Or would you prefer that I bear your insults quietly? Either way, I'm happy to oblige.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at July 22, 2006 07:55 AM

My my, aren't we touchy, lol!

I guess the old DPU is back too.

Posted by: Carlos at July 22, 2006 12:55 PM


for the record, I expected you to become a bit annoyed, which made me smile when I hit send, but not that you would become so enfuriated. So, sorry about that. lol!


Posted by: Carlos at July 22, 2006 01:07 PM

for the record, I expected you to become a bit annoyed, which made me smile when I hit send

When you treat Michael's comment section like a toilet stall, that's what it will turn out to be. If that's what you're most comfortable with, then flame away.

Michael, I have to wonder why you tolerate this griefer. He's shown that he can positively contribute to meaningful debate, yet he still lets off poo bombs on a regular basis with no other intent than to mess up discussion. Is it blackmail? Is he a relative? Is he a brain-damaged bubble-boy you feel sorry for? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at July 22, 2006 02:10 PM

You've become hysterical. Take a pill.

Posted by: Carlos at July 22, 2006 02:35 PM

Let the Arabs worry about our public opinion, for an effin' change...

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector at July 22, 2006 09:32 PM

[B]** We can only hope. But if you're tired of feeling helpless on the sidelines **[B]

You can learn about the several EVs [Electric Vehicles] that are waiting to be discovered and help Canada and the USA public to wake up and pressure the government to sidestep Big Oil and Big Auto lobbies and stop hindering the marketing of EVs.

Electric Vehicles cost a penny a mile to operate, are emissions free and are so simple with so few moving parts that aside from brakes, require no service at all.

Check the links from:

And ask yourself why GM recalled 800 EV1s from lease and secretly crushed them in their secure Arizona compound.

Documented by helicopter.

EVs will devastate Big Auto profits in both services and parts sales. They will eventually sell for prices more in line with electrical appliances, because that is what they will become.

EVs will reduce world dependance on IRAN*S oil by 90%.

That means Iran will not have the means to buy sophisticated weapons nor properly support Hezbollah.

Devious eh? But now you, and all who drive cars, can switch to EVs, save $300 - $400 a month in gas money and knock the wind out of the Mullahusks who hold Iran in their iron fisted grip. Cut world dependancy by 90%.

You may not believe how far EVs have come, due mostly to new Battery technology.

240HP, 0 - 60 in 4 seconds, range 250 miles per charge = $2.50.. thus, 1 penny per mile and getting better. = TG

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Posted by: yinxiebing at December 15, 2007 12:33 AM
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